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Comments Received by Landmine Monitor

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Country: India
Date Received: 05 Nov 2003


Dr. Sheel Kant Sharma
Additional Secretary
Disarmament & International Security Affairs
Tel: 91-11-2301 15 68
Fax: 91-11-2301 28 89

28 July 2003


Dear Ms. Wareham

Thank you for your communications addressed to the External Affairs Minister of India regarding the forthcoming edition of the Landmine Monitor Report 2003: Toward a Mine-Free World and seeking Government of India's views on the draft India country update enclosed therewith.

2. As you are aware, India remains committed to the pursuit of the ultimate objective of a non-discriminatory, universal and global ban on anti-personnel mines in a manner that addresses the legitimate defense requirement of States. India is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and is fully committed to the Amended Protocol-II of the Convention which deals with anti- personnel landmines.

3. The recent laying of mines by the Indian forces along the Western border was done as part of our operational plans. Minefields were laid, recorded and marked in consonance with well-established Standard Operating Procedures, and in conformity with Amended Protocol-II. In addition, all village headmen were personally informed about the location of the minefields in order to ensure that local inhabitants were adequately sensitized. Mine awareness programmes were also conducted at the sub-district/village level. All efforts were made to ensure that the markings remained visible, legible, durable and resistant to environmental effects.

4. Recovery of the mines emplaced as part of the military operations continues to be under way, with 85% of the mines having been retrieved so far. The objective is 100% retrieval. Mine clearance operations were halted only once during February 2003 and not on two separate occasions as indicated in the draft under the section sub-titled 'Mine Clearance'. This was done to provide rest and relief to the parties involved in the de-mining process, and not for want of proper equipment and safety gear as also indicated in the draft.

5. You would have also received a communication from our Mission in Geneva requesting that the reference to "several million" mines in the introductory paragraph and in the paragraph subtitled 'Use' be corrected to accurately reflect Ambassador Rakish Sod�s comments made during a meeting with Nobel Peace Laureate Ms. Jody Williams.

6. During the mine-laying operations, land was temporarily expropriated to prevent untoward casualties to civilians. This will be returned once 100% recovery is achieved. Compensation is being paid for the period of expropriation and for any adverse impact on both the winter and the summer crops. There is no standard figure for acreage-wise compensation as indicated in your draft under the section subtitled 'The Landmine Problem'. Instead, the compensation rates are based on various factors including the crop pattern of the area and the cultivable land that has been utilized by the Armed forces. A Board of officials, including representatives from the respective State Governments, has been specially instituted to look into these matters.

7. All efforts are made by the Government to provide free, expeditious and quality medical and other assistance to landmine victims. The figures for monetary compensation indicated in the draft under section 'Disability Policy and Practice' are incorrect. Depending upon the nature of the injury and than extent of disability, compensation in the range of Rupees one lakh to ten lakhs is being provided to the victims. In addition, facilities such as assistance in securing employment and provision of artificial limbs are also extended by the Government. With reference to the section on 'Mine Risk Education', it may be noted that formal mine risk education is also being provided. at the field level by field force commanders.

8. As also indicated in your draft update, India has been a victim for decades of the indiscriminate use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) by non-state actors and terrorist groups which continue to cause considerable harm to the life and property of innocent civilians. Despite this grave provocation, Indian armed forces continue to exercise restraint and desist from using landmines except as part of military operations. It is in this context that I would like to clarify that the reference in the section subtitled 'Use' to an Army Officer having reportedly stated that "the mines had been planted mainly as a deterrent for infiltrators" is incorrect. No mines have been laid as a deterrent for infiltrators. However, it is indeed time that we paid more attention to issues related to transfers and employment of IEDs.

9. I would appreciate if the above comments are incorporated and the necessary corrections are made in the section on India in the forthcoming edition of the Landmine Monitor Report to ensure that the Government of India�s position is accurately reflected in your widely respected publication. We would be grateful for a line in confirmation.

