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Diplomacy in Action

Africa


To Walk the Earth in Safety: The United States Commitment to Humanitarian Demining
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
September 2002
Report
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Flag of AngolaAngola

 


The Landmine Problem

More than three decades of internal conflict have left Angola with one of the world's most serious landmine problems. Because no comprehensive national mine survey exists, the actual number of landmines in the country is unknown, with estimates ranging up to 7,000,000. Large quantities of UXO also are present, with an estimated 2,610 confirmed and suspected UXO locations. Eight of Angola's 18 provinces are heavily mined, including Moxico, Malange, Kuando-Kubago, and Bie, covering nearly 50 percent of the country in a band from the northwest border with the Congo to the southeast border with Namibia. Combatants planted these mines to destroy or deny access to Angola's infrastructure. Landmines pose a critical obstacle to freedom of movement and to restarting Angola's domestic food production. Mines are concentrated around roads, railways, bridges, and public facilities such as schools, churches, water supply points, and health care facilities, as well as near some provincial capitals, military facilities, footpaths, and fields. These mines hinder humanitarian aid programs, economic reconstruction, and the resettlement of Angola's 4,965,000 refugees and IDPs. Landmines affect a large portion of the population, with 80,000 amputees and an ever-expanding number of victims under the age of 15. The country experiences an estimated 800 landmine casualties a year.

United States Assistance
In FY02, the United States provided Angola with approximately $4,300,000 in financial assistance, including $1,500,000 of LWVF funds: $980,000 to the Hazardous Area Life-Support Organization (HALO) Trust to continue clearance operations in Bie and Huambo Provinces; $980,000 to Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) for operations in Moxico and Huila provinces; $560,000 to Menschen Gegen Minen for clearance in Malange and Huila provinces; and $280,000 for Mines Advisory Group (MAG) operations in Moxico province. These NGO demining efforts will provide for resettlement of IDPs, increased agricultural land for subsistence farming, and access to water and firewood for the resident civilian population. These demining activities will also open roads and rural areas to provide access routes for humanitarian relief.

In FY01, the United States provided $3,844,000 to Angola for mine action, including $2,844,000 in NGO grants. HALO Trust received $800,000, and NPA received $2,044,000. HALO Trust continued landmine and UXO removal in the Kuito area of Bie Province, one of the most mine-contaminated areas in Angola and the province with one of the largest number of IDPs. NPA continued manual demining operations in Moxico and Huila Provinces to clear land for IDP resettlement and agricultural use. In 2000, USAID's LWVF signed an agreement with the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF) to provide orthopedic service in Luena to an additional 3,000 people as well as establish a satellite workshop in Saurimo. In addition, a small business development effort promoted a new emphasis on economic rehabilitation.

Since FY95, the United States has contributed $25,810,000 in humanitarian demining assistance to Angola. This assistance is provided exclusively through NGOs, primarily to facilitate IDP and refugee resettlement and for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. The DoD Humanitarian Assistance Program has provided excess equipment to supplement the mine detectors, vehicles, and safety and communications equipment previously purchased with U.S. funds. In Angola, approximately one in 334 inhabitants is an amputee, and the United States has funded programs to assist these landmine victims. USAID has contributed $6,500,000 to Angola since 1996 through the LWVF. USAID contributed $1,000,000 to support the International Committee of the Red Cross' (ICRC) Prosthetic Production and Fitting Operation, and more than $3,000,000 to the VVAF to establish a regional rehabilitation center that will meet the mobility needs of 3,600 Angolans. LWVF has supported VVAF to meet the physical, social, and economic needs of mine victims and other amputees in Luena City, Moxico Province. The United States has also funded a feasibility study by the Landmine Survivors Network on Angolan mine victims. The study examined the potential for launching a locally managed network of survivors to raise awareness on activities designed to alleviate suffering.

Accomplishments
U.S. humanitarian demining assistance has augmented that of other nations and NGOs so that Angola could train and equip more than 800 deminers, medical technicians, and supervisors, return thousands of refugees and IDPs to Angola's central highlands—a high priority area for government and international community resettlement programs—and provide prosthetics and training in their use to thousands of landmine victims. USAID funds produced and repaired 1,500 prostheses and orthoses, while producing and delivering approximately 800 mobility aids (e.g., crutches, wheelchairs, etc.). In 2001 alone, Angolan and NGO deminers, supported with U.S. financial assistance, cleared more than 841,887 meters2 of land, resulting in increased access to agricultural land, water and firewood, the opening of additional areas for the resettlement of IDPs, and more frequent delivery of humanitarian assistance.

With U.S. and international support, Angola continues to make progress in eliminating landmines, a major hindrance to the implementation of humanitarian aid programs, economic reconstruction, and internal movement and resettlement in those areas of the country that are relatively free from conflict. In June 2002, the National Institute for the Removal of Obstacles and Explosive Devices handed over two demined areas of Bie Province to the local government. The first area of some 75,000 meters2 will be used to build schools and houses for 12,000 IDPs. The second cleared area of almost 52,000 meters2 is in the village of Cavanga on the outskirts of Cuito. Since 1995, more than 316,000 landmines and more than 86,500 pieces of UXO have been destroyed, and almost 10,000,000 meters2 of land have been rendered mine-safe.

