Last Updated: 02 October 2012

Mine Ban Policy

Commitment to Mine Ban Treaty

Mine Ban Treaty status

State Party

National implementation measures

Considers ratification law and existing law sufficient

Transparency reporting

2012 (for calendar year 2011)


The Republic of Cyprus signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified it on 17 January 2003, becoming a State Party on 1 July 2003. Cyprus stated that domestic implementation of the treaty is achieved through the legislation adopted for ratification.[1]

Cyprus attended the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in November–December 2010 where it made a statement on mine clearance.[2] It also participated in the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva in May 2012, where it made a statement on its Article 5 clearance extension request.[3]

In 2012, Cyprus submitted its Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report covering calendar year 2011. It had previously submitted nine Article 7 reports.[4]

Cyprus is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war.

Production, transfer, stockpile destruction, and retention

Cyprus has previously stated that it has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines.[5] In its initial Article 7 report, Cyprus declared a total of 48,475 stockpiled antipersonnel mines before the destruction program started in December 2003.[6] Cyprus completed stockpile destruction on its treaty-mandated deadline of 1 July 2007.[7]

Cyprus initially retained 1,000 antipersonnel mines for training and research purposes.[8] This number did not change between 2003 and 2008, indicating that none of the mines retained were consumed in training activities over that period. Six of the mines were transferred in 2009 to the British security and demining company ArmorGroup (now known as G4S Ordnance Management) for training activities, reducing the total to 994.[9]

At the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in June 2010, Cyprus announced that, following the adoption of the Cartagena Action Plan at the Second Review Conference in December 2009, the government of Cyprus would conduct a review of the number of mines it retains for training and development purposes to ensure it is the “minimum number absolutely necessary.” As a result of the review, Cyprus stated it had decided to reduce the number of mines it retained by destroying 494 mines in 2010, leaving a total of 500.[10] In October 2010 Cyprus proceeded to destroy 494 antipersonnel mines it had retained at the Firing Range of Kalo Chorio, Larnaca.[11]

In its 2012 Article 7 report, Cyprus reported no change in 2011 on the number of antipersonnel mines it is retaining from that of the reduced amount of 500 declared in 2010.[12]


[1] “Law Ratifying the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction,” Law No. 37 (III), 2002. In addition, the “Law Concerning Explosive Materials of 2005” makes it a crime to use, produce, stockpile, or transfer any explosive material without the necessary authority. Law No. 19 (1) 2005, Article 4. The law includes penal sanctions.

[2] Statement of Cyprus, Mine Ban Treaty Eleventh Meeting of States Parties, Phnom Penh, 1 December 2011.

[3] Statement of Cyprus, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 22 May 2012. Notes by the ICBL-CMC.

[4] Previous Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 reports were submitted for calendar years 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, and for the period 1 July 2003 to 31 December 2003.

[5] The United States government identified Cyprus as a past producer, but Cyprus has denied it. See Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 704.

[6] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 1 July 2003 to 31 December 2003), Form B. Cyprus has at times reported other numbers, but officials have stated this is the correct total. See Landmine Monitor Report 2006, pp. 374–375 for details. The stockpile initially declared consisted of eight types or variants of mines from China, Singapore, Taiwan, and the US: M2A1 (474), M2A3 (179), M16 (4,086), M16A1 (16,440), M16A2 (20,146), M16E3 (278), VS-50 (4,450), and GLD-112 (2,422).

[7] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2007), Form G. The destroyed mines were M2A1/A4, M16A1/A2, M16E3, VS-50, and GLD-112. The report does not provide the number of each type.

[8] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2008) Form D. The form states “Unchanged from last reporting.” The mines are stored at the National Guard warehouse at Palodia village near Limassol and are used by Cyprus Mine Action Centre. The total retained included 100 each of types M2A1, M2A3, M16A1, and M16A2, as well as 200 each of M16, VS-50, and GLD-112 types. While the 1,000 figure remained the same since 2003, Cyprus changed the composition in the 2006 report to 200 M16 mines and zero M16E3 instead of 100 M16 and 100 M16E3.

[9] The six mines included three of type GLD-112 and three of type VS-50. Email from Panayiotis Papadopoulos, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 23 June 2010; Statement of Cyprus, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 25 June 2010; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2009), Form D.2. The Article 7 report only indicates the transfer of the mines and it is not clear if they were destroyed by ArmorGroup during training.

[10] Statement of Cyprus, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 25 June 2010. Notes by Action on Armed Violence.

[11] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2010) Form D. Cyprus declared retaining 50 each of M2A1, M2A3, M16A1, and M16A2 antipersonnel mines, and 100 mines each of M16, VS-50, and GLD-112 antipersonnel mines. The mines are stored within a facility at the National Guard, Palodia, Limassol district, and are used by the Cyprus Mine Action Centre.

[12] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2011), Form D.

Last Updated: 12 August 2014

Cluster Munition Ban Policy


The Republic of Cyprus signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 23 September 2009.

