Demining Programme Report: Angola

Situation Report
Originally published
Angola Country Report

Under the Unit for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance to Angola (UCAH), the Central Mine Action Office (CMAO), in cooperation with the United Nations Verification Mission to Angola (UNAVEM III), is developing a comprehensive mine action plan, established with funds raised through a Consolidated Appeal. CMAO is modeled on similar UN-established indigenous mine clearance operations in Mozambique, Afghanistan and Cambodia. Under the terms of the Lusaka Protocol, the warring parties (UNITA/FAA) are responsible for mine clearance. UNAVEM III is mandated to stay in Angola until Feb. 97.


21 May 96

* Length of road demined/verified and repaired by UN troops last week: 11 km (6 km by Korbr on Bombaalta - Vilanova
road and 5 km by Banengr on Ganda - Chicuma road)

* Total since establishment by UNAVEM III: 4062 km;

* Length of the road demined/verified by Mechem during last week: 39.38 km (Menongue -Cutato road);

* Total since establishment of UNAVEM III 2172.06 km;

* Numbers of bridges constructed and repaired by UN Engr since establishment of UNAVEM III: 22

* Number of students attending demining course:

- basic level: 77

- paramedic course: 9

- driver: 6

* Number of graduates deployed at various locations:

Kuito - 66, demining brigade has cleared 32.2 sq m area.

Malange - 63, brigade prepared the access road and admin, log, rest and storage areas.

United Nations mine clearance operations in Angola are set to begin in early Mar. 96. Internal UN budgeting and deployment delays, combined political instability, and a shaky cease-fire on the ground, led to lengthy delays. The UNAVEM III operation is budgeted for 1,080 deminers. NGOs have established programmes working under contract to donors.

Mine Awareness: The INAROE Mine Awareness Programme has graduated 59 students, bringing the aggregate total to 106 graduates.

Mine Clearance: Should start early Mar. 96.

Mine Training: Set to start 22 Jan. 96.

Mine Survey: See NPA data.

Deployment and Roads: The Mechem contract has been officially approved by the Angolan government and was due to start in Dec. 95.


Priority actions for CMAO during 1995 included:

1) Create the Instituto Nacional de Accao sobre as Minas - INAM (National Mine Action Institute) so the Government of Angola can ultimately assume responsibility for mine clearance.

2) Mine experts will be hired to supervise Government and UNITA engineers in verifying, surveying and, where essential, clearing mines.

3) Expand mine awareness education to cover all repatriation camps and internally displace populations, UN and NGO personnel, and affected Angolan communities.

4) Survey all provinces for mines and establish a national land mine database for urban areas in mine-infested cities.

5) Establish the Central Mine Action Training School in Luanda. Smaller schools, already established in Kuito, Luena, and Malange, will be afffiliated with the Luanda school to ensure standard operating procedures.

6) Verify and clear mines. Establish priorities for verification and clearance using a special priority rating system for exceptional clearance requests.

7) Establish regional mine action offices in each of the six UNAVEM headquarters. These offices will coordinate all UN and NGO mine action projects.

Organisations involved in the programme

Halo Trust
Mines Advisory Group (MAG)
Norwegian People's Aid (NPA)

Halo Trust

Purpose: (Dec. 95) Halo is demining within the city of Kuito

Mines Advisory Group (MAG)

Purpose: (Jan. 96) In 1992 MAG worked with UNHCR to establish a mine awareness poster campaign. In 1993 MAG assesssed the impact of mines on civilians and humanitarian aid assistance, and in early 1994 set up base in Luena, Moxico province. MAG reports that it chose Luena province because of the town's severe mine problem, which includes defensive mined rings that have been remined over the years.

Accomplishments: (Jan. 96) Demining: Since the first demining team became operational a total of 85,610 msq has been cleared of 5 mines and 93 UXO. Average monthly clearance is 24,000 msq. The Luena minefields are relatively low density and overgrown with vegetation.

Mine Awareness: A community mine awareness programme (CMAP) is in place

Norwegian People's Aid (NPA)

Purpose: (Dec. 95) NPA arrived in-country in Sep. 94. NPA will survey the northern 11-12 provinces. There are four teams consisting of two survey officers and one interpreter. NPA is also involved in a mine awareness campaign to train 420 unemployed Angolans as instructors to teach IDPs about the mines threat before they return home.

Accomplishments: (Dec. 95) NPA has begun training two demining platoons of 50 deminers in Malanje. They will open the 400 km Luanda-Malanje corridor.

Funding and cost: The Norwegian Govt. will pay 75% of the NPA survey cost of US$2 million. The Malanje demining will be partly covered by a Norwegian Govt. grant of US$600,000. The UN and Norway will each pay US$2 million to fund the National Demining School.