Angola

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 25 June 2019

Summary: Signatory Angola has spent the past decade pledging to ratify the convention, but the government still has not introduced ratification for parliamentary consideration and approval. Angola has participated in all the convention’s meetings. It voted in favor of a key United Nations (UN) resolution on cluster munitions in December 2018.

Angola disclosed in September 2017 that it does not possess any stocks of cluster munitions and commented on past use. Angola is not known to have produced or exported cluster munitions.

Policy

The Republic of Angola signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008.

Angolan representatives have promised the country’s ratification to the convention over the past decade, but the government still has not referred the convention to parliament for consideration and approval. [1] Most recently, in September 2017, Angola informed the convention’s Seventh Meeting of States Parties that the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and National Mine Action Authority (CNIDAH) would make a strong case for the Council of Ministries to approve ratification of the convention during 2018. [2]

Existing legislation, such as Angola’s Penal Code and constitution, enforce its implementation of the convention’s provisions. In September 2017, Angola said it views existing laws and regulations as “sufficient to charge, prosecute and punish any national or foreign citizen who in the Angolan Territory develop, produce, acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer to anyone directly or indirectly, assist, encourage or induce anyone to engage in any activity prohibited under the Convention of Cluster Munitions.” [3]

Any state may provide an Article 7 transparency measures report detailing the actions they are taking to implement and adhere to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Angola has committed to provide a voluntary report as proof of its “good will and progress” and in September 2017 shared summary findings from its draft report covering the period from 2009 to 2016. [4]

Angola participated extensively in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It did not attend the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008, but signed the convention in Oslo in December 2008. [5]

Angola has participated in every Meeting of States Parties of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, most recently the Eighth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in September 2018. It has attended regional workshops on cluster munitions, most recently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in August 2016, where it endorsed a commitment to ratify the convention. [6]

In December 2018, Angola voted in favor of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution that urges states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.” [7] 

Angola is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Production, transfer, and stockpiling

Angola is not known to have produced or exported cluster munitions.

Angola informed States Parties in September 2017 that it does not possess any cluster munitions as its stockpile was destroyed by 2012 and said that disposal teams from the Angolan armed forces and HALO Trust destroyed a total of 7,284 submunitions from stocks in 2005–2012. [8] In the statement, Angola said that the highest ranks of its army and Ministry of Defense have confirmed Angola no longer stockpiles cluster munitions.

Angola must still provide a transparency report for the convention to formally confirm that all its cluster munition stocks have been identified and destroyed.

Use

Deminers in Angola have cleared unexploded submunitions and other remnants of air-delivered cluster munitions from at least eight of the country’s 18 provinces, most in the south and southeast of the country. [9] However, a lack of firm evidence means it is not possible to conclusively attribute exact responsibility for the past use of cluster munitions in the country during fighting between the government of Angola’s armed forces and rebel UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) forces from 1975 until as late as the year 2000.

Angola told States Parties in September 2017 about the past history of cluster munition use while cautioning that the information was “very limited.” It said that cluster munitions were used after the country became independent in November 1975 and “the racist regime in South Africa with heavy air force and artillery decided to carried [sic] out a series of attacks to the southern and southeastern provinces of Angola to prevent the independence, with the excuses of following the freedom fighter of SWAPO and ANC [independence movements for Namibia and South Africa respectively] inside Angola and also to stop the government forces attacking the rebels movement UNITA supported by USA.” [10]

 

According to the statement, Angola said it rapidly “became a cold war battlefield, with the Angolan government forces supported also by Soviet Union and Cuba.” It said:

The war planes from South Africa Air Force were used on a daily base [sic] to strike government forces, SWAPO and ANC positions and other areas of the country indiscriminately. In that period, the Angolan Air Force also attacked UNITA positions to retaliate their extemporaneous ground attacks. This was the time when Clusters Munitions were used in Angola.

 

The types of cluster munitions cleared by deminers in Angola include Soviet-made RBK 250-275 cluster bombs. [11] In 2016, HALO Trust cleared two Alpha submunitions during survey operations in Cunene province along with the remnants of CB470 cluster bombs. In September 2017, Angola said the Alpha bomblet was developed in Rhodesia in 1970 and later in South Africa in the 1980s. [12]



 [1] In June 2016, representatives from Angola’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defense said the ratification process was at a “very advanced stage.” See, Michael P. Moore, “It’s time for Angola to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” Opinion piece, Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) website, based on meeting between Michael P. Moore, Researcher for the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, and representatives from Angola’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defense, Angola, June 2016. In August 2016, Angolan officials predicted that the ratification process would be completed within two months. ICBL-CMC meeting with Fernando Pedro Marques, Third Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Angola, in Addis Ababa, 4–5 August 2016.

 [2] Statement of Angola, Convention on Cluster Munitions Seventh Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 4 September 2017.

 [3] Ibid.

 [4] Ibid.

 [5] For details on Angola’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), p. 29.

 [6]The Addis Ababa Commitment on Universalization and Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” Africa Regional Workshop on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, 5 August 2016.

 [7]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 73/54, 5 December 2018. It has voted in favor of previous UNGA resolutions promoting the convention since 2016, after being absent from the vote on the first resolution in 2015.

 [8] Previously, in 2010, an official said that Angola’s armed forces no longer possess cluster munition stocks following a project by the government and HALO Trust to destroy the stockpile. CMC meetings with Maria Madalena Neto, Victim Assistance Coordinator, CNIDAH, International Conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Santiago, 7–9 June 2010. Notes by the CMC/Human Rights Watch.

 [9] In September 2017, Angola stated that eight provinces are suspected to be contaminated by cluster munition remnants: Bengo, Bié, Cunene, Huambo, Huila, Kuando Kubango, Kuanza Sul, and Moxico. Statement of Angola, Convention on Cluster Munitions Seventh Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 4 September 2017. According to a demining official, cluster munitions have been cleared from Huambo province near Caala and Bailundo. Interview with Jorge Repouso Leonel Maria, Liaison Officer, CNIDAH, Huambo, 21 April 2010.

 [10] Statement of Angola, Convention on Cluster Munitions Seventh Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 4 September 2017.

 [11] Landmine Action, “Note on Cluster Munitions in Angola,” 10 February 2004. In the past, Jane’s Information Group noted that KMGU dispensers that deploy submunitions were in service for Angolan aircraft. Robert Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, Issue 44 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2004), p. 835.

 [12] Statement of Angola, Convention on Cluster Munitions Seventh Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 4 September 2017.


Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 31 October 2011

Commitment to the Mine Ban Treaty

Mine Ban Treaty status

State Party

National implementation measures

Has not drafted new implementation measures

Transparency reporting

2010

Policy

The Republic of Angola signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified on 5 July 2002, becoming a State Party on 1 January 2003.

Angola has not formally reported any legal measures to implement the Mine Ban Treaty.[1] Under Article 13 of Angola’s Constitution, any international law approved and ratified by Angola is an integrated part of Angolan law and automatically enters into force at the national level after its publication and entry into force at the international level.[2]

Angola submitted its fifth annual Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report in October 2010, for the period from January 2009 to July 2010.[3] As of late August 2011, Angola had not yet submitted the annual report due by 30 April 2011, nor did it report on its activities in 2008. 

