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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Africa


To Walk the Earth in Safety (2008)
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
June 2008
Report
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Angola

Flag of Angola is two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and black with a centered yellow emblem consisting of a five-pointed star within half a cogwheel crossed by a machete (in the style of a hammer and sickle).

Deborah Netland, Program Manager for PM/WRA, next to a small batch of a large stockpile of assault rifles, superfluous to Angola’s security needs, that was about to be cut up and have its metal recycled. This was part of a weapons destruction project executed by The HALO Trust and funded by PM/WRA. A truck-mounted metal cutter is visible in the background. [Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement]
Deborah Netland, Program Manager for PM/WRA, next to a small batch of a large stockpile of assault rifles, superfluous to Angola’s security needs, that was about to be cut up and have its metal recycled. This was part of a weapons destruction project executed by The HALO Trust and funded by PM/WRA. A truck-mounted metal cutter is visible in the background. [Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement]
Angola’s landmine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) contamination is the product of four decades of continuous conflict, beginning with a war for independence in the 1960s followed by 30 years of civil war. Landmines and UXO continue to pose an immediate threat to local populations, preventing the normalization of lives, creating an obstacle to humanitarian assistance, and inhibiting the economic recovery of the country. The Landmine Impact Survey (LIS) for Angola provides the most accurate picture of the socioeconomic impact on communities there, confirming that mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) impact more than 2.2 million people in 1,968 communities across all 18 provinces. In addition, Angola has an estimated two million at-risk, military type small arms and light weapons in civilian hands and many more in unsecured government stockpiles. The Angolan Army is currently undergoing a national inventory and there is ongoing destruction of surplus dangerous weapons and ammunition. Between FY 2002 and FY 2007 the U.S. Department of State spent over $1.8 million to help Angola destroy surplus weapons and ammunition.

In 2006 the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs provided $5,125,497 in humanitarian mine action assistance to Angola through nongovernmental organizations, resulting in the clearance of 887 kilometers of road and 1,159,718 square meters of land. The HALO Trust (HALO) received two grants from PM/WRA. One was for $2,301,497 to clear land and roads in the provinces of Benguela, Huambo and Bie. HALO’s second grant, totaling $447,017, established a Weapons and Ammunition Disposal Team to destroy weapons and ammunition handed over as part of a national voluntary disarmament initiative and to support Angolan security services in the disposal of unwanted or degraded weapons and ammunition. Between June and December 2006, HALO destroyed 7,633 weapons and 17,040 items of ammunition. PM/WRA granted $1,550,000 to Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) for clearance operations in Kwanza Sul province and $1,274,000 to MAG (Mines Advisory Group) for survey teams and manual and mechanical demining teams operating in Moxico province. Also in 2006, PM/WRA provided a $100,100 grant to the Survey Action Center to complete the LIS data analysis and produce a final report and maps on the survey’s findings. This report is expected to provide policymakers at the provincial, national, and international levels with detailed and standardized data regarding the socioeconomic impacts of landmines and UXO upon communities throughout Angola. In support of national capacity building, PM/WRA provided a grant for $347,582 to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for the establishment of regional Quality Assurance/Quality Control Teams under the National Inter-Sectoral Commission for Demining and Humanitarian Assistance. PM/WRA supported Roots of Peace with an additional $100,000 grant for mine action projects in Angola.

PM/WRA invested $4.5 million more for humanitarian mine action in Angola in FY 2007. Funds supported mine clearance by HALO, MAG, and NPA, making over one million square meters of land and 322 kilometers of road safely accessible to the people of Angola. A grant of $750,000 enabled HALO to destroy an additional 7,878 weapons and 106.5 tons of excess or unstable bombs and ammunition.

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Leahy War Victims Fund provided $1 million in financial and technical assistance to landmine survivors in Angola in 2006. To learn more about the Leahy War Victims Fund, visit www.usaid.gov/our_work/humanitarian_assistance/the_funds/lwvf.

The U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Research and Development Program in partnership with HALO began a technology evaluation of the Rotary Mine Comb, valued at $337,000, in October 2006. Intermeshing tines on two rotors gently extricate large buried objects, including antitank mines, from the soil and push them to the side of the host vehicle’s path. HALO reports positive risk-reduction results with the Comb in sandy soil, achieving up to 500 meters of road clearance per day. Then in FY 2007, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Program contributed $7,000 to assess the effectiveness of its humanitarian mine action efforts in Angola over the years.

