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Country Reports
SEYCHELLES, Landmine Monitor Report 1999


Seychelles signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997. Seychelles endorsed the Brussels Declaration and was a full participant to the Oslo negotiations, where it was a vocal critic of US proposals to weaken the treaty text. Seychelles supported the 1996 UN General Assembly resolution against landmines but was absent form the votes on UNGA resolutions in 1997 and 1998.

Seychelles has not yet ratified the treaty. This is in part due to normal legislative timing considerations. However, according to one foreign ministry official, some worry that if Seychelles ratifies, it will then be pressured into contributing to demining and related activities in Africa and possibly elsewhere, to solve a problem to which the government regards itself as not having contributed.[1]

Landmines are not a problem in Seychelles. It is not believed to have ever produced or exported antipersonnel mines. The Seychellois armed forces are not thought to hold any stocks. Highly placed officials comment that the existence of mines would “be a disaster” in this tourism-driven Indian Ocean island economy.[2]

There is some evidence that Seychelles was used as a staging post for weapons deliveries to the Forces armées rwandaises during their campaign against the Rwandan Patriotic Front, during the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Zaire provided end-user certificates.[3] Weapons transported included antitank mines and fragmentation grenades. It cannot be ruled out that landmines were transported; other supply flights to the FAR did include such weapons.[4] Seychellois officials deplore the incident, stressing that such affairs run directly counter to the country’s national interest.[5]


[1] Telephone interview, Terry Jones, Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Planning and Environment, 1 April 1999.

[2]Telephone interview, defence analysts, Centre d’analyse et de prévision, Paris, 29 March 1999; telephone interview, Terry Jones, 1 April 1999.

[3]Human Rights Watch, Rearming with Impunity. International Support for the Perpetrators of the Rwandan Genocide, May 1995, p. 10.

[4]Ibid., p.11

[5]Telephone interview, Terry Jones.