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Afghanistan, Landmine Monitor Report 2008


State Party since

1 March 2003

Treaty implementing legislation


Last Article 7 report submitted on

13 May 2008

Article 4 (stockpile destruction)

Deadline: 1 March 2007

Completed: October 2007

Article 3 (mines retained)

Initially: 1,076

End 2007: 2,680


Antipersonnel and antivehicle mines, IEDs, submunitions, other UXO, AXO

Estimated area of contamination


Article 5 (clearance of mined areas)

Deadline: 1 March 2013

Likelihood of meeting deadline


Demining progress in 2007

Mined areas: 27.5km2 (2006: 25.9km2)

Battle areas: 148.8km2 (2006: 107.7km2)

Area reduction/cancellation: 78.7km2 (2006: 33.5km2)

Mine/ERW casualties in 2007

Total: 811 (2006: 796)

Mines: 339 (2006: 285)

Submunitions: 30 (2006: 22)

Other ERW: 243 (2006: 424)

Victim-activated IEDs/other device types: 15 (2006: 44)

Unknown devices: 123 (2006: 21)

Casualty analysis

Killed: 208 (2006: 98)

Injured: 601 (2006: 698)

Status unknown: 2 (2006: 0)

Estimated mine/ERW survivors

52,000 to 60,000

RE capacity


Availability of services in 2007

Improving but still inadequate

Progress towards victim assistance (VA25) aims


Mine action funding in 2007

International: $86.3 million
(2006: $87.5 million)

National: $290,000 (2006: none)

Key developments since May 2007

Despite use of both antipersonnel and antivehicle mines by the Taliban in 2007 and 2008, most devices employed by insurgents were remotely detonated IEDs in roadside attacks, often targeting vehicles. In October 2007, Afghanistan completed destruction of its antipersonnel mine stockpile seven months after its legal deadline. The exact number of mines destroyed remains to be clarified. Demining changed to a regional approach with smaller teams and a greater emphasis on area reduction through technical survey. The Afghanistan National Disability Action Plan 2008–2011 was drafted for government approval; the document is based on Afghanistan’s 2005–2009 victim assistance objectives.

Mine Ban Policy

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 11 September 2002, becoming a State Party on 1 March 2003. Afghanistan has not adopted new national implementation legislation, including penal sanctions, for the Mine Ban Treaty.[1]

Afghanistan submitted its sixth Article 7 report on 13 May 2008, covering calendar year 2007.[2]

Afghanistan participated in the Eighth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Jordan in November 2007, making statements on stockpile destruction, mine clearance, and victim assistance. Afghanistan also participated in the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in June 2008, making statements on mine clearance and victim assistance.

Afghanistan has not yet made known its views on matters of interpretation and implementation related to Articles 1, 2 and 3, in particular issues related to joint military operations with states not party to the treaty, foreign stockpiling and transit of antipersonnel mines, antivehicle mines with sensitive fuzes or antihandling devices, and the permissible number of mines retained for training.

Afghanistan signed the Convention on Conventional Weapons on 10 April 1981, but has never ratified it, and thus is not a party to the convention or its protocols on mines and explosive remnants of war. It did not attend the Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions in May 2008.

Production, Transfer and Use

Afghanistan is not known to have produced or exported antipersonnel mines. Large numbers of mines from numerous sources were sent to various fighting forces in Afghanistan throughout many years of armed conflict. There have been no confirmed reports of outside supply of antipersonnel mines to non-state armed groups (NSAGs) in recent years.

Stockpiling and Destruction

Afghanistan was unable to meet its 1 March 2007 deadline for stockpile destruction. In April 2007, Afghanistan informed States Parties that while it had destroyed 486,226 stockpiled antipersonnel mines, two depots of antipersonnel mines still remained in Panjsheer province, about 150km north of Kabul. Provincial authorities did not make the mines available for destruction in a timely fashion.[3]

On 11 October 2007, however, Afghanistan formally notified the Mine Ban Treaty’s Implementation Support Unit that “Afghanistan has now fully completed the destruction of all its known stockpiles of Anti-Personnel Mines. Despite the fact that Afghanistan did not meet its March 1 deadline, we are fully committed to enumerated commitments contained in the Ottawa Convention.”[4]

At the Eighth Meeting of States Parties in November 2007, Afghanistan assured States Parties that it had “fully completed the destruction of all its known stockpiles of anti-personnel mines.” It said that “after lengthy talks with various groups and communities, in October 2007, it became possible to allow the Ministry of Defense and Ammunition Survey Teams to access the valley [in Panjsheer province] and to remove remaining antipersonnel mines and ammunition from these depots. Finally, these efforts resulted in the location and the destruction of more than half a million stockpiled antipersonnel mines in total in Afghanistan. Hence, the people and the government of Afghanistan are proud of this monumental accomplishment…. Despite the fact that Afghanistan did not meet the March 1st deadline, we cannot ignore the enormous efforts of our aforementioned implementing partners and international community in the face of extremely difficult contextual conditions….”[5]

Afghanistan confirmed that it had completed its stockpile destruction obligation under Article 4 in its latest Article 7 report.[6] It remains unclear how many stockpiled antipersonnel mines were destroyed after the March 2007 deadline, in addition to the 486,226 previously reported.[7] In its latest Article 7 report, Afghanistan indicated 81,595 stockpiled antipersonnel mines were destroyed in calendar year 2007. The bulk—71,436—were PFM-1 mines destroyed in Kunar province.[8]

Recoveries and seizures

The 81,595 stockpiled antipersonnel mines destroyed in 2007 apparently included the mines from the two Panjsheer depots, but also included many other stockpiled mines discovered, seized, or received through turn-ins during the year. The mines were destroyed in 114 events at 22 different sites, all by open detonation.[9] Some destruction events occurred in November and December after the announcement in October that the stockpile destruction program was completed.[10] The type and number of mines destroyed in each location, and the dates of destruction, have been recorded in detail in Afghanistan’s Article 7 report, in Forms F and G.[11]

Mines retained for training and development

Afghanistan reported that during 2007 the maximum number of antipersonnel mines retained for training purposes was 2,680.[12] This total is 626 mines fewer than the number retained at end of 2006.[13] Afghanistan retains a fluctuating number of mines, depending on the needs of its training programs, and the number is approved by the Ministry of Defense. The mines are obtained from the discoveries and seizures that continue to occur within the country.[14]

During the June 2008 intersessional meetings in Geneva, Dr. Mohammad Haider Reza, Programme Director for the Mine Action Center for Afghanistan (MACA, formerly known as the UN Mine Action Center for Afghanistan, UNMACA),[15] told Landmine Monitor that Afghanistan does not retain any live mines for training. He said that all of the mines listed as retained are fuzeless, with the fuzes destroyed separately prior to use in training.[16]

In its latest Article 7 report, Afghanistan provided information in expanded Form D on retained mines. It stated, “UNMACA uses retained anti-personnel mines in its test centers in Kabul and Kandahar to accredit the mine detection dogs of implementing partners…. The implementing partners, under the oversight of UNMACA, use anti-personnel mines for training of their mine detection dogs and deminers.” It also noted that MACA “stores mines that may be needed for testing and accreditation in the future in a secured bunker.”[17]

Non-state armed groups

In 2007, the level of insurgent activity increased sharply from the previous year, particularly in the south and east of Afghanistan.[18] The majority of reports of explosive attacks do not involve antipersonnel mines, which are victim-activated, although media reports frequently attribute the attacks to “landmines.” Instead they involve improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which are remotely detonated in roadside attacks, often targeting vehicles.[19] However, there have been reports of use of both antipersonnel and antivehicle mines by the Taliban in 2007 and 2008.In May 2007, five children were killed by a mine the police claimed was freshly laid by the Taliban.[20] Also in May, coalition forces claimed to have apprehended militants possessing an antipersonnel mine in Khost.[21] In June 2007, three Canadian soldiers were killed in Panjwaii district, Kandahar province, when two antivehicle mines were detonated by an attached antipersonnel mine. The mines were newly laid on a road frequented by the troops between two checkpoints 600m apart.[22]

In July and August 2007, Helmand provincial officials and residents alleged that Taliban insurgents had laid antipersonnel mines in several districts. A spokesperson for the Taliban reportedly confirmed the planting of new mines against the Afghan army and international forces.[23] Also in July 2007, a former Hezb-i-Islami commander and 38 of his soldiers who had been fighting alongside the Taliban surrendered and turned over unspecified mines and other arms to the Disarmament of Illegal Armed Groups (DIAG) programme in Kapisa province.[24]

In June 2008, several reports of new mine use by the Taliban in Arghandab district of Kandahar province appeared in the press.[25] Abdul Zahir Azimi, spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense, was quoted as saying, “The Taliban had laid landmines—anti-vehicle and anti-personnel—on roads and footpaths in Arghandab District.”[26] The ICBL expressed its concern about these reports of ongoing use of antipersonnel mines by the Taliban.[27]

Afghan and coalition forces also continued to seize and capture antipersonnel mines from opposition forces in 2008. In January 2008, five antipersonnel mines were recovered from Bonta village, Dara Noor district, and 20 antipersonnel mines were recovered in Trelay village, Achin district, both in Nangarhar province.[28] Also in January, police recovered four antipersonnel mines in a house in the Chakhmaq area of Herat city.[29] In February 2008, Afghan National Security Forces, assisted by coalition forces, recovered 12 antipersonnel mines from a cache in Kashmund village, Chaparhar district, in Nangarhar province.[30] Also in February, police and security forces recovered 70 antipersonnel mines in Tatang village, Khogyani district, in Nangarhar province.[31] Numerous other media reports document the recovery of landmines without specifying the type.

MACA reported that eight members of the Afghan National Security Forces were killed or injured by antipersonnel mines during military operations, but further information was not available.[32]

Landmine/ERW Problem

Afghanistan remains one of the countries most contaminated by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), mainly the result of the 1992–1996 internal armed conflict and the decade-long war of resistance that followed the Soviet invasion of 1979. The United States-led coalition’s intervention in late 2001 added considerable quantities of unexploded ordnance (UXO) to the problem, including (cluster) submunitions, and this was followed by further mine use by NSAGs (see above section on use).[33]

Fighting over the last few years has resulted in additional ERW contamination: security forces have found increasing numbers of weapons caches and explosive ordnance, including antipersonnel and antivehicle mines.[34] However, despite increased attacks on coalition forces using IEDs in 2007, demining agencies have not detected any sign that the conflict has led to systematic re-mining.[35]

The Afghanistan Landmine Impact Survey (ALIS), completed in 2005, found 2,368 communities and more than four million people affected by mines, and identified some 715km2 of suspected hazardous areas (SHAs).[36] Subsequent discovery of new minefields and UXO saw the estimate of contamination rise to more than 840km2 in 2007 but an audit at the end of the year resulted in cancellation of 107 SHAs and a reduction of the estimate of mine-affected land to 722.3km2 as of July 2008.[37]

Landmines and ERW, however, continue to cause a high level of casualties, resulting in 608 people killed or injured in 2007,[38] and still pose a formidable challenge to social and economic reconstruction, which is critical to the country’s political stabilization. Mine and ERW contamination is particularly concentrated in central and key food-producing eastern provinces, affecting towns and urban commercial areas as well as villages, farm and grazing land, and roads.[39]

Mine Action Program

Coordination and management

The Mine Action Program of Afghanistan (MAPA), set up by the UN in 1989, is in transition towards national ownership. The MAPA has been managed by MACA[40] pending the creation of a national authority. Until 2008, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided the government focal point on mine action.[41]

A symposium on mine action organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and MACA on 10 December 2007 decided that an interministerial board should be set up to provide guidance to MACA and that existing institutions should continue to provide support to the government on mine action until 2013.[42] An interministerial meeting convened by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 16 January 2008 assigned the lead role in mine action to the Department of Mine Clearance (DMC) in the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA), which reports to the Office of the President.[43]

The DMC, set up by presidential decree in 1989, has 11 staff in two departments—Operations and Assessment—but previously functioned outside the MAPA.[44] In May 2008, the DMC moved its offices into the Kabul headquarters of MACA to begin a process of familiarization with the MAPA and capacity-building.[45] Discussions over the last four years on a national mine action law[46] are now on hold. The DMC considered it likely that another interministerial meeting would be convened in 2008.[47]

MACA, a UN Mine Action Service project implemented by the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), is responsible for managing, planning, and coordinating all aspects of mine action undertaken by the MAPA. It updates strategic and operational mine action plans and policies, draws up an annual operational workplan, and coordinates the monitoring of risk education (RE). It also accredits and quality assures mine action operators, and is responsible for maintaining the mine action database, resource mobilization, support to and coordination of implementing partners, and oversight of national mine action standards.[48]

A former deputy minister of foreign affairs became MACA’s program director in July 2007, the first national to hold the post in a move consistent with plans to achieve national ownership. MACA has progressively nationalized senior staff posts and, as of April 2008, it employed 345 national and 23 international staff.[49] The last international technical advisor in the field left at the end of 2006.

