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Country Reports
Ethiopia, Landmine Monitor Report 2004


Key developments since May 2003: The Ethiopian Landmine Impact Survey was completed in March 2004. It indicates that more than 1.9 million people in 1,492 communities are affected by landmine/UXO contamination. From mid-2002 to February 2004, EMAO reported clearing 4.6 million square meters of land, and destroying 767 antipersonnel mines, 77 antitank mines and 9,853 UXO. In 2003, UNMEE MACC and other entities cleared approximately 4.8 million square meters of land and 2,375 kilometers of road in the Temporary Security Zone and adjacent areas, destroying 439 antipersonnel mines, 187 antivehicle mines, and 5,785 UXO. In 2003, mine risk education activities expanded greatly, with 726,570 people receiving some form of MRE. In March 2003, Ethiopia’s first prosthetics/orthotics diploma course started at a new training center in Addis Ababa. In November 2003, a UN expert panel reported to the Security Council that landmines had been delivered from Ethiopia to Somalia, in violation of the UN arms embargo. The Landmine Impact Survey recorded 297 new mine/UXO casualties in 2003, and 923 in 2002.

Key developments since 1999: During the 1998-2000 border conflict, Ethiopian forces laid an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 mines, and Eritrean forces laid an estimated 240,000 mines. Although Ethiopia had denied using mines, in April 2002 it gave the UN detailed maps of mines its forces laid in Eritrea during the conflict. The United Nations Mission on Eritrea and Ethiopia Mine Action Coordination Center was established in August 2000, following the cessation of hostilities. The government created the Ethiopian Mine Action Office in February 2001. A national Landmine Impact Survey was carried out from April 2002 to March 2004. EMOA started humanitarian demining operations in mid-2002. By February 2004, EMAO reported having cleared 4.6 million square meters of land. From 2000 to 2003, more than 1.3 million people received some form of mine risk education. Since 2000, ICRC-supported orthopedic centers have produced 6,455 prostheses, including 2,971 for mine survivors. The Landmine Impact Survey recorded 16,616 landmine/UXO casualties, including 1,295 “recent” deaths or injuries.

Mine Ban Policy

After participating fully in the Ottawa Process, Ethiopia signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997. However, it has not yet ratified the treaty, and stands with Somalia as the only sub-Saharan African countries that are not State Parties. As Landmine Monitor went to print, on 24 September 2004, the Council of Ministers reportedly approved ratification legislation and unanimously agreed to send it to the national parliament for consideration.[1] The government has consistently stated its commitment to eradicating landmines, and to the principles and objectives of the treaty. Ethiopia has voted in favor of every pro-ban UN General Assembly resolution since 1996, including UNGA Resolution 58/53 on 8 December 2003. However, Ethiopia has also insisted that its security situation does not allow it to ratify, and that a regional approach to a ban is required in the Horn of Africa.[2]

At a March 2004 workshop on universalization of the treaty in East Africa, the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa regions, a government official reiterated, "The government of Ethiopia is fully committed to the evolving international norms for the total eradication of antipersonnel landmines, but the country has big security concerns."[3] At the June 2004 intersessional meetings in Geneva, Ethiopia stated, “The Horn of Africa is one of the severely affected regions in the world by the problem of landmines as a result of various inter and intra state conflicts. To make the matters worse, there is an environment of mistrust, suspicion, staleness, and low level of cooperation among member states of the region. Such a situation renders the enforcement and verification of the implementation of the convention on country-by-country basis extremely difficult. In this regard, though we take a positive note of the accession or ratification of the states of the region, except Somalia, to the convention, we believe the problem of landmines should be viewed in a regionally holistic manner....”[4]

Ethiopia has attended all the annual meetings of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty as an observer, including the Fifth Meeting of States Parties held in Bangkok, Thailand, in September 2003. Since 2001, Ethiopia has participated regularly in the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva, including the February and June 2004 meetings. In addition to the March 2004 regional workshop on landmines held in Kenya, Ethiopia participated in a regional treaty-related meeting held in Djibouti in November 2000. Ethiopian NGOs hosted the December 2002 regional ICBL/Landmine Monitor meeting in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia is not a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Production, Transfer and Stockpiling

Ethiopia has stated that it does not produce antipersonnel mines, and has not imported antipersonnel mines since the overthrow of the Mengistu regime in 1991. The size of Ethiopia’s stockpile of antipersonnel mines remains unknown.

In November 2003, the United Nations released an expert panel report on violations of the UN Arms Embargo in Somalia under Resolution 1474. This report indicated that the arms embargo had been systematically violated. Among other things, the panel found that “explosives are readily available for purchase throughout the country. For the most part, these are obtained by dismantling land mines, large quantities of which have been delivered to Somalia in recent years – principally from Ethiopia and Yemen.... The panel has learned, however, of recent attempts by extremist groups to procure explosives on the Mogadishu arms market, as well as on-going militia training in the use of explosives. The availability of explosives in Somalia is the direct result of large-scale violations of the arms embargo in recent years with respect to landmines.”[5]

Landmine Monitor asked the Ethiopian government for a response to this UN report and its finding that landmines have been delivered from Ethiopia to Somalia, but has not had a reply. A panel member told Landmine Monitor that it was uncertain if the mines were antipersonnel or antivehicle, and if the transfers were from the government or other sources.

