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UNMAS cautions Piji County residents against existing landmines

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Anti Tank landmines in Nassir in South Sudan. Photo: Curtesy

The United Nations Mine Action Service has warned residents of Piji County in Jonglei State of a possible danger of landmines after flood submerged suspected minefields in the area.

In a press release on Monday, the UN agency urged the locals to ‘walk carefully’ as landmines are still present in Pigi County and along the border with Upper Nile State.

UNMAS says flooding has hampered demining activities in an estimated area of 9,684 square meters in the area.

“There are known minefields in Pigi County. Two anti-personnel mines were reported in a residential area. The team found and safely disposed of the items and informed the population and the authorities. We also gave them instructions on how to avoid being hurt by the mines,” the statement partly read.

Landmines are explosive devices designed to be detonated by the presence, proximity, or contact of a person.

It is placed under or on the ground, and may be dormant for years and even decades until a person or animal triggers their detonating mechanism.

The entire area of South Sudan, which was once a war zone, is still covered with an unknown number of landmines and other explosive remnants of war.

According to reports, landmines continue to hinder movement, discourage investors and frighten returning refugees.

All 10 states of South Sudan have mine-related injuries and deaths,

As of 2018, there were reports of a total of 3,609 injuries and 1,368 deaths from landmines.

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