MACA has seven Area Mine Action Centers (AMACs) in Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Mazar-e-Sharif, Kunduz, Gardez, and Jalalabad. Staffed entirely by Afghans, the AMACs coordinate, oversee, and monitor demining activities at the regional and provincial levels. The regional offices also work directly with communities, UN offices, government representatives, and development organizations to ensure that operations are coordinated and meet local needs.[50] Regional coordination meetings are held once a week and national coordination meetings are held every one or two months. Afghanistan uses a decentralized data entry system operated by the AMACs, which check the data provided by demining operators. The AMACs report to MACA, which is responsible for quality control, updating of information, and sending updates to the AMACs, so that each one has data for the entire country.[51]

National mine action standards

MACA conducted a review of national standards in 2006–2007 to ensure consistency with a new concept of operations and restructuring of demining teams (see below section on demining). In 2007, MACA also developed a specific chapter of the national mine action standards to deal with systematic handover of cancelled or released land to end users.[52]

Status of strategic mine action planning

The MAPA adopted a 10-year strategic plan in 2003, which set the target of clearing all high-priority mined areas by end 2007, all medium-priority mined areas between 2007 and 2009, and all low-priority mined areas by 2013. It is not known whether the 2007 deadline was met. A revised strategy, The Way Ahead, released in draft form in April 2006, set out planning assumptions and factors and some goals for mine action. The assumptions included improved security and continued international donor funding for a number of years.[53]

MACA is also focused on the targets of The Afghanistan Compact adopted in February 2006 at the London Conference on Afghanistan, which stated, “By end-2010…the land area contaminated by mines and unexploded ordnance will be reduced by 70%...and by end-2010 all unsafe, unserviceable and surplus ammunition will be destroyed.”[54]

Afghanistan Compact: Targets and Achievements[55]



31 Jan 2006


70% target

Results as of 31 March 2008

% of 2010 target

as of
31 March 2008

No. of SHAs to be cleared





Estimated area to be cleared (km2 )





MACA’s 2008–2009 Coordinated Operational Implementation Plan focuses clearance on the following:

  • "killing zones" (areas with recent casualties);
  • hazards within 500m of the center of a community;
  • high-impact districts and communities;
  • areas with cultural or other benefit;
  • highly contaminated districts, focusing on the worst impacted;[56]
  • small minefields;
  • the “doables”; and
  • achieving the goals of The Afghanistan Compact and meeting Mine Ban Treaty obligations.[57]

The plan reflects a number of attributes of Afghanistan’s contamination. Two districts alone have 176 SHAs, while 84 districts have only one or two SHAs. Afghanistan also has large numbers of small SHAs, including 220 minefields of less than 1,000m2, which are not considered worthwhile for operators working with large teams of more than 20 deminers, but which can be addressed quickly and efficiently by the smaller, more flexible teams created by MACA’s new concept of operations (see below).[58]


Afghanistan has the world’s longest established and biggest mine action program. In 2007, some 8,000 Afghans worked for organizations coordinated by MACA. These included five Afghan NGOs (Afghan Technical Consultants, Demining Agency for Afghanistan, Mine Clearance Planning Agency, Mine Detection and Dog Centre, and Organization for Mine Clearance and Afghan Rehabilitation), and two international NGOs (Danish Demining Group and HALO Trust). In addition, eight commercial companies operated in Afghanistan in 2007 (ArmorGroup, DynCorp International, EOD Technology, Hemayatbrothers Demining International, Kardan Demining Group, RONCO, S3AG, and UXB International). MineTech International, which left Afghanistan in 2006, was due to restart operations in the second half of 2008 after winning a contract in May. The Zimbabwe-based TDI (The Development Initiative) also opened an office in Kabul in 2008.

Demining has undergone major reform and refocusing since MACA introduced a new concept of operations in November 2006. This included restructuring demining teams into smaller units, switching to one-person-one-lane drills, and training all units to undertake technical survey, with an emphasis on area reduction. MACA also adopted a cluster approach to tasking, taking on multiple tasks in a particular area while assets are deployed there instead of focusing exclusively on high-priority tasks.[59]

In 2007, MACA introduced further initiatives to try to raise clearance rates despite the growing problems of security, particularly in the south. These included a policy of regionalization, under which MACA called on local and international NGOs to concentrate assets in designated provinces in a bid to increase efficiency and curb logistics, field office and management costs. Operators also saw opportunities to increase security by strengthening their engagement and local relationships in particular areas.[60]

In March 2008, MACA introduced a Request for Proposals (RFP), a system of competitive bidding by NGOs and commercial operators for clearance contracts awarded by UNOPS, in a bid both to increase annual clearance and raise efficiency. Four initial contracts were opened for bidding, one involving clearance of Badghis province and three in Shindand, Herat province. Two contracts were awarded in May, one to MineTech for Badghis province and the other to ArmorGroup for one of the Shindand tasks. MACA expected to reopen the two RFPs not awarded in May and to call for bids for additional RFPs in 2008. MACA indicated it might invite bids only from Afghan NGOs for some RFPs.[61]

MACA also called for proposals in 2008 to develop community-based demining as a means to mobilize additional clearance capacity, particularly in areas where lack of security limited access by NGOs or commercial operators. MACA planned to work in 43 communities in southern and eastern Afghanistan, including parts of Ghor, Helmand, Kandahar, Kunar, Nimruz, Paktia, and Zabul provinces. Proposals were required to have a gender component, intended in part to enable women’s perspectives to be reflected in impact assessments and clearance planning. As of July 2008, four implementing partners, Afghan Technical Consultants (ATC), Demining Agency for Afghanistan (DAFA), Mine Clearance Planning Agency (MCPA), and Organization for Mine Clearance and Afghan Rehabilitation (OMAR), had submitted proposals for community-based demining.[62]

Identifying hazardous areas

The ALIS, completed in January 2005 and certified by the UN on 30 September 2005, provided a basis for significantly refocusing mine action. The survey identified 2,368 mine and ERW-impacted communities in 259 districts. It confirmed the existence of 4,514 SHAs, of which 718 (16%) were high-impact, 1,055 (23%) medium-impact, and 2,741 (61%) low-impact.[63] As a result of the survey, the total SHA in the MACA database fell by 15%, from 850km2 to 715km2.[64]

The ALIS found that Afghanistan’s mine and UXO contamination is more geographically concentrated than previously thought. All but two (Oruzgan and Daykondi) of Afghanistan’s 32 provinces are mine-affected, but three-quarters of SHAs—and of recent casualties—are located in only 12 provinces, and half the SHAs are located in just six provinces, led by Kabul.[65] Moreover, 45% of recent casualties recorded by the survey were in the three provinces of Kabul, Parwan, and Takhar.

In 2007, polygon surveys—more accurate delineation of the perimeter of a SHA—undertaken by HALO within its area of operations identified 32km2 of affected land not included in the ALIS, but also enabled HALO to reduce previously identified suspect areas by an average of 40% and resulted in conversion of some 500 SHAs into more precisely defined minefields.[66]

As a result, MACA’s 2008–2009 plan provided for polygon surveys to be conducted in the rest of the country. HALO was to conduct polygon surveys in nine provinces, including Badakhshan, Baghlan, Balkh, Herat, Kabul, Kunduz, Parwan, Samangan, and Takhar, expecting data collection to continue until May 2009. HALO also provided training for eight MCPA survey teams to conduct polygon surveys, security permitting, in Bamiyan, Faryab, parts of Herat and Kabul, Laghman, Kandahar, Kunar, Nimruz, Nuristan, and Wardak provinces, as well as some districts of Paktia and Khost.[67]

After the ALIS, MACA converted survey teams into Landmine Impact Assessment Teams (LIATs) and deployed them to the regional AMACs to continue community visits in order to validate findings and update the database.[68] In May 2007, after training LIATs for the job, MACA started to conduct post-demining impact assessments (PDIAs) to ensure demining objectives are achieved, to identify how cleared land is used and whether for the purpose intended, and to determine whether communities are still confident in the results of clearance, and whether further clearance is needed.[69]

LIATs question villagers on the type and quantity of crops grown, the type of livestock and the number of months they used grazing land, the length, width and traffic of new roads, the number of shops or restaurants built on land used for commercial purposes, the number of houses rebuilt, and the number of families benefiting from newly released land used for residential purposes. By the end of 2007, LIATs had visited 360 former minefields and battlefields, covering a total of 22.8km2 of cleared land, and determined that the cleared land benefited more than 650,000 Afghans.[70]

Marking and fencing of affected areas

The ALIS reported that of 4,514 SHAs in Afghanistan, only 10 were fenced and only 542 had warning signs. A total of 3,962 SHAs, or 87%, were not marked or fenced.[71]

Mine and ERW clearance in 2007 and 2008

Clearance of mined and battle areas increased almost 30% to a total of 173km2 in 2007, despite the constraints imposed by deteriorating security (see table below). Mine clearance rose by 6% and battle area clearance (BAC) by 35%. In the process, operators more than doubled the number of antipersonnel mines destroyed, to 26,970, and nearly doubled the items of ERW cleared to more than 1.7 million.[72]

The threat to security was most apparent in southern areas of the Taliban-led insurgency but it affected other areas and involved a range of other actors, including criminal groups. Three Mine Detection and Dog Center (MDC) deminers were shot dead in southern Kandahar province in September 2007, seven more were killed in March 2008, five from ATC were shot in northern Jawzjan province, and two MDC deminers were killed in Kunduz province. Armed persons also abducted 13 ATC deminers working in the eastern province of Paktia, releasing them a week later, but keeping their vehicles.[73] Demining operators also lost vehicles and equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in attacks or raids by insurgent or criminal groups. In April 2007, an ambush by insurgents in Farah province killed five RONCO employees, two dog handlers, a dog supervisor, and two other supervisors.[74]

Among MACA’s Afghan implementing partners, ATC remains the biggest operator with more than 1,202 staff, including 835 in operations, making up 46 manual demining teams, 10 mechanical teams, eight explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams, nine RE teams, and four community demining teams. Under the regionalization strategy ATC focused its operations on central and southeastern areas.[75] In 2007, ATC increased its clearance of mined land by more than 40% to 4.68km2 and more than doubled the number of mines destroyed to 5,559, although it cleared slightly less battle area.[76]

DAFA, a smaller organization with 705 staff, works in the conflict-affected southern province of Kandahar,[77] and also increased mine clearance in 2007 but experienced a sharp drop in the amount of battle area cleared from 9.6km2 to 1.34km2 in 2007.[78]

MCPA, set up in 1989, previously focused on conducting technical survey throughout the country, but has converted to demining operations. From April 2007, MCPA reconfigured its 449 staff, including 370 in operations, to deploy 13 demining and two EOD teams in Kandahar and the southeastern provinces of Paktia and Logar.[79]

MDC, set up in 1990, employed 1,304 staff, including 1,016 field staff, and has some 300 dogs, of which 180 are operational. MDC operated with 32 mine detection dog (MDD) groups, which each include 12 manual deminers and four dogs, along with five demining teams, six mechanical teams, two EOD teams, and nine MDD sets with three dogs each. MDC previously worked in six regions of the country (center, east, north, northeast, southeast, and west). MDC has pulled out of western areas to focus on the center, northeast, and southeast.[80]

OMAR, set up in 1990, undertakes manual and mechanical mine clearance and EOD in the west and the east, closely linking its clearance operations to RE. In 2007, it had 26 manual demining teams, six mechanical teams, two EOD teams and two MDD sets.[81]

HALO, the biggest operator in Afghanistan, employed 2,800 personnel in 2007 making up 146 teams, including 57 manual demining teams, 24 mechanical teams, 11 BAC teams, three EOD teams, six survey teams, and two RE teams. The total also included 19 weapons and ammunition disposal (WAD) teams and seven WAD survey teams. HALO expected to increase its capacity in 2008 to 3,500 people as operations, previously focused in central and northern Afghanistan, added new tasks close to Herat in the west and it added two survey teams for polygon mapping.[82] In 2007, HALO increased both mined area cleared and the number of mines destroyed by almost 50%, and battle area cleared by 28% to more than 120km2.[83]

Danish Demining Group (DDG) operated with 365 national and nine international staff, including five manual demining teams, 19 EOD teams, two mechanical units, and four RE teams. DDG previously divided these assets between central/northern regions and the west, but under the regionalization approach (see above) it pulled out of the west. DDG has restructured teams so that each section can work independently, providing more flexibility for tackling small tasks. In April 2008, it started cross-training teams to perform both manual demining and EOD in a bid to increase productivity and eliminate delays.[84]

RONCO employed 360 deminers, including seven demining teams, 10 mechanical teams, and 15 MDDs, working for clients that included the US Department of Defense (undertaking clearance at Bagram airbase), and providing support for construction projects by the US Army Corps of Engineers.[85]

Among other commercial operators, ArmorGroup completed work in 2007 clearing a 7km2 task at Shindand airbase in Herat province. In May 2007, ArmorGroup was awarded a UN contract for clearance of some 3km2 in Shindand district, and expected to deploy some 250 people in 13 teams including manual deminers, mechanical teams, and MDDs.[86]

DynCorp, working under contract to the US Department of State’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, provided training, developing seven 12-person teams accredited for EOD and demining, supported by a senior technical advisor and four technical advisors.[87]

EOD Technology started operating in Afghanistan in 2006, clearing a NATO airfield. In 2007, it employed 180 deminers working on contracts ranging from clearance for powerlines, military posts and roads to 14 schools for UNOPS.[88]

Hemayatbrothers Demining International (HDI), the first Afghan-owned commercial demining company set up in 2006 by ATC’s director but under separate management, employed 150 staff, including 115 in operations, making up four demining teams, a mechanical unit and an MDD team. Tasks undertaken by HDI in 2007 included site clearance for a border customs post and road clearance in Badghis and Faryab provinces. Tasks undertaken in 2008 included clearance around Bagram airbase and in Uruzgan and Farah provinces.[89]

MineTech International won a US$5 million contract in May 2008 for clearance of Badghis province, involving 41 tasks with an estimated total area of 4.9km2, the biggest of them 0.9km2. MineTech expected to employ about 100 mostly local people, and to deploy them in eight demining teams supported by seven MDD sets and a flail.[90]

MAPA Clearance Results in 2007[91]






mines destroyed




BAC (km2)





















































































































* Rounding errors: MAPA figures were 27.53 and 148.73. AG=ArmorGroup, DC=DynCorp, EODT=EOD Technology, KDG=Kardan Demining Group, UXB=UXB International.

Summary of Efforts to Comply with Article 5

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, Afghanistan is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 March 2013. This obligation is recognized as an influencing factor in The Way Ahead draft strategy for mine action, which sets the target of completing clearance of all known mined areas by 2013. The government has continued to affirm confidence in its ability to meet the deadline.[92]

Clearance Activities in 2001–2007[93]


Mine clearance (km2)

BAC (km2)

Area reduced or

cancelled (km2)

































Landmine/ERW/IED Casualties

In 2007, Landmine Monitor identified at least 811 new casualties due to mines, ERW and victim-activated IEDs in Afghanistan, including 208 killed, 601 injured, and two whose status was unknown. Of these, MACA recorded 750 casualties in 435 incidents (172 killed, 576 injured and two unknown). MACA data did not include information on foreign nationals and limited information on people injured by victim-activated IEDs, as it considered this a security issue outside the scope of its operations.[94] Landmine Monitor media analysis identified at least 61 additional casualties from 22 incidents (36 killed and 25 injured), including 38 civilians and 23 foreign soldiers from Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.[95] Handicap International (HI) recorded 74 mine/ERW casualties in Kandahar province in 2007 and all were included in the MACA database.[96]

Analysis of MACA casualty data for 2007 shows that most mine/ERW/IED casualties were civilian (593), 45 were deminers,[97] 37 were from the Afghan National Security Forces (two under age 18), and the status of 75 was unknown (including 33 children). Children constituted 48% of civilian casualties.

Casualties by Device Type


















*excluding submunitions

Civilian Casualties by Age and Gender





(age unknown)








The most common activity at the time of the incident was traveling (159), followed by playing/recreation (106), unknown (87), and tending animals (86). Fewer incidents were caused by tampering (39). No casualties were reported in five provinces (Daykondi, Ghor, Nimruz, Nuristan, and Panjsheer). Most incidents occurred in the conflict-ridden provinces of Kandahar (163) and Helmand (90), followed by Kabul (67), Parwan (56), and Herat (40). Only 3% of casualties reported receiving mine/ERW RE and 55% stated they had not received RE; for the remaining casualties (312, 42%) this information was not known. Almost three-quarters of casualties happened in areas that were not marked, including 123 of the antipersonnel and 118 of the antivehicle mine casualties.[98]

NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) reported that they maintained records on discovered and detonated IEDs, including IED casualties, reported to them. In 2007, it received reports of 20 ISAF soldiers and 120 civilians killed by IEDs, and 150 ISAF soldiers and 350 civilians injured. The type of IED used (command-detonated or victim-activated) was not known for the majority of casualties. At least 10 ISAF soldiers and 10 Afghan civilians were killed, and 40 ISAF soldiers and 15 civilians injured, by victim-activated IEDs. The majority of incidents occurred in eastern and southern Afghanistan.[99] The US Department of Defense reported that 25 US military personnel were killed in incidents involving IEDs. One soldier died from a landmine explosion.[100] These casualties have not been included in the total as insufficient detail was available for cross-checking.

There continued to be a decrease in recorded casualties in 2007. It was reported that there were on average 60 casualties per month in 2007, down from 138 per month in 2001.[101] In 2006, MACA recorded 893 casualties (133 killed, 759 injured, and one unknown);[102] the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) recorded 796 casualties for the same period.[103] However, when comparing the two databases for 2006, it is possible that there were up to 1,053 casualties in 658 incidents (150 killed, 902 injured and one unspecified); 640 casualties were recorded both by the ICRC and MACA. However, MACA recorded 253 additional casualties which were not in the ICRC database and 160 casualties were only recorded by the ICRC.[104] MACA stated that due to ongoing conflict and inaccessibility of the conflict areas, casualties were likely to be under-reported, especially in southern Afghanistan.[105]

In 2007, there were significant changes in the location, activity, and device type causing incidents compared to 2006. While the number of casualties due to antipersonnel mines remained relatively constant, casualties due to antivehicle mines, usually while traveling, doubled (from 10% to 20%). Most of the antivehicle mine incidents occurred in Helmand and Kandahar provinces (109 of 156) which supports evidence of new mine use. The number of casualties due to submunitions increased in 2007 (from 2% to 4%), and the percentage of casualties due to other ERW decreased (from 40% to 32%). Casualties due to tampering decreased by 88% (from 177 to 39), especially among children, probably due to an increased RE focus on this issue. The number of casualties occurring while traveling nearly doubled (from 90 to 159). In 2007, casualties continued to decrease sharply in Herat (from 127 to 40) probably due to clearance activities. In Kandahar, casualties continued to increase to nearly a quarter of all casualties (from 15% to 22%). Elsewhere casualty rates remained relatively constant. Child casualties decreased in 2007 (from 52% to 43%), but boys continued to constitute a similar percentage of casualties.[106]

Casualties continued to be reported in 2008, with at least 371 casualties recorded by Landmine Monitor as of 23 June 2008 (88 killed, 282 injured and one unspecified). Of these, MACA recorded 331 (69 killed, 261 injured and one unspecified), including 294 civilians, 11 deminers, 17 Afghan National Security Forces (including three children), and nine unknown. More than half of the casualties were children (181), including 154 boys. ERW caused 136 casualties (including three submunition casualties), antipersonnel mines 67, and antivehicle mines 47. The other casualties were caused by fuzes, booby-traps, or unknown devices. Most casualties occurred in Kandahar (61), Baghlan (42, more than the whole of 2007), and Helmand (31) provinces.[107] Landmine Monitor identified 40 additional casualties (19 killed and 21 injured) including three Afghan civilians, four Canadian deminers, 17 foreign military, nine Afghan police and seven Taliban.[108]

In 2008, ISAF noted that the number of victim-activated IED incidents increased sharply compared to 2007. From 1 January to 22 May 2008, 310 victim-activated IED cases were reported; of these 120 detonated. ISAF recorded 10 ISAF soldiers and 10 Afghan civilians killed, and 75 ISAF soldiers and 20 civilians injured by victim-activated IEDs for this period.[109] From 1 January to 1 July 2008, the US Department of Defense reported 31 US military personnel killed as a result of IED attacks.[110]

Data collection

Casualty data collection in Afghanistan remains incomplete due to the security situation, communication constraints, unequal coverage, and the time needed to centralize information. MACA is responsible for maintaining and verifying the casualty database in the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA). The IMSMA database is updated continuously as new information is received from AMACs or other sources. Regular updates are sent to RE and victim assistance (VA) implementers for planning purposes and tailor-made data sets are available on request.[111]

Casualty data is collected mainly by the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) through a network of 490 health centers throughout the country, in cooperation with authorities, hospitals, and NGOs. This data constitutes some 90–95% of casualty data entered into IMSMA.[112] In 2007, data on 606 casualties was recorded by ARCS volunteers.[113] At the end of 2006, the ICRC handed its casualty database over to MACA and handed responsibility for maintaining the data collection network over to the ARCS. However, the ICRC continued supporting data collection in the south until July 2007 due to a lack of ARCS capacity in that region. The ICRC continued to monitor data collection throughout 2007 and planned to provide technical advice until the end of 2008.[114] In 2007, MACA modified the ICRC/ARCS standard reporting format slightly to make it more adjusted to IMSMA.[115] In Kandahar, HI is an important source of casualty data.[116]

The MACA database contains standardized and detailed information on personal details, device type, activity, incident location, RE provision, and marked areas. Unlike the ICRC database no detail on sustained injuries is recorded, nor does the database contain information on services received. The data is not complete as it does not contain information on casualties among foreign troops and limited information on victim-activated IED casualties: 2007 was the only year in which a limited number of victim-activated IED casualties were recorded. Comparison between the ICRC and MACA databases shows that while the MACA database was increasingly complete—and in 2006 it was more complete than the ICRC database—gaps still remained.[117]

The total number of mine/ERW casualties in Afghanistan is unknown. MACA recorded 17,487 casualties between 1979 and February 2008, including 3,002 killed and 14,485 injured. Some 55% were under 20 years old and 92% of casualties were male.[118] Until 31 December 2006, the ICRC recorded 16,450 mine/ERW casualties.[119] ICRC data indicated that 37% of casualties required an amputation of at least one limb.[120] Media reports stated that 822 deminers and support staff had been killed by mines.[121] In July 2008, MACA reported that 371 civilian deminers had been killed.[122]

The most recent numbers on persons with disabilities remain those from the National Disability Survey in Afghanistan, which estimated there were between 747,500 and 867,100 persons with disabilities in Afghanistan, including some 52,000 to 60,000 mine/ERW survivors. Disability questions were included in the national census which was scheduled for 2008[123] but postponed until 2010.[124]

UNICEF supported the Ministry of Public Health (MPH) in 2006 to integrate mine/ERW casualty data into a national injury surveillance system, but as of April 2008, this system had not been created.[125]

Landmine/ERW Risk Education

In total, 1.58 million people received RE in Afghanistan during 2007, an increase compared to 1.35 million in 2006, but still lower than 1.8 million people in 2005. Some 40% of beneficiaries were boys, identified as the highest risk group (compared to 36% in 2006).[126]

During the reporting period, DAFA ceased RE activities, and the ICRC ended direct implementation of RE activities in early 2007. Other programs expanded slightly and refocused on target groups as tasked by MACA. There were no changes in priority target groups, although the areas with the highest casualty rate have changed due to increased conflict. The main change in existing RE programs was the inclusion of disability awareness messages in all RE projects. RE activities were hampered by the deteriorating security situation.

