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Last Updated: 02 December 2014

Mine Ban Policy

Mine ban policy overview

Mine Ban Treaty status

State Party

National implementation measures

Legislation adopted 31 March 2010

Transparency reporting

April 2014


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

Sudan adopted the Sudan Mine Action Law by Presidential Decree #51 on 31 March 2010, which includes penalties for violations.[2] Chapter four enforces its Mine Ban Treaty obligations, including the prohibition on antipersonnel mine use and stockpiling, clearance of contaminated areas, risk education, victim assistance, and transparency reporting.[3]

Sudan submitted its eleventh Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report in April 2014.[4]

Sudan has participated in every Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty ever held, including the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in December 2013. It has attended all of the treaty’s Review Conferences, including the Third Review Conference held in Maputo, Mozambique in June 2014. Sudan has also participated in every intersessional Standing Committee meeting of the treaty held in Geneva since 1999, including those held in May 2013 and April 2014.

In 2006–2007, Sudan served as co-chair of the treaty’s Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration.

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

Production and transfer

Sudan has declared that it “never produced” antipersonnel mines.[5] It has repeatedly stated that it has not produced or exported antipersonnel mines.[6]


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, but there have been several allegations of use of antipersonnel mines in Sudan since 2010, including in 2013 and the first half of 2014 that the Monitor has been unable to confirm.

It is clear from evidence and testimony from various sources that in the southern part of the country antipersonnel mines are available for use, but the Monitor has not seen definitive evidence about what forces may have used antipersonnel mines. There is also a lack of clarity about whether antipersonnel mines or antivehicle mines, or both, have been used. In its Article 7 reports and statements the government of Sudan has provided little to no official information on the mine use allegations, which it has denied responsibility for.

In 2011, reports emerged of new mine-laying in the Republic of Sudan’s South Kordofan state in the Nuba Mountains near the border with South Sudan as part of clashes between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the northern branch of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) now called SPLM-N.[7] UN reports stated that both the SAF and the SPLM-N were reported to have laid antipersonnel mines in strategic areas of Kadugli, the capital of South Kordofan state.[8]

In February 2014, the ICRC issued a statement condemning the use of antipersonnel mines by any actor and calling on all parties to abide by international law, after a Sudanese Red Crescent Society volunteer and other civilians were killed and injured in a landmine explosion involving a vehicle near Abu Jubaiha in South Kordofan.[9]

In August 2013, the South Kordofan state secretary for the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Engineer al-Rehema Ismail Fedail, reportedly accused the government of Sudan of planting landmines in North and South Kordofan states, identifying several newly-mined locations including Um ‘Djamena, southern al-Dabekr, southern Abu Zabad, and al-Tamjoyah, in addition to al-Dashol and Abu Janok areas.[10]

During 2012, several mine use allegations in South Kordofan were reported by international media outlets and NGOs.[11] The ICBL has expressed “grave concern” at allegations of antipersonnel mine use by armed forces of the Republic of the Sudan in Southern Kordofan and urged the government of Sudan to clarify whether its forces used antipersonnel mines.[12] It has called on Sudan to clarify if it has new contamination resulting from antipersonnel mine use and urged the government to allow international NGOs to continue mine action operations across the country.[13]

In 2012, Sudan acknowledged the use allegations and committed to conduct an investigation and “declare the findings” in its next annual Article 7 report.[14] However, the Article 7 reports provided in April 2013 and April 2014 contain no new information with respect to the use allegation in South Kordofan state.

On 29 August 2013, a delegation of the SPLM-N, comprised of Deputy Chairman Abdelaziz Alhilu and Secretary General Yasir Arman, signed Geneva Call’s Deed of Commitment, thereby agreeing to prohibit the use, production, and transfer of antipersonnel mines, to cooperate in humanitarian mine action activities, and to destroy its stockpiles. Upon signing, Alhilu pledged to destroy all antipersonnel mines in SPLM-N possession as soon as possible, which he said were captured during military operations.[15]

The SPLM-N is the third armed opposition group from Sudan to pledge non-use of antipersonnel mines, after JEM in April 2012 and the SPLM/A in 2001.[16]

