Sudan Integrated Mine Action Service (SIMAS)



The Sudan Integrated Mine Action Service (SIMAS) was founded in 1999 by ex-SPLA officers who were concerned about the effects of land mines on returning internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees. One of the founders, William Bol, remains on the Board to this day.

Manual Clearance Team

The first activities for SIMAS were to conduct mine risk education programmes in areas controlled by the SPLA. This included work Rumbek which was supported by UNICEF. Following the cease fire agreement between the governments of north and south Sudan in 2003, SIMAS was able to expand the mine risk education to the Nuba Mountains supported by Trocare International.

During these early days SIMAS kept a small logistical and management office in Nairobi, Kenya. SIMAS was registered as an NGO with the South Sudan Rehabilitation Commission in 1999 in Nairobi. Following the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, SIMAS was re-registered with the Government of South Sudan as an NGO in 2006 (see SIMAS statutes and registration document).

In 2004 SIMAS entered into a long term relationship with the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD). At this time FSD was winning major contracts with the UN and World Food Programme to clear the mines along the main roads of Sudan. This created a profound change for SIMAS prompting a change of direction from mine risk education, into the more technically demanding and expensive area of mine clearance. SIMAS effectively became the Human Resources Partner for FSD’s multimillion dollar mine clearance programmes; selecting, recruiting, organising the training and managing several hundred manual de-miners and other local staff. This brought opportunities for significant growth and skills development within SIMAS.

During this period FSD built a new base compound just outside Juba, the capital of South Sudan. In early 2007, FSD and SIMAS moved all the management for the Sudanese programmes to this base.

In late 2006, FSD secured funding from the Swiss and Austrian Governments specifically for the capacity development of SIMAS. This allowed SIMAS, in their own right, to recruit, train and manage one team of ten manual de-miners. By the autumn of 2007 SIMAS gained separate accreditation from the UN Mine Action Office (UNMAO) in Sudan (see accreditation certificate). It is the only accredited national mine action organization in South Sudan until todate. This allowed SIMAS to carry out de-mining programmes in their own name in South Sudan. Today SIMAS can apply for funds and bid for contracts like any other independent and recognized de-mining organization.

Since the first accreditation SIMAS have been funded by –

  • UN Common Humanitarian Fund
  • Swiss Government
  • US Department of State
  • CHF International
  • Austrian Government
  • GGLA
  • Danish De-mining Group