Landmine Monitor 2002

Banning Antipersonnel Mines

The Mine Ban Treaty was opened for signature on 3 December 1997. After achieving the required 40 ratifications in September 1998, the Mine Ban Treaty entered into force on 1 March 1999, becoming binding international law. This is believed to be the fastest entry-into-force of any major multilateral treaty ever. Since 1 March 1999, states must accede and cannot simply sign the treaty with intent to ratify at a later date. For a state that ratifies or accedes now, the treaty enters into force for it on the first day of the sixth month after the date on which that state deposited its instrument of ratification. That state is then required to make its transparency report to the UN Secretary-General within 180 days (and annually thereafter), destroy stockpiled mines within four years, and destroy mines in the ground within 10 years. It is also required to take appropriate domestic implementation measures, including imposition of penal sanctions.


A total of 125 countries are States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, as of 31 July 2002.[3] Another 18 countries have signed, but not yet ratified the treaty.[4]Thus, a total of 143 countries have legally committed to the core obligations of the treaty, including no use of antipersonnel mines.[5]

Since the publication of Landmine Monitor Report 2001, eight more countries have become States Parties. Three countries have acceded: Eritrea (27 August 2001), Nigeria (27 September 2001), and the Democratic Republic of Congo (2 May 2002). Five countries have ratified: St. Vincent and the Grenadines (1 August 2001), Algeria (9 October 2001), Chile (10 September 2001), Suriname (23 May 2002), and Angola (5 July 2002).

It is noteworthy that three of these countries have used antipersonnel mines extensively in recent years, but with the emergence of peace initiatives have decided to foreswear any future use: Angola, DR Congo, and Eritrea. In addition to those three countries, new States Parties Algeria and Chile are also mine-affected. 

Considering the relatively short time that this issue has been before the international community, the number of States Parties and signatories -- three-quarters of the world’s nations -- is exceptional. This is a clear indication of the widespread international rejection of any use or possession of antipersonnel mines. 

Every country in the Western Hemisphere is a State Party or signatory except the U.S. and Cuba, every member of the European Union except Finland, every member of NATO except the U.S. and Turkey, 45 of the 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and such Asia-Pacific nations as Australia, Indonesia, Japan, and Thailand. 

Several of the most heavily mine-affected states are States Parties: Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Croatia, and Mozambique. Major past producers and exporters are now States Parties, including Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, and the United Kingdom. 

Many developments during the reporting period in countries not yet party to the Mine Ban Treaty are encouraging. The cabinet of the new transitional government of Afghanistan approved accession to the treaty on 29 July 2002. It is anticipated that the instrument of accession will be deposited with the UN soon. Greece and Turkey are in the final stages of fulfilling their joint commitment to deposit their instruments of ratification and accession, respectively, at the same time. In January 2002, the government of Cyprus introduced a bill to Parliament calling for early approval and ratification of the Mine Ban Treaty. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has initiated the process to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty; as of April 2002, the legislative proposal had been approved by the Federal Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Justice. 

Cameroon, the Central African Republic, and the Gambia have already completed the domestic process necessary for ratification, but have not yet formally submitted an instrument of ratification to the UN. Burundi’s Foreign Minister and other officials have indicated that Burundi is likely to ratify in 2002. Indonesia has drafted its ratification document; an Indonesian official said in May 2002 there were no major obstacles to ratification and that it was simply a matter of legislative priorities. The newly independent East Timor has stated its intention to accede to the treaty. The Cook Islands and São Tomé e Príncipe report that ratification procedures are nearly complete. In Guyana, a parliamentary motion for ratification of the treaty has been submitted to the National Assembly. 

Many States Parties are putting a high priority on promoting universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty. A Universalization Contact Group continues its work, coordinated by Canada, with participation by a number of States Parties, the ICBL, and the ICRC. In addition to many bilateral efforts to promote adherence to the Mine Ban Treaty, there have been important regional conferences aimed at universalization. (See ICBL chapter in this Landmine Monitor Report).

Virtually all of the non-signatories have endorsed the notion of a comprehensive ban on antipersonnel mines at some point in time, and many have already at least partially embraced the Mine Ban Treaty. United Nations General Assembly Resolution 56/24M calling for universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty was adopted on 29 November 2001 by a vote of 138 in favor, none opposed, and 19 abstentions. Twenty non-signatories voted for the resolution: Afghanistan, Armenia, Bahrain, Belarus, Bhutan, Comoros, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Latvia, Mongolia, Nepal, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yugoslavia. The 19 abstentions were three fewer than on a similar resolution last year.

Despite the large and growing number of States Parties, there is concern that the pace of new ratifications and accessions has slowed. There were three ratifications in December 1997 at the time of the treaty signing conference, then 55 ratifications/accessions in 1998, 32 in 1999, 19 in 2000, 13 in 2001, and three from January to July 2002. The eight new States Parties in this Landmine Monitor reporting period compares with seventeen States that joined the treaty in the previous reporting period (May 2000 to May 2001).

An increasingly curious situation is developing regarding the status of State Party Tajikistan. Although the United Nations records that Tajikistan acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 12 October 2000, it is not clear that Tajikistan considers itself a State Party formally bound by the treaty.

Fifty-one countries have not yet joined the treaty. This includes three of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council: China, Russia, and the U.S. It includes most of the Middle East, most of the former Soviet republics, and many Asian states. Major antipersonnel mine producers and stockpilers like China, India, Pakistan, Russia, and the U.S. are not part of the treaty. Moreover, there has been little or no positive change in the ban policies of some states in the past year, including the U.S., Russia, and China. Universalization clearly remains the biggest challenge facing ban supporters.


During 2001-2002, the intersessional work program continued to demonstrate its success, to date, in helping to maintain international attention on the global antipersonnel mine problem, to consolidate global mine action efforts, to provide a global picture of priorities, and to contribute to the full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty. The ICBL remained a full and active participant in the intersessional process, clearly demonstrating the strong partnership with governments, which has been critical to the success of the mine ban movement from the beginning. The intersessional Standing Committees provide a unique forum where all relevant government, NGO and IO actors gather in January and May each year to mark, measure, and stimulate progress toward achieving the goal of a mine-free world.  

The dynamic and flexible nature of the Ottawa Process and its ability to adjust to changing needs has been demonstrated at each annual Meeting of States Parties with the establishment of the intersessional work program in Maputo (1999), the creation of the Coordinating Committee in Geneva (2000), and the establishment of an Implementation Support Unit (ISU) in Managua (2001). 

During 2001-2002, the Coordinating Committee, together with ICBL and ICRC, undertook consideration of “enhancements” to the program, and recommendations were subsequently discussed at the Standing Committees. It was widely agreed that the original objectives of the intersessional work program remain as relevant today as they were in 1999 and the importance of maintaining its informal and inclusive nature was emphasized. The main developments and changes in the intersessional program during 2001-2002 included a stronger focus on the core humanitarian objectives of the Mine Ban Treaty aiming for more concrete results in victim assistance, mine clearance and stockpile destruction; better preparations by States Parties, resulting in a more cohesive and comprehensive approach, including an additional half-day being allotted to the Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention; and initial thinking about the Review Conference process.

With regard to the core humanitarian objectives, a major goal of the intersessional program is to provide a clear picture of needs, gaps and available resources, particularly with the rapidly approaching first deadlines for stockpile destruction in 2003 and for clearance of mined areas in 2009.  During 2001-2002, it was widely recognized that there is a need to have a better picture of how much has been achieved to date, of existing needs, and of what remains to be done to fully implement the treaty. The Standing Committees on Victim Assistance, Mine Clearance, and Stockpile Destruction worked on concrete ways to achieve this, in conjunction with the Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention, where overall issues of full implementation of and compliance with the key obligations of the treaty were addressed. This ongoing work will become increasingly important in the lead-up to the first Review Conference in 2004.

The Implementation Support Unit began operating in January 2002 and contributed significantly to ensuring better preparations and follow-up, thereby enabling States Parties, ICBL and others the possibility to increase focus on achieving concrete results. The ISU was established because of a demonstrated need for support to States Parties, given the intensity of the workload, in order to ensure the sustainability and continuity of the intersessional work program. This is particularly true for the 17 countries serving on the Coordinating Committee of Co-Chairs and Co-Rapporteurs of the Standing Committees. The ISU helps to enable full participation in the intersessional program of mine-affected countries with limited resources. 

Participation in the intersessional Standing Committees in January and May 2002 reached record levels, with approximately 450 persons in attendance representing more than 100 countries (73 States Parties and approximately 30 States not Parties), dozens of members of the ICBL, Landmine Monitor researchers, the ICRC, international and regional organizations, UN agencies, and academic institutions. 


