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UNISFA destroys more weapons and ammunition in Abyei

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June 15, 2017 (JUBA) – The United Nations Mission in Abyei (UNISFA) has, as part of the continuing efforts to reduce the impact and risk of explosive hazards in the disputed region, conducted another destruction exercise for confiscated weapons and ammunition.

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UNISFA Acting Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Tesfay Gidey Hailemichael of Ethiopia arrives in Abyei on 21 March 2017 (UN Photo)

About 25 weapons and over 470 ammunition confiscated by the troops of UNISFA were on 12 June destroyed by Ethiopian Demining Military Platoon (EDMP) and U.N Mine Action Service (UNMAS).

UNISFA, in a statement, said the weapon and ammunition management (WAM) activity took place after the soldiers of the EDMP completed a training course conducted by experts of UNMAS.

The course, it further said, was designed to provide quality assurance WAM activities, as well as to enhance the knowledge of soldiers and experts to meet international mine action standards.

“Together, we are pursuing the fulfillment of the UNISFA mandate to confiscate and destroy small arms and ammunition in the Abyei area,” UNISFA’s acting head of mission and force commander, Major General Tesfay Gidey Hailemichael said in a statement.

The activity has reportedly become the benchmark of cooperation between the EDMP and UNMAS, for the benefit of peace and security for both residents and nomad communities in Abyei area.

Meanwhile, since July 2016, a total of 41 weapons were reportedly destroyed and 1,817 ammunition were incinerated by UNISFA and UNMAS. The cooperation between UNISFA and UNMAS started in December 2011, following a mine incident in August 2011, which killed four UNISFA peacekeepers and injured seven others.

UNISFA was approved on 27 June 2011 by the U.N Security Council in United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1990 after a flareup in the South Kordofan conflict earlier in June 2011. The Ethiopian army is UNISFA’s largest contributor.

(ST)

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