Created in 2002, the United Nations Mine Action Coordination Centre (UNMACC) is mandated by the UN Security Council, following the request by the Congolese government to establish a coordination unit of the following mine action activities in the country:
- Clearance, including technical and non-technical surveys, mapping and marking;
- Destruction of mines stockpile;
- Mine Risk Education (MRE);
- Victims Assistance;
UNMACC works closely with the Congolese Center for Mine Action (CCLAM) to reinforce its mine action capacity.
The contamination of the country by landmines and explosive remnants of war- suspected or confirmed-represents a threat for the population, particularly to the internally displaced persons (IDP) and refugees who have to return to the contaminated areas. It affects the community development by hindering access to lands, basic needs (water points) and exchange zone, while it also slows down the rehabilitation and maintenance of infrastructures such as roads, trails and bridges.
Clearance and Stockpile destruction
UNMACC coordinates the clearance activities through its partners (national and international NGOs, and commercial partners) specialized and accredited to conduct the operations
Since 2007, 7, 9 millions sqm of land were cleared, 27 332 km of roads were assessed and cleared when necessary, 2 651 antipersonnel and 768 anti tank mines were destroyed throughout the DRC. As for the explosive remnants of war, UNMACC coordinated the destruction of over 160 567 ordnance.
Mine Risk Education (MRE)
This activity aims at reducing the risk of accidents caused by mines and explosive remnants of war to population and authorities living in the suspected areas, to MONUSCO and humanitarian agencies staff members conducting activities in the areas. From 2001 to 2011, UNMACC and its partners conducted 23 752 MRE sessions, and 2 864 907 persons benefited from the sessions.
UNMACC collaborated with UNICEF in incorporating the mine risk education in the school curriculum in the areas suspected to be contaminated as well as elaborating and printing of tools such as the teacher’s module for teachers in MRE principles.
Victims Assistance (VA)
Victims Assistance is a set of activities and strategies that aim at improving the quality of life of Mine/ERW victims and other people living with disabilities
In 2011, UNMACC coordinated 15 projects that contributed to the identification of more 1233 mine/ERW victims and people with disabilities, support 128 people for their physical rehabilitation and economic reinsertion in Kinshasa and several provinces. As of this year, UNMACC is so far coordinating 4 projects of victims’ data collection, physical rehabilitation and economic reinsertion that will benefit at least 100 persons.
According to the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) operated by UNMACC, 2446 victims of mines/ERW were identified so far in the DRC, in which 968 were registered from incidents that occurred since 2002.
UNMACC is also collaborating with national authorities in the advocacy of the rights of disabled people in the DRC and the adoption of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Advocacy against the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of mines
In June 2011, the President of the DRC signed the national legislation on mine action. This legislation enables the government to fulfill its obligations under the article 5 of the Ottawa Convention on the prohibition of the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of mines and on their destruction, to address the humanitarian, socio-economic and environmental impacts of mines.
During the same year, UNMACC and the National Focal Point for Mine Action organized two workshops for the development and validation of National Mine Action Strategy. This strategy sets out guidelines that all mine action stakeholders must abide by to achieve the goals set forth.
Ammunition Stockpile Management
In addition to traditional mine action activities, UNMACC is supporting the Congolese national armed forces and the national police in the Physical Security Stockpile Management project, which consists of better managing the ammunitions at their disposal by destroying the old, abandoned and obsolete ammunitions, and properly storing others.