AFGHANISTAN: Afghanistan acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 11 September 2002. Since the war and dramatic political and military changes in late 2001 and early 2002, mine action activities have expanded greatly. Mine action funding for Afghanistan for 2002 totaled approximately US$64 million, more than four times the 2001 total. Mine action agencies surveyed approximately 25.4 square kilometers of mined land and 92.6 square kilometers of former battlefield area in 2002. They cleared 22.5 square kilometers of mined land and 88.6 square kilometers of battlefield areas, destroying 36,761 antipersonnel mines, 2,769 antivehicle mines, and 873,234 items of UXO. The UN temporarily halted demining operations in eastern and southern provinces due to a series of attacks on demining staff and other humanitarian aid workers that began in April 2003. In 2002, more than 3.4 million civilians, including returning refugees and displaced persons, received mine risk education. The ICRC recorded 1,286 new landmine/UXO casualties in 2002, although it is believed that many casualties are not reported.
ALBANIA: More than seven million square meters of land was declared mine free in 2002, through impact survey, technical survey, and clearance. Some $2.7 million was spent on mine action in Albania in 2002. A National Mine Action Plan for 2003-2005 has been formulated. In August 2002, a workshop was held to review and revise the mine risk education strategy in Albania. Albania ratified CCW Amended Protocol II on 28 August 2002.
ALGERIA: Algeria submitted its initial Article 7 report on 1 May 2003, declaring a stockpile of 165,080 antipersonnel mines. Algeria intends to retain 15,030 mines for training and research, one of the highest totals for any State Party. Algeria estimates that more than 3 million mines are planted on its territory. Algeria accuses “terrorists” of continuing to use improvised mines.
ANGOLA:Angola ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 5 July 2002. Mine action funding for Angola in 2002 totaled approximately $21.2 million, a very significant increase from 2001. The National Inter-Sectoral Commission on Demining and Humanitarian Assistance is taking over coordination of mine action activities. INAROEE is being restructured as the National Institute for Demining. During 2002 and the first quarter of 2003, mine action NGOs reported clearing more than 2.8 million square meters of land, surveying more than 7.8 million square meters of land, and destroying more than 5,000 mines and 13,000 UXO. INAROEE reported that 543,713 people received mine risk education in 2002 and 287 new landmine/UXO casualties were recorded in 2002, compared to 673 casualties in 2001. However, non-governmental and UN sources insisted that the number of landmine incidents increased dramatically during 2002 and early 2003.
ARGENTINA: In 2002, a total of 8,004 antipersonnel mines were removed from stockpiles and rendered inert or transformed into antivehicle mine fuzes. In June 2003, the OAS and Argentina signed an agreement for cooperation and technical assistance for stockpile destruction. Argentina plans to destroy its remaining stockpile of about 90,000 antipersonnel mines between June and December 2003.
AUSTRALIA: In FY 2002/3, Australia estimates spending A$14.5 million (US$8.7 million) on mine action activities, an increase from the previous year. In September 2002, Australia was named co-rapporteur of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration.
AUSTRIA: Austria has served as co-chair of the Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention since September 2002. Austria has continued to play a key role in promoting universalization and full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty. Austrian funding for mine action in 2002 more than doubled to €2.06 million (US$1.96 million), including €1.27 million for Afghanistan.
BANGLADESH: Bangladesh submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report on 28 August 2002 and its annual update on 29 April 2003. Bangladesh for the first time reported a stockpile of 204,227 antipersonnel mines, and indicated it will retain 15,000 antipersonnel mines for training. National implementation legislation is being prepared. Bangladesh is expected to become co-rapporteur of the Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction in September 2003. No new mine casualties were reported in 2002 or early 2003.
BELGIUM: Belgium continued to play a key role in promoting universalization and full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty. Belgian Ambassador Jean Lint served as President of the Fourth Meeting of States Parties and Chair of the Coordinating Committee from September 2002 to September 2003. Belgium also served as co-chair of the Standing Committee on Mine Clearance from September 2002 to September 2003. On 12-13 November 2002, Belgium hosted a seminar in Brussels for African countries on transparency reporting under Article 7 of the treaty. Belgium contributed €4.7 million (US$4.5 million) to mine action in 2002, including research and development, a significant increase from 2001.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: A national Landmine Impact Survey began in October 2002 and is due to be completed in December 2003. In May 2003, the area suspected to be contaminated by mines and unexploded ordnance was estimated at more than 2,000 square kilometers. The Council of Ministers in April 2003 approved a demining strategy for BiH for 2002 to 2010, which has the objective of freeing BiH from the threat of mines and UXO by 2010. Six million square meters of land was cleared in 2002. Weapons caches containing landmines continue to be uncovered in BiH. In 2002, landmine/UXO incidents killed 26 civilians and injured 46 others, a decrease from the 87 casualties in 2001.
CAMBODIA: In 2002, a total of 34.7 million square meters of land was cleared, including 41,030 antipersonnel mines. In 2002, 834 new mine and UXO casualties were reported, a small increase from 2001. In September 2002, Cambodia became co-rapporteur of the Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies. In March 2003, Cambodia hosted a regional seminar “Building a Co-operative Future for Mine Action in South East Asia.”
CANADA: Canada continued to play a key leadership role in promoting universalization and full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty. On 29 November 2002, the Canadian Landmine Fund was renewed, with C$72 million to be spent over the next five years. Canada provided C$24.3 million (US$16.4 million) to mine action activities during its 2002/2003 fiscal year. Canada sponsored regional meetings to promote the Mine Ban Treaty in Afghanistan, Armenia, Croatia, and Ukraine. Canada supported stockpile destruction in Chad, Mozambique, Romania, Ukraine and Yemen.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: The Central African Republic acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 8 November 2002 and became a State Party on 1 May 2003. Antivehicle landmines were reportedly used in October 2002 by opposition forces during an attempted military coup. Those opposition forces subsequently seized power in March 2003. The new government denies use of mines and has reaffirmed its adherence to the Mine Ban Treaty.
