+   *    +     +     
About Us 
The Issues 
Our Research Products 
Order Publications 
Press Room 
Resources for Monitor Researchers 
Table of Contents
Country Reports
ITALY, Landmine Monitor Report 2000
LM Report 2000 Full Report   Executive Summary   Key Findings   Key Developments   Translated Country Reports


Key developments since March 1999: Italy ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 23 April 1999 and it entered into force on 1 October 1999. From February 1999 through April 2000, Italy destroyed 2.05 million antipersonnel mines. Between May 1999 and March 2000, Italy pledged about US$ 7.33 million for mine action programs. The Senate approved the establishment of the Humanitarian Demining Trust Fund in October 1999, but it awaits further endorsement.

Mine Ban Policy

Italy signed the Mine Ban Treaty (MBT) on 3 December 1997, and deposited its instrument of ratification with the United Nations on 23 April 1999. The treaty entered into force for Italy on 1 October 1999. Ratification seems to have marked the climax of Italian efforts to transform the country’s reputation as one of the three major producers and exporters (with Russia and China) of landmines up to 1992.[1] The major role of nongovernmental organizations in this evolution of Italian policy was described in the Landmine Monitor Report 1999.[2] Even before the signing of the MBT, Italy was one of very few nations to have domestic legislation banning antipersonnel landmines,[3] and this Law 374/97 is still widely considered one of the most stringent legislative tools in the world.

Italy participated in the First Meeting of States Parties of the MBT in Maputo, Mozambique in May 1999, where State Secretary Rino Serri underlined Italy’s preference for an effect-based definition of AP mines, which would appear to cover more weapons than the existing MBT definition.[4] The government has also participated in meetings of the MBT’s intersessional Standing Committees of Experts. Italy voted in favor of the 1999 pro-ban UN General Assembly resolution, as it did with the prior three resolutions in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

Italy submitted its first Article 7 report as required by the MBT on 29 March 2000, reporting on implementation measures up to 31 January 2000.[5]

Italy’s major mine ban policy statements tend to focus on the pivotal role of its national legislation, which highlights the government’s efforts to eliminate the weapon. This effort marked quite a precedent in Italy’s foreign and domestic policy, especially in terms of partnership between institutions and civil society.[6] Italy’s mine ban policy has become a frequent example of its new, more engaged, higher profile foreign policy. Given this emphasis, the Italian Campaign to Ban Landmines (ItCBL) has called for more concrete attempts to influence governments that have not yet acceded to the Treaty and in responding to new deployments of landmines around the world.

Italy has taken other important domestic initiatives. On 22 February 1999 the Comitato Nazionale per l’Azione Umanitaria Contro le Mine (National Committee for Humanitarian Mine Action) was launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, following a proposal put forward by the ItCBL.[7] The purpose was to create a permanent working group made up of those involved in the landmines issue: ministries, parliamentarians, NGOs, commercial demining companies, the military, the Red Cross, etc. The objective is to develop joint guidelines for Italian humanitarian action against landmines worldwide which are more caring for the people - mine victims in particular - and for the socio-economic development of the affected areas, rather than solely removal of mines from the ground.

The Comitato Nazionale, chaired by State Secretary Rino Serri, is divided into five working groups: (1) Political action and international relations chaired by the Political Department of the Ministry Foreign Affairs and mandated to produce a policy paper on Italian mine action;[8] (2) Operational training, chaired by the Ministry of Defense, to develop a standard curriculum for the training of civilian humanitarian deminers; (3) Operations, chaired by the Cooperation Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to create a database for humanitarian mine action and a pool of experts capable of selecting programs to support humanitarian demining and victim assistance in the field; (4) Technological research, chaired by the Ministry of University and Scientific Research, to identify the most appropriate and sustainable end-user oriented technologies for mine clearance and humanitarian assistance to the mine-injured; and (5) Information and public awareness, chaired by the ItCBL, whose task is to promote Italy’s commitment to mine action, increase public awareness through the media and various other grassroot activities.

