Bangladesh

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 05 September 2023

Summary:Non-signatory Bangladesh has expressed interest in the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but has not taken any steps to accede to it. It last participated in a meeting of the convention in 2019. Bangladesh voted in favor of the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution promoting the convention in December 2022.

In 2019, Bangladesh said that it does not use, produce, transfer, or possess a stockpile of cluster munitions.

Policy

The People’s Republic of Bangladesh has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Bangladesh has expressed interest in the convention, but has not taken any steps to accede to it. In September 2019, Bangladesh told States Parties that it was “actively considering signing the ban treaty on cluster munitions following required protocol in due course of time.”[1]

Bangladesh participated in several meetings of the Oslo Process that created the convention, but did not attend the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008.[2] Bangladesh attended a regional conference on the convention held in Bali, Indonesia in November 2009.

Bangladesh has participated as an observer at several meetings of the convention, most recently in September 2019.[3] Bangladesh was invited to, but did not attend, the convention’s Tenth Meeting of States Parties held in Geneva in August–September 2022.

In December 2022, Bangladesh voted in favor of the key annual UNGA resolution urging states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.”[4] It has voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention every year since it was first introduced in 2015.

Bangladesh is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Bangladesh stated in September 2019 that it does not produce, export, or stockpile cluster munitions.[5] Previously, in 2013, a representative of the Bangladesh Armed Forces told the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) that the country does not possess cluster munitions.[6]



[1] Statement of Bangladesh, Convention on Cluster Munitions Ninth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 September 2019. This marked the first time that Bangladesh formally elaborated its views on the convention, though officials had previously discussed the country’s views with the CMC on many occasions. CMC interviews with Faiyaz Murshid Kazi, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations (UN) in New York, New York, 13 and 16 October 2017; CMC meeting with Toufiq Islam Shatil, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN in Geneva, Geneva, 6 September 2016; and CMC meeting with Sarwar Mahmood, Counselor, Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN in New York, New York, 19 October 2010. Notes by the CMC.

[2] For more information on Bangladesh’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2010, see ICBL, Cluster Munition Monitor 2010 (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2010), p. 196.

[3] Bangladesh attended the convention’s Meetings of States Parties in 2013–2014 and 2019. It also participated in  intersessional meetings in 2011 and 2014, as well as in regional workshops on the convention. Bangladesh did not attend the First Review Conference held in Dubrovnik, Croatia in September 2015.

[4]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 77/79, 7 December 2022.

[5] Statement of Bangladesh, Convention on Cluster Munitions Ninth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 September 2019.

[6] CMC interview with Muhammad Golam Sarowar, Armed Forces Division, Bangladesh Armed Forces, in Lusaka, 12 September 2013. Notes by the CMC.


Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 12 November 2019

Policy

The People’s Republic of Bangladesh signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 7 May 1998, ratified on 6 September 2000, and became a State Party on 1 March 2001.

Bangladesh has not drafted implementation legislation for the Mine Ban Treaty.[1] In 2009, Bangladesh stated that it “is aware of its obligation in terms of enacting enabling legislation in support of the provisions of the Anti-personnel Mine Convention. Recently the government has initiated the process to draft legislation banning the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of Anti-personnel Mines.”[2] Bangladesh has made similar statements each year since 2002. In 2013, Bangladesh reported, “necessary implementation measures are in process” under national implementation measures.[3] It provided the same update in its Article 7 transparency report in April 2017.[4]

Bangladesh’s last attendance at a meeting of the convention was the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014. Bangladesh last submitted an Article 7 transparency report in April 2017.

Bangladesh is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants. Bangladesh is not party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Production, transfer, use, stockpiling, and destruction

Bangladeshi officials have often stated that the country has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines and never used antipersonnel mines within the country or along its borders.[5]

Bangladesh completed destruction of 189,227 stockpiled antipersonnel mines in February 2005.[6]

Bangladesh has 2,499 Iranian-produced M18A1 Claymore-type mines that it maintains can only be used in command-detonated mode, and therefore are not prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty.[7] Bangladesh has not described in detail the specific measures it has taken to ensure that the mines can only be used in command-detonated mode, as has been urged by other States Parties.

