Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Mine kills Croatian EOD contractor near Osijek, Croatia

Vecernji list  January 11, 2012

49 year-old EOD specialist from Croatian mine clearance company Mungos was killed today while performing his duties in Darđanska forest near Osijek, Croatia’s 4th largest city.

An estimated 1500 landmines remain in the forests by Drava river, and mine clearance specialists arrived in December 2011 to start clearing them out. Due to forested terrain, remote controlled demining vehicles couldn’t be used. EOD personnel commented that the mines were lain without a particular plan, making it more difficult to locate particular fields.

754.5 square kilometers of Croatia are still covered with mines, down from over 4500 square kilometers immediately after the war.

A total of 1.5-2 million land mines, were deployed by Serb forces during the Homeland War. A total of 8% of Croatian territory was mined at the end of the war. Some 1500 people suffered injuries from mine blasts and around 440 were killed by 2011.

April 19, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Demining, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Landmines, Mine Clearance, UXO | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

S. Lebanon deminers discover bodies of 5 Syrian army soldiers

The Daily Star April 18, 2012

BEIRUT: The corpses of five Syrian army soldiers buried during the 1982 Israeli invasion of south Lebanon have been discovered by a demining team, security sources told The Daily Star.

Members of the demining team MAX, whose work involves clearing areas of cluster bombs, discovered the bodies in a plot of land near the Jezzine-Kfar Houneh main road in south Lebanon.

The bodies, security sources said, were buried in 1982, during the second invasion of south Lebanon by the Jewish state.

The soldiers are believed to have split off from their contingent, which at the time had been stationed in the area, as a result of Israeli aerial raids.

The relevant authorities have been notified of the discovery

Please see original and read more here

April 18, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Demining, Landmines, Lebanon, Mine Clearance, Syria | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran respects all international demining treaties

Press TV  April 4, 2012
The Iranian Defense Minister says the country respects the content of all international treaties and conventions on demining and is planning to join them, Press TV reports.

“There are international treaties on demining and we respect their content. There is the Ottawa Convention and we are mulling accession to that convention,” Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi told Press TV on the sidelines of an international conference on demining.

The international conference on demining kicked off at Tehran’s permanent International Fairgrounds on Tuesday along with an exhibition of modern demining methods and a demining robot competition.

The three-day event is attended by Iranian and foreign military and civilian officials whose main goal is to find practical solutions for removing landmines and decreasing injuries and deaths caused by them.

According to some participants, there are around 120-140 million mines planted worldwide and for every mine removed, six mines are planted.

Mohammad Hossein Amir-Ahmadi, head of the Iran Mine Action Center, said the center was established in 2006 and 85 of the people working for it have lost their lives demining since then

Please see the original, the video, and read more here

April 4, 2012 Posted by | Bomb Disposal, Demining, ERW, Federal Workers, Iran, Landmines, Mine Clearance, United Nations | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Italy donates 500,000 euros for Lebanon demining work

The Daily Star  March 20, 2012

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s efforts to recover from rampant land mines and cluster bombs in the south have received a new donation from Italy, it was announced Friday.

The Italian Foreign Ministry’s Development Cooperation Department has approved a financial contribution of 500,000 euros ($677,350) to the UNDP for the Lebanon Mine Action Program (LMAP), the ministry said in a statement. The initiative aims at empowering communities affected by cluster bombs, through a demining program to reduce the risk of death and injuries and alleviate the socio-economic impact of cluster bombs.

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March 28, 2012 Posted by | Bomb Disposal, Civilian Contractors, Demining, Explosive Remnants of War, Humanitarian Assistance, Lebanon, Mine Clearance, United Nations | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DRC: Landmines hurting farmers’ livelihoods

IRIN March 26,2012

KABALO, 26 March 2012 (IRIN) – Landmines planted about a decade ago in parts of Kabalo territory in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) southeastern Katanga Province are adversely affecting farming livelihoods, and an important World Food Programme (WFP) project.

“In our area, there are villages where we get much harvest but the road leading to those villages [has] landmines,” a food trader from Kabalo said.

Lorries often get blown up by the landmines, Birindwa Murhula, a leader of one of the local food traders’ associations, told IRIN.

Kabalo, formerly the breadbasket of mineral-rich Katanga Province, was affected by DRC’s 1998-2003 civil wars. The Mpaye area, for example, served as a demarcation zone separating belligerents when Zimbabwean-backed DRC army troops clashed with the rebel Rassemblement Congolais Pour la Democratie, which was backed by the Rwandan Army.

