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Country Reports
BENIN, Landmine Monitor Report 1999


Mine Ban Policy

Benin’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Javier Murillo de la Rocha, signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997. Benin ratified on 25 September 1998, the forty-fourth nation to do so. Benin voted in favor of the key 1996, 1997 and 1998 UN General Assembly resolutions on landmines. According to Ogoudjobi Sikirou, Minister Counselor at Benin’s Brussels Embassy, Benin is working for a total ban on mines.[1] Though no implementation legislation has been enacted, national laws banning the possession of certain categories of weapons could be adapted to cover both antipersonnel and antitank mines. Benin is a party to the CCW, but not to the original or amended Protocol II on landmines.

There is no public or private production of antipersonnel mines on Beninese territory. Transfer of antipersonnel mines is not allowed. The national army possesses no stocks of mines, other than those used to train military personnel in line with article 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty. Benin wants to have deminers in order to deploy a comprehensive range of skills in its armed forces. Because of structural adjustment agreements with the World Bank, the Army is occupying an increasingly development-oriented role.

Antipersonnel mines, including Claymores, have never used by the Army or by any other actors inside the country or on its borders. During the 1974-91 period of military-Marxist rule under Brigadier-General Mathieu Kérékou, Benin imported many weapons from the former Soviet Union but antipersonnel mines were not believed to be among them. The relative absence of security threat from neighboring countries obviated the need for landmines.

Benin is not mine-affected and there are no landmine casualties. Benin’s army has demining capacity and declares itself prepared to take part in regional cooperation, if one day Nigeria needs clearance assistance, under the policy of “social, economic and political management of the borders,” advanced with Nigeria.


[1]LM Researcher interview with Ogoudjobi A. Sikirou, Minister Counselor, Embassy of Benin in Brussels, Belgium, 16 February 1999. This is the source for information throughout this report.