More than one million landmines have been destroyed by the Algerian army in the last 11 years.
The mines dating from the colonial times were destroyed from November 2004 to December 31, 2015.
— Algeria Tweet (@Algeria_Tweet) January 27, 2016
According to the North African country’s defence ministry, a total of 1,000,080 were discovered and destroyed in the eastern and western borders of the country, areas mined by the French army in 1956 to 1959.
Led by the People’s National Army (ANP), Algeria carried out the landmine clearance operations. France handed over plans of where its troops laid millions of landmines in 2007 so as to prevent the Algerian resistance movement from infiltrating Morocco and Tunisia.
Moreover, reports indicate that the country had to deal with around 11 million landmines before clearance operations began.
In 2012, the Algerian army stated that nearly three million mines were still buried along Algeria’s borders.
To date 9,447,590 hectares of land has been returned to local officials.
“It should be remembered that these clearance and humanitarian operations are placed at the forefront of the priorities of our country, inevitably contributing to the revitalization of the local development of this region,” read an excerpt from a communique by the defence ministry.
The work is scheduled to be completed by 2017.