Somalia Weapons Contamination: Addressing Key Challenges to Meeting Clearance Deadlines Under the Mine Ban Convention and Convention on Cluster Munitions Landmine Somalia National Mine Action Authority Mohamed Abdulkadir Ahmed, National Director Weapons Contamination: Addressing Key Challenges to Meeting Clearance Deadlines Under the MBT and CCM; 5-7 March 2013, African Union Commission /ICRC – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Policy • The Council of Ministers of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia formally approved accession to the Mine Ban Treaty on 5 April 2012 and the Prime Minister signed the instrument of accession four days later. • Somalia acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 16 April 2012 and the Treaty entered into force for Somalia on 1 October 2012. Somalia is the 160th State Party and the last of Sub-Saharan Africa to accede the MBT. • Somalia’s initial Article 7 report for the Mine Ban Treaty is due by 30 March 2013. • Somalia is a signatory to the Convention on Cluster Munitions but not yet ratified. • Somalia is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.
Background of Mine and ERW Contamination • Border conflict with Ethiopia (1970’s) • Most of the minefields were laid during the retreat of the Somali army: mainly affected are towns and villages along the border areas as Dolow, Goldogob, Burtinle. • Two decades of civil war (1990 –2012) • The South Central regions are mostly affected. A clear picture of contaminated areas isn’t available.
South Central - Contamination 1992-1993 Somali Civil War 1977-1978 Ethiopia against Somalia war 1979-1984 SSDF against Siyad Barre regime
Actual Mine and ERW Contamination • In South Central Somalia, there is not a good overview of the SHA’s. • No LIS and no country wide survey conducted mainly due to the security situation. • Recently, cluster strikeshave been dentifiedin proximity of Dolow, border town with Ethiopia. It is expected that cluster bombs are to be found in Lower and Upper Juba • Due to expected mines being laid all the way back to the Ogaden War in 1977-78, local knowledge is lost. • The majority of the ERW problem in Somalia so far has proven to be AXO’s and UXO’s, left on the battle ground or in ammunition dumps.
Actual Mine and ERW Contamination • In addition there is a big problem with private stockpiles, mainly in private homes of people looking at making profit of selling the explosives or ERW. • Needs attention and MRE campaigns • Lobby of influential members of communities trying to convince their people to hand these over. • This will of course result in a need for proper collection points (police stations or dedicated areas) or a system where dedicated teams travel to the site, evaluate remove items from the homes.
Existing Mine Action Programmes in Somalia • Somalia National Mine Action Authority - SNMAA • Puntland Mine Action Centre - PMAC • Somaliland Mine Action Centre - SMAC African Union Peacekeeping Mission - AMISOM • International NGOs and Commercial Companies • Halo Trust - HT • Handicap International - HI • Mines Advisory Group - MAG • Danish Demining Group - DDG • The Development Initiative - TDI • Ukroboronservice – UOS • Olive Group • Bancroft
Mine Action Programmes in Somalia September 2007 – to date • Administration and Coordination of Mine Action in South Central Somalia is led by UNMAS. • Supports to SMAC and PMAC in Somaliland and Puntland respectively are led by UNMAS Major Surveys: Landmines Impact Survey • Somalia Landmines Impact Survey Phase I: • Awdal, Galbeed, Sahil and TogdheerRegions • Somalia Landmines Impact Survey Phase II: • Bari, Nugaal and Mudug Regions • Somalia Landmines Impact Survey Phase III: • Sool and SanaagRegions
Access for International Advisors • and Technical Staff • Technical advisors and project managers don’t follow up teams in the field and operations on the ground unless national qualified staff is available. • There is no follow up on the quality management both technical and impact of activities. • Donors Funding • Donors are reluctant to invest money in expensive demining assets with the current Somalia situation. • Results in small teams that has limited impact on the ground (mainly EOD with little land release – spot tasks). • Donors still hesitant to engage in capacity building.
Thank you Weapons Contamination: Addressing Key Challenges to Meeting Clearance Deadlines Under the MBT and CCM; 5-7 March 2013, African Union Commission /ICRC – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia