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EU, US and UN delegation to visit Blue Nile to discuss demining efforts

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September 18, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - A delegation including a number of EU Ambassadors to Khartoum, US Chargé d’Affaires and the UN Mine Action Office would visit Blue Nile State to see ongoing arrangements to begin the clean-up of landmines, said Sudan’s National Center for Mine Action (NCMA).

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Sudanese refugees from Blue Nile state cross into western Ethiopia through the Kurmuk border crossing (File photo UNHCR/P.Rulashe

Director of the NCMA Amer Abdel-Sadiq Abu Zaid has revealed ongoing arrangements to implement a demining plan in areas identified as dangerous in the Blue Nile State.

He pointed out that the governor of Blue Nile State would brief the joint delegation on the demining plan which is being funded by European donors.

Abu Zaid also said the joint delegation would be headed by the British Ambassador to Khartoum Irfan Siddiq.

In 2016, UN Mine Action Office announced that it has managed, in collaboration with the Sudanese government, to clear 19 million square meters from UXO and landmines in the east African country.

Last week, UK Ambassador Siddiq was in South Kordofan to announce further UK government mine action support in partnership with the UNMAS as part of UKaid Global Mine Action Programme.

According to the International Mines Agreement, Sudan was supposed to be declared mine-free by April 2014, but the resumption of fighting in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan made it difficult to attain that goal, prompting the deadline to be extended to 2019.

The African Union peace process is stalled for several reasons, including the split of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) rebels into two factions, the lack of assiduity from the mediators and the growing gaps between the position of the negotiating parties.

The Sudanese army has been fighting the rebels in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan, also known as the Two Areas since 2011.

(ST)

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