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Army suspends demining over security concerns

Author: Lasuba Memo | Published: Friday, April 23, 2021

A deminer during mine clearance refresher training at Rajaf, near Juba | File picture

The army has advised deminers to suspend their activities in Central and parts of Eastern Equatoria states due to security threats.

According to the SSPDF, it is not safe for UN Mine Action Service staff to continue operating in areas it believes are not safe.

It cites recent attacks on passengers and truck drivers along the Juba-Nimule highway and the Juba-Yei road.

“As soon as we secure the highway and those roads, they will go back to their normal duties,” said Brig.-Gen. Santo Domic.

This week, a report revealed that UNMAS workers were ambushed in Longiro, 60 kilometers, north of Torit in Eastern Equatoria.

The deminers were part of the G4S Global team working to remove and disable landmines as well as other potentially lethal remnants of war in the area.

The UNMAS team was returning from Torit with food and other supplies when they were surrounded by about 30 gunmen at a roadblock.

The assailants reportedly attacked and hurt some of the deminers and stole cash and food provisions before releasing them with their vehicles later the same day.

The South African-based defenceweb agency said Rwandan soldiers on peacekeeping duty with the UN Mission in South Sudan rescued the deminers and took them to safety.

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