Flag of ChadChad

 


The Landmine Problem

Thirty-seven years of invasion and rebellion have left Chad with an extremely severe mine and UXO problem. The Libyan occupation of the northern half of the country in the 1980s resulted in large (2-60 kilometers long) defensive minefields around all the population centers of Chad's desert. Rebellions in the south, east, and west also left a large number of small, nuisance minefields and thousands of tons of UXO spread throughout many regions. At the end of these conflicts, the country had an estimated 500,000 landmines. A Landmine Impact Survey, funded by the United States and the United Kingdom that was completed in May 2001, identified the presence of landmines and UXO in 249 of 347 localities, and determined that the most severely affected areas are in the north and east of the country. UXO, which is estimated to have contaminated almost 7.9 million meters2 of land, is found in homes, schools, former ammunition storage areas, and abandoned combat vehicles. The population in the vicinity of military firing ranges is in particular danger, with abandoned UXO and munitions causing at least 19 casualties a year. According to the Survey, there were 339 landmine and UXO victims between March 1999 and March 2001, half due to mines and half to UXO. Approximately 50 percent of the victims succumbed to their injuries. UXO also blocks nomadic herders from access to water and agricultural land, while livestock are poisoned by toxins leached from UXO into the soil, or by licking UXO in an effort to increase salt intake.

United States Assistance
In FY02 the United States contributed $441,000 to Chad's demining program. These funds are providing the National High Commission for Demining with a capability for emergency medical air evacuation from remote field operations to N'djamena, the location of the only hospital in the country capable of performing life-saving surgery. Without this medical evacuation capability, Chad's demining operations would be forced to shut down.

In FY01, the United States contributed $300,000 to Chad's humanitarian demining program for the purchase of demining equipment, while the government of Chad provided the equivalent of $1,000,000 (USD) for demining operations.

The United States has contributed more than $5,000,000 to Chad's humanitarian demining program since it began in 1998. This assistance has helped fund the renovation of Chad's NDO building, the establishment of a national MAC, and the creation of a database identifying the location of minefields.

Accomplishments
The United States played a key role in launching Chad's demining program in January 1998. U.S. military personnel trained a cadre of Chadian deminers, who are now capable of independently training personnel in humanitarian demining techniques and procedures. The United States also provided necessary demining equipment. With the start of demining operations in late September 2000, progress has been made in reducing deaths and injuries, and reopening access to cropland, water, and housing.

After 18 years, mine-clearance operations have reopened the traditional route of villagers, camel herders, merchants, and traders into northern Faya, significantly easing and securing the life of the locals. The reopening of the road south of Faya to the capital has enhanced the life of the local residents by improving communications with the capital and the rest of Central and West Africa. In Moyto, 10,500 meters2 of land have been opened to agriculture. In Massenya, UXO removal has allowed the airport to reopen, and the demining of Ounianga-Kebir has opened it for future tourism and trade. Continued U.S. humanitarian demining assistance will enable the Government of Chad to demine its northern provinces and to benefit from economic and social development in those regions.

Between September 2000 and June 2002, U.S.-trained Chadian deminers had cleared 1.3 million meters2 of land and, in the process, destroyed approximately 3,950 landmines and more than 157 metric tons of UXO. Demining operations are currently underway at Ounianga-Kebir, Fada, the Fada-Kiko road, and Biltine. Deminers are also destroying thousands of serviceable landmines half-buried in abandoned Libyan ammunition dumps.

Flag of DjiboutiDjibouti

 


The Landmine Problem
Djibouti has a small landmine problem as a result of an internal conflict during 1991-1994 between the Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy (FRUD) and the Government of Djibouti (GoD). The exact number of landmines and the areas of their concentration are not known. A small UXO threat also exists. According to figures provided by the Djiboutian military, landmines killed 31 and injured 90 people between 1997 and early 2000. However, only one landmine incident has been reported since the peace agreement between the Djibouti government and the FRUD was signed in February 2000. In 2001, a landmine blew up a military vehicle in Obok, killing one soldier and injuring four others.

Djibouti's northern plateau, the most heavily contested area during the civil war, contains most of the suspected minefields or mined routes, particularly in the districts of Obok and Tadjoura, north of Djibouti City. In the town of Obok, the Djibouti army laid mines to protect an army camp and key installations. FRUD forces are said to have also mined these areas as well as access roads out of Obok and sites near the village of Andoli. A section of road leading south from the town of Ali Sabieh to the border is also mined. Deminers conducted a Landmine Impact Survey in these areas in September 2001 to determine the extent of the landmine and UXO problems.

