Last Updated: 28 June 2013

Mine Ban Policy

Mine ban policy overview

Mine Ban Treaty status

State Party as of 1 October 2012

Pro-mine ban UNGA voting record

Absent from the vote on Resolution 66/29 in December 2011

Participation in Mine Ban Treaty meetings

Attended the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties in November 2011 and intersessional Standing Committee meetings in May 2012

Key developments

Acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 16 April 2012


The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of the Somali Republic was created under a 2004 charter and occupies Somalia’s seat at the UN. It has subsequently been engaged in various levels of armed conflict. Since early 2007, al-Shabaab (the Youth) and other armed groups have carried out attacks against TFG forces and the peacekeeping soldiers of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and engaged in intense fighting in Mogadishu in 2010 and 2011.


Somalia acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 16 April 2012 and the treaty entered into force for Somalia on 1 October 2012. Somalia is the 160th State Party; with its accession, all states in Sub-Saharan Africa are now States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty.

The Council of Ministers of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia formally approved accession to the Mine Ban Treaty on 5 April 2012 and the prime minister signed the instrument of accession four days later.[1]

Government officials have expressed support for the treaty on several occasions since the Mine Ban Treaty’s First Review Conference in November 2004, where Somalia’s prime minister announced the government’s intention to outlaw antipersonnel mines.[2] The Somalia Coalition to Ban Landmines continuously raised the need for Somalia to join the Mine Ban Treaty.

Somalia’s initial Article 7 report for the Mine Ban Treaty is due by 30 March 2013.

After not attending any Mine Ban Treaty meetings since 2005, Somalia participated as an observer in the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in November 2011. Somalia also attended the treaty’s intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva in May 2012.

Somalia was absent from the vote of UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution 66/29 on antipersonnel mines on 2 December 2011. It voted in favor of a similar annual resolution in 2010 and 2009, but was absent from the 2008 vote.

Somalia is a signatory to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Somalia is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Several Somali factions previously renounced use of antipersonnel mines by signing the Deed of Commitment administered by Geneva Call.[3] Most of the signatories that are still active are allied to the TFG.[4]

The Somalia Coalition to Ban Landmines has continued to engage on the Mine Ban Treaty with government officials as well as with the Somali National Mine Action Agency.

Production and stockpiling

Somalia has never been known to manufacture antipersonnel mines, but mines have been widely available. There is no information about possible stockpiles of antipersonnel mines held by government forces. Most factions involved in armed conflict in Somalia are believed to possess mines.[5] Demobilizing militias have previously turned in mines.[6]

In October 2011, two Ethiopian armed opposition groups travelling through Somalia from Eritrea were captured by a militia allied with the TFG. Antipersonnel mines, among other weapons, were seized from the combatants.[7]

Some of the armed groups in Somalia that signed the Geneva Call Deed of Commitment have pledged to undertake stockpile destruction and provide information on their stockpiles. In 2009, Mohamed Omar Habeeb “Dheere” of the Jowhar Administration informed Geneva Call that they only possessed antivehicle mines.[8] In 2009, the Somali National Front (SNF) told Geneva Call that its stockpiles had been moved to Dolow, Gedo region, and that it needed technical and financial support for their destruction.[9] In early 2010, the SNF informed Geneva Call that their stockpile had been looted by al-Shabaab militants.[10]

Two groups have surrendered mines for destruction. In 2009, United Somali Congress/Somali National Alliance (USC/SNA) chair Hussein Mohamed Farah Aideed informed Geneva Call that its stockpile mines were handed over to AMISOM in Mogadishu in early 2007 and destroyed.[11]

In 2008, Puntland Mine Action Center, with technical support from Mines Advisory Group (MAG), destroyed 48 stockpiled PMP-71 antipersonnel mines near Garowe on behalf of the Puntland authorities.[12] In 2009, police with technical support from MAG destroyed 78 P4 antipersonnel mines in Galkayo.[13] In February 2011, MAG destroyed 382 antipersonnel mines from unknown stockpiles at police stations in Puntland authorities.[14]

Previously, the Juba Valley Alliance and Rahanweyn Resistance Army stated to Geneva Call that they possessed antipersonnel mines, but have not revealed the types, the quantity, or any action taken to destroy them.[15]


Between 2002 and 2006, the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia published a number of reports containing allegations of the transfer of antipersonnel and other mines from a number of countries, including States Parties Eritrea and Ethiopia, to various Somali combatants.[16] More recent reports have not contained new allegations.

Mines have been sold at arms markets in Somalia.[17] In June 2009, Reuters reported the continued sale of mines and other weapons at markets in Mogadishu.[18]


There has been use of antipersonnel mines by various factions throughout past conflict in Somalia, but in recent years the Monitor has not identified any confirmed reports of new use of antipersonnel mines by government forces or any of the non-state armed groups (NSAGs) operating in the country.

