Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 19 October 2017


The Republic of Lebanon has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty, but indicated in December 2009 that it intends to do so, saying that it “hopes to sign…in the future” and it “looks forward to joining the Mine Ban Treaty.”[1]

Previously, in 2004, Lebanon had said that it was unable to join the Mine Ban Treaty due to the continuing conflict with Israel.[2] The 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah further heightened concerns about the security of its southern border. In August 2013, Lebanon’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adnan Mansour, reportedly stated that landmines “are protecting the border” with Israel.[3]

Lebanon attended, as an observer, the Mine Ban Treaty Fifteenth Meeting of States Parties in Santiago, Chile, in November–December 2016 and intersessional meetings in Geneva in June 2017. It did not make any statements at these meetings.

Lebanon abstained from voting on UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution 71/34 on antipersonnel mines on 5 December 2016.

Lebanon is party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions and hosted its Second Meeting of States Parties in Beirut in September 2011. Lebanon is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), and its Amended Protocol II on landmines.[4]

Production, transfer, use, and stockpiling

In December 2009, Lebanon confirmed that it “has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines.”[5] There have been no allegations of new use by Lebanese forces of antipersonnel mines or antipersonnel mine-like devices in Lebanon since 2006.[6] In late 2011 and in 2012, the Syrian Army laid antipersonnel and antivehicle mines along its borders, including the border with Lebanon in al-Buni, Heet (PMN-2 and TMN-46 mines), and Masharih al-Qaa.[7]

In August 2011, Lebanon informed the Monitor that “The Lebanese Government doesn’t use or stockpile or produce or transport any anti-personnel mines, though the Lebanese army retains very few numbers for training purposes.”[8] Earlier, in March 2008, the director of the Lebanon Mine Action Center (LMAC) said that the stockpile consists of a small quantity of mines, which he described as being lower than the maximum number permitted by the Mine Ban Treaty for training purposes.[9]

In August 2017, the Lebanese Army launched a military operation to expel Islamic State (IS) militants from an area they occupied in the western Qalamoun Mountains, near Arsala, on Lebanon’s border with Syria. The area occupied by IS was found to have extensive contamination from IS-laid improvised mines.[10]

[1] Statement by Gen. Mohamed Femhi, Director, Lebanon Mine Action Center (LMAC), Second Review Conference, Mine Ban Treaty, Cartagena, 4 December 2009. More fully, Lebanon said, “Regardless of the fact that Israel refuses to accede to the Ottawa or Oslo Conventions…Lebanon will not follow that same path. Lebanon understands the tragic consequences that cluster munitions and anti-personnel mines have on civilian populations. Lebanon has signed the Oslo treaty and hopes to sign the Ottawa Convention in the future…Lebanon, here again, confirms his beliefs in the principle of the Ottawa Convention and its noble objectives, and looks forward to joining the Mine Ban Treaty.”

[2] Statement by Amb. Michel Haddad, Mine Ban Treaty First Review Conference, Nairobi, 3 December 2004. The ambassador cited the “failure of the Government of Israel to submit all the maps showing the deployment of landmines” and the “continued occupation by Israel of parts of Southern Lebanon.”

[4] Lebanon acceded to the Convention on Conventional Weapons, and its optional Protocols I, II, and III on 5 April 2017.

[5] Statement by Gen. Femhi, LMAC, Second Review Conference, Mine Ban Treaty, Cartagena, 4 December 2009.

[6] See, Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 893–895, for allegations regarding Hezbollah, Fatah al-Islam, and Israel; and response to Monitor questionnaire by the Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the UN in Geneva, 26 August 2011. Lebanon confirmed in the August 2011 letter that “Antipersonnel mines were never used in Lebanon in 2010 or 2011.”

[7] The Lebanese president confirmed in November 2011 that Syria had planted landmines along its border with Lebanon, on the Syrian side. See, “Sleiman: Syria regrets incursions into Lebanon,” The Daily Star, 10 November 2011; “2 Syrian Nationals Wounded by Landmine at Northern Border-Crossing,” Naharnet, 9 February 2012; and “Syria plants mines along Lebanon border,” The Daily Star, 13 June 2012. For information about an injury at an unidentified location on the Syria-Lebanese border, see, “Lebanon-Syria border blast wounds 3,” Agence France-Presse, 29 July 2012. On March 9, The Washington Post published on its website a photo of dirt-covered PMN-2 antipersonnel mines and TMN-46 antivehicle mines that it reported were planted by the Syrian army on the outskirts of the Syrian village of Heet.

[8] Response to Monitor questionnaire by the Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the UN in Geneva, 26 August 2011.

[9] Interview with Gen. Fehmi, LMAC, Beirut, 3 March 2008. While the text of the Mine Ban Treaty does not specify a maximum number that may be retained for demining training purposes, most States Parties have agreed that the number should be in the hundreds or thousands, or less, and not in the tens of thousands.

[10] Landmine Monitor interview with Brig. Gen. Ziad Nasr, Director, LMAC, in Geneva, 4 September 2017.