Yours sincerely,
(Sheel Kant Sharma)

Ms. Mary Wareham
Global research Coordinator,
Landmine Monitor
C/o Human Rights Watch
1630 Connecticut Ave NW #500
(Fax: 00-1-202-612 43 33)

Copy to:

(i) Ambassador Rakesh Sood,
Permanent Mission of India to the Conference of Disarmament

(ii) Shri Alok Prasad,
Deputy Chief of Mission,
Embassy of India.
Washington D.C.

Country: Pakistan
Date Received: 04 Nov 2003

3517 International Court, N.W.
Tel: (202) 243-6500

No. Pol-1/12/2003

July 7, 2003
Ms. Wareham,

Kindly refer to your letter of June 6, 2003, addressed to Mian Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, Foreign Minister of Pakistan, regarding the forthcoming Landmine Monitor Report 2003.

I am enclosing herewith a copy of letter No. Dsmt- 1/9/03, dated 15 July 2003 addressed to you by Mr. Arif Ayub, Director General (UN & Disarmament), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad which is in response to your letter.


(Syed Zulfiqar Gardezi) First Secretary (111)

Ms. Mary Wareham,
Global Research Coordinator,
Landmine Monitor,
C/o Human Rights Watch,
1630 Connecticut Avenue, NW, # 500,
Washington, DC, 20009
Fax: (202)-6124333

Country: Pakistan
Date Received: 04 Nov 2003


15 July 2003

No.Dsmt- 1/9/03

Dear Ms. Wareham

Thank you for your letter of 6 June 2003 addressed to the Foreign Minister regarding the forthcoming Landmines Monitor Report.

The massive military escalation and troops deployment by India along our borders last year obliged Pakistan to take measures for self-defence.

All defensive minefields have either been cleared or in the process of being completely demined. Please note that all measures were taken strictly in accordance with our commitments and in line with our national legal obligations precluding any problems for civilian population.

Our record of mine clearance, therefore, remains unblemished,

Yours sincerely,

(Arif Ayub)
Director General (UN & Disarmarnent)

Ms. Mary Wareham,
Global Research Coordinator,
Landmine Monitor,
C/o Human Rights Watch,
1630 Connecticut Ave NW # 500,
Washington D.C., 20009, U.S.A.,
Fax No. 1 (202) 6124333.

Country: Sudan
Date Received: 22 Sep 2003

The Republic of Sudan
Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs

This is an update and the reply to the landmine update of 2003. There are bullet points that discuss the updates.

2) This is in response to the questions asked by those who wanted information about mines.

a) The corps of engineers of Sudan is obliged to comply by what they signed in Ottawa in December 1997, which was an agreement to ensure that no landmines of any type have been put to place. Since this agreement, Sudan has not exported mines and it has very few mines in storage, and the ones in storage are used for practice only.

b) All the mines planted around oil fields were planted by rebel factions.

c) The agreement was signed, and despite the Geneva agreements in 2001 which banned the use of landmines, it didn�t stop rebel factions from planting the mines in rural areas and along main roads. These mines hurt the shepherds, farmers and impaired humanitarian aid efforts.

3) After the cease fire agreement in the Nuba Mountains with the UN and the JMC, a program was point into place to clear the main roads.

4) They have also started a program (with the cooperation of civil groups) to educate people about the mines.

5) Sudan has also started a joint program to teach in the area of Um Suwaidah with the help of Jismar ( a government organization) , Awsal from the movement to ban mines and the DCA under the surviellence of the UN and the humanitarian aid sector. This program lasted for three months and had 40 people involved and this program was very successful.

6) There have also been arrangements with the center to take care of mine and with the UN to plan a strategic plan completely for mines in Sudan.

7) In Sudan, there is a Sudani group that works on removing the mines and it is inclusive of national efforts by arranging programs and exchanges of programs.