Somalia’s Transitional National Government (TNG) alleged in July 2003 that landmines were part of shipments of weapons arriving from Ethiopia and destined for opposition forces. The TNG made similar charges in 2002. These charges have been denied by Ethiopia.[6]


There have been no reports of new use of antipersonnel mines by either government forces or non-state actors since the end of the border conflict with Eritrea in June 2000. Previous Landmine Monitor reports have tracked the allegations of use of antipersonnel mines during this conflict by both sides.[7] Ethiopian authorities, both during the fighting and after the cessation of hostilities, vigorously denied Ethiopia had used antipersonnel mines. For example, at the January 2002 intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva, the delegation’s position was that “our government only got involved in the removal of mines that were laid by the Eritrea forces during the occupation.”[8] The government of Ethiopia denies that it has used antipersonnel landmines in the conflict with Eritrea or anywhere else since signing the Mine Ban Treaty.[9]

While still not openly acknowledging mine use, in April 2002, Ethiopia provided the United Nations Mission on Eritrea and Ethiopia (UNMEE) Mine Action Coordination Center (MACC) with detailed maps of mines Ethiopian forces had laid in Eritrea during the conflict. These records included information on mines remaining in the ground after Ethiopian forces conducted substantial clearance operations, prior to withdrawing from the territories it held. MACC estimates Ethiopia laid approximately 150,000 to 200,000 mines in Eritrea during the war.[10] The use of mines by a signatory to the Mine Ban Treaty can be judged a breach of its international obligations. Under Article 18 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, “A state is obliged to refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purpose of a treaty when...it has signed the treaty....”

Use by Non-State Actors

Insurgents opposed to the government of Ethiopia, particularly the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), were reported to have “regularly used landmines,” resulting in two to five deaths per month during 2000. The OLF reportedly claimed responsibility for several landmine explosions on the Ethiopian-Djibouti railway in 2000, which resulted in between 5-15 civilian deaths.[11] The OLF also claimed that it had mined roads between Kenya and Ethiopia, and some areas of northern Kenya.[12]

Landmine Problem, Survey and Assessment

For many decades, Ethiopia has experienced extensive contamination from landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) due to recurring border disputes with surrounding neighbors, the most recent of which was the 1998-2000 war with Eritrea. In 2000, the Ethiopian government had estimated that 70,000 hectares (700 million square meters) of land had been rendered unproductive because of the presence of mines or UXO.[13] In 1999, Landmine Monitor listed 20 types of antipersonnel and antivehicle mines identified as having been used in Ethiopia.[14] In 2002, Ethiopia reported that 33 types of antipersonnel mines had been used in the country.[15]

A national Landmine Impact Survey was carried out from the fall of 2001 to the spring of 2004. It was executed by the Survey Action Center, in cooperation with the Ethiopian Mine Action Office (EMAO), and implemented by Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA). Fieldwork began in January 2002. During the course of the fieldwork, LIS teams visited 3,280 communities across the entire country. A ceremony to mark the completion of the survey was held in Addis Ababa on 11 March 2004.

An Executive Summary of the survey was obtained by Landmine Monitor in July 2004. Key findings include that over 1.9 million people live in 1,492 landmine-impacted communities, containing 1,916 Suspected Hazardous Areas. A total of 152 communities were high impact, 308 medium impact and 1,032 low impact. Over half of the affected communities reported blocked access to pasture land, and over one-third reported blockage to local roads and trails and crop land. Three regions in northern and eastern Ethiopia (Afar, Somalia and Tigray,) account for 86 percent of the landmine impact in the country.[16] The remaining 14 percent of high impacted communities are located in Amhara, Dire Dawa, Gambella, and Orimiya regions.[17]

In March 2004, the head of EMAO said, "The completion of the Landmine Impact Survey will indeed mark a significant step towards practical mine action initiatives that eventually contribute much to a sustainable peace and economic development for our people." He also noted, "According to some official sources Ethiopia has a significant mine problem and ranks among the top ten most affected countries in the world.... In view of the recent findings, landmines and UXO will remain scattered in recent and former battlefields around the country and there is no doubt that it continues to be alarming when compared to the existing capacity and possible interventions."[18]

Mine Clearance, Coordination and Planning

In the past, the Ministry of Defense’s Ethiopian Demining Project (EDP) conducted mine clearance, with funding and training from the United States. A United Nations report indicated that as of June 1998, the EDP had cleared 17,000 square kilometers of land.[19] During the 1998-2000 border conflict, Ethiopia made various claims regarding clearance of mines laid by Eritrean forces, ranging from 37,000 antipersonnel and antitank mines, to 261,000 antipersonnel mines and 13,000 antitank mines.[20]

The Ethiopian Mine Action Office was established in February 2001 to carry out humanitarian mine action in Ethiopia. Recent improvements include changing manual clearance procedures to a one-man, one-lane drill, thereby increasing productivity by approximately 60 percent.[21] EMAO now has four manual demining companies operating in the emergency areas of Tigray and Afar.[22]

The director of EMAO asserted, "The ELIS data will also play a foundational role in the work of developing and strengthening of our national capacity for planning, coordinating, managing and implementing all of the mine action activities in the country, including area surveys, landmine and UXO clearance, and integrated mine awareness."[23] EMAO will prioritize mine action using the following factors: areas of high impact and/or casualty rates, resettlement of IDPs, food security projects, and, reconstruction and rehabilitation projects.[24]

EMAO began humanitarian clearance operations in Tigray in mid-2002, and expanded to Afar in December 2002.[25] By February 2004, EMAO reported having cleared 4.6 million square meters of land, destroying 767 antipersonnel mines, 77 antivehicle mines and 9,853 UXO.[26]

EMAO is operating the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA), in cooperation with a UN advisor. Through IMSMA, EMAO plans to maintain two databases – one on minefields and a second for mine/UXO victims.[27]

In close cooperation with EMAO, in late 2003 Norwegian People’s Aid submitted a mine action project proposal for 2004, using mine detection dogs, mechanical mine clearance machines, and RRTs.[28] This program would be the NGO first humanitarian mine action operation in the country.

