Peacekeeping mission’s Mine Action Service destroys hazardous explosives near Gogrial
Local communities living along the Langeach River in Gogrial County have reason for relief. A total of 77 explosive remnants of war in their neck of the wood have been safely destroyed by the United Nations Mine Action Service, UNMAS.
“It is very important to remind everyone to avoid touching any suspicious objects, and to always report their presence to the local authorities and to UNMAS, who are part of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan,” said Omarji Ismail, the Mine Action representative responsible for the kaboom-sounding demolition exercise.
Five of the unexploded ordnances were deemed unsafe to move and had to be destroyed in situ. The remaining high-caliber mortars, including an additional two that were found while surveying the river bank, were transported to Lil-Madan, a site far from local communities and some 28 kilometres west of Gogrial town.
A loud bang signaled the successful large-scale demolition of the explosives, which were discovered on the riverbed, under almost 40 centimetres of water.
The peacekeeping mission and its Mine Action Service were alerted by county authorities in Gogrial about the possible presence of lethal objects remaining in the area, most likely since the protracted war of independence with Sudan. A thorough investigation by UNMAS and the peacekeeping mission’s military observers proved the suspicions right, but with the explosives now safely disposed of, the potential for disaster is no more.