Summary of the Report on Landmines for the year 2003 in Sudan

  1. The government�s involvement with land mines
    -Sudan signed an agreement forbidding mines on December 4, 1997
    -In 2003, the minister of foreign affairs said that the house of ministers agreed on banning the mines and they allowed for the Parliament to ratify the agreement
    -An agreement for the Nuba Mountains and Mashakoos to ban the land mines
    -The Southern Separatists also signed the agreement to ban landmines twice
    -Sudan joined in an effort to resolve the land mine issue at a fourth gathering of countries against landmines in September 2002.
  2. Production, trading, and storage of mines
    -Sudan assures that it does not have an inventory of mines, as apposed to the accusations in the report that it does.
    -The person responsible for JMC confirmed that the mines found in the Nuba mountains was planted by rebels.
    -The militias that fight alongside the government feel that they are not obligated by the agreements signed by the government and the movement, and therefore they use the mines and enjoy the support and financial backing of the government.
    -Landmines were found near the oil fields, Al anir, Yai, Wat, and Akwubar.
  3. Use of the mines and the movement.
    -In March 2003, an official in the movement confirmed in a meeting with the observatory that they use mines in specific means.
    -The officers of the movement are ignorant of the fact that the use of landmines is prohibited.
    -The movement agreed to reduce the mines around the area of the Nuba Mountains however they have a particular way of addressing the mines because of the fear of government forces attacking.
  4. The problem of landmines-the removal
    -There has not been a complete removal of mines in Sudan.
    -In general, there aren�t many landmines but rather few mines and they are usually located in the entrances of roads and areas.
    -Most of the mines are in the Nouba region as well as Lukoshiko to Jowiya through Kuwailana, Troit, and Rumbilia. Humanitarian aid to these areas have been arranged through air.
    -In the middle of this year, the government and the movement sent information regarding the landmine fields to the JMC however the information sent was not detailed information.
  5. Procedures of the removal
    -It is inclusive of the countries how want it: Switzerland, Norway, Italy, Denmark, England, Luxembourg, Canada, Japan and the program of the UN.
    -In 2001, 2.2 million dollars [sorry unsure/unclear]
  6. Organizing and planning the procedures for removal
    -In March 2002, the UN ( UNMAS division) assigned an advisor to Khartoum for organizing and planning the removal of the mines.
    -In September 2002, the UN along with the ministers of the humanitarian affairs, started a center for mines in Khartoum and another office in Yirmeek in Febuary of 2003.
    -In April 2003, the United States sent experts to remove the mines in the Nouba region based on the agreement between the movement and the government.
    -the DCA organization sent a team of dogs from South Africa for Um Suwaida in January 2003.
    -[unsure] something about how many people died.

Country: Colombia
Date Received: 22 Sep 2003

English (Spanish below):

DM/DPM No. 29088

Bogotá D.C., July 30, 2003

Coordinator of Global Research
Land Mines Monitor
Washington, DC

Dear Coordinator:

This is pertaining to your note on the 15th of this month, related to the mining of Munchique Hill by the National Army. While reiterating the Government of Colombia’s undeclinable commitment to the full application of the Ottawa Convention, most attentively I would like to inform you that the type of mine used in this mining operation was the Claymore mine; the utilization is controlled by command and not by a traction fuse. According to the definitions contained in Article 2 of the Convention these mines are not considered anti-personnel mines and thus their use is not prohibited.

In addition, I would like to point out that the mined fields of Munchique Hill have been perfectly demarcated and marked, in order to avoid any danger to the civilian population.


Minister of Foreign Relations


DM/DPM No. 29088

Bogotá D.C., 30 de julio de 2003

Coordinadora de Investigación Global
Monitor de Minas Terrestres
Washington, D.C.

Señora Coordinadora:

En atención a su nota del 15 de los corrientes, relacionada con el minado del Cerro Munchique, por parte del Ejercito Nacional, y al reiterar el indeclinable compromiso del Gobierno de Colombia con la plena aplicación de la Convención de Ottawa, muy atentamente me permito informar a usted que en dicha operación de minado se utilizaron minas tipo Claymore, de utilización controlada por medio de comando y no por espoleta de tracción, las cuales, de acuerdo con las definiciones contenidas en el Artículo 2 de la Convención, no son consideradas como minas antipersonales y, por lo tanto, no son de uso prohibido.