The ICBL continued to monitor developments at the CCW and its Amended Protocol II with a small presence during the Third Annual Conference of States Parties to Amended Protocol II and the Second CCW Review Conference, both held in December 2001. Most NGOs who attended, though ICBL members, were there to further their individual NGO’s work on matters other than antipersonnel mines. 

At the Second Review Conference in 2001, the States Parties agreed to expand the scope of the Convention to cover internal as well as international armed conflicts, and to form a Group of Governmental Experts to work in the year 2002 on the explosive remnants of war and antivehicle mine issues. As of 31 July 2002, the umbrella CCW convention has 88 States Parties and there are 65 States Parties of Amended Protocol II.


Since the antipersonnel mine ban movement began to take hold in the mid-1990s, there has been a marked drop in global use of antipersonnel mines. In recent years, antipersonnel mines have been used by fewer countries and in lesser numbers than seen from the 1960s through the early 1990s, when the global landmine crisis was created. There have been notable aberrations from the general pattern of decreased use, but the overall trend has been positive, even with respect to non-States Parties, as the international norm against the antipersonnel mine has spread. 

In this reporting period, since May 2001, Landmine Monitor has confirmed or has compelling evidence that nine governments have used antipersonnel mines, including eight non-States Parties and one signatory. This compares to use by at least 13 governments in the previous reporting period. There have been other instances of allegations of mine use by governments, which Landmine Monitor has not been able to confirm or repudiate.

Use of antipersonnel mines has halted, at least temporarily, in some key locations, including Angola, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Sri Lanka, but the massive new mine-laying operations by India and Pakistan likely mean that more mines went into the ground than in the previous reporting period. 

Mine Ban Treaty States Parties 

In this reporting period, Landmine Monitor has found no concrete evidence of use of antipersonnel mines by any State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty.  Landmine Monitor Report 2001 cited serious allegations that the armed forces of Uganda, a State Party, had used antipersonnel mines in the DR Congo in June 2000. Uganda has repeatedly denied these allegations, and has also reported that it is conducting an investigation, in the spirit of openness and cooperation called for in the Mine Ban Treaty. 

Mine Ban Treaty Signatories 

Angola, as a signatory, acknowledged continued use of antipersonnel mines in 2001 and early 2002, before halting use and ratifying the Mine Ban Treaty on 5 July 2002. Landmine Monitor continues to receive troubling accounts of ongoing use of antipersonnel mines inside Burundi by both rebel and government forces, and of ongoing use in the DR Congo by the Burundi Army. The government strongly denies these allegations, and Landmine Monitor has been unable to independently establish the facts. Also, government and rebel forces in Sudan exchanged accusations of mine use.

Mine Ban Treaty Non-Signatories 

In this reporting period, the following countries which have not joined the Mine Ban Treaty have acknowledged use of antipersonnel mines: Burma (Myanmar), India, Pakistan, Russia, and Sri Lanka.[6]Other non-signatories who are credibly reported to have used antipersonnel mines include Georgia, Nepal, and Somalia. Georgia has denied use.

Armed Non-State Actors 

Opposition groups are reported to have used antipersonnel mines in at least 14 countries. These include in Afghanistan, Angola, Burma, Burundi, Colombia, DR Congo, Georgia (in Abkhazia), India, India/Pakistan (in Kashmir), Nepal, Philippines, Russia (in Chechnya), Somalia, Sri Lanka, and Sudan.[7]This compares to reports of use by non-state actors in at least eighteen countries in the previous reporting period. 

Key Developments Since Landmine Monitor Report 2001

Cessation of Use of Antipersonnel Mines. For a number of governments and rebel groups that used antipersonnel mines in the previous reporting period (May 2000-May 2001), Landmine Monitor has not found compelling evidence of new use since that time. Ethiopia and Eritrea stopped use with the end of their border conflict in June 2000, and Eritrea has acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. There have been no credible reports of use by Israel and Kyrgyzstan in the reporting period, or by Uzbekistan since June 2001. There have been no allegations of use by Sri Lankan or LTTE forces since the December 2001 cease-fires, or by Angola or UNITA since the April 2002 peace agreement. There were no serious allegations or evidence of use by DR Congo government forces in the reporting period, and the government acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty in May 2002. 

With regard to other non-state actors previously cited as using antipersonnel mines, Landmine Monitor has not received any specific allegations of use by MDFC rebels in Senegal or the Lord’s Resistance Army (based in Uganda) in this reporting period, though concerns remain about possible use in the future by both. The NLA insurgents in the Macedonia FYR are not reported to have used mines since the peace accord in August 2001. Mine incidents in southern Serbia have continued, but it is unclear if these result from new use; in any event, the frequency of mine incidents appears to have reduced since May 2001, as has the general level of violence.

Initiation of Use of Antipersonnel Mines. Apart from continued use in ongoing conflicts, there are several cases of new use by governments and rebels in this reporting period. Perhaps the most disturbing development in this reporting period has been the massive mine laying operations undertaken by India and Pakistan. Since late December 2001, both India and Pakistan have emplaced large numbers of antipersonnel mines along their common border. This is one of the largest scale mine laying operations anywhere in the world since 1997, though details are scant due to military secrecy and lack of access to the areas. Numerous reports of civilian casualties on both sides of the border call into question the effectiveness of the measures taken to protect the civilians of India and Pakistan from the effects of mines. 

In addition, a Georgian Defense Ministry official told Landmine Monitor that Georgian Armed Forces laid antipersonnel mines in several passes in the Kodori gorge in 2001. This was also reported in the media. Georgia has had a formal moratorium on the use of antipersonnel mines in place since 1996. In a response to Landmine Monitor, the government denied any use of antipersonnel mines. 

With regard to non-state actors, the authorities in separatist Abkhazia (Georgia) for the first time acknowledged use of antipersonnel mines by Abkhazian soldiers. Landmine Monitor also received an admission of on-going use of antipersonnel mines by the rebel Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The RCD is closely aligned with the military forces of State Party Rwanda based in the DR Congo. In Burma (Myanmar), three rebel groups, not previously identified as mine users, were discovered using landmines: Pao People’s Liberation Front, All Burma Muslim Union, and Wa National Army. Thirteen rebel groups are now using mines in Burma. 

In Afghanistan, in the fighting following 11 September 2001, there were reports of limited use of mines and booby-traps by Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters, as well as the Northern Alliance. The Taliban previously claimed to have stopped use in 1998, though some allegations persisted. The Northern Alliance admitted to use in 1999 and 2000, but said it stopped in 2001, notwithstanding evidence to the contrary. There were no instances of use of antipersonnel mines by the United States or coalition forces. 

Ongoing Use of Antipersonnel Mines. Mine use by governments and/or rebels continued in a number of conflicts, sometimes at increased levels, sometimes with less intensity. Use continued, at least at some point in the reporting period, in Angola, Burundi, DR Congo, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Burma, India, Kashmir, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Georgia (in Abkhazia), and Russia (in Chechnya), and Colombia. There were notable expansions of use of antipersonnel mines and improvised explosive devices by the FARC and ELN combatants in Colombia, and by the Maoist United People’s Front in Nepal. In Sudan, the accusations of new use by the government and by the SPLA/M were less frequent and the evidence less compelling. 



Angola: government and rebels (UNITA)

Burundi: unknown (allegations of rebels and government)

Democratic Republic of Congo: rebels (RCD) 

Somalia: various factions


Colombia: rebels (FARC-EP, UC-ELN) and paramilitaries (AUC)


Afghanistan: Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and Northern Alliance

Burma (Myanmar): government and 13 rebel groups

India: government and rebels

India/Pakistan (Kashmir): militants

Nepal: government and rebels (Maoists)

Pakistan: government 

Philippines: rebels (Abu Sayaff, NPA)

Sri Lanka: government and rebels (LTTE) 

Europe/Central Asia

Georgia: government and non-state actors (use in Abkhazia)

Russia: government and rebels (Chechnya)


In its first two annual reports, Landmine Monitor identified sixteen producers of antipersonnel landmines. Last year, Landmine Monitor decided to remove two of those nations, Turkey and FR Yugoslavia, from the list. The list of countries that produce antipersonnel mines remains unchanged from that published in Landmine Monitor Report 2001

Antipersonnel Mine Producers

In the Americas: Cuba, United States

In Europe: Russia 

In the Middle East: Egypt, Iran, Iraq 

In Asia: Burma, China, India, North Korea, South Korea, Pakistan, Singapore, Vietnam

Those 14 countries represent known producers of antipersonnel mines that have not formally declared a halt to production. However, in several cases it is not known if production lines were active in 2001 or 2002. And, as noted in last year’s report, the United States has not produced antipersonnel mines since 1997, South Korea produced only Claymore mines in 1998-2000 and no mines since then, and Egypt has unofficially stated that it no longer produces. India and Pakistan are engaged in new production of antipersonnel mines that are compliant with Amended Protocol II of the CCW. 

