+   *    +     +     
About Us 
The Issues 
Our Research Products 
Order Publications 
Multimedia 
Press Room 
Resources for Monitor Researchers 
Donate now
Stay informed
Email Notification Receive notifications when this Country Profile is updated.

Sections



Send us your feedback on this profile

Send the Monitor your feedback by filling out this form. Responses will be channeled to editors, but will not be available online. Click if you would like to send an attachment. If you are using webmail, send attachments to .

Afghanistan

Last Updated: 06 October 2011

Mine Action

Contamination and Impact

Afghanistan remains one of the countries most contaminated by mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), mainly the result of the 1992–1996 internal armed conflict, the decade-long war of resistance that followed the Soviet invasion of 1979, and the United States (US)-led coalition’s intervention in late 2001, which added considerable quantities of unexploded ordnance (UXO).[1] The Mine Action Coordination Centre for Afghanistan (MACCA) estimated the number of remaining hazards as of 31 March 2011 at 6,545 covering 627km2 and affecting 2,056 communities.[2]

Mines

Afghanistan is affected by a wide array of mine types but mostly Soviet, Iranian, and Pakistani antipersonnel mines and much smaller numbers of antivehicle mines, including Italian minimum-metal mines. Mines account for more than three-quarters of known hazards,[3] but most battle areas requiring clearance are not recorded in the database and estimates of the extent of mine contamination have fluctuated in recent years as a result of new finds by returning refugees, further survey, and an audit of data by MACCA.[4]

A Landmine Impact Survey completed in 2005 identified some 715km2 of suspected hazardous areas (SHAs) affecting 2,368 communities and more than four million people.[5] Estimates of contamination peaked at 852km2 at the end of 2007, but a year later dropped to 689km2. Afghanistan reports clearing more than 222km2 of mined areas in the last five years, but as a result of new finds the overall estimate of contamination has remained above 600km2 (see, below, the Five-year summary of clearance table in the Land Release section). Re-survey in the Afghan year 1389 (ending 31 March 2010) led to cancellation of suspected hazards covering a total of 13km2, but new finds resulted in a net addition to the database of 1,051 SHAs covering an estimated 37 km2, most of them in central and eastern areas.[6]

MACCA contamination estimates[7]

Date

Estimated area of mine/ERW contamination (km2)

No. of sites containing explosive hazards

No. of affected communities

31 December 2009

630

6,351

2,130

31 December 2010

640

6,628

2,082

The escalating conflict in Afghanistan has resulted in some additional contamination resulting from use by Taliban and armed groups of antipersonnel and antivehicle mines, especially victim-activated improvised explosive devices (IEDs; see below),[8] but organizations involved in Afghanistan’s clearance program do not see evidence of widespread new use of conventional mines.[9]

Cluster munition remnants

Afghanistan has a continuing threat from cluster munition remnants resulting from use of air-dropped and rocket-delivered submunitions by Soviet forces and the government of Najibullah in the 1979−1992. US aircraft dropped 1,228 cluster munitions containing some 248,056 submunitions between October 2001 and early 2002,[10] but clearance operations since 2002 are thought to have removed most of the resulting contamination.

Demining operators say they still encounter both NATO and former Soviet cluster munition remnants but only in small numbers.[11] Survey in 2010 did not identify any additional cluster munition hazards.[12]

MACCA reported in June 2011 that 24 cluster munition contaminated areas remained. It planned clearance of three of them in 2011 and eight more in 2012. It said the remaining sites were located in insecure areas such as Registan in Kandahar and Zurmat in Paktia, and would be cleared when security conditions allowed.[13]

Improvised explosive devices and other explosive remnants of war

Afghanistan contends with extensive ERW, including unexploded aircraft bombs, artillery shells, mortars, rockets, and grenades, as well as abandoned explosive ordnance. At the same time, increasing insurgency in the past three years has resulted in additional ERW contamination, including remotely detonated and victim-activated IEDs or booby-traps, although the precise extent is unknown.[14]

MACCA reported Afghanistan had only 267 battlefield hazards (4.5% of the total) covering 115.9km2 as of September 2010.[15] However, UXO from past conflicts now cause more casualties than mines[16] and MACCA has observed that “BAC [battle area clearance] work will essentially be the end state for the Afghan government and—like Europe after the world wars—Afghanistan can anticipate conducting BAC operations for a significant time period.”[17]

