Prince Harry visits Angola with landmine charity

11th August 2013, Comments 0 comments

Britain's Prince Harry is in Angola to see landmine clearance work by a charity championed by his late mother Princess Diana, the charity and royal officials said on Sunday.

The HALO Trust said Harry, 28, was touring minefields that remain from Angola's brutal 1975-2002 civil war, as well as meeting beneficiaries of the charity's work.

The fourth-in-line to the British throne is also visiting the remote southern Angolan town of Cuito Cuanavale, believed to be the most densely-mined town in Africa, the charity added.

A spokeswoman for Harry's residence Kensington Palace declined to give details of when he arrived in Angola or how long he was staying, saying the prince was on a private visit.

Princess Diana, a vocal campaigner against the use of landmines, visited Angola with HALO in 1997. She died later the same year in a car crash in Paris.

Harry, her youngest son, visited Mozambique's minefields with HALO in 2010.

Angola remains one of the most heavily-mined countries in the world, despite huge efforts since 2002 to clear the explosives.

HALO, the biggest mine clearance charity working there, said it has destroyed over 21,300 anti-personnel and anti-tank mines in the impoverished southern African country.

The civil war left an estimated 500,000 dead, displaced four million and destroyed much of Angola's infrastructure.

Thousands of Angolans have been killed or maimed by landmines, though exact casualty figures are not known.

There were at least 533 confirmed minefields in Angola still in need of clearance as of November 2012, according to HALO.

© 2013 AFP

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