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Britain aids efforts to clear mines in war-torn South Sudan

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September 6, 2018 (JUBA) – The British government is to aid Pioneering Technology in its efforts to eliminate all known landmines and cluster munitions in South Sudan’s Terekeka state by the end of 2020, its aid arm (DFID) said in a statement.

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Sign warning drivers in South Sudan to stay on the road or they might encounter land mines (Photo minefields.com)

A new machine, to be acquired with using fund provided by the United Kingdom, will be deployed to prepare land for clearance by trained teams of deminers.

This new approach, DFID said in a statement, will make clearance of the mines up to ten times faster compared to previous methods that were used in the process.

Working in partnership with local authorities, through UK organisation Mines Advisory Group (MAG), the UK support will reportedly train local men and women to identify and remove these deadly objects.

“This project will allow affected communities to walk without fear, helping them to access vital health and education services. Farmers in this fertile region will be able to grow crops, providing food to feed families,” further notes the statement.

It is also expected that support provided by the UK government will help educate a further 42,000 men, women and children about the dangers of landmines, an essential lifeline to safeguard entire communities from mutilation or death.

South Sudan’s crippling civil conflict has led to widespread contamination, with mines and brutal cluster bombs, blocking access to fertile land that many rely on to make a living.

“The crippling legacy of fear, mutilation and devastation, which landmines leave, must be wiped out for good,” said International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt.

“UK expertise and innovation are helping to shield vulnerable people from these barbaric relics and liberating land contaminated by these devices. This will allow people to grow crops, walk their children to school without fear and ultimately give them back control over their lives,” she added.

The UK’s support to South Sudan is reportedly part of the £46 million allocated to the Global Mine Action Programme 2, a new allocation from the existing £100 million announced last year. However of the £100 million announced to tackle landmines globally, £95 million has reportedly been committed to projects.

(ST)

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