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Prince Harry "irritated" by delays in clearing landmines

Last Updated: Sunday, August 18, 2013 - 14:48

London: Prince Harry has a "bee in his bonnet" that some nations which supplied landmines are not helping with the clearance effort, a cause championed by his late mother, Princess Diana.

"He [the prince] is irritated about the countries that supplied these landmines are not actually putting in any funds to clear them 25 years later," the head of the Halo Trust, Guy Willoughby said.

"He has got quite a bee in his bonnet about that, and that is good," Willoughby said after the 28-year-old prince travelled to Angola earlier this month to see the charity`s mine clearance work.
Prince Harry, Diana`s youngest son and an army attack helicopter pilot, visited Cuito Cuanavale, which saw heavy fighting during the civil war during 1975 to 2002. During the visit, he met those benefiting from the de-mining work.

The charity was championed by Diana and is the oldest organisation of its kind. The prince is patron of its 25th Anniversary Appeal, the BBC reported.

Shortly before her death in 1997, Diana was filmed visiting minefields that were being cleared by the trust in Angola, drawing the world`s attention to the situation.

The town of Cuito Cuanavale in south-eastern Angola is believed to be the most densely mined town in Africa, following the country`s bloody and protracted civil war.

In a statement issued by Kensington Palace, Prince Harry, fourth in line to the British throne, said he was keen to support the charity in any way he could.

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

Despite huge efforts since the war ended in 2002 to clear the explosives, the country remains one of the most heavily mined in the world.

The Halo Trust said it has destroyed more than 21,300 anti-personnel and anti-tank mines in Angola but thousands of residents have been killed or maimed.

First Published: Sunday, August 18, 2013 - 14:48

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