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Clearing landmines in Sudan

This study commissioned by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) explores perceptions of landmine clearance operations and landmine clearance agencies among landmine-affected communities in Blue Nile and South Kordofan, as well as investigating prospects for demining and any ramifications of mine action.

Read the report

Key findings from the report include:

  • Women bear the brunt of mine contamination, both in terms of stigmatisation as victims and as those responsible for income and care in cases where their husbands are seriously injured or killed by a mine.
  • Mine contamination can increase intercommunal tensions, but there is limited understanding of the capacity of mine action to act as a catalyst for peacebuilding and reconciliation.
  • Mine action is generally viewed positively by landmine-affected communities, but its scope and breath is too limited.
  • Relations are fragile between members of the public and demining agencies, which has an impact on whether and to whom people report landmines.

Policy recommendations include:

  • Both mine victims and their families need greater support in living with a mine-related disability. This should include support on how families might make changes to cope with mine-related injuries and the effect these have on families.  
  • Particular efforts need to be made to help mitigate the impacts of landmines on women, for example through gender-sensitive rehabilitation and socio-economic reintegration strategies. 
  • Where there are clear processes for making reports of suspicious items, these need to be communicated more effectively to the community by demining agencies and security forces, in coordination with community leaders.  
  • In parallel, a landmine rapid response unit (RRU) should be established within NMAC but be based in both regions, to promptly respond to any reports of ERW or otherwise. This will in turn help build confidence in local authorities, and trust between demining agencies and members of the public.
  • Sudan’s Humanitarian Aid Commission and National Mine Action Centre need to better work together to ensure mine action is linked up with development programming. This would allow for a holistic approach to mine action and development to help communities transition.