TSZ and Adjacent Areas

The UN Mission for Ethiopia and Eritrea Mine Action Coordination Center is working in the Temporary Security Zone and adjacent areas in Ethiopia. The major activities of UNMEE MACC are: to provide mine action support to UN operations in the TSZ; to support the coordination of humanitarian mine action activities in the TSZ and adjacent areas, including technical assistance; and to provide demining support for the demarcation project of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Border Commission (EEBC).

Military deminers in the TSZ include a Slovak Engineer Company, a Bangladesh Engineering Company and a Kenyan Humanitarian Demining Company. Civilians operating in the TSZ include a route clearance contractor, a quality assurance contractor, and one explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team. In 2003, UNMEE MACC and other entities cleared approximately 4.8 million square meters of land and 2,375 kilometers of road in the Temporary Security Zone and adjacent areas, destroying 439 antipersonnel mines, 187 antivehicle mines, and 5,785 UXO.

Mine Risk Education

Organizations working in mine risk education (MRE) in Ethiopia have included the Ethiopian Demining Project (EDP),[29] the Ethiopian Mine Action Office (EMAO), the Ethiopian Red Cross (ERC), Handicap International, the Office of Rehabilitation and Social Affairs (ORSA) of Tigray, the Rehabilitation and Development Organization (RaDO), UNICEF and UNMEE. In 2003, 726,570 people took part in MRE sessions in Ethiopia.[30]

RaDO began carrying out mine risk education, with UNICEF's technical and financial assistance, in Tigray on the border with Eritrea with a pilot project in late 1999; the program was extended to Afar in April 2001.[31] Over 586,000 people received MRE in Tigray and Afar regions prior to 2003.[32] During 2003 in Tigray, 444,151 people received some form of MRE from the RADO initiative. A total of 44,740 adults received community-based MRE through RaDO agents and 64,786 through taskforces. MRE was delivered to 34,051 students in classrooms by schoolteachers, and to 31,603 students by RaDO agents. RaDO agents and child instructors addressed 127,385 out-of-school children. A further 181,586 people were reached through informal education conducted by RaDO agents and taskforces.[33]

RaDO’s MRE program in Afar region in 2003 reached 70,318 people, including: 12,256 people through a community-based approach; 6,493 children in regular schools, 14,683 through Imams in the mosques, and 8,089 in Koranic (religious) schools; 10,464 out-of-school children; and, 18,333 through the sensitization program.[34] In Afar and Tigray, RaDO is preparing to hand over MRE to the regional governments by August 2005.[35]

The Ethiopian Red Cross also held MRE sessions in the contaminated border districts of Tigray.[36] The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) provided technical and logistical support to the project.[37] Tools used included an English language film from the Balkans. The project is no longer operational.[38]

UNMEE, with UNICEF and NGOs, has been conducting mine risk education in the Temporary Security Zone and adjacent areas. There were 167,420 beneficiaries in 2003.[39] Up to March 2002, 97,000 people had participated in UNMEE-supported MRE activities in the TSZ and adjacent areas.[40]

UNICEF funds the Mine Risk Education department at EMAO. EMAO trains community liaison personnel assigned to demining companies to promote interaction with the communities.[41] The community liaison staff and deminers live together in the same camp and their work is integrated. In 2003, community meetings were conducted with 2,510 people; 288 antipersonnel mines, 29 antivehicle mines and 1,178 UXO were reported by the communities and cleared by EMAO.[42] From January to June 2004, 4,440 people were addressed; 10 antipersonnel mines, 13 antivehicle mines and 1,161 UXO were reported and cleared.[43]

An evaluation of RaDO’s program was completed in February 2003.[44] The evaluation report indicates that “Overall, the community is fully satisfied with the MRE programme.... The regional governments, particularly in Tigray, were very interested in understanding the MRE project and its importance and are keen to take ownership of it.” Recommendations include a call for improved reporting “more focused on qualitative results than on numbers” and the development of methods of communication between MRE staff and community members that “must be needs driven to be most effective.” The report also calls on EMAO to establish a national coordination mechanism for all agencies working in MRE.[45]

UNICEF supported an MRE needs assessment by EMAO in the Tigray, Afar and Somali regions of Ethiopia in June 2004. As of August 2004, EMAO was studying the results to prepare for publication.[46]

Handicap International ran an MRE project in Eastern Ethiopia in Somali refugee camps from September 1997 to June 2001. During this period, approximately 330,627 refugees benefited from MRE initiatives.[47]

Mine Action Funding

In response to a request on mine action funding in 2003 and 2004, EMAO could only acknowledge that Ethiopia had continued to get “generous support to the mine action program” from donors.[48] These included the European Union, United States, Norway, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Canada and Switzerland, UNDP and UNICEF, plus the Survey Action Center and NPA.