NSAGs use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in large numbers and media often refer to command-detonated IEDs and bombs as “landmines.”[19] Victim-activated mines and other explosive devices are prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty, but command-detonated mines and devices are not. Monitor analysis of media reports indicates that most, if not all, of the recovered explosive weapons and explosive attacks attributed to mines involve command-detonated or time-detonated bombs. However, on 12 October 2011, TFG and AMISOM forces discovered a NSAG IED manufacturing facility in Mogadishu, after which UNMAS noted, “The presence of improvised pressure plates indicates that [Al-Shabaab] intends to employ Victim Operated IEDs, against vehicles or dismounted troops.”[20]


[2] In November–December 2004, then-Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Gedi attended the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in Nairobi as an observer, where he stated the TFG’s intention to outlaw antipersonnel mines. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 869. At the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in June 2005, Somalia’s then-Deputy Prime Minister asserted the government’s resolve to accede to the treaty.

[3] Between 2002 and 2005, Geneva Call received signatures from 17 factions. See Landmine Monitor Report 2006, p. 1,064. In August 2009, Geneva Call informed the Monitor that eight signatories were no longer active. Email from Nicolas Florquin, Program Officer, Geneva Call, 26 August 2009.

[4] Geneva Call, “Non-State Actor Mine Action and Compliance to the Deed of Commitment Banning Anti-Personnel Landmines, January 2008 – June 2010,” 24 June 2010, p. 4.

[5] The former TFG Deputy Prime Minister told the Monitor in 2005 that he believed militias in Mogadishu alone held at least 10,000 antipersonnel mines. Interview with Hussein Mohamed Aideed, Deputy Prime Minister, in Geneva, 15 June 2005.

[6] Photographs of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration program available on the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) website in July 2009 showed mines and improvised explosive devices. See AMISOM, “Pictures of some collected/surrendered Weapons and Ammunitions to AMISOM,” undated,

[7] On 31 October 2011, a combined group of fighters from the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) were captured after a clash near Seejo, in central Somalia with local militia from Ahlu Sunnawal Jama’a (ASWJ), a group nominally aligned with Somalia’s TFG. The ONLF and OLF combatants had reportedly undergone training in mine warfare in Eritrea prior to their capture. UNSC, “Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea pursuant to Security Council resolution 2002 (2011),” S/2012/545, 13 July 2012,

[8] Email from Anne-Kathrin Glatz, Program Officer, Geneva Call, 27 July 2009.

[9] Ibid. Previously, in 2008, Geneva Call said that the SNF had reportedly completed an inventory of its stockpile and had approached UNDP in Baidoa to request technical assistance for stockpile destruction. Email from Pascal Bongard, Program Director, Geneva Call, 8 August 2008; and email from Katherine Kramer, Asia Programme Director, Geneva Call, 5 September 2008.

[10] Geneva Call, “Non-State Actor Mine Action and Compliance to the Deed of Commitment Banning Anti-Personnel Landmines, January 2008 – June 2010,” 24 June 2010, p. 4.

[11] Email from Anne-Kathrin Glatz, Geneva Call, 27 July 2009. The USC/SNA had previously stated it had 1,800 antipersonnel landmines in its stockpile. See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 977.

[12] Geneva Call, “Somalia: Puntland authorities destroy anti-personnel mines,” Press release, 24 July 2008.

[13] MAG, “Somalia: Munitions stockpile clearance in Puntland,” 1 May 2009,

[14] MAG, “Somalia: Largest haul of mines destroyed,” 17 February 2011,

[15] Geneva Call, “Engaging Armed Non-State Actors in a Landmine Ban: The Geneva Call Progress Report (2000–2007),” November 2007, pp. 16–17. It is unclear if the stockpiled mines declared by the Juba Valley Alliance are antipersonnel or antivehicle. Email from Katherine Kramer, Geneva Call, 5 September 2008.

[16] See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, pp. 1,004–1,005; Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 978–979; Landmine Monitor Report 2006, pp. 1,065–1,066; Landmine Monitor Report 2005, pp. 870–871; and Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 1,112. In response to the claims by the UN Monitoring Group, the Presidents of the Seventh and Eighth Meetings of States Parties wrote to the chair of the group for clarification and further information, but did not receive responses.

[17] See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, pp. 1,003–1,005, for details including sellers and markets identified by the UN Monitoring Group.

[18] One arms dealer claimed to sell mines (type unspecified, but likely antivehicle) for approximately US$100 apiece. “Arms Trade-Dealers revel in Somali war business,” Reuters (Mogadishu), 9 June 2009,

[19] According to a June 2011 UN Monitoring Group report, “Improvised explosive device technology in Somalia is relatively low-tech compared with other conflict arenas. The most common explosives used in attacks are TNT and RDX, which can be extracted from mortars and other high explosive artillery shells. More rudimentary improvised explosive devices include anti-tank mines and medium-to-high-caliber ammunition that can be altered for remote detonation. As for fragmentation improvised explosive devices, bomb makers lay 3-10 cm pieces of rebar, nuts and bolts, and ball bearings cast in resin on top of the explosive.” UN, Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea pursuant to Security Council resolution 1916 (2010), S/2011/433 18 July 2011, p. 45, para. 138. The UN Monitoring Group found that antivehicle mines were modified for remote detonation and deployed as IEDs in Somalia, sometimes with additional metal objects (bolts, metal filings) welded to the casing to enhance the fragmentation effect. UN, “Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia pursuant to Security Council resolution 1853 (2008),” S/2010/91, 10 March 2010, p. 50, para. 174. See, for example, recovery of ‘landmines’ by AU forces: AbdulkadirKhalif, “Amisom forces uncover buried explosives,” Daily Monitor, 19 December 2011,; and “Somalia: Landmine Blast Rocks Ethiopian Convoy in Beledweyne, Central Region,” Shabelle Media Network, 14 May 2012,

