The Month in Mines, August 2017

Twenty years ago this month, the world lost one of the most public opponents of landmines, Princess Diana.  While she is often credited with helping to bring about the global ban on anti-personnel landmines, the efforts that led to the Mine Ban Treaty started long before Princess Diana’s walk through an Angolan minefield or her meetings with Bosnian survivors.  What Diana’s involvement did do was ensure that the world was paying attention to the issue and when she died a couple of weeks before the international community met to vote on accepting or rejecting the Mine Ban Treaty, Diana’s memory loomed large over the proceedings.  Her “ghost” almost certainly helped to get the majority of the world’s nations to ban anti-personnel landmines, an effort that was rewarded with the Nobel Peace Prize shortly thereafter.

Since Diana’s death there have been other champions, perhaps the most famous being Paul Macartney and Heather Mills in the early 2000s and Princess Diana’s own son, Prince Harry.  As we look through this month’s news stories, we should also note that the lives of champions are not the ones most affected by mines; those are the unnamed thousands and millions of people living in mine-affected countries and regions.  The ones whose stories we often only learn about when they are cut short by these cruel devices.

As for this month’s round-up: Late again, I know.

 

Libya

Boris Johnson, the British Foreign Minister, pledged additional support to Libya’s reconstruction, including £3 million to clear landmines and other explosives from the recently-liberated city of Sirte and £1 million for demining training across the country (Daily Mail).  The need for such training is acute in Benghazi where months of clearance work has yet to fully remove all of the mines from the city.  One activist estimates that four or five civilians are killed or injured every day by mines and other explosive remnants of war in Benghazi (Libya Herald).  In more positive news in Benghazi, the port has been re-opened after landmines were cleared which had been blocking access (Arab 24).

 

Nigeria

The United States government has donated several landmine detectors and protective suits to the Nigerian army for use in the northeastern region of the country where Boko Haram has laid many mines (TVC News).

Of course, the Boko Haram conflict is not the only one in Nigeria’s past.  Just this month some 17,000 pieces of unexploded ordnance (UXO) dating back to the Biafra war of the 1960s which had been cleared and stockpiled by Demining Concept Nigeria are now under the control of the Nigerian army.  The explosives were being stored in a densely populated part of the capitol of Imo State, posing a risk to the local population.  Another 44,000 bombs and UXO are believed to be polluting the city (Ripples Nigeria).

 

Angola

In Angola’s Cunene province, the national mine action authority, CNIDAH, is carrying out a mine risk awareness campaign in local schools and markets. So far, only 45 of Cunene’s 143 known minefields have been cleared (All Africa, News Ghana).

An estimated $275 million is needed to finish clearance of all known minefields in Angola.  Current funding is less than 20% of that amount and clearance of the minefields at Cuito Cuanavale, “the most-mined town in Africa,” has been halted due to lack of funds.  Twenty years after Diana’s visit, her memory can still generate a lot of column inches, but it might not achieve a landmine-free Angola (CNET; bonus points to CNET for quoting yours truly).

 

Zimbabwe

One person was injured when the road grader he was using struck an anti-tank landmine in Chiwetu area of Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe Daily).

The Zimbabwean army continues to clear mines laid by the Rhodesian regime during the liberation war.  To raise awareness about the work, the army hosts an annual gala with music in the mine-affected region and provides artificial limbs to survivors (The Herald). The awareness efforts are needed because, despite progress by the army, the HALO Trust and Norwegian Peoples Aid, 18 people have been killed by landmines since 2012, including some who are looking for the hoax substance, Red Mercury (The Herald).

 

Mali

The International Committee of the Red Cross trained 50 Malian doctors on war and trauma surgery, enabling them to treat landmine victims (ReliefWeb).

 

Kenya

Three civilians were killed by a landmine attributed to the Somalia rebel group, Al Shabaab, in northeastern Kenya.  Most of the explosives used by Al Shabaab are remote controlled, but this particular blast appeared to be activated when the mine was struck by their Landcruiser (Prensa Latina). A second, similar incident occurred injuring two people when their truck struck a mine in Lamu, Kenya (The Nation).

 

Sudan

A camel herder in north Darfur was killed along with two of his camels while his animals were grazing and one detonated a piece of UXO (Radio Dabanga) and in central Darfur, a 12 year-old boy was seriously injured when the UXO he was playing with exploded (Radio Dabanga).

 

Namibia

Some 30 pieces of abandoned ordnance were discovered in the Zambezi region dating back to the South African occupation of the country during the Apartheid era.  The local police have started the process to destroy the items (New Era).

 

Michael P. Moore

moe (at) landminesinafrica (dot) org

October 12, 2017

 

Advertisements

The Month in Mines, January 2016

Already in 2016 the United States has signaled its intention to increase support to two of the most mine-affected countries, Colombia and Laos.  The increased investments will enable both of these countries to be mine and cluster munition-free in a few years (State Department; CNN).  There should also be consideration for increasing investments in African countries, many of whose contamination from landmine and explosive remnants of war (ERW) would be manageable with a long-term commitment of funding.

 

Angola

Provincial landmine clearance totals for 2015 were reported for several provinces.  2.14 million square meters of land in Cunene province, 5.4 million square meters in Lunda Sul province, 550 thousand square meters in Huambo province, and 750 thousand square meters in Kuando Kubango province were cleared of landmines by the National Institute of Demining, the Angolan Army, local government outfits and the HALO Trust (All Africa; All Africa; All Africa; All Africa).  Cleared lands will be available for agriculture, building of roads and hospitals, and safe access to water (All Africa; All Africa).  To maintain clearance capacity for 2016, the national demining association, Terra Mae, and a cadre of Angolan army sappers participated in separate training sessions (All Africa; All Africa).

 

Somalia

Two boys were killed and a third injured by a landmine that they found and tried to dig out.  The boys, all brothers, deliberately hit the mine, not realizing the potential consequences.  Local officials have called for the survey and clearance of all mines in the area to prevent more casualties (All Africa).

In the Boni Forest on the Kenya-Somalia border, a landmine attributed to Al Shabaab detonated under a Kenya Defence Force vehicle killing six or seven soldiers (reports differ) and injuring three others.  The continued insecurity around Boni Forest is keeping students and teachers out of school (All Africa; All Africa).