Angola hosted a National Mine Action Summit in Luanda on 9–10 August 2010. In August 2011, the Third National Meeting on Demining was held in Luanda.

Angola is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Poduction, transfer, use, stockpile destruction, and retention

Angola states that it has never manufactured antipersonnel mines.[4] It is not believed to have exported the weapon in the past. There have not been any confirmed instances of use of antipersonnel mines since Angola ratified the Mine Ban Treaty a decade ago.[5]

Angola completed destruction of its stockpile of antipersonnel mines on 28 December 2006, just ahead of its 1 January 2007 treaty deadline. It destroyed 81,045 mines between October and December 2006, in addition to 7,072 antipersonnel mines apparently destroyed in 2003.[6]

In its last Article 7 report submitted in 2010, Angola reported retaining 2,512 antipersonnel mines for training purposes, the same number that was previously reported in 2007.[7] Angola has not provided an update on mines retained since 2007 or provided details on the intended purposes and actual uses of its retained mines, as agreed by States Parties at review conferences held in 2004 and 2009.



[1] In its 2010 report, Angola stated, “Apart from the existing ordinary legislations in the country, no other legal measures were taken within the period under consideration.” Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period January 2009 to July 2010), Form A.

[2] A new constitution to replace the interim constitution (in effect since the country’s independence in 1975) was approved by the National Assembly of Angola on 21 January 2010 and promulgated by the President on 5 February 2010. The Constitution of Angola, Article 13 (“Direito Internacional”), states: “1. O direito internacional geral ou comum, recebido nos termos da presente Constituição, faz parte integrante da ordem jurídica angolana. 2. Os tratados e acordos internacionais regularmente aprovados ou ratificados vigoram na ordem jurídica angolana após a sua publicação oficial e entrada em vigor na ordem jurídica internacional e enquanto vincularem internacionalmente o Estado angolano” (“1. International law or policy, received pursuant to this Constitution, is an integral part of Angolan law. 2. International treaties and agreements regularly approved or ratified shall become Angolan law after its official publication and international legal entry into force”).

[3] Angola has submitted five Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 reports since 2004, in 2010 (for the period January 2009–July 2010), 2007 (April 2006–March 2007), 2006 (January 2005–March 2006), 2005 (January–December 2004), and 2004 (September 2003–April 2004).

[4] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period April 2006 to March 2007), Form E.

[5] There have been sporadic and unconfirmed reports of new use of antipersonnel and antivehicle mines since the end of the war, with allegations focused on criminal groups. The government acknowledged using antipersonnel mines while it was a signatory to the Mine Ban Treaty, from December 1997 to April 2002, until it signed a peace agreement with the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola, UNITA). See, Landmine Monitor Report 2004, pp. 121–122.

[6] See, Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 141–143, for additional details.

[7] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period January 2009 to July 2010), Form D.


Mine Action

Last updated: 07 November 2018

 

Treaty status

State Party to Mine Ban Treaty

State Party
Article 5 deadline: 31 December 2025
Unclear whether on track to meet deadline

State Party to Convention on Cluster Munitions

Signatory

Extent of contamination as of end 2017

Landmines

89.3km2 CHA and 58.3kmSHA
Massive contamination

Cluster munition remnants

Not known, but low contamination

Other ERW contamination

Heavy contamination

Mine action management

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)

Mine action legislation

No national mine action legislation, based on available information

Mine action standards

National Mine Action Standards (NMAS)

Operators in 2017

National:
Four CED operators—the Armed Forces, the Military Office of the President, The National Institute for Demining (Instituto Nacional de Desminagem, INAD), and thePolice Border Guard National commercial companies

 

International:
The HALO Trust
Mines Advisory Group (MAG)
Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA)

Land release in 2017

Landmines

141.6km2 released: 138km2 cancelled, 2.4km2 reduced and 1.18km2 cleared. 3,546 antipersonnel mines and 124 antivehicle mines destroyed
15.15km2 confirmed through survey

Cluster munition remnants

None

Other ERW

3,009 UXO destroyed

Landmines

Three of the 18 provinces still require completion of re-survey in order to provide a comprehensive overview of the national extent of remaining contamination. 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

Notes: CHA = confirmed hazardous area; SHA = suspected hazardous area; ERW = explosive remnants of war; UXO = unexploded ordinance.

Mine Contamination

According to its latest Article 7 transparency report, as at April 2018, the Republic of Angola had a total of 1,220 mined areas remaining, covering 147.6km2: 999 CHAs over 89.3km2 and 221 SHAs over 58.3km2.[1] All 18 provinces still contain mined areas.

The report noted, however, that a process was ongoing of updating the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) database with additional information from national demining entities, the Executive Commission for Demining (Comissão Executiva de Desminagem, CED) and the National Demining Institute (Instituto Nacional de Desminagem, INAD).[2]

Re-survey of Moxico and Malanje provinces was completed in mid-2017, along with Bengo and Luanda provinces in August/September 2017. This leaves only three provinces where re-survey has yet to be completed: Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul, where re-survey efforts were ongoing and due to be completed in 2018; and Cabinda, the only province where re-survey had yet to commence at September 2018.[3]

Antipersonnel mine contamination by province (as of April 2018)[4]

Province

CHAs

Area (m2)

SHAs

Area (m2)

Bengo

55

4,278,431

0

0

Benguela

71

4,305,107

0

0

Bié

119

6,007,303

0

0

Cabinda

2

49,500

34

7,643,567

Huambo

5

517,497

0

0

Huila

17

3,219,680

0

0

Kuando Kubango

248

22,666,069

0

0

Kunene

33

2,575,367

0

0

Kwanza Norte

41

7,038,501

0

0

Kwanza Sul

127

8,585,995

1

35,000

Luanda

9

1,121,211

0

0

Lunda Norte

N/R

N/R

47

7,756,788

Lunda Sul

9

523,980

96

39,776,600

Malanje

10

1,569,312

0

0

Moxico

186

11,254,849

40

1,196,085

Namibe

3

253,750

0

0

Uige

47

6,513,964

3

1,860,000

Zaire

17

8,823,000

0

0

Total

999

89,303,516

221

58,268,040

Note: N/R = not reported.

One operator estimated, however, that as of April 2018, a total of 1,219 tasks remained to be addressed, with a total estimated size of 92km2. This calculation was made on the basis of the expected outcome of final re-survey efforts across the whole country.[5] If accurate, it would be a very considerable decrease from the national estimate from mid-2014 of almost 129km2 of CHA and 356km2 of SHA.[6]

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. Historically, the most affected provinces have been those with the fiercest and most prolonged fighting, such as Bié, Kuando Kubango, and Moxico. Landmines affect some of the poorest and most marginalized communities in the country, including those experiencing chronic food insecurity.[7] In 2017, remaining contamination was predominately located in rural, underdeveloped areas.[8] Mines continue to have a significant socio-economic impact for these communities and impede the return of the displaced and block access to land and water.[9]

Much of the land released by mine action is used for agriculture, which is of critical importance for acutely poor communities reliant on subsistence farming. But the lack of safe land also continues to have implications for larger-scale agricultural production as Angola seeks to diversify its sources of national income. 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 mines was a serious impediment to many of these.[10]