Benin

Flag of Benin is two equal horizontal bands of yellow - top - and red with a vertical green band on the hoist side.In FY 2007, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Program contributed $7,000 to assess humanitarian mine action in Benin. To learn more about the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Program, visit www.humanitariandemining.org and www.wood.army.mil/hdtc.


Burundi

Flag of Burundi is divided by a white diagonal cross into red panels (top and bottom) and green panels (hoist side and outer side) with a white disk superimposed at the center bearing three red six-pointed stars outlined in green arranged in a triangular design (one star above, two stars below).In FY 2007, the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) in the Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs contributed $380,900 to mitigate at-risk military-type small arms and light weapons (SA/LW) in Burundi. PM/WRA granted $99,652 to DanChurchAid to implement a SA/LW awareness campaign through the established National Council of Churches of Burundi network. PM/WRA provided $239,648 to the nongovernmental organization MAG (Mines Advisory Group) to destroy excess man-portable air-defense systems and other surplus weapons. An additional $41,600 provided weapons destruction tools for the United Nations Development Program to facilitate more SA/LW destruction, and build Burundi’s national capacity for further weapons destruction.

Central African Republic

Flag of Central African Republic is four equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, green, and yellow with a vertical red band in center; there is a yellow five-pointed star on the hoist side of the blue band.Over the past several years, the Central African Republic (CAR) has experienced four coups and been further affected by regional instability and internal conflict in neighboring countries. This violence has resulted in significant movements of refugees, rebel groups, and arms across the CAR’s loosely controlled borders. The exact number of small arms and light weapons (SA/LW) in the country remains unknown but is considered significant. The proliferation of unsecured SA/LW throughout the country presents a clear threat to national security and local communities, and is contributing to the country’s worsening humanitarian situation. In FY 2007, the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs granted $37,370 to MAG (Mines Advisory Group) to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the landmine, explosive remnants of war, and SA/LW problem in the CAR.

Chad

flag of Chad: three equal vertical bands of blue, yellow, and red, with blue on the hoist side.The landmine and explosive remnants of war problem in Chad is a result of 30 years of internal conflict and the 1973 Libyan invasion. Ninety percent of identified mined and explosive remnants of war (ERW) affected areas are located in the Borkou, Ennedi, Tibesti, Biltine, and Quaddai regions. The Chadian border with Sudan’s Darfur region contains a number of mined areas, as well as unexploded ordnance (UXO) contamination. A Landmine Impact Survey (LIS) from 1999-2001, funded in part by the U.S. Department of State, identified 249 mine-impacted communities, spanning over 1,000 square kilometers of land; however, the Tibesti region was not included in the LIS due to security concerns. UXO were also scattered around N’Djamena in April 2006 because of fighting between government and rebel forces.

In FY 2006, the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs granted $1,780,000 to MAG (Mines Advisory Group) to destroy at-risk ammunition and weapons caches and to clear landmines that were preventing communities, identified by the LIS, from having safe access to water.

In FY 2007, PM/WRA invested $200,000 for mine risk education (MRE) and mine survivors assistance in Chad. PM/WRA granted $135,000 to UNICEF to train teachers, and educational directors and inspectors, and integrate MRE school-based tools/materials into primary school curriculum. PM/WRA provided $65,000 for rehabilitation support to approximately 170 mine/UXO victims through the nongovernmental organization Secours Catholique et Développement, Center for Education and Prosthetics.

In FY 2006, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Program contributed $596,000 to support humanitarian mine action in Chad. To learn more about the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Program, visit www.humanitariandemining.org and www.wood.army.mil/hdtc.

