Africa

Angola

Political Stability

  • Civil War lasted between 1975-2002
  • Angola has been moving quickly towards political stability since then
  • Economy has also stabilized- Inflation has decreased from 410% in 2002 to 18.5% in 2005 and Angola is the largest oil exporter in Sub-Saharan Africa (once largest exporter of diamonds)
  • Legislative elections were held on September 5, 2008 (first in 16 years)

Landmine Statistics

  • Estimates range from 9-20 million land mines (nearly twice the population)
  • Children represent 49% of landmine casualties
  • Amputee population of 70000
  • Between 150 to 200 landmine deaths occur weekly
  • Landmines hamper the return of over 1 million displaced citizens (a poll said that 85% cited fear of landmines as reason for not returning to their homes)

General Effects of Landmines

  • Approximately 30% of cultivatable land is underutilized because of landmines
  • Landmines have disrupted the fragile infrastructure of Angola by destroying roads and bridges
  • Fear of landmines has forced Angolans from the countryside, thus crowding them into cities- increases in cholera and malaria
  • Refugees from civil war have been unable to return to homes and farm their land

Geography

  • Twice the size of Texas
  • Narrow coastal plain in the east, becomes rolling hills throughout central Angola, which becomes a single high plateau that stretches through Eastern Angola
  • Presence of serious deforestation and desertification has turned large expanses of central Angola into desert

Climate

  • Semiarid in the south
  • North has a cool dry season from May to October, and hot rainy season from November to April
  • Data suggests that the number of mine accidents increase in the rainier months

Where are the landmines?

  • Bie is “statistically” the most dangerous province in terms of landmines because it was the center of the Angolan civil war
  • Many of the major roads and railways have been severely mined (Benguela railway)
  • Coastal regions have been “statistically” the safest
  • General difficulty in finding reliable landmine locations

KEY INFO

  • Most of the country is arid and dry year round- no problems concerning mud or moisture
  • Most of the mines were placed during the civil war, so areas are unlikely to be remined
  • Terrain consists of some desert areas, but is mostly scrubland

Sources
http://www1.american.edu/TED/LANDMINE.HTM
http://www.aeaf.org/papers/1997-11-ian-feinhandler.htm
http://countrystudies.us/angola/52.htm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4049351.stm
http://www.fao.org/relief/angola/aoveg.htm

Algeria

Climate

  • Rainfall is relatively low throughout the country
  • Some of the coastal towns in the north are prone to storms from the sea
  • Rainfall is virtually unknown in mid to southern Algeria

Geography

  • Atlas Mountains occupy narrow stretch between northern Algeria and the Mediterranean Sea
  • The rest of Algeria is consumed by the Sahara Desert, with the exception of the Ahaggar mountains in southeastern Algeria

Political Stability

  • Algeria has been politically stable since the end of the Algerian War of Independence in 2002

Where are the mines?

  • Most of the mines are along the Eastern and Western borders (Morocco and Libyan borders respectively)
  • These areas are almost exculsively desert
  • There are also landmines present in the Kabyllie Mountains (part of the Atlas Mountains in northern Algeria)

Requirements

  • Needs to handle extreme heat/dry conditions
  • Must be dust/sand proof
  • Should be able to handle moderate brush/shrubs, but there's not a huge amount of obstacles

Sources
http://www.un.org/cyberschoolbus/banmines/schools/background.asp
http://csbah.stu.cofc.edu/Landmines%20in%20Mozambique.ppt
http://school.mech.uwa.edu.au/~jamest/demining/countries/egypt/intro.html

Egypt

  • 25000 square miles affected
  • Eastern Egypt most heavily mined
  • Specifically, Sinai Peninsula mined due to hostilities with Israel (1950s-1970s)

Sinai Peninsula

  • Known as "Devil's Garden"
  • Contains more than 6 million mines
  • Extreme heat/sandy, dusty conditions

Mozambique

  • Landmines primary obstacle to reconstruction of economy
  • One of the most politically stable countries in Africa
  • 20 people maimed/killed by mines per month

Which Regions in Mozambique are most affected?

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