Strategic framework and capacity

MACA continued to coordinate RE with implementing partners and provided financial support based on The Way Ahead strategy. The strategy focuses on proactive RE activities “until there are no known remaining mine/ERW contaminated areas in Afghanistan,” maintaining capacity for public awareness of the residual mine/ERW threat, and keeping RE coordination functions linked with other mine action pillars/programs.[127]

MACA’s three-year internal RE plan (2007–2009) is updated annually. At the field level, RE is coordinated and supervised by AMACs whose quality assurance teams report “inconsistencies” in the use of materials and approach.[128] RE implementers are accredited by MACA’s quality assurance department and report regularly on progress.[129] Coordination between MACA and implementers was generally assessed as very good.[130] However, some operators reported delays in material provision, slow responses to clearance requests[131] and slow data entry.[132]

MACA signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Education in 2007 to include RE in the school curriculum and increase the ministry’s coordination role. The MoU included training of the ministry’s child protection officers, the establishment of an RE department in the ministry, and training of around 18,000 teachers. This fits within the strategy of transition to national ownership of mine action.[133]

A KAPB (knowledge, attitudes, practice, and beliefs) study was planned to be conducted before the end of 2008 or early in 2009.[134] The previous study was conducted in 2005 and showed that an overwhelming majority of people are fully aware of the dangers posed by mines and UXO but did not always adopt safe behavior.[135] Afghanistan provided a summary of RE activities in its latest Article 7 report.[136] Funding for RE activities is secured for the next three years, and there were no funding shortfalls in 2007.[137]

Coverage and response

RE activities in Afghanistan continued to focus on communities identified in the ALIS as high- and medium-impact, and RE priority-setting was based on casualty information, ALIS data, community requests, and the need for emergency activities.[138]

In 2007–2008, people were most at risk of a mine/ERW incident while traveling in unknown areas, tending animals, collecting firewood and scrap metal, and farming. People were most at risk in southern Afghanistan due to conflict, and in the center of the country because of the extensive mine/ERW contamination. People are most at risk in the months of April to August, when crops are planted, refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) return, and animals are put out for grazing. Nomads are most at risk during seasonal population movements.[139] ERW tampering, particularly among the poor, is a particular risk; as a result, RE has been increasingly ERW-oriented since 2006. It was hoped that increased RE for women, who play a key role in educating their children, would result in fewer casualties among boys.[140]

In 2005–2006, tampering caused a significant proportion of casualties and led MACA to increase its focus on programs to discourage this behavior,[141] contributing to the decreased number of tampering casualties in 2007. However, tampering frequently occurred while tending animals and might not have been recorded as such.

MACA estimates that RE coverage is excellent, except for the unstable southern and southeastern provinces. All implementers are said to meet the expectations, and messages are provided in local languages. Low literacy rates were said not to be a major impediment, as leaflets were adjusted to illiteracy and never distributed without accompanying training.[142]

In Afghanistan stand-alone RE, community-based RE, and community liaison activities are carried out. The community-based program is central for high and medium-risk communities; in low-impact areas, community monitoring is used to identify new casualties, incidents, or SHAs. Emergency response RE is also provided as part of the community-based strategy.[143] Approximately 10% of RE is public information dissemination through radio and television:[144] this was not considered particularly effective by operators due to frequent electricity cuts, people not owning a radio or television, the poor quality of radios provided to RE teams, and the timing of the broadcasts.[145]

While there were some 4.73 million reported RE recipients between 2005 and 2007 (mine-affected population: 4 million), only 3% of casualties claimed to have received RE. According to the ARCS, many of the casualties might not say that they have received RE for fear of being blamed for causing the incident.[146] Operators added that other reasons for the lack of reported RE among casualties could be: that most incidents occur while traveling by vehicle, meaning that RE messages were not able to be put into practice; that remote high-impact areas with casualties are not sufficiently reached with community-based RE; due to economic necessity; and that television and radio messages might not be considered RE.[147] Beneficiaries receive repeat visits (usually every three months) and are counted each time; therefore the 4.73 million people reached might not be an accurate reflection.[148] RE programs do not link to larger development or alternative livelihood programs to provide alternatives to scrap metal collection and tampering.[149]


Civilians Attending RE Sessions in Afghanistan in 2007









AAR Japan




























































AAR Japan = Association for Aid and Relief Japan; DAO = Development and Ability Organization.

The Returnee Risk Education Program, in cooperation with HI and OMAR, continued to target returning Afghans at Office for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) transit areas near the borders with Iran and Pakistan. In 2007, approximately 184,822 returnees benefited from the program.[150]

The ARCS expanded its RE program to 32 provinces in 2007. It operated 22 RE teams, which combined their activities with casualty data collection. Despite the challenge of deteriorating security, activities did not decrease. Additional challenges in 2007 were the lack of good communication mechanisms and staff retention as most RE staff are volunteers who can earn higher salaries elsewhere.[151] In early 2007, the ICRC withdrew its operational support to the ARCS and limited its activities to monitoring and technical capacity-building.[152] The ICRC planned to withdraw completely from mine action in Afghanistan at the end of 2008 and did not conduct any direct RE activities in 2007.[153]

In 2007, HI continued its community-based RE program through community mine action committees in two provinces (reaching 149,679 local residents) and in two transit camps. HI worked in seven high, two medium and 78 low-impact areas. It increasingly focused on people displaced by military operations, nomads affected by conflict in several districts of Kandahar, and returnees from Pakistan. In 2008, the program began to target drivers and travelers, as these were a high-risk group in 2007. HI received 232 clearance requests in 2007 (a total of 13 landmines, 434 ERW, and two unknown devices were reported as a result); these were all passed on to the relevant AMACs, but none was reported to have resulted in clearance.[154]

In 2007, AAR Japan continued to provide community-based RE in high-risk areas with its mobile cinema and radio programs in four languages. It provided technical advice to MACA on material development and distributed RE materials. Some of its materials were approved by the Ministry of Education for use in schools. It is envisioned that the RE program will integrate into government activities once sufficient capacity is built. Four RE trainers received MACA refresher training to integrate disability messages into the RE program. AAR activities were hampered by security concerns and by increased cultural opposition to education of women and girls.[155]

ISAF conducts awareness-raising activities and distributes RE materials (including in newspapers and through radio spots).[156] In April 2008, ISAF troops organized an ERW awareness day in the north of Kabul city, as the result of an ERW incident killing several children earlier that month.[157] MACA developed a country-specific Landmine Safety Program for UN staff and aid workers and provides training on request.[158]

Victim Assistance

Ongoing conflict, extreme poverty, a lack of infrastructure, and low economic development continue to hamper access to services for the entire population,[159] but particularly for the most vulnerable groups. Afghanistan lacks or has low quality services in all areas of victim assistance (VA).[160] The Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled (MoLSAMD) noted that the situation of mine/ERW survivors is “not very comfortable.”[161] The ICRC reported that “much work needs to be done to further enhance accessibility to services and to allow persons with disabilities to play an active role within their communities.”[162] Most services are urban-based,[163] which limits access for mine/ERW survivors living in remote rural areas. In 2007–2008, the vast majority of services were still carried out by NGOs, resulting in fragmented service delivery.[164] Despite still being minimal, government capacity and coordination was said to be gradually increasing,[165] but results were not yet visible.[166] Women may be denied access to services due to cultural barriers and the lack of qualified female staff.[167]

The MPH coordinates healthcare through two strategies: the Basic Package of Health Services (BPHS) and the Essential Package of Hospital Services (EPHS), implementation of which is mostly contracted to NGOs and international organizations. Coordination among service providers remained limited and the MPH lacked the capacity to efficiently contract services to NGOs.[168] BPHS coverage was said to have increased from 9% in 2002 to 85% by 2008; EPHS was implemented in 15 hospitals. Nevertheless, healthcare in Afghanistan remains among the worst in the world. It lacks infrastructure, emergency transport, trained staff (especially women), and supplies and funding, often preventing persons with disabilities, including mine/ERW survivors, from receiving needed assistance. It will take an estimated five to 10 years to train sufficient medical staff, some of whom may refuse to work in rural areas.[169]

Although basic healthcare is in principle free, most public hospitals are poorly equipped, forcing people to go to unaffordable private clinics.[170] The MPH estimated that some 360,000 people in the conflict-affected Helmand, Kandahar, Paktika, and Zabul provinces do not have access to health services. Non-state armed groups targeted and killed some 40 health workers in 2007–2008, resulting in the closure of at least 36 health centers and the withdrawal of international health providers.[171] NGOs provide first-aid training, but there is no formal training to deal with traumatic injury; ISAF occasionally provides emergency transport.[172]

Physiotherapy services are available in 19 provinces and 14 orthopedic workshops—completely dependent on international organizations—operate in 10 provinces. The MPH is in charge of coordinating physical rehabilitation, but only manages one center.[173] The rehabilitation needs of persons with disabilities are seldom met due to many factors, including the lack of centers (30 centers in 34 provinces are needed),[174] difficulty of access, and lack of political will.[175] To ensure sustainability of services, increased government coordination is needed, but according to the ICRC, “the authorities showed little enthusiasm for the idea.”[176]

Some two million Afghans are believed to suffer from conflict-related mental health problems,[177] which are common among mine/ERW survivors and exacerbated by stigma related to disability. However, psychosocial support activities were limited to “one-off projects” by international NGOs and peer support in organizations where large numbers of persons with disabilities work. Services are uncoordinated, mostly limited to Kabul, and formal training for social workers does not exist.[178]

Social stigma and high general unemployment (60%) severely limit the economic opportunities of persons with disabilities; 97% of women and 53% of men with disabilities are unemployed. Some 73% of persons with disabilities did not have access to education (national average 51%). The results of vocational training programs have been disappointing due to lack of cooperation between MoLSAMD and the Ministry of Education, insufficient funding and infrastructure, poor quality of education, and a lack of employment opportunities afterwards. Pending legislation includes a quota foreseeing 3% of jobs and 20% of vocational training for persons with disabilities.[179] Disabled women are especially affected by prejudices and segregation preventing their social reintegration as often they are not allowed by their families to study, find a job, or start a business.[180]

The community-based rehabilitation (CBR) network operated in 16 provinces by international and, increasingly, by national NGOs and disabled people’s organizations (DPOs) provides a variety of disability services. As of 2008, it covered 22% of the country but tried to expand its coverage by involving community authorities more. However, CBR practices varied, coordination and referral were informal and needed strengthening, and CBR workers needed updated training.[181]

Persons with disabilities registered at MoLSAMD receive a pension of AFN300–500 ($6–$10) per month depending on the degree of disability. While the amount was increased in 2007 from AFN150 to AFN300 ($3 to $6) it remained too low to maintain a basic standard of living, and the bureaucratic procedure prevented many persons with disabilities from receiving it. People with less than 35% disability do not receive benefits. Some 208,833 people received benefits (50% for war disabled).[182]

