Dakar-Geneva – Senegal, a State Party to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (or Ottawa Convention), is undertaking a national exercise with demining stakeholders including from Casamance, the last mine-affected region in the country, to determine best steps to reach a Senegal free of anti-personnel mines.
With European Union financial support and technical backing of the Convention's Implementation Support Unit, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad (MAESE) responsible for demining issues, is chairing a 29-30 October 2018 National Dialogue in Dakar with more than 50 national and international partners.
“Demining in Senegal is feasible but there remain obstacles to overcome including inaccessible areas and scarce technical and financial resources”, said MAESE.
“Successful mine clearance in Senegal is dependent on security conditions; discussing this challenge during the Dialogue is imperative including by understanding best practices when deploying demining operators and fostering cooperation with peace process actors. For this purpose, we have invited parties that took part in the Colombian peace process where humanitarian demining was a key element. We are convinced that learning from these experiences can contribute to a better understanding of how we can achieve the objectives of the Plan for an Emerging Senegal (PES),” said MAESE.
“We are proud to be able to accompany Senegal at this stage,” said Ms. Carmen Magariños, Chargée d’affairs of the European Union Delegation to Senegal.
“Thanks to a Decision taken by the European Union Council in support of the Convention, the Senegalese Mine Action Centre (CNAMS) will be accompanied by donor governments, demining operators, mine action experts, international and non-governmental organisations, representatives of mine-affected communities and landmine survivors who will provide feedback and share experiences on what Senegal needs to do in order to fulfil its mine clearance obligation under the Convention by 1 March 2021. This National Dialogue is an opportunity for Senegal to demonstrate its commitment and re-engage in a transparent manner,” said the EU's Chargé d'Affaires.
Background: A decision taken by Convention’s States Parties extended Senegal’s original mine clearance deadline from 2009 to 1 March 2016. Nevertheless in April 2008, Senegalese authorities submitted a second extension request; a new deadline was set for 1 March 2021; that is, four years before the global ambition to achieve a world free of anti-personnel mines by 2025.
For more information, contact the Convention's Implementation Support Unit, isu(at)apminebanconvention.org