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Western Sahara, Landmine Monitor Report 2006

Western Sahara

Key developments since May 2005: In November 2005, the Polisario Front signed the Geneva Call Deed of Commitment renouncing antipersonnel mines. Polisario destroyed over 3,000 of its stockpiled mines in February 2006. Between April 2005 and April 2006, the UN mission in Western Sahara discovered and marked 289 mines and unexploded ordnance, and monitored the destruction of 7,074 items of explosive ordnance, mostly stockpiled antipersonnel mines. Landmine Action UK started an explosive ordnance disposal and technical survey project in mid-2006. Antipersonnel mines caused at least two casualties in 2005, and there were at least eight mine casualties from January to May 2006.

Mine Ban Policy

The sovereignty of Western Sahara remains the subject of a dispute between the government of Morocco and the Polisario Front (the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguía el Hamra and Río de Oro). The Polisario’s Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) is a member of the African Union, but is not universally recognized. It has no official representation in the UN, and thus is not eligible to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty. Since 1999, Polisario officials have stated they would sign the Mine Ban Treaty if permitted to do so. However, at the same time, they have spoken of a possible need for antipersonnel mines.[1]

On 3 November 2005, Polisario Minister of Defense Mohamed Lamine Buhali signed the Swiss-based NGO Geneva Call’s Deed of Commitment renouncing antipersonnel mines.[2] The Deed of Commitment calls for a comprehensive ban on the use, production, trade and stockpiling of antipersonnel mines, and cooperation in mine action. Earlier, from 3-10 June 2005, Geneva Call had conducted a field mission to Western Sahara and received assurances that Polisario would either sign the Deed of Commitment or declare a similar position.[3]

Production, Transfer, Use and Stockpiling

Polisario is not known to have produced or transferred antipersonnel mines. Polisario officials have stated that they acquired antipersonnel mines in the past by lifting them from Moroccan minefields (especially the defensive walls, or berms).[4] Known antipersonnel landmine types include those of Soviet, Italian, Belgian, French, Portuguese and Yugoslav manufacture.[5] Both Polisario and Moroccan forces used mines extensively in the past.

Polisario possesses a stockpile of antipersonnel mines which it has promised to destroy in stages, in order to comply with the Deed of Commitment.[6] A coordination committee for mine action was established after the signing of the Deed, headed by engineer Dah Bendir; this body has started to gather and classify all the antipersonnel mines in stockpile. The Polisario’s Chief Engineer told Landmine Monitor that the stockpile consists of more than 10,000 antipersonnel and antivehicle landmines.[7] A media source cited a Polisario stockpile of 6,000 antipersonnel mines.[8]

Polisario reported destroying 3,172 antipersonnel mines and 144 antivehicle mines in a public event on 27 February 2006 in the Tifariti region of Western Sahara.[9] This event took place in the presence of many international and local observers.[10] Preparation and funding of the destruction was done without outside financial assistance, but with the technical advice of Norwegian People’s Aid and Landmine Action UK, and facilitated by Geneva Call and the Saharawi Campaign to Ban Landmines.[11]

In 2002, Polisario had informed Landmine Monitor in writing that it no longer had a stockpile of antipersonnel mines, except for 1,606 disarmed mines on display in a military museum.[12]

Landmine and UXO Problem

Western Sahara is affected by mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) as a result of years of colonial and post-colonial conflicts. The 1991 cease-fire resulted in a territory that is divided between Polisario and Morocco by 2,400 kilometers of defensive walls built by Morocco, known as berms (earthen walls of about three meters in height) which Morocco fortified with antipersonnel and antivehicle mines.[13] Despite the mine/UXO problem, approximately 10,000 Saharawi nomads live in mine-affected areas on both sides of the Moroccan berms.[14]

Landmine Action UK undertook preliminary survey work by visiting the Polisario-controlled area of Western Sahara in October 2005 and February-March 2006. A field assessment in the vicinity of Bir Lahlou, Tifariti and the berms revealed that the densest concentrations of mines are in front of the berms. Mines were laid in zigzags up to one meter apart, and in some parts of the berms, there are three rows of mines.[15] There are also berms in the Moroccan-controlled zone, around Dakhla and stretching from Boujdour, including Smara on the Moroccan border.[16]