MACCA has also identified 34 “abandoned” IED fields laid by anti-government elements (AGEs) covering around 8km2, mostly in the southern province of Helmand.[18] However, IED use has increased sharply in the past three years inflicting heavy casualties among civilians as well as military forces, particularly in the southern half Afghanistan.[19] Operators report a wide range of devices from crude containers filled with ammonium nitrate to sophisticated devices avoiding metal components in order to escape detection.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reported 904 civilian deaths attributed to IEDs in 2010,[20] and another 444 in the first half of 2011, making IEDs the single largest killer of civilians in that period and marking a 17% increase over the same period of 2010, driven largely by increased use of pressure plate IEDs. June 2011 had the highest number of IED attacks ever recorded in a single month.[21]

UNAMA reported that pressure plate IEDs make up nearly two-thirds the devices used by AGEs. It observed that “most of the pressure plate IEDs used in Afghanistan contain approximately 20kg of explosive, more than twice that of a standard anti-tank mine, yet have the trigger weight of an anti-personnel mine. As a result of this design and configuration, each pressure plate IED serves as a massive anti-personnel mine with the capability of destroying a tank. Civilians who step or drive on these IEDS have no defense against them and little chance of survival.”[22]

Mine Action Program

Key institutions and operators

Body

Situation on 1 January 2011

National Mine Action Authority

ANDMA/DMC

Mine action center

MACCA

International demining operators

NGOs: Danish Demining Group (DDG), HALO Trust

Commercial: DynCorps, EOD Technology (EODT), G4S, MineTech International, Reliance, RONCO Corporation

National demining operators

NGOs: Afghan Technical Consultants (ATC), Demining Agency for Afghanistan (DAFA), Mine Clearance Planning Agency (MCPA), Mine Detection and Dog Centre (MDC), Organization for Mine Clearance and Afghan Rehabilitation (OMAR)

Commercial: Afghan Campaign for Landmines, Asda Brothers Demining Company, Country Mine Clearance Company, Hemayatbrothers Demining International, Kabul Mine Clearance Company, Kardan Demining Group, and National Demining Support Services

International risk education (RE) operators

Association for Aid and Relief Japan, Danish Demining Group (DDG), Handicap international (HI)

National RE operators

GO: Ministry of Education

NGO: Afghan Mini Mobile Children’s Circus, Afghan Red Crescent

The Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan (MAPA), set up by the UN in 1989, is coordinated by MACCA, a project of the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) implemented by the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS). MACCA, with 380 national staff, coordinates planning and delivery of mine action, sets priorities, maintains a national database of hazards recording the results of humanitarian mine action, and advocates for donor support to the program.[23]

MACCA has seven sub-offices called Area Mine Action Centers (AMACS)[24] to coordinate and monitor mine and ERW clearance activities in the provinces, and to liaise with other UN and international agencies, government departments, and Provincial Reconstruction Teams.[25]

Plans to nationalize MAPA have led to changes in its management structure and MACCA’s role. Until 2008, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided the government focal point on mine action.[26] An MFA-sponsored symposium in December 2007 decided an interministerial board (IMB) should provide guidance to MACCA and that existing institutions should continue to provide support to the government on mine action until 2013,[27] when responsibility for mine action is due to be handed over to national ownership.[28]

An interministerial meeting convened by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 16 January 2008 assigned the lead role in mine action to the Department of Mine Clearance (DMC), a department of the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA), which reports to the Office of the Second Vice President.[29] The DMC, which moved its offices into MACCA’s Kabul headquarters in May 2008, attends mine action meetings and manages a number of activities. These include processing requests for transporting explosives, and conducting an audit of land released or cancelled after clearance and survey. It has also started processing requests by demining organizations to import demining equipment and says it liaises with the Ministry of Education to strengthen RE.[30]

However, MACCA noted that “the IMB did not designate DMC as the eventual coordination structure therefore transitions of actions to DMC should themselves be understood as first steps.”[31] UNMAS developed a plan to transfer management of mine coordination to DMC which was due to be published before April 2011, but as of June 2011 ANDMA had still to decide on how and when it wanted transition to proceed. The IMB did not meet in 2010 and ANDMA’s director had decided agreement should be reached on terms of reference and a working mechanism for the IMB before it meets again.[32]

In the meantime, MACCA appointed a staff member in January 2011 to develop contacts with government ministries to increase awareness of potential mine/ERW hazards in the planning of development projects. By June 2011, 23 ministries or departments and the Asian Development Bank had assigned focal points to liaise with MACCA, which provided two briefings in March 2011 and on request provides government agencies with data on hazards in the area of proposed projects.[33]

