RDC Concept Paper about Landmines policy

Concept Paper submitted to RDC g

National Humanitarian Mine Action Strategy

by Ignacio SERE

In the challenge of build a National Strategy  we have to think about:

1.      Reducing the impact of mines/UXO as quickly as possible by accelerating/increasing outputs coupled with improved targeting of most affected/highest impact areas.

2.      Mine action operation will remain largely humanitarian and increase emphasis on mine action activities to support broader development and commercial activities.

3.      Develop national mine action programs prioritize the need to reduce mine/UXO including mine/UXO clearance. It is to be recognized balancing “preventive” mine action activities with “curative” activities.

4.      Develop national programs focusing on the integration of all mine action activities in the policy for reconstructing and developing RD Congo and emphasizes need to be made on ownership and sustainability of the operations.

A way ahead

     Mine/UXO clearance, victim assistance and reduction of mine/UXO accident are a big issue. But mine clearance operation is not only to clear the land from UXO and mine but also to establish the community and to ensure normal living condition of the people. 

Mine action plans will be designed so as to maximize the use of existing capacities developed, and to ensure the efficient use of scarce resources. Providing that this objective be met, within 5 to 10 years we will be able to control the situation of landmine/UXO. 

     Marking contaminated areas and educating the public at large and raising awareness to dangers of land mines and UXOs also need be done in parallel. If good strategy has been developed then within 10 to 15 years in the future the areas contaminated mostly by mine will be cleared. It is expected that for the development purpose the government will be able to develop good work plan and operators will operating mine action effectively.  

Responsibilities of HIB and how we can be useful. 

     The establishment of Handicap International Belgium (HIB) with an Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) program  has been an important step forward for mine action in RD Congo.

From year 2001 to 2003, HIB put in place procedures and processes designed to ensure that mine action activities conducted in RD Congo are safe, coordinated, well planned and conducted in accordance with national and international standards. 

     One of the most important issues now is the development of a national mine action strategy. This strategy will define the long-term goals and objectives that must be achieved to enable RD Congo to become free from the constraints imposed by mines and UXO.

     Help the government of RDC in the coordination of all mine action activities will continue to be one of the most important roles of the HIB.

     Based upon the International Mine Action Standards already developed by the United Nations, HIB has developed National Mine Action Standards to ensure that consistency remain paramount in all mine action operations. SOPs has been developed according RDC reality, geography, means and needs.

     Continuing  with our strategy, HIB will aim to establish a National Mine Action Database in order to process, manage and disseminate information. This database will ensure that accurate mine action information is available and accessible to all domestically and internationally.

The HIB will continue to work closely with all operators, national and international organizations, government ministries and institutions.

1. Helping in Policy Development and Strategic Planning 


1.      To develop a National Strategic Plan for Mine Action.

2.      To develop National Mine Action Standards.

3.      To coordinate resource mobilization and mine action activities.  

2. Contribution in Quality Management.


1.      To develop accreditation and licensing procedures for mine action organization, sharing our experience.

2.      To develop procedures for the monitoring of mine action organizations operating in RD Congo.

3. Information Management 


1.      To establish and improve National Mine Action Database as RD Congo’s central mine action information repository using the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA).

2.      To develop streamlined reporting procedures for mine action operators to ensure that the National Database is populated with accurate and up to date information.

3.      To develop a RD Congo Mine Action Website.

4.      To develop and implement a Public Information Plan. lang="EN-GB">

4. HIB Contribution in Mine Awareness Education and Victim Support 

HIB can help to:

- Coordinate mine awareness education activities in RD Congo.

- Develop mine awareness education standards for inclusion in the National Mine Action Standards.

- Support and promote the inclusion of mine victims in development projects and activities.

- Promote the development of effective and appropriate rehabilitation programs.

- Develop information networking on victim assistance through the Ministry of Social Affares, Labour, Churches, etc