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Country Reports
ITALY, Landmine Monitor Report 1999


Mine Ban Policy

One of the major producers and exporters of landmines in the world in the past,[1] Italy began to change its landmine policy in 1993. Factors influencing the change included the looming economic crisis in this specific sector, the comparatively new and much stricter Italian legislation on arms trade (law 185/90), and the impact of the newly born international movement to ban landmines.

The policy shift is marked by the following three steps: 1) in November 1993 the Italian Government stopped authorizing the export of antipersonnel landmines; 2) on 2 August 1994 a unilateral moratorium on the production and trade of antipersonnel landmines was adopted; 3) on 20 January 1995 Italy deposited its instrument of ratification of the Convention on Conventional Weapons and it Protocol II on mines.

Since 1995, the Italian Parliament has worked closely with the Italian Campaign to Ban Landmines (ItCBL) on national legislation aimed at a comprehensive ban on antipersonnel landmines. The debate in Parliament became particularly intense throughout 1995-1996, with seven bills introduced by different political groups in this period.[2]

However, it was only with the disappointing outcome of the CCW Review Conference in May 1996 that the Italian government finally intensified its diplomatic efforts inside the EU, the G7 and the UN to promote more drastic measures against this weapon. Public pressure at this time was crucial in shaping a new Italian landmine policy.

Although initially with some degree of scepticism, Italy participated in the “International Strategy Conference: Towards a Ban on Antipersonnel Mines,” in October 1996, which launched the Ottawa Process. Prior to that first Ottawa conference, Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini had announced Italy’s decision to give up the production, trade, and stockpiling of antipersonnel mines at the United Nations General Assembly. The Italian government also sought to “promote further restrictions, in the hope that such measures will contribute to reaching a solid international understanding and a definitive ban.”[3] Toward that end, Italy wanted to “propose the prompt opening of international negotiations at the Disarmament Conference (CD) in Geneva,”[4] because it viewed the elimination of an entire category of weapons as not just a humanitarian issue, but also as part of larger disarmament and security concerns.

When it became clear that movement in the CD was blocked indefinitely, Italy became convinced that the Ottawa Process was the only effective way to negotiate a binding agreement to ban antipersonnel landmines. On 13 June 1997, just before the Brussels Conference, the Government announced that Italy would completely renounce antipersonnel landmines, including their use.[5] In that respect, the Brussels Conference was a watershed for Italian participation in the Process.[6]

Law 374/97

The most significant commitment toward the total ban on landmines came on 29 October 1997 with the approval of domestic legislation banning these weapons - Law 374/97. The Italian legislation, though far from perfect, contains some valuable provisions. First and foremost, it has a very broad definition of APMs which include dual-use mines and mines equipped with anti-handling devices, as well as any such anti-manipulation devices in general.[7] This definition has created problems for Italy as a member of NATO. Because the law applies to the Italian territory and any other territory under Italian jurisdiction and control, it follows that all landmines covered by the above mentioned definition, even those on Nato bases should be subject to the same clauses.

The law also provides for a comprehensive ban on landmine research; for strong sanctions, both civil and penal;[8] requires the government to produce a report every six months on the status of implementation; the abolition of any secrecy regime (military or state) on landmines; and the destruction of stockpiles within five years.

The ItCBL has maintained that the law also contains significant flaws: the lack of any formal mechanism to carry out inspections and for ongoing monitoring of the law’s implementation,[9] no provision requiring any type of commitment in mine clearance programs; nor provisions for technological research for mine detection and removal.

This national ban legislation will serve as the implementing legislation for the Mine Ban Treaty.


With the domestic ban already firmly in place, Minister of Foreign Affairs Lamberto Dini signed the Mine Ban Treaty for the Italian Government in Ottawa on 3 December 1997. The understanding at that time was that both government and Parliament would work for the rapid ratification of the Ottawa Convention. This was underscored by Dini in his address for the signing ceremony not that “to ensure that the Convention is brought rapidly into force, national parliaments must use ‘fast track’ methods to hasten the enactment of the ratification bills.”[10]

Italy, however, was not quick to ratify the treaty. One of the major problems was reconciling some clauses of the domestic ban legislation and the text of the Mine Ban Treaty. The treaty had to be ratified without jeopardizing the national legislation. The ratification bill had to set up a minimum standard of prohibitions, and where there is a need for interpretation between the two norms, on mine related issues the stricter standard should prevail.[11]

A Government ratification bill was presented in Parliament on 18 June 1998.[12] The original version threatened to weaken provisions of the national legislation 374/97, including the definition of an APM and sanctioning mechanism, among other things. The ratification bill would have introduced exceptions and reservations with regards to the Nato bases in the country, all of which are under Italian jurisdiction.[13]

The negotiation among government, parliament, military and ItCBL actors on the ratification bill proved more complex and time consuming than initially expected. On 10 February 1999, the Chamber of Deputies unanimously approved an amended bill, and so did the Senate on 11 March. At the time of writing, the formal deposit of the instrument of ratification at the United Nations had not occurred.

The Convention on Conventional Weapons

Italy signed the Convention on Conventional Weapons in 1980, but 14 years passed before it was ratified on 6 December 1994. With considerably more speed, Italy deposited its instrument of ratification of revised Protocol II on landmines on 13 January 1999.

Among the various interpretative statements annexed to the instrument of ratification, the one concerning article 2 of the Amended Protocol seems worth mentioning. It is Italy’s understanding that the word “primarily” was inserted in the revised definition of an antipersonnel mine only in order to insure that anti-vehicle mines equipped with antihandling are NOT part of the APM definition, and thus restrictions in the revised Protocol II would not apply to them The Italian interpretation is an attempt to reduce the ambiguity of the controversial word “primarily” adopted in Protocol II and reconcile it with the Mine Ban Treaty definition of antipersonnel mines.[14] (The Italian ban includes these anti-vehicle mines.)

The Conference on Disarmament

Along with France, Germany and others, Italy has long held that there is complementarity between the CD and the Mine Ban Treaty which could contribute to the effectiveness of the agreement.[15] In January 1997, prior to Italy’s full commitment to the ban treaty, Foreign Minister Dini said, “Italy considers that the whole complex issue of antipersonnel landmines, imposing a total ban on their production, destroying existing stockpiles, and verifying their destruction is essentially a disarmament problem ....This Conference has the experience, the facilities and the personnel to handle these negotiations. We also know that various political initiatives are being taken, whose aims we wholly endorse, and which are also designed to rapidly define an international agreement. But we maintain that for such an agreement to be credible it must attract the largest possible number of countries, and avoid setting up a narrowly based regime that excludes the most important countries.”[16]

More recently, Italy has backed efforts to attempt to begin negotiations on a ban on AP mine transfers in the CD, with the caveat that the definition of antipersonnel mines used in any CD negotiations must be the one given in the Mine Ban Treaty.[17]

Production and Transfer

Valsella, Tecnovar and Misar

In the past, Italy was one of the major producers and exporters of APMs. Its mine industry revolved around three small companies: Valsella and Misar, based in Brescia in the north, and Tecnovar, in Bari in Southern Italy. All three specialized in landmines and mine-related products and were involved in direct exports and licensed overseas production. Favored by major banking support, public financing of much weapons development and a permissive Italian export regime, these companies quickly achieved remarkable sales and profits through the late 1980s.