CHAD: Chad completed destruction of its stockpile of 4,490 antipersonnel landmines, and decided to retain no mines for training. Chad has developed a “National Strategic Plan to Fight Mines and UXO: 2002-2015.” The German NGO HELP reports clearing 1,935,000 square meters of land in 2002, destroying 2,970 mines and 6,904 UXO. The Military Hospital in N'djamena registered 200 new mine casualties in 2002, of which 54 were civilians.
CHILE: As of May 2003, Chile had destroyed 201,446 stockpiled antipersonnel mines and was on track for completion by August 2003. Chile revised downward the number of antipersonnel mines it will retain for training and development to 6,245 mines. Chile submitted its initial Article 7 Report on 5 September 2002 and an updated report on 30 April 2003. The Article 7 Report contains previously unreported information on a mined area in Region V, the densely populated central region of the country. Chile’s National Demining Commission was officially constituted on 19 August 2002 and completed its National Demining Plan on 10 January 2003. Demining is expected to commence in 2004.
COLOMBIA: The use of mines by guerrilla and paramilitary forces has increased considerably. The government reported 638 incidents of mine use in 2002. All but two of the country’s 32 departments are now mine-affected. The number of reported casualties to mines and unexploded ordnance more than doubled from 216 in 2001 to 530 in 2002. Another 151 new casualties were recorded between January and 15 April 2003.
A National Mine Action Plan was approved on 27 February 2003. In March 2003, Colombia and the Organization of American States signed an Agreement on Cooperation and Technical Assistance for mine action. No systematic humanitarian demining is underway, but mine risk education activities are expanding.
Colombia’s national implementation legislation, Law 759, came into effect on 25 July 2002. Colombia began its stockpile destruction program in June 2003 and plans to complete it in February 2005. Colombia has served as co-chair of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socioeconomic Reintegration since September 2002. A United Nations report released in February 2003 contains a serious allegation of use of antipersonnel landmines by the Colombian Army. The Colombian government has indicated only command-detonated Claymore mines, permissible under the Mine Ban Treaty, were used.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: The Democratic Republic of Congo acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 2 May 2002. A National Commission to Fight Antipersonnel Mines was created on 6 May 2002. The DRC submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report on 30 April 2003. It identified 165 mined or suspected mined areas in 11 provinces. Handicap International Belgium conducted several preliminary landmine surveys and emergency assessment missions. Between June 2001 and April 2003, HIB cleared 25,756 square meters of land in Kisangani and surrounding areas. Limited mine clearance has been also been conducted by militaries and MONUC. In 2002 and 2003, HIB destroyed about 1,660 antipersonnel mines stockpiled by rebel forces. There has been ongoing, and apparently increased, use of antipersonnel mines by a number of rebel groups in 2002 and 2003.
REPUBLIC OF CONGO: The Republic of Congo submitted its first Article 7 Report on 12 September 2002 and an annual update on 30 April 2003. It reports a stockpile of 5,090 mines, of which 372 will be retained for training. The Republic of Congo hosted a workshop on the Implementation of the Ottawa Convention and Mine Action in the DRC and in the Republic of Congo, in Brazzaville on 7 and 8 May 2003. Draft implementation legislation is under consideration.
CROATIA: Destruction of Croatia’s stockpile of 199,003 antipersonnel mines was completed in October 2002. In 2002, Croatia returned 60.4 square kilometers of land to the community through clearance and survey. Croatia reports mine action expenditures of KN342 million (US$44 million) in 2002, nearly 50 percent more than in 2001. In May 2003, Croatia expressed its intention to be mine-free by March 2009. In 2002, the CROMAC database recorded 29 new casualties. Croatia served as co-chair of the Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction until September 2002, and has served as co-rapporteur of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance since that time. Croatia became a party to CCW Amended Protocol II on 25 October 2002.
CYPRUS: Cyprus ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 17 January 2003 and became a State Party on 1 July 2003. Cyprus has reported a stockpile of 48,615 antipersonnel mines. Mine clearance operations are ongoing in a number of areas close to the buffer zone and plans for demining inside the zone have been announced.
CZECH REPUBLIC: In May 2003, at an arms fair in Brno, the Czech company Policske Strojirny reportedly displayed and offered for sale Horizont PD-Mi-PK antivehicle mines in tripwire-activation mode. The ICBL believes such mines are prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty. The Czech Republic has decided to withdraw from stockpiles “old-fashioned antivehicle mines” and replace them by “newer, less dangerous devices.”
DJIBOUTI: On 2 March 2003, Djibouti destroyed its stockpile of 1,118 antipersonnel mines. It retained 2,996 for training purposes. In 2002, 4,986 square meters of land was cleared and 221 antipersonnel mines were destroyed. On 16 January 2003, Djibouti submitted its first Article 7 transparency report.
ECUADOR: According to the OAS, demining activities gained momentum in Ecuador in 2002. In March 2003, the OAS reported that a total of 61,649 square meters of land had been cleared of 4,286 antipersonnel mines. Impact surveys and technical studies were carried out in 2002 and 2003 in a number of provinces. The National Mine Clearance Plan for 2003-2004 was approved on 17 December 2002. Ecuador reported that antipersonnel mines were laid from 1995 to 1998, which indicates that Ecuador used antipersonnel mines after signing the Mine Ban Treaty in December 1997, but prior to entry into force in 1999. Ecuador reported corrections to the number of stockpiled mines destroyed and the number of mines retained.