U.S. Assistance
In FY02, the United States provided $290,000 in assistance to the humanitarian demining program in Djibouti. Complementing U.S. assistance, the GoD assigned additional personnel to the Djibouti MAC, demonstrating the high level of commitment the GoD has for its demining program. The United States provided $1,130,000 in assistance in FY01 to fund a U.S. military train-the-trainer program for Djiboutian military personnel, and the provision of mine-clearance supplies and equipment. Since FY99, the United States has provided Djibouti with $2,386,000 for humanitarian demining.

Accomplishments
U.S. military personnel have been instrumental in the training of the first Djiboutian deminers. They completed training the first cadre of 35 Djiboutian deminers in May 2001, and some of these deminers immediately began to clear areas around military bases in the north. With U.S. assistance, the GoD has outfitted a MAC, refurbished the facilities for demining training, and taken delivery of an initial complement of vehicles, including ambulances, for transporting deminers and mine victims. To date, Djiboutian demining teams have destroyed 274 landmines and 28 pieces of UXO, and cleared 5,662 meters2 of land that has been returned to productive use. This demining effort is especially important to economic development and alleviating impoverishment in the north of the country. With the current rate of progress, Djibouti should be mine-safe by the end of 2003.

Flag of EritreaEritrea

 


The Landmine Problem

Thirty years of civil strife and the war between 1998-2000 with Ethiopia have left Eritrea with a severe landmine problem and an estimated 300,000 IDPs. The National Demining Center in Asmara estimates some 1,500,000 to 2,000,000 mines and an equal amount of UXO in the country. Since 1995, the Eritrean Historical Research Department has identified more than 100 minefields in 38 villages. Ten of the 11 major battle sites believed to contain mines are in the northern and northwestern provinces; the 11th is in a southeast province. The majority of landmines are around the cities of Keren, Nafka, and Asha Golgol. Combatants used landmines to defend strongholds around cities and populated areas, military camps, and roadways. Landmines are also found in rural farmlands, near water sources, and along the borders.

The landmines and minefields, many located in populated areas, routinely inflict casualties on people and animals, and they present major problems to Eritrea's reconstruction, rehabilitation, and development efforts. Landmines in the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) pose a major danger to IDPs now returning to their homes. The UN estimates that landmine incidents in 2000 inflicted 200 casualties, at least 69 of these fatalities in the TSZ since Eritrea and Ethiopia ended their border war that year.

United States Assistance
The United States contributed $1,230,000 to Eritrean demining endeavors in FY02. The assistance is funding the training and equipping of two demining companies and the establishment of an MDD capability to support national demining objectives. In FY01, the United States gave Eritrea $1,055,000 in humanitarian demining assistance.

Since FY94, Eritrea has received more than $10,240,000 in U.S. humanitarian demining assistance. The funds have paid for the establishment of a national demining headquarters in Keren, renovation of two regional demining headquarters, training of deminers and medical personnel, and the shipment of 60 trucks from Germany used to transport demining teams. In August 2001, a DOS contractor, funded with previously allocated assistance, completed training of a second company of 80 Eritrean deminers and medical staff. Training of an additional 80 Eritrean personnel is now underway.

Accomplishments
Since 1996, the first Eritrean demining company, trained by U.S. military personnel, has cleared significant amounts of land for farming, grazing, road building, utility projects, and harvesting natural resources. During the 1998-2000 war, this demining company removed or destroyed more than 1,600 mines and 4,000 UXO items, opening 1,650,000 meters2 of land and 110 kilometers of road. Hundreds of thousands of Eritrean refugees from Sudan have resettled the cleared land. It is significant to note that the demining company has not suffered a single serious injury, and mine-awareness programs have reduced civilian casualty rates dramatically. Additionally, eight teams of MDDs and their handlers began mine-clearance operations in late summer 2001. The successes of the Eritrean humanitarian demining program are making a vital contribution to the country's continued economic growth. For example, by June 2002, deminers had cleared 207,731 meters2 of land near the town of Tserona. This area is in close proximity to 11 small villages with six schools and a population of 3,613. The cleared land will now be used for agricultural production and grazing livestock.

Flag of EthiopiaEthiopia

 

The Landmine Problem
The Government of Ethiopia's Mine Action Office estimates that 1,500,000 to 2,000,000 landmines, as well as a large quantity of UXO, litter its territory, threatening every province, particularly Tigray. Prior to the border war with Eritrea in 1998-2000, the Ethiopian Demining Headquarters identified 97 minefields in three regions of the country where it was operating. Many of the mines and minefields are near populated areas in which both people and livestock have become casualties. Flooding and erosion exacerbate the problem. The greatest danger to people and livestock comes from UXO rather than landmines, because the minefield locations are fairly well known, but the UXO is randomly distributed. UXO accounted for more than 70 percent of the casualties in 2001. According to the country's demining headquarters, since 1995 landmines have killed at least 172 civilians and injured 113, while Ethiopian deminers have suffered 4 deaths and 16 wounded in clearance operations. More than half of these casualties occurred in 2000. During the same period, landmines and UXO killed almost 2,000 animals. In the Tigray region, landmines and UXO have killed 119 people and injured another 216 between 1998 and 2001.

