Center for International Stabilization & Recovery

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Posts tagged "Danish Demining Group"

My summer as an intern with Danish Demining Group

by Chris Murguia

Eds: Chris Murguia was a CISR editorial assistant from 2011-2012.

This summer I had the opportunity to spend eight weeks with Danish Demining Group (DDG) in Juba, South Sudan as a Monitoring & Evaluation Intern. DDG is a nongovernmental organization that provides humanitarian mine action and armed violence reduction (AVR) services across the globe. I obtained the internship through a partnership formed between DDG, James Madison University’s Master of Public Administration program and the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery.

During my time with DDG, I worked in the AVR unit. DDG’s AVR program takes a holistic approach to solving the issue of armed violence by providing beneficiaries with conflict-management skills, increasing security provision and enhancing local institutions’ abilities to control weapons proliferation. My primary responsibility as an intern was to conduct an evaluation of an AVR project in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state. This involved making trips to field sites, conducting focus-group discussions with beneficiaries, interviewing DDG AVR staff and ultimately producing a report for the organization. In addition to the evaluation, I also analyzed survey data, carried out desk-based research and participated in impact-monitoring workshops.

In my free time, I often left the compound to explore Juba. I shopped in crowded markets, ate dinner on the Nile and attended a landmine survivors’ basketball game. My most memorable experience was attending South Sudan’s one-year independence anniversary celebration. It was amazing to see tens of thousands of people converge in one place and celebrate the independence of the world’s newest country.

Interning with DDG was one of the most challenging periods of my life but also a great learning experience. I learned the ins and outs of the international humanitarian sector and the difficulties associated with conducting research in a post-conflict setting. Overall, interning with DDG was an experience that I will never forget, and if I could, I would do it all over again.

Photo: ECHO

Libya face a significant threat from explosive remnants of the recent conflict. The Libyans are rising to the challenge with the help of the Deming Unit of the Danish Refugee Council, Danish Deming Group.

The conflict in Libya is over, but families are still suffering from its effects. The Danish Demining Group, DDG, has worked in and around Sirte since November 2011. The main focus of the operation has been to capacity build national staff as well as conducting impact survey and emergency clearance of explosive remnants of war.

“Libya and not least the city of Sirte face a significant threat from explosive remnants of war. Unexploded and abandoned ordnances, ammunition, cluster munitions pose a high risk to the safety of the population. The high number of small arms and light weapons further adds to the problems,” says Rasmus Stuhr Jakobsen, head of DDG.

So far DDG has successfully completed more than 1.000 emergency spot tasks and cleared more than 50% of the schools in Sirte. In addition more than 50 houses have been cleared from unexploded ordnances.

“Our goal is to build a national mine clearance structure and expertise that on the short term will be able to clear the immediate threat from unexploded ordnances and in the longer run support the reconstruction work in the country,” says Rasmus Stuhr Jakobsen.

The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and DDG are to continue implementing emergency tasks at its current locations as well as support the Libyan Mine Action Centre in coordinating the mine action activities in other parts of Libya. In addition DDG/DRC will look at addressing the problem caused by the high number of small arms weapons and unemployment following the fighting in 2011.

DDG in Libya is funded by European Commission’s Department of Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), DANIDA and G. & E. Honorés Fond.

Lamo - The Danish Demining Group in Uganda and Mine Action in South Sudan have revealed that the two countries’ border areas are still unsafe for human settlement and other activities as they harbour unexploded ordnances.

The explosive weapons were planted during the Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency, which ended almost five years ago. The supervisor of the Danish Demining Group (DDG), Emmy Katukore, revealed that so far, they have cleared only 34,255 millimetres, recovering five anti-personnel mines in the process.

“During the insurgency very many ordnances like bombs and landmines where planted along the Uganda-Sudan border, and this is making settlement and business very risky,” he said. “We have cleared some parts but we expect that there are still some more landmines and bombs still existing.”

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The kidnapping was a reminder to aid agencies that pirates also operate on land (File photo: Scanpix)

Two workers from the Danish Demining Group taken hostage in Somalia last week will only be released for a 50 million kroner ransom, Ekstra Bladet newspaper reports.

The two workers, 60-year-old Dane Poul Hagen and 32-year-old American Jessica Buchanan were abducted a week last Tuesday in the Somalian town of Galkayo and have since been moved to the al-Shabaab controlled region of Galmudug.

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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – An American woman and her Danish colleague are alive and well after they were seized by Somali gunmen, their aid agency said Monday.

The Danish Refugee Council made their first contact with Jessica Buchanan and Poul Thisted on Sunday. The two were kidnapped in the town of Galkayo in central Somalia on Tuesday. They were working for the Danish Demining Group.

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Somali gunmen kidnapped three aid workers working for Danish Demining Group in northern Somalia. (Reuters)

Somali gunmen kidnapped three aid workers working for Danish Demining Group in northern Somalia on Tuesday, the humanitarian agency said, the second capture of Western aid agency staff working in the region this month.

“Today, at 3 p.m. (1200 GMT) in Somalia, three staff members from the Danish Demining Group have been kidnapped. One is a Somali man, two are international staff members, an American woman and a Danish man,” it said in a statement.

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