However, mine-laying was not restricted to the vicinity of the berms; occupied settlements throughout the Polisario-controlled areas, such as Bir Lahlou and Tifariti, are ringed by mines laid by Moroccan forces. Antivehicle mines in the vicinity of well-used tracks and antipersonnel mines around water holes pose a threat to the local population ― nomadic pastoralists who rely on the water wells and hinder the repatriation of Saharawi refugees currently located in five camps in southwestern Algeria.[17] Landmines in Western Sahara are also a serious threat to illegal immigrants attempting to enter Melilla, the Spanish enclave on the Moroccan coast. If caught by the Moroccan security forces, they are reportedly sent back to the berms and told to walk straight through, without stepping left or right, across the minefields.[18]

Landmine Action UK reported that there is also a serious threat from unexploded ordnance (UXO), such as mortars, artillery shells and air-dropped bombs, as well as significant contamination by air-dropped or ground-delivered cluster munitions.[19]

Mine Action Program

There is no formal mine action program in Western Sahara. However, under bilateral military agreements signed by Morocco and Polisario in early 1999, both parties agreed to cooperate with MINURSO, the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara, in the exchange of mine-related information, marking of mined areas, and the clearance and destruction of mines and UXO in the presence of MINURSO observers.[20] This agreement does not cover minefields along the berms.[21]

The UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has provided technical advice to MINURSO in order to address the mine/UXO threat. In November 2005, UNMAS conducted a visit to MINURSO to review existing mine action information and discuss support for further mine/UXO clearance in Polisario-controlled areas. The report revealed that in many cases, information on known or suspected mine/UXO-affected areas held by MINURSO had not been recently verified and the source of the information was unknown. UNMAS recommended that MINURSO work jointly with Polisario counterparts to verify and confirm the information, detect any dangerous areas known by Polisario but not yet registered, and collect additional information to facilitate prioritization and tasking.[22]

UNMAS also found that “the amount of contamination [MINURSO] team sites face is unacceptable.” Consequently, UNMAS recommended establishing explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams to clear UXO that require immediate action to ensure the safety of patrol tracks. Over the longer term, clearance of minefields and battlefields (which are less of a priority to MINURSO) should be ensured through capacity development of the Saharawi mine action NGO community, with the support of an international NGO. Also, in order to ensure the proper coordination and support for mine action activities, UNMAS recommended that a mine action coordinator position be established in the mission under UNMAS direction.[23]

In April 2006, UNMAS signed a contract with Landmine Action UK for a project to map hazardous areas, grade roads by level of threat and destroy UXO.[24] In the short term, the project aims at building a comprehensive picture of the mine threat in Polisario-controlled areas of Western Sahara to ensure the disposal of UXO while constructing an accurate and updated Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) database of mine and UXO-affected areas. In the long run, Landmine Action UK plans to create a “professional cost-efficient local NGO capable of engaging with both Polisario and MINURSO.”[25]

To implement this project, Landmine Action UK planned to establish two small, mobile survey/EOD teams as the nucleus of a local NGO in the Polisario-controlled areas of Western Sahara.[26] MINURSO’s commitment to support the project, under negotiation since April, was considered “imminent” in July 2006, as was an agreement between Landmine Action UK and Polisario.[27] The UNMAS contract (US$633,977) was scheduled to run from 15 April to 15 December 2006. Landmine Action also received a donation of £100,000 (some $182,000) from the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund for this project.[28]

Landmine Action UK was scheduled to move its project equipment and personnel to Western Sahara in late July 2006, to recruit and train national staff in August and to start operational work in September.[29]

Also in May, a meeting in Nouadhibou between MINURSO and Mauritania’s mine action authorities and operators agreed to continue exchanging information and to move towards a regional approach to mine action that would engage governments, Polisario, the UN and others. This would include mine risk education for Saharawi children and nomads on both sides of the border.[30]

