Last Updated: 02 October 2012

Mine Ban Policy


The status of Kosovo is disputed. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008. As of October 2011, the declaration of independence had been recognized by 88 states. However, Serbia considers the declaration illegal and still views Kosovo as its southern territory. Kosovo has not been able to become a UN member state and so is not eligible to adhere formally to international instruments such as the Mine Ban Treaty.


A spokesperson for the self-declared Republic of Kosovo told the Monitor in March 2010 that Kosovo strongly supports a policy of banning antipersonnel mines and other explosive and deadly devices. The spokesperson stated that there has been no initiative in the Kosovo Assembly to draft a law banning mines, but this did not preclude the possibility of such a law in the future.[1]

The spokesperson said that Kosovo does not possess antipersonnel mines.[2] Some possession and trafficking of mines by criminal groups has been reported in the media.[3]


[1] Email from Memli Krasniqi, Spokesperson, Republic of Kosovo, 30 March 2010.

[2] Ibid.

[3] According to media reports, in April 2010 Macedonian police reportedly seized antipersonnel mines, antivehicle mines, and other weapons from five bunkers near the border with Kosovo. This followed a skirmish between the police and what they described as “uniformed persons” from “an extremist group” in Kosovo. Macedonian IM: Weapons threat to region,” B92 (Skopje), 30 April 2010, www.b92.net. Another report on the same day said that the Kosovo Police, Kosovo Protection Service, and Kosovo Force officers arrested several people with a quantity of weapons and uniforms of the Kosovo Liberation Army in an area adjacent to the bunkers in Macedonia. Landmines were not mentioned among the weapons seized, and authorities could not confirm a connection to the other incident. “Police finds [sic] more weapons near Blace,” Macedonian International News Agency, 30 April 2010, www.macedoniaonline.eu/.

Last Updated: 12 August 2014

Cluster Munition Ban Policy


Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008, but its international status is disputed.[1] Kosovo has not been able to become a UN member state and thus is not eligible to adhere formally to international instruments such as the Convention on Cluster Munitions.


Kosovo last made a statement regarding the ban on cluster munitions in March 2010 when a spokesperson for the self-declared Republic of Kosovo told the Monitor, “In principle, as a country that has been through war, Kosovo supports the initiatives to reduce and ban arms, including the policy to ban cluster ammunition.” He stated that Kosovo does not possess any cluster munitions.[2]

Forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia used cluster munitions during the 1998–1999 conflict in Kosovo.[3] Additionally, aircraft from the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and the United States dropped cluster bombs in Kosovo during the 1999 NATO air campaign.[4]


[1] As of June 2014, the declaration of independence was recognized by 108 states and Taiwan. Serbia considers the declaration illegal and still views Kosovo as its southern territory.

[2] Email from Memli Krasniqi, Spokesperson, Republic of Kosovo, 30 March 2010. He wrote, “KFOR [Kosovo Protection Force] is the mission responsible for issues related to defense, while Kosovo institutions have certain limitations in this field. Consequently, Kosovo does not have stocks of any kind of explosive device or other weapons.”

[3] Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice, (Mines Action Canada, May 2009), p. 238.

[4] The three countries dropped 1,765 cluster bombs containing 295,000 submunitions in what is now Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo. Human Rights Watch, “Civilian Deaths in the NATO Air Campaign,” Vol. 12, No. 1(D), February 2000. See also Human Rights Watch, “Cluster Munition Information Chart,” March 2009; Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), “Yellow Killers: The Impact of Cluster Munitions in Serbia and Montenegro,” 2007; and NPA, “Report on the Impact of Unexploded Cluster Munitions in Serbia,” January 2009.

Last Updated: 01 September 2014

Mine Action

Contamination and Impact

Kosovo is contaminated by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), including cluster munition remnants, primarily as a result of the conflict between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and the Kosovo Liberation Army in the late 1990s and the conflict between the FRY and NATO in 1999.

The UN reported in 2002 that “the problems associated with landmines, cluster munitions and other items of unexploded ordnance in Kosovo have been virtually eliminated”[1] but further investigation revealed considerably more contamination.[2] A survey of Kosovo by the Kosovo Mine Action Centre (KMAC) and HALO Trust completed in 2013 identified 130 confirmed hazardous areas (CHAs) covering 10.36km2.[3]

Mines are found mainly on Kosovo’s borders with Albania and Macedonia but also in the area of the Dulie Pass in south central Kosovo.[4] The KMAC-HALO survey confirmed 79 mined areas covering 2.76km2, a significantly greater number of areas than the total of 48 CHAs and suspected hazardous areas (SHAs) identified at the end of 2012.[5]

Mine Action Program

In January 2011, the EOD [Explosive Ordnance Disposal] Coordination Management Section became KMAC under the Ministry of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF). KMAC is responsible for managing all mine action, including clearance of mines and ERW. It prepares an annual workplan in cooperation with demining NGOs and coordinates operations of both NGOs and the Kosovo Protection Force (KFOR).[6]

Three NGOs have supported mine action in Kosovo in recent years: HALO, the Bosnia-based Mine Detection Dog Centre (MDDC), and Mines Awareness Trust (MAT).

