+   *    +     +     
About Us 
The Issues 
Our Research Products 
Order Publications 
Press Room 
Resources for Monitor Researchers 
Table of Contents
Country Reports
MALI, Landmine Monitor Report 1999


Mine Ban Policy

Mali’s Minister of Foreign Affairs signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 in Ottawa. In accordance with Law 98-019 (9 March 1998) and Ordinance 98-009/P-RM (3 April 1998), President Konaré ratified on 10 April 1998. Mali deposited the instruments of ratification on 2 June 1998, the fourteenth country to do so and the first from West Africa. But the government has yet to adopt national implementation measures, as required by Article 9 of the ban treaty. Nor has it begun to draft its report as required by Article 7. According to a government spokesperson, Mali intends to take these measures within the time stipulated by the Treaty.[1] Mali is not a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons nor its amended Protocol on landmines.

Mali supported the Ottawa Process by endorsing the Brussels Declaration, participating in the Vienna and Bonn preparatory meeting, the Oslo negotiations (as a full participant) and supporting key 1996, 1997 and 1998 UN General Assembly resolutions. Mali has taken exemplary measures to destroy its stockpiles. This is part of a wider approach to disarmament issues by the government and, especially, President Alpha Oumar Konaré.

Malian non-governmental organizations have played an important role in developing public awareness on the landmine issue. The Association Malienne des droits de l'Homme (AMDH), in particular, led efforts by creating a National Commission against antipersonnel mines on 13 November 1998, consisting of nine NGOs from diverse backgrounds.[2]


On 25 May 1998, President Konaré declared that "the Malian Army has never used antipersonnel mines in any of the conflicts it has been involved in."[3] A press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, issued the same day, confirmed this statement. In spite of the armed border dispute with Burkina Faso in 1974 and 1985, and in spite of the Tuareg insurgency which lasted several years, no mine incident has yet been recorded in Mali, although there were rumors in 1994 of mine-laying in the Malian Sahara, by both government and rebel forces. Mali has no problem with uncleared mines.

Stockpiling, Production, Transfer

Mali does not produce or export mines. Mali declared that it has possessed stockpiles of antipersonnel mines since 1974, the majority of supplied by the former Soviet Union.[4] Before the destruction program began, Mali held some 3,000 blast antipersonnel mines, 5,000 antitank mines and 1,900 traction mines.[5]

On 25 May 1998, the 35th anniversary of the OAU, Mali destroyed its first batch of stockpiled antipersonnel mines. In the presence of President Konaré and the government, the diplomatic corps and many foreign dignitaries, including former UN Secretary-General Boutros-Boutros Ghali, some 400 antitank mines, 500 antipersonnel mines and 160 traction mines were destroyed.

The government had planned to destroy all its stockpile in twenty-five other destruction sessions between 25 May and 22 September 1998, but due to logistical problems and a lack of sufficient funds this goal has not yet been achieved.[6] The total value of the mines which will be destroyed is estimated at the equivalent of $385,000.[7] The Armed Forces will retain a certain number of mines for training purposes, in accordance with the article 3 of the Treaty.[8]


[1]Interview, Mohamed Touré, Directeur des affaires juridiques at the Ministère des affaires étrangères, 15 January 1999.

[2]Association pour le progrès et la défense des femmes au Mali (APDF), Comité d’action de défense des droits et l’enfant et de la femme (CADEF), Convention pour la vulgarisation du droit au Mali (CVDM), Fédération de l’éducation nationale (FEN), Syndicat autonome des greffiers (SAG), Syndicat national de la police (SNP), Réseau des journalistes pour la promotion des droits de l’homme (RJPRODH), Association malienne des droits de l’homme (AMDH).

[3]“ATout sera detruit d’ici septembre”, L’Essor, Bamako, 27 May 1998.

[4]Anonymous Malian sources. From independence in 1960, Mali maintained close links with the former Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc military powers.

[5]Numbers suppled by Colonel Béguéle Sioro, head of Direction du matériel, des hydrocarbures et du transport des armées (DHMTA) du Mali. This agency was in charge of the destruction of the first part of the Malian stockpiles.

[6]Information provided by the AMDH, a member of the National Commission to Ban Landmines. The funding and logistics problems are the result of the need to move the destruction site. At present, the site is too close to the city (only 10km away from residential areas) and thus poses a security problem.

[7]"Tout sera detruit”, 27 May 1998.

[8]Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s Mine Action Data Base indicates that approximately 1,000 mines will be kept.