SOUTH SUDAN / MINE AWARENESS DAY

Preview Language:   Original
04-Apr-2019 00:03:21
At a ceremony to mark the International Mine Awareness Day, celebrated April 4, the UN Mine Action Service in South Sudan dedicated the day to over 900 South Sudanese who are clearing mines and educating their compatriots on the dangers of mines and unexploded ordnance. UNMISS

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STORY: SOUTH SUDAN / MINE AWARENESS DAY
TRT: 3:21
SOURCE: UNMISS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/NATS

DATELINE: 04 APRIL, JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN

SHOTLIST:

1.Various shots, school children’s drama
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Joseph Lor, Student Muniki Primary School:
“The importance of this day actually, it is telling us, young children or young pupils should not go to the bush and pick [up] some iron which is dangerous, maybe it can affect them and can lead to death, something like that.”
3. Various shots, school children singing and dancing
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Taban Deng Gai, First Vice President of South Sudan:
“Landmines and unexploded ordnance are still being discovered in residential areas and farming areas all over the country. The ordnance is mainly from the leftover war of independence. Consequently, the theme for this year “Safe Ground, Safe Homes for All” is very much in line with the vision of our country for peace and prosperity for all the citizens.”
5. Various shots, Mine Awareness and Education exhibits showing wheelchairs and prosthetic limbs
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Richard Boulter, Programme Manager, United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS):
“I want to thank the organizationso and all the 900 South Sudanese who are not here today because they are out there clearing mines, educating people to the dangers and making this country safe. It is those people, more than 900 South Sudanese working day in day out, that we are here to honour and to thank. Landmines remain a problem in this country. They continue to kill and maim but clearing them is achievable. We simply need to keep doing what we are doing.”
7.Various shots, football match

STORYLINE:

South Sudan has been grappling with the spectre of landmines and other explosive devices scattered all over the country from years of conflict

A short play by a group of children depicts everyday activities that children engage in – collect scrap, while playing about with other children, away from their homes.

The play – a collaboration of various South Sudanese primary school children – ends in a tragedy, but emphasizes what mostly happens in real life, in conflict-ridden countries like South Sudan, where mines and unexploded ordnance have been left lying around, and are easily first spotted by children.

In actual life, just like in the skit, children get injured and sometimes killed, while others lose their limbs, leaving families in deep grief. It is usually because they roam about collecting scrap for sale so they can use the money to buy food.

SOUNDBITE (English) Joseph Lor, Student Muniki Primary School:
“The importance of this day actually, it is telling us, young children or young pupils should not go to the bush and pick [up] some iron which is dangerous, maybe it can affect them and can lead to death, something like that.”

With the message clear, another set of children sing of their daily grief, because of the losses they experience, pleading for help from the government, which is aware of the magnitude of the problems caused by landmines.

SOUNDBITE (English) Taban Deng Gai, First Vice President of South Sudan: “Landmines and unexploded ordnance are still being discovered in residential areas and farming areas all over the country. The ordinance is mainly from the leftover war of independence. Consequently, the theme for this year “Safe Ground, Safe Homes for All” is very much in line with the vision of our country for peace and prosperity for all the citizens.”

Taking the opportunity to talk about the work they do, the head of the UN Mine Action Service praised hundreds of South Sudanese who painstakingly work in various communities clearing mines.

SOUNDBITE (English) Richard Boulter, Programme Manager, United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS):
“I want to thank the organizations and all the 900 South Sudanese who are not here today because they are out there clearing mines, educating people to the dangers and making this country safe. It is those people, more than 900 South Sudanese working day in day out, that we are here to honour and to thank. Landmines remain a problem in this country. They continue to kill and maim but clearing them is achievable. We simply need to keep doing what we are doing.”

South Sudanese people hope that with more efforts and funding in place, and with a peace agreement at hand, the country will one day be mine-free with no injuries or deaths from unexploded ordnance that have been left from previous or current conflicts.

On 8 December 2005, the General Assembly declared that 4 April of each year shall be observed as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.

The GA called for continued efforts by States, with the assistance of the United Nations and relevant organizations, to foster the establishment and development of national mine-action capacities in countries where mines and explosive remnants of war constitute a serious threat to the safety, health and lives of the civilian population, or an impediment to social and economic development at the national and local levels.
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