But in the late 1980s, this began to change. Factors contributing to the companies’ decline included a) progressively strict arms export laws in Italy, culminating in law no. 185 in 1990; b) the end of some major conflicts that had provided the main market for Italian mines, first and foremost the Iran-Iraq war; and c) the beginning of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, with an important and active Italian national campaign.

The public pressure generated by the Campaign resulted in the final blow to the industry: the Italian government’s decision to halt and then renounce the production of these weapons. It remains difficult to evaluate how much Italian know-how and productive capacity were transferred to developing countries prior to the ban, and its impact on the proliferation of antipersonnel mines today.

Valsella was the first of the three -- founded in 1969 by a group of Brescia-based entrepreneurs closely linked with the Ministry of Defense. In its early years, it supplied the Italian Defense Ministry, working on existing mines (such as the Valmara 59) and then expanding into development of new mines, particularly amagnetic landmines. Both Tecnovar, founded on 5 October 1971, and Misar, on 25 January 1977, were established by former employees of Valsella.

As the national market was small, these companies developed an export-orientated approach for production. Valsella focused on customers in “hot spots” such as Iraq, Morocco, perhaps Somalia, exporting both antipersonnel and antitank mines. From 1976 to 1979, with an average of 50 workers, Valsella’s overall profits were close to 3 billion lire.[18]

During the 1970s, Tecnovar focused on the domestic market, producing 1,420,000 VAR 40 mines for the Italian Army in 1971-72 ; their last military contract was dated 1977.[19] Only later on did it produce for export to customers in North Africa and the Middle East, in particular in conjunction with an assembly plant in Egypt (see below).

With the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war in September 1980, Valsella began receiving government authorizations for exports to Iraq. A total of seven were granted, the last one issued in 1982 and expiring in January of 1984. The overall value of the exports amounted to more than US $110 million.[20] But political pressures resulted in increasing restrictions on exports to Iraq. To skirt these restrictions, the company set up a new branch abroad in Singapore.

In 1981 Valsella signed its first agreement with the state-owned Chartered Industries of Singapore (CIS) to buy fully-assembled mines from Valsella.[21] Then in 1982, a new partnership was forged with the founding of Valsella Pte Ltd. From 1982-1986, Valsella VS 50, VS 2.2 and Valmara mines were assembled in Singapore, using explosives from the Swedish company, Bofors, for shipment to Iraq.

It is not known exactly when the Singapore-based Valsella Pte Ltd. (later named Valmetec Trading pte Ltd[22]) halted its activity. However, in 1986 a new company, Valsella International Pte Ltd., was set up. It is currently registered under the category “wholesale trade in other machinery & equipment.”[23] It is a trading company, therefore the owners are not named.

In 1984, Fiat, through a second company, Gilardini, gradually gained control over Valsella and Misar.[24] By this time Valsella mainly focused on the R&D of increasingly sophisticated landmines (like electronic mines and mines with remote control activation, with radio crypto-coded signals), while Misar carried out considerable research and development of naval mines, though not to the exclusion of land systems, such as its SB-33 scatterable mine.

Also, while Valsella only seemed peripherally interested in selling its know-how abroad, Misar was especially active in foreign licensing and coproduction, becoming an influential player in global production of small, detection-resistant antipersonnel mines. Many Misar landmines reached the global market via the following factories :

- Expal, Explosivos Alaveses, belonging to the Spanish group Explosivos Rio Tinto, probably controlled by the Kuwait Investment Office (KIO) during the Iran-Iraq war. License n. 493409, dated 16 March 1981.

- Spel , Sociedad Portugueisa Explosivos, Portugal.

- Elviemek, Hellenic Explosives and Ammunition Industry, Greece. License n. 9328 dated 17 May 1982. In the early ‘80s, Elviemek agreed on a production contract in South Africa with the local Armscor Holding, a company having close connections with the Israeli state-owned weapons manufacturer Israel Military Industries (IMI), based in Tel Aviv.

- Pakistan Ordnance Factories - Pakistan (indirectly).

The years immediately following Fiat’s take over of the Italian landmine industry did not prove uniformly successful. While Misar’s growth continued, Valsella’s sales shrank, showing a negative balance by 1986. Its exports, previously tolerated by the Italian authorities, according to Valsella’s top agent Mario Fallani,[25] were interrupted in 1987, when an investigation by Swedish Customs police leaked in Italy, resulting in Italian investigations into the company’s dealings. Valsella’s managers were arrested on a charge of illegal trading with Iraq. Plea-bargaining in their 1991 trial, they acknowledged having committed irregularities; in December 1991 the Supreme Court acquitted the managers of the serious crimes of illegal arms trade and violation of the currency regulations.

Mine Types and Sales

Valsella produced ten types of APMs. Its VS 50 has been one of the most common blast mines, capable of being scattered by ground vehicles or helicopters. VS 50 mines have been sold to different countries, including Morocco, (1976, 1977, 1978), Gabon (1981), and Iraq (1980, 1981, 1982, 1983). The VS-50 AR and VS-MK 2 are basically derivations of the VS 50.

Valsella began courting one of the then-rare prohibited customers, South Africa. The company supplied the Pretoria Government with technical information for its Valmara 69 antipersonnel mine. A patent for the mine was registered in South Africa on 5 December 1979.[26] In the same year, 90,000 VS MK 2 antipersonnel mines were loaded on the Danish ship Pia Frem, at the small port of Talamone, in Tuscany. The official destination was Paraguay, via Buenos Aires, but its real destination was South Africa, then under international embargo.[27] VS MK 2 mines were also sold to Angola.

Valsella exported both complete mines and c-k-d (complete knock down) components from 1982 to 1986 to Chartered Industries of Singapore (CIS). Between 1982 and 1986, Italian authorities issued Valsella 6 export authorizations to Singapore, concerning disassembled mines, components and detonators, for a total value of US$37 million. In those years, more than 3,800 metric tons of weapons, primarily landmines,[28] were exported to Singapore. Valsella’s profits soared from 10 billion lire in 1981, to 80 billion lire in 1982 and up to 107 billion lire in 1983.

Another popular Valsella model has been the Valmara V 69, a large plastic bounding fragmentation mine. The V 69 was sold to Iran (1976), to Somalia (1979), to South Africa (1980), and to Iraq (1981, 1982 and 1983). In 1983 they were exported to Singapore, their supposed final destination being Cambodia. The VS JAP was developed from the basic V 69 and was produced in unknown quantities by the Singapore based Chartered Industries Ltd., which sold it to third countries.