 

Namibia

A Soviet anti-tank landmine was found beside a newly refurbished road.  A country-wide explosive clearance campaign is underway in Namibia, but the area around the road was not surveyed prior to being tarred so the construction crew working on the road was lucky not to disturb the mine which dates back to the liberation war in Namibia (All Africa).

 

Egypt

A tenth of Egypt’s arable land is contaminated with landmines, most, some 17.5 million, dating back to the battle of El Alamein in World War II.  A second wave of mine-laying around the Suez Canal and Sinai Peninsula took place between 1956 and 1973 resulting in another 5 million mines on Egyptian soil.  In addition to preventing agriculture, the mines impede development and exploitation of Egypt’s natural gas reserves.  Since 1990, 3,200 people have been killed and over 4,700 have been injured by mines.  Egypt has not signed the Mine Ban Treaty for a variety of reasons and remains one of the most significant hold-outs to the Treaty (All Africa).

 

Sudan

The Italian government pledged 250,000 Euros for landmine clearance and mine risk education in Sudan.  The funds will support clearance of 900,000 square meters of land in Kassala province and educate 5,000 people on landmine risks (All Africa).  The contribution is part of the $12.4 million sought for mine action in Sudan by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).  If the mine action sector were to be fully funded, Sudan could be landmine free by 2019 (Star Africa).

 

Mali

Three Malian soldiers were killed by a landmine when their convoy struck the mine near the northern city of Gao (Sahelien).

 

Mozambique

The HALO Trust, freshly off its role in creating a landmine-free Mozambique, has launched a modest victim assistance program focusing on providing prosthetic limbs to landmine survivors in Mozambique.  In October 2015, 14 survivors were taken to Zimbabwe for measurements for custom prosthetics.  The prosthetics were made by the Bulawayo-based prosthetist, Noordan Cassim, and then transported the hundreds of kilometers to Mozambique for fitting.  All 14 survivors have received their prosthetic limbs which would have cost hundreds of dollars had the survivors purchased them (TakePart).  While the program is commendable, I think it says a lot about the quality and available of prosthetics in Mozambique if survivors must travel to a neighboring country for measurements.

 

Tanzania

A Maasai herder was killed by a landmine near the military academy at Lesekekwa Meser.  The area around the academy is supposed to be a secure area, but Tanzania, as a party to the Mine Ban Treaty, should have cleared all anti-personnel mines that might have been near the training ground (IPP Media).

 

Nigeria / Cameroon / Niger

The Boko Haram insurgency is affecting all three of these countries, and Chad, as the group shifts its tactics territory-holding to asymmetrical warfare.  Following a similar playbook to that of Al Shabaab in Somalia, Boko Haram is using improvised explosive devices and hit and run tactics to sow chaos and confusion.  In partial response, the United States government has granted 24 used Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles to the Nigerian army.  Coming from Afghanistan and Iraq, the MRAPs are part of the same program leading to the militarization of domestic police forces in the United States. Of course, had the Nigerian army checked the warranty before accepting delivery, they would have noticed that some of the MRAPs are not in usable condition and replacement parts will need to be ordered and purchased from manufacturers in the States (All Africa).  However, the need for mine-resistant vehicles for use against Boko Haram is clear.  Five members of the a local security force in northeastern Nigeria were killed by a landmine and four others injured when their pick-up truck struck a landmine believed to have been place by Boko Haram (Today).

In neighboring Cameroon, the Minister of Communication reported that there had been at least 12 landmine attacks by Boko Haram in Cameroon in 2015 (Business in Cameroon).

In Diffa, Niger, six Nigerien soldiers were killed when their vehicle struck a landmine (Med Africa Times).

 

Libya

Two Libyan soldiers were killed and a third injured by a landmine in Benghazi (Arabs Today).  In Kikla, about 50 miles southwest of Tripoli, a civilian was injured by a landmine placed in the city’s center.  Other mines remain in the city and the local governing body has warned displace residents from returning until they are cleared (Libya Observer).

 

Senegal

Handicap International has resumed its landmine clearance program in the Casamance region of Senegal after a three-year suspension of work.  The group aims to clear 55,000 square meters by August 2016 (ReliefWeb).

 

Tunisia

A member of a military engineering group was injured by a landmine during clearance and destruction near Jebel Ouergha in Kef (Mosaique FM).

 

Western Sahara

Two Sahrawis were seriously injured by an anti-tank landmine near the berm separating Western Sahara into the western, Moroccan-controlled region and the eastern, Polisario-controlled region.  Two other passengers in the car escaped unhurt (MAP Independent News).

 

Algeria

By the end of 2015, the Algerian army had managed to clear its one millionth landmine.  Since 2004, almost 10 million hectares of land have been cleared (All Africa).

 

Michael P. Moore

February 16, 2016

Moe (at) landminesinafrica (dot) org

 


The Month in Mines, September 2015

The brotherhood of mine-free countries has now increased by one: Mozambique.  In September, after two decades of work, the last of Mozambique’s 171,000 landmines has been cleared from what was once thought of as one of the five most mine-affected countries (along with Egypt, Cambodia, Angola and Afghanistan).  When mine clearance first began, Mozambique was thought to have millions of mines to be cleared after the wars of liberation in the 1960s and 1960s and the civil war from 1975 to 1992 and clearance would take centuries, not decades.  Many organizations, including the HALO Trust, Norwegian Peoples Aid, Handicap International and APOPO, took part in the clearance work alongside the National Demining Institute, whose director proudly announced “Now I am jobless.” (All Africa; All Africa; The Guardian; Storify).

Despite this very good news, Mozambique continues to face a problem of unexploded and abandoned ordnance.  In Manica province, a building company discovered a cache of explosives during a construction project and deminers from the HALO Trust were called to dispose of the items (All Africa).

And Mozambique was not the only landmine-related news on the continent:

Somalia

The Al Shabaab militia, which has been pushed out of much of Somalia in the last few years, has found a new haven in Kenya’s Boni Forest, just across the border from Somalia.  To protect their base, Al Shabaab members are alleged to have laid landmines on the roads used by Kenyan security forces (All Africa, All Africa).

