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Last Updated: 15 November 2011

Mine Ban Policy

Commitment to the Mine Ban Treaty

Mine Ban Treaty status

State Party

National implementation measures

Legislation adopted 31 March 2010

Transparency reporting

April 2011


Under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed on 9 January 2005 by the government of Sudan and the southern-based rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), a referendum on self-determination for the South was held in January 2011.[1] The final result of the referendum, announced by the South Sudan Referendum Commission on 7 February 2011, was a near-unanimous vote for the South’s secession from northern Sudan. The Republic of South Sudan became an independent state on 9 July 2011.[2]


The Republic of the Sudan signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified on 13 October 2003, becoming a State Party on 1 April 2004.

Sudan adopted the Sudan Mine Action Law by Presidential Decree #51 on 31 March 2010.[3] The Act is comprised of 29 articles divided into four chapters. Chapter Four includes Mine Ban Treaty obligations, including the prohibition on antipersonnel mine use and stockpiling, clearance of contaminated areas, risk education, victim assistance, and transparency reporting.  It also includes penalties for violations.[4]

Sudan submitted its eighth Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report in April 2011.[5]

Sudan attended the Tenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in November–December 2010 and participated in the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in June 2011. At both meetings, Sudan made statements on mine clearance and cooperation and assistance.

Sudan signed the Convention on Conventional Weapons on 10 April 1981, but has not ratified it.

Production, transfer, and use

Sudan has repeatedly stated that it has not produced or exported antipersonnel mines.[6]

In 2011, there were reports of new mine-laying in South Kordofan state near the border with South Sudan as part of clashes between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the northern branch of SPLM/A.[7] According to UN reports on the situation, “Both the SAF and the SPLA are reported to have laid anti-personnel land mines in strategic areas of Kadugli town [capital of South Kordofan state]. In particular, the SAF is reported to have mined the Kalimo neighbourhood and the SPLA is reported to have laid land mines in areas around the deputy governor’s residence. According to an UNDSS [UN Department of Safety and Security] report, a vehicle driving in the Kalimo area within Kadugli hit a land mine instantly killing one of its passengers and destroying the vehicle.”[8] In July 2011, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) estimated that mines or unexploded ordnance contaminate more than one third of Kadugli, including three schools.[9]

The Monitor has not been able to confirm recent reports of use of antipersonnel mines in Sudan.  There is a lack of clarity about whether antipersonnel mines or antivehicle mines, or both, have been used. The Monitor has not seen definitive evidence about what forces may have used antipersonnel mines. There have been no confirmed instances of government forces using antipersonnel mines since Sudan became a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty in 2004.

Stockpiling and destruction

Sudan completed destruction of its stockpile of 10,566 antipersonnel mines on 31 March 2008, just ahead of its 1 April 2008 treaty-mandated deadline. The reported size and composition of Sudan’s stockpile, as well as the number of mines to be retained for training purposes, have varied in accounts by Sudan leading up to and following stockpile destruction events in 2007 and 2008.[10] At the Second Review Conference, Sudan stated that a total of 10,656 stockpiled antipersonnel mines were destroyed (possibly a typographical error from 10,566).[11]

In 2009, Sudan reported on the discovery of arms caches including antipersonnel mines at various locations of southern Sudan that were subsequently destroyed in Blue Nile state in 2008.[12]

Mines retained for training purposes

In its April 2011 Article 7 report, Sudan stated that it is retaining a total of 1,938 mines, the same amount as reported since 2009.[13] In 2009, Sudan reported a reduction in the number of mines retained for training from 4,997 to 1,938 mines.[14] Each year since 2009, Sudan has reported the transfer of 75 “Type 35” plastic mines from the SAF to the UN Mine Action Office “for training purposes,” but the total number of mines retained for training has remained unchanged.[15] Sudan has not disclosed the intended purposes or actual uses of its retained mines, as agreed by States Parties at Mine Ban Treaty Review Conferences held in 2004 and 2009.


[1] See Landmine Monitor Report 2006, p. 652. This includes an agreement reached on 31 December 2004 which states that the “laying of mines, explosive devices or booby traps of whatever type shall be prohibited.” Under a previous memorandum of understanding on cessation of hostilities reached in October 2002, both parties agreed to “cease laying of landmines.” The government and SPLM/A also agreed to stop using mines in the January 2002 Nuba Mountains cease-fire agreement. Prior to these agreements, the SPLM/A signed the Geneva Call Deed of Commitment in October 2001.

