The Government of Japan has contributed $3,000,000 to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action to allow UNMAS to deliver continued support to Somalia in its fight against explosive threats.
The contribution will fund a pilot project for survey and clearance of explosive hazards on the Somali-Ethiopian border, the first time this work has been possible in the context of an ongoing insurgency and widespread insecurity across much of South Central Somalia. In addition to the life-saving benefits of this intervention, it is designed to create employment for hundreds of Somali youth, bringing a much-needed economic injection into communities impacted by conflict.
Building on the success of a Japan-funded project in 2014, it will also facilitate the further operational deployment of the Somali Police force (SPF) in destroying the Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) that plague Somalia on an almost daily basis, further cementing public understanding and appreciation of the SPF’s role as one of life-saving and instrumental to personal and community security. The continued support of the people of Japan will also further develop the Somali Explosive Management Authority (SEMA), and support the Somali government to continue to provide an accountable and transparent national authority capable of implementing management functions and coordinate and manage mine action at a strategic level.
Over two decades of civil war in Somali has resulted in contamination by explosive remnants of war (ERW), as battles left an as-yet undefined quantity of unexploded ordnance and minefields across the country, while ammunition storage across Somalia were destroyed or abandoned during the conflict, scattering ordnance over a wide area and leaving deadly residual hazard. With AMISOM gaining an increasing number of territories across south and central Somalia, main supply routes for humanitarian aid and populated areas along the border with Ethiopia are priority areas of intervention and are also critical for the implementation of the Federal Government of Somalia’s Stabilisation plan. We thank the Government of Japan for its continued support to explosive hazard management in Somalia.
For further information contact: Hodo Dahir, UNMAS Communications Officer, on tel. +252 (0) 616 803025