In this page:
1. Sudan and landmines suffering
2. The civil war
in Sudan and landmines challenge
3. Sudanese position in the Mine Ban Convention
4. Beginning of mine action program in the Sudan
5. Establishment of Sudan Campaign to Ban Landmines
Sudan is considered as the biggest African and Arab, country, area
wise, with an estimated area of about one million square miles, with an
area equivalent to almost the European Continent and more than a quarter
of the area of the United States of American, and share borders with a
number of nine countries, in addition to the Red Sea. The number of the
population is 38 million people (2003 estimate).
Sudan Classified within the six more African countries affected by
mines, the Sudan has known the mines since World War II in both eastern
Sudan and North Western Sahara of Sudan. Sudan was affected by the mines
as a result of disputes in the neighboring countries where mines
extended to western Sudan (Darfur) in the 1970s during the twentieth
century years of civil war in Chad, but it has announced the clearance
of those sites from mines after the settlement of the dispute. Also the
presence of mines was recorded in the Egyptian-Sudanese borders, as used
to prevent the smuggling of camels from Sudan to Egypt. However, the
civil war in southern Sudan remains the main cause for Sudan to be
affected by mines, which broke out since the beginning of independence
(1955) and stopped for a period of ten years (1972-1983), and exploded
again in the year 1983 more vicious and widespread in southern Sudan,
and spread to other parts like the Nuba Mountains in central western
Sudan in the year 1985, the Ingassena Hills southeast Sudan, and eastern
Sudan in Kassala and Red Sea States in the year 1996.
The civil war in Sudan killed about two
million citizens and the displacement of more than four million others
and resort about 350 thousand citizens to neighboring countries.
Estimated number of mine victims is around (70,000) citizen, 50% of whom
lost their lives (92% of the affected civilians in eastern Sudan). Also
around (3) millions of cattle killed by mines, and also mines prevent
the rehabilitation of infrastructures and services in the villages rural
areas, and obstruct the process of ambulance, evacuation and victims
assistance in those areas, and prevent the exploitation of farmland,
pasture and water sources due fear or to avoid danger.
Different estimates showed that the number of mines laid in Sudan
between (500,000-2,000,000 mines) in the various conflict zones. The
types of mines used up to about (46) produced in some (16) countries
such as (Belgium, China, Egypt, Israel, Italy, United States, the Soviet
Union, Iraq and Iran. These mines prevented the use of around (10)
million hectares of land, and closed a number of roads and railways,
which made the transport of humanitarian aid to the needy areas limited
only to air transportation of highest cost (for every dollar of food
about five dollars spent on the air transportation).
At the beginning of the year 2003, the
armed conflict in Darfur augmented. Despite the presence of the
historical backgrounds and causes of the conflict, but it can be said
that so far the National Mine Action Center have registered only two
cases of mine incidents.
In the Sudanese borders, there are active military operations on the
Sudanese- Ugandan borders, where Ugandan Lord Resistance Army (LRA) is
active in using mines. Also the use of mines on the Sudanese borders
with Eritrea and Ethiopia was recorded.
position in the Mine Ban Convention:
The Sudanese Government signed the Ottawa Convention for banning
landmines since December 1997, and in August 2003 the Council of
Ministers ratified the Convention. In October 2003 Sudan deposited its
instrument of ratification of the Convention to the United Nations
Secretariat, and in April 2004 the Convention entered into force.
The Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army, the major armed opposition
faction in the previous period (before the signing of the Peace
Agreement-January 2005) joined the list of Geneva Call to join Non-State
Actors (NSAs) agreement to ban landmines in 2001 and ratified the
commitment towards Geneva Call (DOC).
mine action program in the Sudan:
• There are a number of actors working in the field of mine action in
the Sudan for along period of time. the International Committee of the
Red Cross, is one of the oldest players in this field as it worked on
the organic and material rehabilitation. The Military Hospital is
providing care and treatment for armed forces affected-persons. During
previous years the mine action was done only by the Military Corps for
reasons of war. Now, some national NGOs are working in the field of
humanitarian demining such as the Sudan Association for Combating
landmines (JASMAR) which is actively working in the Nuba Mountains area.
Also the Sudanese Red Crescent Society provided First Aid services and
Mine Risk Education (MRE.
In July 1997 the Sudan
Campaign to Ban Landmines was established. It is a network of
voluntary organizations from around (48) national and international
NGOs. Also it plays the coordination role for all organizations
activities of mine action in the areas controlled by the government.
Also mine programs are used as a tool for peace and confidence building
through its relationship with the organizations on the other side of the
Sudan (SPLM-controlled areas) such as Save the Innocent lives (OSIL).