While there is no comprehensive record of international donations to mine action in Ethiopia, according to information provided to Landmine Monitor, in 2003 five donors provided about US$2.5 million for mine action in Ethiopia.[49] Ethiopia has not reported its national contribution for mine action in 2003, including any funds utilized from a World Bank loan (see below).

The following donations to mine action in Ethiopia in 2003 have been reported to Landmine Monitor:

  • Austria: €200,000 (US$226,300) included in its 2003 budget for victim assistance to be expended in 2004
  • Finland: €147,718 (US$167,100) to NPA for mine clearance
  • Germany: €339,897 (US$384,600) to UNDP as in-kind donation of equipment for mine detection dog teams
  • Norway: NOK 10,494,000 (US$1,481,800), including NOK 6,230,000 to the UNDP for the mine action center, NOK 3,914,000 to UNDP for the LIS, and NOK 350,000 to Landmine Survivors Network for an amputee peer support network.
  • United States: $300,000.

The total expenditure for the Landmine Impact Survey over two and a half years was US$4,029,672. Donors included the European Commission, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the United States.[50]

For 2002, mine action in Ethiopia received about US$8.7 million, including $3.5 million from the Ethiopian government, as part of a World Bank loan.[51] For 2001, international donors provided about $4 million for mine action in Ethiopia.[52] Between 1993 and 1999, the Ethiopian Demining Project received $8.8 million from the United States.[53]

In 2001, Landmine Monitor reported that as part of a US$400 million World Bank loan package to Ethiopia, $30 million had been set aside for mine action activities. It was subsequently announced that $10 million of this money would instead be used to compensate families of those deceased during the 1998-2000 conflict. In December 2002, EMAO stated that the mine action component had been further reduced to $15 million.[54]

Landmine Casualties

There is no comprehensive or systematic on-going data collection mechanism in Ethiopia. The recently completed Landmine Impact Survey (LIS) does, however, give an indication of the scope of the problem. The LIS provided significantly higher mine casualty data than previously available. In total, the survey recorded 16,616 landmine/UXO casualties. This included 1,295 “recent” casualties (558 killed and 737 injured). Of these, 518 (40 percent) were aged between 15 and 29, and 978 (75 percent) were engaged in herding or farming at the time of the incident; only one casualty was engaged in military activities. In addition to “recent” casualties, the LIS recorded 15,321 less recent mine/UXO casualties (8,783 killed and 6,538 injured).[55]

An analysis of LIS “recent” casualty data indicates that at least 297 new mine/UXO casualties occurred in 2003 (125 killed and 172 injured), including 253 males and 44 females; 97 were children under 15 years old. “Recent” casualties also included 923 mine/UXO casualties (421 killed and 502 injured) in 2002 and 75 casualties (12 killed and 63 injured) in 2001, including 810 males and 188 females; 275 were children.[56] It should be noted that LIS data does not necessarily indicate a significant decline in new casualties between 2002 and 2003. An LIS does not capture all current casualty data but rather casualties recorded in the two years before the visit of a survey team to a particular mine-affected community. Incidents that occur after the LIS is conducted are not part of the survey database.

In 2003, an additional 60 mine casualties (23 killed and 37 injured) were recorded in the TSZ and adjacent areas.[57]

Casualties continue to be recorded in 2004, with RaDO recording eight people killed and ten people injured in mine incidents in five woredas in the Tigray region between January and June.[58]

Previously, the most comprehensive casualty data available was collected by RaDO as part of its mine risk education program in the Tigray and Afar regions only. Since 1998, RaDO/UNICEF recorded 528 mine/UXO casualties (157 killed and 371 injured): 39 in 2003 (seven killed and 32 injured); 67 in 2002 (13 killed and 54 injured); 76 in 2001 (18 killed and 58 injured); 170 in 2000 (51 killed and 119 injured); 160 in 1999 (60 killed and 100 injured); and 16 in 1998 (eight killed and eight injured).[59]

Survivor Assistance

In Ethiopia, few hospitals are capable of performing emergency surgery and most health posts in the mine-affected areas do not have the capacity to provide emergency care to mine casualties. Adigrat Hospital provides emergency care and physiotherapy services. Shire Hospital, a government hospital located in Endaselasie town in the western part of Tigray region, has also assisted a number of landmine casualties with emergency care and treatment.[60]

An analysis by Landmine Monitor of data from the Landmine Impact Survey indicates that of the 737 “recent” survivors, 351 (48 percent) received some form of emergency medical care, but only 51 (7 percent) reported receiving rehabilitation; 198 survivors (27 percent) received no care. No survivors reported receiving vocational training. Of the total survivors, 447 required an amputation, and 126 were fully or partially blind.[61]

The International Committee of the Red Cross continues to provide some civilian hospitals with medicines, equipment, and surgical supplies to assist those injured in conflict, including mine casualties. The ICRC also supports the Ethiopian Red Cross Society Tigray branch. In 2003, the ICRC paid for 16 new ambulances and helped organize first aid training. ERCS first aid volunteers and ambulance service provides emergency assistance in mine-affected areas.[62]

There are several centers providing physical rehabilitation and orthopedic devices; some are government run and others are operated by NGOs or international agencies. The Rehabilitation Affairs Department of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA) is responsible for coordinating rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities. MOLSA oversees four orthopedic workshops in different parts of the country: Addis Ababa, Mekelle, Harar, and Dessie.