Valsella also produced a number of mine-laying systems including the Istrice, a vehicle-mounted system introduced in 1987; the Grillo; and the VS MD for use in helicopters and designed to carry 2,080 VS 50 or VS MK2 antipersonnel mines, or 200 VS 1.6 antitank mines. Valsella supplied Morocco with these helicopter-borne dispensers.

Misar’s round SB 33 scatterable antipersonnel blast mine, developed in 1977, was its most successful model, being simple, reliable, and cheap. The SB 33 mine was sold to Argentina (1981, during the Falklands war), to Spain (to Expal, the final destination being Iraq, in 1982), to the Greek company Elviemek (also, with destination Iraq) and to Zaire (1982). The mine was also sold to the Netherlands and possibly other NATO counties as well. In 1984, when the Fiat Group entered the company, the mine was sold to Iran. In Portugal the licensed production of SB 33 started in 1984.

The SB 33AR is a modification of the basic SB 33, the main difference being the anti-removal device (AR). It was sold to Iran, Kuwait and Pakistan. Samples of this mine were exported to Jordan (1982) and to Pakistan (1983). Later on Pakistan, through the state-owned Pakistan Ordnance Factories P.O.F., produced some mines and components similar to the Misar models.

Misar also produced bounding fragmentation mines, the P 25 and P 40. The P 25 mines were sold to Iraq (1980), to Iran (1984), and to Australia, where in 1986, the Fiat group signed a licensing contract to transfer production technologies to that country. The P 40 was sold to Kuwait, to Iraq through Spel Portugal (1980), and to Australia (licensed production - 1986) .

Tecnovar focused more on domestic military production. But in 1979, Tecnovar began to export to customers in North Africa and the Middle East, primarily Egypt. Vito Alfieri Fontana, the company’s owner, offered information about supplies to Egypt[29] where some 1,242,000 TS 50 antipersonnel mines were assembled from 1979 onwards:

1979 - 100,000 mines; 1980 - 50,000 mines; 1982 - 225,000 mines; 1983 - 275,000 mines; 1985 - 282,000 mines; 1988 - 200,000 mines; 1990 - 50,000 mines; 1991 - 30,000 mines; 1993 - 30,000.

The assembling (and therefore the transfer of know-how) took place at the Heliopolis Company for Chemical Industries, owned by the Egyptian Ministry for Military Production. The firm sold the Italian APM model as the renamed T-79[30]. Through Egypt, Tecnovar mines are to be found in several countries, including Afghanistan[31] and Rwanda. Between 1990 and 1992, the Italian Government also authorized the export of more than 200,000 antipersonnel and antitank mines to Egypt.

On 17 September 1996, a member of the UN International Commission of Inquiry on Rwanda found TS 50 AP mines in a stock of weapons confiscated from armed Hutu groups. After communications between the UN Secretary General and the Italian authorities, Italy’s Representative to the UN confirmed that Tecnovar “manufactured the plastic parts of the yellow TS 50 type APMs in the period from 1980 to 1993, when the company stopped producing such items.” He also revealed that “the Tecnovar company did not supply Ts-50 type APMs to Zaire, Kenya or the United Republic of Tanzania,”[32] while noting that the company had supplied plastic parts for TS 50 mines to Brazil, Egypt, Spain and the United States. According to the owner of Tecnovar, the landmines found in Rwanda were part of the weapons supply that Egypt delivered to Kigali in 1992. This included 200,000 T-79 APMs[33]. As for the supplies to Brazil, Spain and the US, Fontana claims the mines were demonstration samples [34]

Tecnovar also produced a helicopter dispenser, DATS, with a capacity of 1,536 TS 50 AP mines or 128 MATS/2 antitank mines, or a mix of both.

Landmine exports by Italian manufacturers, 1976-1994[35]

Year/Importing country
Current value
(Italian billion lire)
1998 U.S.$ million[36]
Tecnovar o Valsella [37]
1980/South Africa (via Paraguay)
Tecnovar o Valsella
1983/Iraq (via Singapore)
1984/Iraq (via Singapore)
1985/Iraq (via Singapore)
1986/Iraq (via Singapore)
1992/Saudi Arabia
- = no available data

Post-Production Moratorium

The Italian Government adopted a moratorium on antipersonnel mine production and trade on 2 August 1994. By 1995, Valsella was barely involved in military production (less than 7% of its sales); in 1996 and 1997, its production collapsed, with losses amounting to 16 billion lire. The crisis brought the company to the verge of bankruptcy, prior to its transfer and conversion to civil production (engineering and vehicle-projects). Before abandoning the sinking ship, however, the company tried the rejuvenate production with military orders, including antitank mines and mine scattering systems, but with little success. Between June and October 1997, the possible sale of the various production lines was under discussion, with some interest in the military and landmine productions by Austria’s Dynamit Nobel and Spain’s Expal, but it is not known if any of the discussions concerning individual products may have ended successfully.

In accordance to Law 374/97, and upon the Ministry of Industry’s request, Valsella has valued the overall costs relating its antipersonnel stock-taking handover and destruction at 12 billion lire.

Tecnovar’s budgets are available only until 1995. Since then, no exports have been recorded and it was closed down in 1998.

Misar‘s land and sea mine production line was sold to Societa Esplosivi Industriali (SEI), which is now controlled by the Paris-based Societe Anonyme d’Explosifs de Produit Chimique (SAEPC).


The Italian Campaign to Ban Landmines has expressed concern about adequate controls on the possible sale of landmine components. The export of mine components, basically, can be disguised under three custom items. Within chapter 36 of the Harmonized System (HS 36) titled “Explosives, Matches and Other Miscellaneous Combustible Preparations,” mine components could be hidden in the two items “Prepared explosives (other than propellant powders)” (HS 360200) and “Safety or detonating fuses; percussion or detonating caps; ignitors; electric detonators” (HS 360300) respectively; and within Chapter 93 (HS 93) titled “Arms and Ammunitions and Parts Thereof,” in item “Other ammunitions n.e.s. (including bombs, grenades, torpedoes, mines, etc.)” (HS 930690).

The ItCBL notes that, in looking at the figures concerning Italian exports of explosive material and detonators to non EU countries in the period from 1993 to 1998, there were three countries to which Italy has exported more than US$1 million of such products: Slovenia - U.S. $1.33 million; Sierra Leone U.S. $1.32 million and Guinea U.S. $1.22 million.[42] The explosive material could have eluded controls and the procedures of Law 185/90 (on arms trade) and Law 374/97 (banning landmines) for the simple reason that it may have been categorized as an “industrial” and “non military” component.


