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Prince Harry to go back to the minefield his mother walked through

  • Video report by ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship

The Duke of Sussex will visit the minefield his mother famously walked through more than twenty years ago.

It will happen in the Autumn when Prince Harry and Meghan visit Angola as part of their royal tour to several countries in Africa.

On Monday, Harry joined the launch of a major new effort to clear the deadly mines from one of Angola’s worst affected regions.

His mother, Princess Diana, was pictured wearing a visor and walked through a cleared minefield with the charity, The Halo Trust, in 1997.

The Halo Trust, which Prince Harry has supported for many years, is spearheading this latest drive the clear the mines.

The minefield through which the late Princess of Wales walked, in Angola’s Huambo region, is now part of "thriving community" with paved streets, homes and a local college.

The minefield where Diana once walked is now a thriving community. Credit: PA/Halo Trust

At the launch, Harry said: "I was told just the other day of the positive transformation in Huambo since my mother walked that minefield all those years ago."

He said Angola is "an important example of a country leading the way in clearing the remnants of war to secure a better future for its people and its environment".

There are more than 1,100 active minefields still left in Angola which were laid during the country’s civil war - even though it ended in 2002.

The terrible legacy of that war has left 88 thousand people with injuries from landmines - despite the pledge in 1997 to rid the world of them.

Princess Diana brought international attention to the issue in 1997 but she did not live to see the international commitment to rid the world of landmines by 2025.

Sandra Tigica lost one of her legs to a landmine. Credit: PA

The treaty was not signed until three months after she was killed in the car accident in Paris.

There are still 60 countries which need to be completely cleared of mines.

ITV News revealed last week Prince Harry and Meghan plan to travel to Angola in the Autumn as part of their royal tour to Africa.

A visit to the region by the Duke and Duchess later this year will focus the world on the issue once more.

The royal couple will also visit Angola to highlight the continuing problems from land mines. Credit: PA

Many of those injured and killed in Angola are children, who have lost limbs after stepping on the mines or innocently playing with them.

The mines were laid long before they were born.

Prince Harry heard on Monday how international donations to clear mines have started to dry up in recent years and while some countries, like Mozambique, have been completely cleared, there are still 50 square miles of deadly minefields in Angola.

The Angolan government on Monday committed to a £47 million plan to clear mines from one of the last wild places on Earth - the Okavango watershed.

The conservation area spans Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe but in Angola it is inaccessible to conservationists because of the dangers from landmines.

Princess of Wales looks at Helena Ussova at the Humbo hospital in 1997. Credit: PA

The region supports the world’s largest population of African elephants but the mines are killing and maiming many of them.

It’s hoped clearing the mines will also lead to sustainable development in the area for a population which suffers from malnutrition through a shortage of food.

Monday’s pledge is to clear 153 Angolan minefields in the Cuando Cubango province, one of the most badly affected areas of the civil war.

"We are going to make mines history," said James Cowan, from the Halo Trust.

"It’s happened in Mozambique and there is no reason why it can’t happen in Angola," he added.