His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex has announced he will visit the place in Angola where Diana Princess of Wales first drew worldwide attention to the global landmine problem.
As part of his African tour he will visit the city of Huambo where Diana walked with a protective vest and visor and detonated a landmine. Since the area was cleared of landmines it has become a bustling community.
There he will meet national members of staff from organisations removing landmines in the country, including MAG.
Prince Harry will travel to Angola, Malawi, and Botswana, between September 23 and October 2, the palace said in a statement.
“Not only will this visit serve as an opportunity for the Duke and Duchess to highlight many of the causes they have been involved with for many years, it will demonstrate a modern UK-Africa partnership in action,” the statement said.
“In a particularly significant and poignant journey, the Duke of Sussex will have the opportunity to return to Angola to see first-hand the legacy of his mother the late Diana, Princess of Wales, whose visit to Huambo in 1997 helped raise awareness of the threat posed by landmines to communities and livelihoods.”
Forty years of conflict from 1961 to 2002 left Angola strewn with an estimated one million landmines and many more unexploded bombs.
Today, over 88,000 Angolans are living with disabilities due to landmine injuries and hundreds of thousands more are stuck in landmine-related poverty, unable to use their land. The majority of victims reported over the last five years have been children, most of whom were not even alive during the conflict.
MAG has been working in Angola for 25 years. In the last decade alone, and with the support of the Angolan government, MAG has cleared more than 10 million square metres of minefields for communities—the equivalent of 1,400 football pitches.
Great progress has been made with 70 per cent of the country's hazardous areas now declared safe, but there is much work to do with over 1200 known and suspected minefields remaining.
Angola has seen funding for landmine clearance slump by nearly 90 per cent in the last decade, despite a global commitment to rid the world of landmines by 2025.
This makes Prince Harry’s visit extremely welcome at a time when international support for the landmine clearance in Angola is crucial.
Together, we can rid some of the world’s most affected countries of landmines. Read more about the campaign to make the world landmine free by 2025.