2018 To Walk the Earth in Safety: Angola

Report
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs

FUNDING FY15 FY16 FY17 FY95–17 TOTAL
DOS NADR - CWD 5,600 4,700 4,000 106,504
DOS Other 0 0 0 3,170
CDC 0 0 0 150
DoD 152 551 193 8,984
USAID 0 0 0 8,351
COUNTRY TOTAL 5,752 5,251 4,193 127,159

Dollars in thousands

ANGOLA

Angola is still recovering from more than 40 years of conflict that ended in 2002. It is one of the world’s most landmine and UXO-affected countries, with all of its 18 provinces reporting some level of contamination. According to the Angolan government’s March 2015 nationwide census, 88,716 people were living with a disability caused by landmines or UXO. Several accidents in 2016 highlighted the need for increased clearance efforts. In late 2016, the Angolan government reported 118 square kilometers (about 45 square miles) of contamination remaining. Through targeted resurvey of suspected hazardous areas and continued clearance efforts, international operators estimate that less than 100 square kilometers (38.6 square miles) of contamination remain. Aging weapons and munitions, as well as legacy of the conflict, pose risks for illicit proliferation and accidental detonation and placed thousands of civilian lives in danger. While over two million SA/LW were distributed to civil defense forces during the civil war and massive government stockpiles and excess munitions remain, the government of Angola has made great strides in reducing their threat. Since 2006, the United States has provided the majority of funding to The HALO Trust (HALO) to destroy 125,000 SA/LW, 1,500 metric tons of surplus ammunition, and over three million bullets.

Date: 2018 Description: A HALO weapons and ammunition destruction team funded by PM/WRA in Benguela, Angola, cuts state-held weapons to render them useless. © Photo courtesy of HALO

From 1995 to 2017, the United States invested more than $127.1 million for CWD in Angola and improved access to land and infrastructure through mine and UXO removal and disposal; other activities included destroying unserviceable, excess, and unsecured SA/LW and munitions; and developing Angola’s CWD capacity.

In 2017, CWD programs began a gradual transition from demining to focus limited funding on SA/LW destruction and PSSM enhancements. Angolan security forces requested continued assistance to destroy their excess weapons and munitions, as well as to improve the security and storage conditions of their serviceable stockpiles. These efforts will prevent weapons from falling into the hands of criminals and other nefarious actors, mitigate the risk of accidental depot explosions, and improve the capacity of Angolan authorities to manage their stockpiles properly.

In 2017, the Department of State supported the following implementing partners:

  • HALO continued its programs to conduct humanitarian demining in Huambo and Cuando Cubango Provinces, surveyed suspected hazardous areas, cleared confirmed hazardous areas, performed explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) “spot” tasks, and provided mine risk education. HALO also destroyed 9,650 SA/LW and safely destroyed or reduced other at-risk and excess munitions throughout the country.
  • MAG continued to survey suspected hazardous areas, cleared confirmed hazardous areas in Moxico Province, conducted EOD “spot” tasks, and safely destroyed munitions found during those “spots” tasks.
  • Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) continued to survey suspected hazardous areas in Malanje and Uige Provinces, clear confirmed hazardous areas in Malanje Province, conduct EOD “spot” tasks, and provide mine risk education.

With funding from the Department of Defense, HD R&D, in partnership with MAG, evaluated an aerial survey system and the Handheld Standoff Mine Detection System (HSTAMIDS) in densely cluttered minefields. The teams also evaluated the Rex, a versatile, light weight armored excavator designed to clear vegetation and obstacles, and mechanically remove and neutralize anti-personnel landmines and UXO. HD R&D technologies were used to clear 1.5 million square meters (371 acres) of land and 940 mines and pieces of UXO since 2006.