Landmine Monitor 2004

Major Findings 1999-2004

Major Findings 1999-2004

It is abundantly clear from the wealth of information in Landmine Monitor Report 2004 that the Mine Ban Treaty and the ban movement more generally are making tremendous strides in eradicating antipersonnel landmines and in saving lives and limbs in every region of the world. However, daunting challenges remain to universalize the treaty and strengthen the norm of banning antipersonnel mines, to clear mines from the ground, to destroy stockpiled antipersonnel mines, and to assist mine survivors. The ICBL believes that the only real measure of the Mine Ban Treaty’s success will be the concrete impact that it has on the global antipersonnel mine problem. As with the five previous annual reports, Landmine Monitor Report 2004 provides a means of measuring that impact.

The reporting period for Landmine Monitor Report 2004 is May 2003 to May 2004. Editors have where possible added important information that arrived between June and September 2004. Additionally, special emphasis in this edition has been placed on the period since 1999, when the Mine Ban Treaty entered into force.

Key indicators from the Past Five Years

  • 152 countries have agreed to ban antipersonnel mines.
  • Sixty-two million stockpiled antipersonnel mines have been destroyed, including 37.3 million by Mine Ban Treaty States Parties.
  • More than 1,100 square kilometers of land has been cleared since 1999, destroying more than four million antipersonnel mines, nearly one million antivehicle mines, and many more millions of pieces of unexploded ordnance (UXO).
  • Donors provided more than $1.35 billion to mine action from 1999-2003, and about $2.1 billion since 1992.
  • About 22.9 million people attended mine risk education sessions between 1999 and 2003.
  • From 1999 to September 2004, Landmine Monitor has recorded more than 42,500 new landmine and UXO casualties from incidents in at least 75 countries. However, many casualties go unreported and the full number of casualties is certainly much higher, probably in the range of 15,000 to 20,000 new casualties a year.
  • The only governments that have used mines continuously in the 1999-2004 period are Russia and Myanmar (Burma).
  • There has been no publicly acknowledged, legal trade in antipersonnel mines.

Widespread international rejection of antipersonnel mines

A total of 143 countries are States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, and another nine have signed but not yet ratified, constituting more than three-quarters of the world’s nations. Since the last Landmine Monitor report, nine countries joined the treaty including Burundi and Sudan, which are both mine-affected, and Belarus, Greece, Serbia and Montenegro, and Turkey which combined have over 10 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines to destroy. A number of other governments took significant steps toward joining and were poised to ratify or accede including Brunei, Latvia, Poland and Vanuatu.

Universalization challenges

The fact that only two nations joined the Mine Ban Treaty from November 2003-September 2004, despite increased universalization efforts on the part of governments and NGOs in the lead-up to the Nairobi Summit, is disturbing. Forty-two countries, with a combined stockpile of some 180-185 million antipersonnel mines, remain outside of the Mine Ban Treaty. They include three of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, Russia, and the United States), most of the Middle East, most of the former Soviet republics, and many Asian states. In February 2004, the United States abandoned its long-held goal of eventually eliminating all antipersonnel mines. Finland announced in September 2004 that it would not join the Mine Ban Treaty until 2012, six years later than its previously stated goal.

Fewer governments using antipersonnel mines

The marked drop in the use of antipersonnel mines around the globe since the mid-1990s is without question one of the great achievements of the Mine Ban Treaty and the movement to ban antipersonnel mines more generally. Landmine Monitor has confirmed use of antipersonnel mines by 16 governments at some point since 1999 and there is compelling evidence that another five have used them. In looking at the trend, Landmine Monitor Report 1999 identified confirmed or likely use by 15 governments in 1998/1999, while Landmine Monitor Report 2004 identifies four governments that used antipersonnel mines in 2003/2004.

Antipersonnel mine use by Mine Ban Treaty states not party

The only governments that have used mines continuously in the 1999-2004 period are Russia and Myanmar (Burma). In addition, Eritrea, India, Iraq, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, and Yugoslavia have admitted to using antipersonnel mines during the period; Landmine Monitor also finds that Georgia has laid antipersonnel mines on several occasions, but this is denied by the government. Two of these countries have since become States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty: Eritrea in February 2002 and Serbia and Montenegro (formerly FR Yugoslavia) in March 2004.

Antipersonnel mine use by Mine Ban Treaty States Parties and Signatories

Landmine Monitor has found no definitive evidence of use of antipersonnel mines by any State Party, but there were serious and credible allegations regarding Uganda in 2000. Angola, Ecuador, Ethiopia, and Venezuela have acknowledged using antipersonnel mines after signing the treaty, but prior to becoming States Parties. There have been serious allegations about use by three other signatories—Burundi, Rwanda and Sudan—all of which are now States Parties.