Since 2009, MACCA has shifted its role from assigning clearance tasks to implementing partners (IPs) and instead focuses more on oversight, strategic planning, and coordinating operations while encouraging IPs to plan and manage tasks within the strategic framework.[34] MACCA now provides IPs with a list of planning criteria, priorities, and a dataset of hazards. Funds provided through the UN-administered Voluntary Trust Fund (VTF) are allocated to specific projects. IPs submit workplans to MACCA setting out the tasks they propose to undertake. MACCA assesses and, where necessary, negotiates amendments to these plans with IPs to ensure they address MACCA priorities, achieve a geographic balance, and avoid duplication or overlap. MACCA tells donors and IPs that “an output reported only in terms of square metres cleared is not…acceptable.”[35]

Land Release

The MAPA, buoyed by increased funding and capacity, cleared 170.1km2 of mined and battle areas in 2010, 8.3% more than the previous year despite an increasingly insecure operating environment.

Five-year summary of clearance[36]

Year

Mined area cleared (km2)

Battle area cleared (km2)

2010

64.76

105.31

2009

52.59

104.33

2008

 47.42

128.38

2007

28.12

151.16

2006

29.74

108.20

Total

222.63

597.38

By May 2011, donor funding pledged for mine action in 1390 (April 2011−March 2012) amounted to $95.27 million, $37.47 million through the VTF and $57.8 million through bilateral agreements. However, commercial contracts reported to MACCA in 1389 added a further $85.42 million, much of it allocated to projects verifying land for commercial or military use rather than for clearing contamination recorded on MACCA’s database.[37]

Afghanistan already had the biggest (as well as oldest) mine action program, but extra funding for IPs and commercial companies saw the total number of people engaged in mine action rise from around 10,000 by the end of 1388 (March 2009) to around 14,000 in 1389. Most mine clearance is conducted by five long-established national and two international NGOs. The Afghan NGOs are: Afghan Technical Consultants (ATC), Demining Agency for Afghanistan (DAFA), Mine Clearance Planning Agency (MCPA), Mine Detection and Dog Centre (MDC), and Organization for Mine Clearance and Afghan Rehabilitation (OMAR); with two international NGOs: Danish Demining Group (DDG) and HALO Trust.[38]

In addition, the number of commercial companies increased by three to 18 in 2010. These included eight Afghan companies (Asda Brothers Demining Company, Afghan Campaign for Landmines, Country Mine Clearance Company, Hemayatbrothers Demining International, Kardan Demining Group, Kabul Mine Clearance Company, National Demining Support Services, and OMAR International). Six international companies active in 2009 were DynCorp International, G4S (formerly ArmorGroup), EOD Technology (EODT), MineTech International, RONCO Corporation, and UXB International.

Four commercial companies gained accreditation in 2010, three of them national companies. These included Aims Demining Company, Gold Global Demining Company, and Titan Demining Group. The new international company was US-based Relyant. MineTech International and UXB ceased working in Afghanistan in 2010−2011 and no clearance was reported for DynCorp or The Development Initiative.[39]

Survey in 2010

Among the IPs that reported on survey in 2010, MCPA said it conducted polygon surveys of 21.6km2 of suspected mined area and 10.9km2 of suspected battle area as well as post-clearance assessment of 7.1km2.[40] HALO reported it surveyed a total of 51.1km2, of which 32.8km2 was newly surveyed and 18.3km2 was re-survey. It reported that in a survey of 2.5km2 of the Ghorband Valley in 2010 it identified 83 previously unrecorded minefields.[41]

Mine clearance in 2010

Despite the background of escalating conflict and insecurity, IPs increased the amount of mined land cleared by nearly a quarter (24%) in 2010, buoyed by increased donor funding that allowed the number of deminers in the MACCA-coordinated program to rise from about 10,000 in 1389 (Afghan year ended 31 March 2009) to over 14,000 in 1390.[42]

Half of all Afghanistan’s known hazards, which account for three-quarters of the known hazardous area, are in areas classified as extreme risk or high-risk environments, but mine action has continued in these areas partly through community-based demining programs (CBDs) that employ local inhabitants recruited with the approval and assistance of local community leaders. The number of CBD teams rose from 78 in 1389 to 131 in 1390 operated by ATC (9 teams), DAFA (23), MCPA (48), MDC (21), and OMAR (30).[43]

The CBD share of the mine action program budget more than doubled in 1390 (2009−2010) to 19%. The area cleared by CBD, also more than doubled rising from 5.8km2 in 1389 to 12.65km2 in 1390, representing 19.5% of total mine area clearance.[44] Some IPs acknowledge, however, that managing operations and quality control (QC) of teams in areas where insecurity limits access is problematic and although local recruitment has lowered the threat to local demining operations CBD teams still sustained casualties in attacks by anti-government elements (see Safety of demining personnel section, below).[45]

