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Country Reports
CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE), Landmine Monitor Report 2000
LM Report 2000 Full Report   Executive Summary   Key Findings   Key Developments   Translated Country Reports


Key developments since March 1999: Congo-Brazzaville’s parliament has reportedly ratified the Mine Ban Treaty and the army has reportedly started stockpile destruction. Much of Brazzaville has been cleared of mines and UXO since 1998.

Congo-Brazzaville is one of just seven non-signatories to the Mine Ban Treaty in Africa. However, in July 2000, the provisional legislature of Congo-Brazzaville was reported to have ratified the Mine Ban Treaty.[1] It is assumed that this paves the way for formal accession to the treaty. It was also reported that the Congolese army had decided to destroy its stocks of AP mines because, according to a military source, “We no longer have a great number of mines.”[2] In December 1999, Congo-Brazzaville voted for UN General Assembly Resolution 54/54B calling for universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty. It voted for similar pro-ban UNGA resolutions in 1996, 1997 and 1998. Congo-Brazzaville did not attend the First Meeting of States Parties in Maputo in May 1999 and has not attended any of the treaty’s intersessional meetings. It is not a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons, and is not a member of the Conference on Disarmament.

Congo-Brazzaville is not known to have produced or exported AP mines. AP mines are reportedly stockpiled in the country’s seven military zones; the army is currently taking steps to destroy the stocks, but no date has been fixed for completion of the destruction.[3]

Congo-Brazzaville used AP mines most recently in the 1997 civil war. Strategically sensitive areas around Brazzaville’s airport and the city’s main power station were heavily mined, reportedly with both antitank and antipersonnel mines, and other utilities had unmarked minefields laid around them.[4] Residential quarters of Poto-Poto and Mikalou were also affected, although it is thought this was more by contagion and carelessness than by concerted deployment.[5]

There is no overall survey of the mine problem in Congo-Brazzaville, but anecdotal evidence suggests that the problem was at its worst in Brazzaville itself. Many mines laid in 1997 have now been cleared by army engineers with French assistance.[6] In late 1998, further clearance work was carried out around the airport, and civilian access to mined areas was carefully controlled. On 1 September 1999 the authorities detonated some landmines at the airport as a gesture to attract international airlines back to the airport, which had refused to fly to Brazzaville due to security concerns.[7]

Today landmines are no longer a major concern. A team from Human Rights Watch visited Brazzaville in July and found no evidence of renewed laying of landmines or concern about uncleared mines.[8]

There are no available records on mine-related injuries during or the after the civil wars. Repeated fighting and artillery damage has wrecked Brazzaville’s medical infrastructure and has damaged national capacity for the treatment of landmine-related injuries.


[1] “Congolese army to destroy landmine stocks,” Agence France Presse (Brazzaville), 27 July 2000.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] “Congo: finding landmines proves tougher than laying them,” Inter Press Service, 22 August 1998.
[5] Telephone interview, Remy Bazenguissa, Paris, 31 March 1999. Bazenguissa is a respected analyst of the various recent battles for Brazzaville and surroundings.
[6] Inter Press Service, 22 August 1998.
[7] Airline Industry Communication, 3 September 1999.
[8] Telephone interview with Human Rights Watch consultant Stephen Ellis, 13 July 2000.