Angola has encountered some particularly difficult challenges in landmine clearance. This was evidenced very strongly at the FCO-DfID sponsored Wilton Park conference in 2018, when the Head of International Relations from the Angolan National Intersectoral Commission for Demining and Humanitarian Assistance gave a presentation to the meeting on achieving the 2025 aspiration to be landmine free. DfID’s second phase of its Global Mine Action Programme, announced in September, includes provision for Angola and there is now a consortium including the HALO Trust along with Mines Advisory Group (MAG) and Norwegian People’s Aid working in various provinces across the country. The question of how to develop Angola’s own willingness and capacity to focus on the policy of demining and their commitments under the Convention is therefore a priority
This Wilton Park conference has two broad aims:
- The first is internal: Angola faces major clearance challenges, particularly in terms of reaching the 2025 aspiration. Building its own engagement and capacity to address and overcome these challenges as well as working in conjunction with external actors is a priority for HMG and other partners. By convening international stakeholders and experts with their local and regional counterparts, the meeting will focus conversation on ways to further develop Angolan capacity, alongside education and awareness raising of mines and their dangers, reintegration of victims into society, stimulating economic activity post clearance and alternative financing models for mine clearance programmes.
- The second aim is external: the scale of clearance work still required to enable Angola to reach its target of being mine-free by 2025 puts this in question. Hence, engaging with the country now to look ahead and discuss how an extension should be timed, and how it would work, as well as how to frame it so that it squares with the Convention, is becoming urgent.