However, national and international IPs also expanded core capacity, which still accounted for about 80% of mined area clearance. In addition to demining undertaken by IPs according to work plans coordinated by MACCA, three IPs won UNOPS contracts through a Request for Proposals process. OMAR started work in August 2010 on a $1.85 million contract to clear Ghazni City, targeting 28 hazards covering an estimated 3.4km2. In January 2011, ATC started a $3 million contract for the first phase of Kabul City clearance plan under which it will clear 44 hazards covering 2.34km2, due for completion in January 2012. UNOPS supported by MACCA plans a second-phase project to complete removal of all known hazards in Kabul City, but implementation is dependent on receiving funding. DDG won a $5.35 million contract to clear 63 hazards covering a total of 8.04km2 in north and northeast Afghanistan. Work started in September 2010 and was due for completion by the end of August 2012.[46]

HALO, much the biggest operator with 3,724 personnel and 45 mechanical assets at the end of 2010, reduced its BAC capacity and operations (see Battle area clearance in 2010 section, below), but as a result of adding additional demining teams saw mined area clearance rise more than 29%. The number of antipersonnel mines it destroyed in 2010 was less than half the previous year, reflecting completion of clearing high-density Soviet mine belts around Kabul and Bagram, but HALO reports the addition of a new RAPTOR equipped with rotary mine combs in 2011 has significantly boosted clearance of antivehicle mined areas in western Afghanistan. HALO had planned to embark by the end of 2011 on clearance in or around Lashkar Gar, the main city of Helmand province, one of the most fiercely conflicted.[47] By August 2011, however, HALO was reviewing that initiative in the light of subsequent contacts and developments in the area, where responsibility for security had been handed over by International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to the Afghan National Army.[48]

 Mine clearance in 2010[49]

Operator

Mined area cleared (km2)

No. of antipersonnel mines destroyed

No. of antivehicle mines destroyed

No. of ERW destroyed

ACL

0.37

0

1

3

ADC

0.03

0

0

0

ATC

7.62

2,119

51

10,725

DAFA

5.49

739

32

4,138

DDG

2.05

3,028

0

6,485

EODT

1.70

22

14

905

HDI

0.51

3,117

0

9,755

HALO

16.57

8,325

144

5,259

MCPA

6.01

3,562

98

1,637

MDC

13.32

2,882

348

59,534

OMAR

10.97

2,324

111

58,192

Relyant

0.03

3

0

0

RONCO

0.09

821

47

0

Total

64.76

26,942

846

156,633

However, three IPs were in negotiation with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in mid-2011 on plans for clearance of another highly conflicted province, Kandahar. Under discussion was a $28 million project to be funded by the UAE to clear all high-and medium-risk mined areas in the province involving 216 minefields estimated to cover more than 25km2 and affecting 106 communities. The project, expected to last two to three years, would clear all known hazards in nine districts and remove a significant amount of the contamination in 12 more.[50]

Discussions have centered on implementing the project in two parts, with clearance of 113 tasks, mostly antipersonnel and mixed antipersonnel/antivehicle mines in southern Kandahar province by a joint venture between G4S and OMAR and clearance of 235 tasks, mostly mined areas containing only antivehicle mines, in west Kandahar by EODT. G4S expected to provide management coordination and quality assurance (QA) for clearance undertaken by OMAR, which envisaged employing 420 to 450 people recruited from the local community for the project. EODT expected to employ some 250 deminers, also locally recruited.[51]

Compliance with Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, Afghanistan is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 March 2013 (which falls within Afghan year 1391).

Although Afghanistan has the biggest mine action program in the world and clears the most mined and battle area, progress towards achieving its treaty obligations has been frustrated by new discoveries of contamination. In its statement to the Tenth Meeting of States Parties, Afghanistan described new finds of contamination as “the major challenge” for the mine action program.[52] Re-survey removed 13km2 of hazard from the database in 2010, but new finds of another 1,051 hazards in 2010 added 50km2 of contamination, for a net increase of 37km2. Nearly 40% of the new discoveries were located in the central region around Kabul.[53]

As a result, despite increasing efficiency and productivity among IPs and the release of more than 222km2 of mined area in the last five years, Afghanistan was well behind its clearance targets. The 2006 Afghan Compact had set the goal of reducing the area contaminated by mines and UXO by 70% by March 2011, but at the end of that month it had achieved less than three-quarters of its target and just over half its Mine Ban Treaty goal, leaving an estimated 627km2 of contamination still to clear. MACCA estimates the Afghan program has a capacity to clear about 90km2 a year,[54] making it apparent Afghanistan will not meet its Article 5 deadline. MACCA expected to start work in 2011 preparing an Article 5 deadline extension request.[55]

