The Ethiopian-Somali wars, also known as the Ogaden wars, and more than 20 years of internal conflict has left Somalia heavily contaminated with mines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW).
Unfortunately, landmine and ERW contamination is not Somalia’s only challenge. Dwindling NGO access has hindered humanitarian aid, as well as humanitarian disarmament efforts. These issues are only compounded by huge security challenges, droughts, flooding, and serious health epidemics in Somalia. Mine and ERW accidents recorded so far show more than to 3,200 casualties. However, the numbers are likely to be much higher. In addition to this, casualties are reported from of new, used or emplaced improvised mines (victim-activated improvised explosive devices, IEDs) since 2017. Even though a total understanding of the contamination problem remains unclear, it is believed that one in 10 communities have a problem with mines and ERW.
The Norwegian People's Aid Mine Action and Disarmament programme in Somalia was established in 2013, and has the capacity to deploy mine detection dogs, manual mine clearance teams, non-technical and technical survey teams, conduct community liaison and explosive ordnance risk education. The programme also conducts conflict preparedness and protection by providing first aid responder training in Mogadishu.
In addition to the mentioned self-implemented activities, the program is also conducting capacity development of Somali Federal and State authorities within the area of mine action.