MINURSO has IMSMA version 3. In March 2005, the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) provided IMSMA with training, but the personnel trained left MINURSO in October; their replacements were not trained to use IMSMA.[31] As a result, MINURSO was using spreadsheets to record locations, types of munitions and dates of discovery. The coordinates have been loaded into handheld and vehicle-mounted global positioning by satellite receivers to provide team site members with general location data for navigation purposes while on patrol.[32]

In June 2006, GICHD received requests for two MINURSO officers and two Landmine Action staff members to attend a training for version 4 of IMSMA in September-October 2006.[33]


MINURSO carries out joint military operations with Polisario forces in territory on the Western Sahara side of the berms and with the Royal Moroccan Army (RMA) on the Moroccan side. When mines and UXO are discovered, MINURSO marks them and then monitors their destruction by Polisario or RMA’s EOD teams. MINURSO has reported that while the RMA has the capacity to address some UXO issues in the areas it controls, no survey or clearance has been conducted by the Polisario in areas east of the berm.[34]

Identification of Mined Areas: Surveys and Assessments

No survey has been conducted in Western Sahara. Polisario provided MINURSO with all maps and necessary information in 1991, but Morocco did not.[35] Landmine Action UK reported that Polisario engineers have a very clear idea of where the mines laid by both parties to the conflict are located.[36]

Marking and Fencing

As part of its activities, MINURSO marks locations of mines and UXO with piles of stones up to half-a-meter high, painted red. In May 2006, MINURSO planned to manufacture 450 standard mine and UXO warning signs.[37] The Saharawi Campaign to Ban Landmines (SCBL) reported having marked UXO by laying stones painted in red in Tifariti and Bir Lahlou between October 2005 and January 2006.[38]

Mine and UXO Clearance

Between October 2005 and April 2006, MINURSO discovered and marked 29 mines and UXO, and monitored the destruction of 3,381 antipersonnel mines. This included the destruction by Polisario of 3,100 stockpiled antipersonnel mines on 27 February 2006, as well as another 281 stockpiled antipersonnel mines during a destruction trial the day before.[39] Between April and October 2005, MINURSO discovered and marked 260 mines and UXO, and monitored the destruction of 3,693 mines and UXO. Further details were not available on the ordnance destroyed. During the same period, MINURSO also monitored 40 EOD operations on the west side of the berm.[40] The data reported did not indicate what quantities were found and destroyed on each side of the berm.

Reporting in past years by MINURSO has been inconsistent in format, but Landmine Monitor has recorded a total of 1,294 hazardous items marked, 831 sites marked and the monitoring of the destruction of 37,629 mines and UXO since 1999.[41] MINURSO has not disaggregated data between mines and UXO.

Mine Risk Education

In January 2005, Saharawi Campaign to Ban Landmines members started to deliver ad hoc mine risk education (MRE) classes to the children in schools and to some adults. There has been no funding to support or expand these activities.[42] Some SCBL members had been trained in conducting MRE through a Norwegian People’s Aid project from 1998 to 2000.[43] In March 2006, SCBL contacted UNICEF Algeria to assess the possibility of recommencing MRE in the Saharawi refugee camps and in Western Sahara territory under Polisario control.[44]

MINURSO provided landmine and UXO safety briefings for UN mission personnel through the MINURSO training section. Team site staff also provided refresher training. UNMAS observed in November 2005 that personnel adhered to safety procedures to a satisfactory level.[45]

Landmine/UXO Casualties

In 2005, there were at least two casualties, including one killed and one injured, in Western Sahara. Both casualties were men and both incidents were caused by antipersonnel mines. The SCBL reported both casualties; MINURSO was also aware of the casualty occurring on the Moroccan side of the berm.[46] The incident in Polisario-controlled Western Sahara involved a 20-year-old man herding camels in Tuezirfatin, in the Tiris region. In 2004, Landmine Monitor was not able to confirm any casualties.[47]