In 2000, the ICRC resumed its full financial, technical, material and educational support to the four government-run prosthetic/orthotic centers: Addis Ababa, Mekelle, Dessie, and Harar. In 2002, the ICRC extended mainly material support to another four centers: Arbaminch Rehabilitation Center, the All Africa Leprosy, Tuberculosis and Rehabilitation Training Center (ALERT) Hospital, Cheshire Home Polio Center and Tibeb-Micili Land orthopedic center. Support includes on-the-job training for prosthetic/orthotic technicians and physiotherapists.[63] The ICRC also implements the Patients Support Services (PSS) program for war victims, including mine survivors, in the four orthopedic workshops. Under the PSS, the ICRC reimburses the cost of services, transportation, accommodation and food, and the cost of the orthopedic device.[64] Since 2000, the ICRC-supported centers produced 6,455 prostheses (2,971 for mine survivors), 7,853 orthoses (at least 70 for mine survivors), and more than 14,428 crutches and 241 wheelchairs; 1,568 prostheses (730 for mine survivors), 2,050 orthoses (34 for mine survivors), 5,086 crutches, and 75 wheelchairs were provided in 2003.[65]

The Addis Ababa Prosthetic Orthotic Center (POC) is a referral center for physical rehabilitation, and operates an orthopedic workshop and physiotherapy department. The POC is also a training center on orthopedic technology and physiotherapy, which is conducted in partnership with MOLSA and the ICRC, and is the largest center in the country. In 2003, the center assisted 6,336 people, including 557 landmine survivors, and produced 824 prostheses, 1,392 orthoses, 4,125 crutches, 65 wheelchairs, and 230 other assistive devices. The annual budget for the program was Birr 2.8 million (US$325,581). Between 2000 and 2002, 2,578 mine survivors were assisted.[66]

The Dessie Prosthetic Orthotic Center provides physical rehabilitation services, in partnership with the ICRC and VVAF. In 2003, the center assisted 348 people, including 142 landmine survivors, and produced 213 prostheses (102 for mine survivors), 115 orthoses, and 615 crutches. Between July 2000 and 2002, at least 147 mine survivors were assisted.[67]

In 2003, the Harar Prosthetic Orthotic Center was closed for renovation. Between July 2000 and 2002, the center assisted 202 mine survivors.[68]

The Mekelle Orthopedic, Physiotherapy Center of the Tigray Disabled Veterans Association provides physical rehabilitation services. The center works in partnership with the ICRC, German Leprosy and TB Relief Association, MOLSA and the Office of Rehabilitation and Social Affairs of Tigray Region. No information was available to Landmine Monitor on activities in 2003. In 2002, the center assisted 214 landmine survivors; 206 were assisted in 2001.[69]

The Arbaminch Rehabilitation Center, a local NGO, has provided physical and medical rehabilitation services, socio-economic reintegration, and vocational training since 1996. The center is supported by the Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid, Christian Relief and Development Association, UNICEF and the ICRC. In 2003, the center assisted 1,408 people, including 144 landmine survivors, and produced 42 prostheses, 166 other assistive devices, 478 crutches, and 30 wheelchairs; 12 prostheses, 24 crutches, and 54 other assistive devices were for landmine survivors. In addition, the center provided social support for 1,060 people, economic assistance for 128 persons with disabilities, and job training for another 47. Arbaminch also provides financial assistance (Birr138,654/US$16,122) to other groups working with persons with disabilities, including those providing special education and assistance for elderly disabled people. The total annual budget for the program was Birr683,490 (US$79,475). In 2002, the center assisted 153 mine survivors; 83 were assisted in 2001.[70]

Cheshire Services Ethiopia provides institutional and outreach rehabilitation services for children with disabilities in the regions, and a Community-Based Rehabilitation program in Addis Ababa, with the objectives of prevention, rehabilitation, and reintegration of persons with disabilities. The center works in partnership mainly with Landmine Survivors Network Ethiopia, Christian Blind Mission, Alemachin, Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission and MOLSA. In 2003, the center produced and supplied 2,172 orthoses, 2,859 crutches, 145 walking frames, and 26 tricycles; 65 crutches and 150 assistive devices were for mine survivors. The center assisted 253 landmine survivors in 2003; 357 were assisted in 2002. The annual budget for the program was Birr3.5 million (US$411,765).[71]

Addis Development Vision (ADV) is a local NGO providing medical and physical rehabilitation, and skills training for persons with disabilities, and early childhood development for disabled and destitute children. ADV works in partnership with Cheshire Services Ethiopia, POC and ALERT. In 2003, ADV assisted 496 people, including 20 landmine survivors, and supplied four prostheses (two for mine survivors), 86 orthoses, five wheelchairs (two for mine survivors), 15 crutches (four for mine survivors) and ten other assistive devices. ADV assisted 32 mine survivors in 2002, and eleven in 2001. In 2002, ADV also provided a one-year skills training program, startup capital and basic tools for self-employment for 85 persons with disabilities. The annual budget for the program was Birr2 million (US$232,558).[72]

Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF) is working with war-disabled, including landmine survivors, in the Amhara region, principally in the town of Dessie, as part of the OMEGA Initiative. The program became operational in early 2003. VVAF developed a physiotherapy unit and gait-training area to expand and improve the quality of services available at the Dessie Orthopedic Center. In June 2003, it developed a community follow-up scheme as a component of the overall rehabilitation service in the center. In 2003, about 31 people, who had received services from the center, were assisted by the scheme. VVAF also concluded a technical assessment for the establishment of a satellite orthopedic workshop in Bahir Dar.[73] During the development of the program, VVAF concluded that significant problems for mine survivors and other persons with disabilities were a lack of knowledge about existing services, and the cost of getting to the workshop and staying in town while their devices were produced.[74] As a result of these findings VVAF, in coordination with BOLSA, will establish a Rehabilitation Center in Bahir Dar serving war victims and other PWDs now residing in Bahir Dar, the remote area of Gondar, and other outlying areas in Amhara. Once operational, the Center will produce and distribute mobility devices and also offer Physiotherapy and CFU services. Agreements between VVAF and BOLSA are in place and construction on the Center is to begin in late 2004.