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 town-based populations afterwards. HALO Trust reported in 2018 that many of the cities and towns in Angola had witnessed significant urban expansion, following reconstruction enabled by mine clearance. At the same time, rural populations have been largely left without support to deal with mine contamination, which for hundreds of communities means living beside minefields, with the daily threat of mines, despite the end of the conflict over 15 years ago.[11]

In 2018, MAG continued to emphasize Angola’s critical need to diversify its economy following the crash in global oil prices in mid-2014. Contamination from mines continued to hamper social and economic development, and new victims continued to be reported, often children, it said. Food security and improved livelihoods remained dependent on access to cleared land for housing, farming, access to water sources, and small market production. As in 2017, a reverse migration continued in its areas of operations, with the return of populations from coastal urban areas to subsistence farming in the provinces, along with the spontaneous return of internally displaced persons and refugee populations.[12]

Cluster munition contamination

The extent to which Angola is affected by cluster munition remnants remains unclear. There is no confirmed contamination, but there may remain abandoned cluster munitions or unexploded submunitions. Cluster munition contamination was a result of decades of armed conflict that ended in 2002, although it is unclear when, or by whom, cluster munitions were used in Angola. In 2011, HALO and INAD affirmed that unexploded submunitions remained in Cuando Cubango province.[13]

None of the three international mine action operators working in Angola—HALO, MAG, and NPA—reported encountering any cluster munition remnants in operations in 2017 or the first half of 2018.[14]

The last recorded finding of cluster munition remnants was in August 2016, when HALO found two Alpha submunitions in Cunene province, which were reported by local residents to a HALO survey team during re-survey operations.[15] A number of damaged bomb casings were also found but, according to HALO, it was unclear if the bombs had been fired at a target in the area or if they were jettisoned after an unsuccessful mission and the bomblets scattered on the ground.[16]

HALO stated that this was an isolated case and noted that it had seen very little evidence of cluster munition strikes in Angola. In addition, the majority of bomblets the organization had destroyed were aging items from military stockpiles, which the military had identified and requested the organization to destroy.[17]

According to reports from NGO operators in the national mine action database, cluster munition remnants ceased to be found in significant numbers after 2008, with the exception of HALO reporting finding and destroying 12 submunitions in 2012 and encountering the two above-mentioned submunitions in 2016.As of May 2018, the other clearance operators had not found cluster munition remnants in more than 10 years.[18]

More typical of cluster munition destruction is the disposal of old or unserviceable cluster munitions identified by HALO’s Weapons and Ammunition Disposal (WAD) teams in military storage areas, some of which were earmarked for destruction by the Angolan Armed Forces. Between 2005 and 2012, HALO’s WAD teams reported destroying a total of 7,284 submunitions.[19] In May 2018, HALO confirmed it had not been asked by the military to do any further destruction of cluster munition stockpiles since 2012.[20]

Other explosive remnants of war and landmines

Angola also has a significant problem of ERW, especially unexploded ordnance (UXO).[21]

Program Management

Angola’s national mine action program is managed by two mine action structures. CNIDAH serves as the national mine action center. It reports to the Council of Ministers or, in effect, to the Presidency of the Republic. It also accredits NGOs and commercial demining companies. Under the vice-governor of each province, CNIDAH’s 18 provincial operations offices set annual objectives.

The other coordination body, the the Executive Commission for Demining (Comissão Executiva de Desminagem, 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).[22] INAD, which was established in 2002 in order to separate coordination and operational roles, is responsible, under the auspices of the MASFAMU, for demining operations and training.

Strategic planning

In 2017, Angola submitted a request to extend its Article 5 deadline for a further eight years, until the end of 2025. Operators commended CNIDAH’s inclusive and participatory approach to the elaboration of the request.[23] The initial version of the request did not contain a detailed workplan or annual clearance targets, but suggested that clearance could gradually phase out, with clearance of less-contaminated provinces completed first.[24]

Angola’s revised extension request, submitted in November 2017, set out annual targets for clearance on a province-by-province basis (see Article 5 section). As of June 2018, no new detailed strategic plan had been published since the expiration of Angola’s 2013–2017 Mine Action Strategic Plan, despite the significant effort made to accurately define all remaining mined areas for inclusion in the initial Article 5 extension request. According to HALO, a key challenge hindering the development of such a strategy or detailed workplan was the difficulty faced by CNIDAH and operators to project and actualize the completion of annual clearance targets on the basis of the severely limited funding available in 2017, along with a lack of engagement from donors on prioritization.[25]

In granting the Article 5 extension request in December 2017, States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty stipulated that Angola should submit an updated workplan to detail activities and land release output projections for the duration of the request period. At the 16th Meeting of States Parties in December 2017, Angola pledged to submit an updated workplan by the 17th Meeting of States Parties in November 2018.[26]

Legislation and standards

There is no national mine action legislation in Angola, based on available information.

According to Angola’s revised November 2017 extension request, a process has been initiated to update its national standards on management and quality control.[27]

Quality management

CNIDAH is responsible for undertaking external quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) of mine action activities, including QC of all completed tasks prior to handover of land to beneficiaries.[28]

In 2017, HALO indicated that QA at provincial level remained generally weak, due to lack of funding and support. The frequency of worksite visits varied between provinces and there was a significant backlog of tasks awaiting formal handover in HALO Trust’s areas of operations, it said. While these were being addressed by joint HALO/CNIDAH post-clearance visits on a province-by-province basis, as an interim measure, informal handovers took place between HALO and local beneficiaries in order to facilitate more timely use of returned land. HALO further reported that CNIDAH was openly requesting donor assistance for improvement of its quality management capacity.[29]

NPA reported that CNIDAH conducted QC on several of its tasks during the year, while MAG stated that the CNIDAH team visited its operations regularly.[30] NPA reported that while CNIDAH’s provincial offices were facing considerable restrictions due to lack of funding, in coordination and with support from NPA, including for transport, tasks carried out in 2017 were eventually quality assured by CNIDAH.[31]

CNIDAH reported in its revised Article 5 extension request that while improvements in its own and the CED’s QC teams had been made, more remained to be done requiring “special measures in relation to this challenge.”[32]

Information management

Angola’s mine action program has been plagued with difficulties in information management for more than a decade, impeding efforts to achieve a comprehensive, accurate understanding of contamination. As a consequence, Angola has made widely different and conflicting claims of the extent of its mine problem. Two issues are at the crux of Angola’s inability to construct a reliable mine action database: on the one hand, CNIDAH’s database does not match NGOs’ own records, while on the other, CED operators fail to report to CNIDAH in the IMSMA format.[33] Operators have persistently raised concerns about inaccurate data, inconsistency and unreliability of information, internal issues within CNIDAH, and lengthy delays in updating data.[34]

In early 2016, IMSMA New Generation (NG) was installed with the help of the GICHD. The cleaning up of discrepancies resulted in significant areas of SHA and CHA being cancelled from the database.[35]

Unfortunately, despite the significant efforts invested in improving the accuracy of the database and progress in reconciling data, these advances were not reflected in the Article 5 extension requests submitted by CNIDAH in 2017. The initial May request contains inconsistencies between key figures in the narrative text and in the supporting annexes, as well as calculation errors.[36] The revised November request is an improvement, though it still contains inconsistencies between figures reported in the request and in annexed tables.

