Danish Demining Group

Aircraft bomb destroyed in refugee camp in South Sudan

31.05.12

A live aircraft bomb threatening the safety of thousands of refugees in the Yida refugee camp in South Sudan has been destroyed by the Danish Demining Group.

Approximately 30,000 people are living in Yida Refugee Camp – a location in Unity State, South Sudan, that the United Nations High Commission for Refugees has set up about 17 miles from the new country’s northern border. The refugees have come from the Nuba Mountains, fleeing from the conflict that has been raging for months between the armed forces of the Republic of Sudan and SPLM-North, a group which seeks greater autonomy for marginalized areas of Sudan.

In November 2011, an Antonov airplane flew over Yida and dropped several bombs.  The camp was struck and people fled for safety. One of these aircraft bombs landed just 50m from the camp’s registration centre but did not explode. In full view and in the middle of a busy area, this bomb was live and unpredictable. Children were seen to be playing on and around the bomb. Residents of the camp walked past the bomb many times throughout the day.

Due to its concern for the safety of residents and particularly the children of Yida camp, Danish Demining Group (DDG) was tasked by the United Nations Mine Action Coordination Centre to destroy this bomb. On 26 May 2012, a DDG explosive ordnance team was able to travel to the area and safely deal with this threat. With the bomb destroyed, camp residents and aid workers can feel more confident about their physical safety within the camp. 

DDG’s mandate is to provide a safe environment for all people living in post-conflict areas.  Working with partners, unexploded ordnance clearance helps open up access to  much-needed services and relief goods  to be provided to communities in need. DDG continues to help the recovery and reconstruction of South Sudan by clearing land for agriculture and socio-economic development, and by providing risk education to local people in order to keep themselves safe.

For more information on DDG’s programs in South Sudan, please visit
www.danishdemininggroup.dk

 

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