Humanitarian Mine Action for Peace Building in Casamance

A dynamic peace process is underway in Casamance, and Humanitarian Mine Action is a tangible effort help to facilitate the return of internal displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees to their home-land. Handicap International (HI) expanded its humanitarian mine action activities in order to reduce the vulnerability of affected populations. In June 2016, the Senegalese Ministry of Foreign Affairs–via the Senegalese National Mine Action Center (CNAMS) funded HI for its first mine action project in the country. This 9 months project includes the use of a demining ma-chine and Mine Detection Dogs (MDD) in Casamance.

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Activities

1)Providing information on the presence of mines:

The scale of the threat from landmines is not well-defined and mapped in a large part of Casamance and leads to inefficiencies and uncertainties in the task of mine clearance. HI is currently duplicating its survey activities in the north of the region where non-technical survey activities had never been implemented before.HI is also intensifying its risk education (RE) activities with its implementing partner, the Senegalese mines survivors association (ASVM), in order to reduce the number of mine accidents in these zones.

2)Releasing deserted areas for IDPs and refugees return:

A tacit cease fire agreement has been reached between the Senegalese Army and the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MDFC)armed group. A large movement of return of the IDPs and refugees resulted from this negotiation.In order to secure their return and enable a safe rehabilitation of homelands, HI implements technical surveys and mine clearance.

3)Releasing land for development projects:

Several organizations are performing development projects and rehabilitation of infrastructures in order to sustain the economic renaissance of Casamance. Unfortunately, mines presence is cre-ating a hindrance to development. Since 2007, HI has cleared more than 350,000 sq. m of paths and agriculture perimeters through implementation of survey and clearance activities. By combin-ing multi task roving teamswith a mine detection dogs unit and mechanical demining tools, HI has reduced 33 683m2 in 2016 of suspected contaminated land, opening the field for new development projects

Locations

  • Senegal>Ziguinchor
  • Senegal>Kolda

Sectors

  • Economic Recovery and Development
  • Humanitarian Aid
  • Conflict Prevention and Resolution/Peace and Security
  • Protection
  • Refugee Resettlement

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