[20] UNSC, “Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritreapursuant to Security Council resolution 2002 (2011),” S/2012/545, 13 July 2012, para. 21, p. 167, Citing an unpublished UNMAS report “Confirmed Find of Bomb Making Equipment – 12 October 2011,” UNMAS report, 13 October 2011.

Last Updated: 30 July 2012

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

The Republic of Somalia signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008.

In September 2011, Somalia stated that its ratification of the ban convention “is now in the custody of the Council of Ministers of the Somalia Transitional Federal Government to be discussed, approved and presented to the Transitional Federal Parliament of Somalia to ratify.”[1]

Somalia attended one meeting of the Oslo Process that produced the convention (Vienna in December 2007).[2] Somalia did not participate in any international or regional meetings in 2009 or 2010. Somalia attended the convention’s Second Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Beirut, Lebanon in September 2011, where it provided an update on ratification.

Somalia acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 16 April 2012.

Somalia is not a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Somalia is not known to have used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions.


[1] Statement by Somalia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 14 September 2011,

[2] For details on Somalia’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), p. 153.

Last Updated: 17 December 2012

Mine Action

Contamination and Impact

As a result of border conflicts with Ethiopia, and two decades of civil war, Somalia is littered with landmines, explosive remnants of war (ERW) contamination and stockpiles of weapons. The landmine problem in Somalia is only comprehensible in the context of the security situation in the country, and even then, the problem is not completely understood.

Landmines, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and other ERW are a contributing factor to the protracted emergency situation in many parts of Somalia. Incidents involving explosive devices were reported almost daily through June 2012.[1] The mine problem is exacerbated by the ongoing fighting between Ethiopian and Kenyan troops with Al Shabaab and various clan militias. Danish Demining Group (DDG) and Mines Advisory Group (MAG) report there are privately held stockpiles of varying size of abandoned explosive ordnance (AXO) and unexploded ordnance (UXO), which pose a significant threat from accidental explosions as well as possible diversion of explosives to construct IEDs.[2]

The UN is concerned that any period of calm and stability in Somalia following an increase of international support for the government, particularly in and around Mogadishu, could lead to large population displacement. This could greatly increase the need for clearance, survey, and risk education (RE) activities to meet the needs of returnees with little notice.[3]


Surveys in Bakol, Bay, and Hiraan regions in south central Somalia have revealed that, of the 718 communities in total, approximately one in 10 contained mined areas. Surveys in the Afgoye Corridor and parts of Mogadishu have indicated high levels of ERW along with some antipersonnel and antivehicle mines.[4] As recently as May 2012, mine-laying was still reportedly occurring in south-central and eastern Somaliland.[5] In south central Somalia, some of the contaminated areas are in Abodwaq (Galguduud region), Belet Weyn (Hiraan), Dollow (Gedo), and Mataban (Galguduud).[6] Other mined areas are mainly along the Ethiopian border, but they seem to have minimal impact on the surrounding population, one of the reasons why the areas have not been cleared.[7] Surveys also indicate that most districts in Mogadishu are affected to some extent by ERW and abandoned stockpiles, and IEDs present a daily threat. IEDs laid by non-state armed groups pose an additional threat to communities and aid organizations.[8]

Explosive remnants of war

Surveys by MAG, DDG, and UN Somalia Mine Action (UNSOMA), in coordination with the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), identified 340 dangerous areas in 2011 containing 3,219 ERW in Banadir, Galgaduud, and Mudug regions.[9]

In 2011, the Puntland Mine Action Center (PMAC) reported 29 incidents with IEDs resulting in 31 injuries and 12 fatalities. Of the 29 incidents, half occurred in Bossaso town in Bari region and one quarter in Galkayo town in Mudug region. The remaining quarter of the incidents were scattered around the three regions of Puntland, including the main town of Garowe. In the absence of technical capacity, the Puntland authorities would request PMAC and the police explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams to respond to IED incidents and reports, but neither PMAC nor the police had the necessary qualifications to be able to respond.[10] In response, PMAC conducted IED awareness training.[11]

UXO are said to be “held for security or for monetary value, and [UXO] erode feelings of safety; this is addressed through police EOD capacities in Somaliland and Puntland with support from the UN and MAG, as well as a Community Safety Enhancement Program implemented by DDG in Somaliland and Mudug”.[12]

Mine Action Program

Somalia has a complex operating environment with differing threat profiles. The UN has divided Somalia into three zones—Somaliland, Puntland, and south central Somalia—to implement mine action activities. The respective authorities responsible for mine action in each of the three areas design strategies and set prorities.[13] The Monitor reports on Somaliland separately.