CNIDAH reported in April 2018 that efforts continued in order to harmonize its database with CED data, but stated that further work on use and management of data was needed with respect to INAD, which is the guardian of the IMSMA database for the CED, the Demining Brigades of the Security Unit of the President of the Republic, the Angolan armed forces, and the Angola Border Guard Police.[37]

In 2018, MAG reported that the significant discrepancies in the extension request and between the NGO operators’ reporting and the CNIDAH database had been noted and were in process of being cleared from the IMSMA database.[38] MAG and HALO reported that new figures for the re-survey work they conducted in 2017 in Bengo, Luanda, and Moxico were not reflected in the request, despite the re-survey having been completed by May 2017.[39]

HALO reported that in recent years, due to Angola’s ongoing financial crisis, CNIDAH continued to have difficulties to pay for reliable internet connections that would facilitate basic data transfers. Instead, operators were having to visit CNIDAH in Luanda and transfer data directly via memory sticks.[40]

Operators

Three international NGOs conducted humanitarian demining in Angola in 2017: HALO Trust, MAG, and NPA. Operators included local 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), and Associação Terra Mãe (ATM).

From 2007 to 2017, collectively the resources of the three largest operators, HALO, MAG, and NPA declined by nearly 90%.[41]

In 2017, HALO employed, on average, 292 staff, a reduction of 23 on the previous year. On average in 2017, 16 manual demining teams were operational along with one mechanical demining team operating a DIGGER tiller, as well as two combined survey, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), risk education, and minefield marking teams.[42]

On 8 March 2017, HALO introduced a “100 Women in Demining in Angola” project, with the aim of empowering 100 women through recruitment, training, and employment across a range of mine action roles, including operations, administration, logistics, and fleet support. The focus of the project was Benguela province, where more than 75 minefields continued to impact local communities and demining operations had stopped in 2014 due to a lack of funding. As of June 2018, HALO reported that 36 women had been trained as deminers, 20 had been trained as paramedic-deminers, and three had been trained as drivers. Demining had included clearance of two minefields totaling 60,000m2, with more than 200 mines and items of UXO destroyed.[43]

HALO reported a significant reduction in demining capacity in Cuito Cuanavale in Kuando Kubango province in the first half of 2017 due to reduced funding, forcing it to suspend all demining operations and the deployment of six local demining teams. Some overall capacity was recovered later in the year as a result of its “100 Women in Demining” project in Benguela province. HALO noted that it considered Cuito Cuanavale to be the most heavily mined town in Africa, despite the removal of more than 35,000 mines in 2005–2017.[44]

At the start of 2017, MAG employed a total of 83 national staff and four international staff, which increased to 98 national staff and five international staff at the end of 2017, as a result of increased funding. It reported training its first female deminers in April 2018. In 2017, it began deploying a Mini-MineWolf 240 and a TEREX Ground Preparation machine.[45]

In 2017, NPA reported that its operational capacity faced two major staff reductions during the year: the number of deminers dropped from 74 in January–February to 44 in December. Mechanical assets could only be financially supported and deployed in the first half of 2017, and operations resumed to manual demining only in July–December 2017.[46] NPA also continued its partnership with international demining NGO APOPO during the year, which employed eight mine detection rat handlers and two mechanical operators, and four deminers from October 2016 to operate a brush-cutter machine.[47]

Collectively, the four CED operators—the Armed Forces, the Military Office of the President, INAD, and the
Police Border Guard—are working in all18 provinces. They are tasked by the government to clear or verify areas prioritized by national infrastructure development plans.[48] A number of commercial companies[49] operate in Angola and are accredited by and report to CNIDAH, but are mostly employed by state or private companies to verify areas to be used for investment, whether or not they are known to contain SHAs.[50]

Land Release (mines)

Prior to Angola’s submission of its Article 5 deadline extension request in 2017, the various problems with the national database, including the different reporting formats between CNIDAH and CED, made it difficult to describe in detail and with any degree of accuracy the extent of land released in Angola over the years. Additionally, data from the CED and commercial companies have not been made available. Angola did not provide land release results in its Article 7 report for June 2017 to December 2017.

Operators reported an increase in total land release from 138.4km2 released by survey and clearance in 2016 to close to 141.6km2 in 2017. This was due to accelerated efforts to complete re-survey in preparation for the submission of the extension request. The amount of land released through clearance remained steady, dropping only marginally from just under 1.2km2 in 2016 to just over 1.18km2 in 2017, despite funding and capacity for clearance continuing to decrease.[51]

Angola’s progress in land cancelled and reduced through survey has resulted in a hugely significant amount of land release, with close to 274km2 of land released in just two years.

Survey in 2017 (mines)

International operators completed re-survey of Moxico and Malanje provinces in mid-2017, along with Bengo and Luanda provinces in August/September 2017. This leaves only three provinces where re-survey has yet to be completed: Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul, where re-survey efforts were ongoing and due to be completed in 2018; and Cabinda, the only province where re-survey had yet to commence at September 2018.[52]

International operators reported cancelling more than 138km2 of SHA through non-technical survey in 2017, and reducing a further 2.4km2 through technical survey, while confirming as contaminated 143 mined areas with a total size of over 15km2 (see table below).[53] This compares to 2016 when nearly 136km2 of SHA was cancelled through non-technical survey, 1.2km2 reduced through technical survey, and 155 areas with a total size of nearly 7.8km2 confirmed as mined.[54]

Mined area survey in 2017[55]

Operator

SHAs cancelled

Area cancelled (m²)

Areas confirmed

Area confirmed (m²)

Area reduced by TS (m2)

HALO (Bengo)

96

61,879,866

55

3,440,820

0

HALO (Benguela)

6

566,723

2

97,300

0

HALO (Bié)

2

20,000

0

0

0

HALO (Huambo)

1

20,600

1

1,971

489,652

HALO (Huila)

0

0

0

0

2,901

HALO (Kuando Kubango)

2

63,250

3

88,500

208,576

HALO (Luanda)

45

15,459,511

9

1,121,211

0

MAG (Moxico)

59

10,131,044

17

769,344

116,669

MAG (Lunda Sul)

99

39,318,011

42

7,260,216

0

MAG (Lunda Norte)

9

6,641,500

0

0

0

NPA (Malanje)

6

803,555

10

1,772,867

1,393,062

NPA (Uige)

6

3,457,953

4

599,046

215,646

Total

331

138,362,013

143

15,151,275

2,426,506

Note: TS = technical survey.