EL SALVADOR: On 20 February 2003, El Salvador completed destruction of its stockpiled antipersonnel mines, ahead of its treaty-mandated deadline of 1 July 2003. During field research in September 2002, the International Demining Group identified 33 sites suspected of being affected by unexploded ordnance.
ERITREA: A national Landmine Impact Survey began in May 2002. In July 2002, the Eritrean government announced the establishment of the Eritrean Demining Authority to manage and coordinate mine action in Eritrea. The previous government coordinating bodies were disbanded, the national mine action NGO closed, and most international mine action NGOs were expelled from the country. United Nations demining support for the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission began in late 2002. Eritrea has not submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report, which was due on 31 July 2002.
FRANCE: France increased its mine action funding in 2002 to more than $3.5 million. France has served as co-chair of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration since September 2002. The mandate of the National Commission for the Elimination of Antipersonnel Mines was renewed in October 2002 for another three years.
GERMANY: Government funding for humanitarian mine action in 2002 amounted to €20.4 million, an increase of nearly 50 percent from 2001. The German Parliament passed a resolution in June 2002 urging the government to work nationally and internationally toward a ban of all antivehicle mines equipped with sensitive fuzes. In June 2003, Germany expressed its view that antivehicle mines with breakwire, tripwire and tilt rod fuzes “seem unable to be designed in such a way that an individual cannot initiate the mine and are therefore not a recommended method of detonation.”
GUATEMALA: The date for completion of the clearance program has been moved up from 2005 to 2004. Clearance operations in San Marcos department were completed on 15 December 2002, with 8,342 square meters of land returned to communities. Guatemala has served as co-rapporteur of the Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction since September 2002.
GUINEA: Guinea’s treaty-mandated deadline for stockpile destruction was 1 April 2003. Guinea has not met its obligation to submit an initial Article 7 transparency report, and annual updates, and has not informed the United Nations or other States Parties if it has met its obligation to destroy all stockpiled antipersonnel mines within four years of entry into force.
GUINEA-BISSAU: In September 2002, Guinea-Bissau destroyed 1,000 of its 4,997 stockpiled mines. The remainder are scheduled to be destroyed in 2003. In June 2003, CAAMI reported that 390,000 square meters of land had been cleared since 2000, including 2,400 antipersonnel mines. LUTCAM, the second domestic mine clearance NGO in Guinea-Bissau, started field operations in February 2003. Since mid-2001, 112 mine risk education activists and 260 community liaison agents have been trained, and have reached some 30,000 people.
HUNGARY: In 2002, the Hungarian Army found 359,802 explosive items, including 15 live landmines from World War II. In 2002, Hungary manufactured a small quantity of a new Claymore-type munition (designated IHR), as one part of a proposed system to replace antipersonnel mines. Hungary has destroyed the last of its antivehicle mines equipped with tilt rods.
ITALY: Italy completed the destruction of its stockpile of more than 7.1 million antipersonnel mines in November 2002. Italy provided a total of €9.91 million (US$8.65 million) in mine action funding in 2002, a very significant increase from 2001. In 2002, Italian armed forces carried out demining in Afghanistan and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and mine risk education in Kosovo. Italy has served as co-rapporteur of the Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction since September 2002. In April 2003, the Italian Campaign to Ban Landmines hosted the annual Global Landmine Monitor Researchers Meeting in Rome.
JAPAN: On 8 February 2003, Japan completed destruction of its 1,000,089 stockpiled antipersonnel mines. In 2002, Japan’s contributed ¥5,499 million (US$49.4 million) to mine action, which is nearly seven times the level of 2001. Mine action programs in Afghanistan received almost half of the 2002 funds. Japan exceeded its five-year pledge, contributing ¥10.34 billion ($91.3 million) to mine action from 1998-2002. Japan has served as co-rapporteur of the Standing Committee on Mine Clearance since September 2002.
JORDAN: Jordan completed the destruction of its stockpile of 92,342 antipersonnel mines on 23 April 2003. The Jordanian Army Engineering Corps cleared 20 minefields in 2002, which allowed the implementation of one of Jordan’s important national irrigation projects to proceed. Jordanian deminers were deployed to Afghanistan in December 2002 to clear mines at Bagram and Kandahar.
KENYA: Pending formal approval in September 2003, Kenya will host the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty at UN facilities in Nairobi from 29 November–3 December 2004. Kenya has served as co-chair of the Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies since September 2002. In April 2003, Kenya’s Department of Defense confirmed plans for destruction of its antipersonnel mine stockpile in 2003. In response to demands from the local population, the Kenyan military has begun some risk education in areas contaminated with unexploded ordnance.
LIBERIA: Liberia has not submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report, which was due on 28 November 2000. Liberia is one of the very few States Parties that have not yet officially confirmed or denied the existence of a stockpile of antipersonnel mines.
LITHUANIA: Lithuania ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 12 May 2003, and will become a State Party on 1 November 2003.In July 2002, Lithuania submitted a voluntary Article 7 Report, in which it declared a stockpile of 8,091 antipersonnel mines and indicated its intent to retain the entire stockpile for training purposes. In 2002, 4,999 items of UXO and landmines were detected and destroyed.
MACEDONIA (FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF):The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia completed destruction of its stockpile of 38,921 antipersonnel mine stockpile on 20 February 2003. In 2002, a total of nearly 3.9 million square meters of land was cleared, destroying 19 mines and 131 UXO.
