Angola: Country applauded for implementation of Ottawa Landmines Convention

News and Press Release
Originally published
Angola Press Agency (Luanda) April 26, 2007: Angola's engagement in the eradication of anti-personnel landmines has been praised by Ottawa Convention member States that mentioned it as an example that should be emulated.

According to a communiqué from the National Inter-Sectoral Commission for Demining and Humanitarian Assistance (CNIDAH), delivered to ANGOP Thursday, the commend was expressed during the inter-sectoral meeting of the Convention's member States, taking plance since Monday, April 23, in Geneva (Switzerland).

The source states that Angolan Government has been recognised for the compliance of the requirements of the fourth article of the Convention.

Balbina da Silva, national co-ordinator of CNIDAH landmines action programmes, is at the head of Angolan delegation to the meeting, which aims at analysing the general state and the implementation of the Ottawa Convention.

At the event, the Angolan team presented a project for destroying anti-personnel landmines, a programme that was implemented by CNIDAH in partnership with the Angolan Armed Forces and UNDP, funded by the Government and the European Commission.

The document also states that institutions engaged in actions against landmines in the country are examining a national plan of assistance to victims for a four-year period (2007/11), to start being implemented next September.

The Angolan delegation presented the state of implementation of the Nairobi (Kenya) Landmines Action-Plan, concerning the improvement of the conditions of assistance to the victims, such as socio-professional rehabilitation and reintegration.

In its 2003 report to international institutions involved in actions against landmines, Angola declared that it had 50,659 anti-personnel landmines in stock, before finding abandoned shell rooms in various regions of the country, thus increasing the number of landmines to 83,557.

During the landmines destruction process, the country considered the issue of protecting the environment, and recycled the disarmed explosive devices, using the metal and plastic elements as raw material for the manufacture of household utensils like buckets, dishes, hoes and cutlasses.