Last Updated: 17 December 2012

Mine Ban Policy


The Republic of Somaliland proclaimed independence from Somalia in 1991 after the fall of the government of Siad Barre. Somaliland is not recognized by the international community as an independent state, and thus it is not in a position to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty. Somaliland authorities have frequently expressed their commitment to a mine ban since 1997.[1] Neighboring Somalia acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 16 April 2012.

Somaliland’s Antipersonnel Mine Ban Act took effect in 2009.[2] The act bans use, possession, development, production, acquisition, and transfer of antipersonnel mines by any civilian or government official.[3]

The Somaliland Mine Action Center (SMAC), under the direction of the Office of the Vice-President, is responsible for coordinating implementation of the Act. The Office of the Vice-President is required by the act to submit annual transparency reports to the Legislative Assembly on implementation of the act.[4] As of 31 August 2012, it was not known if a report had been submitted.

Production, transfer, stockpiling, and use

There are no indications that Somaliland has produced, exported, or acquired new landmines since proclaiming independence. There have been no confirmed instances of new use of antipersonnel mines.[5]

Officials have acknowledged the existence of a stockpile of antipersonnel mines, but have not provided information on numbers or types. The Antipersonnel Mine Ban Act requires the destruction of all stockpiled antipersonnel mines held by the government of Somaliland within four years.[6]

In May 2011, Hargeisa University Professor Ahmed Esa said that Somaliland has destroyed stockpiles under the control of its army as well as mines confiscated from civilians.[7] In the past, Somaliland has periodically sent stockpiled antipersonnel and antivehicle mines, among other weapons and ammunition, to demining organizations operating in Somaliland for destruction.[8]

At least 24 types of antipersonnel mines from 10 different countries have been identified by clearance operators in Somaliland. At least half of the landmines laid in Somaliland are plastic.[9]


[1] On 1 March 1999, the House of Representatives passed a nonbinding resolution calling for a total ban on landmines. In November 2004, the Vice-President of Somaliland spoke of “our already declared unilateral compliance” with the Mine Ban Treaty. See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 976.

[2] The Act provides for penal sanctions for persons found violating the prohibitions in the legislation, including extraterritorial violations of the prohibitions by its citizens. “Antipersonnel Mine Ban Act 2007,” English translation, Articles 5, 6, 7, and 10. Penalties for individuals or groups are one to three years imprisonment or a fine of SOS1–2 million (US$601–1,202). For a corporate body, NGO, or government official, the penalty is a fine between SOS5–10 million (US$3,005–6,010). The Act was drafted by the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Internal Affairs, Security and Defense with the assistance of the IPRT, SMAC, and Geneva Call.

[3] “Antipersonnel Mine Ban Act 2007,” Article 9.

[4] Ibid, Article 15.

[5] In late 2003 and early 2004, there were allegations of use of antipersonnel mines by the forces of both Somaliland and Puntland in their conflict over the town of Las Anod in the disputed Sool region. Both sides denied using mines, and no compelling evidence was found. See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, pp. 1,228–1,229.

[6] “Antipersonnel Mine Ban Act 2007,” Article 10.

[7] “Healthcare, education gains as Somaliland marks 20th anniversary,” IRIN (Hargeisa), 20 May 2011.

[8] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 1,079–1,080. Most notably, in 2002, Danish Demining Group destroyed 7,517 stockpiled mines received from the Ministry of Defense.

[9] “Somalia: Rising Number of Child Landmine Victims in Somaliland,” IRIN (Hargeisa), 2 February 2011.

Last Updated: 12 August 2014

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

The Republic of Somaliland proclaimed independence from Somalia in 1991 after the fall of the government of Siad Barre. Somaliland is not recognized by the international community as an independent state and thus is not eligible to adhere formally to international instruments such as the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Somaliland authorities have not made a statement on their policy toward cluster munitions. There are no indications that Somaliland has ever used or produced cluster munitions. It is not known if Somaliland possesses any stockpiles of cluster munitions.