MALAWI: Malawi submitted its initial Article 7 report on 28 February 2003, acknowledging suspected mined areas along the border with Mozambique. Malawi is seeking funds for survey activities on the border. The military has not carried out any demining activities, but the government plans to provide funds for mine clearance in its budget year beginning July 2003. Implementation legislation is being prepared.
MAURITANIA: On 22 July 2002, Mauritania created a National Commission in charge of the mine issue. Implementing legislation has been prepared and is being considered. Instead of keeping 5,728 mines for training, Mauritania will destroy 4,885 mines and retain 843. The National Humanitarian Demining Office estimates about 310,000 square kilometers (one-third of the country) is affected or suspected to be affected by mines and UXO. A level one survey was conducted in Nouadhibou in February-March 2003. Between April 2000 and April 2003, a total of 5,294 mines and 5,098 UXO were cleared and destroyed.
MOZAMBIQUE: Mozambique completed destruction of its stockpile of 37,318 antipersonnel mines on 28 February 2003, meeting its treaty-mandated deadline. Mozambique decided to retain 1,427 mines for training purposes, instead of none as it previously reported. In April 2003, the National Demining Institute reported it had re-evaluated information from the 2001 Landmine Impact Survey and decided to reduce its estimate of mined areas by 38 percent, from 558 million square meters to 346 million square meters. The National Demining Institute reported clearance of a total of 8.9 million square meters of land in 2002, although there is conflicting data.Mozambique reports that from January 2002 to March 2003, mine risk education was provided to 202,334 persons, and 100 MRE facilitators were trained.
NAMIBIA: Namibia’s deadline for stockpile destruction was 1 March 2003. It has made no official declarations about its stockpiles or their destruction, although it did inform Landmine Monitor in a July 2001 letter that it had destroyed all stocks, except those retained for training. Namibia still has not submitted its initial Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 transparency report, which was due by 28 August 1999. In 2002, the Namibia Development Corporation reportedly paid to demine dozens of 30-hectare plots in the West Caprivi region that had been mined between 1999 and 2001.
THE NETHERLANDS: Mine action funding in 2002 totaled more than $16 million, a significant increase over 2001. Stockpile destruction was completed in December 2002, with the destruction of 5,984 Gator antipersonnel mines. The Netherlands also destroyed 10,000 DM31 antivehicle mines. The Netherlands has served as co-rapporteur of the Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention since September 2002, and will become co-chair of the committee in September 2003.
NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand has been a highly active participant in the Mine Ban Treaty intersessional work program. It is expected to be named Co-Rapporteur of the Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention in September 2003. It has continued its efforts to promote universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty, particularly in the Pacific region. New Zealand’s mine action funding fell in its financial year 2001/2002 and again in 2002/2003.
NICARAGUA: On 28 August 2002, Nicaragua completed the destruction of the last of its 133,435 stockpiled antipersonnel mines. In 2002, according to the OAS, 339,032 square meters of land were cleared and 5,479 antipersonnel mines were destroyed. In March 2003, Nicaragua reported the completion of mine clearance operations in the departments of Chinandega, Chontales, Boaco, and Región Autónoma del Atlántico Sur.
NORWAY: In 2002, Norway provided US$25.5 million in funding for mine action, a significant increase from 2001. Norway’s five-year commitment of US$120 million to mine action activities came to an end, but officials have stated that Norway intends to maintain the same level of funding in the coming years. Norway continued to play a key leadership role in promoting full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty and in the intersessional work program. At Norway’s initiative, a contact group on resource mobilization was established at the Fourth Meeting of States Parties. Norway reported that US antipersonnel mines stockpiled in Norway were removed in November 2002. In 2002, the Norwegian Petroleum Fund terminated its investments in Singapore Technologies due to that company’s production of antipersonnel mines. In September 2002, a conference was held in Oslo, “The Future of Humanitarian Mine Action,” marking the fifth anniversary of the negotiation in Oslo of the Mine Ban Treaty. In 2002, Norwegian Defense Forces participated in mine clearance operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan.
PERÚ: Perú has served as the co-chair of the Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention since September 2002. On 13 December 2002, Perú officially created the Peruvian Center for Mine Action, “Contraminas,” responsible for mine action planning and policy-making. A national mine action plan is being drafted. In 2002, the Army completed mine clearance of the Zarumilla Canal, its source at La Palma, and the area leading to the international bridge at Aguas Verdes. Between June 2002 and May 2003, the National Police and SIMA cleared 17,651 mines from around 688 high-tension electrical towers. Mine risk education was provided for the first time in 2002 to many of the people living near the towers.
PHILIPPINES:Three rebel groups used landmines or improvised explosive devices: New People’s Army, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and Abu Sayyaf Group. Use by the MILF violated its written commitments to a mine ban in April 2002 and September 2002. In May 2003, national implementation legislation was introduced in Congress.
QATAR: Qatar submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report, indicating that it is not mine-affected, and that it has never used, produced or exported antipersonnel mines, and has no stockpile of live mines. Qatar provided some clarifications regarding its position on US mines stockpiled in Qatar and on joint military operations with non-States Parties.
ROMANIA: Romania destroyed 486,000 antipersonnel mines from April 2002 to April 2003. Romania has served as co-chair of the Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction since September 2002. In February 2003, Romania became Chair of the Reay Group on Mine Action. Government Decision 1326 was published on 4 December 2002, establishing an Interdepartmental Working Group to coordinate implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty.
RWANDA: A level one survey was carried out October 2002-January 2003, which determined that 46 percent of Rwanda’s mined areas had been cleared. From 1995 to 2002, a total of 1,220 mines and 27,791 UXO were cleared. No mine risk education activities were conducted in 2002, due largely to a lack of funding. A government committee was created in July 2002 to draft national implementation legislation.