Key institutions and operators


Situation on 1 January 2012

National Mine Action Authority

Somalia National Mine Action Agency (SNMAA)

Mine action center

PMAC (covering Puntland region in northeast Somalia), South Central Somalia Mine Action Center

International operators

UNMAS in south central region, MAG, DDG, African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)

National operators

Puntland police, TFG police

International risk education operators

DDG, UNMAS, MAG, Ukroboronservice

National risk education operators

Puntland police

South central Somalia

The UN Somalia Mine Action Programme (known as UN Somalia Mine Action, UNSOMA) has been managed by UNMAS since early 2009.[14] UNMAS provides capacity development to the local authorities, engages in emergency humanitarian activities, and supports the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).[15] In South Central Somalia, UNSOMA provides capacity-building support to AMISOM with respect to explosives management in Mogadishu where there are large quantities of ERW, weapons, and ammunition stockpiles. In 2011, UNSOMA trained 58 AMISOM personnel to EOD Level Two standard. UNSOMA has an office in Nairobi to provide managerial and support functions for the Regional Offices in Somalia.[16]

On 4 December 2011, Presidential Decree No. 276 established the Somalia National Mine Action Agency (SNMAA) under the supervision of the Office of the President, with its main office in Mogadishu. The SNMAA has the authority to coordinate, supervise, and implement mine action activities in addition to approving national strategies and maintaining a national database and is responsible for the implementation of all obligations under the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Antipersonnel Landmine Treaty and other disarmament treaties adhered to by the government of Somalia. Article 6 of the Presidential Decree allows SNMAA to borrow money from both national and international financial institutions.[17]

Several days prior to issuing the decree that established SNMAA, Presidential Decree No. 272 of 29 November 2011 appointed Mohamed Abdulkadir Ahmed as the national director of the Agency.[18] Ahmed had previously worked with the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) as an International Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) expert. As of May 2012, the SNMAA was significantly under-resourced. Mohamed Ahmed reported having only a desk, a chair, and no mandate at the UNMAS compound in Mogadishu.[19]

DDG’s operations in Somalia are focused in and around the capital, Mogadishu, and the town of Galkayo, split by a “green line” between the semi-autonomous State of Puntland in the north and the self-declared State of Galmudug, which claims Galkayo’s southern part. DDG conducts general mine action assessments in the Afgoye corridor, Galkayo, and Mogadishu. It also identifies dangerous areas, updates city threat maps for both Galkayo and Mogadishu, and delivers RE.[20]

MAG discontinued its EOD activities in support of the Puntland police EOD team after four years when funding ran out at the end of 2011. MAG found donor interest in EOD lagged when outputs dropped significantly in 2011 as a result of less contamination. In 2011, funding for community liaison activities in Puntland ended. MAG remains in Somalia engaged in weapons destruction projects through the provision of infrastructure development, training, and weapons destruction in support of the police, maritime police, and eventually the army.[21]

As of April 2012, MAG had two EOD teams operating in South Central Somalia; one in Galmudug and the other in ASWJ region.[22]

Northeast Somalia

In Puntland, PMAC coordinates all pillars of mine action on behalf of the government with several local and international partners. The police EOD team is responsible for collecting and destroying unexploded ordnance. UNMAS provides funds for operations and capacity building and technical advice to PMAC and the police EOD team. MAG had conducted training, operational, and administrative supervision to the police EOD and RE teams from 2008 until December 2011. DDG teams collect and destroy UXO as well as provide RE to the members of local communities in Mudug region while Handicap International (HI) manages an RE project.[23]

In 2011, PMAC recruited an IMSMA Assistant and Operations Assistant to address an increasing workload and continued on-the-job training for all PMAC staff on activities. Regional Liaison Officers were trained on tasking procedures, reporting formats and data analysis. Similarly, the police EOD team leader and his assistant were introduced to basic administrative procedures.[24]

Land Release

There is no formal land release policy in Somalia. Operators clear explosive items on location primarily on a response/call-out basis.

Instability and security concerns are major impediments to field operations. With the expansion of operations into South Central Somalia, MAG says security has become their main preoccupation.[25] MAG and DDG reported they spend considerable time and resources on security issues and conditions can change suddenly forcing them to temporarily suspend operations.[26] In October 2011, the DDG suspended all activities after two of its international staff members were abducted from their vehicle in South Galkayo, in Galmudug. In November MAG and HI suspended their activities after the DDG staff members were kidnapped.[27] The two DDG staff members were rescued unharmed by US Special Forces on 25 January 2012.[28] Both MAG and DDG resumed activities in February 2012.

