MAPUTO - The withdrawal of financial partners is threatening to derail Mozambique's plan to rid the country of land mines.
Aurelio Faduco Mavie, information and planning head of the National Institute of De-mining, told the independent newspaper Zambeze last week: "From the beginning of the de-mining project [in 1994] we had 12 partners who were financing the process in different phases.
"Now most of the main partners have left."
According to the Mozambican National Plan of Action on Landmines, in the financial year 2002-03 the country received international de-mining financing valued at about R479million. In the next financial year funding dropped to about R89million.
In 2004-05 the funding fell further to about R43million.
Funding from Mozambique's government was also cut from about R406million in 2002 to about R98million last year, according to the plan of action.
In its strategic de-mining plan, the Mozambican government has set 2010 as the deadline to rid the country of all the land mines that were planted during the country's wars waged from 1964 until 1992.
There are currently two categories of de-mining activities, namely humanitarian and commercial.
The commercial activities are financed by private operators and the companies employ former army officials from the government and the former rebel movement, Renamo.
The humanitarian activities are financed by international operators mostly in cooperation with local and regional de-mining organisations. - Sapa