Mechanical Demining in Mozambique

Mosambique from 1995 to 2002

1. A positive example - Brigadier General Lanz (March 1995)
2. The travel to the minefields in Mozambique (May 1995)
3. The manual demining in pictures (comparable clearance operation April 1994 until end 1996)
4. The offer from 24. May 1995 and the treaty from 20. June 1995
5. Maschines in Mozambique
5.1 Arrival in Mozambique
5.2 Rural surrounding
5.3 KMMCS ready for demining operation
5.4 Mineclearance, the first working day
5.5 Mines and animal bones
5.6 Explosions in front of mill of KMMCS
5.7 Untreated - Milled
5.8 Postprocessing senseless: Mine dogs from Mine-Tech
5.9 Postprocessing usefull: Magnet for duds
5.10 Seed ready prepared formerly minefield
5.11 Departure to next minefield
5.12 Seed after 3 month groth at former minefield
6. Worldwide first UN test for usability for 100% clearance quota (06.-10.05.1996)

 

1. A positive example

Brigadier General Lanz had heared of Walter Krohn´s problems in the procurement at the inner-German border and had checked the machines in a presentation. He immediately was convinced of the mine clearance quality and reported to the Federal Foreign Office in Bonn. By this in 1995 the mine clearance procurement in Mozambique developed. It happened like this:

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2. The travel to the minefields in Mozambique

In May 1995 Walter Krohn showed his machines by video in Federal Foreign Office and was asked to hand in an offer. For that he had to fly to Mozambique to visite the minefields and to check out, whether his machines would be able to clear mines in real environment by destruction. On behalf of that he had flown together with OTL Hochdorn (OTL= Oberstleutnant= Lieutenant colonel) of Verteidigungsministerium (Ministry of Defence /MOD/) as escort to Mozambique. After the joint return Krohn wrote the offer from 24.05.1995 to Federal Foreign Office about 40 ha.

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3. The manual demining in pictures

The UNDP-ADP had cleared from April 1994 until end of 1996 with 500 manual deminers approx. 12.000 mines and approx. 150 ha and thereby lost 12 persons by mine accidents. The area cleared by these manual deminers had not been minefree and could not been used for agricultural purposes. The costs were 10 times in comparison to KMMCS.

 

OLT Hochdorn, AA, Steef Ransali, UNDP/ADP

LT Hochdorn, deployed from Fed. Foreign Office as Project-Manager for Krohn

May 1995 Mine ring Moamba, 450 manual-deminer at work.
AA, Steef Ransli, UNDP/ADP
From April 1994 until March 1996 - in 20 months - 94 ha were cleared and 6400 mines destroyed. There had been 6 accidents.

OLT Hochdorn (right) deployed from Fed. Foreign Office as Project-Manager for Krohn.

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mosambik_204-1-3.jpg

mosambik_204-1-4.jpg

Steef Ransli, Chief Advisor UNDP/ADP
The UNDP/ADP had educated 450 manual deminers since April 1994, who were deployed in south of Mozambique; performance 5m² per day and man.

Performance 44 ha
450 man  ×  20 months =
400 days = 1.100qm / day
1100 qm : 450 man = 2,4 qm / manworkday

Prize per ha approx:

UNDP:

2.400.000 $

Operative:

2.400.000 $

 

------------

 

4.800.000 $

25 ha/year =

109.090 $/ha

gotoGraph

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3. The offer and the treaty

At 20. June 1995 on base of this offer a treaty was signed between Krohn and Fed. Foreign Office (Dr. Mulack), by which he should clear 40 ha heaviest mined areas on his own. By that he should follow the orders of Fed. Foreign Office, Embassy and UNDP. They had to delegate the areas. The Fed. Foreign Office in §3 reserved the right to decide, whether the machines would return to Germany after the successful test phase or for further clearances should remain in Mozambique. The machines regarding the treaty should be subordinated under Fed. Foreign Office and UNDP, for that his property remaines immune and protected. Additionally by treaty the Fed. Foreign Office got the task to negotiate with the authorities in host country, to secure the protection of his property in case of contingent incidents and to organize all permissions for work allowances, customs documents and provide the import and export licence of host country. After successful implementation of a test by UNDP, that was not slated in the treaty, we did the clearance of the first order successful and got the Certificates from Office of Demining (Comissão National de Desminagem) in Mozambique and UNDP.