In Somalia proper, Al Shabaab continues to use landmines and explosive devices as part of its asymmetrical strategy.  In the coastal town of Merca, four civilians were killed by a landmine that was intended for a convoy of African Union peacekeepers (All Africa).  A Swedish mine clearance expert working on assignment for the United Nations was injured by a landmine that detonated under the armored vehicle he was traveling in. No word on other casualties (Radio Bar Kulan).  A Somali deminer was killed by a landmine he was trying to clear in Bardere town which had recently been liberated from Al Shabaab (Mareeg).  Unexploded ordnance claimed the lives of two children in the Middle Shabelle region and injured at least two others (Garowe Online, no link).  The commissioner of El-Ade was wounded by a landmine that was reportedly placed within his residence.  This was the second assassination attempt on the commissioner (All Africa).   A landmine was also placed within the Waamo stadium in Kismayo, but Interim Jubbaland Authority forces found and cleared the mine before it exploded (Goobjoog).

Namibia

A cattleherder was arrested for setting a cache of South African-made explosives he had found on fire.  The herder, in addition to his legal troubles for illegally detonating the abandoned ordnance, has developed hearing problems (All Africa).  In other parts of Namibia, unexploded ordnance has been deadly.  A woman reported an unexploded bomb in her farm fields to the police, but the police did not respond and a few days later the woman and her daughter were killed by a bomb blast which injured two others.  Relatives of the deceased allege police negligence in their response to the reports of ordnance despite the Namibian police mine and explosive awareness campaigns (All Africa).

Angola

Nearly 13,000 pieces of unexploded ordnance, including dozens of landmines, were destroyed in Cunhinga municipality in Bie province (All Africa).  In Chitembo municipality, also in Bie province, another 300 pieces were detonated (All Africa).  Despite the progress, at least five landmines accidents have been reported in Bie province in 2015 with an unknown number of casualties and mine action authorities called for more mine risk education (All Africa).

Algeria

Over 7,600 landmines were cleared from Algeria’s borders.  The mines, dating back to the liberation war against the French colonial administration. To date over 1.4 million mines have been cleared from Algeria to date (All Africa).

Tunisia

A flock of sheep set of a landmine in El Kef.  No other casualties were reported (All Africa).

Libya

Five children were killed and two more injured by a landmine in Benghazi’s Benina district.  The mine was blamed on the Ansar Al Sharia group which was pushed out of the city by the Libyan army (Al Bawaba).

Egypt

15 alleged terrorists were killed and another 10 injured when the individuals tried to plant several landmines in Rafah on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula (El Balad).  Also in the Sinai, three boys were severely wounded by a landmine also attributed to terrorist elements (Star Tribune).

Nigeria

The Nigerian government has ordered 10 demining machines from a Slovakian company with delivery to be completed by the end of 2016 (Spectator). The need for such machines was highlighted when a cow triggered a landmine, killing the nine year-old boy who was minding the herd and at least three cows (Daily Trust).

South Sudan

Despite the civil war that erupted in South Sudan in December 2013 between the government and forces loyal to ousted vice president, Riek Machar, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and its partners have managed to clear 12 million square meters of land and 1,000 kilometers of roads of landmines and other explosive remnants of war.  The violence has greatly reduced UNMAS’s ability to clear land as prior to December 2013, UNMAS has been able to clear over a billion square meters and return that land to productive use (Star Africa).

Tanzania

As part of AFRICOM’s efforts to increase the capacity of African national armies, especially those which contribute forces to regional and international peacekeeping missions, US Navy explosive ordnance specialists provided training to 22 Tanzanian soldiers in August.  The humanitarian mine action instruction course is funded by the State Department (AFRICOM).

Senegal

Landmines are seen as both a challenge to peace in Senegal’s Casamance region (All Africa), as well as an enabler of the illegal logging that supports rebel groups in the region (All Africa).  To combat the landmine problem, Pax Mondial will provide several mine detection dogs to Handicap International which has long been clearing mines in Senegal (Pax Mondial).

Somaliland

The announcement of Mozambique as a mine-free country will hopefully spur other countries to complete their mine clearance obligations.  Somaliland announced its intention to be mine-free by the end of 2017 (Somaliland Informer).

Michael P. Moore

moe (at) landminesinafrica (dot) org

November 5, 2015


The Month in Mines, July 2015

Mine action, including landmine clearance, victim assistance and information collection is an obligation of States that have signed the Mine Ban Treaty.  All too often, countries will ignore one or more of those obligations and this month is no different.  In Senegal, the government has dithered and almost willfully ignored its landmine clearance duties; in Uganda, the government, despite massive donations for reconstruction of the north after the Lord’s Resistance Army rebellion, has ignored the basic needs of landmine survivors; and in Angola the government still lacks a precise understanding of its contamination despite a dozen years of data and information gathering.  Interestingly, efforts are underway in each of those countries to try and hold the governments accountable, whether by external actors, the landmine survivors themselves or the national agencies tasked with mine action.  Read on for a few silver linings.

Libya

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees warned about the dangers of landmines and explosive remnants of war, highlighting their threat to internally displaced persons, the number of whom has doubled since September (All Africa).  In Benghazi, two Libyan soldiers were killed and three others injured by a landmine as the official Libyan army battled elements of the Ansar al-Sharia group (World Bulletin).

Nigeria

Nigeria’s vice president, Yemi Osinbaio, visited the northwestern regions of the country affected by the conflict with Boko Haram.  Osinbaio pledged the government would “sweep off” the landmines laid by Boko Haram and demining would receive the “utmost priority” (All Africa).  Not long after Osinbaio’s visit, the army re-opened the road between the capital of Yobe state, Damaturu, and a major commercial centre in Borno state, Biu after clearing four artisanal landmines from the road (Daily Mail).

Kenya

Three people were killed and six more injured when a landmine exploded as a Kenyan police vehicle passed by. The blast, which occurred on the Lamu to Garissa road, was blamed on Al Shabaab and may have been triggered remotely (All Africa).

Angola

The government of Angola is committed to halving the poverty rate and has identified landmine clearance as a key enabler for boosting the agricultural sector (All Africa).  As part of this effort, the National Inter-sectoral Commission for Demining and Humanitarian Aid (CNIDAH) is updating its database of mine-affected areas and areas that have already been cleared of mines.  Angola is half-way through a five-year strategic plan for landmine clearance and is seeking ways to strengthen that plan (All Africa).  To date, some 1.6 billion square meters of land and 619 kilometers of road in northern Angola has been cleared of landmines (All Africa) including 83 of 125 mine-affected areas in Cuanza Norte province (All Africa) and almost 100 kilometers of road in Lunda Sul province just this year (All Africa).

