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Country Reports
BOTSWANA , Landmine Monitor Report 2000
LM Report 2000 Full Report   Executive Summary   Key Findings   Key Developments   Translated Country Reports


Key developments since March 1999: Botswana ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 1 March 2000, the first anniversary of global entry into force. The Botswana Defense Force acknowledged that it retains a small stockpile of AP mines for training.

Mine Ban Policy

Botswana signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified on 1 March 2000. The treaty will enter into force for Botswana on 1 September 2000. The process of incorporating the provisions of the treaty into domestic law has not started. According to a government official, efforts to abide by the requirements of the treaty have started and they are in the process of preparing the necessary information to be sent to the Attorney General’s chambers for implementation.[1]

Botswana did not attend the Maputo First Meeting of States Parties in May 1999. It did not attend any meetings of the intersessional Standing Committees of Experts in 1999 or 2000. Botswana voted in favor of UNGA Resolution 54/54B in support of the Mine Ban Treaty in December 1999.

Botswana is not a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and is not a member of the Conference on Disarmament.

Production, Stockpiling, Transfer, Use

Botswana has not produced or exported antipersonnel landmines. Botswana Defense Force (BDF) officials say that the military has never laid any landmines in Botswana nor in any other country.[2] On allegations that Botswana maintained a stockpile, the official said the term stockpile did not give the right picture as it implied a large quantity. He said that that the force maintains only a small quantity of AP mines for training purposes, explaining that in the past BDF soldiers have been deployed to mine-infested Mozambique. Therefore there was a need for the soldiers to know about the mines.[3]

Mine Action

Botswana is not known to be mine-affected. A military official refuted the statement in Landmine Monitor Report 1999 that landmines were laid in northern Botswana during the Rhodesian (now Zimbabwe) war.[4] According to an official of the Botswana Council for the Disabled (BCD), the council has never handled any cases of disability caused by injuries from landmines in Botswana.[5]

A military trade publication indicates that at some point, Botswana procured the Rapid Antipersonnel Minefield Breaching System Mark 3 (RAMBS 3) produced by the UK company Pains Wessex Ltd.[6]

The Botswana Red Cross (BRC) society has been conducting regular training of the BDF on landmines. This activity has been done in conjunction with the regional office of the ICRC based in Harare, Zimbabwe.[7] The BRC has also involved itself in landmine awareness education of the society. In 1998, BRC produced a fifteen-minute radio program on landmines, which was in vernacular on Radio Botswana for one month. Among the topics covered were: what are landmines, what do they look like, what are their effects on people, animals and land. At the end of the program people were allowed to phone in and ask questions and also give their opinions on the issue of landmines. The program was reportedly a success and many people said it was the first time that they had heard anything about landmines.[8]


[1] Interview with a government official, Gaborone, 20 March 2000.
[2] Interview with Colonel J. T. Masisi, Botswana Defence Force, Gaborone, 26 November 1999.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Interview with Mr. C. Gabanakemo, the Executive Secretary of the Botswana Council for the Disabled, Gaborone, November 1999.
[6] Jane’s Mines and Mine Clearance, online update, 20 June 2000.
[7] Interview with Mr. P. Moswetsi, Acting Secretary General Botswana Red Cross Society at BRC offices in Gaborone, 6 December 1999.
[8] Ibid.