Krohn received three further orders (First follow-up treaty from 26. Oct. 1995, Second follow-up treaty from 02. April 1996 ) basing at the Treaty from 20. June 1995 and cleared approx. 150 ha heaviest mined areas. Thereby we destroyed more than 20.000 mines. The areas had been returned to population in a solemnized state-ceremony for reuse. Thereby our Mine Clearance System, the KMMCS (Krohn Mechanical Mine Clearance System) was the first and only system, that exeeded all requirements and the demanded clearance quality of 99,6 %. The figure of (99,6% clearance stemms from International Standards for Humanitarian Mine Clearance Operations). This was sensational, because almost simultaneously a similar sized area had been cleared by manual deminers, which made possible a direct comparison, even if elsewhere everything was attempted to disguise figures and price-performance relations of such public orders.

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4. Maschines in Mozambique and the clearance

4.1 Arrival

Flatbed trailer with machines hanging at a crane in port

Discharge of KMMCS parts with truck crane

Discharge from ship in Maputo.

Preparation of machines in the camp.

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KMMCS Machine 1 drives from flatbed trailer

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Mobile crane

Ambulance and Jeep

Several auxiliary cars

personnel carrier

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African staff members in front of cars

Goats pass through our camp

Some of our staff members.

The camp at border of the village is also visited by animals. In minebelt humans and many animals had been lacerated.

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5.2 Rural surrounding

People at a well at periphery of village

Typical water supply with well.

Transport of water to the houses/shanties by the women.

wide sand street with woman carrying water in canister, some shaties

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5.3 KMMCS ready for demining operation

Staff in front of KMMCS

KMMCS Machine 1 and 2 ready for clearance operation

KMMCS Machine 1 in savanna with operators.

KMMCS: Machine 1 and Machine 2.
gotoTechnical Datas

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5.4 Mineclearance, the first working day

Mozambique,
September 1995:

marked minefield

minefield overgrown by bushes

Between concreet posts the minering around Moamba begins.
It had been cleared
400m × 30m in 5 hous.
First working day: 1,2 ha
Result: no mines found at this area.

Vegetation is no obstacle and is worked into the soil.. tracked path through overgrown minefield

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5.5 Mines and animal bones in savanna

Bone remains of human or animal in mine belt.

bones of an animal killed by a mine

Mines PMN 2
highlighted the visible mines.
Maybe other burried mines are hidden under the surface.

bones of an animal killed by a mine and further mines

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visible mines in mine belt

visible mines in mine belt

visible mines in mine belt

Mines PMN 2.
highlighted the visible mines.
Maybe other burried mines are hidden under the surface.

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5.6 Explosions in front of mill of KMMCS

Explosios in front of KMMCS during mine clearance

Explosios in front of KMMCS during mine clearance seen from front

Maschines in action.

Machine 3 turns the soil upside down

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Explosion as seen from drivers cabin

View of driver through bullet-proof glass in moment of mine explosion in front of mill.

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Machine 1 after explosion of fragment jump mine

Shield and mill after explosion of 9kg TNT of anti tank mine

KMMCS Machine 1 releases mines. In front shiel impact traces of fragment jump mines.

Explosion crater of anti Tank mine, 9 kg TNT. No damage. The personnel is not in danger even with such strong load. (Picture from operation in Germany)

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5.7 Untreated - Milled

Previous-Afterwards of overgrown mined area

Behind: previous, front: afterwards

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Mine field milled, bush and other vegetation is worked into the ground

demined field with vegetation worked into the ground

This vegetation was shreddered and milled into the ground. Here a manual demining would have been impossible.

Area of 1 ha after demining operation. Plants were worked into the soil. Closing time!

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Forest giant at Inkomati-River in Sabie

Cleared area at forest giant at Inkomati-River in Sabie 1996.

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5.8 Postprocessing senseless: Mine dogs from Mine-Tech

Company Mine-Tech with mine dogs at the area 
dotted with TNT

The Company Mine-Tech from Zimbabwe does a site investigation with sniffer dogs at the area, where TNT pieces while land mine clearance operation had strewn and organized "Indian Games". The dogs are irritated by the smell of explosives by mechanically destroyed mines.
In fact explosives is in fact safe without ignition mechanism. It can be destroyed by burning in a simple diesel fire by torching. That is a useful action to avoid the "recycling" of explosives from the intact cleared landmines, what is popular in some areas. After passage of the unexploded explosives through KMMCS mill this TNT is chopped into small pieces widely spread into the huge volume of soil. It can not be retrieved for recycling purposes. Hence the jacket and the firing mechanism are also destroyed and removed, it can no longer explode. The pieces of TNT are decomposed by wind and weather.