The US Army Research Office has been testing elephants’ ability to detect explosive residue by scent.  During Angola’s civil wars and immediately after, many elephants were injured by landmines, but in the years since, elephants have demonstrated an understanding of where the minefields are and are communicating to each other about where the mines are (NPR).

Egypt

In the Sinai peninsula, Egyptian soldiers were clearing landmines in and around the town of Rafah where Islamist rebels had laid booby traps and mines near the Sheikh Zuwaid police station (New York Times).  In response, the rebels launched an attack on the station and other military posts in the region using more mines and mortar shells (All Africa).  Official estimates of military and rebel casualties from the battles in Sinai are published by the government, but thousands of civilians have also been caught up in the conflict and an unknown number have been killed or injured by mines and other weapons (All Africa).

Sudan

The continuing conflict in southern Sudan has prevented landmine clearance and humanitarian assistance in the region.  The rebel group, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) has pledged to destroy its stocks of landmines in accordance with Geneva Call’s Deed of Commitment (Sudan Tribune). To underscore the issue and the necessity for mine action in the region, five people were killed and 11 more injured when a truck struck a landmine in Sudan’s Blue Nile State (All Africa).

Uganda

A landmine survivors association in Northern Uganda has called upon the Ministry of Health and donor community to increase funding to the referral hospital in Gulu to strengthen the orthopedic department.  The hospital currently lacks the ability to manufacture or repair prosthetic devices for the more than 800 landmine survivors living in the vicinity (All Africa).  The poor quality of existing artificial limbs and the continuing negligence of the government towards landmine survivors and other persons with disability has led the survivors association to pursue legal action and a lawsuit against the government to demand better services and more accountability (Daily Monitor).

Namibia

The United States Navy is working with the Namibian Defence Force to increase Namibia’s capacity to clear explosive remnants of war.  Since 1995, the United States has support landmine clearance and EOD capacity building in Namibia and this month, the United States ambassador handed over $126,000 worth of materials to the Namibian Defence Force (All Africa).

Zimbabwe

Burma Valley, once a densely-mined region on Zimbabwe’s border with Mozambique has now been cleared of all landmines by Norwegian Peoples Aid with support from the US and Norwegian governments. While Burma Valley represents only a small portion of the border minefields, it was seen as a priority clearance task due to the high volume of cross-border traffic that passed through the area (News Day).

Senegal

Thousands of landmines remain in Senegal’s Casamance region and while landmine clearance could be completed in six months, the government of Senegal lacks the political will to do so.  Many of the mines in the Casamance were not planted by the rebels as had previously been thought; instead most of the mines were laid by the Senegalese army around military outposts.  The national mine action authority, CNAMS, has been one of the biggest obstructions to mine clearance, preventing humanitarian demining organizations, like Norwegian Peoples Aid from contacting either the army or the rebels to try and determine the location of known minefields.  After a dozen Mechem deminers were kidnapped by one of the rebel factions, CNAMS halted all mine clearance work, except for the re-survey of a road construction project that had already been certified as landmine-free.  In frustration, Norwegian Peoples Aid, one of the leading demining organizations in the world, withdrew from Senegal which prompted the European Union to halt future funding of landmine clearance in Senegal (IRIN News).

South Sudan

Local rhythm and blues favorites, the Jay Family, have agreed to record a song about the dangers of landmines in South Sudan as part of the mine risk education programs of the United Nations and Danish Church Aid (Corporate Weekly).  As part of the victim assistance programming in the country, UNMAS and Handicap International hosted a training on bicycle and small motor repair for landmine survivors through the Yei Vocational Training Centre.  Trainees who developed promising business plans also received some start-up capital (Relief Web).

Mali

Cambodia has contributed a demining team to the United Nations peacekeeping mission, MINUSMA, in northern Mali. The team conducts landmine clearance of known and suspected hazardous areas and is responsible for clearing suspicious items found on the roadways of the region.  Since its inception, MINUSMA has been targeted many times with landmines deliberately placed in the paths of convoys (MINUSMA).  One such attack occurred near the town of Kidal, injuring several French soldiers (Lignes Defense).

Tunisia

Three Tunisian soldiers were wounded by a landmine in the Kasserine region on the border with Algeria.  This region has seen many similar landmine explosions over the last couple of years (All Africa).

Michael P. Moore

moe (at) landminesinafrica (dot) org

August 29, 2015


The Month in Mines, May 2015

Nigeria’s campaign against Boko Haram continues this month and with it numerous stories accusing the Islamists of landmine use.  The fighting in Mali and Somalia also continues with reports of injuries and usage by rebel groups.  In more positive news, Mozambique continues its progress towards mine-free status and Zambia’s president personally acquainted himself with the situation faced by survivors.  And in a classic piece of bad news / good news, Egypt announced new support for mine clearance in the northwestern deserts while also announcing new use by its army in the Sinai peninsula.

Nigeria

Let’s start with the following premise: I do not trust Nigeria’s military spokesman, Maj Gen Chris Olukolade.  Olukolade’s official pronouncements dismiss Boko Haram’s fighting prowess and consistent accuse them of human rights violations.  Yes, Boko Haram are awful and have committed many abuses, but if they are so bad and so weak, why has it taken so long for the Nigerian government to move against them and why are Chadian, Nigerien and Cameroonian soldiers needed to assist Nigeria’s troops, both the formal army and the informal vigilante groups?  As such, I’ve paid more attention to articles and reports that cite other sources when it comes to landmine use in northeastern Nigeria and the neighboring countries.

The Sambisa forest campaign stalled early in the month when three members of the local vigilante force were killed by a landmine.  After the blast, all Nigerian forces withdrew in advance of a more coordinated assault that would include Chadian forces (All Africa).  With the assault underway, allied forces were able to liberate many of the women and girls who had been captured by Boko Haram.  Unfortunately, the logistics of that liberation failed several of the women as some were crushed by military vehicles and three were killed by a landmine as they walked out of Sambisa and as many as 15 others were injured by mines (All Africa; New York Daily News).  As the offensive in Sambisa continued, a Nigerian soldier was killed and two others injured by a landmine (All Africa).  Meanwhile, in Cameroon, villagers spotted Boko Haram members plant homemade landmines in the roadways (Cam-Pedia).

