Last updated: 16 June 2017

Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2016

Unknown; estimated more than 88,000 survivors

Casualties occurring in 2016

44 (2015: 40)

2016 casualties by survival outcome

15 killed; 29 injured (2015: 15 killed; 25 injured)

2016 casualties by device type

2 antipersonnel mines; 14 antivehicle mines; 20 explosive remnants of war (ERW); 8 undifferentiated mines/ERW


Details and trends

In 2016, the Monitor identified 44 mine/ERW casualties in the Republic of Angola.[1] Casualties were only reported in the provinces where international NGOs are conducting mine clearance: Benguela, Bie, Cuene, Hambo, Malanje, and Moxico. Eleven of the casualties were adults, six men and five women; and 33 casualties were children, 26 boys and seven girls. Five of the casualties in 2016 were deminers.

The 2016 mine/ERW casualty data for Angola was provided by three demining operators: The HALO Trust, Mines Advisory Group (MAG), and Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA). All three stated that they believed that the data was fairly accurate within the provinces where they worked, however the distances and logistical issues meant that some data was missed.[2] HALO also noted that “anecdotally, the heavy toll of landmines in Angola is well known. However, at national and provincial levels Angola has always lacked an effective mechanism for systematic recording of accident data and as a result its impact is underestimated.”[3] The 44 mine/ERW casualties identified in 2016 represented a slight increase from the 40 identified in 2015, but remained a significant increase compared to the 11 casualties identified in 2014.[4]

HALO conducted a desk review of all mine/ERW incidents in the country between 1975 and 2015, combining media reports with their own survey and data records. In 2016 and 2017, HALO updated its findings based on resurvey of mined areas. As of 31 March 2017, HALO has identified 1,651 casualties from 815 mine/ERW incidents in nine provinces.[5] While not representative of all casualties in those provinces over the time period, the review indicates that antivehicle mines are the most common cause of injury and that the fatality rate from explosive devices was higher than previously believed. The review also indicates that the years with the most mine/ERW casualties were 2002 and 2003, when Angolans returned to their homes after the conclusion of the civil war.[6]

The national mine action center (Comissão Nacional Intersectorial de Desminagem e Assistência Humanitária, CNIDAH) planned to continue its survey of survivors, but this has been suspended since 2014.[7] The survey would help to identify the exact needs of survivors, as the census data is not disaggregated by type of injury, age, or gender. As of the end of 2014, CNIDAH registered 9,165 survivors in the provinces of Benguela, Cabinda, Cunene, Huambo, Huila, Malanje, Namibe, Uige, and Zaire as part of its national mine/ERW victim survey.[8] No update was provided to the Monitor in 2017

The Angolan government conducted a nationwide census in 2014, according to which, 88,716 people were living with a disability caused by landmines or other explosive devices. Survivors were identified in all 18 provinces with one-quarter living in Luanda. Mine and ERW survivors represented one-eighth of the total population of persons with disabilities, with 2.5% of the Angolan population identified as disabled.[9] Angola had previously estimated that there were 70,000 to 80,000 mine survivors in Angola, representing 78 percent of all persons with disabilities. Approximately two thirds of survivors being concentrated in Luanda, with others found in the mine-affected provinces of Bié, Huambo, Malange and Moxico.[10] In September 2004, the government reportedly stated that 700 people had been killed and 2,300 injured in landmine incidents “over the last six years.[11] Between 2000 and 2016, the Monitor identified  698 mine/ERW casualties, including 269 people killed, 973 injured, and six for which the outcome was unknown.

Cluster munition casualties

CNIDAH’s national victim survey identified at least 354 cluster munition survivors, all in the province of Huambo.[12] The 2014 and 2015 Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor reports included these figures. Subsequent information has not reconfirmed this data and calls this total into question. The survey of survivors in Huambo was conducted by the Institute for the Support of Vulnerable Children (Instituto ao Apoio a crianca Vulneravel, IACV), which is not a mine action organization, and the survey questionnaire used by the IACV did not specifically identify cluster munitions as a possible cause of injury.[13] In 2015, HALO conducted a desk review of all known landmine and ERW incidents from 1975 through 2015. While the review was limited to HALO’s area of operations, including Huambo Province, in the course of the review it could not identify any cluster munition victims.[14] NPA compiled a desk review on potential cluster munition contamination in Angola but did not record any cluster munition casualties, despite documenting clearance and identifying some unexploded cluster munitions.[15] As such, reports of cluster munitions victims in Angola could not be confirmed as of May 2017.

[1] Emails from Gerhard Zank, Programme Manager, HALO Trust, 23 April 2017; from Joaquim da Costa, Deputy Programme Manager, NPA Angola, 12 April 2017; and from Jeanette Dijkstra, Country Director, MAG Angola, 5 April 2017.

[2] Emails from Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 23 April 2017; from Joaquim da Costa, NPA Angola, 12 April 2017; and from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG Angola, 5 April 2017.

[3] HALO Trust, “Mine/ERW Accident Report: Angola 1975–2015; Benguela, Bie, Huambo, Huila, Kuando Kubango and Kwanza Sul,” undated.

[4] The number of casualties reported for 2015 increased from that provided in the previous year, due to the identification of previously unreported casualties.

[5] Email from Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 23 April 2017; and see, HALO Trust, “Angola ERW Accident Report: 1975–2015; Bie, Benguela, Huambo, Huila, Kuando Kubango and Kwanza Sul,” undated. The nine provinces where casualties have been reported are Bie, Bengo, Benguela, Cunene, Huambo, Huila, Kuando Kubango, Namibe, and Kwanza Sul.

[6] HALO Trust, “Angola ERW Accident Report: 1975–2015; Bie, Benguela, Huambo, Huila, Kuando Kubango and Kwanza Sul,” undated.

[7] Interview with Nsimba Paxe, CNIDAH, in Luanda, 27 June 2016.

[8] There were nine provinces still to be surveyed as of the end of 2014. CNIDAH, “Relatório Anual do ‘Projecto Nacional de Recolha e Actualização de Dados sobre as Pessoas com deficiência Vítima de Minas’ – 2014” (“Annual Report of ‘National Project to Collect and Update Data regarding Persons with Disabilities, Mine Victims’ – 2014”), Luanda, undated.

[9] National Institute of Statistics (INE), “Resultados Definitivos Recenseamento Geral da Populacao e Habitacao – 2014,” 28 March 2016. Quadro 8 - População portadora de deficiência por província e área de residência, segundo as causas da deficiência e sexo.

[10] Presentation by Dr. Adriano Gonçalves, CNIDAH, Workshop on Advancing Landmine Victim Assistance in Africa, Nairobi, 31 May-2 June 2005; and Mine Ban Treaty “Final Report of the Meeting of State Parties / Zagreb Progress Report,” Part II, Annex V, “Victim Assistance objectives of the State Parties that have the responsibility for significant number of landmine survivors,” Zagreb, 28 November-2 December 2005, p. 110.

[11] Presentation by Angola, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 10 February 2004.

[12] Email from Nsimba Paxe, CNIDAH, Luanda, 3 April 2013. Angola also reported identifying 1,497 cluster munition victims in Huambo province through the same survey. Statement of Angola, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, 9–13 September 2013.

[13] Interview with Nsimba Paxe, CNIDAH, in Luanda, 27 June 2016.

[14] HALO Trust, “Angola ERW Accident Report: 1975-2015; Bie, Benguela, Huambo, Huila, Kuando Kubango and Kwanza Sul,” undated.

[15] Mario Nunes, NPA, “Cluster Munitions Remnants: Desk Assessment Report,” 5 February 2016.