Uganda reported that it invited foreign military attaches to inspect an alleged mine production facility, and that they concluded no production existed.

Forty-one nations have ceased production of antipersonnel mines. These include a majority of the big producers in the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s. Eight of the twelve biggest producers and exporters over the past thirty years are now States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty and have stopped all production and export: Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina (former Yugoslavia), Bulgaria, Czech Republic (former Czechoslovakia), France, Hungary, Italy, and the United Kingdom. 

States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty are also required to report on the status of efforts to convert former production facilities. Albania, Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom have done so in annual transparency reports.


Landmine Monitor did not find any evidence of antipersonnel mine exports or imports by Mine Ban Treaty States Parties or signatories. In recent years, Landmine Monitor findings indicate that antipersonnel mine trade has dwindled to a very low level of illicit trafficking and unacknowledged trade. 

However, there is fresh evidence of transfers of antipersonnel mines by Iran, which ostensibly instituted an export moratorium in 1997. Landmine Monitor has received information that a mine clearance organization in Afghanistan is encountering many hundreds of Iranian-manufactured YM-I and YM-I-B antipersonnel mines, dated 1999 and 2000, presumably laid by the Northern Alliance forces in the last few years. Additionally, on 3 January 2002, Israel seized the ship Karine-A about 300 miles south of the Israeli port of Eilat; it claimed the ship originated from Iran and was destined for Palestine via the Hezbollah in Lebanon. According to a manifest released by the Israeli military, the weapons on the ship included 311 YM-I antipersonnel mines.

In April 2002, a senior representative of the UK company, PW Defence Ltd., was recorded offering to supply 500 landmines to a BBC journalist, in contravention of national legislation (the Landmines Act 1998) and the Mine Ban Treaty. Researchers from the UK NGO Landmine Action found PW Defence Ltd (formerly Paines Wessex) promoting the mines at arms fairs in Greece and South Africa. UK authorities launched an investigation, but by the end of June 2002 had not announced any decision to instigate a prosecution.

In April 2002, Pakistan Ordnance Factories allegedly offered two types of antipersonnel mines for sale in the United Kingdom to a journalist from Channel 4 TV, who posed as a representative of a private company seeking to purchase a variety of weapons. The mines appeared in a brochure, which the POF Director of Exports later claimed was out of date.

Thirty-four countries are known to have exported antipersonnel landmines in the past. Today, all of those nations with the exception of Iraq have at the least made a formal statement that they are no longer exporting. 

Twenty-two of these 34 countries are party to the Mine Ban Treaty and thus stopped exporting. Among non-signatories, one has an export ban in place (U.S.), four have a moratorium in place (Israel, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore), and six have made declaratory statements that they no longer export (China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Yugoslavia, Vietnam). Iran’s commitment would appear to no longer be valid. Russia’s moratorium and China’s declaratory policy only apply to export of non-detectable and non-self-destruct mines, in keeping with CCW restrictions. However, neither nation is known to have made a significant export since 1995. 


Landmine Monitor estimates that there are 230 million antipersonnel mines stockpiled by about 94 countries. A total of 41 Mine Ban Treaty States Parties account for an estimated 6 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines. The number held by States Parties changes rapidly with robust stockpile destruction programs, but may also increase as new States Parties like Angola, DR Congo, and Eritrea declare their stockpiles within the next year. Eighty-four States Parties have either completed stockpile destruction or never possessed antipersonnel mines. Signatories to the Mine Ban Treaty hold an estimated 10 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines; Ukraine has declared a stock of 6.35 million, and Ethiopia, Poland, and Greece are also likely to hold large stockpiles. 

Countries that remain outside the Mine Ban Treaty stockpile an estimated 215 million antipersonnel mines. Landmine Monitor estimates that the largest stockpiles belong to: China (110 million), Russia (60-70 million), United States (11.2 million), Pakistan (6 million) India (4-5 million), and Belarus (4.5 million). Other non-signatories believed to have large stockpiles are Egypt, Finland, Iran, Iraq, Israel, North Korea, South Korea, Syria, Turkey, Vietnam, and Yugoslavia.

In addition to governments, many rebel groups also have stockpiles of antipersonnel mines, including those in Afghanistan, Angola, Burma, Chechnya, Colombia, DR Congo, Kashmir, Philippines, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Uganda.

Stockpile Developments Since May 2001


  • Burundi for the first time stated that it has a stockpile of 1,200 antipersonnel mines.
  • Central African Republic disclosed it has a “very limited quantity” of antipersonnel mines in stockpile, kept for training purposes only.
  • Chad for the first time revealed that it has a stockpile of 2,803 mines.
  • Guinea-Bissau in March 2002 conducted an inventory of antipersonnel mines, which revealed a stockpile of 4,997 antipersonnel mines. 
  • Kenya declared a stockpile of 38,774 antipersonnel mines and will retain 3,000 of these under Article 3.
  • Mauritania declared its stockpile had been reduced to 5,728 antipersonnel mines, which will be retained under Article 3.
  • Niger reported that it does not have a stockpile of antipersonnel mines, contrary to previous information provided to Landmine Monitor.
  • Rwanda officially declared having no stockpile of antipersonnel mines. It had imported mines from several sources in the past and it is not clear when Rwanda destroyed these mines.
  • Uganda declared a stockpile of 6,782 antipersonnel mines of which 2,400 will be retained.
  • Zambia declared a stockpile of 6,691 antipersonnel mines, all of which will be retained.


  • Argentina revealed that the Army will keep 1,160 FMK-1 antipersonnel mines to use as fuzes for antivehicle mines, apparently for training purposes. 
  • The Bahamas, Costa Rica, and Dominican Republic officially confirmed that they do not possess stockpiles of antipersonnel mines.
  • Colombia declared a stockpile of 20,312 landmines.
  • Suriname has acknowledged a small stockpile of antipersonnel mines, believed to number 296 as of July 2002, but the Ministry of Defense is still conducting an inventory.

Europe and Central Asia

  • Iceland and Malta officially confirmed that they do not possess stockpiles of antipersonnel mines.
  • Lithuania has reported a stockpile of 8,091 antipersonnel mines, for training purposes.
  • Moldova declared a stockpile of 12,121 antipersonnel mines and will retain 849.
  • Romania initially declared a stockpile of 1,076,839 antipersonnel mines and will retain 4,000 of these as permitted by Article 3. This stockpile number was reduced in April 2002 to 918,920 antipersonnel mines as stockpile destruction activities continue.
  • Turkmenistan declared in its initial transparency report having a stockpile of 761,782 antipersonnel mines, including PFM-1 and PFM-1S type mines.

Asia and the Pacific

  • Indonesia for the first time reported that it has a stockpile of 16,000 antipersonnel mines.
  • Samoa confirmed that it does not have a stockpile of antipersonnel mines.


Landmine Monitor estimates that in the past decade, 61 countries have destroyed some 34 million antipersonnel mines. States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty have destroyed about 27 million of these antipersonnel mines. Nearly eighty percent of the global total destroyed so far has been destroyed to comply with the Mine Ban Treaty. Approximately 7 million antipersonnel mines were destroyed in the reporting period. 

Thirty-three States Parties have completed the destruction of their antipersonnel mine stockpiles.[8] Six completed destruction in this reporting period: Czech Republic (June 2001), Ecuador and Peru (September 2001), Sweden (December 2001), and Albania and Yemen (April 2002).

Another 22 States Parties are in the process of destroying their stockpiles: Argentina, Brazil, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, El Salvador, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Moldova, Mozambique, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, and Uruguay. 

A total of 17 States Parties have not begun the destruction process. These include Bangladesh, Congo-Brazzaville, Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Macedonia FYR, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, and Venezuela, as well as more recent States Parties due to declare the amount of stockpiles possessed and announce destruction plans: Algeria, Angola, DR Congo, Eritrea, Nigeria, and Suriname. Djibouti and Macedonia FYR have their treaty-mandated deadline for completion of stockpile destruction on 1 March 2003. 

A total of 34 States Parties have officially declared never having a stockpile of antipersonnel mines. Another 18 States Parties, while not officially declaring the presence or absence of stockpiles, are not believed to stockpile antipersonnel mines.



  • Chad announced at the Third Meeting of States Parties that it had initiated its stockpile destruction program, and reported having destroyed 1,210 mines by April 2002.
  • Mozambique destroyed 500 antipersonnel mines in September 2001 and its deputy defense minister pledged to complete destruction by 2003.