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5.9 Postprocessing usefull: Magnet for duds with thick wall steel case

2 Jump fragment mines OZM 72

Elektromagnet at crane of armoured tractor

2 Jump fragment mines OZM 72 without ignator and without caps, destroyed by the mills and not detonated.

Elektromagnet for lifting of not fully destroyed UXOS: (unexploded objects). Foto made from cabin of armoured tractor.

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not exploded mine

not exploded mine

The not exploded mines are not without any danger. Therefor they are lifted with a magnet and brought to delaboration or are milled with KMMCS again to destroy them mechanically in total.

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5.10 Seed ready prepared formerly minefield

3 ha mine free at one working day

Comparable test results in Croatia

  1. Employment at all types of soil, class I to V
  2. for all kinds of mines
  3. no endanger for personnel
  4. vegetation is no obstacle
  5. no dangerous explosives at the field any longer = 100% clearance quality

One area in Croatia of 3 ha. That equals a performance of a day, whereby this area is absolutelly free of mines. The new machines also destroyed mechanically the mines shown above .

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minfree cleared minering,
	    ready for seed and perfectly prepared for planting

Areas ready for seed in former mine ring.

Mine free area in savanna, ready for seed

Mine free area in savanna, ready for seed

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After the quality control and certification by the authorities the cordoning is removed.

Cordons are removed at former minering after mine clearance

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5.11 Departure to next minefield

KMMCS at flatbed trailer ready to departure for next minefield

End of day: Transport with own truck to next minefield.

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5.12 Seed after 3 month groth at former minefield

shoulder height corn plants at former minering

After 3 months from 15. November 1995 until 15. February 1996. Corn plants grew to body height. Since then there is harvest in every growth periode without accidents at the area, that is in use for agricultural purposes and beeing stepped upon for seed, care and harvest.

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6. Worldwide first UN test for usability for 100% clearance quota (06.-10.05.1996)

The UNO-Standart of 99,6 % which was contracted in treaty of 20. June 1995 as quality criteria, never before had been checked in operational experience, because in all minefields the exact number of planted mines had been unknown. When UN had set the UN Standard the basic figure of how many mines would equal 100% was not known and therefore no quota calculable. So the figure of 99,6% as demand, which should be reached by a mine clearance methode ever was aribitrary set. (See also remarks from swedish Mine Action Center about the standarisation of clearance quality and the change of wording from " The contractor must achieve at least 99.6 % of the agreed standard of clearance" to "all mine should be cleared " included with the regretting thought inside Mine Action Centers (MAC´s): " and than there is an understanding that there may be something left.")

Becaus of that there was laied an artificial minefield as testbed, at which the numbers of laied mines were perfectly known. Doing so in the Testfield in total 264 Mines were laied. Then the KMMCS machines cleared this area (06.-10.05.1996). Test description

Regarding the Clearance Standard of UNO a clearance fault exists, if at the full size minefield there is only one mine with intact ignator (fuze). But after the work of Krohn´s mine clearance system all 264 mines had been destroyed or unfused.. The arbitry UNO-Standard of 99,6 % could have been raised by KMMCS to proven 100 %.

in principel KMMCS therefor is also valide as checkup for manual demining, as this humanitarian demining standard claimed a quota of 99,6%, without beeing able to prove this claim.

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armoured tractor, the machine 3

all three machines at departure to mine field

Third machine

Start to testbed

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Fragments of 264 Minen

Mine fragments without fuze and without explosives

Remains of 264 Mines
Mine remains wihout ignator (fuze), but with TNT.

Remains without fuze and without explosives.

Mine remains without fuze and without explosives

Mine remains without fuze and without explosives.

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destroyed Anti Tank Mine without fuze and without TNT

Mine fragments without fuze and without explosives

Mine fragments of Anti Tank Mines without fuze and without explosives.

Fuze of totally destroyed wooden chase mine with torn apart "Booster".
Row at the left: mechanical ignator parts without booster
Row at the right: mechanical ignator parts with buckled booster.

 

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KMMCS - Maschinelle Minenräumung und Bodensanierung
(KMMCS - Mechanical Mine Clearance and Soil Rehabilitation)
Tobias Steidle
Am Ehrenhain 2
D-38678 Clausthal
Germany
Tel.: +49 (0) 5323 92 21 55
Fax: +49 (0) 5323 92 21 56
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