Libya

Mines placed near the New Dawn School in Sirte, Libya were cleared by the 166 battalion (Al Wasat) and in Benghazi, mines were cleared from a local chocolate factory (Al Wasat).  In Derna, one of the front lines in a war that whose actors continues to increase, two landmine blasts killed four people.  Two civilians triggered the initial explosion and then two soldiers triggered the second when they investigated the initial blast (KUNA).

Zimbabwe

In Mukumbura, the HALO Trust and government of Japan celebrated the conclusion of the mine clearance project in Mashonaland Central Province.  The project cleared a thousand landmines from 180,000 square meters and will allow free movement across the border with Zimbabwe and increased agricultural production (HALO Trust; News Day).

Sudan

The government of Sudan declared itself short of financial resources and announced that US $91 million would be needed to clear all of the landmines that remain in the country (KUNA).

Zambia

President Edgar Lungu announced that his government was developing a strategic plan to assist landmine survivors in the country.  As part of that effort, Lungu called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to conduct a survey of survivors to identify those who might be supported by the plan (ZNBC).  These remarks were made during Lungu’s visit to Ikeleng’I where he met many survivors and talked with them about their needs.  Lungu re-affirmed that all known landmines have been cleared in Zambia, but also noted that other explosive remnants of war may remain from areas used by various liberation forces during their wars against the colonial powers of Angola, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.  Assistance for survivors will include prosthetics and income-generating activities (Daily Mail).

Angola

Since 2002, Angola has cleared and destroyed over 400,000 anti-personnel landmines and nearly 200,000 anti-tank landmines and over 3 million other explosive remnants of war (All Africa).  In Bie Province, almost 10,000 mines have been cleared over that period, 80% of which were anti-personnel mines (All Africa).  Near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Norwegian Peoples Aid has cleared 43,000 square meters of land in Zaire province and another 450,000 meters are expected to be cleared by the end of the year (All Africa).  In southern Cunene province, the National Demining Institute destroyed over a thousand pieces of unexploded ordnance including landmines (All Africa).  Mine clearance in Huambo province has doubled in in 2015 from the pace seen in 2014 as over 81,000 square meters have been cleared since January compared to less than 39,000 over the same period in 2014 (All Africa).

To support its demining efforts, Angola trained 23 individuals to serve as quality management / quality assurance experts (All Africa).

Also in Angola, an expedition funded by the National Geographic Society launched to map and explore the headwaters of the Okavango River, the main river in the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.  The Cuito river which feeds into the Okavango lies in southeastern Angola’s minefields which are only just being cleared.  However, as expedition leader Steve Boyes noted, as the HALO Trust clears land, Angolans used the newly cleared land for cassava cultivation which can damage the rivers’ ecology.  So while the landmines delayed development, there is now an urgency to put in place land use regulations and practices that would preserve the Okavango Delta (National Geographic).

Somalia

A long time ago, I read a piece entitled, “Not everything that goes boom is a landmine.”  In Somalia this month several explosions were blamed on “landmines” but in reading the reports, I believe the explosives used were not mines.

Tunisia

A landmine exploded as a cattle herd entered a minefield in Kef, on the border with Algeria, where Tunisia has been battling Islamist militants. No injuries were reported and Tunisia troops helped the shepherd and his herd out of the minefield (All Africa).

Namibia

Over the last 15 years, over 300 people have been killed or injured by landmines from the country’s Apartheid era, most in the Kvango region near the Angolan border.  In April two people were killed and two more injured by an explosive device.  In response, the national police have launched a mine awareness campaign (Namibian Sun).  The Namibian Defence Force also took part in an explosive ordnance disposal training hosted by the United States Navy (All Africa).

Kenya

In Yumbis near the Somalia border, Al Shabaab forces staged an ambush using a landmine which injured four police officers and when other officers responded, a gun battle broke out.  Al Shabaab greatly exaggerated the impact of the assault claiming to have killed dozens of police, but none of the police were killed in the initial attacks (All Africa).  Within a couple of days, two of the officers injured in the mine blast succumbed to their injuries (Citizen News).

Mali

The UN peacekeeping mission in Mali is the deadliest current operation with 35 peacekeepers killed since the start of the mission in 2013, 15 of whom were killed by mines (Vice News).  Responding to the attacks in northern Mali, the US State Department updated its travel warning to include reports on landmines and other dangers (State Department).  Those attacks continued in May: two peacekeepers were injured by a landmine in the Mopti region (MINUSMA) and three more were wounded by a mine on the Teherdge – Timbuktu road (Vice News).  Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility for the second attack (News 24).

Mozambique

The government of Japan donated demining equipment to help build residual explosive detection capacity in the country’s police force.  Once Mozambique declares itself mine-free later this year, the country will no longer need international mine action operators for mine clearance, but other explosive remnants of war may remain in the country so the ability of the police to respond to reports will be welcome (All Africa).

South Sudan

The government of South Sudan accused rebels loyal to ousted Vice President Riek Machar of using landmines to prevent the army from attacking Machar’s home town of Leer (The Insider).  South Sudan’s regional mine risk officer reported at least five landmine incidents in Central, Eastern and Western Equatoria States (Radio Easter).

Guinea-Bissau

The US State Department issued a new travel warning for Guinea-Bissau describing “thousands of landmines” across the country, highlighting the risk in rural areas north of Bissau (State Department).  Guinea-Bissau has declared itself free of anti-personnel landmines so these mines could be anti-tank mines.

Algeria

3,000 landmines, 90% anti-personnel, were cleared from Algeria’s borders in April. These mines date back to the liberation war with the French (APS).

Western Sahara

A family traveling near the city of Smara struck a landmine killing the mother and injuring the father and two children.  The father and son were sent to one hospital, the daughter another for their treatment (Adala UK).