Mpaye is still affected by landmines, making the transportation of food from local villages to trading centres and beyond a challenge.

In the past, the NGO Danish Church Aid (DCA) helped to demine Kabalo but stopped work in the first half of 2012 due to a lack of funding

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March 26, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Bomb Disposal, Civilian Contractors, Explosive Remnants of War, Landmines, Mine Clearance, Safety and Security Issues, UXO | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defense Contractor EOD Technology announces layoffs

Knoxville Biz  February 28, 2012

Lenoir City defense contractorEOD Technology said Tuesday it is laying off 48 headquarters employees.

In a news release, the company said it was restructuring its business model in response to federal budget cuts, especially those associated with its work in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The release said several government contracts to protect U.S. troops and manage explosive ordnance were expected to extend well into 2012, but have ended earlier than expected because of accelerated U.S. troop withdrawal plans. Following the layoffs, EODT will have 250 American employees and 3,000 foreign nationals. The company said employees who are laid off will be offered severance packages.

“Our employees are remarkable, highly skilled people who are part of protecting the lives of American troops and foreign nationals,” Matt Kaye, EODT’s CEO, said in the release. “As any organization that works with government understands, we recognize that the budget environment is always changing, sometimes unexpectedly. Unfortunately, we must take this action, as many companies have been forced to do, to remain competitive.”

The company said it is boosting its emphasis on land mine removal and disposal, and expanding its work with the oil and gas industry.

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February 28, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, EODT, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Government Contractor, Landmines, Mine Clearance, Private Military Contractors | , , , , | 1 Comment

SRI LANKA: Mine clearance could take 10 years or more

IRIN Humanitarian News and Analysis

COLOMBO, 6 February 2012 (IRIN) – Landmine clearance in Sri Lanka’s conflict-affected north could take more than a decade, experts say.

“It is expected to take [in] excess of 10 years to fully mitigate all remaining contamination in Sri Lanka,” the Mine Action Project of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka told IRIN, citing a lack of resources coupled with the difficult nature of the work.

Approximately 126 sqkm of land remains to be cleared in the island’s north at the end of 2011, according to data from the National Mine Action Centre (NMAC).

Set up in July 2010, NMAC is the government’s lead agency in de-mining work in the country.

As of 31 December 2011, the largest remaining area was in Mannar District (33.8 sqkm), followed by Mullaitivu (27.7 sqkm), Kilinochchi (23 sqkm), Vavuniya (15 sqkm) and Jaffna (5 sqkm) in the north.

Smaller areas are in borderline districts of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura, along with some parts of the east.

Barrier to return

More than 6,700 conflict-displaced, mainly from Mullaitivu District, continue to live at Menik Farm outside the town of Vavuniya, where more than 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) once lived following the end of the war between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which had been fighting for an independent Tamil homeland since 1983.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), since 1 January 2009, more than 554 sqkm have been cleared of mines and UXO (unexploded ordnance) in the north and east of the country.

The humanitarian demining unit of the Sri Lanka Army, international organizations – Danish Demining Group (DDG), HALO Trust, Horizon, Mines Advisory Group (MAG), Sarvatra, and Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD)] – and two national organizations – Delvon Assistance for Social Harmony (DASH) and the Milinda Moragoda Institute for Peoples’ Empowerment (MMIPE)] – are engaged in demining work.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) carries out mine risk awareness programmes in the north and east.

Please see the original and read more of this article here

February 6, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Demining, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Humanitarian Assistance, Landmines, Mine Clearance, Sri Lanka, United Nations | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ronco Consulting settles Fantham Lawsuit before bothering to respond

What a disappointment that this lawsuit never made it to discovery. 

The history of how this contract was managed deserved to be exposed. 

Another day…..

Ronco made this lawsuit go away, but this United Nations Board of Inquiries Report and others stand.

And no matter how big a settlement, Stephan will not be growing any body parts back

Careful who you follow

Substantial Settlement Achieved in Personal Injury Suit:

In August 2011, Blake Hannafan and Jim McGuinness settled a Personal Injury lawsuit on behalf of Stephen Fantham, arising from a traumatic leg amputation as a result of a land mine explosion in Sudan, Africa, against Ronco Consulting Corporation pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

In addition, the settlement also included claims for loss of consortium to Mr. Fantham’s wife. The settlement was reached before Ronco even responded to the complaint.

