Prince Harry follows in mother Diana’s footsteps on visit to Angola

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Combo picture shows Diana, Princess of Wales walking in one of the safety corridors of the land mine fields of Huambo, Angola January 15, and Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, visiting a working de-mining field in Dirico, Angola September 27, 2019. (Reuters)
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A crowd gathers on Princess Diana Street ahead of the arrival of Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, in Huambo, Angola September 27, 2019. (Reuters)
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Britain's Prince Harry walks on Princess Diana Street in Huambo, Angola, on day five of the royal tour of Africa, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. (AP)
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Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, sits alone beneath the Diana Tree on day five of the royal tour of Africa, in Huambo, Angola September 27, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 27 September 2019

Prince Harry follows in mother Diana’s footsteps on visit to Angola

  • Harry visited Huambo, retracing his mother’s steps on a street that was once a path in a dangerous minefield
  • The pictures of Diana wearing protective gear as she walked among red skull-and-crossbone signs in Huambo in January 1997 won publicity for the HALO Trust, which was clearing mines left during Angola’s civil war

JOHANNESBURG: Britain’s Prince Harry followed in his late mother’s footsteps on Friday, wearing a protective vest and visor during a visit to a de-mining project in Angola that echoed a famous series of images taken of Princess Diana more than 20 years ago.
Queen Elizabeth’s grandson and sixth in line to the British throne visited a de-mining field outside Dirico, a town in Angola’s Cuando Cubango province, where, wearing a safety vest, he remotely detonated a mine in a controlled explosion. He also met community members.
Harry then visited Huambo, retracing his mother’s steps on a street that was once a path in a dangerous minefield.
The 35-year-old walked down Princess Diana Street and sat beneath the Diana Tree, the spot where his mother, who campaigned for a global ban on mines, was photographed.
“It has been emotional retracing my mother’s steps along this street 22 years on, and to see the transformation that has taken place, from an unsafe and desolate place into a vibrant community of local businesses and colleges,” Harry said.
“But let us not lose sight of the reality. Twenty two years after my mother visited Angola, there are still more than 1,000 minefields in this beautiful country that remain to be cleared. I wonder if she was still alive whether that would still be the case. I’m pretty sure she would have seen it through.”
The pictures of Diana wearing protective gear as she walked among red skull-and-crossbone signs in Huambo in January 1997 won publicity for the HALO Trust, which was clearing mines left during Angola’s civil war.
They were taken a few months before her death in Paris in a car crash. The international treaty to ban the weapons was signed later the same year.
Harry’s visit to Angola is part of a southern African trip by him, Meghan and their four-month-old son Archie. Their first overseas tour as a family began in South Africa on Monday.
They drew crowds of well-wishers on their first three days in Cape Town, where they visited non-governmental organizations working with vulnerable communities and young people and met Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu.
While Meghan and Archie stayed in South Africa, Harry headed to Botswana on Thursday.
In June, he threw his weight behind mine clearance efforts in Angola, saying land mines were “a humanitarian issue and not a political one.”
The land mines were planted during Angola’s 27-year civil war, which ended in 2002. Many people remain displaced and thousands have been left with disabilities from land mines which continue to maim and kill.
Harry has been visiting southern Africa for two decades for holidays and conservation work.
He ends the solo section of his tour on Tuesday in Malawi, where he will meet President Peter Mutharika and pay tribute at the memorial site for British soldier Guardsman Mathew Talbot, who was killed in May while taking part in counter poaching operations in the country.
Harry will then rejoin Meghan and Archie for a township visit on Wednesday near Johannesburg. They will meet Graca Machel, widow of South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, and President Cyril Ramaphosa before departing for London.


India, Pakistan exchange fire in Kashmir, killing 9

Updated 24 min 42 sec ago

India, Pakistan exchange fire in Kashmir, killing 9

  • Pakistan’s army later said that “unprovoked cease-fire violations” by Indian troops killed five civilians and one soldier
  • India and Pakistan have a long history of bitter relations over Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India: Pakistani and Indian soldiers traded fire in disputed Kashmir on Sunday, killing at least nine people on both sides, officials said.
The Indian military said Pakistani soldiers targeted an Indian border post and civilian areas along the highly militarized frontier in Kashmir early in the day, leaving two army soldiers and a civilian dead.
Col. Rajesh Kalia, an Indian army spokesman, said three Indian civilians were also injured in the Pakistani firing. Kalia called it an “unprovoked” violation of a 2003 cease-fire accord between India and Pakistan.
Pakistan’s army later said that “unprovoked cease-fire violations” by Indian troops killed five civilians and one soldier and wounded another three civilians and two troops across the highly militarized Line of Control that divides Kashmir between Pakistan and India.
The army said Indian troops targeted civilians in Jura, Shahkot and Nousehri sectors. It said Pakistani forces responded with heavy fire on Indian soldiers.
India and Pakistan have a long history of bitter relations over Kashmir, which is divided between the rivals but claimed by both in its entirety. The renewed fighting comes amid an ongoing lockdown in Kashmir that was put in place after India stripped the region of its semi-autonomy in early August.
Since then, soldiers from the two nations have regularly engaged in cross-border shelling and firing along their de facto frontier in Kashmir, where rebel groups are fighting for the territory to be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country. In the past, each side has accused the other of starting the hostilities in violation of the 2003 accord.
India accuses Pakistan of arming and training anti-India rebels and also helping them by providing gunfire as cover for incursions into the Indian side. Pakistan denies this, saying it offers only moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris who oppose Indian rule.
Rebels have been fighting Indian rule since 1989. Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the armed uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown.
On Aug. 5, India’s Hindu nationalist-led government stripped Kashmir of its semi-autonomous status and imposed a strict crackdown, sending in tens of thousands more additional troops to the region, which is already one of the highest militarized zones in the world. India has arrested thousands of activists and separatist leaders in the days leading up to and after the revoking of Kashmir’s special status.
More than two months later, the region remains under a communications blockade. Authorities have restored landline and some cellphone services, but the Internet remains suspended.