In July 1999 the last plenary meeting of the Comitato was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and work was to shift from debate on the major principles to the beginning of an operational plan. The latter has not really taken off, with the exception of a big public initiative promoted by the ItCBL in December 1999 on behalf of the Comitato, to celebrate the second anniversary of the signing of the MBT. Lack of budgets, lack of structures, new priorities are all plausible explanations for the current deadlock in the Comitato.

A good opportunity to revive interest in the AP mine issue could be provided by the recent move to create a Humanitarian Demining Trust Fund. The Bill to establish this, promoted in Parliament by the Green Party,[9] follows most of the guidelines set by the Comitato Nazionale. The Trust Fund would be granted L50 billion (US$25 million) annually, beginning in fiscal year 2000. In 2000 alone, an additional L20 billion (US$10 million) would be dedicated specifically to mine clearance in the Balkans. The Bill was approved by the Senate in October 1999 and in May 2000 was still waiting for endorsement by the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chamber of Deputies.[10]

Italy is a party to Amended Protocol II of the CCW and participated in the Amended Protocol II conference in December 1999. Its report as required under Article 13 was submitted.

Italy continues to be involved in efforts to deal with AP mines in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. On 4 March 1999 Italy was one of twenty-two countries to submit a "Working paper concerning CD action on an APL transfer ban."[11]

Production and Transfer

Italy’s former role as a major producer and exporter of AP mines is described in detail in Landmine Monitor Report 1999, including the major manufacturers Valsella, Misar and Tecnovar, the mine-types they produced and countries to which they exported AP mines. [12]

Italy’s Article 7 report gave scant or incorrect information on Form E (“Status of programs for conversion or de-commissioning of AP mine production facilities”). Valsella, contrary to what is stated, has undergone a painstaking conversion program involving the municipality of Castenedolo, trade unions and civil society, the result being that Valsella Meccanotecnica’s shares were handed over to the new companies VE&D srl and Prode srl, which manufactures ecological vehicles, in February 1998. No mention is made of Misar facilities; Misar produced AP mines and is currently owned by the Brescia-based Societa’ Esplosivi Industriali (SEI), controlled since August 1998 by the French holding company, Societe’ Anonyme d’Explosifs de Produit Chimique.

Stockpiling and Destruction

Italy began destruction of its AP mine stockpile in February 1999.[13] Of the 6.5 million AP mines in stock, a total of nearly 1.7 million had been destroyed as of 31 January 2000,[14] and 2.05 million as of 30 April 2000.[15] The Italian government states that stockpile destruction will be completed by October 2002 as required by the national law. Currently, about 12,000 mine per day are destroyed, at a cost of about US$1.20 per mine.[16] The total cost for destruction of AP mines and their components is now estimated to be less than L16 billion (US$8 million), versus a previous estimate of L30 billion (US$15 million).

At the May 2000 meeting of the SCE on Stockpile Destruction, the Italian delegation stated that all U.S. antipersonnel mines stockpiled in Italy had been removed.[17]

Information on AP mine stockpiles in Italy has come from two interministerial reports in 1998 and 1999, the MBT Article 7 Report (with data as of 31 January 2000), and most recently a report to the SCE meeting on 22-23 May 2000. This information has some inconsistencies and leaves some unanswered questions. The first official information on Italian military and mine producer stockpiles of AP mines was required by the governmental decree on stockpile destruction approved by Parliament on 2 December 1998. The same information was given in the first interministerial report to Parliament on 28 May 1998 on the implementation status of Law 374/97, which requires such reporting every six months. The vagueness of these first figures raised a series of questions that were only partly clarified by the government.

The second report was released five months late on 30 April 1999. Article 6 of the Law required that a Registro delle Mine (Register of Mines),[18] be attached to the report, but it was not. The ItCBL repeatedly asked the Defense General Staff for a copy of the Register, but there was no response until 29 October 1999 when it was finally provided. This first Register reported on stockpiles through 16 November 1998, about one year before its actual release. It contained detailed information on all mines and their components in stocks, divided into explosive and inert material, belonging both to Italian Armed Forces and Italian landmine producing companies. The materials reported as belonging to private companies have been delivered to the Italian Armed Forces in order to be destroyed. Data in the Register can be summarized as follows:

Explosive material (numbers):

Air Forces

Inert material (numbers):


Explosive AP MINE materials belonging to the Italian Army and Navy are reported as:

Army (number)
Navy (number)
Valmara 69




VAR 40
Total Mines



Valmara spares

AUPS spares

Total components

Explosive AP MINE materials belonging to the Italian Air Force are reported as:


The November 1998 Register of Mines (released in October 1999) clarifies some previous questions about AP mine stockpiles which arose from the first interministerial report in May 1998:

  • The approximately 2 million pressure mines (no longer in service) declared in the first document refer substantially to the Army’s PMC mine;
  • The 450,000 wide-range mines declared in the first report refer to Valmara 69 AP mines belonging to the Army and the Navy;
  • Claymore mines form part of the military stockpiles, in particular of the Navy, both as explosive and as inert material, though in limited quantities; no details are given if they have been adapted for use only in command-detonated mode or not; it was decided to destroy all of them;
  • VA50 mines are present in military stocks as inert material (2) and in Valsella stocks as explosive (180) and inert (652) material.

Some important questions remain to be answered after examination of the 16 November 1998 Register of Mines:

  1. No explosive or inert material belonging to the former Misar company (currently SEI) is included in the Register. Were Misar stocks removed or destroyed by the company before the expiry dates fixed by the national Law for their disclosure and delivery?
  2. No mention is made of the mines belonging to foreign armed forces (United States in particular) and of NATO located on Italian territory. Under Law 374/97 they should have been disclosed in quantity and category by 17 March 1998, to be handed over to special designated sites by 14 June 1998. According to U.S. government sources, as of 1997 the United States had stockpiled about 90,000 antipersonnel mines in Italy, including ADAM, Gator, GEMSS, and MOPMS mines.[19]
  3. Part of the Register lists the patent rights and technologies for the production of AP mines or components declared by landmine producing companies, as required to be declared by Article 4 of Law 374/97. Of the three Italian companies only Valsella declares construction drawings. However, Law 374/97 does not require destruction of the AP mine technologies and plans (or their requisition) therefore such declarations have no effect in avoiding the transfer abroad of AP mine projects, technologies and so on.

The final section of the Register is supposed to cover the destruction of stockpiles (both inert and explosive) but it contained no information. The first information on stockpile destruction was given by the Ministry of Defense during the NGO visit to the military plant at Baiano di Spoleto on 2 December 1999. The Baiano di Spoleto military site is in charge of destroying the pressure mines type AUPS, MAUS/1, VAR-40, MK-2, except their detonators; practice AP mines of any kind and their components, plus Valsella and Tecnovar components and residual production of practice AP mines. The visit was organized by the National Committee for Humanitarian Action against Antipersonnel Mines, at the urging of the ItCBL.

By the end of November 1999 the Baiano di Spoleto plant had destroyed:

  • 1,425,050 AP mines (all of AUPS type) out of 3,999,614 that the plant was charged to destroy (the total number of AP mines is 6,529,833);
  • 206,222 inert material/practice AP mines belonging to Army, Navy, Valsella and Tecnovar, out of a total 587,317; and,
  • 1,303,346 components, out of a total of 2,576,408.

The MBT Article 7 report updates stockpile destruction to 31 January 2000. It reports that 1,672,934 (all of AUPS type), plus 222,251 practice mines have been destroyed. The report contained no information on the destruction of components; although some information on destruction of components was presented at the SCE meeting in Geneva on 22-23 May 2000.

The Article 7 report released late March 2000 states that 8,000 AP mines (as also specified in the national law) will be retained for training in and development of mine clearance and destruction techniques, but which mine types will be retained is noted as “to be determined.”[20]

As with the gaps in the Register of November 1998 described above, absence of any information on NATO stockpiles was expected in the Article 7 report, but the failure to report AP mines which had been produced and stocked by the Italian company Misar/SEI was not expected.[21]

On Form H of the report (‘Technical characteristics of each type produced/owned or possessed’) the Ministry of Defense noted: “...information [is] provided for the most common warfare models of AP mines produced by national manufacturing companies and owned in a large number by IT ARMY; further information concerning the entire production will be provided as soon as it will be available.” This could imply that Misar/SEI has not yet met the obligations under Article 3 and 4 of Law 374/97 to report the quantity and nature of its AP mine stocks, as well as to deliver them to local authorities. Or it could be that the Ministry of Defence has not yet counted the mines produced by Misar. Given that these are among the most common Italian AP mines, it seems incongruous that the Italian Army would have none in its own stockpiles.