The terms of the settlement agreement are confidential.

Ronco Consulting Sued for Negligence by United Nations Mine Action Employee

Fantham vs Ronco Consulting

January 10, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractor Oversight, Demining, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Follow the Money, Landmines, Lawsuits, Legal Jurisdictions, Mine Clearance, Ronco, Ronco Consulting Corporation, Safety and Security Issues, Sudan, Uncategorized, United Nations, United Nations Board of Inquiry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Major, the demining dog, dies after saving more than 200 lives

He was hailed a hero after sniffing out more than 250 bombs in Africa and the Middle East, saving countless lives.

“he displayed impeccable manners and rarely disgraced himself in the bar”

The Telegraph  January 10, 2012

But Major, a British-born demining dog, was being mourned last night having been put down after 15 years of faithful service.

The black Labrador was described as an “extremely friendly and loyal friend” by his owner, John Dingley, a senior technical adviser for the United Nations Mine Action Service.

He said Major, whose full name was Major Kipper-Ridge, held the record for the number of mines detected in Somalia.

He was responsible for detecting 67 Pakistani P4 anti-personnel mines which are notoriously difficult to locate by metal detectors and are particularly hazardous to clear.

He also located more than 100 UXO, or unexploded ordnance mines, and 17 anti tank landmines

In 2006, he detected 53 cluster bombs during an emergency tour in Lebanon at the height of the conflict with Israel.

Even in retirement, Major did an “admirable” job as a guard dog, once preventing a robbery in Nairobi.

Mr Dingley, 46, from Draycott, Somerset, paid a fond tribute to his four-legged friend, whose working life was “nothing short of extraordinary”.

He said his incredible success saved more than 200 lives.

Major was born in March 1997 in Wigan. Although little is know about his early life, Mr Dingley said he was obviously from a well-bred family with good manners and a tremendous sense of fun.

Please read the entire story here

 

January 10, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Demining, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Improvised Explosive Devices, Landmines, Mine Clearance, United Nations | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Landmines hamper Iraq oil boom, delay investment

Reuters  November 16, 2011

In Iraq’s vast southern desert, red sandbags stretch along roadsides to warn of the danger from Saddam-era landmines that litter the prized Rumaila oilfield. White ones signal areas safe to walk or drive.

Now recovering from decades of conflict, Iraq may have 25 million landmines and millions of other unexploded bombs that are slowing development of some of the world’s largest fields and one of Iraq’s key cities, the southern oil hub Basra.

“Landmines and (unexploded) war remnants are the silent enemy,” said Ali al-Maliki, head of the municipal security committee in Basra, where leftover ordnance is slowing the construction of bridges, homes and commercial districts.

The red- and white-painted sandbags seem a fragile safety barrier for the thousands of workers now striving to ramp up production from 17-billion-barrel supergiant Rumaila and the other massive fields surrounding Basra.

There was no protection for six de-miners killed recently when a pile of recovered mines and old ordnance exploded.

“The demining workers, along with Iraqi army officers, ignited a fuse to detonate a land mine pile close to Rumaila North, but nothing happened. When the team went back to check, the pile exploded,” said a Basra oil police investigator.

Please read the entire article here

November 16, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Demining, ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Iraq, Landmines, Mine Clearance | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SOUTH SUDAN: Demining for development as rebels re-mine

ROKON, 2 November 2011 (IRIN)

In the South Sudanese town of Rokon, sniffer dogs practise finding explosives as an enormous demining machine churns up the soil in a nearby suspected minefield.

A former Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) soldier is helping NGO Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) in the search for mines in what was a SAF garrison town during the 22-year civil war with the southern rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). In 2005, a peace accord paved the way for the creation in July 2011 of an independent South Sudan.

“These mines were mainly laid in 1991, in 1994 and 1999 by the SAF and the SPLA on both sides of the river and in belts around roads and bridges,” said Moses Bidhali, who manages NPA’s mine clearance activities in Rokon.

The Mine Action Programme has found four anti-tank mines, eight anti-personnel mines and 15 unexploded pieces of ordnance (UXOs) from tanks, bombs and guns over the past six weeks, with local knowledge of SAF mine belts massively speeding up the arduous process of checking 229,000 sqm.