Chadian deminers employed by MAG carefully remove abandoned artillery shells from the back of a truck to prepare them for demolition in a pit that is at a safe distance from the nearest village. These shells remained from one of Chad’s conflicts with Libya. Many more abandoned munitions were added to the pit that day.  This operation was funded by PM/WRA, whose logo is visible on the truck.  Colonel Stu Harris (U.S. Marine Corps), then PM/WRA’s Deputy Director for Programs (standing on the right; now retired), helps to supervise the unloading. [MAG]
Chadian deminers employed by MAG carefully remove abandoned artillery shells from the back of a truck to prepare them for demolition in a pit that is at a safe distance from the nearest village. These shells remained from one of Chad’s conflicts with Libya. Many more abandoned munitions were added to the pit that day. This operation was funded by PM/WRA, whose logo is visible on the truck. Colonel Stu Harris (U.S. Marine Corps), then PM/WRA’s Deputy Director for Programs (standing on the right; now retired), helps to supervise the unloading. [MAG] 
BOOOMMMMM! Another collection of abandoned munitions is safely destroyed. They will never again pose a threat to the Chadian people or their children. [MAG]
BOOOMMMMM! Another collection of abandoned munitions is safely destroyed. They will never again pose a threat to the Chadian people or their children. [MAG]
This essential well and the area surrounding it were once mined. Thanks to the landmine clearance executed by MAG through a grant from PM/WRA, its water may now be safely drawn by villagers and nomads.  [Deborah Netland, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement]
This essential well and the area surrounding it were once mined. Thanks to the landmine clearance executed by MAG through a grant from PM/WRA, its water may now be safely drawn by villagers and nomads. [Deborah Netland, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement]

 The Democratic Republic of the Congo

MAG employees map problem areas with locals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo during a mine risk education program. [© Sean Sutton/MAG]
MAG employees map problem areas with locals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo during a mine risk education program. [©Sean Sutton/MAG]
Flag of Democratic Republic of the Congo is sky blue field divided diagonally from lower hoist corner to upper fly corner by red stripe bordered by two narrow yellow stripes; yellow, five-pointed star appears in upper hoist corner.The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has an ongoing landmine and explosive remnants of war problem, a result of protracted conflict that began in 1996. This conflict has also resulted in the presence of large numbers of military small arms and light weapons (SA/LW) that fuel crime and unrest.

In FY 2006, the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/WRA) granted $1,185,000 to MAG (Mines Advisory Group) for a physical survey assessment and destruction of at-risk SA/LW in the third and sixth military regions, Equateur and Katanga respectively. The main objective of this grant was to remove and destroy unsecured and abandoned SA/LW caches from within DRC in order to help reduce violence by non-state actors and strengthen the rule of law.

With $1,375,000 more from PM/WRA in FY 2007, MAG continued the removal and destruction of unsecured and abandoned SA/LW, further reducing the proliferation threat posed by unsecured SA/LW caches in the region.

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Leahy War Victims Fund (USAID/LWVF) rendered a total of $350,000 in assistance to survivors of conflict-related injuries and illnesses in the DRC in 2006 and 2007. To learn more about the Leahy War Victims Fund, visit www.usaid.gov/our_work/humanitarian_assistance/the_funds/lwvf.

Eritrea

Flag of Eritrea is red isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) dividing the flag into two right triangles; the upper triangle is green, the lower one is blue; a gold wreath encircling a gold olive branch is centered on the hoist side of the red triangle.Landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) severely impact Eritrea, a result of the country’s long struggle for independence from 1962–1991, and its border war with Ethiopia from 1998–2000. A Landmine Impact Survey completed in 2004 found that mines or UXO affected more than 655,000 people in 481 communities nationwide.

In FY 2006, the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs invested $400,000 for humanitarian mine action in Eritrea. A Senior Deminer and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Trainer were retained for $150,000 to ensure that Eritrean EOD deminers continued to operate to International Mine Action Standards. An additional $50,000 of the contracted funds was allocated to a Mine-Detecting Dog (MDD) Trainer to ensure that Eritrean MDD teams were able to operate at maximum capacity and function safely. The remaining $200,000 was used to provide food, lodging, and medical care for 15 MDD teams to sustain their operations as well as sustain the work of 200 Eritrean manual deminers. 

UNMEE armored demining flail detonating a landmine in the Temporary Security Zone in the disputed border area between Eritrea and Ethiopia. [United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea]
UNMEE armored demining flail detonating a landmine in the Temporary Security Zone in the disputed border area between Eritrea and Ethiopia. [United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea] 
A deminer in Eritrea, part of a contingent from Slovakia that is seconded to UNMEE, carefully excavates the dirt around a mine to remove the mine without detonating it. [United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea]
A deminer in Eritrea, part of a contingent from Slovakia that is seconded to UNMEE, carefully excavates the dirt around a mine to remove the mine without detonating it. [United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea]

