Since it gained independence from Portugal in 1975, Angola has faced many landmine challenges as a result of civil wars. Mines that were laid during conflicts now litter the environment, blocking roads and bridges and contaminating agricultural fields. These mines prove a constant threat to the people of the country as well as to those who are working to prevent future accidents through mine removal. Fernando Arroyo of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Huambo, Angola, said, “Everyone ... appears to have buried landmines here. You’ll find Portuguese mines from the 1960s, Cuban mines from the 1970s, South African mines from the 1980s and Chinese mines scattered in between. Nobody kept records.” Angola faced more war in 1992 when a peace agreement with National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) unraveled.



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