Afghanistan does not have specific legislation protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, but the constitution provides guarantees for the rights of persons with disabilities. In 2006, MoLSAMD developed the National Law for the Rights and Privileges of Persons with Disabilities, which was approved by the cabinet in late 2007, but was under discussion at the Lower House in May 2008.[183] As of 31 July 2008, Afghanistan had not signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities or its Optional Protocol, despite pressure from civil society to do so.[184]

MoLSAMD prepared the Afghanistan National Disability Action Plan 2008–2011 (ANDAP) for government approval; the document is based on Afghanistan’s 2005–2009 VA objectives (see below). It aims to address the rights of all persons with disabilities, including mine/ERW survivors, within the framework of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy and the Mine Ban Treaty.[185] Nevertheless, the disability movement remained in “its infancy” due to a lack of capacity and negative attitudes in society. As a result, persons with disabilities were not able to negotiate their own interests in planning and decision-making processes.[186]

Progress in meeting VA25 victim assistance objectives

Afghanistan is one of the 25 States Parties with significant numbers of mine survivors and “the greatest responsibility to act, but also the greatest needs and expectations for assistance” in providing adequate assistance for the care, rehabilitation and reintegration of survivors.[187] As part of its commitment to the Nairobi Action Plan, Afghanistan presented its 2005–2009 VA objectives in 2005. They functioned as the effective VA/disability plan (ANDAP or Kabul Report) for the government and the mine action program and are integrated in the national development and other relevant strategies.[188] Plans to achieve the objectives were presented in 2006 and objectives and plans were refined at two national VA workshops in August 2006 and October 2007.[189]

The latest revision, presented in 2008, reflected the results of the October 2007 workshop where some objectives were made SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) and others were made “less ambitious to take into account the particular challenges faced by the disability sector” with the resources currently available.[190] Two extra components, inclusive education and CBR, were formally added. Objectives related to compiling knowledge, policy-making and awareness-raising remained those with the earliest deadlines. Some objectives to be carried out by the National Program for Action on Disability (NPAD), which closed in March 2008 (see below), were postponed and assigned to new lead agencies. Clear responsibilities remained assigned to the MPH and MoLSAMD.[191]

As the timeframe for achievement of the VA objectives has been changed to 2008–2010, a progress evaluation of previous objectives with elapsed timeframes is challenging. However, for 40 objectives originally with 2006–mid-2008 timeframes, progress was reported on 22 objectives, five have been completely achieved, and no progress was made on 13. Deadlines were extended to make completion possible but the objectives do not fit the 2005–2009 timeframe committed to under the Nairobi Action Plan.[192] Several operators noted they continued to work according to their own plans and not according to ANDAP as the final version had not been distributed to operators.[193]

Overview of changes and progress between August 2006 and April 2008:[194]

Data collection: objectives remained largely the same but timeframes were extended. The integration of casualty data into national injury surveillance was replaced by disability questions in the national census. Partial progress was reported on four of the five original objectives.

Emergency and continuing medical care: three objectives remained the same, timeframes for six more were delayed mostly from 2009 to 2010, and three concrete objectives were removed (training of specialists, coordination and capacity-building of MPH). Partial progress was reported on 12 of the 15 original objectives; development of disability guidelines for the BPHS was fully achieved.

Physical rehabilitation: all the objectives were made less ambitious and timeframes extended mostly to 2010, measurable indicators (such as numbers of trained staff, centers, access to services) were removed. It was noted that several of the original objectives, even after revision, were not realistic. Partial progress was noted on eight original objectives, no progress was reported on three, and one was fully achieved (refresher training, by the ICRC).

Psychological support and social reintegration: two objectives were postponed from 2007 to 2009, several concrete objectives were combined into one immeasurable objective (expand access to services), two were ongoing and one 2009 objective remained the same. No progress was noted on four of the eight original objectives, one was achieved (awareness-raising), and partial progress was noted on the rest.

Economic reintegration: it remained the weakest component. The objective on employment of persons with disabilities was removed and all the others were delayed, in some cases from 2006. Partial progress was noted on one of the five original objectives (integration of persons with disabilities in economic programs); there was no progress on the others.

Laws and public policy: one objective was strengthened (from creation to implementation of disability-related benchmarks), most objectives were delayed, in some cases since 2006. Partial progress was reported on 11 of the original objectives, no progress was reported on three, and one objective was achieved (creation of benchmarks).

CBR: objectives were elaborated from CBR provisions previously under physical rehabilitation and included: CBR strategy (2008), CBR guidelines (April 2009), strengthening CBR network (2008), CBR expansion (end 2009), DPO capacity-building (end 2008), and awareness-raising (ongoing). These objectives have some of the earliest deadlines under the revised plan.

Inclusive education: these objectives were rephrased and elaborated from previous provisions and included: increased awareness (end 2008), pilot inclusive education projects (2008–2010), standard tools (2010), capacity-building and expansion of inclusive education (2009), awareness-raising (2009), increased access (2010), and 45% of boys with disabilities and 30% of girls with disabilities in school (2010).

More detailed progress updates and supporting documents have been presented at the Mine Ban Treaty meetings in 2007–2008 and can be found online.[195] Afghanistan submitted voluntary Form J with its latest Article 7 report, providing information on the second VA workshop and on the activities of the ministries.[196]

Victim assistance strategic framework

MoLSAMD is responsible for coordination, monitoring, and reporting on disability/VA activities within all relevant ministries and stakeholders.[197] The long-term strategy, The Way Ahead, set the following goal for VA: “The End Goal for Mine/ERW survivor assistance will be achieved when mine/ERW survivors are reintegrated into Afghan society, with support provided through a national system that incorporates the rights and needs of people with disabilities.”[198] This will be achieved through embedding VA into the disability work of national entities responsible for social welfare, health, education, and employment. However, disability will remain linked to mine action when relevant.[199] ANDAP, which was awaiting formal government approval as of May 2008, effectively guides VA/disability activities.[200] National NGOs were taking on more substantial roles in implementation but also in training and support to DPOs.[201]

As of May 2008, the MoLSAMD still lacked the capacity to coordinate all disability activities and carry out monitoring, and capacity-building was ongoing. For further improvement, the government recommended the appointment of a Deputy Minister for Disability Affairs; this position was filled in August 2008.[202] The Deputy Minister for Social Affairs covered disability during 2007 to mid-2008, but although aware and enthusiastic, he had many competing priorities and was unable to focus fully on disability issues.[203] Reportedly, there was sufficient capacity at the MPH, but a lack of interest in disability.[204]

Coordination for the disability/VA sector is carried out through various coordinating bodies and taskforces at the relevant ministries, all with technical support from MACA.[205] Most international and national organizations are regular members of these bodies. An inter-ministerial working group on disability is also planned in 2008 and will be chaired by MoLSAMD.[206] MoLSAMD also established four Disability Training Resource Centers to provide information and counseling to persons with disabilities, and promote coordination and provide meeting space for DPOs.[207]

MACA provides technical and financial support to the concerned ministries. Its main priorities are continuing to advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities, increasing government capacity, and integrating disability into the basic services provided by the lead ministries. AMACs are involved in disability/VA training activities and liaise with local governments.[208] The NPAD, which previously supported the government, was closed on 31 March 2008, following the results of a classified evaluation and severe cutbacks in late 2006 and into 2007.[209] The UN Development Programme and former staff declined to provide further information.[210]

The main challenges for VA/disability according to MoLSAMD were continued conflict, high poverty, a lack of resources, transparency, and inter-organizational coordination.[211] NGOs noted that while they were involved in the policy process and progress, concrete improvements were not visible yet in the field, partly due to a lack of monitoring mechanisms, capacity and funding. Activities were duplicated, gaps in service provision remained, coordination mechanisms remained weak, and there was a lack of attention to DPO capacity-building.[212] Several organizations noted that the situation of survivors/persons with disabilities has not changed significantly for many years,[213] and that survivors continued to live in a “traumatic economic situation” and more socio-economic efforts were needed.[214]

There are many stakeholders in the disability/VA sector in Afghanistan and only those who provided updated information are included below. Information on those unable to respond can be found in previous editions of Landmine Monitor.

Government services

In 2007, MoLSAMD continued to provide pensions, cash and in-kind subsidies, skill development programs, education and job opportunities. Not having disability legislation was considered a major obstacle by the ministry. It reported on 309,008 services provided to persons with disabilities. The number of survivors was unknown, people received multiple services, and no sub-division per service provider was available.[215]

The Ministry of Education’s National Education Strategic Plan (NESP) includes provisions to improve access to education for persons with disabilities through specialized and inclusive education, teachers, and materials. An inclusive education pilot project was started in 2007 and was planned to expand into five provinces in 2008 with UNICEF support. The ministry included disability awareness in the school curriculum, 18,000 teachers were trained on disability awareness and RE, and a magazine on RE and VA issues was published.[216]

The MPH, which elevated the importance of disability in its strategies, achieved its objective of expanding the BPHS to 85% of the population by 2008. The MPH coordinated revision and upgrading of the physiotherapy curriculum.[217]

NGO services

The Afghan Landmine Survivors’ Organization (ALSO) was established in July 2007 with the aim of improving the living conditions of persons with disabilities through advocacy, educational support, formal peer-to-peer support (the first project of its kind in Afghanistan), and referral. Activities started in 2008 and to May, 148 survivors received peer support and 30 were referred to other services. The US Department of State Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement provided funding for the peer support project in 2008. In 2007, ALSO operated on contributions from its members ($2,000).[218]

Development and Ability Organization (DAO), previously the Afghan Disabled Union, continued its awareness-raising, referral and education activities. DAO also works on DPO coordination and capacity-building at the national level, the development of disability terminology, supporting capacity-building and disability awareness in relevant ministries, and broadcasting disability programs on radio and television.[219]

The Physical Therapy Institute (PTI) supported by the International Assistance Mission (IAM) provides professional physiotherapy training. IAM foresees handover of PTI to the government as soon as there is sufficient capacity (within three years). An evaluation of PTI stated that the institute had great potential for development, good quality facilities, and a large percentage of female students.[220]

The Afghan Amputee Bicyclists for Rehabilitation and Recreation (AABRAR) provided vocational training, first-aid, health and RE in six provinces in 2007 (increased from two). Its main challenge was continuing activities in Nuristan province due to deteriorating security. It assisted 3,704 persons with disabilities in 2007 (number of survivors unknown).[221] A part of AABRAR split off to create the Disabled Cycle Messenger Services in Kabul, but has not been successful.[222]

In 2007, the ICRC supported three hospitals and eight ARCS clinics and ran six rehabilitation centers; it continued to provide raw materials to other physical rehabilitation providers. The ICRC also undertook field trips to inform people of available services, and strengthened the referral network. In 2007, the ICRC provided physical rehabilitation services to 60,153 people, including 4,217 prostheses (2,905 for survivors) and 9,819 orthoses (67 for survivors). Physical rehabilitation activities were combined with a social inclusion program assisting more than 2,000 people; almost all its 500 rehabilitation staff are persons with disabilities. The ICRC noted that while women had equal access to physical rehabilitation, only 5% were beneficiaries of the social inclusion project as women were often not permitted to participate by their families. The ICRC treated 1,621 weapons-injured people in 2007, including 286 mine/ERW-injured (slightly more than 249 in 2006).[223]

In 2007, the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) continued implementing the BPHS in two provinces and the community-based Rehabilitation of Afghans with Disabilities (RAD) Program in 40 districts of 13 provinces. Security challenges in some parts of the country resulted in fewer female CBR staff and subsequently fewer female beneficiaries. RAD assisted 284,565 persons with disabilities, including 21,549 mine/ERW survivors. Most people received physiotherapy.[224]

In 2007, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) significantly expanded its inclusive education project to five provinces (Herat, Kabul, Laghman, Nangarhar, and Paktia). Some 100 children received inclusive education, and 850 teachers, parents, or community members received training (number of survivors unknown). The project faced some challenges due to the lack of awareness on social inclusion of persons with disabilities, including at the key ministries.[225] Serving Emergency Relief and Vocational Enterprises/Enabling and Mobilizing Afghans with Disabilities (SERVE/EMAD) also provided inclusive and vocational education, basic medical care and physical rehabilitation referral/costs. In 2007, it assisted 4,106 persons with disabilities (number of survivors unknown).[226]