United States Assistance
In FY93, the United States began funding humanitarian demining activities in Ethiopia, and has provided more than $10,000,000 since then. The United States provided $1,900,000 in demining funding in FY02. In FY01, the United States provided $5,000 in humanitarian demining assistance, along with training and equipment for approximately 200 deminers.

Accomplishments
The U.S. military's train-the-trainer programs yielded an initial cadre of 180 Ethiopian deminers. From 1995 until the resumption of hostilities with Eritrea in 1998, these deminers destroyed more than 68,000 landmines and more than 364,000 pieces of UXO. After the cessation of hostilities, deminers and combat engineers cleared an additional 203,011 anti-personnel landmines and 10,319 anti-tank mines. By October 1999, deminers had also cleared 174,010,000 meters2 of land and 1,500,000 meters2 of road. The people of Ethiopia are now using the cleared land for farming, grazing, electric power and telecommunications projects, road construction, exploitation of natural resources, such as mining and drilling, and resettlement of refugees in more than 170 villages. RONCO Consulting Corporation, a DOS contractor, completed training of an additional 160 deminers in September 2001. The two new companies of manual deminers are operational and deployed to Gerhu and Zalembassa, two priority sites in the Tigray region. Initial survey work has resulted in more than a 90-percent reduction of targeted areas, from 134,072,743 meters2 to 12,312,725 meters2, in effect returning previously suspect land to use. Mine-risk education has played a significant role in the dramatic reduction of civilian casualties.

Since 1993, USAID has funded the Prosthetic Orthotic Training Center in Addis Ababa. This center has provided training in the manufacture and use of prosthetic components to more than 108 technicians from 28 countries, and produced more than 6,600 prostheses, 6,200 orthoses, and 6,200 pairs of crutches.

Flag of Guinea-BissauGuinea-Bissau

 

The Landmine Problem
There are an estimated 16,000-20,000 landmines in Guinea-Bissau, with Senegalese forces responsible for having laid a significant quantity. Some mines date from the 1962-1974 colonial war of liberation, but the majority is attributed to the 1998-99 military mutiny. Minefields infest approximately 30 kilometers2 of land, most of it close to populous areas in Central Bissau and its environs. In addition, UXO, much of it exposed to the weather and in a deteriorated condition, is scattered throughout populated and agricultural areas. The mines and UXO represent a persistent danger to the civilian population and a hindrance to the resumption of normal commercial activity.

United States Assistance
Since the program's inception in 2000, the United States has provided $588,000 in humanitarian demining assistance. In FY01, the United States provided Guinea Bissau with $489,000, primarily to support the mine-clearance operations of the NGO, HUMAID, and the remainder for the purchase of equipment for Guinea-Bissau's MAC, which oversees demining operations throughout the country.

Accomplishments
Since January 2000, HUMAID deminers have cleared more than 183,200 meters2 of land and destroyed more than 2,700 mines and more than 13,300 pieces of UXO. Because of these efforts, people are able to build homes on safe land, schools have begun operating again, and agricultural land has been cultivated for crops, such as manioc, beans, and cashews.

Flag of MauritaniaMauritania

 


The Landmine Problem

An estimated 50,000-100,000 landmines remain in Mauritania from the war in the Western Sahara. The majority of these mines are on the Cap Blanc Peninsula. Others are at B�r Mogre�n, A�n Bin Tili, and around Zouirat. On most occasions, combatants laid mines without regard to future mine-clearance requirements. Shifting of dunes, instability of the soils, absence of natural barriers, and the lack of reliable maps present huge obstacles to locating and neutralizing landmines. The remaining landmines and UXO in northern Mauritania continue to hinder economic development. Although landmine casualties are not extensive, Mauritanian military personnel and civilians have suffered injuries. Between 1978 and 1999, landmines and UXO killed 341 and injured 242 people.

United States Assistance
Since FY99, the United States, the only external humanitarian demining donor to Mauritania, has provided almost $5,000,000 to the country's demining program. In FY02, the United States allocated $698,000 to mine-action assistance and in FY01, the United States provided $1,523,000 to construct a forward demining base in northern Mauritania and to establish a long-range radio communications system. U.S. assistance also has funded a mine-awareness campaign, training of deminers, construction of a building to be used as a demining school, establishment of an NDO, and provision of vehicles and demining equipment, all with the objective of creating an indigenous demining capability.

Accomplishments
Mauritania has experienced a significant reduction in landmine casualties since the inception of the U.S.-supported humanitarian demining program. Between 1978 and 1999, on average, the country suffered about 28 landmine casualties a year; in 2000, only two; in 2001, just one. Through August 2002, no landmine casualties have been reported. Through a mine-awareness program, 30,000 booklets were distributed to schools in the north, and 6,000 brochures were distributed to military personnel clearing mines; this effort contributed to the reduction in casualties. U.S. military personnel trained 52 Mauritanian military deminers, who then trained additional fellow military personnel in demining techniques. In 2001, demining teams cleared a total of 385 kilometers of roadways, including one that permitted the transport of water from the wells in Blonouar to the population of Nouadhibou. They also located and marked 27 minefields and cleared 141,000 meters2 of land. From 2000 through June 2002, deminers destroyed more than 8,000 landmines and more than 5,700 pieces of UXO.