New information was made available during the May session of the Standing Committee of Experts on stockpile destruction.[22] Italy added details of the destruction of inert material/practise AP mines (236,621) belonging to Army, Navy, and manufacturing companies and components (1,303,346) as of 30 April 2000.[23]

A new decree concerning stockpile destruction was approved by the Italian Parliament in May 2000, replacing the decree of 2 October 1998. This charges the Baiano di Spoleto plant with destruction also of PMC mines and ML1 (or ML4) and OTO detonators, and the Noceto di Parma military plant with destruction of Valmara 69 mines, at an estimated cost one-fifth of the cost tendered by private companies. However, destruction of remaining mines and components will be given to private companies.

Use and Landmine Problem

The former use of AP mines by Italian forces and the landmine problem in Italy after World War II are detailed in Landmine Monitor Report 1999, pp. 729-730.

Mine Action Funding

The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not appear to have a clearly defined policy or program for mine action. An expert in the Ministry’s Emergency Office commented: “This is something that should be hoped for, but what I see at present is just a series of isolated actions.”[24] Between May 1999 and March 2000, the Development Cooperation Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs pledged a contribution of L13.941 billion (US$7.33 million) for mine action activities through the following multilateral and bilateral programs: [25]

Note: abbreviations used in this Table are: UTL - Local Technical Unit of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, HI – Handicap International, NPA – Norwegian People’s Aid, CUAMM – University College for Aspirant Doctors and Missionaries, NRRDS – Nuba Relief Rehabilitation Development Society, OMAR - Organization for Mine Awareness and Rehabilitation UNMAS – United Nations Mine Action Service, WHO – World Health Organization, UNOCHA - United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance to Afghanistan, UNOPS - UN Office for Project Services, ICRC – International Committee of the Red Cross, UNDP – UN Development Programme, AVSI - Association of Volunteers for International Service, SCF – Save the Children Fund.

Progress and details of the project
ANGOLA[26]- Uige Province
L4.30 billion (US$2.26 million)[27]
Local Italian Embassy and UTL
Demining of a water reservoir, war victim assistance, orthopedic surgery
US$29,500 to HI for orthopaedic assistance to disabled war victims in Negage.
US$50,586 to NPA for mine clearance of a water reservoir and adjacent area in Uige.
US$180,000 to CUAMM (Italy) for victim assistance at Uige Hospital.
Another contract is expected in March 2000 in Bengo province.
SUDAN- Nuba Mountains
L0.013 billion (US$
Local Italian Embassy and UTL
Food and accommodation for UXO victims
These funds were part of a development project of L0.5 billion lire (US$263,000), entrusted to NRRDS to provide food and accommodation in Lokichokio (Kenya) for mine victims from Sudan being assisted in Kenya's hospitals.
L1.2 billion (US$ 631,600)
Local Italian Embassy and UTL
Surgery programs at the Taiz Orthopedic Center
The project has been completed (carried out by the Italian surgeon Carlo Astini).
ANGOLA- Huila Province
L1.4 billion (US$ 737,000)
European Union
Demining activities
Started in October 1999 by Intersos, an Italian NGO; two priority clearance areas have been identified in the municipality of Matala, to support the resettlement process.
ANGOLA- Cuando Cubango Province
L0.6 billion (US$ 316,000)
European Union
Victim rehabilitation programs
Intersos started the project in October 1999 that included the implementation of a rehabilitation center and training of specialized personnel.[28]
ANGOLA- Location not available yet
L0.5 billion (US$ 263,000 )
Victim assistance and rehabilitation
Funds were disbursed with great delay (March 2000)[30] and the project is still to be started; probably to be carried out in coordination with ICRC and WHO.[31]
CROATIA- Slavonski Brod
L0.5 billion (US$ 263,000 )
Demining activities
Funds were disbursed with great delay (March 2000) and the project is still to be started. ABC seems most likely to win the demining contract. The choice of Slavonski Brod, a frontier district, as a priority area is aimed at promoting integration and reconciliation between Bosnians and Croats.
CAMBODIA- Battambang
L0.7 billion (US$ 368,500 )
Support to the orthopaedic surgery center
An agreement with WHO has been signed, which provides for participation of the Italian NGO Emergency,[32] but the contribution is blocked due to WHO bureaucracy.[33]
L0.8 billion (US$ 421,000 )
Victim assistance in two first aid centers

