Decades of war between the people of South Sudan and the government of Khartoum, eventually leading to South Sudan’s independence in 2011, left the country littered with mines, cluster munitions, unexploded airdropped bombs and other unexploded ordnance (UXO).
Irish Aid commenced supporting the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) mine action work in South Sudan in 2018 and has allocated €1.2 million to fund a three year programme, 2018 to 2020.
132,719 square meters of mine contaminated ground was cleared with Irish Aid funding during 2019. 23% of the land cleared is being used for agriculture and grazing, 22% for residential infrastructure and 55% for other purposes (e.g. leisure spaces, transit routes).
Find out more:
Read more about our support for mine clearance and the impact it is having on the lives of people in South Sudan.
Mr. Achira Daniel, 37, and his wife Sara Aya live in Amika boma with their three sons. Like their neighbour, Angela Aneek, 43, the mother of a boy and a girl, they are farmers from the Acholi community. During an interview with MAG’s Irish Aid funded community liaison team, Achira Daniel explained that Amika was home to the old barracks in Magwi during the 1983‐2005 war between the SPLA/M (Sudan People's Liberation Army/Movement) and the Khartoum government of Sudan. The presence of this barracks led to the contamination of the community with many different explosive remnants of war, and they heavy fighting in the area forced many residents to flee to neighbouring
Uganda. Although many returned after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, many residents left again when fighting returned to the area in 2016.
“I have found two bombs when digging in my garden, so I reported them to the chief of the area.” Achira Daniel explained during an interview with MAG’s CLT. “Afterwards, I feared digging around Amika, so we decided to move five kilometres away to find a place to cultivate. But that is too far.”
EOD1 deminer Antasia Bolen cuts the grass using bush cutter to prepare the ground before BAC clearance in Amika boma.
Angela Aneek had a similar story. “I found one bomb [a PM1 submunition] when digging in my garden with my sister, so I stopped digging near my home,” she explained. Having had to grow her crops farther away from her home left her appreciative of the work that EOD1, the team funded by Irish Aid is doing. “Many thanks to MAG for sending the team to clear our land!” she exclaimed.
The residents of Amika boma also told the CL team about the community where they live. They explained that since most of the community members rely on farming supplemented by hunting and burning charcoal and collecting firewood, the contamination in the area is very dangerous to their daily lives. But people must go about their daily activities to survive, so they either do so in fear, or they must go farther away to farm or find natural resources.
Irish Aid Humanitarian Assistance Policy
Download our Humanitarian Assistance Policy