Flag of MozambiqueMozambique

 


The Landmine Problem

Twenty-six years of conflict, including a war for independence and then civil war, have left Mozambique littered with landmines. The number of mines is not known; estimates range as high as 1,000,000. Although landmines are found in all of Mozambique's provinces, the most heavily mined regions are in the north, along the Zimbabwean border, Zambezia in Tete Province, and in Maputo and Inhambane Provinces.

Two typhoons struck Mozambique early in 2000, and subsequent heavy flooding displaced many landmines. At the request of the Mozambique National Demining Institute (IND), the DOS used some of the $3,800,000 in FY00 assistance to Mozambique in funding a U.S. contractor to address the problem. The contractor conducted high priority demining, under IND direction, of the most dangerous threats.

Landmines continue to injure people, inhibit refugee resettlement, and hinder economic development by preventing the rehabilitation of key transportation links and the development of potentially fertile agricultural land. Landmines surround entire communities and many residents are unable to farm. Their presence also makes it difficult to install water supply systems. In 2000, there were 20 landmine accidents, involving 29 people, eight of whom subsequently died from their injuries.

UXO also pose a threat to the population, littering some 70 percent of the country and further hindering farming and economic development.

United States Assistance
In FY02, the United States provided $2,124,000 to fund demining operations on the Sena rail line between Beira and the Malawi border, and to train IND staff in areas of general management, mine awareness, quality assurance, and related administration.

Since FY93, the United States has provided nearly $29,000,000 in humanitarian demining assistance to Mozambique. In FY01, the United States provided nearly $2,200,000 to Mozambique for humanitarian mine action. The assistance funded U.S. demining equipment to support operational demining elements trained by U.S. military personnel. Through the years, the United States has provided trucks, metal detectors, protective body gear, terrain-clearing tools, and an MDD capability, and it has supported NGO demining operations. USAID victim assistance programs and mine-clearance operations include LWVF financial support to a Mozambican NGO, The Prosthetic and Orthotic Worldwide Education and Relief, to develop prosthetic and orthotic capacity throughout the country to aid an estimated 9,000 landmine victims.

Accomplishments
From 1992 through October 2001, NGO mine-clearance operations, funded by the United States, such as USAID's Demobilization/Reintegration Project, have removed more than 17,000 landmines and more than 29,000 pieces of UXO, cleared 11,672,779 meters2 of land, and opened more than 4,500 kilometers of roads, including 2,400 kilometers in Sofal, Manica, and Zambezia Provinces, facilitating post-war resettlement of agricultural land, and reconnecting nearly one million people to their local economies.

The LWVF has undertaken a number of initiatives to strengthen Mozambican management capabilities, improve outreach, and support private-sector opportunities to assume production and distribution of prosthetics. Additionally, the effort put forth by the LWVF has resulted in visible change: possibly 70 percent of the amputee population has been directly served, receiving appropriate devices to assist their mobility. In central Mozambique, USAID funded a charter airline company to provide all logistical support of demining operations, including emergency evacuation of landmine victims.

In a partnership with Japan, the United States contributed $1,000,000 to the clearance of mines around the Massingir Dam, a facility vital to Mozambique's overall development strategy. The dam is capable of supplying electricity and irrigating 9,000,000 meters2 of land. Using trucks purchased with U.S. assistance funds to transport deminers, HALO Trust is clearing land in the four severely mine-affected northern provinces for agriculture and refugee resettlement. HALO Tust is also clearing key roads and power lines in that region. Mozambican military deminers, trained by U.S. military personnel, have cleared the Komatipoort to Maputo power lines, the capital's main source of electricity. The U.S. demining contractor, RONCO, is now clearing the Sena rail line, Mozambique's top national demining priority, and expects this demining effort to be finished in September 2002. As of July 2002, 2,857,985 meters2 of roadbed and adjacent area have been cleared; only the 82 kilometers of rail line between Inhaminga and Marrimeo remain to be cleared. The restored rail line will open large areas of the Zambezi River Valley, key to development of the central provinces, by facilitating the export of agricultural and mineral products to the country's second largest city and port of Beira. It will also allow access to Mozambique's infrastructure and valuable resources including coal, agricultural products, and small farms and businesses. MDDs, provided by the United States, have increased the operational capacity of the Accelerated Demining Program (ADP) in the southern provinces. Refugees have returned to land that the ADP has cleared, schools and health clinics have been built on it, and agricultural production has resumed.

Vehicles and computers purchased for the IND have increased its ability to carry out work as a national mine coordinator. The United States continues to work with the IND to increase the Institute's responsibility in overseeing all aspects of mine action and to improve interaction and cooperation among the various demining organizations and NGOs operating in the country.

