Mine Action in Angola
More than three decades of internal conflicts have left Angola with one of the world's most serious landmine/UXO problems. Eight heavily mined provinces cover nearly 50% of the country in a band from the northwest border with the Congo to the southeast border with Namibia. These mines were planted by combatants to destroy or deny access to Angola's infrastructure. Mines are concentrated around roads, railways, bridges, and public facilities such as schools, churches, water supply points, and health care facilities. These mines hinder humanitarian aid programs, economic reconstruction, and the resettlement of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDP).
NPA Mine Action History in the Country
NPA has been operating in Angola since 1989 delivering emergency aid during the war and from 2002 concentrating its efforts on building a stronger civil society. NPA Mine Action Programme started in 1995 and has since been one of the most important international demining agencies in Angola. NPA Mine Action's long history and dedicated work has given NPA a credibility that makes it possible for us to reach ambitious goals in cooperation with our partners and together with Angolan authorities at different levels.
After more than 15 years in Angola, NPA is still clearing school yards, mine affected communities, agricultural areas and providing local communities access to clean water.
Currently, NPA’s main focus is less on large scale full clearance, and more on the development of methodologies for Land Release to release impacted land via Non-Technical Survey and Technical Survey utilizing its remaining mechanical and manual demining capacities in a more focused, effective, and cost-efficient manner. Additionally, NPA supports national authorities on land release policy, survey, and capacity building training in these areas.
The NPA Mine Action Programme is used as a distribution platform for awareness about cross-cutting issues like HIV/AIDS prevention, gender equality to support women’s equal rights and protection of the environment.
Angola is a State Party to the MBT and a signatory to the CCM. MBT Article 5 clearance deadline: 1 January 2018
Personnel: 126 local employees, two international staff. The programme consisting of two manual demining teams, mechanical team with two Mini MineWolf machines (flail & tiller), Casspir vehicles, one Combined Survey/Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams, logistics personnel, medics and communication as well as administrative staff.
U.S. Department of State, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (WRA) Statoil, Norwegian Multinational Oil and Gas Company, ConocoPhillips, American Multinational Energy Corporation.
News from Angola
"Finally we are able to start up with some mine action activities in Myanmar. This is an important breakthrough for all parties", says Aksel Steen-Nilsen, head of the mine action programme in Norwegian People’s Aid Myanmar.
Ambassador Ingrid Ofstad, the ambassador to the Norwegian embassy in Angola visits the NPA Mine Action programme in Angola, The first day of the visit included a general presentation of the Mine Action programme at the central office. It was followed by conversations about demining, EOD and survey operations, various strategies used in the programme, current capacities, future plans and more.
On the 19th of February 2013, Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Macedonian Ministry of Defense, regulating a joint project regarding the complete destruction of the stockpiles of cluster munitions held by Macedonia.
A Swiss delegation recently visited Norwegian People's Aid's humanitarian Mine Action Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well the NPA Global Training Center for Mine Detection Dogs located in the village of Blagovac outside of Sarajevo. The delegation was led by the Head of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Didier Burkhalter.
Dogs and deminers have completed more than half the task on the border between Peru and Chile.
Three Norwegian People’s Aid board members visited South Sudan in October to see the work NPA is doing in the country. The team was led by the Head of trustees Finn Erik Thoresen and the two NPA vice presidents; Kjersti Jenssen and Atle Høie and Orrvar Dalby the head of the international division
“Angolan voters have more democratic culture than the politicians” says NPA partner after the MPLA-government, in power for 37 years, won the general elections held on August 31st with 72 % of the votes.