Casualties continued to be reported in 2006, with at least eight new mine/UXO casualties as of May 2006, including three killed and five injured. All of the casualties were men; antipersonnel mines caused five incidents, antivehicle mines caused two and the cause of one was unknown. On 27 January, a civilian vehicle hit an antivehicle mine in the Akuadim region. The driver lost his leg and two passengers were injured. At the end of January, a man lost his leg while trying to cross the berm from Morocco into the Polisario-controlled side. On 5 February, a 47-year-old man was killed while herding animals in Wad Yderia, north Benamera.[48] MINURSO recorded two casualties in the Moroccan-controlled part of Western Sahara: on 12 February, a Moroccan soldier was killed on patrol; on 19 February, a Bedouin was killed while driving a truck.[49] Early in May, a nomad lost a leg in a mine/UXO incident, which also injured several of the camels he was herding.[50] There reportedly are daily incidents with camels and other cattle in animal grazing areas. Incidents also tend to happen when people cross from Tindouf into Polisario-controlled territory to herd animals and cultivate land during the rainy season.[51]

The total number of mine casualties in Western Sahara is not known, as many incidents are believed to take place in remote areas. In November 2005, SCBL conducted a mine casualty survey and identified 347 survivors in the four main refugee camps.[52] The Saharawi Campaign to Ban Landmines works with eight volunteers to collect casualty data.

The Moroccan Association of Mine Victims in Smara, Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara, has collected information on 70 mine casualties, including 37 killed in Smara region.[53]

In October 2005, Polisario stated that 525 people from Western Sahara have been injured and 30 killed since 2001.[54] Between March 2000 and March 2001, Moroccan authorities registered 51 military mine/UXO casualties (seven killed and 44 injured) in Western Sahara.[55] Between 2000 and 2005, MINURSO recorded 19 mine incidents, but the number of casualties is not known, as reporting of casualties has not been comprehensive. However, there have reportedly been more than 2,500 landmine casualties since 1975.[56]

In 2006, Landmine Action UK will collect casualty data as part of its survey and clearance project in Western Sahara; this should lead to improved public information on mine/UXO casualties.[57]

Survivor Assistance

Access to emergency services, especially in remote areas, is limited to military medical facilities. On the Polisario-controlled side, military bases have small dispensaries providing first aid. There is a medical center in Laayoune and two medical stations in Awsard and Smara on the Moroccan side of the berm. Each of the four main refugee camps have medical centers. Mine casualties can face a two or three-day drive to the national hospital in Rabouni, near Tindouf, Algeria.[58] The Spanish NGO Médico El Mundo provides medical assistance in Birlehlu.

The SCBL survey in November 2005 showed that many survivors had not received rehabilitation assistance and prosthetic devices. Due to the difficult terrain, prostheses are in constant need of repair. SCBL found that most of those who received artificial limbs needed repairs or replacement limbs.[59]

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) supported a prosthetic workshop at the Ben Aknoun center in Algiers, Algeria to provide access to physical rehabilitation for Saharawi amputees. ICRC support included the provision of services for physically disabled Saharawis living in refugee camps in Algeria, but this service was discontinued in the beginning of 2004.[60] In 2004 and 2005, the center did not assist Saharawi patients.[61] Reportedly, Polisario and ICRC started discussing the need for a prosthetic workshop in the Saharawi refugee camps, which would employ mine survivors as technicians. ICRC met with the Polisario Ministry of Health in April 2006 to discuss this further.[62]

The Chedid Chreif Center is the only rehabilitation center in the refugee camps that provides shelter, medicines, basic supplies and socioeconomic reintegration activities to mine survivors and other war victims. The director of the center has established a self-help system, in which local authorities, NGOs and individuals spend time with survivors and provide financial or material aid, if needed. In 2005, 123 people were assisted and the center received 26 artificial eyes from a Spanish NGO. However, the center has been facing severe financial difficulties.[63]

On 22 October 2005, the Saharawi Association of the Victims of Mines (SAVM) was created to provide support to mine survivors and to raise awareness. The association is based in the Chedid Chreif Center and all its members are mine survivors. Its draft work plan aims to refer mine survivors to medical and rehabilitation care, provide psychosocial support and liaise with authorities and NGOs to create vocational training and capacity-building opportunities, as well as raising awareness for the rights of persons with disabilities in Western Sahara and internationally.[64]

