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Country Reports
NEPAL, Landmine Monitor Report 1999


Mine Ban Policy

Nepal has not signed the Mine Ban Treaty. The reason given by a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official is that Nepal is not directly concerned by landmines: "Nepal is never against landmine ban treaties. We have not signed it only because Nepal has no mine problem."[1]

Nepal participated in all the Ottawa Process preparatory meetings, but only as an observer, including for the Oslo negotiations and the Ottawa treaty signing. Nepal did not endorse the pro-treaty Brussels declaration in June 1997, but did vote in favor of the pro-ban UN General Assembly resolutions in 1996, 1997, and 1998. Nepal has not signed the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

The Nepal Campaign to Ban Landmines (NCBL) notes: "During our meeting with the government representatives they said, ‘We fully support the campaign for the total ban on landmines but we have to wait and see whether all the nations of the world will sign the document on the total ban on landmines. If all the countries do not sign the document, the world will be divided into two groups and we will be labeled as this or that lobby. Therefore, we should not be involved in dispute.’" The Campaign draws the conclusion that the government of Nepal is in favor of the global ban on landmines but is afraid of the powerful nations and is hesitating to express its commitment."[2] Some officials were reluctant to discuss the mine issue in detail.[3]


It does not appear that Nepal has ever used antipersonnel landmines. In February 1996 the CPN-Maoist party launched an armed rebellion with a view to establishing a People's Republic dethroning the monarch. Senior Police Officer R. Bahadur Singh has stated the Maoist rebels have not used mines, but have used homemade devices that function like antipersonnel mines.[4]

Production, Transfer, Stockpiling

There is no evidence that Nepal has ever produced or exported antipersonnel mines. Government officials have indicated that Nepal does not have a stockpile of antipersonnel mines. However, in 1998 parliamentarian Surendra Prashad Pandey "asked the government to remove the mines stockpiled at the Swoyambhu area as it could pose a great threat not only to the people living in the area, but also residing in the adjacent areas."[5] The government has not responded to requests by the Nepal Campaign to clarify this issue.

Landmine Problem

Nepal is not a mine-affected country. The Nepal Campaign to Ban Landmines, however, is concerned about the use by the Maoist rebels of homemade weapons that function like antipersonnel mines, and the possibility they could use antipersonnel mines in the future, conceivably resulting in use by Nepalese forces as well. One parliamentarian has said, "With the beginning of the Maoist insurgency, the internal conflict has set in. The Maoists are using [homemade] mines and there is a strong possibility of the government retaliating with the insurgents using mines."[6]

Landmine Casualties

As Nepal is not mine affected, there have been no landmine victims inside the country. However, Nepalese soldiers have fallen victim to landmines while participating in the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, and peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavian territories.[7] Other Nepalese soldiers have apparently been maimed and killed by landmines while serving in foreign armies, such as India and UK.[8]


[1] Interview with Mr. Shyama Nanda Suman, Joint- Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sitalniwas- Kathmandu, 4 December 1998.

[2] Mrs. Purna Shova Chitrakar, NCBL Coordinator, in NCBL review, "Ban Landmines All Over the World to Promote World Peace," 25 November 1997, p. 3.

[3] The personal assistant of the Commander in Chief and the Inspector General of Police refused to speak about mines, as did the Maoists.

[4] Interview with Mr.Rajendra Bahadur Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police at the Terrorist Activities Control Division of the Police Headquarters, Central Police Headquarters, Balladeer-Kathmandu, 18 December 1998

[5] Hon. Surendra Prasad Pandey, member of National Assembly, in "An Interaction Program on Role of Parliamentarians on Ban Landmines," NCBL executive summary, Kathmandu, 8 August 1998.

[6] Hon.Rajendra Prasad Pandey, House of Representatives, in "An Interaction Program on Role of Parliamentarians on Ban Landmines, "Kathmandu, 8 August 1998.

[7] Mr.Devandra Subedi, Deputy Superintendent of Police Headquarters, in "National Conference on Landmines and Human Rights," Kathmandu, 25 November 1997; South Africa Campaign to Ban Landmines and Human Rights Watch, “The Non-Aligned Movement and the Global Campaign Against Antipersonnel Landmines,” August 1998, p. 45.

[8] Hon. Padma Ratna Tuladhar, House of Representatives, in "Role of Parliamentarians on Ban Landmines," Kathmandu, 8 August 1998; Mr. Rishikesh Shah, in "National Conference on Landmines and Human Rights, Kathmandu, 25 November 1997.