Egypt

The government of Egypt, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced millions of dollars in new money to support clearance of the 17 million landmines that pollute Egypt’s northwestern desert, site of the World War II battle of El Alamein.  Since 1982, those mines have killed or injured more than 8,000 people and hinder all development of the region.  The clearance and investment will save lives and enable the construction of thousands of houses to reduce over-crowding in Cairo (Daily News Egypt).  Already the government has cleared 95 thousand acres of the El Alamein battlefield (Egypt Independent) and the government is procuring equipment to clear additional mines.  With these investments, Egypt could complete its landmine clearance in the northwestern desert in three years (All Africa).  Egyptian military sources also released a report documenting arms and explosives, including landmines, seized from militant rebels (Defense Ministry) and blamed the death of four Bedouins in Sinai province from an anti-tank landmine on those same militants (Washington Post).  And yet, in almost the same breath, the Egyptian army announced a new plan to “entrap” militants in Sinai using newly laid landmines around military checkpoints.  The plan has already claimed the lives of two militants who tried to attack a post in Sheikh Zuwayed city (Cairo Post).  Donors to Egypt’s demining activities should take a strong stance against any new mine usage in Egypt before they are asked to help clear those mines too.

Michael P. Moore

Moe (at) landminesinafrica (dot) org

June 14, 2015


The Month in Mines, October 2014

Landmines have been called weapons of mass destruction in slow motion.  This month’s stories, which report on casualties from landmines laid 70 years ago as well as just a few weeks ago, prove that adage.  While heroic efforts are ongoing to clear the landmine contamination, emerging and continuing conflicts provide ample opportunity for new use.

 

Somalia

As the Somali National Army (SNA) and various regional militias, supported by the peacekeeping (peacemaking?) forces of the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), engage in a new offensive against Al Shabaab, we can expect to see reports of landmine use and asymmetrical warfare.  In the Galgala mountain range of the semi-autonomous Puntland state, Puntland forces “flushed” Al Shabaab from the mountains that had been their base for several years.  To defend their base, Al Shabaab had laid mines which killed one Puntland officer and injured two others (All Africa). In southern Somalia, an armored vehicle stuck a landmine outside of Kismayo; no injuries were reported (All Africa).  And in the Shabelle region in the middle of Somalia, near the Ethiopian border, AMISOM forces struck a landmine in Marka town which resulted in at least a dozen civilian injuries and an unknown number of military casualties (Codka 24).

In addition to the military actions, a court sentenced a suspected Al Shabaab member to death for a plot to place a landmine in the Puntland town of Bosaso (Horseed Media).

 

Angola

Norwegian People’s Aid provided landmine clearance and detection training to 35 members of the Angolan army in Zaire province where some 6 million square meters of land need to be cleared (All Africa).  In the first half of 2014, some 33,000 pieces of unexploded ordnance, including anti-personnel landmines, have been found and cleared in Zaire Province (All Africa). In Cunene Province, almost 350,000 square meters of land was cleared in 2013 by the National Demining Institute and in 2015, the Institute plans to clear another 10,000 hectares to enable expanded agricultural outputs (All Africa).  In the central Bie Province, 174,000 square meters have been cleared of landmines over the last twelve months (All Africa).

 

Mali

Mali continues to see new use of landmines in the restive northern region where Islamists had briefly declared a caliphate before being dislodged by French forces.  According to some sources, Islamists are paying US $200 to youths, who may or may not even be Muslim, who place landmines in the roadways used by the UN peacekeeping force, MINUSMA, in northern Mali.  A bonus of US $1,000 is paid if a mine kills a French soldier (Le Monde).  The MNLA, a Tuareg group that had sided with the Islamists and is now closer to joining the government’s coalition, had two members seriously injured by a landmine, when the vehicle they were riding is struck a mine near the northern city of Kidal (MNLA).  Three Senegalese peacekeepers with MINUSMA were injured by a landmine also near Kidal; two were injured severely and transported to Dakar for treatment (Reuters).

 

Western Sahara

The Sahrawi Ambassador to Algeria reported that Morocco had planted more than 5 million anti-personnel landmines and an unspecified number of anti-vehicle mines in the Western Sahara region while speaking at the opening of a photo exhibit of landmine clearance.  The ambassador called on Morocco to assist in the clearance efforts (All Africa).

 

Tunisia

While the one lingering bright spot from the Arab Spring revolutions, Tunisia continues to struggle with its own Islamist insurgency based in the mountain ranges along the border with Algeria.  The Tunisian military has been actively engaged in the conflict, but has not been able to defeat the rebels.  Seven soldiers were injured by landmines in two separate incidents in the Sakiet Sidi Youssef area of Kef (All Africa; Cihan News Agency).  In later reports from the military, a landmine explosion was acknowledged but no casualties were reported from the blast (All Africa).

 

Libya

The civil war in Libya (and to be honest, it’s probably multiple wars) has shifted focus away from Tripoli to Benghazi, the heart of the original uprising that toppled the Gaddhafi regime.  As forces aligned with the internationally recognized government advanced on Benghazi, airstrikes and street to street fighting erupted.  A soldier with the Libyan army was killed trying to defuse a landmine; unclear if the mine was newly laid or dated from the 2011 conflict or even earlier (All Africa).

 

Egypt

In Sinai, where an insurgency has rumbled along since Mohamed Morsi’s ouster, a child was killed by a landmine that was a suspected remnant from earlier wars (Arab Today).  Also in Sinai, two women were injured by an anti-tank landmine near the border with Gaza (TNN). Despite these incidents and others in recent years, it is the minefields in western Egypt which date back to the tank battles of World War II that receive all of the attention and have caused the majority of casualties.  A World War II landmine near the Libyan border injured eight Egyptians who were trying to cross into Libya seeking work (Ahram).  The European Union allocated 4.7 million euros to support demining efforts in the western desert to support the government’s longstanding development plans for the region (All Africa).  All told, there were more than 22 million landmines in Egypt, 17.5 million in the western desert and 5.5 million in Sinai; the Egyptian government has cleared 1.2 million mines over the last two decades (a rate which would mean that another two centuries are needed to clear the rest of the mines).  In the last 15 years, over 8,000 people have been killed or injured by landmines making expedited clearance a necessity (Ahram).

 

Namibia

Namibia has declared itself free of all known landmines, but the construction of a 200 kilometer highways faced some delays due to the suspected presence of unexploded ordnance in the right of way.  This was a reminder that even if a country has completed its demining for anti-personnel landmines under the Mine Ban Treaty, the danger of unexploded ordnance of other types may remain (New Era).

