Humanitarian Disarmament in Angola
NPA’s Humanitarian Disarmament (HD) Programme (formerly the Mine Action Programme) was established in 1995 and NPA has been one of the most important international mine action operators in Angola ever since, completing different tasks spread though almost all provinces. Following the Angola Landmine Impact Survey conducted between 2004 and 2007, NPA HDP focused in Malanje province where continued land release operations until all known minefields were cleared, while proceeded with Non-Technical Survey (NTS) and updates of Confirmed and Suspected Hazardous Areas (CHA and SHA) in the provinces of Kwanza Norte, Uíge and Zaire. NPA, through its HD Programme is presently established in Uíge province.
More than four decades of internal conflict that ended in 2002 have left Angola with one of the world's most serious landmine/UXO problem. Mines were laid by multiple armed groups on both sides of the conflict, with the principal purpose to destroy, or deny access to infrastructure and prevent movement of enemy forces. This leaves large areas of land uninhabited and uncultivated and it hampers post-war reconstruction efforts. Nearly half of Angola's population live from subsistence farming where landmines and other Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) are a real obstacle and render much of the land useless for farming.
Angola is a state party to the Antipersonnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) and is currently under the second extension of its Article 5 deadline set for the end of December 2025. As per the second Article 5 extension request to the APMBC Angola reported still over 1400 CHAs covering more than 200 km², elucidative of the degree of commitment required for the deadline to be met.
NPA remains as a key operator in the country, contributing to efforts by the government of Angola, aiming that the risks from mines and other explosive weapons are reduced to a level where civilians can live safely and development is not constrained in Angola.
Under the auspices of the Comissão Nacional Intersectorial para a Desminagem e Assistência Humanitária (CNIDAH) in the role of the national mine action authority, NPA contributes by conducting Non-Technical Survey, Technical Survey, Clearance, Battle Area Clearance, Explosive Ordnance Disposal as well as Risk Education Sessions. For the period September 2018 to March 2020, NPA is implementing a Capacity Development project of the national authorities, aiming a more efficient coordination of all mine action related issues as outcome.
NPA has since January 2018 implemented projects funded by the Department of States from United Sates of America (USDoS), the Embassy of Japan in Angola, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA) and the British Department for International Development (DFID). The funding from DFID complemented by the funding from NMFA goes until March 2020 and apart from a land release project in partnership with Halo Trust and Mines Advisory Group (MAG), DFID includes a Capacity Development project of the national authorities.
NPA has been operating in Angola since 1989. Initially NPA, through its Development and Humanitarian Cooperation Programme, delivered humanitarian aid during the war period but later focused on contributing to building a stronger civil society.
The history of the armed conflict in Angola dates from February 1961 and is classified in three stages, being the fight for liberation ending with country’s independence proclaimed in November 1975, the post-independence conflict which lasted until May 1991, and the post-electoral conflict which continued until April 2002.