Angola has 1,220 land mine-affected areas

Luanda - At least 1,220 areas of Angola are still affected by landmines, especially the provinces of Cuando Cubango, Moxico, Cuanza Sul and Bie.

This fact was released Tuesday, in Luanda, by the head of the office of Exchange and Cooperation of the National Inter-sectoral Commission on Demining and Humanitarian Assistance (CNIDAH), Adriano Gonçalves.

The official, who was speaking to journalists, on the sidelines of the Workshop on the National Strategy for the Mine Action Sector in Angola, said that the country needs US $ 300 million to be mine free by the year 2025.

The 2014 Maputo Declaration sets an end to the antipersonnel mine problem by 2025 for all states parties to the Ottawa Convention, where the country is also a signatory.

Adriano Gonçalves stressed that the most important aspect of the demining process is to free the Angolan territory from the mined areas.

“Angola is not a mine-free country yet, we have large mined areas with 105 million square meters affected,” he said.

The official said that in 2007 the country had 3 600 mined areas and currently has only 1 220.

He also said that there are provinces that are virtually mine-free, namely Malanje, Namibe and Huambo. Review work is underway in these regions by quality control teams.

He noted that areas can only be considered mine-free when their operators are able to present a quality control certificate issued by the governing body, the National Inter-sectoral Commission on Demining and Humanitarian Assistance.

However, the official regretted that over the past 10 years, demining area support in Angola has been decreasing considerably.

Angola has been part of the Ottawa Convention since 2003.