  • Brazil reports that it destroyed 13,649 stockpiled antipersonnel mines in 2001.
  • Chile, marking its ratification of the Mine Ban Treaty, destroyed 14,000 antipersonnel mines in September 2001.
  • Ecuador completed stockpile destruction on 11 September 2001. It destroyed a total of 260,302 antipersonnel mines. It revised the number of mines retained for training purposes from 16,000 to 4,000.
  • In September 2001, Perú completed destruction of its stockpiled antipersonnel mines. It reduced the number of mines retained for training to 4,024, and destroyed a total of 322,892 mines. 


  • In Afghanistan, French troops participating in the international peacekeeping force reportedly destroyed 70,000 antipersonnel mines stored near the Kabul airport in early February.
  • Cambodia destroyed another 3,405 antipersonnel mines discovered after the announced completion of stockpile destruction.

Europe and Central Asia

  • Albania completed destruction of its stockpile of 1,683,860 antipersonnel mines on 4 April 2002 and will not retain any mines under Article 3.
  • Croatia destroyed 56,028 stockpiled antipersonnel mines in 2001.
  • The Czech Republic completed the destruction of its stockpile of more than 360,000 antipersonnel mines in June 2001.
  • Italy reported the destruction of an additional 757,680 antipersonnel mines and expects to complete destruction by the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in September 2002.
  • Germany reports that 78,144 foreign antipersonnel mines were transferred to Germany for the purposes of destruction and duly destroyed, including U.S. scatterable mines.
  • Portugal reported that its destruction program is underway and 36,654 antipersonnel mines had been destroyed.
  • Romania began its stockpile destruction in August 2001 and by April 2002 reported the destruction of 130,474 antipersonnel mines.
  • Sweden completed the destruction of its antipersonnel mine stockpile in December 2001. Sweden is retaining 13,948 antipersonnel mines for permitted purposes, the second highest number of any State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty.
  • Turkmenistan reported destroying 412,601 antipersonnel mines between December 1997 and October 2001. It requested a seven-year extension of its deadline for stockpile destruction, but such an extension is not permitted under the Mine Ban Treaty. Turkmenistan subsequently indicated it intended to meet the deadline of 1 March 2003. 
  • Ukraine and the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency signed a memorandum of understanding in December 2001 to establish a trust fund to finance the destruction of 400,000 antipersonnel mines. This is in addition to a similar agreement between Canada and Ukraine signed in March 2001.

Middle East North Africa

  • Tunisia destroyed 1,000 antipersonnel mines in January 2002 to mark a conference promoting the universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty in North Africa.
  • Yemen completed the destruction of its antipersonnel mine stockpile on 27 April 2002 and will retain 4,000 mines.



Of the current 125 States Parties, 51 have exercised the option to retain antipersonnel mines for training and development purposes under Article 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty. Of these states, only ten intend to keep more than 5,000 mines. Brazil (16,550), Sweden (13,948), and Japan (12,513) are keeping the most antipersonnel mines. Twenty-seven States Parties intend to keep between 1,000 and 5,000 antipersonnel mines. Eleven are retaining less than 1,000 mines. Three States Parties have declared possessing mines under Article 3 but have yet to disclose the number they hold. El Salvador and Hungary have reversed previous positions and now intend to retain mines.

Fifty-one States Parties have chosen not to retain any antipersonnel mines; eleven of these states once stockpiled mines but have destroyed them or are in the process of destroying them. Twenty-three States Parties have not yet declared whether they intend to retain any antipersonnel mines under Article 3.

Article 3 states that the amount of retained mines “shall not exceed the minimum number absolutely necessary.” In its report to the Third Meeting of States Parties in Managua in September 2001, the Standing Committee on General Status and Operation recommended that States Parties should reaffirm the understanding reached during Mine Ban Treaty negotiations in 1997 that the number of retained mines should be “in the hundreds or thousands, and not in the tens of thousands.” 

After the ICBL repeatedly raised this issue, 11 States Parties have decided to significantly decrease the number of mines kept, including Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Ecuador, Peru, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Thailand. Six of these States Parties had intended to keep 10,000 mines or more, but decided to greatly reduce that number; for example, Croatia went from 17,500 to 7,000 and Thailand went from 15,600 to 5,000. 

Disturbingly, one State Party, Zambia, has chosen to retain its entire stockpile of 6,691 antipersonnel mines under Article 3. Treaty signatory Lithuania, in a voluntarily submitted transparency report, seems poised to do the same by retaining 8,091 antipersonnel mines.

Some States Parties are retaining mines for training and research purposes, but have reported no such activities, or consumption of the retained mines, since 1999. For the most part, it appears that few of the mines being retained by States Parties are being used (that is, consumed, destroyed, expended) each year. 

Several States Parties reported in their annual transparency reports the number of antipersonnel mines used in training and for research and development purposes in 2001: Australia (119), Belgium (334), Brazil (5), Bulgaria (326), Canada (59), Czech Republic (10), Denmark (15), Germany (179), France (47), and South Africa (50). Some countries, while not providing a yearly total, have reported on the number of mines consumed between 1999 and 2001 including Japan (3,777) and Yemen (120).

Several States Parties have evaluated the types of antipersonnel mines retained and reduced the number based on a technical examination. For example, Italy, due to the requirements of its national implementing legislation declares that it retains 8,000 mines. However, Italy reports that 2,500 of these units are mine components incapable of functioning as an antipersonnel mine.[9]

The ICBL continues to question the need for live mines for training, and calls on States Parties to continue to evaluate the necessity for this exception. The ICBL believes that it is important to have complete transparency on mines retained for training, and strongly supports the recommendation of the Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention that States Parties should in their Article 7 reports “include information on the intended purpose and actual use” of retained mines. Belgium, Canada, and Sweden have commendably provided substantial detail on the anticipated purpose and then actual use of the retained mines in their Article 7 reports submitted in 2002.

Transfers of Mines for Training and Development 

Article 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty allows transfers of antipersonnel mines for research and development of demining technologies and for training, as well as for the purpose of destruction. Several States Parties have reported these activities in their Article 7 reports:

  • Canada received, between 6 February 2001 to 1 March 2002, transfers of 180 M-14 antipersonnel mines from the U.S. and 110 antipersonnel mines (102 PMA-2 and 8 PMR-2A) from the former Yugoslavia.
  • Ecuador transferred 1,644 antipersonnel mines (1,000 T-AB-1, 200 PRB M-409, 20 P-4-B, 20 PRB M-35, 400 VS.50, 4 PMD-6M) to the United States sometime between March 2001 and April 2002.
  • The United Kingdom’s declared stock of “foreign” antipersonnel mines increased by 946 between 1 August 1999 and 31 December 2001, but the types and origins of these presumably transferred mines has not been reported.


As of 31 July 2002, the UN had received initial Article 7 transparency reports from 89 States Parties. Thirty States Parties are late submitting initial reports.[10] Two treaty signatories, Cameroon and Lithuania, have voluntarily submitted reports even though they have yet to ratify. The overall rate of States Parties submitting initial transparency reports is 75 percent, which is significantly higher than the 63 percent noted in the Landmine Monitor Report 2001.

The rate of compliance in submitted annual updates by 30 April 2002 for the previous calendar year is equally impressive. As of 31 July 2002, 57 States Parties have submitted their annual update. Twenty States Parties have not.[11] This equates to a compliance rate of 74 percent.

The Standing Committee on General Status and Operation, and the Article 7 Contact Group (coordinated by Belgium), have worked to strengthen the implementation of this area of the treaty. In May 2002, Ambassador Lint of Belgium presented a paper with suggestions for improving Article 7 reporting that was well received by other States Parties and the ICBL. The NGO VERTIC, in cooperation with the ICBL and ICRC, developed the Guide to Reporting under Article 7 of the Ottawa Convention, which was presented at the Third Meeting of States Parties. 

Voluntary Form J, which was created primarily to encourage and facilitate better reporting on victim assistance programs, has been increasingly utilized by States Parties. For annual transparency reports due by 30 April 2002, 34 States Parties used Form J, a vast improvement over the 17 who used Form J last year.[12]

As noted above, some States Parties have responded to the ICBL’s call to expand their reporting on mines retained for training and development purposes. The ICBL remains concerned that States Parties have not used Article 7 to report on special issues of concern like foreign stockpiles, prohibited antivehicle mines with antihandling devices, and Claymore-type directional fragmentation munitions. Sweden is the only country so far to report on the measures taken to modify its stockpile of Claymore mines.


