UNMACCUnited Nations Mine Action Coordination Centre
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UNMACC estimates that there are around 15000 landmines left in Cyprus, including areas outside of the buffer zone, and according to UNMACC staff and other sources close to the operation, both sides would be willing to continue the work outside the buffer zone, were funding available.
UNMACC carried out a minefield clearance project in the Addaisseh area (Sector East) where more than 70,000 square meters were cleared and 4,569 mines located and destroyed in areas adjacent to the Blue Line.
This transition will divide the joint Lebanese Armed Forces-United Nations structure of the existing MACC-SL with the Lebanese Armed Forces officers currently working at the MACC-SL continuing their work as a part of the new LMAC Regional Mine Action Center in Nabatieh (RMAC-N), and the remaining UNMACC staff will work exclusively in support of UNIFIL clearance and EOD assets.
UNMACC was crucial in providing support to humanitarian operations in South Lebanon during the conflict and in the initial stages of the cease-fire, as well as in continuing clearance operations.
When the cluster munitions clearance operations overseen by UNMACC cease, it is probable that casualty rates will increase further.
UNMACC sends a weekly "update" report to Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and coordinates the clearance activities of the Lebanese Armed Forces, so "they are aware of the situation," she added.
When we estimated what UNMACC would be able to achieve in 2008, we set a budget of $10 million," said Farran.
To date, UNMACC has identified 1,056 cluster bomb-strike locations, spanning an area of over 42 million square meters.
Sources close to UNMACC told The Daily Star that Wafa promised to finance further demining projects.
Accordingly, UNMACC has prioritized the clearing of agricultural lands, Farren adds.
UNMACC relies instead on reports from farmers and their own observations as to where munitions were dropped.
Forty-three percent of the areas affected by the cluster bombs dropped during the July 2006 war have been cleared," UNMACC spokeswoman Dalya Farran said, adding that 970 contaminated sites had been found in an area spanning 39 million square meters.