Gov’t, UNMAS embark on de-mining explosives

By Tereza Jeremiah Chuei

United Nation Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in partnership with South Sudan Mine Action Authority (SSMAA) have started to remove highly explosive objects which are life threatening to communities.

This came after South Sudan Mine Authority discovered a 122 MM missile at the scrap site of Jebel Kujur next to Suk Mamur area last week.

The de-mining partners would be working to diffuse dangerous objects as well as discovering other unexploded substances that would endanger the lives of people.

Since the country had been in war many explosive devices had been planned by military which were still a threat to many people. If the device /ammunition explodes it can lead to damaging property and injuring anyone who encountered with it.

United Nations Mission in South Sudan, Mine Action program (CMAP) Chief, Fran O’grady said that even though the devices stayed in an area for a long period of time, it would still be dangerous mostly to children who might think it’s a toy.

“These devices; be it a mine, bomb, motor, or a rocket, these things can lie around for many years and just a slight disturbance of ground beside them, very often or somebody picking it up and the reality is sadly that most of the injuries that happen are children who are playing because they do not know,” O’grady said.

The team leader of SSMAA, Deng Chol said that they managed to use a protective work to protect the buildings from explosion during the diffusion of 122 mm projectiles.

“When we dig it to the ground level to protect the shock wave, the shock wave is the blast. When it is travelling it gets this one open then the strength of the shock wave will be released but when it is hot, the strength of the shock wave will go further and would break the wall and wall will collapse,” Chol explained,

He also said that the evacuated people in surrounding areas for their safety because the explosion might affect them before the process, they make sure that they evacuate the people around the area, so that when they destroy the device with high order the people will not be affected.

However, the monitoring and evaluation officer and Acting director for South Sudan mine Action Arop Chadar Rengu said that they successfully  cut a fuse of an ordinance that is a remnant of the war that took place in the country.

“That item was an ammunition that was used by soldiers during the war when it is fired and then fails to do it as intended, such ammunition will remain there waiting for a slight disturbance for it to explode and when it explode then immediately it can kill even those who are around in that area, it is more dangerous than a mine, a mine can be dangerous in that radius but UXO can harm more than a mine.” he said.

While, a 23-year-old Rita Najemba who reside in Suk Mamur had witnessed one of the demolition and  said that she was scared but she was now happy that she could carry on with her job.

 “At first, I was scared and shocked when the bomb blast and I thought it would affect us, because I heard a loud voice which I never heard before but now I am okay. I feel happy because that thing was dangerous to us but now it is okay we can move safe,” she said

Simon Tongun Wani a resident who has relocated from Mangala to Jebel said he has been farming in Mangala for three years.

While in august this year, he got injured {landmine} when he was digging and came across it, it exploded in his hand.

He added that he was not aware that the area he was living was dangerous, but then they were asked to evacuate the area in order for it {area} to be demined.

 “When the de-mining group came, they found that there is a mine next to us and said to me something bad will happen to you. When they started their work I was there, they said that the mine was made to kill human not animal, we should evacuate the location and migrate away from here as it is directives from UNMAS. We migrated away from the area and left and we are living far away from the dangerous location until they complete their work.

Meanwhile, the demolitions were done by UNMASS with support from Japanese people.

On the same notes, the officials requested citizens to contact police when they come across anything that looks suspicious in order to avoid causalities.

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