Center for International Stabilization & Recovery

CISR envisions a world where people can build peaceful and prosperous futures free from the repercussions of conflict and disaster.

We help communities affected by conflict and trauma through innovative and reliable research, training, information exchange, and direct services such as:

Mine Risk Education
Peer Support
Management Training
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Who I Follow
Posts tagged "mine action"

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Chuck Searcy might one day return to Athens to stay.

But as he nears 70, Searcy says he still has unfinished business after 19 years in Vietnam — specifically, continuing his work with Project Renew, a group which works to reduce the toll of the unexploded bombs still killing and maiming Vietnamese children and farmers.

“We dropped 15 million bombs over Vietnam, more than all of the bombs in World War II,” said Searcy, a University of Georgia graduate and one of the founders of the Athens Observer, a newspaper that flourished during the 1970s and 1980s.

Searcy’s anti-bomb work is focused in the Vietnamese province of Quang Tri.

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Attention JMU seniors and recent graduates!

CISR is now accepting applications for the 2015–2017 Frasure-Kruzel-Drew Memorial Fellowship in Humanitarian Demining until 5 p.m., Friday, November 7.

This is a paid fellowship facilitated by CISR with the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/WRA).

JMU seniors, grad students and recent grads—apply now for the 2015–2017 Fellowship!


I was the 2013–14 Frasure-Kruzel-Drew Memorial Fellow in the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/WRA). I first learned about this one- of-a-kind fellowship opportunity while working as an editorial assistant at James Madison University’s Center for International Stabilization and Recovery. I decided to apply to the fellowship, because it offered the opportunity to work on complex and exciting foreign policy issues regarding conventional weapons destruction (CWD), including humanitarian mine action and small-arms and light-weapons (SA/LW) destruction. Moreover, as a recent college graduate interested in international relations, I knew that working at the U.S. Department of State would provide a professional development opportunity like no other. 

Upon entering the fellowship, I was placed in PM/WRA’s Resource Management (RM) division. The RM division is responsible for planning and developing the office’s budgets, managing its finances, and, in fiscal year 2013, awarding approximately $142 million in grants, cooperative agreements and contracts to support CWD projects across the globe. During my time with RM, I received an in-depth education about the federal budget process, federal grants management, grants processing and financial management.

In addition to serving in the RM division, I also assisted PM/WRA’s Program Management division. Specifically, I was tasked with assisting the program managers for our Africa and Western Hemisphere Affairs portfolios. The highlight of my time in the Program Management division was when I participated in a program-review visit to Colombia, El Salvador and Honduras. During the trip, I observed demining operations in Colombia, a weapons-depot construction project in El Salvador and SA/LW destruction in Honduras. This trip allowed me to witness firsthand the lifesaving work that PM/WRA’s implementing partners conduct. 

My time as a fellow was one of the best professional development experiences I have had, and I am proud to call myself a former Frasure-Kruzel-Drew Memorial Fellow. Although my time as Fellow has ended, I have been lucky to continue working in PM/WRA as a program analyst. I encourage anyone interested in working at the U.S. Department of State or in CWD to apply for this great fellowship opportunity.

JMU seniors, grad students and recent grads—apply now for the 2015–2017 Fellowship!


~ Chris Murguia (2013–14)

To read more about Chris’ experiences as FKD fellow, refer to his DipNote blog post.

Land mines are not only explosive but also poisonous, leaking toxins into the soil that make plants sick. That’s unfortunate for the plants but fortunate for us—if we can figure out how to look for sick plants as harbingers of land mines. Airplanes equipped with a low-cost sensor that captures non-visible light might be the answer.

LiveScience's Becky Oskin reports from the annual meeting of Ecological Society of America, where a group of researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University are presenting just this idea. That a bunch of ecologists would be interested in land mines actually makes a lot of sense; land mines lurking underground can subtly shape the ecology of an area.

The VCU researchers did their field research at an unusual place though, a “privately owned experimental minefield in South Carolina, where [DARPA] once buried fake land mines for a research project,” writes Oskin. The National Explosives Waste Technology and Evaluation Center is where researchers can (safely) experiment on new ways to detect land mines.

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Whilst traveling in Cambodia, i was told there are no wild elephants left in the country. The only place they are sometimes found is on the border with Thailand which is still riddled with landmines left by the Khmer Rouge. This young elephant is being measured for a prosthetic. 

Government has appealed to the international community to chip in with about $100 million required to speed up the demining of the country’s borders after the exercise was allocated a paltry $500 000 by Treasury this year.

Secretary in the Ministry of Defence Martin Rushwaya told Parliament yesterday that the paltry allocation from Treasury had stalled the programme.

“We were only allocated $500 000 in the 2014 national Budget for demining and we appeal to the international community to support us to complete the demining exercise,” Rushwaya said.

Director of the Zimbabwe Mine Action Centre Colonel Mkhululi Ncube warned members of the public against tampering with landmines after being misled into believing that the explosives contained red mercury.

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A landmine charity once supported by Princess Diana has suspended its founder and chief executive.

The Halo Trust said there had been a “serious deterioration” in relations between Guy Willoughby and the board, and it had decided to suspend him.

The trust reviewed his role after the Sunday Telegraph printed details of his £220,000 a year pay package in January.

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