Since 2000, RaDO has been working in Somali and Sudanese refugee camps and surrounding areas, providing psychosocial support, physical rehabilitation services, and orthopedic and other assistive devices. The programs are implemented in collaboration with UNHCR, Stichting Vluchteling Netherlands and the Administration for Refugees and Returnees Affairs. In 2003, 524 orthopedic devices and 4,064 physiotherapy treatments were provided for Sudanese refugees, and 671 devices and physiotherapy services for Somali refugees. Between 2000 and 2002, over 3,350 refugees were assisted, including at least 118 landmine survivors.[75] Since September 2001, RaDo has also provided counseling services to landmine survivors in Tigray.[76]

Landmine Survivors Network (LSN) started its program in Ethiopia in April 2000. LSN engages community-based outreach workers, who are amputees, to work with individual survivors to assess their needs, offer psychological and social support, and educate their families about the effects of limb loss. LSN assists survivors in accessing services that provide mobility devices, health services, or vocational training. If no such services exist, LSN sometimes provides direct assistance including covering the cost of prostheses, house repairs or emergency food aid. In 2003, LSN assisted 366 people, including 293 landmine survivors; 356 (303 mine survivors) were assisted in 2002, and 380 (232 mine survivors) in 2001. All their services are free of charge. LSN works in partnership with the Bureau of Labor and Social Affairs and the Bureau of Foreign Relations and Development Cooperation of the Addis Ababa Region. LSN also establishes social support groups, and links survivors to existing job training and other economic and social service opportunities, and tracks their progress toward recovery and reintegration.

The main technical base and prosthetic training center of the ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD) is located at the Addis Ababa POC. In 2003, 23 orthopedic projects in ten countries received technical advice, training, components and equipment through the program. Since 2000, 124 prosthetic technicians have attended training courses, ranging from one week to one month, organized by the SFD in Addis Ababa, including 41 in 2003 from 18 countries. The SFD also funds prosthetic training in other African countries through the program and sponsors Ethiopian students to undertake a three-year course in prosthetics/orthotics at TATCOT in Tanzania.[77]

In 2002, it was reported that the Emergency Demobilization and Reintegration Project (EDRP) included a component for the strengthening of regional prosthetic and orthotic centers and the establishment of a National Rehabilitation Center, with funding provided by a World Bank loan.[78] In March 2003, as part of the EDRP and at the request of MOLSA, the ICRC began teaching Ethiopia’s first prosthetics/orthotics diploma course at a new training center in Addis Ababa; 21 students are enrolled.[79]

The Ethiopian Prosthetics-Orthotics National Professional Association was established in June 2001. The association advocates for a high standard of prosthetic-orthotic care for landmine survivors and other persons with disabilities through research, education and practice, working in partnership with the Ministry of Health, ICRC, EPTA, Maltaser, Ethiopia, and Handicap International.[80]

Handicap International has been active in Ethiopia since 1986. One of the main focuses of its current work is capacity building of local associations for persons with disabilities and promoting a community-based approach to assistance.[81]

Other organizations assisting persons with disabilities in physical rehabilitation, and social and economic reintegration, include Handicap National-Action for Children with Disabilities, Ethiopian National Association of the Blind, Ethiopian National Association of the Deaf, and Ethiopian National Association of the Physically Handicapped.[82]

One mine survivor from Ethiopia participated in the Raising the Voices training in Geneva in May 2002.

Disability Policy and Practice

The Ethiopian Federation of Persons with Disabilities (EFPD) is an umbrella organization of the five national disability associations. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the EFPD coordinate disability issues at the national level. The principal disability law that relates to landmine survivors is Proclamation No. 101/1994, the Right of Persons with Disabilities to Employment. Disabled civil servants receive a pension.[83]