Guinea-Bissau

 A deminer with HUMAID probes for landmines at the Estrada de Volta minefield in Bissau. [Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement]
A deminer with HUMAID probes for landmines at the Estrada de Volta minefield in Bissau. [Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement]
Flag of Guinea-Bissau is two equal horizontal bands of yellow (top) and green with a vertical red band on the hoist side; there is a black five-pointed star centered in the red band.Guinea-Bissau is affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) due to the War of Liberation from 1963–1974, internal confliction from 1998–1999, and various periods of military activity along the country’s borders. In FY 2006, the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs granted the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) $100,000 to conduct a Landmine Impact Suvey to provide data on the location, type, and socioeconomic impact of landmines and ERW in the country. The UNDP received an additional grant of $200,000 to support national nongovernmental organizations’ efforts to develop an indigenous capacity to reduce the impact of landmines and ERW.

In FY 2007, PM/WRA provided a total of $599,500 to support ERW/humanitarian mine action activities by Landmine Action the Golden West Humanitarian Foundation, Cleared Ground Demining, and the UNDP.

The U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Research and Development Program (HD R&D) began an operational field evaluation of the MAXX+ remote-controlled mini-excavator in January 2006 with Guinea-Bissau’s National Mine Action Coordination Centre. Following good results in vegetation clearance, the $300,000 MAXX+ cleared munitions contaminating populated areas around a destroyed army arsenal in the capital city, Bissau. In FY 2007, HD R&D contributed $1,144,000 more to support ERW/landmine risk education for affected populations and to support ERW/mine clearance. $68,000 of that funding was contributed by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Training center to provide “train-the-trainer” assistance to local deminters.

Kenya

Since its program began in January 2007, Schonstedt Instrument Company, a PM/WRA Public-Private Partner based in Kearneysville, West Virginia, has donated 74 magnetic detectors worth over $76,000 to help humanitarian deminers locate and clear persistent landmines and explosive remnants of war. Twenty were sent to the International Mine Action Training Center in Kenya in 2007, some of which were allocated for use in Somalia. [Schonstedt Instrument Company, Inc.]
Since its program began in January 2007, Schonstedt Instrument Company, a PM/WRA Public-Private Partner based in Kearneysville, West Virginia, has donated 74 magnetic detectors worth over $76,000 to help humanitarian deminers locate and clear persistent landmines and explosive remnants of war. Twenty were sent to the International Mine Action Training Center in Kenya in 2007, some of which were allocated for use in Somalia. [Schonstedt Instrument Company, Inc.] 
Flag of Kenya is three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and green; the red band is edged in white; a large warrior's shield covering crossed spears is superimposed at the center.The widespread availability of military small arms and light weapons (SA/LW) in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa regions has had serious negative consequences for development in those areas. Armed violence carried out primarily with SA/LW is a major contributing factor to increasing poverty and insecurity in the region. In FY 2006 and FY 2007, the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs contributed $180,000 in each of those years to the Regional Center on Small Arms and Light Weapons in Kenya to support their efforts to combat the illicit proliferation and trafficking of SA/LW in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa regions.

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Leahy War Victims Fund rendered a total of $1,200,000 in assistance to survivors of conflict-related injuries and illnesses in Kenya in 2006 and 2007. To learn more about the Leahy War Victims Fund, visit www.usaid.gov/our_work/humanitarian_assistance/the_funds/lwvf.

Mauritania

Flag Description: green with a yellow five-pointed star above a yellow, horizontal crescent; the closed side of the crescent is down.In FY 2007, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Training Center provided $229,000 in “Train-the-Trainer” assistance to Mauritanian deminers. To learn more about the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Program, visit www.humanitariandemining.org and www.wood.army.mil/hdtc.

A U.S. soldier, trained to International Mine Action Standards by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Training Center, teaches Mauritanian Army humanitarian deminers how to prepare detonators, which they will use when destroying landmines. [Humanitarian Demining Training Center, U.S. Department of Defense]
A U.S. soldier, trained to International Mine Action Standards by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Training Center, teaches Mauritanian Army humanitarian deminers how to prepare detonators, which they will use when destroying landmines. [Humanitarian Demining Training Center, U.S. Department of Defense] 
A sign in Mauritania, placed by the national demining office and bearing the flags of Mauritania and the U.S., provides a telephone number that people may call if they encounter landmines. [Deborah Netland, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement]
A sign in Mauritania, placed by the national demining office and bearing the flags of Mauritania and the U.S., provides a telephone number that people may call if they encounter landmines. [Deborah Netland, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement]

Mozambique

Mozambique flag is three equal horizontal bands of green (top), black, and yellow with a red isosceles triangle based on the hoist side; the black band is edged in white; centered in the triangle is a yellow five-pointed star bearing a crossed rifle and hoe in black superimposed on an open white book.

