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Last Updated: 02 November 2011

Mine Ban Policy

Mine Ban Policy

The Republic of Namibia signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 21 September 1998, becoming a State Party on 1 March 1999. In 2009, Namibia reported that it views the Explosive Act of 1956 as “sufficient” legal measures to ensure implementation of the treaty.[1] The Mine Ban Treaty is also viewed as part of national law under the Namibian Constitution.[2] 

Namibia last submitted an annual updated Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report in April 2010, covering calendar year 2009.[3]

Namibia did not participate in the Tenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in November–December 2010.

Namibia is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Production, transfer, use, stockpile destruction, and retention

Namibia maintains that it has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines and that it obtained mines as “leftovers during the liberation struggle.”[4] There have been no serious allegations of use of antipersonnel mines by Namibian forces since the April 2002 peace agreement in Angola.[5]

In 2004, Namibia reported that by May 1998 it had destroyed 21,857 stockpiled antipersonnel mines and was retaining 9,999 mines.[6] By the end of 2005, it had reduced the number of retained mines to 3,899.[7] In April 2009, Namibia reported a reduced total of 1,734 mines retained for training and stated that 2,165 mines were destroyed “in past years” in “training of our troops and deminers in order to enabled them to identify and learn how to detect, handle, neutralize and destroy the mines wherever been found.”[8] In April 2010, Namibia further reduced the total number of mines retained for training by 100 to 1,634 mines, but reported the transfer for the purposes of training of a 400 PMD-6 mines as well as 20 “Mine Sharpener” and two Claymore mines.[9]

Namibia did not report in detail on the intended purposes and actual uses of its retained mines, as agreed by States Parties.


[1] In 2004 and 2005, Namibia reported that draft implementation legislation was “under consideration.” In May 2006, a defense official told the Monitor that it may not be necessary since the government believes that it has completed its obligations under the treaty. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports, Form A, 7 July 2004, 9 September 2005, and 20 April 2006. Interview with Maj. Filemon Kotokeni, Chief of Mine Action, Namibian Defence Force, Ministry of Defence, in Geneva, 9 May 2006.

[2] For details on Article 144 of Namibia’s Constitution, see Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 121. It is not clear how penal sanctions would be applied to offending parties with regard to specific articles of the Mine Ban Treaty.

[3] Namibia has submitted five reports previously: 7 July 2004, 9 September 2005, 20 April 2006, 30 April 2009, and 30 April 2010. It did not submit reports in 2007 or 2008. Namibia submitted its initial report almost five years after the due date.

[4] Statement of Namibia, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 21–22 June 2004. The US Department of Defense claimed that Namibia produced PMD-6 antipersonnel mines in the past. See Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 65.

[5] In 2000 and 2001, Landmine Monitor reported on antipersonnel mine use in Namibia by UNITA rebel forces and Angolan government forces, and on unsubstantiated allegations of use by Namibian troops. See Landmine Monitor Report 2000, pp. 81–84; and Landmine Monitor Report 2001, pp. 123–125.

[6] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Forms D and G, 7 July 2004. Prior to this Namibia had made no official declarations about its stockpile, even though its treaty deadline for stockpile destruction was 1 March 2003.

[7] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 20 April 2006. In June 2005, Namibia stated that it had destroyed 3,848 of the retained mines during training activities, leaving 6,151 mines. Statement of Namibia, Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 17 June 2005. Notes by the Monitor.

[8] Namibia reported retaining 550 PMD-6, 500 POMZ-2M, 400 PMN, 100 PPM-2, 100 POMZ-2, and 40 OZM, as well as 40 “Mine Sharpener” and two Claymores, which totals 1,732 mines, not 1,734. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Forms B and D, 30 April 2009.

[9] Namibia has reported retaining 600 POMZ-2M (100 more than reported in 2009), 400 PMN, 400 PMD-6 (150 fewer than in 2009), 80 PPM-2 (20 fewer than in 2009), 90 POMZ-2 (10 fewer than in 2009), 40 OZM-72, and two PROM-1, as well as well as 20 “Mine Sharpener” and two Claymores. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Forms B and D, 30 April 2009.