In compliance with Art. 6 of Law 374/97, a Government decree and report on stockpile destruction were presented on 19 May 1998, and finally approved in Parliament on 2 October 1998.[43] The explanatory report accompanying the decree, which provides most of the information below, is the first official account as to the numbers and types of antipersonnel landmines stocked both in military warehouses and in landmine producing companies. The figures given are vague and inadequate, and raise more questions than they answer. The first report was delivered on time, but the second, due in November 1998, has not been released as of March 1999. Despite the fact that the secrecy traditionally surrounding the issue of landmines (like most other weapons) has been abolished, it is still extremely hard to get any direct and credible information from the military officials in charge of the destruction process.

Nevertheless, for the very first time, landmines are being counted. According to the Government report, the stock of landmines owned by the Italian Armed Forces includes antipersonnel mines, antitank mines equipped with anti-handling devices,[44] and certain submunitions (i.e. the scatterable munitions designed not to immediately explode upon contact with the ground).

Landmine Stocks of the Italian Armed Forces

Broad Categories of Weapons Numbers

Pressure mines (AUPS, MAUS/1, VAR/40, MK2) 4,000,000

Pressure mines (no longer used in service) 2,000,000

Wide range mines 450,000

Mines used for training purposes 700,000

Other types of landmines, submunitions - no available figure

Total landmine units (Approx.)7,500,000

Component and spare parts 700,000

Total spare parts units 700,000

Current information does not show Claymore mines in the stockpiles. Having said that, it still needs verifying whether Claymore(-type) mines have been imported, even if only for training purposes, given the widespread use of this type of landmine.

There is also information reported on the stock of landmine materials that producing companies and/or any other holder of landmines, in compliance with Law 374/97, must have delivered to appropriate collection sites as indicated by the local Carabinieri headquarters: approximately 30,000 mines and approximately 1.5 million pieces (“material of different nature and typology”).[45] Specific figures for Valsella, Technovar, and SEI were not available.

This incomplete list of both the military and commercial stocks triggers a series of uneasy questions:

- Why are many mines, such as the VS 50, Valmara 69, SB 33 and so on not specified in either list?

-What sort of mines are the 700,000 devices for training purposes listed in the military stocks? Has this figure simply not been adjusted to reflect the much lower figure of training mines allowed in the Italian ban legislation and Mine Ban Ratification law?

- What are the submunitions that are required to be destroyed, according to Law 374/97?

- How are antitank mines’ igniters categorized, which can be turned into effective antipersonnel mines with slight modifications (for example, the so called PMC buttons)?[46]

Concerned by the lack of real transparency and completeness regarding the Italian stockpile and its future dismantling, the ItCBL is making serious inquiries and demanding a more participatory role in the destruction process.


According to sources from the Ministry of Defense, Italy started the destruction of its stockpiles of antipersonnel landmines last December 1998, and 30,000 AUPS pressure mines are said to have been destroyed.[47] The timetable for destruction of all APMs is five years from the entry into force of Law 374/97. As the Government report states, “because we believe it possible to start the activities within the current year, it is expected to conclude them by year 2001.”[48]

Article 3 of the Government decree provides that the General Direction of Terrestrial Weapons is responsible for the stockpile elimination. This is basically carried out in two ways:

1. All pressure antipersonnel mines (AUPS, MAUS/1, VAR/40, MK2) and their components, excluding detonators, are to be destroyed at the only Italian Army facility capable of such operations at Baiano di Spoleto.

2. Other mine destruction is to be contracted to private companies through the demilitarisation program managed by the Nato Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA), or a national bidding process. The commercial companies, selected from those with NATO AQAP-110 certification, will destroy all remaining materials (through decomposition of mines, grinding of inert materials, fusion of the explosive material) in compliance with security and environmental constraints of Law 374/97.

Technical and administrative procedures for the destruction of these stocks are being developed, along with the monitoring procedures by the military supervision officers.[49] The Government report states that “the financial commitment will to a great extent depend upon the bidding’s outcome, and on the possibility of stipulating an active contract concerning the remaining material which companies dealing with explosives could be interested in. For the moment, the estimated burden amounts to around 20 billion lire.”[50]

Mines for Training

According to the national ban law, the number of mines being retained for training purposes cannot exceed 10,000 units, “which can be renewed by means of importation.”[51] In the Mine Ban Treaty ratification bill, this number has been reduced to 8,000 mines, also in response to international criticism.

Foreign Stockpiles

Another matter of serious concern is foreign AP mines stocked in Italy, particularly those on Nato bases. The issue is extremely sensitive, and liable to give way to different implementing interpretations. Following a strict reading of the Italian legislation, all Nato antipersonnel landmines stocked in the country should have been disclosed in quantity and category by 17 March 1998, to be handed over to specially designated local sites by 14 June 1998

There are, however, some controversial implications:

- Will Nato, and particularly US Armed Forces, surrender stocks of antipersonnel landmines as well as, according to the Italian law, antitank and anti-vehicle mines?

- How can Italy, on a unilateral basis, force and monitor the compliance of its domestic law? - And would it have the political will to do so?

Very little is known about locations, quantities and types of Nato landmines in Italy - or what Nato Forces have done regarding the provisions of Law 374/97. (See U.S. country report). In the accounting of stocks in Italy, there is no mention of Nato landmines. Interviews with various Staff officers clearly indicated that the Italian Government will not press queries with its Nato allies on these matters.

Given the complexity of the matter, the Government has tried to find a way out through the treaty ratification bill. Article 5 of the amended text states that “the provisions of the Convention are applied to foreign Armed Forces based in Italy, in accordance with international treaties,” meaning that Nato armed forces would be exempted from the national law’s obligation for good.

An additional answer to the problem is found in Article 6 of the ratification bill, which provides that “The stocks of antipersonnel mines kept by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Armed Forces and located in the national territory at the time of the entry into force of the present bill, will remain under the control of pertaining commands until the term fixed for their destruction by Article 5 of Law 29 October 1997, n. 374. If need be, these authorities can transfer the mines to any other suitable place, for their custody”


At the end of WW II the Italian Army received landmines mainly from the U.S. and UK. As a defeated nation, it was forbidden at that time to develop and produce new military equipment. Mines were used to defend the border from potential Warsaw Pact invaders. mainly in mountain passes and valleys along the northeastern border. The alert situation along what was called ‘the first defense line’, intersecting the regions of Trentino Alto Adige, Veneto and Friuli, was maintained until the collapse of the Soviet Bloc.

Until 1996, APMs were used by the Italian Armed Forces in peacekeeping operations (like Somalia, or Bosnia). Only non-active mines are being used for training in mine clearance operations by the Italian Army. The Army claims to not use Claymore mines and, in compliance with Law 374/97, Italy can not use ANY munitions or device which might function as an antipersonnel landmine (see the definition of antipersonnel landmine given in art. 2 of Law 374/97 mentioned above).

