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Country Reports
BOTSWANA , Landmine Monitor Report 1999


Mine Ban Policy

Botswana signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 but has not yet ratified. In 1997, Lady Ruth Khama, a former First Lady and President of the Botswana Red Cross spoke out against the use of mines in the region and called for those who planted and/or manufactured them to remove them.[1] Botswana supported the Ottawa Process by voting in favour of the 1996 UN General Assembly resolution on landmines, supporting the June 1997 OAU resolution, endoring the Brussels Declaration and attending, as a full participant, the Oslo treaty negotiations. In addition to the Red Cross, non-governmental organizations, including Ditsawanelo, the Botswana Centre for Human Rights, have been active in supporting the campaign to ban landmines.

Botswana has not produced or exported antipersonnel mines. In 1995, a Botswana Defence Force official told Human Rights Watch that Botswana maintains a small stockpile of AP landmines.[2] However, in June 1997, the government stated: “Botswana finally wishes to refute allegations contained in the African Topics magazine Issue no. 17 of April -May 1997 that its Defence Force maintains a stockpile of mines. Allegations that Botswana maintains a stockpile of Landmines have not been verified.”'[3]

During the Rhodesian war, landmines were planted in northern Botswana, including RAP1, RAP 2 and Shrapnel No. 2 mines of Rhodesian origin.[4] However, no known incidents have occurred since 1980 and all mines have reportedly been cleared. The U.N. Database lists Botswana as mine-free, however other sources list it as being affected by landmines.[5]

In response to reports that "Caprivi Separatists," who fled from Namibia to Botswana were found in possession of small arms and antipersonnel landmines, the Namibian Campaign to Ban Landmines called on the Botswana government to destroy all mines found in the possession of the separatists.[6]


[1]“Away with Anti-Personnel Landmines,” Southern Africa Quaker News, No. 2, 1997.

[2]Human Rights Watch, Still Killing: Landmines in Southern Africa (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1997), p. 59.

[3]Botswana Statement to 1st OAU Conference on Landmines, Ref No. HCS/16/5/C I SS 21 May 1997.

[4]Human Rights Watch, Still Killing, p.59.

[5]UN Database: Country Report on Botswana, see www.un.org/depts/ landmine/country; and Voices, Issue 2, Spring 1995 (published by World Vision Canada).

[6]Namibian Society for Human Rights, Press Release, 15 November 1998.