 Clearance of cluster munition contaminated areas in 2010

MACCA recorded clearance of 43 cluster munition sites between 2004 and 2009 covering a total area of 3.2km2, all by HALO and MCPA. Of these, six sites covering a total of 670,276m2 were reportedly cleared in 2009.[56] In 2010, MACCA reported clearance of a further 1km² of cluster contamination by HALO and OMAR. HALO, in addition, said it cleared another 1,328 submunitions, 696 in the course of battle area clearance (BAC) and 632 during roving explosive ordnance disposal (EOD).[57]

Cluster munition clearance in 2010[58]

Operator

Area cleared (m2)

No. of failed/abandoned cluster munitions destroyed including submunitions

No. of unexploded submunitions destroyed

OMAR

6,421

533

2,683

HALO

1,019,210

61

0

Total

1,025,631

594

2,683

Compliance with Article 4 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions

Afghanistan has signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but as of 1 August 2011 had not ratified it.

Battle area clearance in 2010

Unlike mined area clearance, which has increased every year for the past five years, BAC has either flatlined or declined. With the number of companies engaged in BAC rising from 20 to 24, the total area cleared in 2010 rose marginally (0.4%) over the previous year but the number of UXO cleared fell by almost half to 549,867.[59] HALO, which accounted for 70% of the total battle area cleared in 2009, reduced the number of teams on BAC by five in 2010 and cleared 42% less area and less than half the number of items tackled in 2009.[60] HALO commented that most surface UXO had been dealt with by previous BAC and that it had converted some BAC teams to roving EOD teams, which it found more effective for tackling the residual threat. HALO noted it also operates weapons and ammunition disposal (WAD) teams, which also tackle surface and sub-surface UXO.[61]

Commercial operators accounted for almost half the battle area cleared in 2010, with many of the bigger international companies, such as G4S, RONCO Corporation, and EODT, as well as national firms such as Hemayatbrothers Demining International, undertaking work for the US Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) in support of the ISAF and the US Agency for International Development. G4S tasks range from an ACE contract for clearing for expansion of the US airbase at Bagram, for which it brought in 15 teams of deminers from Mozambique and Zimbabwe, to other infrastructure projects to several days’ work clearing wells in the northern province of Mazar-e-Sharif.[62] EODT, with 18 teams, undertook a range of tasks from clearance for military bases with manual and mechanical demining and mine detection dog assets to road clearance for access to oil deposits.[63]

However, much of the work undertaken by commercial companies has involved verifying land for military facilities or for commercial and infrastructure development projects that had little or no impact on reducing Afghanistan’s known ERW hazards. In 1389 (2010/11), commercial operators cleared a total of 49.4km2 of battle area, but MACCA reports they removed 27 known hazards that reduced the amount of known contamination by a total of 0.97km².[64]

Battle area clearance in 2010[65]

Operator

BAC (km2)

No. of UXO destroyed

No. of APM destroyed

during BAC

No. of AVM destroyed

ACL

3.20

220

0

0

ADC

2.37

4,005

0

0

AG

0.57

2,153

3

0

AMDC

0.01

0

0

0

ATC

3.62

15,339

0

1

CMCC

0.27

140

0

0

DAFA

1.75

102,529

0

0

DDG

4.36

26,280

4

2

EODT

12.66

13,614

10

0

G4S

1.49

17

0

0

HDI

0.08

184

0

0

HALO

42.27

251,287

6,230

134

KMCC

1.61

1,595

0

0

MCPA

2.04

4,057

0

0

MDC

0.53

4,542

0

0

MTI

0.19

0

0

0

OMAR

1.34

29,481

1

0

OMARI

0.10

7,377

0

0

RELY

8.55

326

0

0

RONCO

11.63

36,270

31

3

TDC

4.11

49,125

0

0

TDG

0.06

836

0

0

UADC

2.45

490

0

0

UXB

0.05

0

0

0

Totals

105.31

549,867

6,279

140

Quality management

IPs all operate internal QA/QC. MACCA provided external quality management in 2010 through a three-person unit in Kabul and 50 staff in seven AMACs who conduct demining site visits.[66] The number of MACCA QA site visits increased 8% to 4,489 in 1389, but the number of instances of non-compliance dropped marginally from 97 to 95.[67]

MACCA started regular meetings of a “Quality Circle” in 2009 involving members of the mine action community who discuss issues of interest to the sector, including clearance methodologies and experience with and optimizing the performance of different types of equipment and deminer safety.[68]