Landmine Problem

Italy was one of the most mine-affected countries in Europe after World War II. But because resources were dedicated to its clearance, between August 1944 - June 1948, 1 billion sqm of land was surveyed of which 200 million sqm were cleared. Some 120 officers ; 60 Non Commissioned Officers; 1,500 auxiliary and office personnel were involved in the operations at a cost of 6 billion lire (3.6 million USD). There were 915 casualties, of which 390 were fatal. In the same period, 6,721 municipalities were cleared of over 13 million UXOs, at a cost of 2 billion lire (1.2 million USD).[52]

Today there are no mined areas in Italy but explosive devices left over from World War I and World War II can still be found.[53] Italy still has rather strict legislation, which requires systematic clearance by private companies, before any infrastructure work can begin. Once the clearance work is over, the Army Engineering Corps certifies the results according to the fixed security standards. This law has recently been enforced for the construction of a new high-speed railway system, and before the construction of the new international airport in Milan.

Italian Military Involved in Demining Activities

The Army Engineering Corps carries out military demining in war operations, or at the end of an armed conflict, in peace-keeping operations.[54] With 150 men, its mandate is to deal with mine/UXO neutralization, demolitions, mobility restoration and bridge building activities. Particularly important is the activity of BOE (Bonifica Ordigni Esplosivi) teams, which supervise mine removal and are engaged in mine awareness campaigns for schoolchildren. The Corps’ Operative Demining Center (COB) is responsible for the exchange of information and coordination with similar structures in other countries. COB also trains all Italian deminers working in the Army Engineering Corps. Italian EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) teams regularly offer training courses for Italian personnel due to work in mined areas abroad.

From 1989 to the present, Italian Army Engineers have mainly been involved demining operations through United Nations and NATO operations.[55] Under the UN, engineers were in Pakistan from 1989-91 for Operation SALAM, training Afghani refugees in Peshawar and in Quetta. For one year two teams of twenty people total trained around 1,500 local deminers.[56] From 1995-96, two Italian teams trained the local population in demining operations in Angola.

For NATO, eight officials of the Engineering Corps trained members of the Kuwaitian Army and Police in various demining operations techniques from August 1991-December 1991.[57] Since December 1995, Italian military have been involved in operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina to guarantee the security of Italian personnel and to train the local population. They have also carried out some monitoring activities during the demining programs carried out by Serbs and Bosnian Muslims. The Italian EOD team carried out the destruction of landmines, identified 14,500 minefields, and recovered 1,134 UXO, 373 landmines; 76 antitank landmines, 600 projectiles and bombs.[58] Finally, EOD specialists have been training the Albanian Army since 1997 and are involved in the monitoring and coordination of demining operations.[59]

Private Commercial Companies

In Italy there are 32 commercial companies involved in UXO clearance. Among them, only the Florence-based company ABC (Appalti, Bonifiche, Costruzioni) has recognized international experience in UXO/mine clearance in heavily contaminated countries. In 1996 in Croatia, the company cleared some 20 Km of a strategic stretch of railway line between the Sisak and Una river on behalf of IFOR-International Armed Forces. The 3-month program was funded by the European Commission. In Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1997, it cleared 500,000 sq meters on the banks of the River Sava with the financial support of the World Bank, amounting to 2 billion lire (US$1.20 million).[60]

Working in Angola in 1997, ABC began the clearance of 1,300 km along the railway line “Caminho de Ferro de Benguela,” including 58 bridges, under contract with the Angolan government for 40 billion lire (US$24 million). The demining program in Angola was interrupted with the resumption of the war. To that time, ABC had carried out mine clearance activities valued at 2 billion lire (US$1.2 million).[61]

Non-Governmental Organizations

Only one Italian NGO, INTERSOS, carries out humanitarian demining activities. Its Humanitarian Demining Unit was begun in 1995 with military personnel retired from the Army Engineering Corps. Since then, it has been involved in mine awareness programs, reconstruction projects for mine-affected communities, as well as training courses of EOD experts for humanitarian demining programs. Intersos identifies priority areas for mine action with the local authorities, and in coordination with other ongoing programs of rehabilitation and sustainable human development.

Working in Bosnia, INTERSOS cleared residential areas on the Serbian side of Sarajevo for a rehabilitation project, funded by the Italian government, which resulted in the resettlement of 400 families. A similar project in Mumbasci Village, in the Tuzla Province, funded by the European Commission, resulted in the resettlement of 42 families. Finally, booby-traps were cleared in Hassan Kamija school in Sarajevo, funded through the Italian Railways and the Lombardia Trade Union Federation of the Railway Personnel for a total amount of 1 billion lire (US$600,000). As a result of the clearance and subsequent rehabilitation effort, 1,200 students were able to return to school. [62]

In Angola,[63] two Intersos HDU experts supervised a White Helmets/UNDP project to clear territory in the Cuando Cubango Province with the 7th Deminer Brigade (50 operators) of the INAROEE. This clearance priority had been identified by INAROEE, in agreement with the provincial governor. The program, between August 1997 and April 1998, cleared 280,000 sqm, at a total cost of about US$700,000 (unit cost for cleared sqm= $2.5/sqm). Clearance included 6 minefields, 2 stretches of road, a railway bridge and 4 rural areas and a logistical area, along with emergency actions.[64] In January 1999, INTERSOS began an 18 month demining project in the Huila Province, sponsored by the European Union and the Italian Government, for a total amount of 1.7 MECU.

Mine Action Funding

Between 1995 and 1997, Italy funded 18 billion lire (U.S.$10.45 million) through bilateral and multilateral programmes including the UN Voluntary Trust Fund, World Bank, NGOs, the Ministry Defence and Local Authorities. Fund were allocated for mine clearance of priority areas (schools, hospitals and villages, mine awareness programmes, training of local deminers). The broader context for this funding activity is humanitarian relief assistance, peace processes and sustainable human development.

Italy funded 500 million lire (approx. US$300,000) in 1997 and 17 billion lire (U.S.$9.6 million) in 1998 for victim assistance, including emergency aid, surgery, prostheses, rehabilitation, social and economic reintegration, training, prevention. Recipients included the ICRC, WHO, NGOs, local authorities. The funds were spent in countries including Angola, Mozambique, Bosnia, Afghanistan. The beneficiaries are war victims, disabled people, families at risk and the broader context of this funding activity is humanitarian relief assistance, peace process, sustainable human development.

From 1995 to 1998 Italy’s contribution to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund amounted to U.S. $1,205,284.[65]

In the 1995-1997 period, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Development Cooperation Department contributed to mine action activities through the following multilateral and bilateral programs:

1995 - 1 billion lire (U.S.$ 598,800);

Angola: To UNICEF (AGAIN, DEFN COUNTERPART) for demining activities, identification of safety areas, social-educational programmes.