In March 2017, NPA completed re-survey of Malanje province.[56] Its survey output increased dramatically in 2017 to close to 5.9km2 released through non-technical and technical survey, and just under 2.4km2 confirmed, compared with just over 0.6km2 released through survey and 0.4km2 confirmed in 2016. It reported that this was due to refresher trainings for operational staff on land release methodologies and a task which consisted of an old electric power transport line of approximately 18km in length, allowed for a high portion of the land reduced through technical survey, in comparison with survey outputs in 2016.[57] NPA reported that a further 3.25km2 was cancelled as a result of database clean-up in Uige province in 2017.[58]

MAG reported that it completed non-technical re-survey of Moxico province in May 2017, although it noted that CNIDAH only completed updating the IMSMA database with the results in the first quarter of 2018. As of September 2018, non-technical survey in Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul, which began in June–July 2017, was ongoing, and was expected to be completed by the end of 2018.[59] Its re-survey of Moxico province identified a total of 244 tasks with a total size of more than 13.5km2 remaining. This marked the end of a three-year process to re-survey the province in which a total of 221 tasks were cancelled and 108km2 cancelled or reduced.[60]

HALO Trust completed re-survey of Bengo and Luanda provinces in August and September 2017, however, the results of the re-survey were not included in the figures presented in Angola’s extension request. It intended to start re-survey of the last remaining province, Cabinda, in April 2019 once the rainy season ended, and estimated that it could complete re-survey by September 2019.[61]

Clearance in 2017 (mines)

As set out in the table below, international NGO operators reported clearing a total of over 1.18km2 of mined area in 2017, destroying in the process 3,480 antipersonnel mines, 114 antivehicle mines, and 2,201 ERW.[62] The amount of area cleared is similar to 2016, when NGO operators reported clearing a total of just under 1.2km2 of mined area.[63] However, the amount of mines found and destroyed nearly trebled from 1,255 in 2016, suggesting an improvement in targeted and efficient clearance and land release operations.[64]

Mine clearance in 2017[65]

Operator

Province

Areas cleared

Area cleared (m²)

AP mines destroyed

AV mines destroyed

UXO destroyed

HALO

Benguela

4

28,780

44

0

110

Huambo

18

364,237

27

9

441

Huila

1

10,828

20

0

1

Kuando Kubango

7

326,062

1,957

16

62

MAG

Moxico

2

291,477

188

88

1,524

NPA

Malanje

13

163,262

1,224

1

53

Uige

2

0

20

0

10

Total

 

47

1,184,646

3,480

114

2,201

Note: AP = antipersonnel; AV = antivehicle.

Additionally, NPA reported destroying 12 antipersonnel mines, four antivehicle mines, and 67 items of UXO in spot tasks in 2017.[66] MAG deployed an EOD team to clear spot tasks, destroying 45 antipersonnel mines, one antivehicle mine, and 545 items of UXO.[67] HALO reported destroying nine antipersonnel mines, five antivehicle mines, and 196 items of UXO in EOD spot tasks.[68]

MAG reported that its significant increase in clearance output in 2017 of nearly 0.29km2 up from 0.16km2 in 2016 was due to the use of a MineWolf 240 as a ground preparation asset, followed by manual clearance.[69]

HALO Trust reported that its decrease in clearance output in 2017, from just over 0.8km2 in 2016 to just under 0.7km2 in 2017, was a direct result of experienced demining capacity having to be suspended due to lack of funding where operations were ongoing, while a new capacity had to be recruited and trained in new areas, where new funding was able to be secured.[70]

In 2016, HALO Trust launched a “Mine Impact Free Huambo” initiative, with the goal of completing clearance of Huambo province by end-2018. With support from a consortium of partners including the United States (US), Switzerland, and Japan, along with the Canton of Bern and DIGGER Foundation, HALO Trust aimed to deploy 10 demining teams and a DIGGER D-250 tiller to complete clearance of Huambo within three years.[71] As of July 2018, HALO reported that five minefields remained to be cleared, and if access to one minefield around an ammunition storage area at a military base was granted, it believed that clearance of Huambo province would be completed before the end of 2018.[72]

Following completion of re-survey in 2017, NPA reported completing clearance of all known and registered tasks in Malanje province as at end-May 2018, marking a highly significant milestone of the first province to be declared free of the threat of mines in Angola, following official declaration by CNIDAH.[73]

Land Release (cluster munition remnants)

No land containing cluster munition contamination was reported to have been released by clearance or survey in 2017.

Land release of other explosive remnants of war

HALO used funding from the US Department of State to respond to 131 EOD call-outs across six other provinces during the year.[74]

Deminer safety

HALO Trust reported that on 13 February 2018 one of its deminers was severely injured after he initiated a Soviet-made fragmentation mine that had fallen off its wooden stake and both tripwire and mine had become buried below the surface.[75]

Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 Compliance

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty (and in accordance with
the eight-year extension granted by States Parties in 2017), Angola is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 31 December 2025. It is unclear whether it will meet this deadline.

According to its revised November 2017 extension request, Angola intends to meet the following annual milestones: 176 mined areas addressed in 2018; 189 mined areas addressed in 2019; 190 mined areas addressed in 2020; 188 mined areas addressed in 2021; and 688 mined areas addressed in 2022–2025.[76] At the same time, annexed tables accompanying the revised request contain a more detailed breakdown of annual targets for remaining contamination to be addressed. However these figures are inconsistent with the annual targets in the request itself, and with the conflicting total estimates of contamination reportedly remaining to be addressed.

At the 16th Meeting of States Parties, Angola was requested to provide an updated and detailed workplan providing greater clarity on the amount of remaining contaminated area and milestones for completion. The Article 5 Committee noted that this workplan should contain an updated list of all areas known or suspected to contain antipersonnel mines, annual projections of which areas would be dealt with by which organizations during the remaining period covered by the request and a detailed updated budget.[77] Angola pledged to submit this updated workplan by the 17th Meeting of States Parties in November 2018.[78]

In 2018, HALO, MAG, and NPA, reported that Angola’s new Article 5 deadline of 2025 would not be met if current funding levels are not significantly increased.[79] All three operators were badly affected by the US’s decision to pull its funding for mine action in Angola, which ended in April 2018.[80]

In 2017, annual funding was only 19% of the then projected amount needed ($275 million) to complete mine clearance by the end of 2025.[81] In 2016, the loss of funding from the European Union (EU) Development Fund for demining impacted all international operators with demining effectively coming to a halt in five provinces (Bié, Benguela, Cunene, Kwanza Sul, and Kwanza Norte).[82] A steady decline in funding continued in 2017, culminating in the critical loss of US funding for mine action operations in April 2018. Prior to that, US support had accounted for 80% of all funding for mine action in Angola following the withdrawal of the EU in 2016.[83]

According to HALO Trust, with the lack of a strategic plan in place for 2018 or going forward, only individual donor workplans as brokered by operators existed, which were endorsed by CNIDAH.[84]

The revised November 2017 extension request indicates that the total cost for activities planned during the period of the extension is US$348 million.[85] According to the revised 2017 extension request, two roundtables will be held in 2017–2018 with potential donors from the banking, industrial, steel and other sectors, with the aim of mobilizing public, private, national, and foreign resources.[86] A roundtable to this effect was held in June 2017, followed by a larger conference in November 2017.[87] According to the revised extension request, a strategy for a thematic approach to funding will also be developed. The request states that mobilization of national funding will require persuasion of “competent bodies of the Angolan State, through existing legal planning mechanisms for this purpose,” adding that CNIDAH is primarily responsible for the implementation of the strategy, which it said is already in progress.[88]

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, and assistance from international demining organizations has been vital to clear poor and rural areas.[89] Despite not funding mine action by international operators directly in 2017, the government did continue to make available in-kind support, such as free use of land for office compounds, and institutional incentives such as tax exemptions on the import of goods.[90] However, according to MAG, a new tax code introduced in 2018 restricted tax-exempt items to uniforms, blankets, and tents only, while its primary import costs were from cars and spare parts and no longer tax-exempt.[91]

News that clearance of two provinces, Malanje and Huambo, are on-track to being reported completed by 2018 is highly encouraging. Completion of these provinces will be major steps forward for Angola’s mine action program and a demonstration that meaningful progress is achievable to reach Angola’s completion target of 2025.

