2015 To Walk the Earth in Safety: Mozambique

Report
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs

Date: 2015 Description: Anti-personnel mine ready to be destroyed by HALO in Mozambique with assistance from the United States and other international donors. Mozambique is touting its success as one of the most severely mine impacted countries to make significant progress towards becoming mine impact-free.  © Photo courtesy of HALO

Thirty years of conflict resulted in Mozambique becoming one of the most severe landmine and UXO problems in the world. However, two decades of U.S. and international support has reduced Mozambique’s landmine contamination to the point where it is the first “heavily-mined” country to make significant progress toward mine impact-free status. Mozambique’s National Institute for Demining reported in March 2014 that 5.3 million square meters (2 square miles) of land along the Mozambique-Zimbabwe border remain contaminated in 130 suspected hazardous areas.

From FY1993 through FY2014, the United States invested more than $55.5 million in Mozambique to remove and safely dispose of landmines and UXO, to improve the lives of landmine/UXO victims, to increase access to land and critical infrastructure, and to expand host nation CWD capacity. In FY2014, the U.S. government contributed more than $1.6 million for CWD in Mozambique.

The Department of State supported the work of the following implementing partner:

• HALO supported manual and mechanical clearance of mine-impacted communities in the Manica and Tete Provinces to facilitate Mozambique’s 2015 goal of becoming free of all known mined areas.

The Department of Defense funded the following:

• HD R&D, in partnership with HALO, continued an evaluation of the Handheld Standoff Mine Detection System against new mine types and terrain conditions, finding 4,741 landmines in areas covering 106,000 square meters (26 acres). HALO and HD R&D also continued an evaluation of two Orbit Screens which clear areas around power-line pylons, providing access to critical infrastructure. The Orbit Screens have sifted 196,000 cubic meters (256,358 cubic yards) of soil, uncovering 338 landmines and items of UXO.

• USAFRICOM deployed military EOD personnel to Mozambique to conduct UXO disposal training, which included instruction in UXO education and risk reduction, first-responder medical training with an emphasis on blast-trauma injuries, conventional munitions stockpile assessments and training, and program assessments. The OHDACA appropriation funded humanitarian mine-action activities, supplies, travel, equipment, and services.