The French NGO Triangle has provided assistance to people with disabilities in the Dakhla refugee camp for Saharawi people. Services include several community and welcome centers, awareness raising and education.[65]

Some Spanish and Italian NGOs reportedly have provided funding for artificial limbs for amputees in Western Sahara. On occasion, mine survivors accompany children participating in summer camps in Spain as guardians, and are provided with prosthetic devices when possible. In 2005, eight mine survivors, including one woman, received a prosthetic device in this way. Organizations providing this support are the Catalunia Association of Solidarity with the Saharawi People and the Murcia Association of Solidarity with the People of Western Sahara.[66]

Since 2005, the Moroccan Association of Mine Victims active in Smara, Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara, has collected casualty information, raised awareness on the rights of mine survivors and advocated for their reintegration into society, in cooperation with other organizations. However, the organization does not have the funds to implement reintegration and assistance projects.[67]

[1] See Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 947; Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 1240.
[2] Geneva Call Newsletter, Vol. 4, No. 1, February 2006, p. 3.
[3] Geneva Call met with the Saharawi President and Polisario Secretary General, the Minister of Defense, MINURSO, NGOs, and mine survivors. The President gave them the assurances of support for a ban. Interview with Pascal Bongard, Programme Director for Africa, Geneva Call, Geneva, 17 June 2005; Geneva Call Press Release, “Geneva Call’s mission in disputed Western Sahara: New Progress in the fight against landmines,” Geneva, 15 June 2005.
[4] They may have acquired mines from other sources as well. Some of the mines Polisario destroyed in February 2006 are not known to have been in Morocco’s arsenal, such as those of Belgian, Portuguese and Yugoslav origin.
[5] “Observations made during field mission by Landmine Action UK,” email of 3 May 2006; list of mines destroyed in February 2006 provided to Landmine Monitor by a Polisario military officer—this list also included mines thought to be of Israeli and German origin.
[6] Interview with Mohamed Lamine Bouhali, Polisario Minister of Defense, Tifariti (Second Military Region), 3 March 2006.
[7] Interview with Mhd. Fadel Sidna, Chief Engineer, Second Military Regiment, Tifariti (Second Military Region), 15 January 2006.
[8] “Polisario signs agreement banning use of anti-personnel mines,” British Broadcasting Corporation, 6 November 2005, citing Algerian TV.
[9] The numbers and types of antipersonnel mines destroyed: 2,220 VS-50 (Italy); 500 PMD-6M (USSR); 180 PROM-1 (Yugoslavia); 137 VS-33 (unknown type, presumably Italian); 33 PMD-6 (USSR); 32 M-35 (Belgium); 22 M966 (Portugal); 20 POMZ-2M (USSR); nine “NEGRO” (unknown type, attributed to Israeli origin); six E-58 (unknown type, attributed to German origin); six PMN (USSR); four Mk.-1 (UK); and, three FMP-1 (unknown type, attributed to French origin). It also destroyed 144 K-1 antivehicle mines, also known as PM-60 (East Germany). A list of numbers and types destroyed was provided to Landmine Monitor by a Polisario military officer. The list cites a total of 3,177 antipersonnel mines, but the individual totals add up to 3,172.
[10] The event was led by Saharawi President Mohamed Abdelaziz. Also in attendance were Algerian Minister Muyahidin, several ambassadors of countries which recognize the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, and representatives of MINURSO, Saharawi Campaign to Ban Landmines (SCBL), Saharawi Association for Mine Victims, Geneva Call, Landmine Action UK, Spanish Committees of Support to Western Sahara people, Landmine Monitor and other NGOs. See Geneva Call Press Release, “The Polisario Front starts to destroy its landmine stockpile,” 1 March 2006.