Five-year summary of clearance

Year

Area cleared (km2)

2017

1.2

2016

1.2

2015

4.1

2014

2.2

2013

3.8

Total

12.5

 

Progress Towards Completion of Cluster Munition Clearance

HALO reported in May 2018 that it had not been able to deploy any capacity to address the area around the Alpha bomblets identified during the re-survey of Cunene province in August 2016 due to a lack of funding.[92]

No clearance of cluster munition remnants has been conducted in the past five years.

 

The Monitor acknowledges the contributions of the Mine Action Review (www.mineactionreview.org), which has conducted the primary mine action research in 2018 and shared all its country-level landmine reports (from“Clearing the Mines 2018”) and country-level cluster munition reports (from “Clearing Cluster Munition Remnants 2018”) with the Monitor. The Monitor is responsible for the findings presented online and in its print publications.



[1] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for June 2017–April 2018), p. 8.

[2] Ibid., p. 7.

[3] Ibid., p. 8; and email from Gerhard Zank, Programme Manager, HALO Trust, 11 September 2018.

[4] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for June 2017–April 2018), p. 8.

[5] Email from Jeanette Dijkstra, Country Director, MAG, 24 April 2018.

[6] Figures as ofJune 2014. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for 2013), Form C.

[7] Email from Vanja Sikirica, Country Director, NPA, 11 May 2016; and response to questionnaire by Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 22 May 2017.

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

[9] Ibid.; and from Joaquim da Costa, NPA, 10 May 2018; and Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 24 April 2018.

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

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

[12] Email from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 24 April 2018.

[13] Interviews with Jose Antonio, Site Manager, Cuando Cubango, HALO; and with Coxe Sucama, Director, INAD, in Menongue, 24 June 2011.

[14] Emails from Gerhard Zank, HALO, 17 May 2018; from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 24 April 2018; and from Joaquim da Costa, NPA, 10 May 2018.

[15] The Alpha bomblet was developed in Rhodesia in 1970 and later in South Africa in the 1980s. It was produced to be incorporated into the CB470 cluster bomb, which contained 40 Alpha submunitions each and were designed to be dropped from baskets or “hoppers” in the bomb bays of bomber aircraft. Email from Gerhard Zank, HALO, 2 May 2017; and Weapons Systems, “CB470,” undated.

[16] Email from Gerhard Zank, HALO, 3 May 2017.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Prior to this, as of February 2008, NPA reported clearing 13 submunitions in Kwanza Sul province; MAG reported clearing 140 submunitions in Moxico province; and HALO reported clearing 230 submunitions in Bié province. NPA reported finding no cluster munition remnants during its operations in northern Angola, with the exception of a small number of submunitions found in 2008. Menschen gegen Minen (MgM) reported that no cluster munition remnants had been discovered in its areas of operations in southeast Angola from 1997 through to May 2016, including near Jamba, an area in the southeast of the province where contamination might have been expected. Response to questionnaire by Gerhard Zank, HALO, 19 March 2013; and emails from Vanja Sikirica, NPA, 11 May 2016; from Kenneth O’Connell, Technical Director, MgM, 5 May and 15 June 2016; from Gerhard Zank, HALO, 17 May 2016; from Bill Marsden, Regional Director, East and Southern Africa, MAG, 18 May 2016; and from Mohammad Qasim, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)/CNIDAH, 22 February 2008.

[19] Response to questionnaire by Gerhard Zank, HALO, 19 March 2013.

[20] Email from Gerhard Zank, HALO, 17 May 2018.

[21] Response to questionnaire by Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 22 May 2017; and email, 17 May 2016.

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

[23] Response to questionnaire by Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 22 May 2017; and email from Vanja Sikirica, NPA, 11 May 2017.

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

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

[26] Statement by Amb. Maria de Jesus Dos Reis Ferreira, Mine Ban Treaty 16thMeeting of States Parties, Vienna, 21 December 2017.

[27] Mine Ban Treaty Second revised Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 14 November 2017, p. 14.

[28] Ibid.; and emails from Joaquim da Costa, NPA, 10 May 2018; and from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 24 April 2018.

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

[30] Emails from Joaquim da Costa, NPA, 10 May 2018; and from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 24 April 2018.

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

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

[33] Email from Vanja Sikirica, NPA, 11 May 2016; and interview with Joaquim Merca, CNIDAH, in Geneva, 10 April 2014.

[34] Response to questionnaire by Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 22 May 2017; and emails from Vanja Sikirica, NPA, 11 May 2017, and 11 May 2016; from Bill Marsden, MAG, 2 May 2017, and 17 October 2016;and from Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 17 May 2016.

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

[36] Ibid.

[37] Mine Ban Treaty Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 11 May 2017, p. 12; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report (for June 2017–April 2018), p. 7.

[38] Email from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 24 April 2018.

[39] Ibid; and, email from Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 11 September 2018.

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

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

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

[43] Ibid.

[44] Ibid.

[45] Email from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 24 April 2018.

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

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

[48] CNIDAH, “Angola: workplan 2014–17 for the Ottawa Convention Article 5 extension period,” June 2014, p. 6.

[49] Including: Yola Comercial, Fragilpe, Kubuila, Prodminas, Mavaarum, OJK, VDS, PAFRA, Anglowest, Sedita, Teleservice, and Grupo Everest. CNIDAH, “Angola: workplan 2014–17 for the Ottawa Convention Article 5 extension period,” June 2014. According to CNIDAH, a total of 25 commercial companies conducted demining activities from 2012–2016. Mine Ban Treaty Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 11 May 2017, p. 17.

[50] Email from Joaquim Merca, CNIDAH, 12 May 2014.

[51] Emails from Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 15 June 2018; from Joaquim da Costa, NPA, 10 May 2018; and from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 24 April 2018; and questionnaire response by Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 22 May 2017; and emails from Vanja Sikirica, NPA, 11 May 2017; and from Bill Marsden, MAG, 2 May 2017.

[52] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for June 2017–April 2018), p. 8; and email from Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 11 September 2018.

[53] Emails from Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 15 June 2018; from Joaquim da Costa, NPA, 10 May 2018; and from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 24 April 2018.

[54] Response to questionnaire by Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 22 May 2017; and emails from Vanja Sikirica, NPA, 11 May 2017; and from Bill Marsden, MAG, 2 May 2017.

[55] Emails from Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 15 June 2018; from Joaquim da Costa, NPA, 10 May 2018; and from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 24 April 2018. NPA reported that five of the 10 areas it confirmed as CHAs in Malanje province in 2017 referred to new areas, which were not previously recorded as SHAs in the CNIDAH database.

[56] Emails from Joaquim da Costa, NPA, 25 September 2017; and from Nicola Jay Naidu, NPA, 11 September 2018.

[57] Email from Joaquim da Costa, NPA, 10 May 2018. According to NPA, the task consisted of an 18km-long electric power line with poles every 300 meters or so and up to 20 mines surrounding each pole. Full clearance around the poles, combined with exploratory technical survey lines between the poles, accounted for the large increase in reduction through technical survey in 2017.

[58] Emails from Vanja Sikirica, NPA, 11 May and 29 September 2017; and from Nicola Jay Naidu, NPA, 11 September 2018.

