As part of the continuing efforts to reduce the impact and risk of explosive hazards in Abyei, the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) on 12 June 2017 conducted another destruction exercise of confiscated weapons and ammunition.
About 25 weapons and more than 470 ammunition confiscated by the troops of UNISFA were destroyed by the Ethiopian Demining Military Platoon (EDMP) and United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).
The weapon and ammunition management (WAM) activity took place after the soldiers of the EDMP completed a training course conducted by experts of UNMAS. The course was designed to provide quality assurance WAM activities, as well as to enhance the knowledge of soldiers and experts to meet international mine action standards.
“Together, we are pursuing the fulfillment of the UNISFA mandate to confiscate and destroy small arms and ammunition in the Abyei Area,” said UNISFA’s acting Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Tesfay Gidey Hailemichael.
The activity has become the benchmark of the cooperation between the EDMP and UNMAS, for the benefit of peace and security for both the residents and nomad communities in the Abyei area.
The destruction of weapons and incineration of ammunition were witnessed by UNISFA and UNMAS senior leadership namely Mr Alan Doyle, UNISFA Chief of Mission Support and Mr Leon Louw, UNMAS Programme Manager.
Since July 2016, a total of 41 weapons were destroyed and 1817 ammunition were incinerated by UNISFA and UNMAS. The cooperation between UNISFA and UNMAS started in December 2011, following a mine incident in August 2011, which killed four UNISFA peacekeepers and injured seven others. Since UNMAS’ deployment, no UNISFA personnel has fallen victim to either landmines or explosive remnant of war (ERW), and a substantial amount of work was done to rid the Abyei area of the threat of ERW and landmines.