As of 1 July 2014, the ratification process was effectively stalled, having not progressed since legislation was introduced to parliament in 2011.[1] In April 2014, a Cypriot representative informed the CMC that ratification process has been put on hold for the next three years because of the country’s financial situation and International Monetary Fund (IMF) restrictions that inhibit Cyprus from spending funds to meet its anticipated stockpile destruction obligations.[2] Cyprus has not disclosed information on the size or status of the current stockpile of cluster munitions or requested technical or financial assistance for its destruction.

Since September 2011, various government officials have spoken with the CMC about the ratification delay, but the government has not made a public statement on the matter.[3] Cyprus participated in one international conference of the Oslo Process to develop the convention text (Vienna in December 2007), but attended the formal negotiations of the convention in Dublin in May 2008 and the Convention on Cluster Munitions Signing Conference in Oslo in December 2008 only as an observer. Cyprus signed the convention at the UN in New York in September 2009, becoming the 100th signatory to the convention.

Cyprus has engaged in the Convention on Cluster Munitions since 2011, despite not ratifying. It participated as an observer in the convention’s Meeting of States Parties in 2011 and 2012, but did not attend the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in Lusaka, Zambia in September 2013. Cyprus participated in intersessional meetings in Geneva in 2012 and 2013, but did not attend those held in April 2014. Cyprus has not made any statements at the convention’s meetings since September 2011.

Cyprus has voted in favor of recent UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions condemning the Syrian government’s use of cluster munitions, including Resolution 68/182 on 18 December 2013, which expressed “outrage” at Syria’s “continued widespread and systematic gross violations of human rights…including those involving the use of…cluster munitions.”[4]

Cyprus has not yet provided its views on several important issues pertaining to the implementation and interpretation of the convention, including the prohibition on transit, the prohibition on assistance during joint military operations with states not party that might use cluster munitions, or the prohibition on investment in the production of cluster munitions, and the need for retention of cluster munitions and submunitions for training and development purposes.

In 2011, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official reiterated the importance of universalizing the convention, noting in particular that Turkey has not joined. In 2010, another Ministry of Foreign Affairs official asserted that Turkish Armed Forces “have stocked considerable quantities of cluster bombs in the occupied territory of the Republic [of Cyprus].”[5]

Cyprus is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. Cyprus is a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Cyprus has stated that it has never used, produced, or transferred cluster munitions.[6]

The precise status and composition of the current stockpile of cluster munitions is not known. Cyprus possesses 122mm BM-21 Grad multiple launch rockets, but it is not known if these weapons have cluster munition warheads.[7] Additionally, Cyprus acquired other systems capable of delivering submunitions, including Zuzana 155mm howitzers imported via Greece from Slovakia in 2007 and M63 Plamen and M77 Oganj multiple-barrel rocket launchers from Yugoslavia in the 1980s.[8]


[1] In September 2011, Cyprus informed States Parties that the ratification legislation was expected to be approved during 2012. Statement of Cyprus, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 16 September 2011. In May 2011, a government official said that the draft ratification legislation and the text of the convention translated into Greek had been sent to the House of Representatives for approval. Email from Maria Michael, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Cyprus to the UN in Geneva, 27 May 2011. After its adoption in parliament, the ratification legislation must be signed by the president. Letter from Rea Yiordamlis, Ag. Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 9 May 2011; response to Monitor questionnaire by Panayiotis Papadopoulos, Counsellor, Political Affairs Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 22 June 2010.

[2] CMC meeting with Georgeos S. Yiangou, Counsellor, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Cyprus to the UN in Geneva, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 10 April 2014.

[3] In April 2013, a government official informed the Monitor that ratification of the convention had “unfortunately…been put on hold” due to “other considerations” and expressed the government’s intent to ratify the convention in the future. Letter from Basil Polemitis, Security Policy Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Mary Wareham, Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch (HRW), 24 April 2013. In September 2012, officials said that draft ratification legislation introduced in 2011 was still awaiting parliamentary approval, leaving the ratification process “stalled” but “not suspended.” CMC meeting with George Stavrinou, Attaché, Security Policy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 13 September 2012.

[4]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution A/RES/68/182, 18 December 2013. Cyprus voted in favor of a similar resolution on 15 May 2013.

[5] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Panayiotis Papadopoulos, Counsellor, Political Affairs Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 22 June 2010.

[6] Letter from Dr. Kozakou-Marcoullis to Mary Wareham, HRW, 19 April 2012; and email from George Stavrinou, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 17 August 2012.

[7] International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2005–2006 (London: Routledge, 2005), p. 117; and Colin King, ed., Jane’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal 2007–2008, CD-edition, 15 January 2008, (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2008).

[8] Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, “Arms Transfers Database”. Recipient report for Cyprus for the period 1950–2011, generated on 6 June 2012.