SENEGAL: A mine clearance plan has been developed, to be carried out in three phases over a five-year period. In 2002, Handicap International provided mine risk education training to 375 agents, and a total of 59,583 people were reached with MRE activities. In 2002, at least 56 new mine casualties were reported.
SIERRA LEONE: Sierra Leone has not submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report, which was due on 30 March 2002. It is not known to have enacted any of the required national implementation measures.
SLOVAKIA: In 2002, Slovak forces conducted demining in Afghanistan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Kosovo. In May 2002, Slovakia donated a Bozena demining machine to the International Trust Fund for use in Croatia.
SLOVENIA:Slovenia completed the destruction of its antipersonnel mine stockpile on 25 March 2003. Slovenia clarified its position on antivehicle mines with sensitive fuzes. In December 2002, Slovenia ratified Amended Protocol II of the CCW. The Slovenian-based International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance raised nearly $30 million in 2002, a significant increase from 2001. In 2002, the ITF funded projects that cleared 11.4 million square meters of land in South East Europe. In July 2002, the ITF co-organized a workshop on landmine victim assistance in Southeastern Europe.
SOUTH AFRICA: The South African Parliament passed domestic implementation legislation in April 2003. South Africa has continued to play a leading role in the intersessional work program of the Mine Ban Treaty and in promoting universalization and full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty among African States.
SURINAME: Suriname ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 23 May 2002, and the treaty entered into force on 1 November 2002. In March 2003, the Minister of Defense established an inter-ministerial Commission on Antipersonnel Mines.
SWEDEN: Sweden’s funding for mine action decreased significantly in 2002, to about SEK71 million (US$7.3 million). The government presented a new strategy on mine action in May 2002. In March 2003, the Bofors Company revealed to Landmine Monitor that it held 7,069 antipersonnel mines, not 4,000 as previously reported by the government. Sweden subsequently reported that this increased the number of mines retained for training and development to 16,015. The Swedish Rescue Service Agency in 2002 and 2003 provided mine action assistance, mainly quality assurance, in five countries. Sweden continued to invest significantly in research and development on mine detection and clearance technologies.
SWITZERLAND: In 2002, Swiss funding for mine action increased to more than $9 million, with nearly half going to the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining. Countries receiving Swiss funding for the first time were Afghanistan, Angola, Colombia, Ethiopia, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka. Switzerland served as Secretary-General of the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in September 2002, and became co-chair of the Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction.
TAJIKISTAN: Tajikistan began participating in Mine Ban Treaty-related meetings in September 2002. It submitted an initial transparency measures report on 3 February 2003, which declared a stockpile of 3,339 antipersonnel mines under the control of its forces and 18,200 mines under the control of Russian forces. Tajikistan began destroying its stockpiled mines in August 2002. Russian and Uzbek forces laid mines inside Tajikistan as late as 2001. Tajikistan has provided detailed information on areas that contain mines and areas suspected of containing mines. In May 2003, the first internationally-funded mine action program began. As of June 2003, an Executive Mine Action Cell was being formed.
TANZANIA:Tanzania submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report on 5 February 2003 and an update on 30 April 2003. It declared a stockpile of 23,987 antipersonnel mines. Tanzania intends to retain 1,146 antipersonnel mines for training and research. On 27 March 2003, Tanzania destroyed its first 9,837 antipersonnel mines and it has developed a plan to complete destruction by September 2004.
TUNISIA: Tunisia has destroyed another 13,684 stockpiled antipersonnel mines, and plans to complete destruction in September 2003. In June 2003, an inter-ministerial committee to coordinate implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty was established. MAG and UNMAS conducted assessment missions in December 2002 and January 2003 to examine Tunisia’s mine clearance needs.
TURKMENISTAN: Turkmenistan reported that it completed its stockpile destruction on 28 February 2003, destroying almost 700,000 antipersonnel mines in a seventeen-month period. Turkmenistan is retaining 69,200 mines for training purposes, far more than any other State Party. The ICBL has called this a violation of the Mine Ban Treaty.
UGANDA: Uganda completed destruction of its stockpile of antipersonnel mines in July 2003. Increased conflict with Lord’s Resistance Army rebels in the northern districts has seen new use of antipersonnel mines by LRA forces. Mine risk education activities were hampered by continuing insecurity, as well as lack of funds.
UNITED KINGDOM: The UK provided £10.7 million (US$16 million) to mine action in financial year 2002-2003, a decrease from £12 million in 2001-2002. In May 2003, the UK announced £4 million ($6 million) for mine clearance and coordination of mine action in Iraq. The UK decided to reduce the number of mines retained under Article 3, destroying 3,116 mines by June 2003. The UK has further elaborated its views on the issue of joint operations with non-States Parties that may use antipersonnel mines, and clarified its position that transit of antipersonnel mines is prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty. The UK has stated that tripwires, break wires and tilt rods are not acceptable methods of detonating antivehicle mines. Two British nationals were killed and three others injured in landmine/UXO explosions in 2002 and early 2003.
URUGUAY: Uruguay destroyed another 400 stockpiled antipersonnel mines in June and October 2002. In 2002 and 2003, eighteen Army deminers took part in the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
VENEZUELA: Venezuela submitted its initial Article 7 Report in September 2002, for the first time revealing information about its landmine stockpile. It submitted an updated report in May 2003 which included a revised stockpile total of 46,135 antipersonnel mines. From 7-14 May 2003, 35,360 of those mines were destroyed. Venezuela has reported that it laid antipersonnel mines in May 1998, five months after signing the Mine Ban Treaty.