Non-State Actors using antipersonnel mines

Landmine Monitor has identified at least 70 armed non-state actors (NSAs) that have used antipersonnel mines since 1999. NSAs have regularly used mines in Burma, Burundi, Chechnya, Colombia, DR Congo, India, Nepal, Philippines, Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda. Widespread rebel use in Sri Lanka and Angola stopped with their cease-fire and peace agreements, respectively. Rebels and other NSAs used antipersonnel mines in at least 16 countries in 2003 and 2004. In this year’s report, NSA use is cited for the first time in Bolivia, Bhutan, Iraq, and Peru.

Decreased peroduction

Of the more than 50 states known to have produced antipersonnel mines, 36 states have formally renounced and ceased production. This includes three countries that are not party to the Mine Ban Treaty: Finland, Israel, and Poland. Since it began reporting in 1999, Landmine Monitor has removed Turkey and Serbia and Montenegro from its list of producers. Egypt has unofficially stated that it ceased production in 1988. The US has not produced antipersonnel mines since 1997. South Korea has stated it has not produced any mines since 2000. An official from China stated in September 2003 that no production is occurring there. Production of certain types of antipersonnel mines by Russia has apparently stopped.

Ongoing production

Landmine Monitor identifies 15 countries as producers of antipersonnel mines. Nepal was added to the list in 2003, making it the first addition to the ranks of the producers since Landmine Monitor reporting started in 1999. In some cases it is unclear if production lines were active between 1999 and 2004. An Iraqi diplomat stated that production continued in recent years, including during the lead-up to the invasion in 2003, but that facilities were destroyed in the war. India and Pakistan are actively engaged in the production of antipersonnel mines, including new remotely delivered mine systems. Officials in Singapore and Vietnam admit that the production of antipersonnel mines is on-going. Burma, Cuba, and North Korea have made no public confirmation or denial of production activity since 1999.

De facto global ban on trade in antipersonnel mines

A de facto global ban on the transfer or export of antipersonnel mines has been in effect since 1996. The trade in antipersonnel mines has dwindled to a very low level of illicit trafficking and unacknowledged trade. A significant number of states outside the Mine Ban Treaty have enacted or extended export moratoria in the past five years including China, India, Israel, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States. In addition, representatives of Cuba, Egypt, and Vietnam have claimed not to export antipersonnel mines, although no formal unilateral prohibition has been put into place.

Millions of stockpiled antipersonnel mines destroyed

At the time when the Mine Ban Treaty was negotiated and entered into force, a staggering 131 states possessed stockpiles estimated at more than 260 million antipersonnel mines. In this Landmine Monitor reporting period, some four million stockpiled antipersonnel mines were destroyed, bringing the global total to about 62 million antipersonnel mines destroyed in recent years. Sixty-five States Parties have completed the destruction of their stockpiles, collectively destroying more than 37.3 million antipersonnel mines. Italy destroyed the most mines (7.1 million), followed by Turkmenistan (6.6 million). Albania, France, Germany, Japan, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom have each destroyed more than one million antipersonnel mines.

Millions of mines stockpiles by states not party

The greatest numbers of antipersonnel mines, between 180 million and 185 million, are stockpiled by states not party to the Mine Ban Treaty. The majority of these stockpiles belong to just three states: China (estimated 110 million), Russia (estimated 50 million) and the United States (10.4 million). Other states with large stockpiles include Pakistan (estimated 6 million), India (estimated 4-5 million), and South Korea (2 million). Other states not party to the treaty believed to have large stockpiles are Burma, Egypt, Finland, Iran, Iraq, Israel, North Korea, Syria, and Vietnam.

Failure to meet transparency reporting requirement

While the compliance rate for States Parties submitting initial transparency measures reports required by Article 7 of the Mine Ban Treaty is a very admirable 91 percent, twelve States Parties are late in submitting their reports: Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Guyana, Liberia, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia and Montenegro, Sudan, and Turkey. Equatorial Guinea (due date 28 August 1999), St. Lucia (29 March 2000), and Liberia (28 November 2000) can only be considered grossly non-compliant in fulfilling the treaty’s transparency obligation. All three have passed their deadlines for destroying any stockpiled antipersonnel mines, but have not informed States Parties of compliance with this core obligation.

