Since internal conflict ended in Angola in 2002, the country has been left with one of the world’s most serious landmine/UXO problems. Mines were laid by multiple armed groups on both sides of the conflict, with the principal purpose of destroying, or denying access to infrastructure and prevent movement of enemy forces. This has left large areas of land uninhabited and uncultivated, and hampered post-war reconstruction efforts.
Despite years of mine action efforts, Angola is still heavily contaminated, with an estimated 73.6km2 of mine contaminated land remaining at the June of 2022. It is mostly located in rural areas, largely inhabited by poor subsistence communities whose livelihoods depend on farming, livestock rearing and other rural activities.
Contamination also hampers community members’ every-day life in some areas, preventing women, girls, boys and men from safely accessing water sources, roads, markets and education and health facilities. Landmines also affect macro-level economics as they impede development and infrastructure efforts, including large-scale farming initiatives, mineral mining, conservation, wildlife and tourism development. They also continue to kill and main, the latest figures showing that there were 94 casualties in 2021, of which 26 were killed.
Angola is a state party to the Antipersonnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) and is currently under the second extension of its Article 5 clearance deadline set for the end of December 2025. However, with current level of mine action capacity in Angola, the country is unlikely to meet its deadline.
It is also conducting non-technical survey in Bengo, with a plan to start clearance in the future. NPA also has a future plan to work in Luanda.
In addition, NPA supports the capacity development of the National Mine Action Agency, ANAM, to enable it to effectively manage and coordinate the mine action programme, and to support it to develop a capacity to manage any residual explosive ordnance threat, after clearance has been completed.
NPA’s work in 2022 is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Belgium Ministry of Foreign Affairs.