In 2007, HI continued to run the orthopedic center based in the Mirwais Regional Hospital in Kandahar but is working towards a handover to the MPH by 2010. In 2007, the center moved to a new location within the hospital complex, the workshop was upgraded, and a more efficient production plan launched. Until 2010, HI will focus on technical and managerial capacity-building, improving coordination with the hospital, looking into cost-recovery mechanisms and support to regional hospitals, and developing an exit strategy. In 2007, the center provided multiple services to 5,315 persons with disabilities, including 1,790 war-injured, and 1,856 mobility devices were produced. An evaluation conducted in 2007 recommended looking into outsourcing of appliance production, privatization of the welding department, and obtaining internationally recognized diplomas for orthopedic technicians.[227] HI continued to support the employment and training programs of the Community Center for the Disabled.[228]

Support for Mine Action

Afghanistan has not reported a comprehensive long-term cost estimate for meeting all its mine action needs. In 2006, however, MACA, in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, established a cost estimate of $92,940,593 (€67,785,423) for mine action from April 2007 to March 2008, to enable Afghanistan to meet its annual benchmarks under the Mine Ban Treaty and The Afghanistan Compact. The amount includes $7,100,000 for coordination, $1,231,104 for capacity development, $71,350,269 for clearance, $7,568,028 for survey, $2,222,442 for monitoring, evaluation and training, and $3,468,750 for RE and VA.[229] In 2006, the MPH established a Disability Task Force with responsibility for resource mobilization and "sensitization of donors" to support disability services in Afghanistan.[230]

National support for mine action

Afghanistan reported contributing AFN14,364,447 ($288,725) for mine clearance in northern Afghanistan. These funds, dedicated from the national budget, were originally contributed by the World Bank and were included among international funds reported by Afghanistan in 2007. Afghanistan did not report any contributions in 2006 from national funds.

International cooperation and assistance

In 2007, 19 countries reported providing $86,274,716 (€62,923,723) to mine action in Afghanistan. Reported mine action funding in 2007 was approximately 1% less than reported in 2006. After a substantial increase (more than $20 million, or 31%) in international support in 2006 compared to 2005, annual funding remained near levels established by Afghanistan for meeting its mine action targets, in spite of the decrease in 2007.

As of mid-2007, MACA reported that due to “changes in international funding modalities and delays in contributions of some funds,” MAPA humanitarian demining assets had been reduced by almost 40% in 2007. MAPA called for “adequate, multi-year funding in 2007 and coming years” to maintain mine action operations at required levels.[231]

MACA reported that Afghanistan received $84,273,909 (€61,464,451) in international monetary contributions from April 2007 to March 2008.[232] Contributions were reported from 14 state donors and the European Commission (EC). The total also included the World Bank contribution to mine clearance. The total funding reported by Afghanistan is within roughly 7% of the total reported by donors; however, because fiscal years differ between Afghanistan and many donor states, direct comparisons with donor-reported contributions are not valid.[233] HI reported receiving $180,728 from Switzerland for community-based RE.[234]

2007 International Mine Action Support to Afghanistan: In-Kind[235]


Form of In-Kind Support

Monetary Value

(where available)


Deployment of 17-member demining team assigned to ISAF

$6,759,017 (SKK166,069,221)

Czech Republic

Deployment of Czech Army demining unit at Kabul International Airport

$933,931 (CZK18,867,297)


Deployment of EOD specialists in western Afghanistan

$699,261 (€510,000)


Demining and UXO clearance by Lithuanian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team in Ghor province


New Zealand

Military liaison officer from the ISAF to MACA



$8,392,209 (€6,120,786)

2007 International Mine Action Funding to Afghanistan: Monetary[236]


Implementing Agencies/Organizations

Project Details




Mine clearance

$23,689,913 (C$25,429,275)



From the Department of State for unspecified mine action




Mine/UXO clearance

$6,853,777 (£3,423,465)


HALO, Medico International

Mine clearance, purchase of demining equipment (HALO)

$6,153,333 (€4,487,881)


ATC, DAFA, HALO, Japan Mine Action Service (JMAS), MCPA), MDD Center, OMAR, UNMAS

Mine clearance in Parwan and Kunduz provinces; RE

$5,873,622 (¥691,014,370)



Unspecified mine action

$4,744,527 (€3,460,380)



Community-based mine action

$4,195,500 (A$5,000,000)



Integrated mine action, VA

$2,769,622 (€2,020,000)


HALO, and unspecified

Mine clearance, VA

$2,373,138 (NOK13,894,249)



Support to quality assurance teams

$2,220,000 (SEK15,000,000)



Mine clearance

$1,470,400 (DKK8,000,000)



Mine/UXO clearance

$1,233,990 (€900,000)



Mine clearance

$959,770 (€700,000)




$125,010 (CHF150,000)



Mine/UXO clearance

$19,905 (LTL50,000)


$77,882,507 (€56,802,937)

[1] In May 2008, Afghanistan reported that the “constitution adopted in January 2005 requires the country to respect all international treaties it has signed. The Ministry of Defense instructed all military forces to respect the comprehensive ban on anti-personnel mines and the prohibition on use in any situation by militaries or individuals.” Article 7 Report, Form A, 13 May 2008. This information is repeated from previous Article 7 reports.

[2] Previous Article 7 reports were submitted on: 30 April 2007, 1 May 2006, 30 April 2005, 30 April 2004, and 1 September 2003.

[3] For details on the destruction program and reasons for not meeting the deadline, see Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 89–90. Afghanistan said on 23 April 2007 that after negotiations, the provincial authorities had agreed to submit the mines for destruction. However, Afghanistan’s Article 7 report submitted on 30 April 2007 stated, “All stockpiled anti-personnel mines will be located and destroyed by end-2007.” The ICBL was told by MACA on 23 May 2007 that destruction might not be finished until the Eighth Meeting of States Parties in November 2007. MACA requested that citations in this report be attributed to the organization and not to individuals.

[4] Letter from Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spania, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to Kerry Brinkert, Director, Implementation Support Unit, Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), 11 October 2007.

[5] Statement of Afghanistan, Eighth Meeting of States Parties, Dead Sea, 19 November 2007.

[6] Article 7 Report, Form B, 13 May 2008.

[7] HALO cleared 25,946 antipersonnel mines from 1 April–31 December 2007. HALO counts these as stockpiled although some were from remote caches not under government control. Email from Tom Dibb, Senior Operations Manager, HALO, 23 August 2008.

[8] Article 7 Report, Form G, 13 May 2008. PFM-1 mines have been identified by other States Parties as especially problematic to destroy. Other mines destroyed included, as listed by Afghanistan, 101 Claymore, 282 DF, 1,556 LO-6, 1 M16, 313 MON-100, 27 MON-200, 344 MON-50, 30 MON-90, 20 MS-3, 797 No. 4, 8 OZM-160, 6 OZM-2, 149 OZM-3, 820 OZM-4, 153 OZM-72, 87 P-4, 43 PMD-6, 3,779 PMN, 72 PMN-2, 564 POMZ-2, 5 POMZ-2M, 134 PPMISR, 20 Type 69, 102 Type 72, and 776 YM-1.

[9] Article 7 Report, Form F, 13 May 2008. Mines were destroyed in Badakhshan, Baghlan, Balkh, Ghor, Herat, Jawzjan, Kabul, Kapisa, Khost, Kunar, Kunduz, Laghman, Logar, Nangarhar, Nuristan, Paktia, Panjsheer, Parwan, Samangan, Sari Pul, Takhar, and Wardak provinces.

[10] Article 7 Report, Form F, 13 May 2008. In November and December, antipersonnel mines were destroyed in the following provinces: Balkh, Ghor, Kabul, Kunduz, Paktia, Panjsheer, and Parwan.

[11] This detailed reporting is commendable and should be considered a model for other States Parties. For the future, Landmine Monitor encourages Afghanistan to be clear that the mines in Form G are acquired through recoveries, and that the mines in Form F indicate the destruction of same. In the case of Afghanistan’s latest Article 7 report, Landmine Monitor clarified this only through subsequent communications. Interview with MACA, in Geneva, 4 June 2008, and email, 11 June 2008.

[12] Article 7 Report, Form D, 13 May 2008. MACA confirmed that this number fluctuated during the year, and that this total represented the maximum amount. Interview with MACA, in Geneva, 4 June 2008, and email, 11 June 2008.

[13] Article 7 Report, Form D, 30 April 2007.

[14] Interview with MACA, in Geneva, 4 June 2008, and email, 11 June 2008; and see also Article 7 Report, Form D, 1 May 2006.

[15] Through 2007, the center was known as the UN Mine Action Center for Afghanistan (UNMACA). The center remains a UN project but is now known as the Mine Action Center for Afghanistan (MACA). For more information see below section on coordination and management.

[16] Interview with MACA, in Geneva, 4 June 2008, and email, 11 June 2008.

[17] Article 7 Report, Form D, 13 May 2008.

[18] Report of the Secretary-General, “The situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security,” A/62/722–S/2008/159, 6 March 2008.

[19] These explosive devices have killed and injured international and national troops, government officials, national and international aid workers, including mine action personnel, and other civilians. Antivehicle devices are often made from shells, rockets, mines, and other munitions, and are transported to the site by bicycle or donkey, placed, and detonated from a distance once a target comes into sight.

[20] “Taliban launches new countrywide operation in Afghanistan,” ZeeNews (Kabul) 27 May 2007, www.zeenews.com.

[21] “British soldier killed; key militant detained,” Tulsa World (Khost), 27 May 2007.

[22] “Gators grounded; Canadian army suspends all-terrain vehicles after roadside bomb kills three soldiers, Thursday,” GuelphMercury (Kandahar), 23 June 2007.

[23] “Taliban plant hundreds of mines in Helmand Province,” IRIN (Helmand), 24 July 2007, www.irinnews.org; and “Landmines new threat to residents in southern Afghanistan,” Pajhwok Afghan News, 27 August 2007.

[24] Mahmud Raqi, “Former Hezb commander surrenders arms, joins govt,”Pajhwok Afghan News, 16 July 2007.

[25] Mark Tran, “Insurgent intelligence,” The Guardian, 17 June 2008, www.guardian.co.uk; and Doug Schmidt, “Kandahar City braces for Taliban attack,” Canwest News Service (Kandahar), 16 June 2008, www.canada.com; and “Residents flee as Taliban brace for Afghan offensive,” Agence France-Presse (Arghandab), 17 June 2008, www.breitbart.com.

[26] “AFGHANISTAN: Landmines impede civilians’ return to volatile Arghandab,” IRIN (Kandahar), 22 June 2008, www.irinnews.org.

[27] ICBL, “Afghanistan: ICBL concerned by Taliban use allegations,” 19 June 2008, www.icbl.org.

[28] US Department of Defense, “Villagers Help Forces Rid Areas of Insurgent Weapons,” American Forces Press Service, 29 January 2008, www.defenselink.mil.

[29] “Afghan police seize explosives in western city,” Radio Sahar (Herat), 5 January 2008. Translated from Dari by BBC Monitoring South Asia.

[30] Combined Joint Task Force, “ANSF-led combined forces seize ammunition cache in Nangarhar,” Bagram Media Center, 21 February 2008, www.cjtf-a.com.

[31] “Huge arms cache seized in Nangarhar,” Pajhwok Afghan News, 20 February 2008.

[32] Casualty statistics provided by email from MACA, 30 April 2008.

[33] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 88.

[34] ISAF troops found approximately 175 caches containing 70 antipersonnel mines and 65 antivehicle mines in the first five months of 2008, compared with approximately 115 caches containing 36 antipersonnel mines and 35 antivehicle mines in the whole of 2007. Email from Maj. Martin L. O’Donnell, Media Operations, Public Affairs Office, US Army, 29 May 2008.

[35] Interviews with demining operators, Kabul, 23–30 April 2008.