Last Updated: 14 September 2014

Mine Action

For information on landmine and explosive remnants of war contamination and clearance efforts in the area of Somaliland, see the Mine Action profile on Somalia.

Last Updated: 28 November 2014

Casualties and Victim Assistance

Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2013

929 (230 killed; 673 injured; 26 unknown)

Casualties in 2013

20 (2012: 27)

2013 casualties by outcome

5 killed; 15 injured (2012: 3 killed; 24 injured)

2013 casualties by device type

4 antipersonnel mines; 6 antivehicle mine; 10 explosive remnants of war (ERW)

HALO Trust reported 20 mine/ERW casualties in Somaliland in 2013. Nineteen casualties were civilian. In 2013, as in previous years, most casualties were children (11, or 58% of civilian casualties) including 10 boys and one girl. Among the adult casualties, five were men and four were women.[1]

The 20 casualties in 2013 represented a slight decrease from the 27 mine/ERW casualties reported by HALO in Somaliland in 2012.[2] It is part of a trend of declining casualties that began in 2007. Since 2012, casualty data has not been available from the Somaliland Mine Action Centre (SMAC), which had reported on annual casualties occurring from 2000–2011.

Between 2000 and the end of 2013, the Monitor identified 929 casualties in Somalia (230 killed; 673 injured; 26 unknown).

Victim Assistance

The number of mine/ERW survivors in Somaliland is not known, but there were at least 673 as of the end of 2013. No efforts to assess survivors’ needs were identified.

Somaliland developed a National Disability Policy in 2012.[3]

Overall, mine survivors have received only minimum assistance.[4] As in previous years, several local NGOs in Somaliland provided services for persons with disabilities, and other organizations assisted persons with war-trauma, including mine/ERW survivors among their beneficiaries. The health system in Somaliland was detrimentally affected by uneven distribution of resources between the capital, Hargeisa, and the provinces, and by low capacities of facilities to deliver quality primary healthcare services. Additionally, it has been reported that “Somaliland is also exceedingly poor in terms of policy and government commitment to disability and rehabilitation.”[5]

The rehabilitation sector was managed by two organizations, the Somaliland Red Crescent Society (SRCS) and the Disability Action Network (DAN). Each used their own network of partners and providers to deliver rehabilitation services. Each ran one of two rehabilitation centers in Hargeisa.[6]

The SRCS continued to provide prosthetics and rehabilitation supported by the ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD) and the Norwegian Red Cross.[7] To improve the quality of services, the SRCS physical rehabilitation center in Hargeisa received support and monitoring visits by an SFD physiotherapist and an ortho-prosthetist in 2013.[8] In December 2013, a meeting was held in Hargeisa between representatives of the SRCS, the Norwegian Red Cross, and the SFD to review progress in the management of the services run by the SRCS. The SRCS was found to be “very short of qualified staff,” so a course of training in basic bench-working skills was organized.[9]

In 2013, a community-based rehabilitation project carried out by DAN was supported by UNICEF.[10] Handicap International (HI) support to DAN ended in December 2012.[11] The Ministry of Health had noted that the government was not in a position to financially support the rehabilitation sector.[12]

The Somaliland National Disability Forum maintained a program for enhancing capacity-building for persons with disabilities and disabled persons’ organizations. A project called the Somaliland Advocacy Mine Victim Association, associated with the Somaliland National Disability Forum, had received support to implement a program for improving the livelihoods of persons with disabilities through skills training and income-generating activities in 2012.[13]

Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Somaliland (CCBRS) offered immediate post-incident psychological assistance to survivors and families. CCBRS also provided community-based rehabilitation for persons with disabilities.[14] The General Assistance and Volunteer Organization (GAVO) offered psychological support to persons affected by conflict-related trauma.[15]

In 2013, HI completed its support to a project to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities in Somaliland by increasing the participation of persons with disabilities in rights advocacy and democratic activities implemented by DAN. From April 2013, the project was being supported by the foreign ministry of Germany as part of a wider program to promote the rights of people with disabilities, particularly women and children.[16]

The Somaliland constitution notes that the state is responsible for the health, care, development, and education of persons with disabilities. There was no legislation requiring the accessibility of buildings for persons with disabilities. Several local NGOs in Somaliland working with persons with disabilities reported numerous cases of discrimination.[17]


[1] Casualty data for 2013 sent by email from Valon Kumnova, Desk Officer for South Asia and Horn of Africa, HALO Trust, 8 July 2014.