Land Release

Kosovo released a total of 0.4km2 of contaminated area in 2013, less than half the land released in 2012, reflecting a downturn in donor funding. Owing to lack of funding, the MDDC and MAT did not conduct any clearance in 2013.[7]

HALO, working with five clearance teams and 71 operations staff, reported clearing 0.11km2 of mined area, destroying 18 antipersonnel mines and six items of unexploded ordnance (UXO), and also clearing 0.17km2 of area contaminated by cluster munitions, destroying 151 submunitions. The total area cleared by HALO was more than 50% above the previous year’s result but its ability to sustain operations at this level in 2014 depended on its ability to attract funding.[8]

Mine and cluster munition remnants clearance in 2013[9]


Area cleared (m2)

Antipersonnel mines destroyed

Antivehicle mines destroyed

Submunitions destroyed

UXO destroyed

























KSF EOD operated with three platoons with a total of 75 deminers also trained for battle area clearance (BAC), and a fourth platoon with 25 deminers also trained for EOD who conduct both area clearance and spot EOD tasks. It cleared almost one-third less area in 2013 than the previous year but destroyed more submunitions and UXO.[10]

Article 5 Compliance

Although widely but not universally recognized as an independent state, Kosovo arguably still falls within Serbia’s obligations as a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty (see report on Serbia). This means that clearance of mined areas containing antipersonnel mines must be completed by 1 March 2019, following a five-year extension granted to Serbia by States Parties in 2013. Kosovo is not a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty.

Support for Mine Action

KMAC operates with a budget of approximately €900,000 (US$1.23 million) a year and hoped that completion of the survey of Kosovo to define remaining contamination would encourage donors to increase support.[11] HALO, KMAC’s partner in the survey and the biggest NGO operator, was also seeking new donors after support by Belgium representing close to half its total 2013 funding of €480,097 (US$657,733) ended in 2013, leaving it funded only by Switzerland.[12]


[1] “UNMIK [UN Mission in Kosovo] Mine Action Programme Annual Report – 2001,” Mine Action Coordination Cell, Pristina, undated but 2002, p. 1.

[2] HALO Trust, “Failing the Kosovars: The Hidden Impact and Threat from ERW,” 15 December 2006, p. 1.

[3] Email from Ahmet Sallova, Head, KMAC, 20 February 2014.

[4] Ibid., 30 July 2013.

[5] Ibid., 20 February 2014.

[6] Ibid., 1 August 2012.

[7] Ibid., 20 February 2014.

[8] Email from Andrew Moore, Caucasus and Balkans Desk Officer, HALO Trust, 27 February 2014.

[9] Email from Ahmet Sallova, KMAC, 20 February 2014.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Email from Andrew Moore, HALO, 27 February 2014.

Last Updated: 24 November 2014

Casualties and Victim Assistance


Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2013

569 mine/ERW casualties (115 killed; 454 injured)

Casualties in 2013

0 (2012: 7)

2013 casualties by outcome

0 (2012: 1 killed; 6 injured)

2013 casualties by item type


In 2013, no mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties were reported in Kosovo (under UN resolution 1244).[1]

In 2012, seven mine/ERW casualties were identified in Kosovo in four separate incidents.[2] Two ERW casualties were reported in a single incident in 2011.[3] No casualties from antipersonnel mines in minefields have been reported in Kosovo since 2004.

Between 1999 and 2013, 569 mine/ERW/unexploded submunition casualties (115 killed; 454 injured) were identified in Kosovo. The vast majority of casualties (438 or 77%) were recorded between 1999 and 2000.[4]

Cluster munition casualties

At least 178 casualties from incidents involving unexploded submunitions were recorded between 1999 and the end of 2013.[5] An additional 25 casualties, which occurred during the cluster munition strikes in 1999, were also recorded.[6]

In August 2014, a young man was killed by an unexploded cluster submunition in the municipality of Istok.[7] Before that, the last reported casualty from unexploded submunitions occurred in 2009.


[1] Email from Andrew Moore, HALO Trust, 25 June 2013.

[2] Email from Ahmet Sallova, Head, Kosovo Mine Action Center, 30 September 2013.

[3] Email from Admir Berisha, Kosovo Programme Manager, HALO Trust, 5 April 2012.

[4] “List of Mine/UXO Civilian Victims in Kosovo 1999–2010,” provided by email from Bajram Krasniqi, Ministry for the Kosovo Security Force (MKSF), 21 March 2011; and email from Ahmet Sallova, Kosovo Mine Action Center, 30 September 2013.

[5] Handicap International (HI), Circle of Impact: The Fatal Footprint of Cluster Munitions on People and Communities (Brussels: HI, May 2007), p. 69; “Mine wounds two children in Kosovo,” Agence France-Presse (Pristina), 9 April 2007; “Land mine explodes in Kosovo; 4 children injured,” International Herald Tribune, 9 November 2007; email from Bajram Krasniqi, UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), 5 May 2009; and telephone interview with Bajram Krasniqi, UNMIK, 1 July 2009.

[7]Rreziku nga minat nuk ka kaluar,” (The mine danger has not passed) RKT Live, 8 August 2014.

Last Updated: 22 November 2013

Support for Mine Action

In 2012, four donors contributed US$1,330,814 to mine action in Kosovo. Belgium was the largest donor with €750,528 ($965,104).[1]

International contributions: 2012[2]




(national currency)











United States





Victim assistance







Summary of contributions: 2008–2012[3]


Amount ($)















[1] Belgium, Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, Protocol V, Form F, 8 April 2013; response to Monitor questionnaire by Claudia Moser, Section for Multilateral Peace Policy, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland, 22 March 2013; United States (US) Department of State, “To Walk the Earth in Safety 2013,” Washington, DC, August 2013; and ITF Enhancing Human Security Annual Report 2012, Slovenia, 2013, p. 36.

[2] Average exchange rate for 2012: CHF0.9377=US$1; €1=US$1.2859. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2013.

[3] ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Kosovo: Support for Mine Action,” 10 September 2012.