1995 - 1 billion lire (U.S.$598,800);

Afghanistan: To WHO for mine awareness, victim/survivor assistance

1996 - 1 billion lire (U.S.$598,800);

Afghanistan: ICRC’s physical rehabilitation, technical orthopaedic programmes

1997 - 300 million lire (US$179,600);

Bosnia-Herzegovina: To AVSI (an NGO) assistance to local initiatives, mine awareness.[66]

In 1998, the Italian Government pledged a contribution of about 20 billion lire (US$11.97 million) for demining operations and victim assistance to support the following programs.[67]

- 2.5 billion lire (U.S. $1.5 million): ICRC activities in Afghanistan ,Cambodia and south Caucasus.

- 10 billion lire[68] (U.S. $5.9 million): Angola for training of local deminers, demining activities and mapping.

- 2.5 billion lire (U.S. $1.5 million): UNDP in Mozambique for demining actions and mapping.

- 500 million lire (U.S. $299,400): Somalia for victim assistance and surgery programmes at Mogadiscio North Hospital.

- 8 billion lire (U.S. $1.07 million) 600 million lire (approx U.S. $359,300): Bosnia-Herzegovina for WB, EU, (UN) MAC demining actions to the municipality of Stup,

aimed at reinforcing the local institutions.

- 500 million lire (U.S. $299,400): Croatia: MAC (UN) for demining activities and training of deminers.

Mine Awareness

The Italian Government supports mine awareness programs run by international NGOs in collaboration with local NGOs. In Sarajevo, Intersos produced and distributed about 10,000 T-shirts for a mine awareness program funded by the Italian Government, the Canadian Government, the European Commission and other private donors. The T-shirts had drawings of different kinds of APM used in the area and were distributed through the schools. Children (and their families) were of course the target group of the program, with the collaboration of the teachers. This project was financed by ECHO for a total amount of 700.000 ECU and by USAID for a total amount of US$50.000. Although initially conceived for students only, the T-shirt awareness program was later extended to several displaced groups, which Intersos had come to support from March to December 1996 by means of food aid programs. Food parcels were distributed to 2,500 displaced families, for a period of six months, on the Serb side of Sarajevo, and the T-shirt was part of the parcel.

The Rome-based NGO CIES was involved in mine awareness activities and information initiatives in the district of Mossurize, Manica province, in Mozambique, in 1993-94. Mine awareness was organized in the schools of the area, and at village/community level.

Reconstruction & Development Of Cleared Areas

In April 1993, CIES was involved in a socioeconomic reconstruction and resettlement project for refugees and displaced persons in the central and northern areas in the District of Mossurize, Province of Manica, in Mozambique.[69] The target area of the district was infested with mines and totally isolated from the rest of the province. The only access to the capital Espungabera was through the Zimbabwe-Mount Selinda border post. A number of the project activities planned were based on the assumption that the main roads, and in particular the provincial road like Espungabera to Chimoio, were to be cleared in a relatively short period of time, as the plan of the UN Mine Clearance Committee suggested.

Demining operations along the crucial road were only completed in December 1994. The widespread presence of mines hampered access to rural areas and safe paths leading to settlements had to be identified, and only then could work be undertaken to make the sites accessible to vehicles. The opening of roads was considered an absolute priority both by the district authorities and by the population. So, the survey of demining and the opening of provincial roads had been included in the plan of the government/UN program.

Subsequently, the presence of overlooked mines was confirmed, making it necessary to demine the area again. For that purpose a demining squad from the Mozambican Army was contracted. Ultimately the project achievements include survey and demining of 85 Km of road; survey and demining of 5 surrounding areas (including old schools and commercial centers); destruction of 56 explosive devices (2 antitank mines, 12 antipersonnel mines, 44 mortar explosives or bazookas); opening and rehabilitation of 95 km of roads, rehabilitation/reconstruction of 5 bridges on small rivers.

The project was funded by the European Union, for a total value of US$597,744 and by UNOHAC, with a contribution of US$459,915. The overall costs for demining activities and road reconstruction was around US$40,000. Contracts were signed with EC in January 1994 and with UNOHAC in February 1994. Priority was given to the construction or rehabilitation of service infrastructures, invaluable to the promotion of agricultural development. All activities were planned and organized with the DDA (Directao Distrital de Agricoltura), whose personnel and extension agents carried out the relevant field work.

Landmine Survivor Assistance

ASAL is a small Italian NGO and a member of the ItCBL. It is involved in one training project named after an Angolan child “Joao Antonio,” which consists of sending Angolan rehabilitation technical personnel to Italy for 2 months training at the Centro Protesi di Vigorso di Budrio, near Bologna. The project started in 1996 and is entirely based on private donations.

Intersos is currently carrying out a 1997-1999 technical orthopedic project funded by the European Commission (ECHO) in Burundi, amounting to 500,000 ECU. The program has been divided into three phases, each one lasting six months. This program promotes orthopedic surgery in Muyinga, Gitega e Bujumbura provinces.[70] During the first phase, 142 surgery programs for prostheses and rehabilitation were implemented, and 174 during the second phase. This activity has been accomplished by specialized local structures like CNAR (national specialized organization of Burundi).

The Italian NGO Emergency, involved in life support for civilian war victims, has refused to give any information for this report on its activities in Kurdistan and Cambodia.

The Italian Red Cross is currently working with ICRC on two projects concerning victim assistance and rehabilitation programmes in Kabul[71] and in Addis Abeba.[72] There is an internal administrative agreement between the Italian Red Cross and ICRC, by which Italy collects funds for prosthetic/rehabilitation facilities in the two centers mentioned above. This project has been extended until the year 2000.

From 1995, the regional Italian Red Cross section of Venice and some doctors have decided to undertake victim assistance initiatives for children from Bosnia, who have come to Italy for surgery and rehabilitation. This initiative has been funded through voluntary contributions, as well as through media subscriptions (eg, the newspaper Gazzettino of Venice, which raised 600 million lire).[73] Around 100 patients have been rehabilitated, thanks to the cooperation of the local public health services and the involvement of the entire local community.

Responding to repeated requests from the Italian Campaign to Ban Landmines, and in accordance with the relevant provisions contained in the Mine Ban Treaty, the Development Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has recently convened the first meeting aimed at setting up a joint ‘working group” focused on humanitarian mine action. The underlying principle is institutions and civil society working together to identify the guidelines for an Italian policy on mine action and victim assistance, involving all national actors which through their own varied experiences have acquired significant expertise on various aspects of the landmine issue. The first meeting was held on 22 February 1999.


[1]The Arms Project of Human Rights Watch and Physicians for Human Rights, Landmines: A Deadly Legacy (New York: Human Rights Watch, October 1993), p. 36.

[2]Dossier Provvedimento, Messa al Bando delle Mine Antipersona (AA.CC. 826, 1737,2290), n. 151, XIII Legislature, October 1996 (Camera dei Deputati, Servizio Studi); Dossier Provvedimento, Messa al Bando delle Mine Antipersona (AACC 826 e abb.-B), n. 151/4, XIII Legislature, October 1997 (Camera dei Deputati, Servizio Studi).