Since 2009, MACCA has operated a “balanced scorecard” measuring the performance of IPs on a quarterly basis against a set of four indicators for assessing demining operations (operations, quality management, demining accidents, and reporting) and three indicators for RE (the same but not including accidents). Data on performance drawn from the IMSMA database is shared with IPs who then confirm the score.[69]

Safety of demining personnel

The number of demining casualties continued to fall in 2010, from 48 in 2008 and 32 in 2009 to 25 in 2010, including seven fatalities.[70] Maintaining standards in CBDs has proved a challenge. In the Afghan year 1389 (2010/11), four CBD personnel were killed and five injured in demining accidents in Helmand, Khost, and Paktia provinces.[71]

IPs faced an increasing challenge from deteriorating security and rising criminality around the country, including a growing threat to road movement from IEDs placed by antigovernment elements in some, particularly southern, provinces. MACCA observed that despite a 40% jump in the number of people working in mine action to 14,000, which made it one of the biggest UN-funded programs in the country, it suffered only 59 (0.3%) of 59,000 reported security incidents.[72]

MACCA reported 11 cases of abductions, but in all cases the personnel seized were released.[73] In one of these incidents 16 community-based deminers working for OMAR were abducted in eastern Nangahar province in December 2010. Nine deminers were freed within hours and the remaining seven two days later. Two vehicles and all the team’s equipment were burnt.[74]

Of the 59 incidents, however, 21 involved death or injury, including 10 people killed and 20 injured by IEDs, and three people killed and eight injured in attacks.[75] HALO reported two attacks in 2010 resulting in one fatality and the forced retirement of another worker. Its country program manager was abducted in Kabul in February 2011 and held for 27 days.[76] DAFA and its community-based deminers suffered the worst setback, reporting eight people killed and eight injured in an IED attack in 2010.[77] In July 2011, DAFA suffered another attack in western Farah province when 20 deminers were abducted and four of them killed.[78]

Other Risk Reduction Measures

Mine/ERW risk education (RE) is coordinated by MACCA according to plans drawn up by the Ministry of Education, MACCA, and the DMC. RE has been incorporated into the school curriculum and MACCA reported 19,000 teachers are now trained to deliver RE in schools. In addition, RE was implemented in 2010 by 75 teams drawn from the Afghan Red Crescent Society (44 teams), Handicap International (HI, 10 teams), DDG (seven teams), and the Association for Aid and Relief Japan as well as by the Afghan Mobile Mini Children’s Circus.[79]

HI also has 23 community-based mine/ERW risk educators and 1,142 community volunteers in 20 districts of Kandahar and Helmand provinces, where access is constrained by the high level of insecurity. HI passes on information it receives on the location of UXO to MACCA’s regional AMACs, but does not address the location of IEDs.[80]

In 2010, HI completed analysis of a Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices survey conducted in about 70 villages in 10 mine-affected provinces. Overall, more than half of the interviewees considered mines/ERW a problem affecting their daily lives, but in three provinces, Kandahar, Paktia, and Kapisa, the figure rose to 98% of interviewees. More than 80% of those interviewed also said they would welcome a community-based program in their area to conduct RE and mine clearance.[81]

 



[1] “Explosive remnants of war and mines other than anti-personnel mines,” Landmine Action, London, March 2005, p. 14.

[2] MACCA, “Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan Fast Facts 1389, Data as of 1 April 2011,” www.macca.org.af.

[3] Hazards containing antivehicle mines only accounted for 20% of the number of mine hazards, but for more than one-third of the total estimated mined area, hazards containing antipersonnel mines only accounted for over half (56%) of mine hazards but 29% of the mined area. MAPA, “1390 Integrated Operational Framework,” MACCA, December 2010, p. 30.

[4] Email from MACCA, 16 August 2011. Renamed with effect from l January 2009, MACCA was formerly known as the Mine Action Center for Afghanistan (MACA) and before 2007 as the UN Mine Action Center for Afghanistan (UNMACA).

[5] Patrick Fruchet and Mike Kendellen, “Landmine Impact Survey Afghanistan: results and implications for planning,” Journal of Mine Action, Issue 9.2, February 2006.

[6] In 1388, 2,188 hazards covering an estimated 218km2 were added to the MACCA database following synchronization of MACCA data with HALO’s, previously separate database. Email from MACCA, 10 May 2011.

[7] MACCA, “Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan Fast Facts,” December 2009, June 2010, December 2010, and April 2011, www.macca.org.af.