A Mozambican Army humanitarian deminer and his supervisor pause from their work for safety purposes as visitors approach. In this setting, the dense shrubbery that surrounds this site not only slows the work of the deminers who must laboriously clear it in order to get at the landmines, it also blocks refreshing breezes and makes the work even hotter and more physically demanding. [Deborah Netland, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement]
A Mozambican Army humanitarian deminer and his supervisor pause from their work for safety purposes as visitors approach. In this setting, the dense shrubbery that surrounds this site not only slows the work of the deminers who must laboriously clear it in order to get at the landmines, it also blocks refreshing breezes and makes the work even hotter and more physically demanding. [Deborah Netland, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement] 

The nearly 30 years of conflict that ended in the early 1990s led to Mozambique being littered with landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW). Landmines and ERW are found throughout the entire country; Inhambane province, however, has the largest percentage of impacted population. Nampula and Cabo Delgado provinces have the largest number of square meters of land covered by suspected landmines.

A hand-grenade booby trap at the Chockwe demining site in Mozambique. This is an example of the wide variety of threats, besides landmines, for which deminers around the world must be on the lookout as they search for “hidden killers.” [Deborah Netland, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement]
A hand-grenade booby trap at the Chockwe demining site in Mozambique. This is an example of the wide variety of threats, besides landmines, for which deminers around the world must be on the lookout as they search for “hidden killers.” [Deborah Netland, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement]
The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs allocated $2,343,620 in FY 2006 for humanitarian mine action in Mozambique. Of these funds, The HALO Trust (HALO) was granted $1,343,052 to support their operational plan to make the four northern provinces of Cabo Delgado, Zambezia, Niassa, and Nampula mine/ERW “impact-free,” which was successfully accomplished in 2007. In addition, PM/WRA contributed $1,000,568 through one of its contractors, ArmourGroup, to continue national capacity building of the Mozambique Armed Defense Force’s Humanitarian Demining Unit.

A significant milestone in saving the lives and limbs of Mozambicans and in restoring their economy was reached in October 2006 when, thanks to some $13 million in U.S. aid between 2002 and 2006 for this project alone, landmine clearance was completed on the vital Sena Railway that connects Mozambique’s chief seaport, Beira, to its resource-rich interior. To learn more about this successful project, see the U.S. Department of State press release “Landmines Cleared from Mozambique’s Sena Railway,” with related photos at www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2006/74663.htm.

In FY 2007, PM/WRA spent $438,967 to help Mozambique complete the development of its national demining capacity, and assess the remaining landmine/ERW threat in Mozambique. Since the mid-1990s, the United States has invested over $16 million to develop a sustainable national demining capability within the Mozambican Army Humanitarian Demining Unit (HDU). The final phase of this effort was funded by PM/WRA with $259,849 through its ArmorGroup contractor to complete the training and skills transfer necessary for the HDU staff to continue managing and executing mine action activities in a safe and effective manner without further foreign technical oversight. With half of the country now mine impact free, PM/WRA contributed $179,118 as part of a multi-donor funded project for HALO to conduct a technical review in the central and southern regions of the country to provide a more accurate picture of the remaining mine/ERW threat in Mozambique. The final assessment report was released to the Mozambican National Demining Institute and donors in late 2007.

Namibia

Flag of Namibia is a large blue triangle with a yellow sunburst filling the upper left section and an equal green triangle (solid) filling the lower right section; the triangles are separated by a red stripe that is contrasted by two narrow white-edge borders.In FY 2006 the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Research and Development Program (HD R&D) conducted a technical test of the NIITEK Mine Stalker in Namibia. In native laterite soils the Mine Stalker detected 251 of 252 metal and lowmetal anti-vehicle mines. HD R&D plans further development and field testing of the Mine Stalker. To learn more about the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Program, visit www.humanitariandemining.org and www.wood.army.mil/hdtc.

