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Sudan: Two armed movements commit to ban landmines

17th August 2014 | Sudan - Landmine ban

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The Sudan Liberation Movement/Army, led by Abdul Wahid (SLM/A-AW) and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army, led by Mini Minawi (SLM/A-MM) – two major armed non-State actors from Darfur – signed Geneva Call’s Deed of Commitment banning anti-personnel (AP) mines in Geneva on 14 August 2014.

In signing the Deed of Commitment, they agree to prohibit the use, production and transfer of AP mines, to cooperate in humanitarian mine action activities, and to take necessary measures to enforce compliance.

“Unlike other regions of Sudan, Darfur has been largely spared by landmine contamination, said Elisabeth Decrey Warner, President of Geneva Call. “Yet, such commitments are essential to prevent future use and protect civilians. Even a few landmines can affect a region, its inhabitants and its economy. In the past, several civilians, including humanitarian workers, were killed in Darfur.”

“Our movement decided to sign the Deed of Commitment, because it realizes the un-repairable harm such weapons cause to innocent lives” said Mini Minawi, Chairman of the SLM/A-MM. “We have already prohibited this weapon in our struggle and today we want to formalize officially and publically this decision.”

“The SLM/A-AW is very concerned about the protection of civilians and we are happy to sign a commitment that reflects our own values and existing policies. We agree to share information on areas affected by explosive remnants of war and assist relevant actors in their clearance” added Abdul Wahid Al-Nur Chairman of the SLM/A-AW.

Geneva Call will train the military commanders of the two signatories on the Deed of Commitment and support the dissemination of its rules among the rank and file. Dialogue on other humanitarian issues is ongoing, in particular on the protection of children and the prohibition of sexual violence in armed conflict.

The SLM/A-AW and the SLM/A-MM are respectively the third and fourth members of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) – an alliance of Sudanese opposition groups created in 2011 – to sign the Deed of Commitment banning AP mines after the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) in 2012 and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N) in 2013.

47 armed non-State actors have already signed Geneva Call’s Deed of Commitment banning AP mines since 2000.