[8] HALO, for example, reported that victim-activated explosive antivehicle devices had been emplaced on tracks in Baglan province. Telephone interview with Tom Dibb, Desk Officer, HALO, 23 July 2010; ICRC, “Afghanistan: mines prevent resumption of normal life in Marjah,” Press release, 5 March 2010; and US Department of State, Office of the Inspector General, “Humanitarian Mine Action Programs in Afghanistan,” Report Number ISP-I-10-11, November 2009, p. 5.

[9] Interviews with MACCA and IPs, Kabul, 28 May–6 June 2011.

[10] Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, “Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice,” Mines Action Canada, May 2009, p. 27.

[11] Interviews with demining operators, Kabul, 12–18 June 2010. HALO, the biggest demining operator in Afghanistan, reports that it continues to find abandoned Soviet cluster munitions, but finds only occasional unexploded Soviet submunitions in the course of demining or BAC operations. HALO reports it cleared 9,000 unexploded US submunitions in 2002–2003 and a further 1,780 unexploded submunitions between 2004 and 2008. In 2009, it cleared 2,607 unexploded submunitions. Emails from Ollie Pile, Weapons and Ammunition Disposal Officer, HALO, Kabul, 30 June 2009; and from Tom Dibb, HALO, 3 June 2010.

[12] Email from MACCA, 10 May 2011.

[13] MACCA, “Fact sheet on cluster munitions in Afghanistan,” June 2011, www.macca.org.af.

[14] Interviews with MACCA Chief of Staff, in Geneva, 19 March 2010; and with demining operators, Kabul, 12 18 June 2010.

[15] MACCA, “1390 Integrated Operational Framework,” December 2010, p.30.

[16] Interview with Deputy Programme Director, MACCA, Kabul, 15 June 2010.

[17] MAPA, “1389 Integrated Operational Framework,” MACCA, December 2009, p. 33.

[18] Email from MACCA, 10 May 2011.

[19] Information Management and Mine Action Programs (iMMAP), “map of Afghan Security Incidents 2008−2011,” received by email from Craig von Hagen, iMMAP, 14 July 2011.

[20] UNAMA, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, “Afghanistan, Annual Report 2010, Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict,” Kabul, March 2011, pp. i−ii.

[21] Statement by Georgette Gagnon, Director of Human Rights, UNAMA, 14 July 2011, unama.unmissions.org.

[22] UNAMA, “Afghanistan Mid-Year Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict 2011,” Kabul, July 2011, p. 2, unama.unmissions.org.

[23] MAPA, “1390 Integrated Operational Framework,” MACCA, December 2010, p. 12. Thus, commercial clearance, which MACCA does not contract directly, and demining by the ISAF are outside of its purview.

[24] AMACs are located in in Gardez (Southeast), Herat (West), Jalalabad (East), Kabul (Central), Kandahar (South), Kunduz (Northeast), and Mazar-e-Sharif (North).

[25] MACCA, “About MAPA and MACCA,” MACCA website, www.macca.org.af.

[26] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 1 May 2006.

[27] Email from MACCA, 30 April 2008.

[28] MAPA, “1388 Integrated Operational Plan,” (Version 1.0), Kabul, 20 October 2008, p. 61. Hereinafter, this document is referred to as the “1388 Integrated Operational Plan.”

[29] Email from MACCA, 16 August 2011; interviews with MACA, Kabul, 25 May 2008; and with Abdul Haq Rahim, Director, DMC, Kabul, 26 May 2008.

[30] Interview with Abdul Haq Rahim, DMC, Kabul, 1 June 2011; and email from MACCA, 10 May 2011.

[31] MAPA, “1389 Integrated Operational Plan,” MACCA, December 2009, p. 49.

[32] Email from MACCA, 10 May 2011; interview with MACCA Director, Kabul, 28 May 2011.

[33] Interview with Operations Project Manager, MACCA, 2 June 2011.

[34] MAPA, “Integrated Operational Framework” for 1389 and 1390, MACCA, December 2009, p. 44 and December 2010, p. “1390 Integrated Operational Framework”; and interviews with MACCA Chief of Staff, 19 March and 21 June 2010.

[35] Interview with Chief of Operations, MACCA, 15 June 2010; and MAPA, “1389 Integrated Operational Framework,” MACCA, December 2009, p. 7; “1390 Integrated Operating Framework,” December 2010, p. 13.

[36] Email from MACCA, 10 May 2011.

[37] Ibid.; and interview with Programme Director, MACCA, Kabul, 28 May 2011.

[38] Email from MACCA, 10 May 2011.

[39] Ibid.

[40] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Haji Attiqullah, Director, MCPA, 30 April 2011.

[41] Response to Monitor questionnaire by, and interview with, Farid Homayoun, Country Director, HALO, Kabul, 30 May 2011.

