Ver Angola

Defense

Angola among the ten countries with the most US funding for weapons destruction

Angola was the seventh country with the most funding from the United States since 1993 for the destruction of conventional weapons, receiving more than US $ 145 million, according to a report consulted by Lusa.

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The data consists of the new report "Walking the Earth Safely", from the US Department of State's Office for the Removal and Reduction of Arms and represents the "commitment" and "consistency" of efforts with Angola, in the words of the programs for Africa, Michael Tirre.

Last year, Angola benefited from US $ 7 million from the US State Department for non-proliferation, anti-terrorism, demining and related programs, equivalent to 33 percent of the funds allocated to the African continent, which totaled 21.2 million of dollars.

"Part of the reason for the generous support to Angola is the consistency of the programs, which demonstrates our commitment," commented Michael Tirre, program manager for Europe and Africa at the US Office for the Removal and Reduction of Arms, in an interview with the Lusa agency. .

In total, between 1993 and 2020, Angola was one of the ten countries with the most funding from the USA, having received a total of US $ 145.7 million destined to the destruction of conventional weapons.

After Iraq (US $ 594 million), Afghanistan (537 million), Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Colombia, Angola is in seventh place with more funding (US $ 145.7 million).

For 25 years "this assistance freed up more than 464 million square meters of land for productive use and destroyed more than 98,000 landmines, abandoned unexploded artillery and unexploded ordnance", reads the report consulted by Lusa.

According to the document, it was also with assistance from the United States that more than 108,000 small arms or light weapons were destroyed in Angola "and 600 metric tons of ammunition from government stocks, reducing the risk of explosions and illegal diversions".

Michael Tirre also indicated that another of the most important factors for US assistance to Angola are the "new and emerging links between demining to support livelihoods, conservation and ecotourism" and the fact that Angola is trying to "diversify the economy "with the development of ecotourism in the Cubango (or Okavango) region.

"Unfortunately, the three provinces that make up the Okavango region are also the most contaminated by landmines. We see that demining is a critical first step in allowing these other activities to continue," noted the official.

Michael Tirre also highlighted the government's own commitment, which used $ 60 million to clean up national parks in 2019.

"Our project complements that effort, cleaning up the main access points around national parks. For example, transport routes or places for research scientists to conduct conservation activities," added the North American program manager.

In 2020, the US expanded humanitarian mine action operations in the provinces of Bié, Cuando Cubango and Moxico.

Last year's funding went mainly to the non-governmental demining organization Halo Trust and the Mines Advisory Group (MAG).

The report highlights that the Halo Trust helped build arsenals for the national police, provided military training and education, destroyed small arms or excess small arms and destroyed more than 13 tons of stored and abandoned ammunition.

"Halo's demining operations in southern Moxico and Cuando Cubango directly support the objectives of the Angolan government for environmental conservation and the development of an ecotourism industry in the Okavango River basin", the report also reads.

The MAG group "continued to clear high-priority minefields in Moxico province through manual and mechanical demining", close to populated areas that are in "high population growth and require more land for housing, agriculture, pasture and other activities ".

According to the State Department's annual report on demining and weapons destruction activities, the United States has invested more than $ 4 billion in more than 100 countries since 1993.

In 2020, the United States financed efforts to destroy conventional weapons in 49 countries, with more than $ 259 million.