Survey in 2011

MAG and DDG did not systematically survey mined areas in 2011.[29] However, DDG, MAG, and UNSOMA, in coordination with UNMAS, conducted non-technical surveys in Banadir (the region where Mogadishu is located), Galgaduud, and Mudug, where security conditions allowed. In Banadir, UNSOMA identified 321 contaminated areas containing 3,219 ERW and in Mudug and Galgaduud MAG and DDG reported 19 dangerous areas for a total of 340 dangerous areas identified in 2011.[30]

In April 2012, MAG began a Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM) survey of 30 police armories in Puntland, with plans to replicate the project in Somaliland, pending funding.[31]

Mine and battle area clearance in 2011

With UNSOMA support and training in South Central Somalia, AMISOM conducted clearance and EOD in all 16 districts of Mogadishu, destroying more than 6,000 items.[32]

With funding from Japan through the AMISOM Trust Fund, the main road from the sea to Mogadishu was cleared of ERW, abandoned stockpiles, and ammunition. UNSOMA re-opened over 993,000m2 of road and destroyed more than 12,000 pieces of UXO.[33]

In 2011, the six AMISOM EOD teams in Mogadishu destroyed 22 antivehicle mines, 19 antipersonnel mines, and 6,076 items of UXO.[34]

In Puntland, no mine clearance has been conducted since the landmine impact survey was completed in 2005, when it identified 35 SHAs in Bari, Mudug, and Togdheer regions of Puntland.[35] According to MAG, the impact from mines is unclear and further non-technical and technical surveys are required to ensure the cost and impact effectiveness of future clearance of the suspected mined areas near the Ethiopia-Somalia border in Puntland, where most are located. The situation is additionally complicated by community elders in the impacted areas not consistently supporting clearance of the areas.[36]

PMAC continues to report large numbers of landmines, UXO, ammunition, and weapons stored in different locations and new dangerous areas. In the Galdogob and Gardo districts, a few residents hold hundreds of various items, but refuse to hand them over to the police or PMAC. RE teams collected hundreds of new reports of danger areas from local communities.[37]

The Puntland army authorized the relocation of a former explosive storage facility to a more secure area inside the Brigade 54 military compound, where two permanent underground magazines of explosives and explosive materials were constructed. These storehouses were constructed according to the International Mine Action Standards and National Technical Standards and Guidelines regarding fireproofing, security, ventilation, and weather resistance.[38]

The police EOD teams under MAG supervision destroyed 2,100 items of UXO, including three IEDs, and conducted battle area clearance on 817,800m2 of area. During EOD operations, the police also collected and destroyed 383 antipersonnel mines and two antivehicle mines that had been stored in households, abandoned buildings, and police stations.[39]

In June 2010, DDG began a comprehensive Community Safety Programme in Galkayo to enhance safety through participatory community planning around the management of weapons and ammunition storage.[40] As with other DDG programs in Somalia, the program was suspended in November 2011 after the two DDG international staff members were abducted.[41] In 2011, two DDG EOD teams in the Mudug/Galguduud region conducted 189 spot tasks covering 118,125m2 and destroying 855 items of UXO.[42]

Compliance with Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty

On 16 April 2012, Somalia became the 160th State Party to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty. Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, Somalia is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 October 2022.

Quality management

In 2011, PMAC issued 43 task orders to the police EOD team. It also conducted 18 quality assurance visits on the EOD clearance operations and monitored RE delivery methodologies to ensure whether the operational procedures of the respective activities were in compliance to the required safety standards.[43]

Risk Education

UNMAS reported that RE in south central Somalia reached 260,000 men, women, and boys in 2011, through DDG, the Ukrainian commercial company Ukroboronservice SC (UOS)[44], and UNSOMA teams.[45]

In 2011, UOS delivered RE to more than 66,000 persons. Three DDG RE teams conducted 207 sessions in Mogadishu for more than 60,000 persons.[46] In February 2011, the Somalia Coalition to Ban Landmines (SOCBAL) hosted an RE workshop for 25 participants from the Mogadishu area.[47]

In Puntland in northeast Somalia, DDG conducted 115 RE sessions for more than 18,000 persons. Over half of the participants were women.[48] HI delivered RE messages through the distribution of T-shirts, posters, and leaflets in six districts RE community networks through March 2011, when the lack of funding closed the program.[49] Two MAG roving RE teams from Puntland provide emergency RE to NGOs providing famine relief.[50]

As of 25 April 2012, the Ministry of Education in Puntland was still reviewing the Memorandum of Understanding on the RE materials developed by DDG, HI, and MAG. In South Central Somalia, the RE materials have been adapted to a more urban focus and are used in schools supported by UNICEF.[51]


[1] Ibrahim, Abdifitah, “Ten Dead as Minibus Hits Landmine,” Somalia Report, 27 April 2011 and AMISOM, “A Year in Mogadishu: Looking Back at 2011,” available at,, AMISOM Review, Issue 6, January 2012.

[2] Responses to Monitor questionnaire from Rob White, Director of Operations, MAG, 8 May 2012; and from Klaus Ljoerring Pedersen, Regional Director & Representative for Armed Violence Reduction, DDG, 8 May 2012.

[3] UNMAS, “UNMAS Mine Action Programming Handbook,” January 2012.

[4] UNMAS Annual Report 2011, August 2012, p. 68.

[5] UNMAS, Factsheet Vol. 1 – Somalia 2012; MAG, “UK Secretary of State for International Development visits EOD teams in Puntland,” Reliefweb, 24 April 2012; and Response to Monitor questionnaire from Klaus Ljoerring Pedersen, DDG, 8 May 2012.

