Japan donates over US $1.4 million for demining in South Sudan

The Japanese government has donated more than US $1.4 million to the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) for demining purposes.

According to a press release by the Japanese Embassy in South Sudan on Friday, the donations amounting to US $1,468,000 will be directed towards the clearance of about 361 identified sites across the country heavily contaminated by landmines and other explosives threatening civilian lives.

Explosive hazards pose direct threat to the physical security of the South Sudanese and erode people's coping mechanisms by restricting access to basic infrastructure, social services, and livelihood activities as well as hindering socioeconomic development, the statement reads in part.

Japanese Ambassador to South Sudan Seiji Okada emphasized the importance of demining in South Sudan saying it is timely and a requirement for successful implementation of the peace process.

UNMAS ensures safety for returnees from refugee camps, POCs ad collective centers to their own villages, and also clear land nearby for agriculture sites. This one is one of the important preconditions for returns to happen, he said.

Richard Boutler, UNMAS programme manager in South Sudan, relayed gratitude to the government of Japan saying the contribution will maintain mine action as a critical enabler of humanitarian aid.

Japan has donated more than US $15 million to mine action operations in South Sudan since 2011.

Source: Radio Tamazuj

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