 

Central African Republic

Sticking with countries we don’t mention too often in these pages, the Central African Republic will soon see an engineering contingent of Cambodian peacekeepers in the country.  Among the Cambodians’ tasks will be demining which, as in Namibia, will likely focus on unexploded ordnance as there have been no reports of landmine use in the Republic despite the violence of the last couple years (and the many, many years previously) (First Post).

 

Kenya

Kenya is also not a mine-affected country, but does have several military installations which have not been adequately marked and cleared.  These installations include firing ranges where explosive ordnance was used to practice and when four herders passed through old ranges, one of them stepped on an unexploded piece of ordnance, causing it to explode and injuring all four (Baringo County-News).

 

Algeria

With around 11 million landmines dating from World War II, the liberation war with the French and the civil war of the 1990s, Algeria was once one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.  With up to 80,000 killed or injured by mines, Algeria has made massive efforts to address the problem, clearing 8 million mines as of 2000.  Clearance operations were halted from the early 1990s until 2004 when demining resumed in earnest.  Algeria anticipates meeting its Mine Ban Treaty deadline of clearing all anti-personnel mines by 2017 (Qantara).  Algeria continues to make steady progress towards mine clearance with over 3,600 mines cleared in September alone by Algerian army units (All Africa). In the decade since demining resumed, almost 1 million mines have been cleared which would leave an estimate 2 million mines yet to be cleared (Arab Today).

 

Sudan

Two Darfurian children died from alleged poisoning after touching a bomb dropped by the Sudanese Air Force near Jebel Marra.  After picking up the bomb, they ate their dinner and died within half an hour of eating from vomiting and diarrhea.  Other local reports suggest that livestock in the area suffer from paralysis, diarrhea and skin rashes.  “The people in East Jebel Marra believe that the bombing by the Sudanese government has poisoned the drinking water, affecting the livestock” (Radio Dabanga).  These allegations should be followed up on to determine the true causes of the deaths of these children and livestock.  Poisoning of water or delivery of poisonous substances by bombing would represent egregious violations of human rights.

 

South Sudan

The Development Initiative (TDI) has launched a few new projects in South Sudan in partnership with the United Nations Mine Action Service.  The projects include technical survey and landmine clearance and will provide emergency as well as long-term clearance capacity (TDI).

 

Democratic Republic of Congo

Of the more than twenty rebel groups to emerge and try to overthrow the Ugandan government since Yoweri Museveni seized power in 1986, one of the more obscure yet frightening is the Allied Democratic (or occasionally “Defence”) Front (ADF).  From a base in the Rwenzori Mountains in western Uganda and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the ADF launched several daring raids in the late 1990s on police and military positions in western Uganda as well as an assault on a school in which students were abducted and forced to serve as child soldiers for the ADF.  The ADF used mines to disrupt travel on the roadways and was subsequently defeated by the Ugandan army in a brief campaign linked to Uganda’s other adventures in the DRC.  In very recent days, the ADF has re-emerged in the DRC where it is manufacturing its own landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) following designs used by Al Shabaab in Somalia.  The ADF had been supported in the 1990’s by the government of Sudan in Khartoum as a proxy force against the government of Uganda (which was supporting rebels in South Sudan against Khartoum) and many of the ADF’s members were radical Islamists which is the link to Al Shabaab.  In its current incarnation, the ADF’s mines and IEDs are taking a toll on the United Nations’ Force Intervention Brigade which had been deployed against the Congolese militia M23 and similar groups.  It’s not clear how many people have been injured by ADF’s mines, but the attacks appear to have started in January 2014 (African Armed Forces).

 

Michael P. Moore

November 20, 2014

moe (at) landminesinafrica (dot) org

 


The Month in Mines: February 2013 by Landmines in Africa

Let’s be honest, Mali dominated the headlines on landmine-related news in February, but it was not the only story.  Mine action continued elsewhere in Africa and new tragedies were reported in several locations.  However, Mali was the main story despite some interesting twists which we will get to.  First, let’s cover the rest of the continent.

 

Namibia

Namibia has previously declared itself to be mine-free, despite incidents that suggest otherwise (The Monitor).  In January and February, three landmines (along with other explosive remnants of war [ERW]) were cleared from an area near the Angolan border.  These items were left over from Namibia’s liberation war against the Apartheid era government of South Africa (All Africa).  At a future meeting of the Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, Namibia’s mine-free status should be challenged and Namibia should report on its recent and on-going demining activities.

 

Zambia

In one of the oldest, continuously inhabited refugee camps in the world, the Mayukwayukwa settlement in Zambia, landmine survivors and persons with disabilities face severe challenges to even life itself.  In addition to sexual assault and other forms of physical violence, persons with disabilities are unable to access necessary services for rehabilitation and reintegration.  Available prosthetics for amputees include “crudely fashioned peg legs [and] a boot packed with mud” (All Africa).  Last year, Zambia flew several landmine survivors from rural villages to Lusaka for treatment and fittings with new, high-quality prosthetics.  Zambia should continue to pursue this high standard of treatment for its most vulnerable residents.

 

Somalia

As the country gains increasingly levels of security, Somalia and Somalia-watchers are starting to think beyond emergency interventions and think about the development needs of the country.  First, it is still important to realize that Al Shabaab remains very much a threat so while the security situation is improving, there are still regular reports of assassinations and Al Shabaab activity.  Second, the humanitarian crisis is also still very relevant as many people need access to food, clean water and basic medical services.  Recognizing those two caveats, the coverage received from a report by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) regarding the need for landmine clearance to facilitate long term development in Somalia is admirable.  IRIN News, the Catholic Information Service for Africa and NATO’s Civil-Military Fusion Centre all reported on the problem, describing its origins and noting that with the right amount of funding and political will, Somalia could be mine-free in ten years as required by its accession to the Mine Ban Treaty.

 

Zimbabwe

In a follow-up to the story reported last month of an anti-tank landmine detonating during a magical ceremony intended to enrich its quantity of non-existent “red mercury,” the families who lost houses in the blast are reportedly in need of shelter.  Four houses, including the one in which the ceremony took place, were destroyed in the blast and the families who lived in those houses are currently in tents and similar temporary shelters.  The local government has promised to help re-build the houses but with the rainy season in full swing the need is acute (All Africa).

