October 25, 2012
Voluntary Today, Involuntary Tomorrow
Another Successful Flush by Wackenhut G4S
Will the last Ronco Consulting Corporation Employee out please close the lid ?
The EEOC granted a former Ronco Consulting Employee and American Injured War Zone Contractor the Right to Sue under the Americans with Disabilities Act after investigating the complaint.
The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities.
Even those who were disabled due to the negligence of the company in question.
Iraq Business News June 27, 2012
Hans Nijkamp, the head of Shell‘s operations in Iraq, has highlighted the success in removing explosive remnants of war (ERW) at the Majnoon oilfield, in which Shell has a 45% stake.
Speaking at CWC‘s Iraq Petroleum 2012 conference in London last week, Nijkamp said that more than 12 million square metres had been cleared so far, and work was proceeding at a rate of around 70,000 m2 per day.
Over 250 staff from 4 different contractors were involved in the operation, and well over 13,000 items have been removed and disposed of through controlled demolition by the Iraqi Army. The largest single item was a 500 kg explosive.
Shell’s other partners in the Majnoon venture are Petronas (30% share) and the Missan Oil Company, representing the Iraqi State (25% share).
At Alert Net June 20, 2012
DDG Business Developer/Project Manager – South Iraq
Posted: 20 June 2012 Deadline: 08 July 2012
Job type: Contract Salary: TBD
Organisation: Danish Refugee Council (DRC) – Denmark
The purpose of the Business Developer/Project Manager position is to provide oversight of Danish Demining Group Mine Action current activities and opportunities in Iraq and, where applicable, neighbouring countries, and thereby reveal new opportunities linked to humanitarian Mine Action as well as Service contracts.
at Danish Demining Group May 29, 2012
The Trans Federal Government in Somalia has decided to join the Mine Ban Treaty of the United Nations. The mine action unit within the Danish Refugee Council recognizes and supports the development.
Somalia is one of the regions in Africa most contaminated by mines. As the last African country to officially ban use of landmines, Somalia has now agreed to destroy all stockpiles no later than 1 October 2016 and to clear all contaminated land no later than 1 October 2022.
In addition to this, Somalia is obliged to provide assistance to the thousands of mine victims. Somalia has never produced mines, but it is assessed that around 200 communities are contaminated by mines.
At least 159 casualties of landmines and explosive remnants of war in Somalia (excluding Somaliland) where recorded in 2010, including 19 children killed and 86 children injured. The true casualty figure is likely to be much higher.
“Joining the international Mine Ban Treaty happens despite ongoing conflict and shows that Somalia now recognizes the humanitarian impact of landmines,” says Klaus Ljørring Pedersen, DDG Regional Director for Horn of Africa & Yemen
MENAFN – Jordan Times May 24, 2012
The Jordan Armed Forces on Wednesday said Israeli troops will work on removing anti-tank mines in the land opposite Al Rabei area in Deir Alla in Balqa Governorate on Thursday.
The mine clearance will be carried out from 8:00am to 7:00pm, according to a source from the JAF, who noted that Jordan has requested that Israelis abide by the amounts of explosives previously agreed on during demining operations.
All Africa May 15, 2012
United States Africa Command
Kisangani — Years after the Great War of Africa ended, remnants of war are still scattered throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the aftermath of one of the deadliest conflicts worldwide since World War II.
In an effort to help the DRC reduce the number of land mines and unexploded ordnance, four soldiers from the 184th Ordnance Battalion (EOD), out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky provided a train-the-trainer course with 11 Forces Armees de la Republique Democratique du Congo (FARDC) deminers to improve their explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) skills.
This engagement, which is part of the Humanitarian Mine Action program, took place April 6 through 27, 2012 at Camp Base in Kisangani, the capitol of the Orientale Province in the DRC.
The main objective of this exercise was to improve the FARDC deminers’ EOD skill sets to a point where they can set up a sustainable program in the DRC and to improve relations between the DRC and the United States, said Captain Charles A. Schnake, the exercise officer in charge.