Failure to reach understandings on the meaning of key treaty obligations

Since the Mine Ban Treaty entered into force, the ICBL has consistently raised questions about how States Parties interpret and implement certain aspects of Articles 1, 2, and 3. In particular, the ICBL has expressed concerns regarding the issues of joint military operations with non-States Parties, the prohibition on “assist,” foreign stockpiling and transit of antipersonnel mines, mines with sensitive fuzes and antihandling devices, and the permissible number of mines retained for training and development purposes. The ICBL has pointed out that some States Parties have diverged from the predominant legal interpretation and predominant State practice on these matters.

Increased mine action donations

Landmine Monitor has identified about US$2.07 billion in donor mine action contributions from 1992-2003. Of that 12-year total, 65 percent ($1.35 billion) was provided in the past five years (1999-2003), since the entry into force of the Mine Ban Treaty. For 2003, Landmine Monitor has identified $339 million in mine action funding by more than 24 donors. This is an increase of $25 million, or 8 percent, from 2002, and an increase of $102 million, or 43 percent, from 2001. Major increases were registered for the European Commission and the United States, as well as Canada and Sweden.

Donor decreases in mine action funding

In 2003, mine action funding fell significantly for several of the major donors, including Japan, Austria, Italy, Australia, France, and the Netherlands.

Increases in funding received

Top recipients of mine action funding for the five-year review period (1999-2003) were Afghanistan ($200 million), Iraq ($149 million), Cambodia ($114 million), Kosovo ($89 million), Angola ($84 million), Bosnia and Herzegovina ($82 million) and Mozambique ($73 million). In 2003, mine action funding for Afghanistan continued to rise, to $75 million, making a two-year total of $141 million. Funds also poured into Iraq after the invasion and ouster of Saddam Hussein, with some $55 million contributed in 2003. Sri Lanka and Sudan are emerging as significant recipients.

More funding needed

An unusually large number of mine-affected countries experienced a decline in donor contributions to mine action in 2003. Mine action funding fell most severely in 2003 for Vietnam and Cambodia, but decreases were also seen for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Eritrea, Somaliland, Laos, and Ethiopia. Resources for mine victim assistance have declined since 1999, even as the number of landmine survivors requiring assistance has continued to grow every year.

Expanding mine action programs

Some form of mine clearance was reported to have taken place in 2003 and 2004 in a total of 65 countries and seven areas, including humanitarian mine clearance that benefited the civilian population in 36 countries. In this reporting period, humanitarian mine clearance operations started for the first time in Armenia (May 2003), Chile (September 2003), Senegal (late 2003), and Tajikistan (June 2004). A combined total of more than 149 million square meters of land was cleared in 2003, destroying 174,167 antipersonnel mines, 9,330 antivehicle mines, and 2.6 million items of UXO.

Several States Parties have declared fulfillment of clearance obligations

Countries that have declared completion of mine clearance since the publication of Landmine Monitor Report 1999 include Bulgaria (October 1999), Moldova (August 2000), Costa Rica (December 2002), Czech Republic (April 2003), Djibouti (January 2004) and, most recently, Honduras (June 2004). In June 2004, Namibia stated that while there was still a problem on the country’s border with Angola, the country could be viewed as mine safe.

Still too many mine-affected countries and not enough being done

Uncleared landmines and UXO affect millions of people living in 83 countries. In 2003 and 2004, no clearance activities were recorded in 20 of those countries, including Algeria, Bangladesh, Burundi, Republic of Congo, Cuba, Denmark, France (Djibouti), Liberia, Malawi, Morocco, Niger, North Korea, Oman, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland, Syria, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela. In 2003 and 2004, no mine risk education activities were recorded in 23 mine-affected countries, including 13 States Parties.

Fewer new mine victims in some countries

The number of reported new casualties declined in 2003 from those reported in 2002 in the majority of mine-affected countries; in some cases significantly, such as in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Lebanon, Senegal, and Sri Lanka. However, civilians account for the vast majority of new landmine casualties; 86 percent of reported casualties in 2004 were identified as civilians.

More mine victims needing assistance

For 2003, Landmine Monitor identified over 8,065 new casualties, of which 23 percent were children, in 65 countries. Compared to last year’s Landmine Monitor Report, there were four new countries with reported casualties from mine-related incidents: Armenia, Bolivia, Cyprus, and Liberia. Landmine Monitor has identified more than 230,000 mine survivors recorded in 97 countries and nine areas; some are from incidents dating back to the end of the World War II, but the vast majority of survivors are from the mid-1970s onwards. Given the high number of casualties that likely have never been recorded, it is reasonable to assume that there are somewhere between 300,000 and 400,000 mine survivors in the world today.