Article 9 of the Mine Ban Treaty states, “Each State Party shall take all appropriate legal, administrative and other measures, including the imposition of penal sanctions, to prevent and suppress any activity prohibited” by the treaty. However, only 35 of the 125 countries that have ratified or acceded to the treaty have passed domestic laws implementing the treaty, including six in this reporting period: Brazil, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Costa Rica, Iceland, and Malta. Twenty States Parties report that formal steps to enact legislation are underway. Landmine Monitor is unaware of any progress to enact domestic legislation implementing the Mine Ban Treaty in 50 States Parties. In some of these 50 states, the issue is “under study.”

A total of 20 governments have indicated that they do not believe a new implementation law is required. In some cases, these governments believe existing laws are sufficient, or have adapted existing laws, or have enacted domestic measures short of full implementation legislation. In other cases, governments believe no steps are necessary because they have never possessed antipersonnel mines and are not mine-affected. The ICBL is concerned, however, about the need for all states to pass legislation that would impose penal sanctions for any potential future violations of the treaty, and would provide for full implementation of all aspects of the convention. 

The ICRC, in cooperation with the ICBL and the government of Belgium, has produced an “Information Kit on the Development of National Legislation to Implement the Convention of the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines.” At the May 2002 intersessional Standing Committee meetings, the Article 7 Contact Group was expanded to include efforts related to Article 9.



Since the conclusion of the negotiations for the Mine Ban Treaty, the ICBL has emphasized that, according to the treaty’s definitions, antivehicle mines (AVM) with antihandling devices (AHD) that explode from an unintentional or innocent act of a person are considered antipersonnel mines and therefore prohibited. Likewise, antivehicle mines with sensitive fuzing mechanisms, such as tripwires, breakwires or tilt rods, which will explode from the presence, proximity or contact of a person should clearly be considered banned. These munitions are in fact antipersonnel mines by the definitions in the Mine Ban Treaty, not antivehicle mines.

No uniform common understanding or practice has been established by States Parties since entry-into-force of the treaty on these matters.[13] It is regrettable that limited progress has been made in clarifying which specific types of AVM and AHD are permissible and which are prohibited under the treaty. The universalization of the treaty and the international norm are being hindered by the lack of action on the part of States Parties. 

At the Standing Committee meetings in January 2002, Human Rights Watch distributed a detailed memorandum that illustrated the current status of state practice on this issue, using as examples the specific AVM and fuze types possessed by States Parties.[14] The ICRC also distributed an information paper titled “Understanding the Ottawa Treaty definition of an anti-personnel mine under basic rules of treaty interpretation” at this meeting.

It appears that a consensus is beginning to build on the matter of sensitive fuzes, and the desirability of “best practices,” including the avoidance of use of mines with such things as tripwires and tilt rods. The President’s Action Program that emerged from the Third Meeting of States Parties encourages review of AVM inventories and consideration of best practices. It states, “The [Standing Committee] Co-chairs and other interested parties will promote such best practices and encourage reporting on State practice in this regard.” Several States Parties have destroyed or prohibited use of antivehicle mines with tilt rods and tripwires. But, there are still some States Parties who view such sensitive fuzes as acceptable, and a large number of States Parties that have not spoken on the issue. 

With regard to antihandling devices and antivehicle mines, more than one dozen countries have publicly stated their agreement with the view that antivehicle mines with antihandling devices that explode from an unintentional act of a person are prohibited, including the key framers of the Mine Ban Treaty such as Austria, Canada, Norway, and South Africa. The vast majority of States Parties, however, have not made their views known. 

A total of five States Parties have publicly stated that they disagree with this view: France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, and most recently, Denmark. These countries have also expressed the view that AVM should be considered in the context of the CCW and not the Mine Ban Treaty. Others, including Austria, Czech Republic, and Spain have subsequently stated their support for this stance, though there may be differences about what constitutes an AVM or an APM.

At the Second Review Conference of CCW in December 2001, states agreed to form a Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) with a broad mandate to study issues concerning AVM (so-called “mines other than antipersonnel mines”). This group was formed after consensus could not be reached to adopt a new protocol on AVM initially submitted by the United States in December 2000 and cosponsored by Mine Ban Treaty States Parties Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Slovakia, and the United Kingdom. However, this AVM proposal did not address the matter of sensitive fuzes or antihandling devices on antivehicle mines. No discussion on those issues was held at the Review Conference in December 2001 or at the first meeting of the GGE in May 2002; at the GGE meeting in July 2002, Germany and Romania tabled papers addressing antivehicle mines with sensitive fuzes.

During the reporting period, officials of a number of States Parties made policy statements on the issue of AVM with sensitive fuzes or antihandling devices in various domestic and international venues or in communications with Landmine Monitor researchers. (See individual country reports for details).

  • Austria has supported the establishment of best practices regarding the design and use of certain fuzing mechanisms on antivehicle mines. Austria also supported the recommendation that States Parties review their inventories of antivehicle mines to ensure that the risk to civilians is minimized. At the May 2002 Standing Committee meeting, Austria declared, “We think that the development of best practices would be a suitable way to address the humanitarian problems of such mines. In this respect, we would again like to invite States Parties to consider adopting the best practices for AV mines with sensitive fuses like these that were identified in the report of the Expert Meeting hosted by the ICRC in March 2001.”[15] At the May 2002 Standing Committee meeting, Austria also gave its legal analysis of the treaty definitions of antipersonnel mine and antihandling device, which among other things stated, “If a device were designed to activate through conduct not aimed at disturbing the mine, we would not consider it to be a legitimate AHD [antihandling device].”[16]
  • At the Standing Committee meetings in May 2002, Belgium stated that the army had reviewed its AVM mines and concluded that all types in the inventory are “in compliance with both the spirit and letter” of the treaty. However, questions have been raised about the sensitivity of the French-produced HPD series AVM.
  • A representative from Brazil said at the 1 February 2002 Standing Committee meeting that Brazil favored a ban on AVM with AHD, and repudiated the use of AHD on humanitarian grounds. Brazil said that “the wording of Article 2 Paragraph 3 does make clear that AVMs equipped with AHDs which may be detonated by the unintentional act of a person constitute, for all practical purposes, anti-personnel mines, and are therefore banned by the Convention.”[17]
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria has provided Landmine Monitor with a detailed accounting of its inventory of AVM and reports stockpiling a TM-46 AVM capable of having an AHD; it reports these are compliant with the treaty, but will be “deactivated” by the end of 2002. 
  • According to authorities in the Czech Republic, they do not posses any AVM with AHD so sensitive that they can explode from an unintentional act of a person. Additionally, in a January 2002 response to Landmine Monitor’s concern about a Czech company offering for sale an AVM that uses a tripwire as its activation means, an official said they did not consider the use of tripwires a violation of the Mine Ban Treaty. 
  • The Mine Action Ambassador of France stated in September 2001 that “this subject belongs within the CCW.... Anti-vehicle mines are very important for some of the countries we want to join the Treaty.” The National Commission for the Elimination of Antipersonnel Mines (CNEMA) has identified several AVM in the French inventory that may function as antipersonnel mines, and recommends further study of these mines.[18] The French military is considering a new activation mechanism to replace the breakwire fuzes used for the MIACAH F1 and MIACAH F2 AVMs. According to a French military engineering manual, it is prohibited to try to locate the HPD F2 and HPD F3 AVMs with a metal detector, because the magnetic influence fuze may function if the magnetic field around the mine is disturbed. 
  • Germany is among the States Parties that has stated its support for work on AVM within the CCW and has associated itself with the view that the AVM issue negatively impacts the universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty. According to research by the German Initiative to Ban Landmines, the German military has replaced the detonator of the DM-21 to avoid unintentional ignition, because the old, corroded detonators caused the pressure fuze to set off the mine below the standard pressure of 180 kilograms. 
  • A representative from Italy emphasized at the Standing Committee meeting on 1 February 2002 that Italian national law does not permit AVM with AHD, and recommended that States Parties “should explore all possibilities available, through the avenue of a best practices approach, as suggested by the ICRC and Belgium as a means of moving forward.”[19]
  • In March 2002, the Ministry of Defense of Slovakia stated that an inventory has been made of antivehicle mines in stock and in development to identify which may be considered prohibited or permissible by the Mine Ban Treaty, and will consider any measures necessary to prevent antivehicle mines with antihandling devices or sensitive fuzes from functioning as antipersonnel mines.[20]
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Spain stated that AVM with AHD, as well as cluster bombs and UXO, should be regulated in the CCW, not the Mine Ban Treaty.[21] However, at the same time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledged that the Mine Ban Treaty “uses an approach based on the effects which characterize antipersonnel mines .... For that reason it is already possible to include in the framework of the [Mine Ban Treaty] those weapons designed to have similar effects. This is the interpretation made by the Spanish Parliament in approving Law 33/1998 on the total prohibition of landmines and weapons with similar effects.”[22]
  • The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden stated in Parliament in February 2002 that “the Swedish government is of the opinion that generally you can’t say that antivehicle and antitank mines with antihandling devices are comparable to antipersonnel mines.”[23] The Foreign Ministry has stated, “The government considers those antitank mines with antihandling devices possessed by Sweden to be compliant with the Ottawa Convention.”[24] Defense Minister Björn von Sydow stated, “The government does not have the intention to do a specific inventory of antivehicle and antitank mines with antihandling devices for reporting to the parties to the Convention.”[25] An order issued on 2 March 2001 to the Swedish military states, “It is now prohibited to take the [Fordonsmina 13 and Fordonsmina 013R] out from the storage without removing the tripwires, furthermore, it is also prohibited to train soldiers using any kind of tripwires for these mines.”[26]
  • Regarding an AVM stockpiled by Switzerland that uses a magnetic influence fuze, the Swiss General Staff said, “The electronics of the fuze of the Panzerabwehrmine 88 [HPD-F2] are programmed that an actuation under only certain categories of vehicle is possible.... The mine is optimized to military, heavy vehicles.”[27]
  • At the Standing Committee meetings in May 2002, the United Kingdom reiterated that “antivehicle mines and antivehicle mines with antihandling devices do not fall within the Ottawa Convention.” The UK view is that antivehicle mines with antihandling devices do not become antipersonnel mines “if unintentionally, they are detonated by the presence of a person. For us, it is the design of the mine that is the key.... The definition of what constitutes an antipersonnel mine in the Ottawa Convention does not turn on any unintended effects the mine might have when deployed.”[28]