AFGHANISTAN- Location unknown
L0.186 billion (US$ 97,000)
Demining and mine awareness activities
Funds disbursed and entrusted to local (ARCS, OMAR) and international NGOs (HI, BBC-AEP, SCF). Details after publication of 1999 UNOCHA Report.[34]
MOZAMBIQUE- Maputo, Sofala and Manica Provinces
L2.28 billion (US$1.2 million)
Demining and mine awareness activities
Funds disbursed at the end of 1999; part of the PDHL/MOZ, an Italy/UNOPS/UNDP joint project for human development in Mozambique, started in March 1999 to which Italy contributed L32 billion (US$16.842 million).
Maputo Province: 96,130 sq m cleared and 86 explosive devices disarmed. Further 1,173,500 sq m identified in other areas. Matutine District should be declared mine-free by June 2000.
Sofala and Manica Provinces: surveying activities completed, by HI and Mozambique's Red Cross; mine awareness programs reached 30,552 people; 209 suspected minefields identified. Demining operations will start in coming months.[35]
TCHAD- Tibesti, Borku, Ennedi
L0.4 billion (US$ 210,500 )
Funds disbursed at the end of 1999; supported also by USA, Japan, Germany and Canada. Visit by Italian Embassy to monitor progress scheduled in 2000.
L0.06 billion (US$ 31,500)
Equipment and activities for victim rehabilitation
US$33,665 (20,000 in equipment and 13,665 in cash for activities) to the Milan-based NGO AVSI via UNICEF (Uganda), as part (10.51%) of program run by AVSI with private donor support.[36]
L1 billion (US$ 526,000 )
Mine awareness, victim assistance, data collection and study, promote adherence to the MBT.[37]
Part of the L10 billion (US$5.263 million) annual contribution of Italy to ICRC; disbursed in July 1999 after ICRC Special Appeal Mine Action 1999-2003 was issued; not allottable.

Mine Clearance

Intersos is the only Italian NGO involved in mine clearance, through its Mine Action Unit, and is also active in mine awareness and mine victim assistance. [38] Intersos works with EOD experts selected from retired members of the Italian Army’s Engineers Corps. Mine action was carried out in 1999 in Bosnia, Kosovo and Angola with funds from several Italian local councils (Veneto Region and Venezia Province) and from private donors. In Kosovo, Intersos clearance activities started in June 1999 with funding by the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) and the “Mission Rainbow” special Italian fund for Kosovo. In Angola, in November 1999, Intersos started an eighteen-month demining project in Huila Province, funded by the EU and Italian Government for a total of 1.7 million Euros.

In Bosnia the ItCBL donated L180 million (US$ 95,000) to Intersos for clearance in the Stup district of Sarajevo. With contributions by the Province of Venice (L50 million, US$ 25,000) and other local municipalities, this activity will continue.

The Italian Campaign to Ban Landmines is also funding mine/UXO clearance in Afghanistan through its local partners the Mine Clearance Planning Agency (MCPA) and Organization for Mine Awareness and Rehabilitation (OMAR). The ItCBL has raised funds totalling US$ 80,000; of that US$ 35,000 was allocated to MCPA in January 1999 and US$ 45,000 to OMAR in August 1999. From 21 November to 1 December 1999, a visit to Afghanistan to monitor the clearance activities was carried out by the ItCBL, which formed a favourable assessment of these activities, the organizational ability of its local Afghan partners, the economic value of the demining operations and the involvement of women in most of the programmes.[39]

Appalti, Bonifiche, Costruzioni (A.B.C.) is a private commercial company involved in mine clearance in Croatia since 1999.

Italian Army engineers sent two Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) specialists, as part of the UN peacekeeping forces in East Timor in 1999. A large team of EOD specialists carried out mine clearance in Kosovo as part of the West Multinational Brigade of NATO, and in Bosnia-Herzegovina with a team of twelve EOD specialists.