Another Zimbabwean, who suffered severe damage to his face in a mine blast five years ago, has practically hit the victim assistance lottery.  Operation of Hope, an NGO in Southern California, has sponsored Blessing Makwera to travel to San Diego where he will receive a series of three surgeries at Sharp Healthcare over the next six months to repair his jaw and mouth.  After the procedures, Blessing will be able to eat and speak with little or no difficulty.  The surgical teams have donated their services and Operation of Hope is covering all of Blessings travel costs, post-operative care costs and costs associated with his stay in the United States (KFMB Radio).   Such care would not be possible for a 20 year old landmine survivor in Zimbabwe and the long term value in terms of Blessing’s ability to reintegrate into society is incalculable.  But let me say this, money aside, this is the kind of care every landmine survivor should have access to, no matter where they are or what their circumstances have been.  Blessing (an apt name) should not be an anomaly.

 

South Sudan

In the world’s newest state, services for landmine victims and other persons with disabilities are almost nonexistent.  With an estimate 50,000 disabled persons in the country, South Sudan has an enormous challenge ahead of it, a challenge made worse by a culture of discrimination against persons with disabilities and a near-caste system within the disabled community between those who were disabled fighting against the Sudanese government and those disabled from other causes.  As the oil conflict with Sudan continues, the South Sudanese government is forfeiting 98% of its revenue making any service provision impossible.  What few services are available are limited to small stipends for wounded ex-combatants and those stipends are not enough to support a family.  The International Committee of the Red Cross has provided prosthetics to hundreds of people, but the number of people in need continues to grow.  Since independence in July 2011, more than 100 people have been killed or injured by landmines, a figure that is likely underestimating the true extent of the problem (All Africa).

 

Senegal

Two people, a woman and a child, were killed when the cart they were riding on passed over a landmine in the Casamance region.  The road used was a well-traveled one north of the main city in Casamance, Ziguinchor.  The woman was killed instantly, but the child survived just long enough to be brought to a hospital where he succumbed (Agence France Presse).

 

Uganda

The nearly 4,000 Acholi landmine survivors in Northern Uganda are claiming that promised support from the government has not been forthcoming.  After drives to register all landmine survivors in the region, the government ministers have disappeared, along with significant amounts of foreign aid funds that had been intended for reconstruction programs in the region.  Survivors say that “the government had promised to pay those who lost both the arms and legs five million shillings (~US $1,800) and three million shillings (~US $1,100) to those who lost either a leg or arm.”  Compensation could have been used to respond to pressing needs like shelter as hundreds of thousands of formerly displaced Ugandans return to their homes (Ssalongo News).

 

Angola

During a tour of landmine-affected regions, the US Ambassador to Angola, Christopher J. McMullen, re-affirmed the partnership between the US and Angola to overcoming development challenges in Angola.  Amb. McMullen reported that each year, the United States provides US $80 million in aid to combat malaria, polio, HIV / AIDS and other diseases and $20 million for demining to be conducted by Norwegian Peoples Aid (Angola Press Agency).

 

Libya

A student at Tripoli’s Higher Institute of Technology has won a 50,000 Libyan Dinar (~US $40,000) prize for his design of a smart phone application to warn people of possible landmine dangers.  By linking the phone’s GPS system with existing maps and reports of landmine and ERW contamination (from sources like www.MineActionMap.org), travelers would receive an alert on their phone as soon as they entered dangerous areas.  Mohamed Elbishti had used a similar system to locate restaurants in Tripoli and his new application would automatically update as minefields are cleared.  The idea came to him as he thought about the mines along the roads between his home and Misrata and his own inability to remember exactly where the danger spots were (Libya Herald).

 

Mali

In the compilation of stories that make up this segment, more than twice as many words have been written about Mali and Mali’s landmine contamination in February than for all of countries in Africa combined.  I think this demonstrates how the threat of landmines is so often greater than the immediate impact of landmines.  Based upon my research in January and February, there have been at most four landmine incidents in Mali (two in January, two in February) which led to the deaths of 12 individuals and the injury of at least five others.  For those individuals, their families and their communities, the losses are tragic, but the landmine issue in Mali is also about the threat of landmines and how that threat plays out.

Have landmines been used by the Islamist members of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO)?  Yes, and they have proudly admitted as much (Agence France Presse).  But MUJAO’s spokesmen also recognize the value of the threat.  By claiming to have laid landmines along the roads throughout northern Mali, they hoped to slow the rapid advance of the French forces.  Because some mines have been used (and frankly once the threat was made, only one needed to be used), the French army has had to clear every road as they move against the Al Qaeda-linked Islamists.  In addition to the claims of MUJAO, it is in the interest of the community fighting against MUJAO to broadcast the threat.  Mali’s foreign minister called MUJAO’s members “barbarians” and “criminals” and said that landmines demonstrate “the large extent to which we need help” from the international community (The Associated Press). Mali’s foreign minister used the landmine threat to call for foreign aid and to clearly demarcate MUJAO as the enemy and not remind the international community that Mali’s current government is the result of a coup against a democratically-elected government and that aid to Mali was frozen after the coup.

In addition to slowing down the advance of French forces and the political uses of landmines, the threat of landmines impacted the delivery of humanitarian aid to Northern Mali.  Doctors with Borders, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNICEF, World Food Programme and the International Committee of the Red Cross all put out press releases or comments referencing the threat of landmines and describing the work they did on behalf conflict-affected Malians in February (All Africa; All Africa; All Africa; All Africa; All Africa; All Africa; All Africa; All Africa).  The reports described the difficulties that the threat of landmines posed to relief provision and how the various agencies were working to overcome the threat.

As mentioned above two landmine incidents were reported in Northern Mali in February.  Two civilians were killed on or about February 4th on the road from Kidal.  Four other civilians were killed on the road between Douentza and Gao on February 6th near where two Malian soldiers had been killed by a landmine on January 31st (Agence France Presse).  The road between Douentza and Gao (really the only road between the two) was cleared by French forces who reported finding additional mines (The Associated Press; Agence France Presse).

In response to the new landmine use, the UN’s Mine Action Service has begun training Malian soldiers and police in mine clearance techniques.  The landmine threat in Mali actually predates the current conflict with historic contamination along the border with Algeria and unexploded ordnance from previous Tuareg uprisings.  The goal of the training is to ensure that persons who are currently displaced are able to return to mine-free land when the security situation improves enough for their return (All Africa).

 

Michael P. Moore

March 7, 2013

Like us on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/LandminesInAfrica/