“The HMA mission gives EOD technicians a chance to share lessons-learned with our allies and to sustain amiable relations. It’s also an opportunity for U.S. soldiers to experience a once in a lifetime mission to work in new environments. It was important to me because it gave me the chance to make a lasting impact in the sustainability of life-saving skill sets with our partners overseas,” Schnake, a Honolulu, Hawaii native said.
The first three days of the engagement focused on assessing the level of proficiency for the FARDC deminers. After their progress was evaluated, the Congolese soldiers were taught ordnance identification, explosives safety and theory, metal detector operations and demolitions.
Staff Sergeant Robert L. Hayslett, the head instructor and noncommissioned officer in charge of the mission, said he enjoyed seeing the DRC military eager to learn, broaden their skill set and accomplish the mission.
“The United States has the resources and the personnel with the experience available to teach these critical skills to these soldiers, it’s nice to see the U.S. has a vested interest in the area. My favorite part was the interaction with the foreign students, getting to interact with a foreign military.
This event is an opportunity that not a lot of soldiers have, and we can now take these partnering experiences back and use them abroad,” Hayslett, a Newville, Pa. native said.
During the 21-day program of instruction, both sides were able to take away important lessons from the experience.
Careful who you follow….
A United Nations Mine Action Employee has filed a lawsuit against Ronco Consulting Corporation for negligence after stepping on a landmine resulting in an immediate below the knee amputation in an area previously cleared by and certified clear of landmines by Ronco Consulting.
The United Nations board of inquiry found that Ronco failed to find the mine that injured Mr Fartham as well as three other mines.
The complaint states that Ronco Consulting, acting through it’s agents and/or employee’s, breached it’s professional duty of care to Fantham and did not exercise the reasonable care and skill expected of professional mine clearance companies.
UN, Norwegian Peoples Aid and Mechem South African Demining Workers abducted/arrested in South Sudan
Sudan arrests foreigners in disputed border region April 29, 2012
Sudan said it had arrested a Briton, a Norwegian and a South African on Saturday, accusing them of illegally entering a disputed oil-producing border area to spy for its enemy South Sudan.
South Sudanese officials denied the allegations and said the men were working with the United Nations and aid groups clearing mines and had got lost in the remote territory close to the boundary between the two countries.
Sudanese army spokesman al-Sawarmi Khaled said the three were arrested in Heglig – the scene of recent fighting between Sudan and South Sudan – travelling with a South Sudanese soldier in vehicles carrying military equipment.
“It is now confirmed without any doubt that South Sudan used the help of foreigners in their attack on Heglig. These foreigners were doing military work such as spying out the areas … They had military equipment … They have a military background,” Sawarmi said.
The group had been flown to Khartoum, he added.
A Reuters witness saw four men arriving on a civilian plane at Khartoum’s military airport.
One of the men, a Westerner, was wearing a t-shirt marked with the slogan “Norwegian People’s Aid. Mine Action South Africa”. Reporters were not allowed to talk to the men who were swiftly driven away in an unmarked white van.
Agency France Presse Canada April 29, 2012
KHARTOUM – A South African demining company on Sunday said two of its workers were abducted by the Sudanese military while on a UN landmine clearance contract in South Sudan.
Ashley Williams, CEO of state-owned Mechem, said its employees, a South African and a local South Sudanese, were abducted with a British UN employee and a Norwegian.
Williams rejected suggestions by the Sudanese army spokesman that the men were working in support of South Sudan in its “aggression” against the north.
“It’s humanitarian work so the story of them being military advisers and this type of thing is completely and utterly nonsense and not true,” said Williams.
“We are doing humanitarian landmine clearance on a UN contract and our members have full UN immunity. The abduction took place well within South Sudan territory,” he told AFP, saying the group were travelling south between two UN bases.
“Then they grabbed them and drove back to Heglig with them where they then said they’ve arrested them in this disputed area while they weren’t there at all.”
A team remained in the area, which the United Nations would bring out with protection over fears of similar action, Williams said.
Sudanese army spokesman Sawarmi Khaled Saad on Saturday said the group were captured within Sudan’s borders in the tense Heglig oil area.