[11] Interview with Simon Conway, Director, Landmine Action UK, Geneva, 10 May 2006. In April, Geneva Call sponsored participation by a Polisario engineer in an International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) training courses given by the Swedish EOD and Demining Center. Email from Pascal Bongard, Geneva Call, 15 June 2006; email from Anki Sjöberg, Geneva Call, 6 July 2006.
[12] Polisario Response to Landmine Monitor, 27 June 2002.
[13] See Landmine Monitor Report 1999, pp. 921–924.
[14] Interview with Maj. M. Morrow, Mine Information Officer, MINURSO, Laayoune, 7 January 2001.
[15] Landmine Action UK, “Explosive Ordnance Disposal and technical survey in Polisario-controlled areas of Western Sahara,” Project proposal, February 2006, p. 4.
[16] Email from Simon Conway, Landmine Action UK, 3 May 2006.
[17] Landmine Action UK, “Explosive Ordnance Disposal and technical survey in Polisario-controlled areas of Western Sahara,” Project proposal, February 2006, p. 2.
[18] Email from Simon Conway, Landmine Action UK, 3 May 2006.
[19] Landmine Action UK, “Explosive Ordnance Disposal and technical survey in Polisario-controlled areas of Western Sahara,” Project proposal, February 2006, p. 4; email from Simon Conway, Landmine Action UK, 3 May 2006. Landmine Action UK found only a threat from mines and UXO during its field assessment. It reported that, as no comprehensive survey has been undertaken, it is too early to determine whether contamination includes abandoned explosive ordnance. Email from Simon Conway, Landmine Action UK, 29 May 2006.
[20] Military agreement No. 3 on the reduction of hazards from mines and UXO, 12 March 1999.
[21] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, pp. 1072, 1241.
[22] UNMAS, “Mission Report, MINURSO visit,” New York, November 2005, pp. 1,2.
[23] Ibid, pp. 3-4.
[24] Email from Charlotte McAulay, Landmine Action UK, 5 July 2006.
[25] Landmine Action UK, “Explosive Ordnance Disposal and technical survey in Polisario-controlled areas of Western Sahara,” Project proposal, February 2006, pp. 1-9.
[26] Ibid, p. 4; see, as well, later section on “Demining progress in 2006.”
[27] Email from Charlotte McAulay, Desk Officer, Landmine Action UK, 5 July 2006.
[28] Ibid.
[29] Ibid.
[30] Email from Joel Kaigre, President, HAMAP Demineurs, 28 May 2006; email from Maj. Gen. Kurt Mosgaard, Force Commander, MINURSO, 31 May 2006; email from Lt. Col. Alioune O. Mohamed El Hacen, National Humanitarian Demining Office (NHDO), 4 June 2006; email from Jim Sawatzky, Chief Technical Advisor, UNDP/NHDO, 5 June 2006.
[31] Email from Maj. Sherif El-Desouky, Mine Action Coordinator, MINURSO, Laayoune, 24 May 2006; UNMAS, “Mission Report, MINURSO visit,” New York, November 2005, p. 2.
[32] UN Mines Action Service (UNMAS), “Mission Report, MINURSO visit,” New York, November 2005, p. 2.
[33] Email from Charlotte McAulay, Landmine Action UK, 5 July 2006.
[34] UNMAS, “Mission Report, MINURSO visit,” New York, November 2005, p. 1.
[35] Presentation on Western Sahara by Geneva Call, at Standing Committee meetings, Geneva, 10 May 2006; Polisario response to Landmine Monitor, 27 June 2002.
[36] Email from Simon Conway, Landmine Action UK, 3 May 2006.
[37] Email from Maj. Sherif El-Desouky, MINURSO, Laayoune, 20 May 2006.
[38] Interview with Lefkir Mohamed, member, SCBL, 29 January 2006.
[39] “Report of the UN Secretary-General on the situation concerning Western Sahara,” S/2006/249, 19 April 2006,
p. 3; email from Maj. Sherif El-Desouky, MINURSO, Laayoune, 20 May 2006.