[6] Response to Monitor questionnaire from Klaus Ljoerring Pedersen, DDG, 8 May 2012.

[7] Response to Monitor questionnaire from Rob White, MAG, 8 May 2012.

[9] UNMAS, “UNMAS Annual Report 2011,” New York, August 2012, p.68.

[10] PMAC, “PMAC 2011 Annual Report,” Garowe, January 2012, p. 3.

[11] Ibid., p. 14.

[12] UN, “2011 Portfolio of Mine Action Projects,” New York, March 2011, p. 256.

[13] Ibid., p. 257.

[14] UNMAS, “UNMAS 2010 Annual Report,” New York, August 2010, p. 54.

[15] UN, “2011 Portfolio of Mine Action Projects,” New York, March 2011, p. 257; and interview with Tammy Orr, UNMAS, in Geneva, 16 March 2011.

[16] UNOPS, Job advertisement for the UN Somalia Mine Action Programme, February 2012, not available online.

[17] Presidential Decree Somali Republic No. 276, 4 December 2011.

[18] Presidential Decree Somali Republic No. 272, 29 November 2011.

[19] Interview with Mohamed Abdulkadir Ahmed, Director, SNMAA, in Geneva, 24 May 2012.

[20] DDG, “South/Central Somalia and Puntland,” 17 July 2012.

[21] Response to Monitor questionnaire from Rob White, MAG, 8 May 2012.

[22] Ibid,. The ASWJ Region (Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamma) refers to an NSAG based in the vicinity of the Galgadud district in South Central Somalia, 5 March 2012.

[23] PMAC, “PMAC 2011 Annual Report,” Garowe, January 2012, p. 3.

[24] Ibid., pp. 8–9.

[25] Response to Monitor questionnaire from Rob White, MAG, 8 May 2012.

[26] Ibid.; and Response to Monitor questionnaire from Klaus Ljoerring Pedersen, DDG, 8 May 2012.

[27] PMAC, “PMAC 2011 Annual Report,” Garowe, January 2012, p. 10.

[28] Associated Press, “Somalia: foreign aid workers held hostage freed in US helicopter raid,” Guardian, 25 January 2012.

[29] Responses to Monitor questionnaire from Rob White, MAG, 8 May 2012; and from Klaus Ljoerring Pedersen, DDG, 8 May 2012.

[30] UNMAS, “UNMAS Annual Report 2011,” New York, August 2012, p. 68.

[31] Response to Monitor questionnaire from Rob White, MAG, 8 May 2012.

[33] Ibid.; and UNMAS, “UNMAS Annual Report 2011,” New York, August 2012, p. 69.

[34] UNMAS, “UNMAS Annual Report 2011,” New York, August 2012, p.68.

[35] Interview with Abdirisak Issa Hussein; Director, PMAC, in Geneva, 22 March 2012.

[36] Response to Monitor questionnaire from Rob White, MAG, 8 May 2012.

[37] PMAC, “PMAC 2011 Annual Report,” Garowe, January 2012, pp. 15 & 10–11.

[38] Ibid., pp. 8–9.

[39] PMAC, “PMAC 2011 Annual Report,” Garowe, January 2012, p. 9.

[41] Associated Press, “Somalia: foreign aid workers held hostage freed in US helicopter raid,” Guardian, 25 January 2012.

[42] Response to Monitor questionnaire from Klaus Ljoerring Pedersen, DDG, 8 May 2012.

[43] PMAC, “PMAC 2011 Annual Report,” Garowe, January 2012, p. 8.

[44] Ukroboronservice SC (UOS) is a commercial company in Kiev, Ukraine, established in 1993 that engages in humanitarian demining among its activities. They operate in Somalia under a contract from UNOPS.

[45] UNMAS, “UNMAS Annual Report 2011,” New York, August 2012, pp. 63 & 68.

[46] Response to Monitor questionnaire from Klaus Ljoerring Pedersen, DDG, 8 May 2012.

[47] Email from Abdilahi Yusuf, Chairman, SOCBAL, 1 April 2011.

[48] Response to Monitor questionnaire from Klaus Ljoerring Pedersen, DDG, 8 May 2012.

[49] PMAC, “PMAC 2011 Annual Report,” Garowe, January 2012, p. 11.

[50] Response to Monitor questionnaire from Rob White, MAG, 8 May 2012.

[51] Email from Karen Culver, DDG, Hargeisa, 26 April 2012.

Last Updated: 08 November 2012

Casualties and Victim Assistance

Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2011

2,785 mine/ERW casualties (941 killed; 1,711 injured; 133 unknown)

Casualties in 2011

146 (2010: 159)

2011 casualties by outcome

38 killed; 92 injured; 16 unknown (2010: 28 killed; 131 injured)

2011 casualties by device type

5 antipersonnel mine; 13 antivehicle mine; 110 other ERW; 2 unidentified mine type; 16 unknown device

At least 146 mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties were recorded in Somalia (excluding Somaliland) in 2011.[1] Of the casualties for whom the military/civilian status was known, 143 were civilians. Of the casualties for whom the age was known, 41% were children, including 42 boys and 13 girls. At least 16 casualties were women.[2]

The UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) casualty recording also found an additional 164 casualties of emplaced improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in 2011. It was not possible to adequately distinguish between attacks by command detonated IEDs and incidents involving victim activated IEDs, which are de facto landmines with this data.[3]

Of the total casualties for Somalia in 2011, the Puntland Mine Action Center (PMAC) recorded 35.[4] PMAC recorded 41 mine/ERW casualties for 2010.[5]

At least 159 mine/ERW casualties were recorded in Somalia (excluding Somaliland) in 2010.[6] The small difference between annual casualty statistics in 2010 and 2011 cannot be seen as an accurate indication of change. According to UNMAS, the significant underreporting of casualties and the absence of a comprehensive national casualty monitoring mechanism was one of the greatest challenges to reducing death and injury, because the lack of baseline data made the monitoring of trends impossible.[7]

The Monitor identified 2,785 mine/ERW casualties in Somalia (excluding Somaliland) between 1999 and the end of 2011. Of these, 941 people were killed, 1,711 were injured and state of the remaining 133 casualties (whether killed or not) was unknown.[8]

Victim Assistance

Somalia is known to have mine/ERW survivors, though the total number is unknown. It has a commitment to provide victim assistance as a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty, which entered into force for Somalia on 1 October 2012.

The Monitor identified at least 1,711 mine/ERW survivors by the end of 2011.

Assessing victim assistance needs

No specific survivor-needs assessment was reported in 2011. However, in Puntland, PMAC collected “victim data and mine/UXO accident reports” from various sources, including risk education (RE) teams, EOD teams, Regional Liaison Officers, hospitals and other government officials. The PMAC operations section regularly visited police stations and hospitals as follow-up. [9]

There was no specific victim assistance coordination in Somalia. Nor was there any available information about any relevant planning, focal point or survivor participation.

Victim assistance in 2011

Somalia lacked adequate qualified medical practitioners and rehabilitation services and facilities, as well as social inclusion programs for persons with disabilities. There was a lack of mobility and other assistive devices; locations where they were available were often difficult to access due to conflict and poverty. Persons with disabilities also lacked economic inclusion activities.[10]

Service accessibility and effectiveness

Ongoing and increased conflict in 2011 continued to erode the minimal health resources available. The number of war-wounded patients requiring treatment in hospitals in Mogadishu rose in 2011.[11] The ICRC supported hospitals assisted 5,400 weapon-wounded patients, which included 90 that were injured by mines or ERW.[12] Violence against health-care workers, health facilities and patients also posed a serious challenge to assistance activities.[13] The ICRC reported that two hospital staff had been killed in Banadir Hospital in Mogadishu due to “armed conflict taking place around and even inside hospitals.”[14] However, the independently run ambulance service in Mogadishu continued to operate despite the high risk to voluntary emergency personnel operating the eight available vehicles.[15]  

The ICRC continued to provide medical supplies, equipment, funds, staff training, and supervision, along with infrastructure maintenance, to the two hospitals in Mogadishu where most weapon-wounded casualties were treated: Keysaney (run by the Somali Red Crescent Society, SRCS) and Medina (community-run). In 2011, a new surgical operating theatre was constructed at Keysaney Hospital, which had been hit by artillery fire and damaged on numerous occasions. In January 2012, Keysaney was struck again by two mortar shells.[16] Four Somali doctors completed specialist surgical training courses in 2011, while others continued training. Senior medical staff from all over Somalia received training in war and trauma surgery from an ICRC surgical team which was based in Garowe, Puntland, for three months in 2011.[17]

PMAC reported frequent efforts to engage donors in responding to the basic needs of survivors by supporting victim assistance in the communities of the Puntland region. However, no donor funding was secured for the proposed project in 2011.[18]

The Norwegian Red Cross Society continued to provide support to the operations of the SRCS in Galkayo, which received additional technical support from the ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD). The production of prosthetic/orthotic services to beneficiaries at the Galkayo center in Puntland increased by 13% compared to 2010. The production of prosthetic/orthotic devices for beneficiaries at the SRCS rehabilitation center in Mogadishu increased by 24% in 2011 compared to 2010, continuing the increase over 2009 levels.[19] The ICRC also sponsored prosthetic/orthotic staff training in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.[20]

The ICRC supported livelihood-support projects for some 750,000 vulnerable people to allow them to produce their own food or generate an income in 2011.[21]

There is almost no psychosocial support in Somalia due to the impact of the ongoing conflict despite the significant need for such services.[22]

Both the Transitional Federal Charter (TFC) and the Puntland Charter prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities. The TFC gives the state responsibility for the health and welfare of persons with disabilities and the Puntland Charter protects the rights of persons with disabilities. However, the needs of most persons with disabilities were not addressed and discrimination was reported.[23]

There are no laws requiring access to buildings for persons with disabilities. In 2012, it was reported that Somalia did not have, and never had, accessible public services for persons with disabilities. Three-quarters of all public buildings in Somalia were not accessible for wheelchair users and there were no public transportation facilities with wheelchair access. Schools throughout the country did not accept the majority of children with disabilities as pupils.[24]

As of July 2012, Somalia had not signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.


