Angola

France grants Angola 3 million dollars for de-mining

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Luanda, Angola (PANA) - France has granted authorities in Luanda 3 million dollars aimed at de-mining and reintegration of persons displaced by the 27-year-long Angolan war.
A statement from the French Embassy here noted this week that "the gesture is confirmation of the promise France made 27 December."

"The amount to be granted to Angola in March and April is part of a strategy in several phases, aimed at enhancing humanitarian aid, de-mining, reintegration of people displaced by the war and maimed people, agricultural and rural development," it explained.

"The provinces of Malanje (north) and Huambo (central), where French cooperation projects are being implemented, will benefit from the funding," the statement added.

In agreement with the French embassy, de-mining activities are part of a strategy of development aid promised by French foreign minister Dominique de Villepin during his visit to Angola last July.

Mine clearing will foster the resettlement of people displaced by the war in the aforementioned provinces where, several landmine accidents occurred at the beginning of the past rainy season.

As part of the project, emergency de-mining activities are planned for the next few weeks, but their duration and cost were not specified.

With 5 million to 7 million mines scattered across the country, Angola is among the World's ten countries most affected by land mines.

Official sources estimate that 4.5 million people were displaced by the war in Angola when it ended on 4 April 2002 with the death of UNITA leader, Jonas Savimbi.

But the ministry of Assistance and Social Reintegration reported last December that two million displaced people had already returned to their localities of origin.

Pan African News Agency
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