[2] Casualty data for 2012 sent by email from Bartholomew Digby, Programme Manager – Somaliland, HALO, 11 October 2013.

[3] Jennifer Palmer and Karl Blanchet, “Planning for Sustainability in the Physical Rehabilitation Sector: Report of a 1.5-year follow-up study in Somaliland,” International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Handicap International (HI), October 2012, p. 12.

[4] SMAC, “Annual Report 2011,” Hargeisa, January 2012, p. 7.

[6] Ibid.

[7] ICRC SFD, “Annual Report 2012,” Geneva, May 2013, p. 16.

[8] ICRC SFD, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, May 2014, p. 18.

[9] ICRC SFD, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, May 2014, p. 12.

[11] HI, “Where we work: Somaliland,” undated; and HI, “Support to Somaliland Rehabilitation Services,” 22 August 2013.

[12] Jennifer Palmer and Karl Blanchet, “Planning for Sustainability in the Physical Rehabilitation Sector: Report of a 1.5-year follow-up study in Somaliland,” International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and HI, October 2012, p. 12.

[14] UNICEF, “Child Protection Advocates provide safety nets for vulnerable Somali children, 24 February 2011;” and Farhan Abdi Suleiman, CCBRS, “Hargeisa: Youth Killed in Land Mine Explosion,” Somaliland Press, 31 January 2011.

[15] Psychology in Africa, “Somalia Mental Health Profile,” 13 August 2013; and GAVO website.

[16] HI, “Where we work: Somaliland,” undated.

[17] United States (US) Department of State, “2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Somalia,” Washington, DC, 27 February 2014; and US Department of State, “2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Somalia,” Washington, DC, 24 May 2012.

Last Updated: 22 November 2013

Support for Mine Action

In 2012, eight donors contributed US$25 million for clearance and risk education in the Federal Republic of Somalia.[1] Accounting for over 83% of the support was €13 million ($16.7 million) from the European Union (EU) and ¥319 million ($4 million) from Japan.

The UN General Assembly assessed $32.3 million for mine action activities for coordination, capacity building, and explosive-management support to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).[2] Somalia was the second-largest recipient of peacekeeping-assessed funds for mine action in 2012. South Sudan was the largest recipient.

The combined international assistance was $57.3 million making Somalia the largest recipient of mine action support in 2012.

International contributions: 2012[3]



Amount (national currency)











United Kingdom












United States









Clearance, risk education







Summary of contributions: 2008–2012[4]


Peacekeeping assessed funds


International donors Amount




























N/A = not applicable


[1] Response to Monitor questionnaire from Adam Ravnkilde, Security Policy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 17 May 2013; email from Carolin J. Thielking, European Union (EU) Mine Action Focal Point, Division for WMD, Conventional Weapons and Space, European External Action Service, 15 May 2013; Financial Tracking System, Reliefweb,; Japan, Convention on Conventional Weapons, Amended Protocol II, 28 March 2013; response to Monitor questionnaire by Ingunn Vatne, Senior Advisor, Department for Human Rights, Democracy and Humanitarian Assistance, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 11 April 2013; Sweden, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, 27 March 2013; and email from Pi Tauber, Project Assistant, Danish Demining Group, 15 July 2013.

[2] UN Mine Action Service, “UNMAS Annual Report 2012,” pp. 21 and 39.

[3] Average exchange rate for 2012: DKK5.7922=US$1; €1=US$1.2859; ¥79.82=US$1; £1=US$1.5853; NOK5.8181=US$1; and SEK6.7721=US$1. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2013.