JOHANNESBURG – A body armour-wearing Prince Harry has followed in the footsteps of his late mother, Princess Diana, whose walk through an active mine field in Angola years ago helped lead the way to a global ban on the deadly weapons.
The prince walked through a dusty mine field marked with skull-and-crossbones warning signs, and was visiting the spot where Diana was famously photographed on a similar walk during her own Africa visit in 1997.
That field in Huambo is now a busy street.
The southern African nation is now years past a grinding civil war and hopes to be land mine-free by 2025, a goal of scores of countries around the world.
Harry told reporters that land mines are an unhealed scar of war and that retracing his mother’s path was “quite emotional.”
Diana’s visit is still very much discussed today in Huambo after people were struck by her warmth and willingness to acknowledge their country’s devastating 27-year conflict.
The international ban on anti-personnel mines was signed that year and entered into force two years later.
So far 164 countries have signed on.
On his visit today Harry also remotely detonated a decades-old mine, met with mine-clearing teams and was visiting the orthopedic hospital his mother visited for her meetings with mine victims.
Real Life. Real News. Real Voices
Help us tell more of the stories that matterBecome a founding member
Prince Harry says a staggering 60 million people around the world still live in fear and risk of land mines.
He says “we cannot turn our backs on them and leave a job half done.”
His first official family tour with his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and their baby, Archie, will continue with stops in Malawi and further events in South Africa with a focus on issues including mental health and women’s empowerment.
Subscribe to the newsletter news
We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe