Mine Action

Last updated: 23 September 2019

20-Year Summary of Mine Action

Treaty status

Mine Ban Treaty

  • State Party: 1 January 2003
  • First Article 5 deadline: 1 January 2013
  • Extension request March 2012—5 years until 1 January 2018
  • Extension request May 2017—8 years until 31 December 2025[1]

Unclear whether on track to meet deadline.

Other Conventions

  • Not party to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on Landmines
  • Signatory to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, 2008

Mine action management

Humanitarian Mine Action commenced


National mine action management actors

The National Intersectoral Commission for Demining and Humanitarian Assistance (Comissão Nacional Intersectorial de Desminagem e Assistência Humanitária, CNIDAH)

The Executive Commission for Demining (Comissão Executiva de Desminagem, CED)

UN agencies

United Nations Development Programme, since 2002

Mine action strategic and operational plans

Mine Action Strategic Plan 2013–2017

No updated Strategic Plan reported.

Mine action legislation

No specific national mine action legislation[2]

Mine action standards

National Mine Action Standards (NMAS)

Current operators


Four CED operators:

  • The Armed Forces
  • The Military Office of the President
  • The National Institute for Demining (Instituto Nacional de Desminagem, INAD)
  • The Police Border Guard National commercial companies

National NGOs:

  • The Association of Mine Professionals (APACOMINAS)
  • Demining and Humanitarian Assistance Organization (ODAH)
  • Union for the Rights to Education, Health and Safety for the Unemployed (UDESSD)
  • Associação Terra Mãe (ATM)


  • The HALO Trust (since 1994)
  • Mines Advisory Group (MAG) (since 1994)
  • Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) (since 1995)
  • APOPO Minas (since 2012 with NPA; independent since 2019)

Extent of contamination


As of April 2019: 105.05km²[3]

Extent of contamination: Massive

Other ERW contamination

Heavy contamination

Land release 2014–2018


  • 2014: 2.2km²
  • 2015: 4.1km²
  • 2016: 1.2km²
  • 2017: 1.2km²
  • 2018: 1.04km²
  • Total land cleared: 9.74km²

Land release 1999–2018

Total land release estimate

  • Antipersonnel mines destroyed: 141,603[4]
  • Antitank mines cleared: 31,946
  • Other ERW cleared: 131,436

Progress and 2025 target


  • At the time of the 2017 extension request, a total of 221.4km² had been identified, of which 149.51km² were CHA.
  • Non-Technical Survey was ongoing in three provinces in 2018.[5]
  • Ongoing efforts are required to improve data management, in order to capture all land release efforts comprehensively and accurately.
  • The new Article 5 deadline of 2025 is unlikely to be met if current funding levels are not significantly increased

Note: ERW = explosive remnants of war; CHA = confirmed hazardous area.

The Republic of Angola acknowledged using antipersonnel mines as a signatory to the Mine Ban Treaty from December 1997 to April 2002. Angola became a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty on 1 January 2003. Angola has not enacted national legislation to implement the treaty. Angola completed destruction of its stockpile of 88,117 antipersonnel mines in December 2006. As of 2019, Angola reported retaining 1,304 antipersonnel mines for training purposes.[6]

Angola requested two extensions to its Article 5 deadline: a five-year extension until January 2018, and then an extension for a further eight years until December 2025. The most significant challenge identified by Angola to meeting this deadline is lack of funding.[7]

Landmines and ERW in Angola are the legacy of four decades of armed conflict, which ended in 2002. Mine clearance began in 1994 during the United Nations Angola Verification Mission. A Landmine Impact Survey was completed in 2005 and non-technical survey (NTS) was conducted in the lead up to the 2017 extension request. All 18 provinces are now reported as surveyed.[8] It was reported that the NTS allowed for a significant reduction, by as much as 90%, to the areas recorded in the CNIDAH database.[9]

Contamination and Impact

Angola’s contamination is the result of more than 40 years of internal armed conflict that ended in 2002, during which a range of national and foreign armed movements and groups laid mines, often in a sporadic manner. The most affected provinces have been those with the fiercest and most prolonged fighting, such as Bié, Kuando Kubango, and Moxico.

Historically, humanitarian demining efforts in Angola have focused on urban and peri-urban areas due to security concerns in the countryside during the years of conflict, and in response to the needs of growing urban populations. HALO Trust reported in 2018 that many cities and towns in Angola had witnessed significant urban expansion. However, rural populations were largely left without mine action support and in 2018, remaining contamination was predominantly located in rural, underdeveloped areas.[10] Much of the land released through mine action is used for agriculture, particularly by poor communities reliant on subsistence farming.