The ICBL has consistently raised concerns about the possible participation of States Parties in joint military operations with non-States Parties that retain the right to use antipersonnel landmines. These concerns were heightened as several States Parties joined coalition military operations in Afghanistan. There is serious concern about the consistency of joint operations with the treaty’s Article 1 obligation for a State Party “never under any circumstance ... [t]o assist, encourage or induce, in any way, anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Convention.” In particular, the question has been raised as to what “assist” means in the treaty’s Article 1. A number of governments have interpreted this to mean “active” or “direct” assistance in actual laying of mines, and not other types of assistance in joint operations, such as provision of fuel or security. Such joint operations at the least would go against the spirit of a treaty aimed at an end to all possession and use of antipersonnel mines. 

In meetings of the Standing Committee on the General Status of the Convention, the ICBL has emphasized the need for States Parties to reach a common understanding of the term “assist,” especially as it applies to joint military operations, foreign stockpiling of antipersonnel mines, and foreign transit of mines across the territory of a State Party. Full and effective implementation of the treaty will be enhanced if States Parties are clear and consistent with regard to what acts are permitted and what acts are prohibited.

Some States Parties have made statements on this issue that uniformly reject the use of antipersonnel mines by their forces in joint operations. Denmark, France, and the Netherlands have in the past made particularly strong statements expressing the view that involvement in activities related to antipersonnel mines during joint military operations with non-signatory countries are prohibited. 

Some States Parties appear to permit participation in joint operations as long as their national forces are not the ones actually emplacing antipersonnel mines, and would reject orders to do so by commanders who are nationals of a non-State Party. Canada and France have stated that they would not approve rules of engagement that permit the use of antipersonnel mines.[29]

Though often discussed in terms of potential U.S. use of antipersonnel mines in NATO operations, this is by no means a problem limited to the NATO alliance. There are increasingly serious questions regarding the position of Tajikistan, a State Party, toward the use of antipersonnel mines by Russian forces stationed in Tajikistan. In addition, it appears that a number of States Parties in Africa have engaged in military operations with (or in support of) armed forces that may be using antipersonnel mines. This would include Namibia (with Angola against UNITA before the peace agreement in April 2002), as well as Rwanda and Zimbabwe with various forces in the DR Congo. Namibia and Zimbabwe have denied any involvement by their forces in emplacing antipersonnel mines while engaged in joint operations. There is particular concern about Rwanda because of its close military cooperation, including joint combat operations, with the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD-Goma). In 2002, several RCD-Goma military officers admitted to Landmine Monitor past and ongoing use of antipersonnel mines by RCD-Goma soldiers. 

With regard to U.S.-led coalition military operations in Afghanistan, States Parties Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom each contributed ground forces that engaged in combat operations. Other State Parties participated in an International Security Assistance Force, at first commanded by the United Kingdom, but now commanded by non-State Party Turkey. States Parties participating in this peacekeeping effort include: Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and the United Kingdom. 

There is no evidence that any Coalition troops or peacekeepers, including those of non-States Parties, have used antipersonnel mines in Afghanistan. This situation did provide an opportunity for several States Parties to make public their operational understanding of their obligations under the Mine Ban Treaty in joint operations with non-States Parties: 

  • According to officials in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada, “All Canadian Forces in Afghanistan are instructed to act in accordance with the provisions of the Ottawa Convention.”[30]
  • The Ministry of Defense of Germany stated that during military operations in Afghanistan, the Federal Armed Forces would in all military operations act in compliance with the obligations of the Mine Ban Treaty.[31]
  • The Ministry of Defense of Norway noted, “as Norwegian personnel are under US command, there is a written agreement that the precondition for Norway’s participation is that the soldiers are under Norwegian jurisdiction and can under no circumstances be ordered to conduct any activities that will violate Norwegian law or international treaty commitments.”[32]

While not in the context of the conflict in Afghanistan, other States Parties have made statements since May 2001 at international meetings or in their communications with Landmine Monitor researchers.

  • In Parliament, the Defense Minister of Belgium confirmed that he has informed partners and allies on the restrictions which national legislation imposes during joint military operations, and that Belgian military forces in joint military operations fall under national legislation.[33]
  • At a Standing Committee meeting in February 2002, Brazil stated that Article 1(c) “clearly bans joint operations with non-States Parties that may involve the use of anti-personnel mines. Even if the States Parties involved in such operations do not participate directly and actively in the laying of anti-personnel mines, the operations should be considered illegal if the use of landmines by a non-State Party is of direct military benefit to those States Parties. In the absence of such a broad interpretation of the term ‘assist,’ Article 1 would contain a serious and unfortunate loophole. All States Parties should commit strictly to observe the provisions of Article 1, which would include giving the term ‘assist’ as broad an interpretation as possible.”[34]
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark confirmed that during joint military operations Denmark would not involve itself in the planning or in the implementation of activities that are related to the laying of antipersonnel mines.[35]
  • At a Standing Committee meeting in May 2002, Germany stated that “as a State Party to the Ottawa Convention [it] will not support planning or use of antipersonnel mines in a joint operation. Germany prohibits the planned or actual use of antipersonnel mines in any military operation whatsoever by her military personnel. With this in mind, all German Armed Forces personnel receive detailed information outlining their obligations with respect to the Convention.”[36]
  • The Ministry of Defense of France provided Landmine Monitor with the Army Chief of Staff directive of 12 November 1998. Although French soldiers may participate in a multinational operation with a non-State Party, they must not at any time participate in planning or training activities involving use of antipersonnel mines, accept rules of engagement that include use of antipersonnel mines, or “transfer, stockpile, or authorize antipersonnel mines on national territory.”[37]
  • Italy declared at a Standing Committee meeting in May 2002 that joint military operations with non-States Parties are permitted by its national legislation only if such operations are compatible with the provisions of the Mine Ban Treaty. Italian troops deployed to Afghanistan were given written instructions to abstain from any participation in actions “contrary to the letter and the spirit” of the Mine Ban Treaty.[38]
  • A Ministry of Defense official from Malaysia stated, “Malaysia Armed Forces may participate in joint operations with armed forces of non-signatory states, but will not participate in joint operations that involve the use of [antipersonnel mines].”[39]
  • In a letter to Landmine Monitor, Namibia said, “Since the ratification of the [Mine Ban Treaty], the Namibian Defence Force has never used anti-personnel mines or assisted any other forces in the use thereof, both in its internal and international military operations.... The Government of the Republic of Namibia ... denies any use or assistance to use anti-personnel mines by its forces.”[40]
  • In an interview during the January 2002 Standing Committee meetings, a military official stated that Senegal would refuse to participate in joint military operations where antipersonnel mines might be used by militaries of another state.[41]
  • Sweden produced a policy document in September 2001 that states that Article 1(c) is intended “to prevent active participation in activities prohibited by the Convention.”[42] The Foreign Minister has stated, “Our cooperation in a joint military operation in which one of the participating states uses antipersonnel mines could be considered a violation of the spirit of the convention if we not in all ways counteracted the use of antipersonnel mines.”[43]
  • Uruguay stated in April 2002 that it “does not participate, nor does it plan to participate, in military exercises in which antipersonnel mines are used.”[44]
  • At a Standing Committee meeting in May 2002, the Zimbabwe delegation made a detailed statement on its understanding on joint operations and “assist:”