[40] “Report of the UN Secretary-General on the situation concerning Western Sahara,” S/2005/648, 13 October 2005, p. 3.
[41] As compiled from MINURSO reports by Landmine Monitor (Human Rights Watch). For details, see report on Morocco in this edition of Landmine Monitor.
[42] Email from Boybat Cheikh Abdelhay, SCBL, 7 March 2006.
[43] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 1241.
[44] Meeting of Boybat Cheikh Abdelhay, SCBL, with Farid Boubekeur, UNICEF Education Project Officer in Algiers, Rabouni, 6 March 2006.
[45] UNMAS, “Mission Report, MINURSO visit, 07-14 November 2005,” p. 5, received by email from Justin Brady, Planning Officer, UNMAS, New York, 24 May 2006.
[46] “Statistics For Discovered & Destroyed UXOs/Mines: The Period from Jul 2003 to Jul 2005,” sent by Enrico Magnani, MINURSO, Laayoune, 7 September 2005; SCBL extract of the Mine Victim Statistics Database, Rabouni (Tindouf), accessed 31 March 2006. SCBL keeps a database of casualties occurring in the Polisario-controlled areas of Western Sahara; unless otherwise stated, casualty information for the Polisario-controlled areas comes from the SCBL.
[47] One casualty reported as being injured in Western Sahara in 2004, was actually injured in Assa Zag province, Morocco, bordering Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara; see Morocco report in this edition of Landmine Monitor. Email from Fanja Rasolomanana, Project Coordinator, Swiss Foundation for Landmine Victim Aid, Geneva, 26 May 2006.
[48] SCBL extract of the Mine Victim Statistics Database, Rabouni (Tindouf), accessed 31 March 2006.
[49] Email from Maj. Sherif El-Desouky, MINURSO, Tifariti, 5 May 2006.
[50] Geneva Call and SCBL, Presentation on Western Sahara and Deed of Commitment, Geneva, 10 May 2006.
[51] Email from Boybat Cheikh Abdelhay, SCBL, 24 March 2006.
[52] SCBL extract of the Mine Victim Statistics Database, Rabouni (Tindouf), accessed 31 March 2006.
[53] Mohammed al-Moutaki, “Citizens deplore the lack of assistance to mine victims in Smara,” al-Ahdat al-Maghribiyya (Smara), 27 April 2006.
[54] “WSahara’s Polisario pledges landmine ban, appeals to Morocco,” Agence France-Presse (Geneva), 1 November 2005.
[55] For more information, see Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 1072.
[56] Email from Gaizi Nah Bachir, researcher and anti-mines activist, Western Sahara, 3 September 2005.
[57] Email from Charlotte McAulay, Landmine Action UK, 5 May 2006.
[58] Email from Gaizi Nah Bachir, Western Sahara, 3 September 2005; see also Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 1242.
[59] SCBL extract of the Mine Victim Statistics Database, Rabouni (Tindouf), accessed 31 March 2006.
[60] ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Program, “Annual Report 2005,” Geneva, draft received 19 May 2006, p. 33.
[61] Email from Boybat Cheikh Abdelhay, SCBL, 24 March 2006.
[62] Geneva Call and SCBL, Presentation on Western Sahara and Deed of Commitment, Geneva, 10 May 2006.
[63] Interview with Brahim Moulay Ahmed, Director, Chedid Chreif Center, Tindouf, February 2006; email from Gaizi Nah Bachir, 25 September 2005, with information provided by Brahim Moulay Ahmed, Chedid Chreif Center; information from Melainin Lakhal, Secretary-General of the Union of Saharawi Journalists and Writers (UPES), Western Sahara, 27 August 2005.
[64] Saharawi Association of the Victims of Mines, “Final Resolution for the creation of SAVM,” 22 October 2005, sent by Gaizi Nah Bachir, Western Sahara, 23 October 2005.
[65] See Triangle Generation Humanitaire, website, www.trianglegh.org.
[66] Email from Boybat Cheikh Abdelhay, SCBL, 24 March 2006; interview with Pascal Bongard, Geneva Call, Geneva, 17 June 2005.
[67] Mohammed al-Moutaki, “Citizens deplore the lack of assistance to mine victims in Smara,” al-Ahdat al-Maghribiyya (Smara), 27 April 2006.