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Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor Factsheets » Mine Ban Treaty and Africa

States Parties, Signatories and Non-Signatories

There are 31 States Parties in Africa, including the most recent (and only one in 2001) - Kenya on 23 January 2001.

Nine of the 19 new States Parties in the year 2000 were from Africa: Botswana, Togo, Seychelles, Rwanda, Cote D'Ivoire, Ghana, Mauritius, Gabon, and Tanzania.

There are 12 countries in Africa that have signed the Mine Ban Treaty, but have yet to ratify: Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Zambia.

There are 10 countries in Africa that have not signed or acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty: Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo (Brazzaville), Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, and Somalia.

National Implementation Legislation

While several African nations, including Mozambique, Senegal, and Tunisia, indicate that some steps have been taken to incorporate the Mine Ban Treaty into domestic law, only one, Zimbabwe, has enacted full implementation legislation. South Africa and Swaziland have reported that they are in the process of doing so. National implementation measures are required under Article 9 of the treaty.

Use of Antipersonnel Mines

It appears that antipersonnel landmines are currently being laid by government and/or rebel forces in eight African nations: Angola, Burundi, DR Congo, Namibia, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda. Since the Mine Ban Treaty entered into force in March 1999, antipersonnel mines have been used in more conflicts in Africa than in any other region.

Landmine Monitor is especially concerned about the acknowledged use of AP mines by treaty signatory Angola. Both government troops and UNITA rebel forces continue to use antipersonnel mines in Angola and in parts of neighboring Namibia. A number of AP landmines appear to have been planted inside Zambia in 1999 and 2000 by Angolan government and UNITA rebel forces.

There were credible allegations in 1999 and 2000 by the UNHCR and others that Burundi government forces were laying antipersonnel mines on the border with Tanzania. The government has denied use of AP mines, and has since mid-2000 accused rebel forces of laying antipersonnel mines.

Both the government of Sudan and the opposition Sudan People's Liberation Army are believed to have used antipersonnel mines in 1999 and 2000. The government of Sudan denies use of AP mines.

It is clear that antipersonnel mines are being used in the DRC, but it remains impossible to verify who is responsible for laying the mines. It seems likely that government troops and opposition RCD forces are using mines. There have been past allegations of use by troops from States Parties Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Chad, but no concrete evidence has been produced and virtually all sides have denied using mines.

In the 1998-2000 border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, it appears that tens of thousands of new mines were laid. Each government has alleged that the other laid mines, and observers have expressed concern that both sides may have used mines. Treaty signatory Ethiopia has denied use of AP mines. Eritrea has acknowledged use of "landmines."

There is evidence of use of antipersonnel mines in 1999 and 2000 by Lord's Resistance Army rebels entering Uganda from Sudan. Various factions in Somalia continued to use AP mines. It appears that MFDC rebels in the Casamance province of Senegal laid new mines in 1999 and 2000.

The ICBL has expressed concern regarding the possible participation of States Parties in joint military operations with non-State Parties that use antipersonnel mines. Such joint operations would be inconsistent with, a possibly a violation of, the Mine Ban Treaty's Article 1 obligation "never under any circumstance...to assist, encourage or induce, in any way, anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party...." These concerns apply especially to Namibia's involvement in Angola, and the involvement in the DRC of Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Chad.

Antipersonnel Mine Stockpiles

Little is known about antipersonnel mine stockpiles in Africa. This reflects the lack of Article 7 transparency reporting.

It is believed that 27 countries in Africa have AP mine stockpiles, including:

  • 11 States Parties - Chad, Djibouti, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Tunisia, and Uganda;
  • 7 Signatories - Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Sudan;
  • 9 Non-signatories - CAR, Congo-Brazzaville, DR Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, and Somalia.

It is unknown if State Parties Guinea and Tanzania have a stockpile of AP mines; they are among only a handful of countries globally which have not revealed that basic information.

Only Mozambique (37,818) and Tunisia (17,575) have publicly reported the total number of mines in stocks: 37,818.

Stockpile Destruction

South Africa (313,779 mines), Namibia (unknown number), Mali (5,127 mines) and Zimbabwe (4,046 mines) have reported completion of stockpile destruction. All are keeping some AP mines for training or research purposes.

Some stockpiled mines have been destroyed in Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Tunisia, and Uganda.

States Parties that have apparently not yet begun the destruction process include Chad, Djibouti, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, and Rwanda.

Mines Retained for Training

African States Parties that have indicated they are retaining some AP mines for training or research purposes include Mali (2,000), South Africa (4,830), Tunisia (5,000), and Zimbabwe (700), and unknown numbers in Botswana, Mauritius, Namibia, and Togo.

African States Parties indicating they do not intend to retain any AP mines include Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Senegal, and Swaziland.

Antipersonnel Mine Production

In February 2000, Egyptian officials told a United Nations mission that Egypt no longer produced antipersonnel mines, but no official public statement regarding production has been issued. Egypt is the only remaining nation in Africa that has not formally and officially given up landmine production.

A November 1999 U.S. government report stated that Sudan manufactures mines, but Sudan denies this allegation.

States Parties South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe are former producers of AP mines.

Article 7 Transparency Reporting

Submitted First Article 7 Report (9 States):

  • Benin, Burkina Faso, Lesotho, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Tunisia, Zimbabwe

Submitted Second Article 7 Report (2 States):

  • Benin, South Africa

Have NOT Submitted First Article 7 Report by Required Deadline (12 States):

  • Chad, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Uganda

Upcoming Due Dates for first Article 7 Reports (10 States):

  • 27 February 2001 - Botswana, Togo
  • 30 May 2001 -- Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Rwanda, Seychelles
  • 30 June 2001 - Mauritania
  • 30 August 2001 - Gabon
  • 30 October 2001 - Tanzania
  • 30 December 2001 - Kenya

States are required to submit an Article 7 report to the United Nations not later than 180 days after entry into force of the Mine Ban Treaty for that State. Entry into force occurs on the first day of the sixth month after the date a State deposits its instrument of ratification with the United Nations.

After the initial Article 7 report, States are required to submit an updated report every year not later than 30 April, covering the past calendar year. Reports on calendar year 2000 are due not later than 30 April 2001.

Article 7 reports should be submitted to the UN Secretary General care of:

Mr. Jayantha Dhanapala
Room 3170A
United Nations
United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017

Tel. 1-212-963-7706
Fax. 1-212-963-4066

The reports can also be submitted by email.