[59] Emails from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 24 April and 7 September 2018.

[60] Email from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 29 September 2017.

[61] Email from Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 11 September 2018.

[62] Response to questionnaire by Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 22 May 2017; and emails from Vanja Sikirica, NPA, 11 May 2017; from Bill Marsden, MAG, 2 May 2017; and from Joaquim da Costa, NPA, 28 September 2017. Figures reported by NPA include outputs by APOPO’s mine detection rats.

[63] Response to questionnaire by Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 22 May 2017; and emails from Vanja Sikirica, NPA, 11 May 2017; from Bill Marsden, MAG, 2 May 2017; and from Joaquim da Costa, NPA, 28 September 2017. Figures reported by NPA include outputs by APOPO’s mine detection rats.

[64] Emails from Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 15 June 2018; from Joaquim da Costa, NPA, 10 May 2018; and from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 24 April 2018; and response to questionnaire by Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 22 May 2017; and emails from Vanja Sikirica, NPA, 11 May 2017; and from Bill Marsden, MAG, 2 May 2017.

[65] Emails from Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 15 June 2018; from Joaquim da Costa, NPA, 10 May 2018; and from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 24 April 2018.

[66] Email from Joaquim da Costa, NPA, 10 May 2018. NPA reported additionally carrying out battle area clearance in 2017, making its total land release figure for the year 2,092,288m2.

[67] Email from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 29 September 2017.

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

[69] Email from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 24 April 2018.

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

[71] Response to questionnaire by Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 22 May 2017.

[72] Email from Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 16 September 2018.

[73] Emails from Joaquim da Costa, NPA, 10 May 2018; and from Nicola Jay Naidu, NPA, 11 September 2018.

[74] Email from Gerhard Zank, HALO, 17 May 2018.

[75] Ibid., 15 June 2018.

[76] Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline Extension Request Analysis, 1 December 2017, p. 4.

[77] Ibid., p. 6.

[78] Statement by Amb. Maria de Jesus Dos Reis Ferreira, Mine Ban Treaty 16thMeeting of States Parties, Vienna, 21 December 2017.

[79] Emails from Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 15 June 2018; from Joaquim da Costa, NPA, 10 May 2018; and from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 24 April 2018.

[80] Emails from Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 15 June 2018; from Joaquim da Costa, NPA, 10 May 2018; and from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 24 April 2018.

[81] Stratton and Loughran, “Issue Brief: Time to Change Course, Angola and The Ottawa Treaty,” MAG, April 2017.

[82] Ibid.; and emails from Gerhard Zank, 17 May and 17 October 2016. The EU has been a major donor in Angola. In 2013, its office in Angola announced it would provide another €20 million ($25 million) for mine action in 2013–2017. After delays that slowed demining operations, €18.9 million ($25 million) was finally provided through the 10th European Development Fund. However, support for demining from the Fund ended in 2016.

[83] Emails from Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 15 June 2018; from Joaquim da Costa, NPA, 10 May 2018; and from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 24 April 2018; and Loughran and Wallen, “State of Play: The Landmine Free 2025 Commitment,” MAG and HALO Trust, December 2017.

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

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

[86] Ibid., p. 21.

[87] Email from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 10 September 2018.

[88] Mine Ban Treaty Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request (revised), 14 November 2017, p. 21.

[89] Response to questionnaire by Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 22 May 2017.

[90] Emails from Gerhard Zank, HALO Trust, 15 June 2018; and from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 24 April 2018.In 2017, MAG reported that in-kind support from the government of Angola continued in the form of rent-free operations base, field camp, and training area, and that deminers had received plots of land for farming or housing in the past. HALO reported that its compounds and camps/office facilities were operated on rent-free land provided by relevant provincial governments in Huambo, Kuito, Menongue, and Cuito Cuanavale.

[91] Email from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 10 September 2018.

[92] Ibid., and 3 May 2017. After finding the two Alpha bomblets in August 2016, HALO was planning to carry out limited battle area clearance around the reported area until fade-out. They were intending to perform this work, subject to funding, in July or August 2017, during Angola’s dry season when items can be more easily seen.


Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 19 November 2018

In 2017, the Republic of Angola received US$3.1 million (a 35% decrease from 2016) from five donors.[1] As in 2016, Angola did not receive international support for victim assistance in 2017. Instead, all funds were allocated to clearance and risk education activities.

International contributions: 2017[2]

Donor

Sector

Amount   (national currency)

Amount (US$)

US

Clearance and risk education

$2,000,000

2,000,000

Japan

Clearance

¥94,402,661

842,129

Norway

Clearance

NOK1,499,000

181,304

United Kingdom

Clearance

£44,625

57,522

Switzerland

Clearance

CHF46,268

47,011

Total

 

 

3,127,966

 

The government of Angola has contributed some $365 million to its mine action program since 2013, or 87% of its total mine action budget. In 2017, it contributed AOA7.4 billion ($45.1 million) resulting in a $48.2 million overall budget.[3]

In 2013–2017, Angola was one of the 10 largest recipients of international mine action funding and received more than $56 million. However, a downward trend has been apparent since 2013 with a continuous decline in international assistance that has dropped from $32.6 million in 2013 to just $3.1 million in 2017.

Summary of contributions: 2013–2017[4]

Year

National contributions

International contributions (US$)

Total Budget

2017

45,079,260

3,127,966

48,207,226

2016

24,497,253

4,797,332

29,294,585

2015

59,168,559

6,650, 365

65,818,924

2014

121,096,790

32,077,878

153,174,668

2013

115,425,303

10,084,060

125,509,363

Total

365,267,165

56,737,601

422,004,766

 



[1] Japan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form I, 30 April 2018; Switzerland, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form I, 30 April 2018; United Kingdom, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form I, 30 April 2018; emails from Ingrid Schoyen, Senior Adviser, Section for Humanitarian Affairs, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 25 September 2018; and from Katherine Baker, Foreign Affairs Officer, Weapons Removal and Abatement, US Department of State, 8 and 24 October 2018.

[2] Average exchange rate for 2017: CHF0.9842=US$1; NOK8.2679=US$1; £1=1.289; ¥112.1=US$1. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 11 January 2018.

[3] Republic of Angola, Ministry of Finance, National Budget 2017 (Dotação Orçamental por Orgão), 22 December 2016. Average exchange rate for 2017: AOA165.09=US$1, Oanda.com, Historical Exchange Rates.

[4] See previous Monitor reports.


Casualties

Last updated: 26 June 2018

 

Casualties[1]

All known casualties

Unknown. Estimates vary, including of up to 60,000 or over 88,000 persons injured by mines/explosive remnants of war (ERW)[2]

Casualties in 2017

Annual total

43

2% decrease from 44 in 2016

Survival outcome

25 killed; 18 injured

Device type causing casualties

12 antipersonnel mines; 3 antivehicle mines; 23 ERW; 5 undifferentiated mines/ERW

Civilian status

42 civilian; 1 deminer

6 unknown

Age and gender

17 adults:
1 woman; 15 men; 1 unknown

20 children:
18 boys; 2 girls

 

 

Casualties in 2017—details

There is no national casualty surveillance system. The 2017 mine/ERW casualty data for the Republic of Angola was provided by three demining operators: HALO Trust, Mines Advisory Group (MAG), and Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA). Therefore, casualties were only reported in the provinces where these NGOs are conducting mine clearance: Benguela, Bié, Huambo, Kuando Kubango, Lunda Sul, Malanje, Moxico, and Zaire.

