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Last Updated: 25 August 2011

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Commitment to the Convention on Cluster Munitions

Convention on Cluster Munitions status


Participation in Convention on Cluster Munitions meetings

Attended First Meeting of States Parties in Vientiane, Lao PDR in November 2010 and intersessional meetings in Geneva in June 2011

Key developments

Ratification process underway


The Republic of Angola signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008.

In June 2011, the director of the Inter-sectoral Commission on Demining and Humanitarian Assistance (Comissão Nacional Intersectorial de Desminagem e Assistência Humanitária, CNIDAH) said that the domestic process to ratify the convention was continuing on the “right path.”[1] In June 2011, another CNIDAH official informed the Monitor that the ratification process was still at the consultation stage, during which the convention is being reviewed and discussed by relevant ministries and other stakeholders.[2] In November 2010, a government official informed the Monitor that the domestic work necessary for ratification was in progress.[3]

Angola participated extensively in the Oslo Process and, while it did not attend the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008, Angola signed the convention in Oslo in December 2008.[4] Angola has continued to actively engage in the work of the convention. It attended the First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Vientiane, Lao PDR in November 2010, where it made a statement. Angola attended the convention’s intersessional meeting in Geneva in June 2011, where it made an intervention on victim assistance.

Angola is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It has not joined the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Production, transfer, use, and stockpiling

Angola is not believed to have produced or exported cluster munitions.

Cluster munitions have been used in the past in Angola, but it is unclear when or by whom. A CNIDAH official who had seen cluster munitions remnants in Huambo province near Caala and Bailundo, probably from the heavy fighting during 1998–1999, said he believed that the Angolan Armed Forces used cluster munitions because only they used aircraft during this conflict, not the rebel UNITA forces.[5]

The government has not yet provided any details on stockpile destruction or made an official determination and public announcement that all stocks have been identified and destroyed.

In June 2010, a CNIDAH official told the CMC that Angola had destroyed its stockpile of cluster munitions between 2003 and 2010 in a joint initiative of the government and HALO Trust, and that the Armed Forces no longer held any stocks.[6] In addition, HALO’s Weapons and Ammunition Disposal teams, which operate in all 18 provinces destroying police, army, navy, and air force weapons caches, found and destroyed 51 abandoned cluster bomblets in military warehouses.[7] The location of these warehouses has not been reported. As of May 2011, HALO has reported the destruction of 7,267 submunitions (likely from cluster bombs numbering in the hundreds) and 506 submunition dispensers between 2006 and 2011.[8] According to HALO almost all the munitions it has destroyed were in serviceable condition.[9]

In the past, Jane’s Information Group has noted that KMG-U dispensers that deploy submunitions were in service for Angolan aircraft.[10] Deminers operating in Angola have documented the presence of casings of RBK 250/275 cluster bombs among abandoned ammunition.[11] It is likely the KMG-Us and RBKs were of Soviet origin.

Cluster Munition Remnants

The extent to which Angola continues to be affected by unexploded submunitions is unclear. As of March 2011, only HALO had reported finding unexploded submunitions since February 2008.[12] In April 2011, NPA reported that the impact of cluster munition remnants was “very low” in Malanje, Kwanza Sul, Kwanza Norte, Uige, and Zaire.[13] HALO and the National Institute for Demining (INAD) claim that there remain unexploded submunitions in Kuando Kubango.[14]

Prior to 2009 at least two types of cluster munitions had been found in Angola: the Russian-made PTAB-2.5 K0 and the AO-2.5 RT. According to data and completion reports from NGO operators in the national database at CNIDAH in February 2008, Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) reported clearing 13 unexploded submunitions in the municipality of Ebo in Kwanza Sul province; Mines Advisory Group (MAG) reported clearing 140 unexploded submunitions in Moxico province; and HALO reported clearing 230 unexploded submunitions in Kunhinga municipality in Bié province.[15]