Flag of NamibiaNamibia

 


The Landmine Problem
Landmines and UXO had infested about 100,000 kilometers2 of land (about 12 percent of Namibia), but this area contained some of the highest population densities in the country. By the time Namibia achieved independence from South Africa in 1989, South African Defense Forces (SADF) had laid more than 44,000 landmines in defensive perimeters around military and police bases and two water supply towers along the Namibia-Angola border in the nation's northwest. The resulting 10 minefields encompassed more than 360,000 meters2 of land. The SADF also laid mines around 410 electric power pylons stretching from the northern town of Ruacana south approximately 200 kilometers to the northern border of the Estosha National Game Reserve. A 900-meter2 area around each pylon contained 24-36 landmines. Hundreds of thousands of UXO continue to be embedded along Namibia's northern border, a major battleground during the war for independence. From December 1999 through May 2002, Uni�o Nacional para a Independencia Total de Angola (UNITA) and factions of the For�as Armadas de Angola (Angolan Armed Forces [FAA]) in the Angolan civil war laid landmines in the Caprivi and Kavango regions of northeast Namibia. Although these mines affect a relatively small geographic area along some 300 miles of the border shared by Namibia and Angola, Namibian Police believe there is a significant quantity of mines that endanger much of the rural population, frighten away tourists, and discourage farmers from planting crops. The mines will be very difficult to locate because they are unmarked and unmapped. In addition, combatants probably buried many of them along the edge of rivers and, over time, sand and vegetation growth have covered many of them. The landmines are most probably to be found one at a time. For these reasons, the Namibian Police expect landmine casualties will continue to occur until deminers clear the affected areas. From 1989 through July 2002, landmines and UXO killed 135 and wounded 440 civilians. Between 2000 and 2001, landmines killed 23 and injured 138 people just in the Kavango and Caprivi regions.

United States Assistance
In FY02, Namibia received $88,000 in U.S. humanitarian demining assistance. The funds provided for protective clothing, supplies for field operations, and communications equipment for the Namibian Police Force's six Explosive Ordnance Demolition field teams. FY01 assistance in the amount of $40,000 funded a nationwide mine-awareness program that included ad campaigns in local newspapers and medical kits for mine-awareness teams. The campaign, using materials printed in four indigenous languages, reached more than 400,000 inhabitants.

Since FY94, the United States has provided more than $7,800,000 in humanitarian demining assistance. U.S. assistance has funded a multiphase demining program, including training, clearance, mine awareness, medical assistance, communications and other related equipment. The United States also provided a berm processor to extract landmines in the berms around electric pylons. Additionally, the U.S. Government participated in a highly successful test of a machine built in Namibia, the Rotar, to sift mines from the soil. The Rotar proved so effective that the DoD paid for the development of an improved system. Finally, when rugged terrain hampered UXO disposal efforts in the northern regions, the United States purchased 4x4 vehicles to enable deminers to reach the clearance sites.

Accomplishments
Overall, the establishment of Namibia's demining program is complete. In 1998, U.S. military personnel completed the train-the-trainer program for the Namibian Defense Force (NDF) and Police, instructing 114 military engineers and police in demining operations. A U.S.-funded contractor provided additional training that was completed in 2001. Deminers have cleared more than one million meters2 of land, restoring it to productive use, and destroyed more than 5,000 mines and 200,000 UXO. By January 2001, the NDF had cleared all known minefields and 410 electric power pylons. The Namibian Police Explosive Ordnance teams continue to respond to UXO reports and to conduct mine-awareness programs. Unquestionably, the intense mine-awareness campaign can be credited with having reduced the number of accidents from mines and UXO between 2000 and 2002. The equipment that the teams received in FY02 allows them to respond more quickly to reports of mines and UXO and to be closer to the people who are threatened. Now that the Angola civil war no longer poses a cross-border threat, the military and police are able to complete the clearance of mines and UXO along the northern border. The DOS will continue to provide funding for mine-action activities as appropriate.

Flag of RwandaRwanda

 


The Landmine Problem

Rwanda emerged from its 1900-1994 civil war with an estimated 100,000-250,000 landmines scattered throughout the country. Despite the lack of written records and maps, the Government of Rwanda believes that the heaviest concentrations of landmines, some 50,000-60,000, were in the Kigali area and in four prefectures in the North and Northwest, about 10 kilometers from the border with Uganda, an area approximately 120 kilometers long. An additional 1,200 kilometers2 of suspected mine-contaminated land is situated south of this region. Significant portions of Rwanda's roads were mined, cutting off entire regions and hindering the flow of humanitarian aid and commodities. Overall, the mines and UXO have been a major impediment to the economic and social development of the country. Moreover, the thick vegetation and steep hilly terrain have posed enormous challenges to mine-clearance activities.

United States Assistance
The United States is the sole donor to the country's humanitarian demining program. In FY02, Rwanda received $350,000 in U.S. humanitarian demining assistance to promote mine awareness, conduct mine-clearance operations, and purchase demining equipment. FY01 assistance of $400,000 enabled Rwanda's NDO to continue its aggressive mine-awareness campaign, replenish some of the equipment it had used in conducting mine-clearance operations in rough terrain, and provide deminers and medics with refresher training.