[3]Statement by H.E. Mr. Lamberto Dini, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy to the Fifty-First Session of the General Assembly, New York, 26 September 1996. APM use was not banned until June 1997.


[5]“To integrate the measures already adopted in terms of renouncing production and export of such weapons, and of starting their destruction, the Cabinet has agreed on the need to renounce completely the operational use of antipersonnel landmines. This decision, while responding to the strong call of national and international public opinion, has been adopted to help achieve a solid international understanding and a definite solution to the plight posed by antipersonnel landmines,” Cabinet Communique, Rome, 13 June 1997.

[6]Interview with Roberto Liotto, Direction of Political Affairs, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rome, 26 January 1999.

[7]Article 2 of the Law defines AP mine as “any munition or device that can be placed on, under, inside or near the ground or any surface area, and designed or adaptable - by means of specific mechanisms - so as to explode, cause an explosion or release incapacitating substances as a consequence of the presence, proximity or contact of a person.”

[8]Article 7 of Law 374/97 provides the sanctioning regime: “1.Whoever may use, with the exception of the provisions included in Article 5, Par. 1, manufacture, sell, transfer for whatever purpose, export, import, hold antipersonnel mines or their components, and whoever may use or transfer, directly or indirectly, patent rights, or relevant technologies for the manufacturing, in Italy or abroad, of antipersonnel mines and their components, will be punished with a 3 to 12 year imprisonment, and with a 500 million to 1,000 million lire fine.” Paragraph 2) of the same article provides 3 to 6 years of imprisonment and a fine from 200 to 500 million lire for whoever violates the obligations concerning the disclosing and delivering of landmine stock to the Carabinieri, and the disclosing and delivering of antipersonnel mines patent rights and technologies to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

[9]The establishment and mandate of a parliamentary committee for monitoring the bill was provided in Art. 10 of the original ban bill. Among other things, this parliamentary committee was allowed to summon experts to carry out the verification work, and this would have allowed civil society some important involvement in the monitoring of the implementation of the ban law. Unfortunately, in the course of the political debate in Parliament, this article was rejected. The ItCBL unsuccessfully advocated its reintroduction in the Mine Ban Treaty ratification bill.

[10]Ministero degli Affari Esteri, “Address by the Minister of Foreign Affairs The Hon. Lamberto Dini at the Ottawa Conference for the Signing of the Convention on the Total Prohibition of Antipersonnel Mines,” Ottawa, Canada, 3 December 1997, p. 3.

[11]Due to the complexity of the issue, both the Italian Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chamber of Deputies have required technical assistance from legal experts, whose statements have been presented to the Parliament and annexed to the ratification dossier.

[12]A parliamentary ratification bill had been presented one month earlier, on 14 May 1998, by Chair of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chamber of Deputies Achille Occhetto. In the press communique released for the occasion, Occhetto openly criticised the delay of the government’s initiative. “The decision to resort to the unusual....procedure of the parliamentary initiative for the ratification of an international convention was made after several months waiting for the Government to present its ratification bill.... At the signing of the Convention, both Minister Dini and President Occhetto committed to being among the first countries to ratify in front of more than 100 States, the target being the enactment of the Convention by the end of the year. Hence, the need for us to ratify within the coming month of June,” Foreign Affairs Commission, Comunicato Stampa, “Avviata con Iniziativa Parlamentare la Ratifica della Convenzione sulle Mine Antipersona,” 14 May 1998.

[13]Interview with Colonel Cornacchia, Staff Officer, Ministry of Defence, Rome, 11 November 1998.

[14]Interview with Roberto Liotto, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rome, 25 January 1999.

[15]“Consistent with the targets set by the United Nations resolutions and by the EU, Italy will continue to actively work in the framework of the Geneva Disarmament Conference, and to follow the so called ‘Ottawa Process’ to ensure that - by means of these complementary actions carried out in both contexts - the international community may be provided with a mechanism of effective rules binding the greatest number of States,” Government Press Communique, Rome, 13 June 1997.

[16] “Italy considers that the whole complex issue of antipersonnel landmines, imposing a total ban on their production, destroying existing stockpiles, and verifying their destruction is essentially a disarmament problem ....This Conference has the experience, the facilities and the personnel to handle these negotiations. We also know that various political initiatives are being taken, whose aims we wholly endorse, and which are also designed to rapidly define an international agreement. But we maintain that for such an agreement to be credible it must attract the largest possible number of countries, and avoid setting up a narrowly based regime that excludes the most important countries”, Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Address by H.E. Lamberto Dini, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, to the opening session of the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva, 21 January 1997.

[17]Interview with Roberto Liotto, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome, 29 January 1999.

[18]Quaderni dell’Osservatorio Economico Fiom Cgil Brescia, Il settore armiero, Brescia, Fiom Cgil, 1991, p. 47.

[19]Interview with Vito Alfieri Fontana, Rome, 23 February 1999.

[20]Mauro Suttora, La Mina Sbagliata, Europeo, 5 September 1987. Suttora notes that to handle the contracts Valsella imported 573 metric tons of explosive material for landmines from the Swedish company Bofors, from November 1981 to December 1982.

[21]Gaetano Agnini, written statement issued to Nicoletta Dentico and John Head, 19 February 1999.

[22]Registry of Companies and Businesses, Singapore, http://wwwdb1. Gov.sg/reb, Department of Statistics, Singapore, Basic Data for the Index of Singapore Businesses, http://sgconnect.asia1.com.sg.


[24]Francesco Terreri, Produzione, Commercio ed Uso delle Mine Terrestri: Il Ruolo dell’Italia, Edizioni Comune Aperto, Comune di Firenze, pp. 33-34.

[25]Brescia Tribunal, Ufficio Istruzione, Procedimento Penale n. 928/89-B, interrogation of defendant Mario Fellani, 1 March 1988.

[26]Istituto Affari Internazionali, L’Italia nella politica Internazionale 1980-81, Milano, Edizioni di Comunità, 1982, p. 206. The patent is also quoted in the Valsella 1980 stock-taking, relating the merger with Meccanotecnica.

[27]Giancarlo Summa, Mina a scoppio ritardato, Il Mondo, 8 November 1993.

[28]Ocse, Statistics of Foreign Trade, figures of the statistic position 951, Arms and Ammunitions, Italy.

[29]Alberto Chiara, Io non sono un trafficante, interview with Alfieri Fontana, Famiglia Cristiana, n. 47, 27 November 1996.


[31]Nicoletta Dentico, A Caccia di Farfalle in Afghanistan: interview with Sayed Aqa, Mani Tese, June 1994. Also, OSCAR Report, 9 November 1995, p. 7.

[32]Letter dated 22 January 1998 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council, Annex: Addendum to the third report of the International Commission of Inquiry (Rwanda), United Nations, S/1998/63.