Cluster munition clearance

In 2010, HALO destroyed nine unexploded submunitions and two abandoned cluster bombs containing 84 submunitions in Kuando Kubango during battle area clearance in a 500,000m2 area.[16]


No casualties from cluster munition remnants were identified in Angola in 2010. However, given that devices are not adequately differentiated, it is possible cluster munition remnants casualties were among those recorded as caused by explosive remnants of war (16) and unknown explosive items (12), which together made up two thirds of all casualties in 2010.[17]

No information was available on the total number of cluster munition casualties. Angola expected to have more information on cluster munition survivors after the completion of the national victim survey.[18] However the survey questionnaire offers just three options as the cause of disability: “a mine,” “an accident,” or “unknown” and has no place to report on cluster submunitions as the cause.[19]


[1] Interview with General Santana Pitra Petroff, Director, CNIDAH, Luanda, 14 June 2011.

[2] Interview with Adriano Francisco Gonçalves, Senior Mine Action Officer, CNIDAH , Geneva, 27 June 2011.

[3] Interview with Balbina Malheeiros Dias da Silva, National Coordinator, CNIDAH, Vientiane, 9–12 November 2010.

[4] For details on Angola’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 29–30.

[5] Interview with Jorge Repouso Leonel Maria, Liaison Officer, CNIDAH, Huambo, 21 April 2010.

[6] CMC meetings with Maria Madalena Neto, Victim Assistance Coordinator, CNIDAH, International Conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Santiago, 7–9 June 2010. Notes by the CMC/Human Rights Watch. Neto later confirmed this statement, noting that the Air Force headed up a task force responsible for the program. Email from Maria Madalena Neto, CNIDAH, 13 August 2010.

[7] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Helen Tirebuck, Programme Manager, HALO, 15 March 2011.

[8] HALO, “Angola: Weapons and Ammunition Disposal (WAD),” May 2011. www.halotrust.org.

[9] Email from Richard Boulter, Weapons and Ammunition Disposal Desk Officer, HALO, 13 August 2010. See also, HALO, “Angola: Weapons and Ammunition Disposal (WAD),” www.halotrust.org.

[10] Robert Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, Issue 44 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2004), p. 835.

[11] Landmine Action, “Note on Cluster Munitions in Angola,” 10 February 2004.

[12] Email from Ken O’Connell, Country Director, Stiftung Menschen gegen Minen, 5 June 2010; email from J. P. Botha, Technical Operations Manager, Mines Advisory Group, 21 February 2011; email from Fatmire Uka, Operations Manager, DanChurchAid (DCA), 7 March 2011; email from Aubrey Sutherland, Programme Manager, Mine Action, NPA, 1 March 2011; and email from Helen Tirebuck, HALO, 15 March 2011.

[13] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Aubrey Sutherland, NPA, 1 March 2011.

[14] Interview with Jose Antonio, Site Manager, Kuando Kubango, HALO, Menongue, 24 June 2011; and interview with Coxe Sucama, Director, INAD, Menongue, 24 June 2011.

[15] Email from Mohammad Qasim, then-Acting Chief Technical Advisor and Information Management Advisor, UNDP/CNIDAH, 22 February 2008.

[16] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Helen Tirebuck, HALO, 15 March 2011.

[17] Email from Helen Tirebuck, HALO Angola, 15 March 2011; email from JP Botha, MAG, 21 February 2011; email from Aubrey Sutherland, NPA, 1 March 2011; and email from Fatmire Uka, DCA, 7 March 2011. Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) casualty data provided during interview with Pedro Ribiero Toko, National Advisor to CNIDAH, UNDP, Luanda, 16 June 2011.

[18] Statement of Angola, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meeting, Session on Victim Assistance, Geneva, 28 June 2011.

[19] Questionnaire for national victim survey provided by Maria Madalena Neto, CNIDAH, Luanda, 16 June 2011.