UN Mine Action Service trains Peacekeepers in Mali

Tuesday, 15 July 2014


The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Mali recently organised training for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) companies from Cambodia and Nepal with a view to establishing a bomb-disposal capacity within the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

Recent armed conflict in Mali has led to explosive contamination impacting on the stabilization efforts. This impact includes the potential loss of life and injury of people within affected communities, but also the safe return of displaced people, economic recovery and the deployment of national and international forces.

Since March 2012, 101 civilian casualties of Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) have been recorded in Mali, of whom more than half are children. Moreover, some 244 Malian forces, peacekeeping troops, French forces, civilians and others have been killed or injured specifically by IEDs since January 2013.

The training focused on enabling the EOD companies to safely mitigate explosive threats, including the threat from Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) in northern Mali. Practical exercises included the use of Mine Protected Vehicles with articulated arms for explosive threat disposal, armoured ambulances, bomb disposal robots, mechanical mine clearance flails and in conducting live demolitions.

The UNMAS programme in Mali is an integral part of MINUSMA which was established pursuant to Security Council resolution 2100, under the terms of which the mission carries out a number of security-related stabilization tasks, protects civilians, monitors human rights, creates the conditions for the provision of humanitarian assistance and the safe return of displaced persons and the extension of State authority.