[33]Frank Smyth, Soldi, Sangue e politica Internazionale, Internazionale, n. 27, 14 May 1994, article dervied from, The Arms Project of Human Rights Watch, Arming Rwanda: The Arms Trade and Human Rights Abuses in the Rwandan War, Vol. 6, Issue 1, January 1994.

[34]Phone interview with Vito Alfieri Fontana, Trento, 24 and 28 January 1999.

[35]Numerous sources were used to compile the data in the tables in this section. These include provincial and federal customs data, Jane’s Yearbooks, Landmines: A Deadly Legacy, export authorization data, figures from the Ministry of Foreign Trade and various Italian journals. Details available upon request.

[36]The figures quoted in this and the following tables are to be considered the equivalent in the current value: 1 USD = 1,700 It. lire
[37]Alfieri Fontana, the owner of Tecnovar, denies this export figure, which was quoted in the Jane’s annual reports: “Probably we are dealing here with a Valsella export referring to similar material.”
[38]In our previous tables concerning 1980 exports of landmines to Iraq, we had mentioned Misar as one of the companies involved. We have tentatively removed the name of Misar in this table, because according to Umberto Lucio Valentini, Misar’s former marketing director, the company exported to Iraq “probably a few samples,” and likely sea mines.
[39]This figure was given by Umberto Lucio Valentini, who has also provided valuable information on the selling of the know-how concerning such AP mines as SB-33, SB-81, SY-AT to Spain, Greece and Portugal.
[40]Both Valentini from Misar and Fontana from Tecnovar deny any landmine export to Iran, in contrast to the available figure of bank transfers from Iran to Bari and Brescia respectively, made in 1984, relating to that customs item. The issue evidently needs further explaining. According to Valentini, the transfers to Brescia could relate to export operations carried out by Breda Meccanica Bresciana.
[41]Misar denies any export operation to Cyprus. According to Valentini, it could be instead an export operation carried out by Breda Meccanica Bresciana.

[42]The source of this information is the Database Eurostat/Comext.

[43]Ministero della Difesa, Gabinetto del Ministro, “Schema di decreto interministeriale concernente la disciplina della distruzione delle scorte di mine antipersona (articolo 6 della legge 29 ottobre 1997, n.374, recante norme per la messa al bando delle mine antipersona”, 19 May 1998. The Ministries concerned are respectively: Ministry of Defense, Industry and Foreign Affairs.

[44]Despite the fact that antitank mines equipped with anti-handling devices are listed among the items in the military stocks to be dismantled, the explanatory report does not count any numbers or types such landmines in the information released so far. It is likely that more details will appear in the following reports.

[45]All the landmines collected at the appropriate local sites in accordance with the provisions of the national law were to be delivered to the Ministry of Defense, Deposito Munizioni at Noceto di Parma, by 18 June 1998. There is no official evidence, however, that such transfer has actually taken place. As the government report underlines, at the time of its writing it was possible to provide only an approximate estimation about the numbers in industrial stocks.

[46]The existence of two million such ‘buttons’ was disclosed to the ItCBL for the first time by the owner of Tecnovar, Alfieri Fontana, during the Oslo Conference in September 1997. Immediately after the Oslo Conference, the rapporteur of the pro-ban law, Achille Occhetto, made this issue the subject of a parliamentary motion compelling the Government to identify and destroy these de facto antipersonnel devices.

[47]Interview with Colonel Ruggeri, Segredifesa, Rome, 22 November 1999.

[48]Ministero della Difesa, “Schema di decreto interministeriale concernente la disciplina della distruzione delle scorte di mine antipersona,” explanatory report.

[49]Information gathered from the Ministry of Defence’s Secretary General Office.

[50]Ministero della Difesa, “Schema di decreto interministeriale,” explanatory report.

[51]Article 5 , parag. 1 of Law 374/97.

[52]Landmine Monitor interview with Major-General Francesco Giannatiempo, General Staff , Logistical Support Section, Tactical Mobility Office, Ministry of Defence, Rome, 13 January 1999.

[53]Interview with Col. Fernando Termentini , Italian Army Engineering Officer, Rome, 15 January 1999.

[54]Interview with Col. Fernando Termentini, Rome, 15 January 1999.; Also, Gianni Botondi and Fernando Termentini, Le mine antiuomo: come mitridatizzarle, Rivista Militare, n. 5, September-October 1997, p. 94.

[55]Gianluca Scagnetti, Terrore cieco, Italiani, n.10, December 1997-January 1998, pp. 30-31.

[56]For more details about “Operation Salam” in Pakistan, Ferdinando Termentini, Ufficiali Italiani del Genio in Pakistan, Rivista Militare, n. 3, March-April 1990.

[57]Gianluca Scagnetti, Terrore Cieco, p. 31.

[58]Andrea Nativi (edited by), Bosnia: l’Intervento Militare Italiano, (Publicazioni Rid), p. 201.

[59]Gianluca Scagnetti, Terrore Cieco, p. 32.

[60]Document dated 8 December 1997, Ministry of Physical Planning and Environment, Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

[61]Interview with Gianfranco Mela, ABC head-office in Florence, 26 January 1999.

[62]Intersos Report, L’impegno di Intersos contro le mine, issue n.11/12, April 1998, pp. 13-14.

[63]Intersos Report, Intersos: Unità di sminamento umanitario, n.13/14 , November 1998, pp. 81-82.

[64]Interview with Stefano Cabretta, Intersos, Rome, 12 January 1999.

[65] UN General Assembly, “Report of the Secretary General: Assistance in Mine Clearance,” A/53/496, 14 October 1998, p. 29.

[66]Interview with Vincenzo Oddo, Development Cooperation Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome, 15 December 1998.

[67]Interview with Leonardo Baroncelli, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Office IV, Development Cooperation Department, Rome, 25 January 1999. For further details about Italy’s commitment, it is necessary to wait for the fiscal year 1998 final budget’s approval.

[68]The EU cofinancing of this project, amounting to 700 million lire (US$419,160) is aimed at granting access to the priority areas in the UILE Province. Another EU contribution, amounting to 700 million lire (US$419,160) as well, is targeted to orthopedic activities and social rehabilitation projects in the MENONGUE Province.

[69]CIES Final Report dated February 1996, Resettlement and Socio-Economic Reconstruction in the District of Mossurize, Province of Manica.

[70]Intersos Report, Burundi. Il Problema dei Rifugiati oltre frontiera e degli sfollati interni, Intersos report, n.11/12, April 1998, pp. 30-32.

[71]ICRC, ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Programmes, March 1997.

[72]Interview with Maria Letizia Zamparelli, Italian Red Cross, Rome, 25 January 1999.

[73]For more details about Francesca Chemollo, Il cammino della solidarietà, Emira come Aladin, Il Gazzettino, n.223, 26 September 1995.