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Angola is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world – a consequence of the civil war that ravaged the country from 1975 to 2002.

Schoolchildren in Lumege Canjamba, Angola

Photo: JB Russell/MAG

Landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) are not only a danger to people’s lives, but they also hinder rehabilitation and recovery in a country where more than 70 per cent of the population lives on less than US$2 a day.

A large proportion of rural communities rely on farming to earn a living, but mines and UXO prevent farmers from accessing land, keeping people in poverty. Roads were laid extensively with mines, restricting freedom of movement as well as access to services and markets.

And as peace continues to prevail and previously displaced people continue to return, communities are expanding into mined areas.

Our work here in 2013

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Land cleared: 368,526m²

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Landmines removed & destroyed: 645

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Unexploded ordnance removed & destroyed: 679

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Explosive Ordnance Disposal spot tasks: 712

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Men, women and children we helped directly: 57,362

LandminesA landmine is defined by the Mine Ban Treaty as "a munition designed to be placed under, on or near the ground or other surface area and to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person or a vehicle."

Landmines are generally divided into two main groups - anti-personnel and anti-tank - and have four main component parts: an outer structure made of either plastic, wood, metal, Bakelite, rubber or even glass; a fuse or firing mechanism; a detonator; and high explosives.

Some contain thousands of pieces of shrapnel, designed to fire out to great distances, while others have been made with a minimum amount of metal and are therefore difficult to detect using metal detectors.
Unexploded ordnanceExplosive weapons - such as bombs, rockets, missiles, mortars and grenades - that did not explode when they were used and still pose a risk of detonation.Explosive Ordnance Disposal'Explosive Ordnance Disposal' (EOD) is the safe removal and controlled destruction of unexploded ordnance.

'Unexploded ordnance' refers to explosive weapons - such as bombs, rockets, missiles, mortars and grenades - that did not explode when they were used and still pose a risk of detonation.

Though the civil war ended in 2002, for much of the population daily tasks like fetching water or walking to school can still end in tragedy... Read more

Video: Surviving the Peace in Angola

The interconnected stories of an eight-year-old landmine survivor and a former soldier who is now a MAG deminer...

Video: Moxico – Fighting a deadly legacy

Despite a decade of peace, 200,000 people in Moxico – Angola's most landmine-affected province – live with the deadly legacy of 40 years of conflict..

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Angola flagAbout Angola

• Population: 20.82 million

• Life expectancy: 51 years

• Gross National Income per capita: US $4,580

• People with access to safe drinking water: 51%

• People below the poverty line: 41%

Figures: World Bank, UNDP, UN Water, CIA

Success story


Luzi: A village free of landmines

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