Adicionalmente, me permito señalar que los campos minados en el Cerro Munchique han sido perfectamente demarcados y señalizados, buscando así evitar cualquier peligro para la población civil.


Ministra de Relaciones Exteriores

Country: Georgia
Date Received: 22 Sep 2003

Letter to:
Georgian Armed Forces
Head of General Staff
Lieutenant general
Mr.Joni Pirtskhalaishvili


In newspaper “Akhali Taoba” (New Generation) of 17 March 2003 (N74, p.7) was published the interview with Mr.Emzar Kvitciani, representative of President in Kodori gorge, in which he announced that “Georgian side, for the avoidance of unexpectedness, is permanently mining the main direction of Kodori gorge”. The fact of mining contrarys to the moratorium on the use of antipersonnel mines of the president of Georgia, Mr.Eduard Shevardnadze, announced in 1996.

We are interested in verity of this fact, and if it is truth – what are the means conducted by Georgian Armed Forces to implement the moratorium announced by the president of Georgia.


Narine Berikashvili
Informational Manager
ICBL Georgian Committee


Letter to:
Narine Berikashvili
Informational Manager
ICBL Georgian Committee

#3-11/814 30.05.2003

Answering on your letter of 2 May 2003 (#1-05), we would like to inform you that Georgian Armed Forces always completely carries out orders of president of Georgia. Hence the elements of armed Forces of Ministry of Defense of Georgia have never used forbidden military weapon. Concerning the interview of Mr. Emzar Kvitciani, in our conversation was revealed that the correspondent of the newspaper, maybe, understood in wrong way, the information of Mr. Kvitciani, what caused the mistaken enlightening of materials on “permanent mining”.

Mr. Loria
Major general
Head of Logistics Management Center
Ministry of Defense of Georgia


Letter to:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia
Deputy minister
Mr.Merab Antadze


In newspaper “Akhali Taoba” (New Generation) of 17 March 2003 (N74, p.7) was published the interview with Mr.Emzar Kvitciani, representative of President in Kodori gorge, in which he announced that “Georgian side, for the avoidance of unexpectedness, is permanently mining the main direction of Kodori gorge”. The fact of mining contrarys to the moratorium on the use of antipersonnel mines of the president of Georgia, Mr.Eduard Shevardnadze, announced in 1996.

We are interested in verity of this fact, and if it is truth – what are the means conducted by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia to implement the moratorium announced by the president of Georgia.


Narine Berikashvili
Informational Manager
ICBL Georgian Committee


Letter to:
Narine Berikashvili
Informational Manager
ICBL Georgian Committee

#8-14/621 23.05.2003

Answering on your letter of 2 May 2003, concerning the information disseminated by the means of mass media on the fact of antipersonnel mines usage on the controlled territory in Kodori gorge by the Georgian central authorities, we want to inform you that there was conducted the meeting in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia with Mr.Emzar Kvitciani, representative of President in Kodori gorge.

During this meeting, Mr.Kvitciani categorically denied the disseminated information on antipersonnel mines usage in Kodori gorge by Georgian governmental foundations. Due to the explanation of representative of President, the correspondent of “Akhali Taoba” (New Generation) made the wrong interpretation of his announcement on the implemented activities on liquidation of territories mined in the result of conflict.

In accordance with the information of Mr.Kvitciani, in Kodori gorge, both on controlled by Abkhaz separatists as well as on territories controlled by Georgian central authorities really exists the territory mined by Georgian side left since active military operations’ period. At the same time, Abkhaz separatists still continue to mine the territory controlled by them.

The Georgian central authorities are interested in neutralization of the mentioned territories, though, from this turn, there are problems of political, financial, technical and expert character.