Rwanda has been receiving U.S. humanitarian demining assistance since FY95, with total contributions approaching $11,500,000. In 1995, U.S. military personnel established an NDO in Kigali and trained 120 Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) personnel in humanitarian demining techniques. The U.S. military trainers also provided a new mine detector that could function more effectively in soil with a high metal content and locate plastic mines more easily. U.S. military personnel returned in 1996 to conduct refresher training, and to assist the NDO in integrating MDDs, funded by USAID, into its demining operations. In 1997, U.S. military personnel established a computer training program at the NDO, revitalized the NDO's data collection center, and conducted mine-awareness training. Another U.S. military team, including explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) specialists, trained 93 RPA deminers and EOD personnel. In 1998 and 1999, U.S. assistance funded the renovation of NDO facilities at the Rebero training camp, the purchase of additional demining equipment, and provided enhanced EOD training.

Accomplishments
U.S. demining assistance has dramatically impacted Rwandan society. Through the end of 2001, more than 200 U.S.-trained deminers and EOD personnel have cleared more than 500,000,000 meters2 of land, and destroyed more than 27,250 mines and thousands of UXO. Rwanda's main and secondary roads are now clear of landmines, allowing valuable exports, necessary imports, consumer goods, and international aid to flow freely. Much of the cleared land supports subsistence farming, an aid to decreasing the food shortage. The occurrence of landmine casualties has dropped substantially, thanks to the removal of the most dangerous landmines and successful mine-awareness campaigns. In 1994, two landmine casualties were reported each day, and now less than two casualties occur each month. Some 400,000 refugees and IDPs have returned to their villages, many to houses that the RPA built on cleared land. The humanitarian demining program in Rwanda is now at the sustainment phase, and the country expects to be mine-safe by early 2004.

Flag of SenegalSenegal

 


The Landmine Problem

In 1982, supporters of the Mouvement des Forces Democratiques de la Casamance demanded that the Govern-ment of Senegal grant independence to the Casamance region, an isolated section of southwestern Senegal located between Gambia and Guinea-Bissau. This demand sparked a 19-year-long conflict, which only recently began to be resolved.

The conflict worsened in the late 1990s with the appearance of anti-personnel and anti-tank mines. These landmines have adversely affected the population (an anti-tank mine killed two people in September 2001), agricultural activities and tourism, as well as hampering donor and NGO efforts in the region. No accurate information is available regarding the total quantity of landmines or the number of landmine casualties.

United States Assistance
In July 2001, USAID, through the LWVF, began providing the first of the $499,751 committed to Senegal, to Handicap International (HI) to support its mine-awareness and mine-victim assistance programs. One component of HI's effort is designed to facilitate the rehabilitation of people with disabilities in the Casamance region. A second component supports local associations that assist people with landmine injuries during their treatment and ease their return to family and communities. The third facet of the program is the conduct of training sessions to disseminate mine-awareness messages throughout each regional village.

Accomplishments
To facilitate the rehabilitation of landmine victims, HI is promoting the decentralization of orthopedic services in the region. Additionally, HI has collected data on mine accidents and produced maps that indicate mine locations. This information enables HI to target prevention activities more effectively.

Flag of SomaliaSomalia (northwest Somalia)

 


The Landmine Problem

Northwest Somalia has a severe landmine and UXO problem. Several conflicts have left large quantities of landmines and UXO along the border between northwest Somalia and Ethiopia, the perimeters surrounding military installations, important access routes, and urban areas. Following the Ethiopia conflict, the Somalian Army laid mines near the border and around nearby military bases as a defense strategy. The civil war in 1988 continued the practice of laying mines, restricting both military and civilian movement within the country. The Somalia MAC has confirmed the presence of at least 28 mined roads and 63 known and 17 suspected minefields.

United States Assistance
In FY02, the United States provided $1,200,000 in humanitarian demining assistance to northwest Somalia to fund mine-clearance operations conducted by HALO Trust. In FY01, the United States also funded ($1,400,000) HALO Trust operations, and provided equipment to the NDO. Prior to FY01, the United States funded a Technical Survey conducted by Care International, in partnership with Minetech, a commercial firm from Zimbabwe. Since 1998, the United States has given almost $5,500,000 in demining assistance to northwest Somalia.

Accomplishments
Through February 2002, HALO Trust had cleared 19,663,265 meters2 of land, while destroying 1,333 mines and pieces of UXO. Refugees have returned to their homes on the land cleared in Burao.

Flag of SudanSudan

 

The Landmine Problem
Sudan has a serious landmine and UXO problem as a result of its 1983-2002 civil war. Both the Government of Sudan (GoS) and armed opposition groups, such as the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), deployed landmines to interdict roads and to protect fixed garrisons. Local records indicate that between 1989 and February 2002, an estimated 1,160 persons became landmine victims in the Nuba Mountains region of southern Sudan. Both mines and UXO currently hinder the movement of cease-fire monitors, humanitarian goods, and civilian populations.

