Juba, October 18, 2013 (SSNA) — Early morning on Thursday at 9:30AM, a landmine explosive device had claimed the lives of four innocent children and one Ugandan national in Kotor West Area (Suk Sita). South Sudan region had been a conflict center during the war of vision for many years. This conflict had left remnants of war and landmine explosive devices that can endanger lives of thousands of residents. It is believed that any areas in South Sudan that has scraps mental is not safe, and must be marked as dangerous places until proven safe by national Mine Action Authority.
When the incident happened yesterday morning, our team of Mine Action Authority with our partners quickly ran to the area and confirmed that five people were killed and three were wounded. Among the deceased persons was a Ugandan who used to “collect mental scraps for his business purpose” according to the eyewitness. It is reported that the owner of the land has repeatedly warned and told them to “leave the area” but the victim continue to conduct his business; and moreover, he used to induce our children with some small cashes to engage them in collection of mental scraps.
The Mine Action Authority is here to warn the public that our country is not yet clear from unexploded ordinance (UXO) and abandoned explosive ordnance (AXO,) antitank mines and antipersonnel landmines and explosive remnant of war (ERW) that can threat the lives of the people. Unexploded ordnances (UXO) are weapons that for some reason “failed to detonate and became unexploded ordnance.” These unstable explosive devices are left behind during the struggle and the devices still pose dangers to our contemporary society as we speak.
Abandoned explosive ordnances (AXO) are explosive ordnances that have not been used or exploded during armed conflict and they remain underground, threatening the lives of the people. However, the national mine action authority with its partners are engaged in clearance of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) all over the South Sudan to rid the people from this threat of explosives devices and remnants of war.
Therefore, the national Mine Action Authority in Juba and across the States of South Sudan is here to send their heartbreak condolences to the deceased families and alert the citizens and residents of South Sudan that they must be cautious when constructing, cultivating; digging, farming and grazing animals in the areas deem suspicious or known to be the battlefields during the war.
The peripheries of big cities of South Sudan in particular are contaminated with explosive remnants of war and all areas marked to be resident center must be checked first by the Mine Action Authority when the people wanted to build their houses or use it for business purpose. Thanks you so much for reading this public warning. We will continue as usual to educate the public about their safety and the environment we live in as usual.