YEMEN: By the end of 2002, six of the fourteen high impact communities had been cleared of mines and declared safe. Technical surveys of the other high impact communities were completed. In 2002, eighteen mined areas were cleared, totaling 1,176,406 square meters. Survey teams engaged in area reduction of 570,625 square meters and marked another 3,451,895 square meters. In 2002, 204 antipersonnel mines, 151 antivehicle mines, and 25,361 UXO were destroyed in clearance and survey operations.
ZAMBIA: In 2002, 721 kilometers of road along Lake Kariba were cleared to open up the area for a US$50 million World Bank development project. A level one survey was carried out in Western Province in November 2002. Zambia will destroy some of the 6,691 antipersonnel mines initially designated to be retained for training.
ZIMBABWE: In 2002, a National Authority on Mine Action was established to formulate a national mine action plan. The Zimbabwe Mine Action Center was formed to coordinate all mine action in the country. In 2002, 85 kilometers of the Victoria Falls minefield were cleared, destroying 16,000 mines.
BURUNDI: There continue to be credible allegations of antipersonnel landmine use by government and rebel forces. The government strongly denies the charges. On 2 December 2002, the transitional government of Burundi and the CNDD-FDD signed a cease-fire agreement that prohibits all laying of mines by either party. It also contains obligations for marking and mapping of minefields, as well as mine clearance. On 25 March 2003, a draft law for ratification of the Mine Ban Treaty was adopted by the Council of Ministers; it was then adopted by the Senate on 18 June 2003. In 2002, there were at least 114 new civilian mine/UXO casualties reported in Burundi.
ETHIOPIA: The country’s first humanitarian demining program started in mid-2002. By January 2003, it had cleared 396,555 square meters of land in Tigray, destroying 132 antipersonnel landmines, 12 antivehicle mines and 251 UXO. A national Landmine Impact Survey is due to be completed in October 2003. In 2002, mine risk education reached 301,372 people. Mine action funding totaled more than US$8.7 million in 2002. Ethiopia hosted the ICBL/Landmine Monitor Africa-wide regional meeting in December 2002. In 2002, 67 new landmine/UXO casualties were reported.
GREECE: Greece has completed domestic measures necessary to ratify the Mine Ban Treaty and on 3 May 2003, Greece and Turkey issued a joint statement that they would adhere to the treaty simultaneously. In March 2003, the Ministry of Defense for the first time revealed the size of Greece’s stockpile of antipersonnel mines to be just over one million mines.
POLAND: Poland voluntarily submitted an Article 7 report on 5 March 2003, in which it declared a stockpile of more than one million antipersonnel mines. Poland’s First Lady opened an exhibition on landmines by expressing her hope that Poland would ratify the Mine Ban Treaty. In 2002, a total of 2,626 mines and 42,006 items of UXO were found and destroyed in Poland.
SUDAN:In May 2003, the Council of Ministers of Sudan officially endorsed the Mine Ban Treaty and transmitted it to the Parliament for ratification. Despite cease-fire agreements that include non-use of landmines, each side continues to allege mine use by the other. In September 2002, a memorandum of understanding was agreed to by the government of Sudan, the SPLM/A and UNMAS regarding UN mine action support to Sudan. UNMAS established a National Mine Action Center in Khartoum in September 2002 and a Southern Sudan Mine Action Coordination Office in Rumbek in February 2003. Mine clearance and mine risk education activities have expanded.
UKRAINE: Ukraine completed the destruction of nearly 405,000 PMN-type mines between July 2002 and May 2003. In 2002, Ukrainian deminers cleared 17,000 mines and UXO, most of them left from World War II.
ARMENIA: In 2002, the US trained and equipped 178 personnel at the new National Center for Humanitarian Mine Action, including the first demining company, medical technicians, and mine detecting dog handlers.
AZERBAIJAN: In September 2002, the Survey Action Center began a Landmine Impact Survey in Azerbaijan, conducted through the International Eurasia Press Fund and the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action. Preliminary information identified more than 650 communities in 27 regions as mine suspected, of which more than 80 percent were considered to be low impact. In 2002, two national NGOs cleared 1,118,000 square meters of land, marked another 1,221,000 square meters for clearance, and identified and registered another 66,352,000 square meters in 12 regions as mine-affected. In 2002, 30 mine risk education seminars were held in 12 mine-affected regions, which trained 525 medical staff.
BELARUS: On 28 July 2003, Belarus completed the domestic steps necessary to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty with the approval of Presidential Decree 330. Belarus destroyed 22,963 stockpiled antipersonnel mines in 2002. Its moratorium on the export of antipersonnel mines was extended through the end of 2007.
BURMA (MYANMAR): Myanmar’s military has continued laying landmines. At least 15 rebel groups also used mines, two more than last year: the New Mon State Party and the Hongsawatoi Restoration Party. Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams and ICBL Coordinator Liz Bernstein visited the country in February 2003.
ESTONIA:Estonia’s Prime Minister has stated that the government is seriously considering joining the Mine Ban Treaty and has started the process of internal deliberations for joining. In 2002, a total of 1,675 pieces of unexploded ordnance were destroyed.
GEORGIA: There continue to be reports of use of antipersonnel mines by Georgian military forces. Georgia strongly denies all allegations of use. NATO has agreed to provide assistance for clearance around both Georgian military sites and former Soviet military bases. In 2002, 70 new landmine/UXO casualties were recorded in Georgia.
INDIA: India laid large numbers of mines along its border with Pakistan between December 2001 and July 2002. The Indian Army started major mine clearance operations in October 2002. Numerous new civilian landmine casualties continue to be reported.