Our troops will therefore not in any way be directly or otherwise be involved in any activity banned by the Convention wherever they are operating. We therefore in our view, believe that the term assist should be interpreted, relating directly to the activity in question and should not be applied liberally or given too wide a definition.... Active participation also means actively participating in the carrying, laying and training in the use, manufacture, distribution, encouraging or inducing someone in the use of [antipersonnel mines]. It is therefore our humble submission that the terms assist and active participation in the context of Article 1 mean knowingly and intentionally participating directly or rendering assistance on the use, transfer and/or production of [antipersonnel] mines.[45]

The ICBL continues to believe that the legality of State Party participation in joint operations with an armed force that uses antipersonnel mines is an open question, and that participation in such operations is contrary to the spirit of the treaty. The ICBL calls on States Parties to insist that any non-signatories do not use antipersonnel mines in joint operations, and to refuse to take part in joint operations that involve use of antipersonnel mines. All States Parties should make clear the nature of their support for other armed forces that may be using antipersonnel mines, and make clear their views with regard to the legality under the Mine Ban Treaty of their military operations with these armed forces.


It appears that States Parties also have differing views about whether the Mine Ban Treaty’s prohibition on “transfer” of antipersonnel mines also applies to “transit.[46] The main issue is whether a non-State Party’s aircraft, ships, or vehicles carrying antipersonnel mines can pass through (and presumably depart from, refuel in, restock in) a State Party on their way to a conflict in which those mines would be used. The ICBL believes that if a State Party willfully permits transit of antipersonnel mines which are destined for use in combat, that government is certainly violating the spirit of the Mine Ban Treaty, is likely violating the Article 1 ban on assistance to an act prohibited by the treaty, and possibly violating the Article 1 prohibition on transfer. The ICRC has also expressed its view that the treaty prohibits transiting of mines.

In this reporting period, several States Parties made their position on transit of antipersonnel mines known to Landmine Monitor.

  • At a Standing Committee meeting on 1 February 2002, Brazil stated that “Article 1, however, does set forth a broad obligation to never ‘stockpile, retain or transfer to anyone, directly or indirectly, anti-personnel mines.’ Brazil is of the view that the latter obligation applies to foreign-owned landmines. Brazil has no foreign anti-personnel mines on its territory and will never, under any circumstances, allow any transiting of anti-personnel mines on its national territory for purposes that are banned by the Convention.”[47]
  • A 13 February 2002 statement by Canada’s Department of National Defense reiterated, “The Convention does not prohibit the transit of anti-personnel mines, which is defined as the movement of anti-personnel mines within a state, or from a state, to its forces abroad. Canada, however, discourages the use of Canadian territory, equipment or personnel for the purpose of transit of anti-personnel mines.”[48]
  • At a May 2002 Standing Committee meeting, Germany noted that it, “considers the Ottawa Treaty – per se – not applicable to allied forces, which in accordance with the 1954 Convention on the Presence of Foreign Forces in the Federal Republic of Germany are permanently stationed in Germany, unless a sending state itself is party to the Treaty. Therefore any weaponry of allied stationed forces covered by this Convention is not under German jurisdiction or control within the meaning of Art. 1 of the Ottawa Treaty. Therefore, Germany will not comment on transit or storage of weaponry belonging to and for the equipment of such allied stationed forces nor will she report on stockpiles of Non-Signatories on her territory.”[49]
  • On 3 October 2001, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan stated, “The government of Japan (GOJ) does not bear any responsibility to prevent or prohibit the transportation of landmines by US military forces.”[50]
  • In March 2002, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Samoa stated that Samoa does not export, import, or stockpile antipersonnel mines, nor does it allow for their transfer through Samoa.[51]
  • According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, transit of antipersonnel mines through Slovenia is subject to national legislation, which incorporates the Mine Ban Treaty and CCW prohibitions.[52]
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office stated in March 2002 that U.S. antipersonnel mines were not transited, stockpiled or maintained on British Indian Ocean Territory during the conduct of operations in Afghanistan.[53] Secondary legislation under the Landmines Act extended its provisions in 2001 to British Overseas Territories.[54] Regarding transit across UK territory of antipersonnel mines by States not party to the Mine Ban Treaty, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office reported to Parliament in March 2002 that it had received legal advice that such transit would be contrary to the UK’s obligations under the Treaty.[55]

Logistical support measures for Coalition military operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere necessitates urgent consideration of this issue by States Parties. States Parties should insure that munitions destined for Afghanistan or elsewhere transiting their territory do not contain antipersonnel mines. Prior events demonstrate that this issue is not theoretical. In 1999 U.S. Army engineer units deployed to Albania with antipersonnel mines and their delivery systems (MOPMS and Volcano mixed mine systems) as part of Task Force Hawk to support operations in Kosovo. Most of the U.S. Army units deployed from bases in Germany. At the time of this deployment, Albania was a signatory to the Mine Ban Treaty and Germany was a State Party.


The ICBL believes that it would violate the spirit of the Mine Ban Treaty for a State Party to permit any government or entity to stockpile antipersonnel mines on its territory, and would violate the letter of the treaty if those stocks are under the jurisdiction or control of the State Party.

The United States stores antipersonnel mines in at least five countries that are States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty: Norway (123,000), Japan (115,000), Germany (112,000), Qatar (11,000), and United Kingdom at Diego Garcia (10,000), as well as treaty signatory Greece (1,100). U.S. antipersonnel mine stockpiles have been removed from States Parties Italy and Spain.

Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom do not consider the U.S. mine stockpiles to be under their jurisdiction or control, and thus not subject to the provisions of the Mine Ban Treaty or their national implementation measures. The United Kingdom reiterated this view in May 2001, “We wish to affirm that US stocks do not fall under our national jurisdiction or control and we do not therefore have any obligations under Article 4 ... in respect of them. We have fully complied with our obligations in respect of stocks that were under our jurisdiction and control.”[56]

Norway, through a bilateral agreement with the U.S., has stipulated the mines must be removed by 1 March 2003, which is the deadline for Norway to comply with its Mine Ban Treaty Article 4 obligation for destruction of antipersonnel mines under its jurisdiction or control. Norway has not publicly disclosed the status or progress of the efforts to remove the U.S. mines. 

For the first time, Qatar responded to requests by the ICBL for clarification on this issue stating, “As for the legality of the joint operations with non-signatories relating to stock-pile, use of antipersonnel mines or transporting or transiting them, we assure you that the Qatari Armed Forces never practice any of these acts.”[57] It is not known if this policy equally applies to Qatari nationals employed in the operation or maintenance of the storage facilities.

There is also concern about Russian stockpiles of antipersonnel mines. Russian forces stationed in State Party Tajikistan are likely to stockpile antipersonnel mines there, given the recent use by Russian forces on the Tajik-Afghan border. It is not known whether Russian peacekeeping forces possess antipersonnel mines in the Pridnestrovie Moldavian Republic, a breakaway region of State Party Moldova.


The Mine Ban Treaty permits Claymore mines (directional fragmentation munitions) used in a command-detonated mode. However, their use in a victim-activated tripwire mode is prohibited. Though not legally obligated, the ICBL believes that States Parties should include information in Article 7 reports on stockpiled Claymore mines and steps taken to ensure their use in command detonated mode only. This will contribute to effective and uniform state practice regarding use of Claymore mines.

The Landmine Monitor Report 2001 stated that 15 States Parties are known to have decided to retain operational stocks of Claymore mines: Australia, Austria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Hungary, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. In this reporting period, since May 2001, this list has expanded to 22 States Parties with the inclusion of Croatia, Ecuador, Germany, Malaysia, Moldova, the Philippines, and Slovenia. As with Honduras and Thailand in previous years, Croatia and Ecuador reversed their initial plans to destroy their stockpiled Claymore mines and decided to keep them. Germany reported in its annual Article 7 report that it received a transfer for the purpose of destruction 38,959 M18A1 Claymore mines in 2001 but did not note the source of these mines.

Representatives of several States Parties have stated that measures have been taken to insure that their Claymore mines cannot be used in the victim-activated mode or that they have destroyed the tripwire assemblies and mechanical fuzes. These include: Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. Only Sweden has reported on the measures taken to modify its Claymore mines in its Article 7 report, although Norway gave a detailed technical presentation on this matter last year during an intersessional meeting. 