Last Updated: 24 August 2014

Mine Action

Contamination and Impact

The Republic of Cyprus is contaminated by antipersonnel and antivehicle mines. The island has been divided geographically and politically by a heavily mined, 180km-long buffer zone since 1974 when Turkish Armed Forces occupied the north of the island. Minefields were laid within and outside a UN buffer zone by both the Greek Cypriot National Guard and the Turkish Armed Forces. The exact extent of residual mine contamination is not known.

As of November 2013, Cyprus reported that no minefields under Cypriot control remained in the buffer zone after having completed the clearance of two mined areas in Dali in 2012 and a further single minefield located at Potamia by July 2013 in accordance with its National Plan.[1] The sole remaining minefield in the buffer zone is located in Turkish-controlled area.[2]

The extent of contamination in areas controlled by Turkish Armed Forces is not known, although Cyprus has claimed in its latest Article 7 transparency report that 21 minefields laid by Turkey’s occupation forces, mostly next to the buffer zone, “are known not yet to be cleared of anti-personnel mines…Precise information on their size, on their composition (whether they include mines other than anti-personnel mines) and on how much land can be safely treated as arable when mines have been cleared are unknown.”[3]

Cyprus further reported that “before and during the invasion of 1974, the National Guard laid…28 minefields north of Nicosia towards the Pentadaktylos mountain range, which are today located in the Turkish-occupied areas. The latter minefields included 1,006 anti-personnel mines, but the Republic of Cyprus is not aware of the current condition of these minefields and whether they have been cleared by the Turkish Armed Forces or not.”[4]

Mine Action Program

There is not known to be an operational mine action program in areas under the control of Turkish forces.

Land Release

In 2013 through July, Cyprus cleared 1,130 antipersonnel mines from a mined area near Potamia village.[5] It is not clear whether there has been any clearance on territory controlled by the Turkish Armed Forces.

Article 5 Compliance

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty (and in accordance with a three-year extension granted by States Parties in 2012), the Republic of Cyprus is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but no later than 1 July 2016.

Turkey’s original Article 5 clearance deadline was 1 March 2014. In 2013, States Parties granted Turkey an eight-year extension but it did not request the additional time for clearance in Cyprus.



[1] Response to Monitor questionnaire by George Stavrinou, Security Policy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 25 November 2013.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid., Form G.

Last Updated: 29 October 2014

Casualties and Victim Assistance


The last recorded mine or explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualty in Cyprus occurred in 2009 when a deminer was killed by an antivehicle mine in a clearance accident.[1]

Between 1999 and the end of 2009, the Monitor identified nine mine/ERW casualties in Cyprus (two people were killed and seven injured).[2] Five casualties were civilians (three men, one woman, and one child) and the remaining four casualties were deminers. Among the civilian casualties, four were Iraqi migrants trying to cross the north-south border illegally, and one was a farmer.[3]

Before 1999, at least four casualties were identified: three peacekeepers of the UN Force in Cyprus were killed by mines between 1974 and 1998, and a 37-year-old man was killed by a mine when he followed his dog into a minefield in the buffer zone in 1997.[4]


[1] Email from Simon Porter, Programme Manager, UN Mine Action Centre in Cyprus, 13 April 2010.

[2] The Monitor identified nine casualties between 1999 and 2009: one casualty in 1999, one in 2004, six in 2008, and one in 2009. See previous Landmine Monitor reports on Cyprus on the Monitor website.

[3] See ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2004: Toward a Mine-Free World (New York: Human Rights Watch, October 2004).

[4] See ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 1999: Toward a Mine-Free World (New York: Human Rights Watch, April 1999).

Last Updated: 31 August 2011

Support for Mine Action

In 2010, no international contributions towards mine action in Cyprus were reported. The mine action program in Cyprus has been largely supported by the European Commission (EC). Since 2006 the EC has contributed €7,500,000 (US$10,224,450) through UNDP.[1] With each contract two years in length, there were no contributions in 2005 and 2008.[2] In 2006 the EC provided €1,000,000 ($1,256,300) to UNDP to bridge a funding gap between contracts with UNDP.[3]

Cyprus has not reported contributions to its mine action program since 2005 with the exception of 2008 when it reported €100,000 ($147,260).[4]

Summary of contributions received: 2006–2010[5]


National contributions


National contributions


International contributions


International contributions


Total contributions






































In 2010, Cyprus contributed $272,940 to the International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance (ITF) for clearance activities in Lebanon. In 2009, it contributed $147,680 to the ITF. [6]

Summary of international contributions made by Cyprus: 2009–2010












[1] Average exchange rates: 2009: €1=US$ 1.3935; and 2007: €1=US$1.3711. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 6 January 2011. Average exchange rates: 2006: €1=US$1.2563. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2007.

[4] See Landmine Monitor Report 2009, p. 374. Average exchange rate for 2008: €1=US$1.4726. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 6 January 2011.

[5]  See previous editions of Landmine Monitor; and ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Cyprus: Support for Mine Action,”, 6 October 2010.

[6]  ITF, “Donors: Donations Overview”; and ITF, “Annual Report 2010.”