IRAQ: In 2003, Iraq underwent far-reaching political, military, and humanitarian changes. The conflict beginning in March 2003 increased the threats to civilians from landmines and unexploded ordnance, particularly abandoned Iraqi munitions and US and UK cluster munition duds. Iraqi forces laid landmines in several regions. The Humanitarian Operations Center has information on 317 minefields, 1,102 Coalition cluster munition strike sites, and 707 other UXO locations.
In mid-March 2003, the established mine action programs in northern Iraq (with the exception of the Mines Advisory Group) were for the most part suspended when conflict became imminent, but have since resumed and been extended into new areas. Mine action programs were initiated for the first time in southern Iraq after the main fighting ceased. The new United Nations Mine Action Coordination Team is overseeing UN mine action programs in Iraq. Several emergency survey and assessment projects were either planned or underway by June 2003 in various parts of Iraq. The United Nations appealed in March 2003 for $20.4 million for mine action in Iraq, as part of a six-month emergency response plan. Numerous countries have provided or promised funds for mine action, and notably the European Commission announced in June 2003 a contribution of €10 million.
In Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq in 2002, there were 457 recorded casualties due to mines or UXO; figures in Baghdad-controlled Iraq were unknown. The casualty rate in northern Iraq increased dramatically—by 90 percent according to the UN—during and after the 2003 hostilities.
REPUBLIC OF KOREA: In an unprecedented operation, South Korea cleared about 1,000 antipersonnel mines from inside the DMZ as part of the inter-Korean transportation projects. It also cleared 6,019 landmines in rear areas in 2002. The government confirmed it has a stockpile of two million antipersonnel mines.
KYRGYZSTAN: In January 2003, the Red Crescent Society of Kyrgyzstan, in coordination with the Ministry of Emergency Situations, initiated a community-based mine risk education program in Batken Oblast. The Red Crescent, together with the ICRC, conducted roundtables on landmines in Batken in February 2003 and in Bishkek in March 2003.
LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC: In mid-2002, a funding crisis led to significantly scaled-back clearance operations and forced the lay-off of nearly half of UXO LAO’s operational capacity. Operations have since gradually been resumed and staff re-hired. In 2002, 8.4 million square meters of land was cleared and 98,963 items of UXO destroyed. Mine risk education was provided in 683 villages, reaching 160,053 people. UXO LAO reported 99 mine/UXO casualties in nine provinces in 2002.
LATVIA: In April 2003, theLatvian Ambassador to the UN in Geneva said the country would probably join the Mine Ban Treaty in 2004. In May 2003, Latvia voluntarily submitted an Article 7 transparency report, in which it revealed a stockpile of 2,980 antipersonnel mines, kept only for training purposes. Latvia became a party to Amended Protocol II of the CCW on 22 August 2002. In 2002, 5,700 items of UXO were detected and destroyed.
LEBANON: Data collection for the national Landmine Impact Survey started in September 2002 and was completed in April 2003. In 2002, the Army reported demining 1.7 million square meters of land, destroying 7,973 antipersonnel mines, 139 antivehicle mines, and 8,109 UXO. As part of the $50 million United Arab Emirates “Operation Emirates Solidarity,” two commercial companies cleared 3.9 million square meters of land, removing and destroying 30,904 antipersonnel mines, 1,476 antivehicle mines, and 1,400 UXO in South Lebanon between May 2002 and May 2003. Between 1 May 2002 and 1 June 2003, mine risk education activities reached about 95,000 out of 180,000 students in South Lebanon, and as many as 500,000 people total. In 2002, 42 new landmine/UXO casualties were recorded in Lebanon, a significant decrease from the previous year.
NEPAL:For the first time, government and military officials have openly and officially acknowledged use of antipersonnel mines by security forces. An Army official also acknowledged production of antipersonnel mines. There was increased use of antipersonnel mines and Improvised Explosive Devices by both security forces and rebels in 2002, including use in all 75 districts. However, there has been little or no mine use by either side since the 29 January 2003 cease-fire. During a joint mission of the Nepal Campaign to Ban Landmines and the ICBL, both government and Maoist leaders expressed support for including a ban on landmines in the cease-fire code of conduct.
PAKISTAN: Pakistan states that it has cleared most of the minefields it laid following the December 2001 escalation of tensions with India. Landmine incidents in border areas with India and Afghanistan continue to be reported. In 2002, there were 111 reported landmine casualties, including 25 children. Tribesmen have used antivehicle mines in Baluchistan and Punjab. In January 2003, an NGO launched a pilot mine clearance project in the Bajaur Agency.
RUSSIAN FEDERATION: Russian forces continued to use antipersonnel mines in Chechnya in 2002 and 2003. Russia denied new allegations of mine use by Russian peacekeeping forces in Georgia in October 2002. In 2003, Russia for the first time publicly claimed that it destroyed more than 16.8 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines from 1996 through 2002. In November 2002, a senior military official stated that for the past eight years Russia has not produced or supplied to its troops antipersonnel mines of the PFM-1, PMN, PMN-2, and PMN-4 types. Russia’s eight-year export moratorium expired on 1 December 2002, but officials indicate that steps to formally extend it are underway. In November 2002, the ICRC hosted a regional conference on “Landmines and Explosive Remnants of War” in Moscow.
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO: On 20 June 2003, the Parliament passed legislation to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty. Legislative preparations for accession had been delayed by the constitutional restructuring of the country from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia into the new state of Serbia and Montenegro. The Ministry of Defense disclosed that Serbia and Montenegro holds a stockpile of just over 1.3 million antipersonnel mines. The Mine Action Center for Serbia and Montenegro estimated in March 2003 that 39 million square meters of land may be contaminated by mines and cluster submunitions. Mine incidents in southern Serbia have continued in 2002-2003, but it remains unclear if these represent new use.