“This confirms what we said before, that South Sudan in its aggression against Heglig was supported by foreign experts,” he told reporters after the four were flown to the capital Khartoum.
“We captured them inside Sudan’s borders, in the Heglig area, and they were collecting war debris for investigation,” Saad said.
He added that all four had military backgrounds, and were accompanied by military equipment and a military vehicle. He did not elaborate.
In the most serious fighting since the South’s independence, Juba’s troops occupied Sudan’s main oil region of Heglig for 10 days, a move which coincided with Sudanese air strikes against the South.
Sudan declared on April 20 that its troops had forced the Southern soldiers out of Heglig, but the South said it withdrew of its own accord.
Jan Ledang, country director for the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) mission in South Sudan, identified one of the captives as its employee John Sorbo.
“It’s impossible that they were in Heglig – they were in Pariang” about a 90-minute drive from Heglig in the South’s Unity state, Ledang said.
They were doing follow-up demining work in the area, he added.
The four were on a de-mining mission “and one of them was from the UN”, said Josephine Guerrero, a spokeswoman for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan
Boston Globe AP April 26, 2012
NEW DELHI—A report from a U.N. mine removal expert says unexploded cluster munitions have been found in northern Sri Lanka, appearing to confirm, for the first time, that the weapons were used in that country’s long civil war.
The revelation is likely to increase calls for an international investigation into possible war crimes stemming from the bloody final months of fighting in the quarter-century civil war that ended in May 2009. The government has repeatedly denied reports it used cluster munitions during the final months of fighting.
Cluster munitions are packed with small “bomblets” that scatter indiscriminately and often harm civilians. Those that fail to detonate often kill civilians long after fighting ends.
They are banned under an international treaty adopted by more than 60 nations that took effect in August 2010, after the Sri Lankan war. The nations that haven’t adopted the treaty include Sri Lanka, China, Russia, India, Pakistan and the U.S., which says the bombs are a valid weapon of war when used properly.
The Associated Press obtained a copy Thursday of an email written by a U.N. land mine expert that said unexploded cluster bomblets were discovered in the Puthukudiyiruppu area of northern Sri Lanka, where a boy was killed last month and his sister injured as they tried to pry apart an explosive device they had found to sell for scrap metal.
The email was written by Allan Poston, the technical adviser for the U.N. Development Program’s mine action group in Sri Lanka.
“After reviewing additional photographs from the investigation teams, I have determined that there are cluster sub-munitions in the area where the children were collecting scrap metal and in the house where the accident occurred. This is the first time that there has been confirmed unexploded sub-munitions found in Sri Lanka,” the email said.
During the final weeks of the war, tens of thousands of civilians and Tamil Tiger rebel fighters were trapped in a tiny section of Puthukudiyiruppu as attacking government forces closed in on them.
Lakshman Hulugalla, a Sri Lankan government spokesman on security matters, said the military had not used cluster munitions in the war.
“We are denying that information,” he said.
The U.N. did not immediately respond to an AP request for comment
“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
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.
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
The Daily Star March 5, 2012
TALLINN: An Estonian demining expert died in a blast in Libya while clearing unexploded ordnance left over from the civil war that toppled Moamer Kadhafi, the Baltic state’s foreign ministry said Monday.
The 31-year-old, who worked for Danish charity DanChurchAid, was killed on Saturday as he was disposing of a charge, ministry spokeswoman Helen Rits told AFP.
She declined to give further details.
The Baltic News Service reported that the man died in Dafniya, a town 180 kilometres (112 miles) west of the Libyan capital Tripoli.
It said Kadhafi loyalists had laid mines in the area in an attempt to stem an assault on Tripoli, as rebels moved ever-closer to ousting Kadhafi’s 42-year regime.
Kadhafi was overthrown and killed in October and the country’s new rulers, the Libyan National Transitional Council, have appealed for foreign explosives experts to help clean up the debris of war.
The Estonian had worked in several post-conflict zones in the past for his homeland’s authorities and a range of international organisations.
“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.