A total of 10 States Parties have signaled their intention to destroy their stocks of Claymore mines, aside from those retained under Article 3 for training or research purposes, or to not retain any Claymore mines: Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cambodia, El Salvador, Italy, Jordan, Nicaragua, Peru, and Turkmenistan. France, Romania, and Yemen have confirmed to Landmine Monitor in this reporting period that they do not possess Claymore-type mines. 

No indication has been received from the following States Parties that are known to have at one time produced, imported, or stockpiled Claymore mines on their interpretation of this issue: Eritrea, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.


[3] For the purposes of this report, Landmine Monitor identifies as a State Party any country that has given its consent to be bound by the Mine Ban Treaty. Some of these countries have not completed the six-month waiting period for formal entry-into-force mandated by the treaty. Also, in this report the term ratification is used as a shorthand for “consent to be bound.” The treaty allows governments to give consent to be bound in a variety of ways, including ratification, acceptance, approval or accession – all of which give binding legal status beyond signature.
[4] The states that have signed but not ratified the Mine Ban Treaty (as of 31 July 2002) are: Brunei, Burundi, Cameroon, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Gambia, Greece, Guyana, Haiti, Indonesia, Lithuania, Marshall Islands, Poland, São Tomé e Príncipe, Sudan, Ukraine, and Vanuatu.
[5] Under Article 18 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, when a State has signed a treaty, it “is obliged to refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purpose” of that treaty.
[6] As reported in Landmine Monitor Report 2001, Uzbekistan may have been using antipersonnel mines as late as June 2001, but there have been no allegations since that time. 
[7] Insurgents in Macedonia FYR may have used antipersonnel mines in the early part of this reporting period, but this is not confirmed.
[8] States Parties completing stockpile destruction prior to May 2001: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe. 
[9] Italy’s Statement on Article 3 of Ottawa Convention, APLs Retained for Training Purposes, to the Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 30 May 2002.
[10] States Parties that are late in submitting their initial reports (as of 31 July 2002) to the UN are: Bangladesh, Barbados, Cape Verde, Congo-Brazzaville, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Malawi, Maldives, Namibia, Nauru, Niger, Qatar, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.
[11] States Parties that are late in submitting their annual updates (as of 31 July 2002) to the UN are: Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Botswana, Fiji, Grenada, Kiribati, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Paraguay, Portugal, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Swaziland, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
[12] The 34 total includes Croatia, Nicaragua and Yemen, who used Form I to report victim assistance information instead of Form J.
[13] The Landmine Monitor Report 2001 noted statements or developments on the issue of AVM with AHD or sensitive fuzes from the following States Parties: Bolivia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, and the United Kingdom 
[14] See
[15] Statement of Austria to the Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 31 May 2002.
[16] Statement of Austria to the Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 31 May 2002. These remarks are reprinted in full in the Austria country report.
[17] Statement by Brazil on Issues Concerning Article 2 (Definitions) of the Mine Ban Convention, to the Standing Committee on General Status and Operations of the Convention, Geneva, 1 February 2002.
[18] Commission nationale pour l’élimination des mines antipersonnel, Rapport 2000 (Paris, La Documentation française), pp. 15-23.
[19] Italy’s Statement on Article 2 of Ottawa Convention, AVMs Equipped with Anti-Handling Devices Which Could Be Assimilated to APLs, to the Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 31 May 2002.
[20] Interview held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with Vladimír Valusek, Director, Lt.-Col. Frantisek Zák, and Capt. Martin Sabo, Verification Center, Ministry of Defense, Bratislava, 5 March 2002.
[21] Letter from Raimundo Robredo Rubio, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 6 March 2002.
[22] Ibid. Landmine Monitor researcher’s translation. Similar statements about Law 33/1998 have been made in the past. See Landmine Monitor Report 2000, pp. 722-723.
[23] Anna Lindh, Minister of Foreign Affairs, written answer to question (2001/02:621) in parliament, 11 February 2002 (Translated by the Landmine Monitor researcher).
[24] Anna Lindh, Minister of Foreign Affairs, written answer to question (2001/02:835) in parliament, 14 March 2002.
[25] Björn von Sydow, Minister of Defense, written answer to question (2001/02:857) in parliament, 13 March 2002.
[26] Sweden, Article 7 Report, Form B, 25 April 2002.
[27] Letter from the Defense General Staff, 12 July 2001; Landmine Monitor researcher’s translation.
[28] Statement by the UK on Article 2 (dated 30 May 2002), SC on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 31 May 2002.
[29] States Parties that provided information on their national position on the issue of joint operations for the Landmine Monitor Report 2001 include: Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
[30] “ILX0149: Response to Query,” email to Mines Action Canada from Shannon Smith, DFAIT/ILX, 2 May 2002.
[31] Letter from the Ministry of Defense to the German Initiative to Ban Landmines, 8 January 2002.
[32] Letter from Annette Bjørseth, Advisor, Ministry of Defense, 21 May 2002. 
[33] Response to Landmine Monitor Questionnaire, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 28 March 2002, pp. 3-4; oral joint questions from Mirella Minne and Ferdy Willems, Commission of National Defense, Chamber of Representatives, Integral Bulletin Ref. CRIV 50 COM 672, 26 February 2002, pp. 3-4. 
[34] Brazilian Intervention, January 2002 intersessional Standing Committee meetings.
[35] Interview with Emil Paulsen, Head of Section, Foreign and Security Policy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Copenhagen, 15 May 2002.
[36] Statement on Article 1 by Germany to the Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 27 May 2002. 
[37] Letter to Handicap International from Alain Richard, Ministry of Defense, 17 December 2001
[38] Italy’s Statement on Article 1 of Ottawa Convention, Joint Military Operation, to the Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 31 May 2002.
[39] Email to Landmine Monitor from Commander Muhamad Ridzwan Abd. Rahman, Principal Assistant Secretary, Policy Division, Ministry of Defense, 9 May 2002.
[40] Letter from Gerhard Theron, Charge d’Affaires, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Namibia to the United Nations, New York, to Mary Wareham, Coordinator, Landmine Monitor, 23 July 2001. See also, “Army not breaking landmine treaty,” IRIN, 9 January 2001, citing MOD spokesman Frans Nghitila. 
[41] Interview with Col. Abdoulaye Aziz Ndao, Ministry of Armed Forces, Geneva, 29 January 2002.
[42] “Swedish position on the significance of Article 1(c) of the Ottawa Convention as regards participation in international peace operations,” Memorandum, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1 September 2001.
[43] Anna Lindh, Minister of Foreign Affairs, written answer to question (2001/02:619) in parliament, 13 February 2002.
[44] National Army response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire, 5 April 2002, as presented to Landmine Monitor by Dr. Alvaro Moerzinger, Director General, International Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cover letter dated 10 April 2002. Translated by Landmine Monitor. 
[45] “Zimbabwe's Intervention on the Standing Committee on the General Status and Operations of the Convention: Article 1,” Geneva, 31 May 2002. This written statement is undated, but was delivered on 31 May 2002. Emphasis in original. The full statement is reprinted in the Zimbabwe country report.
[46] In the Landmine Monitor Report 2001, the following States Parties have stated that transit of antipersonnel mines is prohibited: Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Guinea, Italy, Namibia, New Zealand, Portugal, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, and Switzerland. Canada, Germany, Japan, and Norway have indicated that they believe transit of antipersonnel mines is permitted.
[47] Brazilian Intervention to Standing Committee on General Status and Operation, Geneva, 1 February 2002.
[48] “The Canadian Forces and Anti-Personnel Landmine,” DND document BG-02.007, 13 February 2002.
[49] Statement on Article 1 by Germany to the Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 27 May 2002.
[50] Written response to JCBL by Arms Control and Disarmament Division, Foreign Policy Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 20 September 2001.
[51] Letter to Neil Mander, Convenor, NZ Campaign Against Landmines, from Perina J Sila on behalf of Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Samoa, 11 March 2002.
[52] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire from Irina Gorsic, Department of Political Multilateral Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 14 March 2002.
[53] Hansard, 15 March 2002, col. 1298W.
[54] Hansard, 26 February 2002, col. 1155W. British Overseas Territories were listed in Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 818.
[55] Hansard, 26 March 2002, col. 812W.
[56] United Kingdom Permanent Representation to the Conference on Disarmament, “APL Mine Stockpiles & Their Destruction: A Progress Report: Landmine Monitor Fact Sheet,” 11 May 2001.
[57] Letter from Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar to ICBL Coordinator Elizabeth Bernstein (Ref., Qw/1/3-187/2002), 3 July 2002 (translated by the Embassy of Qatar, Washington, DC).