First mine cleared in Western Sahara
NPA is pleased to announce the discovery and destruction of its first mine in Western Sahara, having recently started survey and clearance operations.
The TMA4 anti-tank mine was found on 30 January 2016, in what is hoped to be the first of many such demolitions of items of unexploded ordinance, which remain a deadly legacy in Western Sahara resulting from the fighting between Moroccan and Polisario forces.
Funded thanks to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NPA deploys two multi-task teams in Western Sahara, consisting of 16 demining staff, in addition to support staff.
NPA’s Humanitarian Disarmament department first started working in Western Sahara in 1998, when it established a Mine Risk Education (MRE) project to sensitize Western Sahara refugees living in camps in Algeria close to the Western Sahara border to the threat of landmines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW). Between 2012-14, NPA re-engaged in Western Sahara with the implementation of MRE activities in coordination with the Saharawi Campaign to Ban Landmines (SCBL).
NPA is very pleased to be back in Western Sahara, and to be undertaking survey and clearance operations, to help reduce the deadly threat of mines, cluster munition remnants, and other ERW to civilian populations. NPA completed its first task in Western Sahara in November 2015, and is currently clearing minefields around Bir Mogrein, in northeastern Western Sahara near the Algerian border.