[36] Patrick Fruchet and Mike Kendellen, “Landmine Impact Survey Afghanistan: results and implications for planning,” Journal of Mine Action, Issue 9.2, February 2006.

[37] Emails from MACA, 30 April and 28 July 2008.

[38] Email from MACA, 30 April 2008; and “Landmines, UXO kill, maim hundreds in 2007,” IRIN (Kabul), www.irinnews.org.

[39] MAPA, “National Operational Work Plan 1385 (1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007),” Kabul, 1 April 2006.

[40] As noted above, in 2008, the UN Mine Action Center for Afghanistan dropped the UN from its acronym, becoming MACA.

[41] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 92–93.

[42] Email from MACA, 30 April 2008.

[43] Interviews with MACA, Kabul, 25 May 2008, and Abdul Haq Rahim, Director, DMC, Kabul, 26 May 2008; and email from MACA, 25 August 2008.

[44] Interview with Abdul Haq Rahim, DMC, Kabul, 26 May 2008.

[45] Interviews with MACA, Kabul, 25 May 2008, and with Abdul Haq Rahim, DMC, Kabul, 26 May 2008.

[46] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 92.

[47] Interview with Abdul Haq Rahim, DMC, Kabul, 26 May 2008.

[48] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 93.

[49] Email from MACA, 30 April 2008.

[50] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 93.

[51] Ibid.

[52] Email from MACA, 30 April 2008.

[53] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 94.

[54] “The Afghanistan Compact,” Building on Success: The London Conference on Afghanistan, 31 January–1 February 2006, p. 6, www.nato.int.

[55] Email from MACA, 30 April 2008.

[56] There are four districts in Afghanistan that have more than 75 SHAs within the district boundaries.

[57] Email from MACA, 30 April 2008.

[58] Interview with MACA, Kabul, 29 May 2008.

[59] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 97.

[60] Interviews with NGOs and commercial companies, Kabul, 25–30 May 2008.

[61] MACA briefing for implementing partners, Kabul, 28 May 2008.

[62] Emails from MACA, 30 April and 28 July 2008; and interview with MACA, Kabul, 28 May 2008.

[63] SAC, “Afghan Landmine Impact Survey,” 2005, p. 19.

[64] Ibid, pp. 8–9.

[65] Ibid, pp. 19–26; and email from unnamed program officer, UNMAS, 20 July 2006. Kabul accounted for 313 affected communities (13% of affected communities), 155 SHAs (18%) and 420 recent victims (19%).

[66] Interview with Tom Dibb, HALO, 25 May 2008; and email from MACA, 30 April 2008.

[67] Email from MACA, 30 April 2008; and interviews with Tom Dibb, HALO, Kabul, 25 and 28 May 2008.

[68] Email from MACA, 26 February 2006; and Patrick Fruchet and Mike Kendellen, “Landmine Impact Survey of Afghanistan: results and implications,” Journal of Mine Action, Issue 9.2, February 2006.

[69] Email from MACA, 30 April 2008.

[70] Ibid.

[71] SAC, “Afghan Landmine Impact Survey,” 2005, pp. 48–49. Hazardous areas further defined in the polygon survey are being marked. Email from MACA, 25 August 2008.

[72] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 96.

[73] “Killing of de-miners suggests change in Taliban tactics,” IRIN (Kabul), 7 August 2007, www.irinnews.org; “Gunmen free last three kidnapped Afghan deminers,” Reuters (Kabul), 13 September 2007, www.alertnet.org; and “Seven mine clearing staff shot dead in Afghanistan,” Agence France-Presse (Kabul), 24 March 2008, www.khaleejtimes.ae.

[74] Ibid; and Associated Press, “Suspected Taliban ambush mine clearing workers in Afghanistan, 7 killed, four wounded,” International Herald Tribune, 7 April 2007, www.iht.com.

[75] Email from Kefayatullah Eblagh, Director, ATC, 23 July 2008.

[76] Email from MACA, 30 April 2008.

[77] Email from Mohammad Ismail, Operations/Planning Officer, DAFA, 23 March 2008.

[78] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 96.

[79] Interview with Haji Atiqullah, Director, MCPA, Kabul, 28 May 2008.

[80] Interview with Mohammad Shohab Hakimi, Director, MDC, Kabul, 28 May 2008.

[81] Interview with Fazel Karim Fazel, Director, OMAR, Kabul, 26 May 2008 and with Fazil Rahim, Senior Operations Manager, OMAR, Kabul, 25 March 2008.

[82] Interviews with Tom Dibb, HALO, Kabul, 25 and 28 May 2008; and email, 14 August 2008. Team numbers fluctuated and at one point in 2007 HALO had 23 WAD teams.

[83] Email from MACA, 20 April 2008; and see Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 96.

[84] Interview with Clinton Smith, Country Program Manager, DDG, Kabul, 26 May 2008.

[85] Interview with Bob Gannon, Program Manager, RONCO, Kabul, 25 May 2007.

[86]Interview with Rob Hallam, Country Manager, and Martin Bowler, Operations Officer, ArmorGroup, Kabul, 25 May 2008.

[87] Interview with Skip Hartberger, Senior EOD Technical Advisor, DynCorp International, Kabul, 29 May 2008.

[88] Interview with Larry Brophy, Operation Manager, and Luis Rodriguez, Deputy Country Manager, EODT, Kabul, 29 May 2008.

[89] HDI was previously called Hemayatbrothers International Demining. Emails from Hizbullah Abid, Program Manager, HDI, 23 and 26 July 2008; and “Projects Implemented,” HDI, www.hidcompany.com.

[90] Interview with Max Dyck, Operations Manager, MineTech, in Kabul, 30 May 2008.

[91] Email from MACA, 20 April 2008.

[92] Interview with Khaled Zekriya, Assistant Minister for the Fifth Political Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kabul, 28 May 2007.

[93] Email from MACA, 20 April 2008.

[94] Analysis of casualty data provided by MACA VA team, Kabul, 30 April 2008.

[95] Landmine Monitor media analysis of casualty reports from 1 January–31 December 2007. Casualties caused by remote-detonated IEDs were excluded.

[96] Email from Awlia Mayar, Community-Based Mine Risk Education, Project Manager, HI, 29 May 2008.

[97] MACA data indicated two women deminers amongst the casualties, but this was apparently a data entry error. HALO reported the women were part of an RE team, who from the nature of their injuries, were likely involved in a road traffic accident. Email from MACA, 25 August 2008; and email from Tom Dibb, HALO, 23 August 2008.

[98] Analysis of casualty data provided by MACA VA team, Kabul, 30 April 2008.

[99] Emails from Maj. Martin L. O’Donnell, US Army, 23 and 24 May 2008.

[100] Figures derived for 2007 from an examination of official US Department of Defense casualty reports, www.defenselink.mil/releases/.

[101] Welcome and Opening Remarks by Amb. Noor Mohammad Qarqqin, MoLSAMD, Second National Victim Assistance/Disability Workshop, Kabul, 23 October 2007.

[102] Analysis of casualty data provided by MACA, Kabul, 23 June 2008.

[103] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 101–102. Previously MACA had reported 784 casualties for 2006, but this number was revised upwards as information from remote areas was received.

[104] Analysis of MACA and ICRC databases for 2006, provided by MACA, 23 June 2008; and Zamannudin Noori, Cooperation Senior Field Officer, ICRC, 1 and 3 April 2007.

[105] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACA, 30 April 2008.

[106] Analysis of MACA data for 2006 and 2007 provided by MACA, 23 June 2008 and 30 April 2008.

[107] Analysis of MACA data for 2008, provided by email, 23 June 2008.

[108] Landmine Monitor media analysis of casualty reports from 1 January–23 June 2008. Casualties due to remote-detonated IEDs were excluded.

[109] Emails from Maj. Martin L. O’Donnell, US Army, 23 and 24 May 2008.

[110] Figures derived from an examination of official US Department of Defense casualty reports, www.defenselink.mil.

[111] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACA, 30 April 2008.

[112] MoLSAMD, “Afghanistan National Disability Action Plan 2008–2011,” Kabul, May 2008, p. 4.

[113] Emails from Zamannudin Noori, ICRC, 22 and 25 May 2008.

[114] Ibid.

[115] MoLSAMD, “Afghanistan National Disability Action Plan 2008–2011,” Kabul, May 2008, p. 4.

[116] Analysis of HI casualty database for 2007 provided by Awlia Mayar, HI, Kabul, 29 May 2008; see also Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 103; and Landmine Monitor Report 2006, pp. 111, 113.

[117] Analysis of MACA and ICRC databases for 2006, provided by MACA, 23 June 2008 and Zamannudin Noori, ICRC, 1 and 3 April 2007.

[118] MoLSAMD, “Afghanistan National Disability Action Plan 2008–2011,” Kabul, May 2008, p. 4.

[119] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 104.

[120] MoLSAMD, “Afghanistan National Disability Action Plan 2008–2011,” Kabul, May 2008, p. 4.

[121] Robert Galbraith, “Designed to Maim,” The Gazette (Montreal), 8 June 2008, www.canada.com.

[122] Press conference by MACA and UNAMA, Kabul, 21 July 2008.

[123] MoLSAMD, “Afghanistan National Disability Action Plan 2008–2011,” Kabul, May 2008, p. 29.

[124]“Afghanistan puts off first census until 2010,” Agence France-Presse (Kabul), 5 June 2008, www.dailystar.com.lb.

[125] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACA, 30 April 2008.

[126] Ibid; and see Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 99.

[127] Email from MACA, 30 April 2008.

[128] Responses to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACA RE team, 30 April 2008; and Sayaed Mustafa Monawary, Mine Action Program Manager, ARCS, 23 June 2008; and email from Awlia Mayar, HI, 29 May 2008.

[129] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACA, 30 April 2008.

[130] Responses to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Koji Miyazaki, Project Manager, AAR Japan, 3 July 2008; and Sayaed Mustafa Monawary, ARCS, 23 June 2008; and email from Awlia Mayar, HI, 29 May 2008.

[131] Email from Awlia Mayar, HI, 29 May 2008.

[132] Email from Tom Dibb, HALO, 26 May 2008.

[133] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACA, 30 April 2008.

[134] Ibid.

[135] See Landmine Monitor Report 2006, p. 107.

[136] Article 7 Report, Form I, 13 May 2008.

[137] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACA, 30 April 2008; and email from MACA, 25 August 2008.

[138] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 99.

[139] Responses to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACA, 30 April 2008; and Awlia Mayar, HI, 29 May 2008.

[140] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACA, 30 April 2008.

[141] Information provided by email from Koji Miyazaki, AAR Japan, 3 July 2008.

[142] Responses to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACA, 30 April 2008; and Awlia Mayar, HI, 29 May 2008.

[143] Article 7 Report, Form I, 13 May 2008; and see also Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 99.

[144] Email from MACA, 18 June 2008.

[145] Email from Awlia Maya, HI, 29 May 2008; and response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Sayaed Mustafa Monawary, ARCS, 23 June 2008.

[146] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Sayaed Mustafa Monawary, ARCS, 23 June 2008.

[147] Responses to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by RE operators, May–June 2008.

[148] Emails from Awlia Mayar, HI, 29 May 2008; Tom Dibb, HALO, 26 May 2008; and MACA, 18 June 2008.

[149] Email from MACA, 18 June 2008; and response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Sayaed Mustafa Monawary, ARCS, 23 June 2008.

[150] Article 7 Report, Form I, 13 May 2008; and email from MACA, 25 August 2008.

[151] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Sayaed Mustafa Monawary, ARCS, 23 June 2008.

[152] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Sayaed Mustafa Monawary, ARCS, 23 June 2008; and emails from Zamannudin Noori, ICRC, 22 and 25 May 2008.

[153] Email from Zamannudin Noori, ICRC, 25 May 2008.

[154] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Awlia Mayar, HI, 29 May 2008.

[155] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Koji Miyazaki, AAR Japan, 3 July 2008.

[156] Email from Maj. Martin L. O’Donnell, US Army, 24 May 2008.