Mine Awareness

During 1999 the ItCBL, with Handicap International, printed 100,000 leaflets both in Serb and Albanian informing people from Kosovo about the dangers of mines and UXO, soon after the end of the war in Serbia and Kosovo. These leaflets have been delivered to all Italian organizations working in the Balkans.

In Albania UNICEF Italy financed a major mine, cluster bomb and UXO awareness campaign, to the total value of over L2 billion (US$ 1 million).[40] In districts of the cities of Kukes, Skoda and Tirana, the local youth has been involved in social activities aimed at informing people about the landmine problem. Some 560,000 mine awareness leaflets were printed by UNICEF in Albania. The Aibi (Associazione Italiana Amici dei Bambini — Italian Association Friends of the Children) mine awareness campaign directed at children in Albania took place in many cities: Tirana, Fier, Durazzo, Scutari, Berat, Lezha, Lac, from June to July 1999. This campaign was completely financed by Aibi, as part of a larger project under the “Rainbow Mission” in the Balkans led by the Italian Government.[41]

Intersos, whenever possible, includes mine awareness in its mine clearance programs.[42] In Bosnia, it used T-shirts printed with mine and UXO drawings and warnings in the local language as a mine awareness tool for children; distributing about 10,000 T-shirts to schools in Sarajevo, both on Federal and Serb side with funding from the Canadian Embassy, ECHO and Italian private funds. In Kosovo, Intersos trained and employed six local operators to provide mine awareness sessions to families with houses being cleared of mines and UXO. Also in Kosovo, in the cities of Pec, Decani and nearby villages, a mine awareness campaign was carried out by the NGO Cesvi (Cooperation and Development) over the summer of 1999.[43] During emergency activities related to food delivery and the reconstruction of houses, about 2,000 mine/UXO awareness leaflets, in Serb and Albanian produced by the ItCBL, were distributed.

In Nicaragua’s San Francisco Libre Municipality, the NGO Movimondo Molisv took part in a program supporting a three-year campaign to clear rural areas, financed by the European Union.[44] Mine awareness was mainly carried out through training courses for communities living in the areas suspected of containing mines, with educational material aimed at schools and producers' associations. The program, at a cost of US$ 30,000 and involving about 12,000 people, was coordinated with the municipality, including the use of local mass media.

In Senegal in 1999, in the zone between the river Casamance and the border with Guinea-Bissau, the NGO Cospe began a mine awareness programme financed by ECHO for a total of 1,100 Euros, to support war and landmine victims. With the help of twelve local officers many meetings were held, as well as the showing of films, distribution of drawings, posters and leaflets. A large house for the mine victims and survivors (442 in total) was reconstructed. A total of 190 villages and 80,820 people have been involved in this program, and they have also been helped to begin their artisan and agricultural activities in those areas declared safe.[45]

Survivor Assistance

Italian NGOs are involved in programs offering assistance to landmine survivors in a number of countries. The mine victim/survivor assistance program carried out by the NGO AVSI in 1999 is part of a three-year project that began in July 1998, in many districts of northern Uganda (Gulu, Kingtum, Lacor, Lira, Apac, Nebbi, Adjumani), with the collaboration of local structures, medical offices and disabled people’s associations. The program includes delivery of prostheses and subsequent rehabilitation of amputees. A budget of US$33,665 was proposed, of which US$20,000 was for purchase of instruments and the remainder for associated activities; UNICEF in Uganda financed 10.51 per cent of the project, the rest being paid by AVSI through private funds and donations. About thirty patients having their lower limb amputated have been treated. Seminars, training and specialization courses have been held for local technical, social and medical personnel. The program has been a success so far. In the majority of cases patients have learnt how to use their prostheses and taken advantage of them; some returned to the activities they practiced before the casualty occurred and children returned to schools. In some cases (15 percent) there were problems: prostheses broke or had technical problems; in other cases the patient had little motivation to use the prosthesis. This has been solved sometimes through the intervention of a social assistant. [46]

In 1999, at the Experimental Center For Prostheses Application of the National Institute for Insurance Labour Accidents (INAIL) situated in Budrio (Bologna), prosthetic operations and rehabilitation were carried out for five people heavily injured by landmine blasts. This small group was aged between 9 and 37 years old, one was a female; they are from Former Yugoslavia, Albania, Libya and Somalia. Three of them have undergone amputations of lower limbs, the others of their upper limbs.