[42] Email from MACCA, 10 May 2011.

[43] CBD teams were active in 13 provinces: Bamyan (ATC), Farah (DAFA), Gore (OMAR), Helmand (DAFA and MDC), Kabul (MCPA), Kandahar (DAFA, MCPA, and MDC), Khost (MCPA), Kunar (OMAR), Logar (MCPA), Nangahar (ATC and OMAR), Nimroz (DAFA), Paktia (MDC), and Uruzgan (MDC). Emails from MACCA, 10 May and 15 June 2011.

[44] Emails from MACCA, 10 May and 15 June 2011.

[45] Interviews with IPs, Kabul, 28 May to 5 June, 2011.

[46] Interview with Kefayatullah Eblagh, Director, ATC, Kabul, 31 May 2011; and emails from Chief of Staff, MACCA, 3−4 August 2011.

[47] Interview with Farid Homayoun, HALO, Kabul, 30 May 2011.

[48] Telephone interview with Tim Porter, Desk Officer, HALO, 1 August 2011.

[49] Email from MACCA, 10 May 2011. MACCA data does not include results of G4S, which reported manual clearance of 0.5km2 in 2010, resulting in destruction of 620 antipersonnel mines, 11 antivehicle mines, and 5,005 items of UXO. Interview with Tony Thompson, Country Manager; Steve Priestley, Deputy Country Manager; and Gus Melin, Country Operations Manager, G4S, Kabul, 29 May 2011.

[50] Email from Chief of Staff, MACCA, 3 August 2011.

[51] Interviews with Tony Thompson, Steve Priestley, and Gus Melin, G4S, Kabul, 29 May 2011; Zekria Payab, Deputy Director, OMAR, Kabul, 30 May 2011; and with Gareth Hawkins, Country Mine Action Projects Manager, EODT, Kabul, 2 June 2011.

[52] Statement of Afghanistan, Tenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 December 2010.

[53] Email from MACCA, 10 May 2011.

[54] MACCA, “1390 Integrated Operating Framework for Mine Action,” undated but 2010, p. 24, www.macca.org.af.

[55] Interview with Programme Director, MACCA, Kabul, 5 June 2011.

[56] MACCA records cleared submunitions under UXO, not as a separate item. Emails from MACCA, 14 July 2010; and from Farid Homayoun, HALO, 11 August 2011.

[57] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Farid Homayoun, HALO, 30 May 2011.

[58] Email from MACCA, 10 May 2011.

[59] Ibid.

[60] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Farid Homayoun, HALO, 30 May 2011.

[61] HALO operated 15 WAD teams in 2010. Interview with Farid Homayoun, HALO, Kabul, 30 May 2011, and email, 5 August 2011.

[62] Interview with Tony Thompson, Steve Priestly, and Gus Melin, G4S, Kabul, 29 May 2011.

[63] Interview with Gareth Hawkins, EODT, Kabul, 2 June 2011.

[64] MACCA, Annual Report 1389, undated but 2011, p. 56.

[65] Email from MACCA, 10 May 2011. G4S reported BAC of 12.5km2 in 2010, resulting in destruction of 14,837 items of UXO. Interview with Tony Thompson, Steve Priestley, and Gus Melin, G4S, Kabul, 29 June 2011.

[66] Email from MACCA, 10 June 2010.

[67] MACCA, “1389 Annual Report,” p. 34.

[68] MACCA, “1389 Annual Report,” p. 33.

[69] MACCA, “MACCA balanced scorecard,” Kabul, 6 May 2010; email from MACCA, 16 August 2011.

[70] Email from MACCA, 10 May 2011.

[71] MACCA, “1389 Annual Report,” p. 34.

[72] Email from MACCA, 12 April 2011.

[73] Ibid.

[74] Interview with Zekria Payyab, OMAR, Kabul, 30 May 2011.

[75] Email from MACCA, 12 April 2011.

[76] Interview with Farid Homayoun, HALO, Kabul, 30 May 2011, and email, 11 August 2011.

[77] Interview with Mohammad Daud Farahi, Executive Manager, DAFA, Kabul, 31 May 2011.

[78] UNAMA, “UNAMA and MACCA condemn the killing of Afghan deminers,” Press release, Kabul, 11 July 2011.

[79] Emails from MACCA, 1 July 2010 and 10 May 2011.

[80] Interview with Awlia Mayar, Mine Action Technical Adviser, HI, Kabul, 2 June 2011, and email, 23 February 2011.

[81] MACCA, “Mine Action Activities KAPB + Survey 2009−2010,” undated but 2010, www.macca.org.af.