[1] Email from Ambachew Negus, National Mine Action Coordinator, RaDO, 25 September 2004.
[2] Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 207; Landmine Monitor Report 2002, pp. 548-549; Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 516.
[3] Statement by Binega Tewolde, Attache, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, to the Workshop on Landmines and the Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines in East Africa, the Great Lakes and the Horn of Africa Regions, Nairobi, Kenya, 3 March 2004.
[4] Statement delivered to the Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 22 June 2004.
[5] “Report of the Panel of Experts on Somalia Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1474 (2003),” delivered to the President of the Security Council on 4 November 2003 (S/2003/1035), paras. 136-137, pp. 31-32.
[6] Landmine Monitor Report 2002, pp. 549-550; Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 517.
[7] Landmine Monitor Report 2000, pp. 159-161; Landmine Monitor Report 2001, pp. 208-210; Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 516.
[8] Interview with the Ethiopian delegation during the intersessional Standing Committee meetings, Geneva, 30 January 2002.
[9] For a recent denial, see: “Ethiopia Responds to the Times’ Special Report,” Letter to the Editor from Fisseha Adugna, Charge d’affaires, Embassy of Ethiopia, Washington, DC, Washington Times, 3 June 1999. Though the Mine Ban Treaty has not entered into force for Ethiopia,
[10] Email from Phil Lewis, Program Manager, Mine Action Coordination Center (MACC), United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), 23 April 2002.
[11] US State Department, 2000 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Ethiopia, February 2001, in Landmine Monitor Report 2001, P. 211.
[12] Landmine Monitor Report 2000, p. 161.
[13] Statement by Dr. Waktasu Negeri, Head of the Ethiopian delegation, Horn of Africa/Gulf of Aden States conference on landmines, Djibouti, 16-18 November 2000.
[14] Landmine Monitor Report 1999, pp. 146-147.
[15] Interview with Ethiopian delegation at the intersessional meetings, 30 January 2002.
[16] Executive Summary, “Landmine Impact Survey: Final Report for Ethiopia,” email to Landmine Monitor (HI) from Mike Kendellen, Director for Survey, Survey Action Center, 14 July 2004. See also, Press Release, EMAO and NPA, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 11 March 2004; NPA presentation at ELIS ceremony, Addis Ababa, 11 March 2004; Statement delivered to the Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 22 June 2004.
[17] Email from Mike Kendellen, Survey Action Center, 28 September 2004.
[18] Statement by Teklewold Mengesha, Director, EMAO, at the ELIS celebration, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 11 March 2004.
[19] “Ethiopia−Joint assessment mission report,” UNMAS, 22 June 1998, p. 3.
[20] Interview with Capt. Etsay G. Slassie, Director, EDP, Addis Ababa, 11 January 2001. See also, for example, Africa News, Embassy of Ethiopia, 25 May 1999; “Ethiopia: 40,000 landmines removed from central front,” BBC Monitoring, Ethiopian Television, Addis Ababa, in Amharic, 20 June 2000.
[21] UNDP Update report, submitted to the intersessional Standing Committee meetings, Geneva, 9-13 February 2004.
[22] Presentation by Etsay G. Selasie, Deputy Director, EMAO, at the ELIS celebration, Addis Ababa, 11 March 2004.
[23] Statement by Teklewold Mengesha, EMAO, at the ELIS celebration, 11 March 2004.
[24] Ibid.
[25] Interview with Teklewold Mengesha, EMAO, 30 January 2003.
[26] Presentation by Etsay G. Selasie, EMAO, 11 March 2004. Previously, EMAO reported that by the beginning of 2003, EMAO had cleared 396,555 square meters of land, destroying 132 antipersonnel mines, 12 antivehicle mines and 251 UXO. Interview with Teklewold Mengesha, EMAO, 30 January 2003.
[27] EMAO presentation to donor community in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, 24 November 2003.
[28] “Draft Proposal on Humanitarian Mine Action in Ethiopia 2004,” Norwegian People's Aid, Addis Ababa, November 2003. In July 2004, NPA reported that EMAO was reviewing the proposal.
[29] The EDP was disbanded and replaced by the EMAO in February 2001.
[30] Email to Landmine Monitor (HI) from Ambachew Negus, RaDO, 16 July 2004.
[31] In August 2003, RaDO began a two-year process of handing over control of MRE in Tigray to the Office of Rehabilitation and Social Affairs of Tigray; email from Andy Wheatley, UNICEF MRE Consultant, 14 July 2004.
[32] Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 215; Landmine Monitor Report 2002, pp. 552-553; Landmine Monitor 2003, p. 518.
[33] Interview with Ambachew Negus, RaDO, Addis Ababa, 20 January 2004; email from Ambachew Negus, RaDO, 16 July 2004. “Informal education” means MRE messages, for example, included as part of other community events, such as vaccination programs or cultural activities.
[34] Interview with Ambachew Negus, RaDO, 20 March 2004.
[35] Email to Landmine Monitor (HI) from Orlaith Galagher, MRE Project Officer, UNICEF Ethiopia, 6 August 2004.
[36] ICRC, “Annual Report 2003: Ethiopia,” accessed on www.icrc.org, 13 July 2004.
[37] ICRC, “Mine Action 2002,” Geneva, p.22.
[38] Email from Andy Wheatley, UNICEF, 14 July 2004.
[39] Interview with Lt. Col. Boniface Ngultu, Mine Action Liaison Officer, UNMEE MACC, Addis Ababa, 20 February 2004.
[40] UN Security Council, “Progress report of the Secretary-General on Ethiopia and Eritrea,” S/2002/245, New York, 8 March 2002.
[41] For example, in April 2004, EMAO provided a five-day community liaison training session, which included basic MRE topics, for 17 community liaison staff employed by EMAO and eight community representatives.
[42] Reports were made either to RaDO agents or the EMAO community liaison staff.
[43] Interview with Berhane Achame, Head of MRE Department, EMAO, Addis Ababa, 27 January 2004; email from Ambachew Negus, RaDO, 16 July 2004.
[44] Email from Orlaith Galagher, UNICEF Ethiopia, 6 August 2004.
[45] RaDO, “Summary of the Evaluation Findings,” February 2003.
[46] Email from Orlaith Galagher, UNICEF Ethiopia, 6 August 2004.
[47] Landmine Monitor Report 1999, pg. 149; Landmine Monitor Report 2000, p. 163; Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 216.