“The threat in South Sudan is not the [number] of land mines, it’s the lack of information about where they are,” said Terje Eldoen, the NGO’s national mine action programme manager.

According to the UN’s Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) database, in 2010, 52 people were injured and 22 killed in 19 reported landmine accidents throughout South Sudan. In the first 10 months of 2011, 75 people were injured and 33 killed in 28 landmine accidents

November 2, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Demining, Explosive Remnants of War, Landmines, Mine Clearance, Sudan, United Nations | , , , , , | 1 Comment

WRA Contract Awarded to Sterling International

Conventional Weapons Destruction (CWD) Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Contract

Agency: U.S. Department of State
Office: Office of Logistics Management
Location: Acquisition Management
Contract Award Dollar Amount:
$123,852,414.00
Contractor Awarded Name:

August 13, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contract Awards, Contracts Awarded, Demining, ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Humanitarian Assistance, Landmines, Mine Clearance, State Department | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

D.R. CONGO: Graduation day for two new MAG-FARDC demining teams

Sixteen members of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Armed Forces will carry out important clearance work to make the DRC a safer country after being trained by MAG.

ALERTNET  July 12, 2011

The FARDC (Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo) personnel make up two Manual Clearance Teams, formed with the support of the UK Department for International Development under MAG’s new “Linking Mine Action and Development” project in DRC.

Having completed the basic deminers course in accordance with International Mine Action Standards, the teams will now apply their theoretical and practical knowledge to contribute to the national humanitarian demining clearance operations. This will be done under supervision from the MAG Technical Field Managers who conducted their month-long training.

One team will deploy to Dimbelenge territory in Kasai Occidental province, to conduct technical survey and clearance work of high-priority Suspected Hazardous Areas, while the other will deploy to Bas Congo province, carrying out the equally high-priority clearance of the Lindu minefield

Please read the entire story here

July 12, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Demining, Explosive Remnants of War, Landmines, Mine Clearance | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Landmines kill 20, injure 75 Cambodians in 5 months

Peoples Daily

Cambodia has seen 95 landmine casualties in the first five months of this year, with 20 killed and other 75 injured, a report said on Tuesday.

According to the report from the Cambodian Mine and Explosive Remnants of War Victim Information System, from 1979 to May 2011, a total of 63,901 mine/ERW casualties were recorded. Of the casualties, 19,595 were killed and 44,306 injured from mine/ERW accidents.

It added that 81 percent of the victims were men, 8 percent were women, and 11 percent were children.

Cambodia is one of most mine affected nations in the world as the result of 30 years of armed conflict. Mines had been laid in Cambodia during the decades of chronic conflicts from the late 1960s to the mid-1990s.

Cambodia’s five most mine-laid provinces are Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey, Pailin and Preah Vihear.

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June 30, 2011 Posted by | Cambodia, Demining, ERW, Explosive Remnants of War, Landmines, Mine Clearance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

U.S. Is Paying European Teams to Hunt Stray Munitions in Libya

The two groups hired by the State Department are the Mines Advisory Group of Britain and the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action.

AP at The New York Times   June 17, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is paying British and Swiss mine-clearing groups nearly $1 million to search for loose antiaircraft missiles in Libya and dispose of them, so they do not fall into the hands of terrorist groups.

The State Department’s hiring of the teams was prompted by fears that terrorists could use scavenged man-portable air defense systems, known as Manpads, to attack civilian aircraft around the world.

The Libyan military had amassed nearly 20,000 of the weapons before the popular uprising began in March. Most of them are still held by the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, but some bases and ammunition dumps in contested or rebel-held areas have been looted, and an unknown number of the weapons have gone astray.

The search teams, who will also keep an eye out for mines and other deadly munitions, will be allowed to work in rebel-held areas away from active combat zones. American and allied authorities have told Libyan opposition figures that their cooperation would be a factor in decisions about future aid, according to American and United Nations officials who are familiar with the discussions.

“From the U.S. point of view, it was an issue of paramount importance,” said Justin Baker, officer-in-charge of the United Nations Mine Action Service, which is overseeing the weapons disposal effort in Libya. “The Libyans seemed to get the big picture of what was necessary to present a credible international face.”

Please read the entire article here

June 18, 2011 Posted by | Demining, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Landmines, Libya, Mine Clearance, State Department | , , , , , , | Leave a comment