United States Assistance
In late April 2002, the United States deployed a portion of its Quick Reaction Demining Force (QRDF) to conduct mine-clearance operations in the Nuba Mountains.

Accomplishments
The QRDF's mine-clearance operations opened eight kilometers of a critical stretch of road, lessening the likelihood of additional casualties as refugees and IDPs returned to areas where mines were known to exist and into other areas suspected of being mined. These mine-clearance operations also contributed to the success of the first phase of the ceasefire between the GoS and the SPLM/A and the operations of the Joint Military Commission, an international agency in which the United States plays a leading role.

Flag of SwazilandSwaziland

 


The Landmine Problem

Swaziland has one minefield in the extreme northeastern part of the country along its border with Mozambique. It is approximately 10 kilometers long and varies in width from 50-100 meters. The minefield is believed to contain about a dozen mines.

United States Assistance
Since FY98, the United States has provided more than $1,000,000 in assistance. The funds provided for training of deminers and demining equipment. In 1999 and 2000, U.S. military personnel conducted train-the-trainer programs, and the DOS provided mine detectors and protective gear.

Accomplishments
U.S. training has created an indigenous Swazi capability to conduct humanitarian demining operations using methods that meet UN and international standards. U.S humanitarian demining assistance to Swaziland has ended.

Flag of ZambiaZambia

 


The Landmine Problem

Nearly 20 years of fighting for independence, beginning in the 1960s when freedom fighters from the neighboring countries of Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe waged their anti-colonial wars, have left Zambia with a landmine problem of largely unknown dimensions. The Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) is unable to estimate the quantity and type of landmines in its soil, because combatants laid the mines in a "nuisance pattern" and accurate records were not maintained. GRZ requests to former colonial authorities and former liberation movement participants to obtain information about the landmines they emplaced have not been successful. The Government's best estimate is that landmines affect 2,500 kilometers2 of land in five provinces, stretching from Mwinilunga bordering the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the Northwestern Province, and continuing along its western borders to Lundazi in the Eastern Province. Landmines also infest the Western, Southern, Lusaka, and Central Provinces. A high-density minefield threat does not appear to exist, but rather a threat of isolated and nuisance mines along routes and around camps that the freedom fighters once used. Nevertheless, large amounts of productive land in the mine-affected provinces have been virtually "no-go" areas for more than 30 years. The fear of mines has prevented the use of roads, schools, waterways, rural health centers, even airports, and has impeded socio-economic development. Since Zambia achieved its independence in 1980, landmines have killed or maimed at least 200 people. The number may be higher, because hospitals do not specifically identify landmine victims in their overall casualty records.

United States Assistance
In FY02, the United States allocated $992,000 to support mine-action activities, including staff management, survey and database management, mine-clearance operations, medical support, and additional mine-risk education conducted by U.S. military personnel. In FY01, the DOS provided $700,000 to help establish a mine-action program.

Accomplishments
The U.S. contractor RONCO continues to train and equip the Zambian National MAC, and prepare Landmine Impact Survey Teams and manual deminers for deployment into minefields. In May 2002, deminers were deployed to Siavonga and quickly finished their first assignment. Zambia is now well on the way to establishing an indigenous, sustainable humanitarian demining capability.

Flag of ZimbabweZimbabwe

 

The Landmine Problem
The Zimbabwean NDO estimates that the War of Liberation, which ended in 1980, caused 656 kilometers2 of land to be infested with 2,500,000 landmines. Although combatants did not prepare or maintain minefield records adequately, the NDO believes that the majority of the mines are in fields stretching some 700 kilometers along the borders shared with Zambia and Mozambique. This is a remote region of the country with rough terrain, making landmine surveys difficult to conduct. Three landmine casualties were reported in 2000.

United States Assistance
In FY02, the United States provided $314,000 in assistance to Zimbabwe. U.S. assistance has funded mine-awareness materials, U.S. military training of three platoons of Zimbabwean Army Combat Engineers in minefield survey procedures, basic demining techniques, medical orderly skills, vehicle maintenance, and the purchase of equipment and vehicles necessary to outfit and transport the platoons. In addition, an NDO is in place, and the training in staff management and organizational structure is now complete.

In FY01, the United States provided $595,000 to fully equip a third demining platoon. Since FY98, U.S. contributions for humanitarian demining have totaled almost $6,750,000.

Accomplishments
The NDO's mine-awareness unit, responsible for training in target audience analysis and the design of a mine-awareness information campaign, has helped reduce the country's landmine casualty rate. Zimbabwean Army Combat Engineers and private sector deminers have destroyed 26,000 landmines and have cleared more than 2,600,000 meters2 of land, opening large tracts at Victoria Falls to tourism and the Zambezi Valley for resettlement. The clearing of a minefield with an area of 1,800,00 meters2 at the Forbes Border Post outside Murare in December 2001 paved the way for the Zimbabwean Revenue Authority to expand the Post, and facilitated the maintenance of the railway line to Beira, Mozambique.



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