On the assumption of above written, we inform you, that, in Kodori gorge, there was not the fact of violation of the moratorium of president of Georgian, announced in 1996, and ask you to take into consideration the checked by us information in your materials for “Landmine Monitor”.


Mr.Shota Dogonadze
Deputy Minister
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia

Country: Central African Republic
Date Received: 22 Sep 2003

Letterhead of Head of State, Central African Republic

Dated 1 August 2003


It is with great interest that we received your 28 July 2003 message related to antitank and antipersonnel mines.

The military devices/ordnance mentioned above have never been acquired and used by the Central African Armed forces (FACA) or by the patriotic forces who put an end to the dictatorial and blood-thirsty regime of Mr. Ange Flix Patasse on 15 March 2003.

In any case, no accident caused by antitank mines or antipersonnel mines, were reported or registered at Bangui or in the rural zones of the Central African Republic.

Therefore, we also have the pleasure to reaffirm the Central African Republic adhesion to the Mine Ban Treaty.

Major General Franois Bozize President and Head of State

Country: Turkey
Date Received: 29 Jan 2003

The views of the relevant Turkish authorities on the ICBL's 2002 Report are provided here below:

a) On page 757, 3rd paragraph, for the first time since 1999 (the first publication of ICBL's annual report), the PKK terrorist organization is accurately referred to as a "terrorist organization". However, one month prior to the inclusion of the PKK terrorist organization in the EU's list of terrorist persons or groups (the date of the decision of the Council of the EU is 2 May 2002 No: 2002/334/EC), this terrorist organization conveniently changed its name to KADEK (Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress) with the aim of sustaining its relationship with the international organizations and NGO's by disguising itself as a legitimate group. The U.S. government has taken notice of this duplicity and declared KADEK as a terrorist organization in the same year. We hope that this nominal change which is only in the name but not in tactiques nor objectives would also be recognized by the ICBL.

b) ICBL report has been providing information on the number of landmine casualties in Turkey based on monthly publications or annual reports of the Turkish Human Rights Association and the Turkish Human Rights Foundation as well as the report issued by the US Department of State.

Mainly, the figures on landmine accidents included in the 2001 and 2002 reports of the Turkish Human Rights Organization do not correspond to the numbers that the Turkish authorities have. It has been noticed that the aforementioned sources only provided number of civilian casualties (Page 755, 1st paragraph). It would be fair to say that the figures on landmine casualties should reflect the actual state by incorporating the number of soldiers along with the civilians, who were maimed or killed by the landmines, in an accurate and indiscriminate manner.

In this respect, the accurate statistics on landmine related accidents for the year 2001 are as follows:



5 soldiers

37 soldiers

6 civilians

10 civilians

For the year 2002:



1 soldiers

9 soldiers

3 civilians

6 civilians

c) In the report (page 758, 1st paragraph) it is stated that "mine contamination is concentrated on Turkey's borders" with Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Iran, Iraq and Syria.

First of all, all the landmines on the Turkish side of the border with Bulgaria have been cleared. This particular situation has been communicated to the Bulgarian authorities on 1st August 2002 in compliance with the bilateral agreement signed between the two countries on 22 March 1999 and ratified on 1st May 2002.

Secondly, at certain sections along the common borders with Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Iraq and Syria, landmines exist to deter illegal passages. However, the removal of these mines from the aforementioned border areas is in some cases at a planning stage, and in others actual work is underway.

d) In the report (page 758, 3rd paragraph) it is argued that there were also mines in the South Eastern provinces of Turkey, away from the borders, and that the extent of such mines as well as the degree to which such areas were adequately marked and fenced was unknown. Furthermore, it is stated that ( page 759, 2nd paragraph), no demining activity was taking place in Sirnak, Hakkari, Diyarbakir, Siirt, Mardin, Bingol, Van and Tunceli provinces of Turkey and that such activity was expected to commence in mid 2000's.

In the Southeastern part of Turkey, within the framework of fight against terrorism and solely for security reasons, land mines are used around security installations. However, since 1998 those mines are being cleared according to a plan. These mines are in clearly marked areas. In addition mine clearance around the security installations is expected to be completed by 2008 after the collection of roughly 40,000 mines.