MAG reported that in the three provinces whaere it works—Moxico, Lunda Norte, and Lunda Sul—accidents probably go unreported due to lack of communication and reporting systems.[3] In a 2015 report, 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.”[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]

As of the end of 2014, the National Intersectorial Commission for Humanitarian Demining and Assistance (CNIDAH) had registered 9,165 survivors in the provinces of Benguela, Cabinda, Cunene, Huambo, Huíla, Malanje, Namibe, Uíge, and Zaire as part of its national mine/ERW victim survey.[7] The survey was suspended due to a lack of funds. CNIDAH estimates that the total number of injured mine/ERW casualties may be between 40,000 and 60,000.[8]

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 persons with disabilities.[9]

Cluster munition casualties

CNIDAH’s national victim survey identified at least 354 cluster munition survivors, all in the province of Huambo.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13] As such, reports of cluster munitions victims in Angola could not be confirmed as of May 2017.



[1] Unless otherwise indicated, casualty data for 2017 is based on emails from Joaquim da Costa, Acting Country Director, Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), 22 February 2018; from Gerhard Zank, Programme Manager, HALO Trust, 17 February 2018; and from Jeanette Dijkstra, Country Director, MAG, 8 February 2018.

[2] Interview with Adriano Goncalves, Head of International Relations, National Intersectorial Commission for Humanitarian Demining and Assistance (CNIDAH), Geneva, 8 June 2018.

[3] Email from Jeanette Dijkstra, MAG, 8 February 2018.

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

[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] 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.

[8] Interview with Adriano Goncalves, CNIDAH, Geneva, 8 June 2018.

[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. Angola had previously estimated that there were 70,000 to 80,000 mine survivors in Angola, representing 78% 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. For this and other estimates of casualty totals see previous victim assistance profiles in the Monitor.

[10] 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.

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

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

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


Victim Assistance

Last updated: 21 October 2018

Victim assistance action points

  • Fully support the prosthetic and orthopedic centers, including provision of materials, so survivors and persons with disabilities can obtain prosthetic and orthotic devices.
  • Include landmine survivor assistance in the planning of disability support services.

Victim assistance planning and coordination[1]

Government focal point

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

Coordination mechanisms

Occasional meetings; remote communications

Coordination regularity/frequency and outcomes/effectiveness

Intermittent and infrequent, as funds allow

Plans/strategies

National Integrated Plan for Mine Victim Assistance, 2013–2017

Disability sector integration

 

Lacking integration. Angola has the National Council for Social Action (CNACS) that supports persons with disabilities and other vulnerable persons, but CNIDAH is not an active participant or contributor to CNACS, which is a key sustainability issue

Survivor inclusion and participation

Survivor networks participate in CNACS but not CNIDAH. CNIDAH conducted some targeted interviews with landmine survivors but did so separate to survivor networks

Reporting (Article 7 and statements)

Angola made no statements at the Mine Ban Treaty 16th Meeting of States Parties regarding victim assistance or the June 2018 Intersessional Meetings. At the June 2018 Intercessional Meetings, CNIDAH provided a formal report on the Department of Mine Victim Assistance’s activities in 2017. This information served as the core of the information on victim assistance included on form J of Angola’s Article 7 report for 2017

 

International commitments and obligations

Angola is one of 29 States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty reporting significant numbers of mine victims

Mine Ban Treaty

Yes

Convention on Cluster Munitions

Signatory

Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Protocol V

No

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Yes

 

Laws and policies

The Republic of Angola’s “Accessibility Law,” which was produced with participation from persons with disabilities, came into effect in October 2016.[2] The law requires buildings, transportation, and communications be changed to increase accessibility.[3]

Major Developments in 2017–2018

In 2017, activists led by the Platform for Inclusion joined a protest in Luanda on discrimination against persons with disabilities. The protest was violently disrupted by authorities on the basis of the protest not being in compliance with notification requirements.[4]

The Department of Mine Victims Assistance of CNIDAH received very little financial assistance for any activities limiting the ability of the unit to conduct monitoring and reporting beyond remote communications.[5] This continues a trend over the last several years in which the Department’s activities have become increasingly constrained by limited funds.

Needs assessment

One of the few activities the Department of Mine Victims Assistance was able to complete was a series of interviews with female mine victims to understand their particular needs. The department concluded that an association specifically of female mine victims should be formed to advocate for assistance and support,[6] but the department is not in the position to effect this recommendation.

Angola still lacks a casualty reporting mechanism. The Department of Mine Victims Assistance registration project documenting the needs of individual survivors has been suspended since 2014 due to lack of funding. Mine action operators collect and report casualty figures internally and occasionally to the media.[7]

Medical care and rehabilitation

Due to a continuing lack of raw materials in the country, Angola’s rehabilitation programs are limited to physical rehabilitation and the repair of existing prosthetic devices. Few public rehabilitation centers are able to produce new prosthetics or mobility devices. The Lwini Foundation, a privately-run and funded facility, continues to produce devices.[8]

Socio-economic and psychosocial inclusion

The Associação Nacional dos deficientes de Angola (ANDA) continues to lead its community-based rehabilitation program, “Vem Comigo” (“Come with me”), and expanded it to Malange, Huila, Bié, Moxico, Cabinda, Uige, and Cuanza Sul provinces.Due to the perolous economic situation in much of Angola, reintegration activities are limited in their effectiveness.[9]

Cross-cutting

Victim assistance providers and activities[10]

Name of organization

Type of activity

Government

Centro Ortopédico Neves Bendinha

Physiotherapy

MINARS

Referrals for mobility devices, vocational training, assistance to start income-generating projects, provision of subsistence items

CNACS, the National Council for Social Action

Advocacy and coordination

CNIDAH, Department of Mine Victim Assistance

Reporting; needs assessment

National

Associação Nacional dos deficientes de Angola

Community-based rehabilitation; advocacy; representation

Fundacion Lwini

Physiotherapy; prosthetics

Note: N/A = not applicable.

 



[1] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2017), 29 April 2018; and CNIDAH Department of Mine Victim Assistance, “Annual Report 2017,” 20 February 2018.

[2] Response to Landmine Monitor Questionnaire by Enoque Bernardo, National Association of Persons with Disabilities of Angola (Associacao Nacional des deficientes de Angola), 4 June 2018.

[3] United States (US) Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017: Angola,” Washington, DC, 20 April 2018.

[4] Ibid.

[5] CNIDAH Department of Mine Victim Assistance, “Annual Report 2017,” 20 February 2018.

[6] Ibid.

[7]Civil war landmines kill six in Angola,” CAJ News Africa, undated.

[8] CNIDAH Department of Mine Victim Assistance, “Annual Report 2017,” 20 February 2018.

[9] Response to Landmine Monitor Questionnaire by Enoque Bernardo, National Association of Persons with Disabilities of Angola, 4 June 2018.

[10] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2017), 29 April 2018; CNIDAH Department of Mine Victim Assistance, “Annual Report 2017,” 20 February 2018; and response to Landmine Monitor Questionnaire by Enoque Bernardo, National Association of Persons with Disabilities of Angola, 4 June 2018.