FSD mourns its dead in Sudan
On Monday 31 October, a FSD mine clearance team working in support of the United Nations World Food Programme's road reconstruction and rehabilitation programme was ambushed in South Sudan. In this violent attack, the Iraqi international team supervisor and his Sudanese colleague have been killed, the two government soldiers who as usual accompanied the convoy, were injured.
At 14h40, a convoy of three FSD vehicles was travelling from its work site at the Jebaleen minefield to its Nasito Campsite, about 30 kilometres south of Juba. This was a routine trip, as the team had been conducting mine clearance operations at Jebaleen since 1st August 2005. At approximately 15 kilometres north of the work site, the three vehicles were ambushed. The front two vehicles were able to drive through the ambush; however the last vehicle was hit resulting in the death 34 old Boya Casper, Iraqi National. Boya has worked for the FSD in Sudan since September 2005 and leaves behind a wife and two little daughters. Also his colleague, a Sudanese deminer, has been killed in the incident. No further details about his identity can however be released until his family, living in a very remote area, will have been notified.
At the current time, we have no information as to who the assailants were or why they targeted the FSD convoy. Both the FSD staff members killed and the two wounded government soldiers have been recovered last night to Juba. Arrangements are made now to evacuate the body of the Iraqi Mine Action Supervisor to his hometown Erbil in northern Iraq. As a result of this incident FSD will close all operations on the Juba -- Jebelin and Nimule -- Jebelin roads.
Since Oct 2003, the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) has been conducting humanitarian mine action operations in direct support of humanitarian aid programmes in Sudan. With over 30 international experts and 250 national deminers, the FSD is currently the largest organisation conducting humanitarian mine action in Sudan. The programme in the South of Sudan has been focusing on clearing and opening the three primary access routes from the south into Juba, a total of more than 600 kilometres of road. Since the start of 2005, the FSD has cleared over 2.5 million square meters and destroy more than 2,774 landmines and other explosive items. The clearance of these roads will facilitate access to important areas in Southern Sudan and assist in the overall rehabilitation and development of this war torn region.
At this time, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of our two deceased colleagues and we also hope for a full recovery of the two injured government soldiers.
About the FSD
The FSD, with headquarters in Geneva Switzerland, is a neutral, non governmental organisation which specialises in mine action activities. The FSD has conducted mine action operations in Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Albania, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan, Laos, Iran and the Philippines; carrying out assessments and survey of hazardous areas, marking minefields and detection and clearance of explosive remnants of war thus opening a gateway for humanitarian assistance and socio-economic development operations.
Von: 01 November 2005, http://www.reliefweb.int