Across the Horn of Africa the humanitarian situation is fragile due to ongoing droughts, famine and economic hardship. Along the╠řEthiopia border region with Somaliland and Somalia, the presence of landmines laid during the Border War, Ogaden War and ensuing Somali Civil War pose an additional threat to local people.
Landmines kill valuable livestock and restrict access to already scarce resources such as water and grazing land, exacerbating existing╠řinter-clan conflicts. The Somali region of Ethiopia is╠řan essential part of the the Berbera corridor projectÔÇöopening up trade routes from Berbera Port in Somaliland, to╠řEthiopia, and the interior of the Horn of Africa. As the roads are rebuilt, population pressures are increasing in the border region, compounded by a succession of severe droughts pushing traditional nomadic communities into the local villages. Between October 2021 and╠řJune 2022, 440,000 people were displaced by the drought in the Somali Region.╠řIn the search for land,╠řfamilies are unknowingly╠řtravelling through, or╠řsetting up home, on╠řunmarked╠řminefields, putting lives and livelihoods at risk.
HALO has╠řcleared╠řseveral minefields╠řaround╠řthe villages of╠řDabogoryaale╠řand Khatumo╠řon the Somaliland side of the border since╠řthe early 2000s. In October 2022, we began work to clear the minefields on the Ethiopian side of╠řboth╠řvillages.╠řIn 2022,╠řHALO Ethiopia survey teams will also begin a baseline assessment of all remaining landmine contamination in the Somali Region in coordination with regional authorities, ensuring that all known hazardous areas are accurately mapped.╠řTo keep families safe until all the mines are removed for good, we are running risk education sessions for local communities╠řin the border region.