[1] Email from Tammy Orr, Programme Officer, UNMAS Somalia, 12 October 2012; PMAC, “PMAC 2011 Annual Report,” Garowe, January 2012, p. 3; and Monitor media scanning of Somalia Report for calendar year 2012,

[2] Of 122 casualties where the age was known were 58 children (64 were adults and 24 of unknown age); 3 child casualties were recorded where the sex was not known.

[3] Email from Tammy Orr, UNMAS Somalia, 12 October 2012. Due to the inability to differentiate victim-activated IED casualties, no emplaced IED casualties were included in the global casualty total for Somalia for 2011. Of note, in addition to emplaced IED incidents, UNMAS data also differentiated between vehicle- and person-borne IEDs.

[4] PMAC, “PMAC 2011 Annual Report,” Garowe, January 2012, p. 3. Another 29 IED incidents causing 43 casualties were also reported.

[5] PMAC, “Annual Report 2010,” 7 June 2011, p. 10.

[6] UNMAS reported details for the 159 casualties and also stated that there were “162 known victims” in 2010. UNMAS, “Annual Report 2010,” New York, September 2011, pp. 55–56. The UN also reported that, in total, 190 mine/ERW casualties were recorded in Somaliland, Puntland and south central Somalia in 2010 (154 casualties excluding casualties in Somaliland, as reported in the Landmine Monitor Report 2011). UN, “Somalia,”

[7] UNMAS, “Annual Report 2010,” New York, September 2011, pp. 55–56.

[8] See previous Monitor reports on Somalia,

[9] PMAC, “PMAC 2011 Annual Report,” Garowe, January 2012, p. 13.

[10] Ahmed Mohamed, “Al-Shabaab Recruiting Disabled Somalis: Physical and Mentally Challenged Citizens Used as Fighters, Spies,” Somalia Report, 19 April 2012,

[11] ICRC, “Annual Report 2011,” Geneva, May 2012, p. 6.

[12] Ibid., p.151.

[13] ICRC, “Somalia: twenty years of war surgery at Mogadishu's Keysaney Hospital,” 7 June 2012,

[14] ICRC, “Annual Report 2011,” Geneva, May 2012, p. 153.

[15] Mahmoud Mohamed, “Paramedics risk their lives to save others in Mogadishu,” 15 March 2012,

[16] ICRC, “Annual Report 2011,” Geneva, May 2012, p. 153; and ICRC, “Somalia: twenty years of war surgery at Mogadishu's Keysaney Hospital,” 7 June 2012,

[17] ICRC, “Annual Report 2011,” Geneva, May 2012, p. 153.

[18] PMAC, “PMAC 2011 Annual Report,” Garowe, January 2012, p. 13.

[19] ICRC SFD, “Annual Report 2010,” Geneva, June 2011, p. 26.

[20] ICRC SFD, “Annual Report 2011,” Geneva, May 2012, p. 23; and ICRC, “Annual Report 2010,” Geneva, May 2011, p. 174.

[21] ICRC, “Annual Report 2011,” Geneva, May 2012, p. 152.

[22] Joe DeCapua, “Somalia Conflict takes Toll on Civilian Mental Health,” Voice of America, 4 February 2011,

[23] US Department of State, “2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Somalia,” Washington, DC, 24 May 2012.

[24] Somali Diaspora Disability Forum (SDDF), “An open letter to President Hassan: The New Government and Disability subject in Somalia - A way ahead,” 29 September 2012,

Last Updated: 28 June 2013

Support for Mine Action

The Republic of Austria, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Republic of Finland, the Republic of Italy, and the United States of America (US) contributed US$3,955,722 for clearance, risk education, and advocacy in 2011.[1] In 2010, three donors contributed $4,014,413.

The UN General Assembly assessed $20,073,450 for the mine action activities of the UN Support Office for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). After the UN Mission in Sudan that ended in July 2011, the Somali Republic was the second largest recipient of peacekeeping assessed funds for mine action.[2] In 2010, the assessed funds from the AMISOM budget for mine action were $13,987,149.[3]

International contributions: 2011[4]



Amount (national currency)

Amount ($)






Clearance, risk education








Advocacy, clearance, risk education




Risk education







Summary of contributions: 2007–2011[5]


Amount ($)















[1] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Wolfgang Bányai, Unit for Arms Control and Disarmament in the framework of the UN, Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, Austria, 1 March 2012; response to Monitor questionnaire by Katrine Joensen, Head of Section, Security Policy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1 May 2012; email from Sirpa Loikkanen, Secretary, Unit for Humanitarian Assistance, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, 20 February 2012; response to Monitor questionnaire by Alessandro Pirrone, Emergency Response Desk Officer, Demining Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy - Emergency Office, 21 March 2012; and US Department of State, “To Walk the Earth in Safety 2011,” Washington, DC, July 2012.

[2] UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), “2011 Annual Report,” p. 108.

[3] UNMAS, “2010 Annual Report,” p. 97.

[4] Average exchange rates for 2011: €1.3931=US$1; DKK5.3535=US$1. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2012.

[5] See ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Somalia: Support for Mine Action,” 15 September 2011.