Darfur: UN steps up education after children are killed by unexploded ordnance

UNAMID peacekeepers patrol in West Darfur

6 September 2011 – Peacekeepers serving with the joint United Nations-African Union mission in Darfur (UNAMID) will hold a public awareness campaign this week about the risks posed by unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the wake of the recent deaths of two children who had been playing with ordnance.

Three other children sustained serious injuries – one has lost a hand and an eye – in the same accident, which occurred on 31 August in the town of Al Tawisha in North Darfur state, according to information released by the mission today.

Working with Friend of Peace and Development Organization, a local non-governmental organization (NGO), staff from UNAMID’s ordnance disposal office will conduct risk education for the local community later this week and carry out an assessment of the area where the accident occurred.

UXO remains a serious problem in Darfur, littering the landscape as a result of the protracted conflict between rebels, Sudanese Government forces and allied militiamen.

Last month a 14-year-old girl from a village in South Darfur had to have her right hand amputated and suffered wounds to her neck and face as a result of a UXO.

Yesterday UNAMID ordnance disposal staff visited the village of Sehjanna in North Darfur to clear it of any UXO and educate local inhabitants about the risks.


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