Tests on the first version of the NIITEK Mine Stalker, manufactured by NIITEK based in Charlottesville, Virginia, were conducted in Namibia in 2006, with the assistance of MgM (Menschen gegen Minen). [U.S. HD R&D]
Tests on the first version of the NIITEK Mine Stalker, manufactured by NIITEK based in Charlottesville, Virginia, were conducted in Namibia in 2006, with the assistance of MgM (Menschen gegen Minen). [U.S. HD R&D]
 
This mine was detected about six meters off the main gravel road while driving toward the nearby Shinyungwe cuca shop. It was removed for investigation purposes. [Col. J.T. Theyse, Chief Inspector of Explosives, Namibia, Report on Landmines in Kavango]
This mine was detected about six meters off the main gravel road while driving toward the nearby Shinyungwe cuca shop. It was removed for investigation purposes. [Col. J.T. Theyse, Chief Inspector of Explosives, Namibia, Report on Landmines in Kavango]

Republic of Congo

Flag of Republic of Congo is divided diagonally from the lower hoist side by a yellow band; the upper triangle on hoist side is green and the lower triangle is red.Between 1993 and 1999, the Republic of the Congo (RoC) experienced three primary episodes of conflict, which displaced approximately 810,000 people and involved widespread killing and looting. The main militia groups reportedly obtained arms by looting police and military depots. Although strenuous efforts were made to recover these weapons through ad hoc disarmament and reintegration programs, it is estimated that 34,000 weapons still remain in circulation in the RoC. Weapons and munitions that were successfully recovered are now stored haphazardly in unsecured government depots in populated areas. This poses a significant security threat as well as a public safety hazard if the stores were to catch fire or spontaneously detonate due to other causes. In FY 2007, the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs granted $445,000 to MAG (Mines Advisory Group) to destroy man-portable air-defense systems and unstable munitions stocks in storage facilities located in Brazzaville and Point Noire.

Rwanda

A Rwandan deminer takes a well-deserved rest break. [Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement]
A Rwandan deminer takes a well-deserved rest break. [Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement] 
Flag of Rwanda is three horizontal bands of sky blue at top--double width, yellow, and green, with a golden sun with 24 rays near the fly end of the blue band.In FY 2006, the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs provided a grant of $412,370 to the nongovernmental organization Mines Awareness Trust for technical support to strengthen the Rwandan National Demining Office’s capacity in planning, coordinating, implementing, and managing all humanitarian mine action activities in the country.

Senegal

Flag of Senegal is three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), yellow, and red with a small green five-pointed star centered in the yellow band.Landmine and explosive remnants of war (ERW) contamination in Senegal stems primarily from fighting in the Casamance region between the Senegalese Army and the Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance. This conflict began in 1982 and intensified in 1997. The extent of the mine and ERW impact is believed to be limited to the Casamance, concentrated in the area south of Ziguinchor between the Casamance River and the border with Guinea-Bissau, and in northern parts of Bignona along the border with The Gambia.

In FY 2006 the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs granted $95,880 to Handicap International–France (HI–France) to conduct mine risk education campaigns in areas in the Casamance that were highly impacted by mines and ERW. In FY 2007, PM/WRA granted $420,949 to HI–France to demine high-impact communities in the Casamance.

In FY 2007, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Training Center provided $126,000 in “Train-the-Trainer” assistance to Senegalese deminers. To learn more about the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Program, visit www.humanitariandemining.org and www.wood.army.mil/hdtc.

Sudan

Flag of Sudan is three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black with a green isosceles triangle based on the hoist side.

Villagers in Yei, South Sudan, examine leaflets during a mine risk education class conducted by MAG with a grant from PM/WRA. [Jennifer Lachman, MAG]
Villagers in Yei, South Sudan, examine leaflets during a mine risk education class conducted by MAG with a grant from PM/WRA. [Jennifer Lachman, MAG] 
Sudan suffers from the continuing effects of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) due to 20 years of internal conflict. The extent of the impacted area is unknown because no in-depth survey has been conducted. The vast majority of contamination, however, is believed to be in southern and central Sudan where the majority of the fighting between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and Sudanese government occurred. Landmines and ERW are estimated to affect 21 of the country’s 26 states. The country’s borders with Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, and Uganda are believed to be mine-affected. In January 2005, the SPLM/A and the Sudanese government signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which prohibits the use of landmines.