Stockpiling and destruction

Sudan reported completion of the 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.[17] At the Second Review Conference in 2009, Sudan stated that a total of 10,656 stockpiled antipersonnel mines were destroyed (possibly a typographical error from the 10,566 mentioned above).[18] However, Sudan declared in April 2012 that a total of 13,371 stockpiled antipersonnel mines were destroyed in Khartoum in 2007.[19] It did not include the total number of previously destroyed mines in its 2013 and 2014 reports.[20]

In 2009, Sudan reported the discovery of arms caches including antipersonnel mines at various locations of southern Sudan that were subsequently destroyed in Blue Nile state in 2008.[21]

Mines retained for training purposes

In its April 2014 Article 7 report, Sudan stated that it is retaining a total of 1,938 mines, the same amount reported since 2009, when it reported a reduction in the number of mines retained for training from 4,997 to 1,938 mines.[22] Sudan has not disclosed the intended purposes or actual uses of its retained mines, an obligation since 2004 as agreed by States Parties at Mine Ban Treaty Review Conferences.


[1] South Sudan became an independent state on 9 July 2011; see the separate entry on South Sudan.

[2] 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.

[3] Ibid., 31 March 2010. 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.

[4] 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, April 2011, April 2012, April 2013, and April 2014 (no date provided for the most recent submissions).

[5] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form E, April 2014.

[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 Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 223. Sudan has consistently reported that it “has never produced AP [antipersonnel] mines.” See, for example, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form E, April 2012.

[7]After years of conflict, the government of Sudan and the southern-based rebel group the SPLM/A signed a peace agreement on 9 January 2005 that led to a referendum in January 2011 approving self-determination for the South. The Republic of South Sudan became an independent state on 9 July 2011 and the SPLA became the regular army of the new Republic of South Sudan while the SPLM became the governing political party. 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.

[8] UNHCR, “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; and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “Sudan, South Kordofan – Situation Report No. 12,” covering the period 12–17 July 2011.

[11] See Landmine Monitor 2013: Country Profile: Sudan for the complete accounting.

[12] Letter from Kasia Derlicka, Director, ICBL, to Ali Ahmed Karti, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sudan, 8 March 2012.

[13] Intervention by the ICBL, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Geneva, 23 May 2012. Notes by the ICBL.

[14] Letter from Mohamed Eltaib Ahmed, Chief of Operations, National Mine Action Centre (NMAC) on behalf of the government of the Republic of the Sudan, to the ICBL director, dated 25 May 2012, and provided to the ICBL by Sudan’s Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva, 24 May 2012; intervention by Sudan on compliance, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on General Status and Operation, Geneva, 24 May 2012. Notes by the ICBL. At a Human Rights Watch (HRW) side event briefing on landmine use allegations, the Sudan delegation stated that Sudan would in fact investigate the allegations. Statement by Steve Goose, HRW, for the ICBL, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on General Status and Operation, Geneva, 25 May 2012.

[15] Geneva Call Press Release, “Major Sudanese armed group commits against anti-personnel mines,” 29 August 2013.

[16] Geneva Call Press Release, “Sudan: the Justice and Equality Movement pledges against antipersonnel mines,” 24 April 2012. JEM was party to two previous peace agreements in Sudan, which prohibited mine use and required cooperation on mine action. See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 620.

[17] See Landmine Monitor Report 2009, pp. 675–676. In its February 2006 Article 7 report, 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 Sudan Armed Forces. 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, 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 2009 Article 7 report, 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.” In its 2011 Article 7 report, Sudan declared the destruction of 10,656 stockpiled mines (4,488 mines destroyed in Khartoum in April 2007 and 6,078 in Juba, South Sudan on 31 March 2008). Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, April 2011.

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

[19] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, April 2012; and Form G, April 2013.

[20] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, 13 April 2013; and Form G, April 2014.

[21] 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.

[22] The 1,938 mines consist of PMN (176), Type 14 (130), “Desert plastic” (85), Type 35 (1,194), Valmara (46), and PPM mines (307). Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, April 2014. See also: Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 13 April 2009.