When he was fifteen years old, Ismael Ibrahim Omar discovered a piece of unexploded ordnance (UXO) while working in the fields in his home village of Korma, Sudan. Curious, he picked it up. It detonated and took his right hand. Five years later, Ismael lives in the Al Salam camp for displaced persons in El Fasher.
UXOs are explosive weapons (bombs, shells, grenades, land mines, naval mines, etc.) that did not explode when they were employed and still pose a risk of detonation, potentially many decades after they were used or discarded. In Darfur, as a consequence of the ongoing conflict, UXOs are a grave concern for civilians, especially children like Ismael, who are at risk of serious injury or death. To promote awareness of UXOs, the International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action is held on 4 April.