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Country Reports
KENYA, Landmine Monitor Report 1999


Mine Ban Policy

Kenya signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 5 December 1997 in Ottawa, Canada. Although it participated only in the first treaty preparatory meeting in February 1997 in Vienna, Kenya attended the Oslo negotiations as full participant. It also voted in favor of the key pro-ban 1996, 1997, and 1998 UN General Assembly resolutions on landmines. Kenya has not yet ratified the ban treaty but according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official "the government is studying the instrument of ratification and preparing a bill to be tabled in parliament."[1] No legislative process has been put in place. The country's domestic law prohibits the possession of arms and ammunition unless licensed by the government.[2] The Kenya Coalition Against Landmines, formed in June 1995, comprises eighteen non-governmental organizations. It lobbied for Kenya to sign the ban treaty and continues to campaign for ratification and implementation of the ban treaty.

Production, Transfer and Stockpiling

Kenya is not believed to have produced or exported AP mines. AP mines may have been imported by colonial authorities during World War II and during the Mau Mau insurgency.[3] The current size and composition of Kenya's stockpile of antipersonnel mines is unknown as government officials are tight-lipped on military issues which are not open to public scrutiny.


Although Kenya has no real landmine problem it has a limited UXO problem dating back to World War I and WWII, as well as the Mau Mau insurgency in the years running up to independence. More recently, army maneuvers involving the Kenyan, U.S., and U.K. armed forces have led to a slight increase in the UXO problem in these training ranges. Kenya also borders with nations currently or recently in conflict where landmines have been used (Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda) and receives refugees from these nations. Kenyan security forces allege that AP mines were used in the past along the Somali border in North Eastern Province, especially by Shifta bandits in the 1960s.[4]

Survivor Assistance

There are a number of casualties from UXO, including among scrap metal dealers, children, military personnel and shepherds, but none from landmines. Almost every village and every town in Kenya has a health unit with first aid facilities and there are regional and national hospitals which include prosthetics services. The Jaipur Foot Project in Nairobi provides prosthetics free of charge. There are national disability laws.

Since 1985, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has run a surgical facility at Lokichokio, near the border with Sudan, which cares for Sudanese refugees. In 1996 1,725 landmine patients were admitted and 3,874 operations performed.[5] Other humanitarian agencies active in Lokichokio and Kakuma include the Lutheran World Federation, Don Bosco, Radda Barnen, Jesuit Refugee Services, UNICEF, UNHCR, and the World Food Programme. Services provided include services for the disabled.


[1]LM Researcher interview with Legal Advisor in Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nairobi, 11 November 1998.

[2]See Arms Act, Cap. 114.

[3]LM Researcher interview with Joseph Okungu, RSM, Instructor with 3KAR (Retired), Kisumu, 2 November 1998.

[4]LM Researcher interview with senior police commander, 12 November 1998.

[5]International Committee of Red Cross, Landmines in Africa, May 1997.