[2] See ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: South Sudan,” www.the-monitor.org.

[3] Interview with Adil Abdelhamid Adam, Legal Advisor, National Mine Action Center, Khartoum, 28 March 2011. The Monitor has copies of the law and the decree in Arabic.

[4] Interview with Adil Abdelhamid Adam, National Mine Action Center, Khartoum, 31 March 2010. The Monitor has copies of the law and the decree in Arabic. Previously, in April 2009, Sudan reported that draft national implementation legislation had been cleared by the Government of National Unity (GONU) Ministry of Justice and “endorsed by the concerned committee of the National Assembly responsible for the validations of humanitarian laws.” Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 13 April 2009.

[5] Sudan has prepared Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 reports submitted or dated 1 October 2004, 30 April 2005, 20 May 2006, 30 April 2007, August 2008, 13 April 2009, 28 April 2010, and April 2011 (no date provided for most recent submission).

[6] Previous editions of the Monitor have noted no evidence of production of antipersonnel mines by Sudan, but have cited allegations of transfer to militant groups in neighboring countries prior to Sudan becoming a State Party. See, for example, Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 223.

[7] The northern branch of the SPLM became an independent party in Sudan after the South’s secession. See Salma El Wardany, “Sudan Army, Opposition Fighters Clash in Southern Kordofan,” Bloomberg, 24 September 2011, www.bloomberg.com.

[8]  UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, “Thirteenth periodic report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Sudan: Preliminary report on violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in Southern Kordofan from 5 to 30 June 2011,” August 2011, para. 25.

[9] UNOCHA, “Sudan, South Kordofan – Situation Report No. 12,” covering the period 12–17 July 2011, www.unsudanig.org.

[10] See Landmine Monitor Report 2009, pp. 675–676. In its Article 7 report submitted in February 2006, Sudan declared a total of 14,485 antipersonnel mines of eight types held in army and SPLA stockpiles, and stated that 5,000 mines of various types would be retained for training purposes by the Engineer Corps of the SAF. In its Article 7 reports submitted in May 2006 and April 2007, Sudan declared a total of 4,485 stockpiled antipersonnel mines of 18 types, all under GONU control, and an additional 10,000 mines of unspecified types to be retained for training purposes, with GONU and the Government of South Sudan each retaining 5,000 mines. Sudan destroyed a total of 10,556 mines on 30 April 2007 in northern Sudan and 31 March 2008 in Southern Sudan.  In an April 2008 letter to the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, Sudan stated that, of a total stockpile of 15,566 antipersonnel mines, it had destroyed 10,566 and retained 5,000. Sudan stated that the adjusted figure of 15,566 mines (rather than the 14,485 mines previously reported) was the result of additional mines stockpiled by SPLA forces not being previously included in inventories. In its Article 7 report covering 2008, Sudan revised its number of mines retained for training purposes, this time reporting a total of 1,938 mines of six types. In a presentation during the May 2009 intersessional Standing Committee meetings, Sudan revised its total number of stockpiled mines, reporting that in spite of its original declaration of 14,485 stockpiled mines, only 12,513 were “accounted for” during physical stock-taking. It is likely that number is supposed to be 12,504 (the 10,566 destroyed mines plus the 1,938 retained mines). Sudan noted, “As no proper records have been maintained, determining the exact number and types of APMs [antipersonnel mines] was a challenge.”

[11] Statement by Dr. Abdelbagi Gailani, State Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Secretary-General of the National Mine Action Authority, Second Review Conference, Mine Ban Treaty, Cartagena, 3 December 2009.

[12] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, 13 April 2009. At the Ninth Meeting of States Parties in November 2008, Sudan said that it had found “additional abandoned caches” of mines and would destroy them. In March 2008, Sudan indicated that it expects additional stockpiled antipersonnel mines will be identified and destroyed, given the difficulties of doing a comprehensive inventory and collection of all the stockpiled antipersonnel mines belonging to all former combatants in Sudan. See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 634.

[13] The 1,938 mines consist of PMN (176), Type 14 (130), “Desert plastic” (85), Type 35 (1,194), Valmara (46), and PPM mines (307). Article 7 Report, Form D, April 2011 (date not provided).

[14] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 13 April 2009.

[15] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, in reports submitted 13 April 2009, 28 April 2010, and April 2011 (no exact date).