[157] NATO, “ISAF increases UXO awareness in northern Kabul,” Kabul, 17 April 2008, www.nato.int.

[158] Article 7 Report, Form I, 13 May 2008.

[159] WHO, “Country Cooperation Strategy at a Glance: the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” May 2007, www.who.int.

[160] MoLSAMD, “Afghanistan National Disability Action Plan 2008–2011,” Kabul, May 2008, p. 2.

[161] Letter to Landmine Monitor from Prof. Wasil Noor Mohammad, Deputy Minister, MoLSAMD, 11 June 2008.

[162] ICRC, “Physical Rehabilitation Programme: Annual Report 2007,” Geneva, May 2008, p. 30.

[163] WHO, “Country Cooperation Strategy at a Glance: the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” May 2007, www.who.int.

[164] WHO, “Country Cooperation Strategy at a Glance: the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” May 2007, www.who.int; and response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Nicole Walden, Deputy Program Director, IRC, 5 June 2008.

[165] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACA, 30 April 2008; Statement of Afghanistan, Eighth Meeting of States Parties, Dead Sea, 21 November 2007; and emails from VA/disability implementers, May–July 2008.

[166] Emails from VA/disability implementers from May–July 2008.

[167] MoLSAMD, “Afghanistan National Disability Action Plan 2008–2011,” Kabul, May 2008, p. 7.

[168] WHO, “Country Cooperation Strategy at a Glance: the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” May 2007, www.who.int.

[169] MoLSAMD, “Afghanistan National Disability Action Plan 2008–2011,” Kabul, May 2008, pp. 2, 6.

[170]Matiullah Meenapal, “Private clinics on the rise,” Institute for War and Peace Reporting, Helmand, 9 August 2007.

[171] “Over 360,000 affected by reduced health services,” IRIN (Kabul), 14 May 2008.

[172] MoLSAMD, “Afghanistan National Disability Action Plan 2008–2011,” Kabul, May 2008, pp. 6–7. For ISAF, see also NATO, “Progress in Afghanistan Bucharest Summit 2–4 April 2008,” Brussels, 2008, p. 17; and email from Maj. Martin L. O’Donnell, US Army, 24 May 2008.

[173] MoLSAMD, “Afghanistan National Disability Action Plan 2008–2011,” Kabul, May 2008, p. 11; ICRC, “Physical Rehabilitation Programme: Annual Report 2007,” Geneva, May 2008, p. 30; and email from Firoz Ali Alizada, Treaty Implementation Officer, ICBL, 25 August 2008.

[174] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 105.

[175] ICRC, “Physical Rehabilitation Programme: Annual Report 2007,” Geneva, May 2008, p. 30.

[176] Ibid, p. 31.

[177] WHO, “Country Cooperation Strategy at a Glance: the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” May 2007, www.who.int.

[178] MoLSAMD, “Afghanistan National Disability Action Plan 2008–2011,” Kabul, May 2008, p. 16.

[179] Ibid, p. 19.

[180] ICRC, “Physical Rehabilitation Programme: Annual Report 2007,” Geneva, May 2008, p. 30.

[181] MoLSAMD, “Afghanistan National Disability Action Plan 2008–2011,” Kabul, May 2008, pp. 22–23.

[182] Ibid, p. 19; and response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACA, 30 April 2008.

[183] Letter to Landmine Monitor from Prof. Wasil Noor Mohammad, MoLSAMD, 11 June 2008; and MoLSAMD, “Afghanistan National Disability Action Plan 2008–2011,” Kabul, May 2008, p. 29.

[184] MoLSAMD, “ANDAP 2008–2011,” Kabul, May 2008, p. 29; Statement by Amb. Mohammad Ghaus Bashiri, MoLSAMD, Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 3 June 2008; and email from Firoz Ali Alizada, Founder, ALSO, 14 June 2008.

[185] MoLSAMD, “ANDAP 2008–2011,” Kabul, May 2008, p. 2.

[186] Ibid, p. 29. It should be noted, however, that persons with disabilities were actively engaged in the VA workshops that developed the ANDAP, and their interests and opinions were taken into account in the development of the objectives. Email from Sheree Bailey, Victim Assistance Specialist, ISU, GICHD, 23 August 2008.

[187] UN, “Final Report, First Review Conference,” Nairobi, 29 November–3 December 2004, APLC/CONF/2004/5, 9 February 2005, p. 3.

[188] Government of Afghanistan, “Report of Second National Victim Assistance-Disability Workshop,” Kabul, 23–25 October 2007, p. 3.

[189] Ibid.

[190] Ibid, p. 9.

[191] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACA, 30 April 2008.

[192] It should be noted that the timeframes for objectives were amended to reflect the disability-related plans of relevant ministries and not just the timeframe of the Nairobi Action Plan, to ensure that activities were sustainable in the long term. Email from Sheree Bailey, GICHD, 23 August 2008.

[193] Responses to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by the ALSO, 23 May 2008; Nicole Walden, IRC, 5 June 2008; Fiona Gall, Senior Technical Advisor, SCA, 22 June 2008; Sadiq Mohibi, Disability Rights Protection Officer, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, 6 July 2008; Mohammad Nasseem, Project Manager, AABRAR, 23 June 2008; and emails from Alberto Cairo, Head of Physical Rehabilitation, ICRC, 29 June 2008; and Maky Siawash, Coordinator, Kabul Orthopedic Organization, 23 June 2008. Dissemination is pending translation of the report into Dari and Pashtu. Email from Sheree Bailey, GICHD, 23 August 2008.

[194] MoLSAMD, “Afghanistan National Disability Action Plan 2008–2011,” Kabul, May 2008; and Government of Afghanistan, “Report of Second National Victim Assistance-Disability Workshop,” Kabul, 23–25 October 2007.

[195] Government of Afghanistan, “Report of the Second National Victim Assistance/Disability Workshop,” Kabul, 23–25 October 2007; and MoLSAMD, “ANDAP 2008–2011,” Kabul, May 2008.

[196] Article 7 Report, Form J, 13 May 2008.

[197] Letter to Landmine Monitor from Prof. Wasil Noor Mohammad, MoLSAMD, 11 June 2008.

[198] MACA, “The Way Ahead,” excerpt provided by MACA, 30 April 2008.

[199] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACA, 30 April 2008.

[200] MoLSAMD, “ANPAD 2008–2011,” Kabul, May 2008.

[201] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACA, 30 April 2008.

[202] Email from Sheree Bailey, GICHD, 23 August 2008; and email from Firoz Ali Alizada, ICBL, 25 August 2008.

[203]Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACA, 30 April 2008.

[204] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by ALSO, 23 May 2008.

[205] MoLSAMD, “Afghanistan National Disability Action Plan 2008–2011,” Kabul, May 2008, pp. 2, 5,16, 22, 26, and 30; Article 7 Report, Form J, 28 May 2008; and see also Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 107–108.

[206]Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACA, 30 April 2008; and by ALSO, 23 May 2008.

[207] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by ALSO, 23 May 2008.

[208] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACA, 30 April 2008.

[209] Ibid.

[210] Emails sent by Landmine Monitor on 21 May, 17 June, and 5 July 2008.

[211] Letter to Landmine Monitor from Prof. Wasil Noor Mohammad, MoLSAMD, 11 June 2008.

[212] Responses to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by ALSO, 23 May 2008; Omara Khan Muneeb, Director, DAO, 26 May 2008; Nicole Walden, IRC, 5 June 2008; SERVE, 10 July 2008; Fiona Gall, SCA, 22 June 2008; Sadiq Mohibi, AIHRC, 6 July 2008; and Mohammad Nasseem, AABRAR, 23 June 2008; and email from Alberto Cairo, ICRC, 29 June 2008.

[213] Responses to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Nicole Walden, IRC, 5 June 2008; and ALSO, 23 May 2008.

[214] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by ALSO, 23 May 2008.

[215] Letter to Landmine Monitor from Prof. Wasil Noor Mohammad, MoLSAMD, 11 June 2008. MoLSAMD provided 16,379 mobility devices; 60,697 physiotherapy sessions; 18,113 occupational therapy sessions; 11,577 psychosocial support; 29 disability associations supported; 1,383 micro-credits; 71,244 grants; 1,020 vocational training; 205 job placements; 117,938 educational support; and 10,423 ‘other’ services.

[216] Article 7 Report, Form J, 13 May 2008.

[217] MoLSAMD, “ANDP 2008–2011,” Kabul, May 2008, pp. 6–7, 11.

[218] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by ALSO, 23 May 2008.

[219] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Omara Khan Muneeb, DAO, 26 May 2008.

[220] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Aziz Ahmad Adel, Project Manager, PTI, 7 July 2008.

[221] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Mohammad Nasseem, AABRAR, 23 June 2008.

[222] Jonathon Burch, “Afghan mine victims proudly work as bicycle couriers,” Reuters (Kabul), 22 May 2008, uk.reuters.com.

[223] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Alberto Cairo, ICRC, 21 June 2008; ICRC, “Physical Rehabilitation Programme: Annual Report 2007,” Geneva, May 2008, p. 30; ICRC, “Special Report: Mine Action 2007,” Geneva, April 2008, p. 26; and ICRC, “Annual Report 2007,” Geneva, 27 May 2008, pp. 183–185.

[224] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Fiona Gall, SCA, 22 June 2008.

[225] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Nicole Walden, IRC, 5 June 2008.

[226] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by SERVE/EMAD, 10 July 2008.

[227] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by HI, 24 June 2008; and email from Nuria Beneitez, Country Director, HI, 25 August 2008.

[228] Email from Sami ul Haq Sami, Advocacy and Awareness Coordinator, HI, 23 June 2008.

[229] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACA, 23 April 2008.

[230] MoLSAMD, “ANDAP 2008–2011,” May 2008, p. 7.

[231] UNMAS, “Mid-Year Review of the Portfolio of Mine Action Projects 2007,” undated.

[232] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACA, 23 April 2008.

[233] Funds reported by Afghanistan for the current reporting period include, for instance, EC contributions already reported in Landmine Monitor Report 2007.

[234] Email from Nuria Beneitez, HI, 25 August 2008.

[235] Emails from Capt. Ing. Zsolt Pastorek, Slovak Verification Centre, Ministry of Defence, 27 May 2008; and Jiri Svoboda, UN Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 28 March 2008. Spain Article 7 Report, Form J, 13 March 2008; Lithuania Article 7 Report, Form J, 26 April 2008; and New Zealand Article 7 Report, Form J, 24 April 2008.

[236] Email from Carly Volkes, Program Officer, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, 20 May 2008; USG Historical Chart containing data for FY 2007, by email from Angela L. Jeffries, Financial Management Specialist, US Department of State, 22 May 2008; and emails from Tayo Nwaubani, Program Officer, DFID, Conflict, Humanitarian and Security Department, UK, 29 April 2008; Johannes Dirscherl, Desk Officer, Federal Foreign Office, 1 February 2008; Yasuhiro Kitagawa, Japan Campaign to Ban Landmines (JCBL), 22 May 2008, with translated information received by JCBL from the Humanitarian Assistance Division, Multilateral Cooperation Department, and Conventional Arms Division, Non-proliferation and Science Department; Niek de Regt, Humanitarian Aid Section, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 8 May 2008; Leisa Gibson, AUSAID, 29 April and 8 May 2008; Michel Peetermans, Head of Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, Federal Public Service for Foreign Affairs, 17 March 2008; Yngvild Berggrav, Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 16 May 2008; Sven Malmberg, Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 12 March 2008; Hanne B. Elmelund Gam, Head of Humanitarian Section, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 21 May 2008; Sirpa Loikkanen, Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1 February 2008; Michael Keaveney, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, Department of Foreign Affairs, 13 March 2008; Rémy Friedmann, Political Division IV, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 29 April 2008; Peter Villano, Program Manager, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, US Depatment of State, 22 August 2008; and Nuria Beneitez, HI, 25 August 2008; and Article 7 Report, Form J, 13 May 2008.