The lack of safe land also has implications for government development projects. CNIDAH confirmed in 2017 that the government was developing a new strategy of economic diversification, including expansion of agriculture, livestock, tourism, and mining, and the presence of landmines was a serious impediment to many of these projects.[11]

Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 Compliance

Angola has submitted two extension requests, one in March 2012 for five years and one in May 2017 for a further eight years, until the end of 2025. Reasons given for being unable to fulfil the Article 5 deadline commitments included operational challenges and the magnitude of contamination.

The revised extension request, submitted in November 2017, set out annual targets for clearance on a province-by-province basis. Significant effort was made to accurately define all remaining mined areas for inclusion in the Article 5 extension request. However, the figures are inconsistent within the report, between the annual targets and the estimates of contamination remaining to be addressed.

The total cost for activities planned during the period of the extension is US$348 million.[12] Funding has been a key challenge to enable Angola to meet its extension request. In 2016, the loss of funding from the European Union Development Fund for demining impacted all international operators, followed by a steady decline in funding in 2017, and the critical loss of US funding in April 2018. From 2007 to 2017, collectively the resources of the three largest operators, HALO, MAG, and NPA declined by nearly 90%.[13] The government of Angola has provided significant funding for demining, but almost exclusively in support of major infrastructure projects, and it has faced severe budget cuts following the global crash in oil prices. Clearance of rural areas has typically not been funded by the government.

Mine Action Program


CNIDAH is the national mine action center that reports to the Council of Ministers. It is responsible for accreditation of NGOs and commercial demining companies and has 18 provincial operation offices.

The CED reports to the newly created Ministry of Social Action, Family, and Women’s Promotion (Ministério da Acção Social, Família e Promoção da Mulher, MASFAMU, formerly the Ministry of Social Assistance and Reintegration, or MINARS). It supports mine clearance in areas where development projects are a priority and is the coordination body for activities conducted by the national public operators (the Armed Forces, the Military Office of the President, INAD, and the Police Border Guard).[14]

INAD was established in 2002 and is responsible for demining operations and training.

Strategic planning

Angola has submitted an annual workplan to meet its Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline extension request for 2019–2025.

Information management

Angola’s mine action program has experienced difficulties in information management for more than a decade, impeding efforts to achieve a comprehensive, accurate understanding of contamination. This has included a lack of integration of the mine action data held by the CED and has resulted in widely different and conflicting claims of the extent of its mine problem, including in Angola’s Article 5 extension requests.

In early 2016, Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) New Generation (NG) was installed with the help of the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD). The cleaning up of discrepancies resulted in significant areas of suspected hazardous area (SHA) and CHA being cancelled from the database.[15] INAD is responsible for the IMSMA database for the CED and efforts were being made to harmonise the CED data with the CNIDAH database.

Gender mainstreaming

Gender is not referenced in Angola’s 2019–2025 mine action workplan, nor is it included in Angola’s national mine action standards in place since 2018.[16]

Land Release


Determining the full extent of contamination in Angola has been problematic, and problems with the national database and differing reporting formats between CNIDAH and the CED have made it difficult to accurately provide the extent of land release. Data from the CED and commercial companies has not been made available.

The Landmine Impact Survey was conducted in 2004–2007. By the time of the second extension request (May 2017), a non-technical survey had been completed in 15 provinces, with three provinces ongoing.[17] It was reported by CNIDAH and MAG, HALO Trust, and NPA that the NTS had allowed for a significant reduction, by as much as 90%, to the areas recorded in the CNIDAH database.[18]

[1] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for period January 2018–April 2019).

[2] Angola notes that “the existing pieces of legislation in the main legal and judicial system of Angola (National Constitution, Penal Code, Civil Code, Family Code, Working Law and others) are sufficient to charge, prosecute and punish any national or foreign citizen who uses, produces, transfers, stores or encourages others to use antipersonnel mines within Angolan territory.” Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2018), Form A, p. 2.

[3] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2018, Form C, p. 4.

[4] Ibid., Form G, p. 10.

[5] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2017), Form G, p. 8.

[6] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2018), Form D, p. 6.

[7] Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline Extension Request (revised), 31 August 2017, p. 5.

[8] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2018), Form C, p. 4.

[9] Ibid., p. 5.

[10] Email from Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 15 June 2018.

[11] Mine Ban Treaty Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 11 May 2017, p. 19.

[12] Mine Ban Treaty Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request (revised), 14 November 2017, p. 25.

[13] Chris Loughran and Camille Wallen, “State of Play: The Landmine Free 2025 Commitment,” MAG and HALO Trust, December 2017.

[14] Email from Joaquim da Costa, NPA, 10 May 2018.

[15] Email from Vanja Sikirica, NPA, 11 May 2017.

[16] NPA, “Mine Action Review: Clearing Cluster Munition Remnants 2019,” 1 August 2019, p. 111.

[17] Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline Extension Request (revised), 31 August 2017, p. 5.

[18] Ibid., p. 5.