|Target date for completion of mine clearance||6|
|National funding of programme||4|
|Land release system in place||7|
|National mine action standards||4|
|Reporting on progress||5|
In 2017, Angola requested and was granted a further eight year extension to its Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) Article 5 deadline until the end of 2025. While significant efforts were again made by operators and the national mine action centre, CNIDAH (Comissão Nacional Intersectorial de Desminagem e Assistência Humanitária), to improve the quality of the national mine action database in preparation for the submission of the request, significant inconsistencies in Angola’s reporting on the size of remaining contamination persisted. The request as finally submitted contains annual land release targets on a province-by-province basis for the duration of the extension period, but discrepancies in reporting continue to obstruct clarity on the extent of the remaining challenge and the annual milestones needed to reach completion.
Angola has been facing a severe decline in funding for mine action in recent years. This trend continued in 2017–18, reaching its lowest level ever. A crisis point was reached in April 2018 when the United States (US), one of Angola’s biggest and long-term mine action donors, decided not to continue funding for future mine action operations. This greatly affected non-governmental organisation (NGO) mine action operators, The HALO Trust, Mines Advisory Group (MAG), and Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), with critical uncertainty over whether resources could be secured to continue operations.
In September 2018, the United Kingdom (UK) Department for International Development (DFID), pledged to fund mine action in Angola over a two-year period from July 2018 as part of £46 million of support for mine action programmes globally. This has injected critically needed funding to sustain mine action operations in Angola. However, the continuing decline and gap in funding experienced by all operators negatively affected operations in 2017–18, and significantly more resources are required if Angola’s new deadline of 2025 is to be met.
Despite the funding shortfalls, in 2017 Angola made further strides towards the completion of a nationwide re-survey, which operators were optimistic could be achieved by the end of 2018. More than 90% of suspected hazardous areas (SHAs) recorded as a result of inflated estimates from a 2004–07 Landmine Impact Survey (LIS) were cancelled during the re-survey process. Overall, a huge swathe of land has been removed from the national database: close to 274km2 of land was released through re-survey in just two years. Encouragingly, NPA reported that clearance of all known and registered tasks in Malanje province had been successfully completed as at end-May 2018, putting Malanje province on track to become Angola’s first province to be declared free of the threat of mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), following an official declaration by CNIDAH.Email from Nicola Jay Naidu, Country Director, NPA, 11 September 2018.
- Angola should complete its nationwide re-survey of contamination by finishing the re-survey of the three remaining provinces: Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul by the end of 2018, and Cabinda by the end of 2019.
- Angola should provide an updated workplan to accompany its Article 5 extension request with greater clarity and detail on the number of mined areas to be addressed, annual targets towards completion, and corresponding projections of the resources needed.
- Angola should continue to work closely with operators to improve the national mine action database and to reconcile data held by CNIDAH with that of other national mine action entities. Particular efforts should be made to ensure demining data is disaggregated from verification data. Dedicated and sustained assistance for information management capacity to these ends should be provided to CNIDAH.
- Data should be recorded and reported consistently according to International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) terminology. Angola should update states parties regularly on progress, including through submitting annual APMBC Article 7 transparency reports in a timely manner.
- Angola should revisit its National Mine Action Standards (NMAS) to update them on the basis of IMAS and the country context, in particular on areas of management and quality control identified by CNIDAH.
- National demining assets and capacity should be put to full use to clear confirmed mined areas on the basis of humanitarian or socio-economic needs and priorities.
- Angola should clarify and empower the management structure of the national mine action programme, including the roles and responsibilities and funding of the two mine action entities. IMAS recommends that a single national authority be created to provide effective and efficient management of the national programme.
Click here to download the "Clearing the Mines 2018" report for Angola.