In FY 2006, the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs contributed $2,400,000 to mine action in Sudan and an additional $600,000 to small arms/light weapons (SA/LW) destruction there. PM/WRA granted Cranfield University $420,000 for management and technical training for Sudan’s Mine Action Program; $600,000 to MAG (Mines Advisory Group) for ERW and SA/LW destruction in Eastern Equatoria and South Sudan, and an additional $520,000 to MAG to conduct mine risk education (MRE) in the most at-risk communities in South Sudan. PM/WRA also provided Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) $700,000 to fund survey and mine and ERW clearance efforts along primary roads in South Sudan in order to facilitate the safe return and settlement of refugees and internally displaced persons. Finally, PM/WRA awarded a grant of $424,000 to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to purchase supplies, equipment, and vehicles for the establishment of six national mine action field offices throughout Sudan.

In 2007, PM/WRA provided $2,725,000 for mine action and $600,000 for SA/LW destruction. The UNDP received a grant of $1,000,000 to establish and maintain two national mine clearance and two national explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams. MAG received a grant of $1,539,000: $580,000 of that grant was to sustain a mobile EOD capability in Central and Western Equatoria; $359,000 to support MRE in way stations and high-risk villages; and $600,000 for a SA/LW destruction team in South Sudan. DanChurchAid received a PM/WRA grant of $286,000 to fund an EOD team and an MRE team in the Nuba Mountains. Cranfield University received $400,000 to provide managerial training to Sudanese mine action supervisors. Finally, PM/WRA granted $100,000 to NPA to help support the operations of two EOD teams and one battle area clearance team.

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Leahy War Victims Fund rendered a total of $1,000,000 in assistance to survivors of conflict-related injuries and illnesses in Sudan in 2006 and 2007. To learn more about the Leahy War Victims Fund, visit www.usaid.gov/our_work/humanitarian_assistance/the_funds/lwvf.

Togo

Some of the SA/LW that were piled in a Togolese government warehouse. A single padlock on a wooden door was all that kept these arms, many of which were serviceable despite their appearance, from being pilfered. The warehouse also contained significant amounts of detonating cord and blasting caps. [Col. Stu Harris, USMC (retired)/Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement]
Some of the SA/LW that were piled in a Togolese government warehouse. A single padlock on a wooden door was all that kept these arms, many of which were serviceable despite their appearance, from being pilfered. The warehouse also contained significant amounts of detonating cord and blasting caps. [Col. Stu Harris, USMC (retired)/Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement] 
Flag of Togo is five equal horizontal bands of green - top and bottom - alternating with yellow; there is a white five-pointed star on a red square in the upper hoist-side corner.In FY 2006, the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs allocated $32,000 to the government of Togo to construct a proper armory to secure small arms and light weapons that are collected by the government via voluntary disarmament campaigns.

Uganda

Flag of Uganda is six equal horizontal bands of black - top - yellow, red, black, yellow, and red; white disk is superimposed at center and depicts red-crested crane facing hoist side.Large parts of Uganda are contaminated with landmines and explosive remnants of war due to various wars, rebellions, and insurgencies such as those by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Military type small arms and light weapons (SA/LW) and man-portable air-defense systems are also readily accessible to armed groups. The country’s most affected areas include border regions with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and the region referred to as the Luwero Triangle. Landmines and ERW also exist in the Western Rwenzori Mountains due to insurgencies in the late eighties by the National Army of the Liberation of Uganda, and the late nineties until 2001 by the Allied Democratic Forces. Units of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces reportedly used mines and submunitions during cross-border fights with insurgents from Congo and Sudan.

Ugandan police officers undergoing demining training at the International Mine Action Training Center in Kenya. [Nigel Howard]
Ugandan police officers undergoing demining training at the International Mine Action Training Center in Kenya. [Nigel Howard] 
In FY 2006, the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs granted $40,000 to SaferAfrica to provide the necessary explosive material for the ongoing destruction of SA/LW as part of Uganda’s National Action Plan on SA/LW under the UN Program of Action.

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Leahy War Victims Fund rendered a total of $1,000,000 in assistance to survivors of conflict-related injuries and illnesses in Uganda in 2006 and 2007. To learn more about the Leahy War Victims Fund, visit www.usaid.gov/our_work/humanitarian_assistance/the_funds/lwvf.



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