SOMALIA: On 12 November 2002, representatives of 16 Somali factions meeting in Eldoret, Kenya, signed the Geneva Call Deed of Commitment banning antipersonnel mines. The United Nations Mine Action Program, which had in 2000 and 2001 taken exploratory stepsof setting up mine action officesin Mogadishu, Baidoa and Garowe, abandoned all such efforts because of insecurity in those areas.
SRI LANKA: In October 2002, the government announced its willingness to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty contingent upon reaching an agreement with the LTTE on the non-use of landmines. A citizens’ mine ban petition containing over one million signatures was handed to government and LTTE delegations during peace talks in Oslo in December 2002. The February 2002 cease-fire has enabled a significant expansion of mine action activities. A total of 16,356,485 square meters of land were cleared in 2002, including 36,880 mines and 10,198 UXO. Another 444,494 square meters were cleared from January to March 2003, including 17,966 mines and 2,951 UXO. The government has established a National Steering Committee on Mine Action. UNICEF and NGOs have increased mine risk education activities. In 2002, there were at least 142 new mine casualties reported in Sri Lanka, but the true number is believed to be higher.
TURKEY: On 12 March 2003, the Grand National Assembly unanimously adopted legislation for accession to the Mine Ban Treaty, which was subsequently signed by the President. On 3 May 2003, the foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey issued a joint statement that they would proceed to adhere to the treaty simultaneously. Also in May 2003, Turkey announced that its armed forces had started planning the destruction of the stockpile of antipersonnel mines. Turkey announced that mine clearance along the Turkish side of the border with Bulgaria was completed in mid-2002. Clearance elsewhere is ongoing. The government reported 21 new mine casualties in 2002, as compared to 58 new casualties in 2001. On 26 April 2003, Turkey without Mines organized the first national conference on antipersonnel mines, held in Istanbul.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: In fiscal year 2002, the US provided $76.9 million to international mine action programs in 37 countries, a decline of nearly $5 million from the previous year. The United States apparently did not use antipersonnel mines in Operation Iraqi Freedom, though it stockpiled mines in the region for possible use. The legislative moratorium on export of antipersonnel mines was extended six years to 23 October 2008. The Bush Administration has not concluded its review of US landmine policy, begun in June 2001. US forces are using minefields from the Soviet era as part of their perimeter defense at locations in Afghanistan, but the US has not reported how it is complying with its Amended Protocol II obligations regarding those minefields. The Pentagon reported in May 2002 that it “will not be able to meet” the 2006 target date to develop and field alternatives to antipersonnel mines. The budget request for landmine alternatives programs for FY 2003-2009 is $1.07 billion. The RADAM alternatives program was cancelled in FY 2002. Thirty-one US soldiers were killed or injured by landmines and unexploded ordnance in Iraq and Afghanistan in the first five months of 2003.
VIETNAM: Local survey data gives, for the first time, a detailed view of mine and UXO casualties and contamination in portions of two heavily-affected central provinces. Mine and UXO clearance, risk education, and survivor assistance projects continued to expand, including into new areas of the country.
ABKHAZIA: The Minister of Defense of Abkhazia stated that in mid-2002, both Abkhazian and Georgian troops mined areas around the Marukh mountain pass. In 2002, HALO Trust cleared 858,688 square meters of mine-affected land and destroyed 456 antipersonnel mines, 127 antivehicle mines, and 749 UXO.
CHECHNYA: Russian federal forces and Chechen rebels continued to use antipersonnel landmines. UNICEF and the ICRC continued mine risk education and survivor assistance programs in the North Caucuses. In 2002, the Chechen Ministry of Health reported 5,695 landmine and UXO casualties in Chechnya, including 938 children.
EUROPEAN UNION: In 2002, the European Commission allocated a total of €42 million ($40 million) to mine action, an increase of almost 50 percent compared to 2001. On 3 December 2002, the Commission adopted its “Mine Action Strategy 2002-2004.”
KOSOVO: During 2002, Kosovo Protection Corps operations cleared 203,360 square meters of land, destroying nine antipersonnel mines, 206 cluster submunitions, and 29 items of unexploded ordnance. Fourteen new dangerous areas were discovered. Total funding of mine action in Kosovo was $1.4 million. Recorded civilian casualties in 2002 range from 15 to 24, with most caused by unexploded ordnance.
PALESTINE: A National Mine Action Committee was created in August 2002. A UNICEF assessment of the landmine and UXO situation concluded that most affected areas are not properly fenced or marked, including Israeli military training zones. Mine Risk Education efforts have expanded.
SOMALILAND: A Landmine Impact Survey was completed in March 2003, which identified 357 affected communities, including 45 high impact and 102 medium impact. UNICEF and Handicap International conducted a Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices survey on landmines and UXO in Somaliland in September and October 2002. Three NGOs carried out demining activities in 2002, clearing 1.5 million square meters of mined land, and 20 million square meters of battle area. A total of 2,372 stockpiled antipersonnel mines and 18 antivehicle mines were destroyed in November 2002. Mine action coordination in Somaliland was seriously disrupted in 2002. Eight donors reported providing about US$5.55 million for mine action in Somaliland in 2002.
TAIWAN: Taiwan has transferred 42,175 antipersonnel mines to Germany for destruction. Taiwan contributed US$294,768 for mine clearance in Honduras. Legislation regarding the use, production, transfer, stockpiling and destruction of antipersonnel mines has been drafted.