In February 2013, cross-border traders informed the Monitor that officers of the Nasaka (Burmese Border Forces) warned them that an operation to lay landmines along the land border between Myanmar and Bangladesh would begin soon. On 12 February 2013, residents of Naikhongchari in Bangladesh stated to the Monitor that a Bangladeshi national saw an object which he alleged looked like a landmine near pillar 51 (the border is marked by numbered pillars). Local Border Guard of Bangladesh (BGB) forces went to pillar 51 and removed the object and reportedly sent it to their battalion office at Naikhongchari. Another news report noted that mines had been planted in the areas near border pillars 37 to 40. Later in February, the BGB issued a warning to locals to avoid border area and increased their surveillance to prevent people from getting near the border.

In March 2013, the ICBL wrote to Bangladesh’s Minister of Foreign Affairs to request information on any recent landmine use along Bangladesh’s border with Myanmar and reminded the government that Bangladesh should declare any recovered antipersonnel landmines from its border areas in its Article 7 Report. The ICBL asked if the minister “could confirm whether military forces from Myanmar recently laid mines on Bangladeshi territory or transited Bangladesh territory to undertake mine laying on Myanmar territory, and we would welcome any additional information you have on this matter.” As of October 2013, the ICBL had received no response to its letter.

Mines retained for research and training

Bangladesh has retained 12,050 antipersonnel mines for research and training under Article 3 of the treaty, which is the third highest number among States Parties. The number of antipersonnel mines retained since Bangladesh’s initial Article 7 report in 2002 has decreased only slightly from its original number of 12,500.[8] This indicates that mines are rarely being consumed during any training or research activities.

In December 2009, Bangladesh said that the retained mines “are used only to impart training to Bangladesh Armed Forces personnel, specifically to assist engineering contingents to prepare for UN peacekeeping missions with de-mining mandate.”[9] In the past, Bangladesh army officials have stated that they need a large number of retained mines because they believe that deminer training requires live rather than dummy mines and because engineering units and training facilities are spread all over the country.[10]

In its Article 7 reports, Bangladesh has not used the expanded Form D for reporting on retained mines that States Parties agreed to in 2005. The form is intended to ensure that States Parties are transparent about the precise intended purposes, actual uses, and future plans for use of retained mines.



[1] In its first mention in its Article 7 report in April 2003, Bangladesh stated that its implementation legislation was in its “final stage of preparation.” Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 29 April 2003. However, in subsequent Article 7 reports including the one from June 2010, it has simply repeated that “Necessary implementation measures are in progress.” Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 25 June 2010.

[2] Statement by Amb. Akramul Qader, State Minister, Embassy of Bangladesh to the United States (US), Mine Ban Treaty Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 3–4 December 2009.

[3] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 28 February 2013.

[4] Ibid., 12 April 2017.

[5] It most recently said this in its statement at the Second Review Conference in 2009.

[6] For details on stockpile destruction, see, Landmine Monitor Report 2005, pp. 156–157.

[7] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form B, 28 February 2007.

[8] Bangladesh initially listed 15,000 retained mines, including 2,500 M18A1 Iranian Claymore-type mines. In 2005, it changed the M18A1 number to 2,499 for unknown reasons. In its last four Article 7 reports, it did not include the 2,499 M18A1 mines in the list of retained mines, explaining that the devices are not prohibited under the Mine Ban Treaty. In its 2017 report, Bangladesh indicated that it retains 12,050 mines. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 12 April 2017.

[9] Statement by Amb. Qader, Embassy of Bangladesh to the US, Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 3–4 December 2009.


Casualties

Last updated: 19 November 2018

Casualties

All known casualties by end 2017

198 (66 killed; 132 injured; 1118 unknown) mine/ explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties since 1993

 

One casualty was recorded in the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in February 2018. A local was reported to have lost both legs in an improvised mine (victim-activated improvised explosive device, IED) blast in the Naikkhangchhari zone of Bandarban in the Bangladesh-Myanmar border area.[1]

Previously, the last recorded new landmine/ERW casualties in Bangladesh occurred in 2008 when there were three reported ERW casualties in two incidents.[2]

The total number of casualties from mines and ERW in Bangladesh is not known. Between 1993 and the end of 2008, there were at least 198 mine/ERW casualties; 66 people were killed and another 132 injured in landmine/ERW incidents.[3]



[1] "AL man loses legs in Myanmar border explosion," The Daily Star, 4 February 2018.

[2]Bomb blows away farmer’s hand in Jhenidah,” The Daily Star (Jhenidah), 30 April 2008; and “2 women killed as grenade goes off,” The Daily Star (Bandarban), 13 December 2008.

[3] ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2004: Toward a Mine-Free World (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2004). In addition to the 64 people killed and 131 injured reported until 2001, three casualties (two killed, one injured) were recorded in 2008. ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2009: Toward a Mine-Free World (Mines Action Canada, 2009).