The ICBL is reminded that the unmarked areas which are polluted with landmines are the doings of the terrorist organization PKK-KADEK to inflict losses to the security forces and intimidate the civilian population. These mines are laid by PKK-KADEK terrorists around the areas which are of strategic importance for them. The mines which are laid by this terrorist group and the booby traps that are set by them cause death and injury in the region.

e) In the report (page 759, 1stparagraph) it is argued that along the 877 km Syrian border of Turkey, 300-700 meters wide strip of land was mined. It is also suggested that the mined land mass is equal to 3, 5 million "dnms" (a land measure of 1,000 square meters) or twice as big as the island of Cyprus. On this subject, the report also argues that the whole operation is expected to take five years and that it could cost as much as 36 million US Dollars in total.

Along the 877 km long Turkish Syrian border 300-450 meter wide strip of land contains landmines. The mined area is equivalent to 360,000,000 square meters. In order to clear these mines 5 years and 50 million US Dollars would be needed.

f) In the report (page 760, 1st, 2nd and 3rd paragraphs) it is argued that mine casualties would be treated at hospitals in towns or small sized provinces. Those who would have the financial means would be given necessary care at private hospitals. The report presents the Dicle University Prosthesis and Rehabilitations Center as the only establishment which has the capacity to perform amputations and that it was set up with assistance of the US based NGO named Physician for Peace Foundation. It is also stated that military survivors were often treated at the Glhane Military Medical Academy in Istanbul.

No distinction is made with regards to the status of a mine casualty. The landmine casualties either civilian or member of the military are given the proper care also at the Turkish Armed Forces Rehabilitation and Care Center free of charge. Many hospitals in Turkey have fully functional prosthesis and rehabilitation centers.

g) In the report (Page 756, 4th paragraph) it is stated that Turkey attended neither the Third Annual Conference of States Parties to Amended Protocol II nor the Second CCW Review Conference in December 2001.

Turkish delegations have attended both meetings. This may be attested by referring to the lists of participants of the said meetings.

Murat S. Esenli
Deputy Permanent Representative
Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations

Country: Germany
Date Received: 10 Oct 2002

Berlin, 10, Oktober 2002
Telefon 0188 17-0 / Fax: 17-3402
Referat: 241, Verfasser: LRI Morgenstern
Durchwahl: 17 1465 / Fax. 17 51465
Fax Sekretariat: 01888 17-

International Campaign to Ban Landmines

Mrs. Susan Walker

By email

Retr.: ICBL Landmine Monitor/Executive Summary 2002

Dear Mrs. Walker,

May I draw your attention to some information contained in the "Landmine Monitor-Executive Summary 2002", page 20, that needs rectification.

Germany is mentioned as a country still retaining stocks of Claymore Landmines. This information is incorrect. Germany destroyed all Claymore Mines and does not retain any stocks of this type of mine, also not those of the command detonated mode.

With regard to the provenance of the 38959 M18A1 Claymore Mines that Germany has received for the purpose of destruction this information you might refer to the interpretation offered by the chapter on Germany in the current issue of the LM..

Berthold James
Head of Division of Arms Control
(Name des Zeichnenden in Maschinenschrift ohne Klammern)

Country: Iran
Date Received: 06 Sep 2002

622 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

No. 574

September 6, 2002

Dear Madam,

I have the honor to convey to you the official statement of the Ministry of Defence of the Islamic Republic of Iran with regard to the production of anti-personnel landmines as follows:

"The Islamic Republic of Iran, since the termination of its war, has not produced anti-personnel landmines."

I would appreciate it if this position would be appropriately reflected in the ICBL documents and publishing reports.


Morteza Ramndi
Press Section

Mrs. Mary Wareham
Coordinator, Landmine Monitor
c/o Human Rights Watch
1630 Connecticut Ave. NW #500
Washington, DC 2009