[48] Presentation by Etsay G. Selasie, EMAO, 11 March 2004; statement by Teklewold Mengesha, EMAO, 11 March 2004.
[49] Information comes from the individual country reports in this edition of Landmine Monitor Report. In some cases, the funding was for the country’s fiscal year, not calendar year 2003. Landmine Monitor has converted the currencies and rounded off the numbers.
[50] Email from Adam Combs, Advisor, NPA, 1 July 2004.
[51] See Landmine Monitor Report 2003, pp. 518-519. The European Commission, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and the United States provided about $4.87 million. Finland and the UK donated $241,000 through UNICEF. Ireland, the Netherlands and Switzerland provided in-kind contributions.
[52] Mine Action Investment Database listed US$1,999,695 in mine action contributions to Ethiopia from five donors: Canada, Finland, Germany, Netherlands and Norway. In addition, EMAO received $1.6 million from the US government to train the first two companies of deminers, and Canada also donated, through the UNDP, $400,000 for training deminers and mine risk education
[53] US Department of State, “FY 00 NDAR Project Status,” 5 May 2000.
[54] Statement by Teklewold Mengesha, EMAO, 11 December 2002, p. 8.
[55] Executive Summary, “Landmine Impact Survey: Ethiopia,” emailed 14 July 2004; Landmine Monitor analysis of “recent” casualty data emailed by Peter Harvey, Survey Action Center, 16 July 2004. The term “recent” casualty relates to an incident occurring within the preceding two years of the date of the survey; reported incidents occurred from 1 May 2001 to 24 December 2003.
[56] Executive Summary, “Landmine Impact Survey: Ethiopia,” emailed 14 July 2004.
[57] Statistics from the IMSMA Database, UNMEE MACC, dated 28 September 2004, emailed to Landmine Monitor (HRW) by Phil Lewis, UNMEE MACC, 28 February 2004.
[58] Email from Ambachew Negus, RaDO, 25 August 2004.
[59] Interview with Ambachew Negus, RaDO, 20 January 2004; RaDO/UNICEF, “Quarterly updates.”
[60] Landmine Monitor Report 2002, pp. 553-554.
[61] Landmine Monitor analysis of “recent” casualty data provided by Survey Action Center, 16 July 2004.
[62] ICRC, “Annual Report 2003,” Geneva, June 2004, pp. 69 and 72.
[63] ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Programs, “Annual Report 2003,” Geneva, 9 March 2004, pp. 8-9, 29.
[64] Interview with Kahsay Gebrehiwot, Landmine Project Coordinator, ERCS, Mekelle, 23 January 2004; interview with Didier Cooreman, Head of Orthopedic Program, ICRC, Addis Ababa, 20 January 2003.
[65] ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Programs, “Annual Report 2003,” 9 March 2004, p. 26; “Annual Report 2002,” June 2003; “Annual Report 2001,” 14 April 2002; “Annual Report 2000,” 31 March 2001. It should be noted that these figures are a cumulative total of the workshops supported by the ICRC. Prior to 1999 support to the four government-run centers was provided through the ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled.
[66] Interview with Teshome Abate, Administrative and Finance Division, POC, Addis Ababa, 26 February 2004. For details on activities in prior years see Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 520; Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 554; Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 217.
[67] Interview with Daniel Kassa, Manager, Dessie Orthopedic Workshop, Dessie, 12 February 2004. For details on activities in prior years see Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 520; Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 554; Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 217.
[68] ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Programs, “Annual Report 2003,” p. 9. For details on activities in prior years see Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 520; Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 554; Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 217.
[69] For details on activities in prior years see Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 520; Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 554; Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 217.
[70] Interview with Tafesse Chirbo, General Manager, Arbaminch Rehabilitation Center, Arbaminch, 9 February 2004; For details on activities in prior years see Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 521; Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 555; Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 218.
[71] Interview with Chernet Tasisa, Project Officer, CSE, Addis Ababa, 27 February 2004; interview with Dereje Tekle, Cheshire Service Ethiopia, Director, Addis Ababa, 16 December 2002.
[72] Interviews with Haimanot Desalegne, Program Coordinator, ADV, Addis Ababa, 25 February 2004 and 14 January 2003; interview with Ato Adane Alemu, Executive Director, ADV, 25 December 2001.
[73] Interview with Tilahun G. Kidan, Country Representative, VVAF, Addis Ababa, 18 February 2004.
[74] Interview with Iris Papeleu, Physiotherapist, VVAF, Dessie, 30 January 2004; emails to Landmine Monitor (HI) from Tilahun G Kidan, VVAF, 20 June 2003, and Linda Monroe, Physical Therapist, The Omega Initiative-Ethiopia, 9 June 2003.
[75] Interview with Ato Negusie Seifu, Program Coordinator, RaDO, Addis Ababa, 27 February 2004; Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 521; Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 555; Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 219.
[76] Interview with Ato Temesgen Abrha, Tigray MRE Project Manager, RaDO, 1 January 2002.
[77] ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled, “Annual Report 2003,” Geneva, February 2004, pp. 5-8; “Annual Report 2002,” June 2003; “Annual Report 2001,” May 2002; “Annual Report 2000,” June 2001.
[78] Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 556.
[79] ICRC Special Report, “Mine Action 2003,” Geneva, August 2004, p. 24.
[80] Interview with Ato Mulugeta Gedu, President, EPONPA, 20 December 2001.
[81] Handicap International, “Program Summary: Ethiopia 2004,” 4 December 2003.
[82] Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 556.
[83] Interview with Ato Kassaye Tikuye, Acting Team Leader, Rehabilitation Affairs Department, 24 December 2001.