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


The Gambia signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997. The Gambia’s National Assembly passed ratification legislation on 2 November 1999.[1] On 20 July 2000, an official from the Ministry of Defense told Landmine Monitor, “The President of the Republic of The Gambia has endorsed the Instrument of Ratification.”[2] All that remains is for the instrument of ratification to be officially deposited at the United Nations.[3]

The Gambia did not attend the First Meeting of States Parties in Maputo in May 1999, and it has not participated in any of the intersessional meetings of the Mine Ban Treaty. The Gambia was absent from the December 1999 vote on UN General Assembly Resolution 54/54B supporting the Mine Ban Treaty. It is not a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons, and is not a member of the Conference on Disarmament.

The Ministry of Defense informed Landmine Monitor that it does not manufacture or “retain any stockpiles of landmines.” It further stated, “There are no instances where our Armed Forces utilized landmines.” With respect to trade in mines, the response was, “There [is] no evidence of antipersonnel landmines being transferred from The Gambia. However, this could be possible, but not to the knowledge of the Gambian Government.”[4]

The Gambia’s security situation has almost certainly been occasionally compromised by its proximity to Senegal’s southern province of Casamance, where conflict between separatists and the Senegalese armed forces has involved use of landmines (see Landmine Monitor Report 2000-Senegal).[5] Senegalese diplomats suspected that Gambian territory was being used as a rearbase by rebel elements in 1992, shortly before landmines made their appearance in Casamance. However, more recently, Gambian mediation efforts to end the Casamance conflict have been welcomed by Senegalese representatives.[6]


[1] Information provided by Mines Action Team in Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada, June 2000.
[2] Letter from Habib T. B. Jarra for the Permanent Secretary, Department of State for Defense, Office of the President, FA 174/02/(114), 20 July 2000.
[3] On 28 July 2000, a government official said that the instrument of ratification “will soon be deposited.” Letter from A. Drammeh for the Permanent Secretary, Department of State for Defense, Office of the President, to Elisabeth Bernstein, ICBL Coordinator, dated 28 July 2000.
[4] Letter from Habib T.B. Jarra, 20 July 2000.
[5] Alex Vines and Barbarcar Diagne, “Senegal: old mines, new wars,” African Topics, no. 22, January-March 1998, p.13; Andrew Manley, “Guinea Bissau/Senegal: war, civil war and the Casamance question,” Writenet/Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, pp. 14-16.
[6] “Senegal: Gambia to mediate?,” West Africa (London), no. 4180, 12-18 January 1999, p. 7.