The NGO Emergency assists mine victims and survivors by establishing surgical hospitals and rehabilitation centers, providing basic medical assistance, and training local people to face the most urgent medical and surgical necessities.[47] In 1999, 214 patients were treated at the surgical center for war victims in Sulaimaniya, Iraqi Kurdistan, 82 patients were treated at the surgical center in Ebril, Northern Iraq, and 333 were treated at the surgical center “Ilaria Alpi” in Battambang, Cambodia. Since December 1999, 21 patients have been treated at the surgical center in Anabah, Afghanistan. At the rehabilitation center in Sulaimaniya, prostheses produced and fitted to lower limbs number 610 and to upper limbs number 34. The center also provides special courses for the reintegration of handicapped people into society; over 70 per cent of the staff employed is composed of disabled patients. This center costs US$31,000 per month to maintain. All centers in Northern Iraq were financed by the European Commission until July 1999, then by UNOPS. For the centers in Cambodia and Afghanistan Emergency has used its own funds and private donations.[48]

The NGO International Cooperation (Coopi) was involved in the treatment and assistance of injured people coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the districts of Congo, Libengue and Moboy Mbongo, from September to December 1999. First aid and surgery were provided for mine victims, then, where possible, rehabilitation courses were organized. Thirty-six patients were treated in collaboration with the Re-education Center for Motor Disabled in the city of Bangui, supported by EU funding (L120 million; US$60,000).[49]

CUAMM is an NGO mainly involved in medical cooperation and training. In Angola in 1999, in the provincial hospital in Uige and the municipal hospital in Nagage, CUAMM activities focused on technical and organizational support of the orthopaedic department where patients injured by landmines are treated. These activities were financed by the Italian Episcopal Conference, the EU, the Italian Embassy in Luanda and private contributions.[50]

In Angola, Intersos is supporting a center for prostheses and rehabilitation of landmine victims in the Cuando Cubango Province. This area is heavily affected by fighting and landmine pollution; the Center is the only resource for mine victims in the Province. The project includes training local personnel in rehabilitation and prosthesis production. Specific attention is paid to social and economic reintegration of the disabled, through vocational training. The total budget for the project is 800,000 Euros, financed by the EU, Italian Government and Intersos.[51] In April 1999 the Orthopaedic Project implemented by Intersos in Burundi with ECHO funds came to an end: more than 450 patients have been treated including 230 treated surgically in a six-month period, several of them being mine victims.

The Italian Red Cross[52] continued collaboration with the ICRC throughout 1999 to finance the Rehabilitation and Victim Assistance Centers in Kabul and Addis Abeba.


[1] Human Rights Watch and Physician for Human Rights, Landmines: A Deadly Legacy (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1993), p. 36.
[2] Landmine Monitor Report 1999, pp.712-717. This section of the report by researchers of the Italian Campaign to Ban Landmines traces the history of the Italian role in landmine production and trade, and the roles of the ICBL and ItCBL in the evolution of governmental policy. An updated and longer version of the 1999 report was published in book form in Italy to celebrate the second anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty, as: Mine: Il Cammino che Resta (Mines: the Remaining Steps), (Rome: Rubbettino, December 1999). The book was presented during a major event at the stockpile destruction site, at Baiano di Spoleto, on 2 December 1999.
[3] Law 374/97, Norme per la Messa al Bando delle Mine Antipersona (Provisions Prohibiting Antipersonnel Mines), approved on 29 October 1997.
[4] Statement of the Head of the Italian Delegation, Senator Rino Serri, State Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Maputo, Mozambique, 3 May 1999.
[5] Italy, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, submitted 29 March 2000. The report does not give the starting date of the reporting period.
[6] The relevance of this partnership was stressed by the rapporteur of the national legislation, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Commission at the Chamber of Deputies Achille Occhetto, when presenting law 374/97 in Ottawa: “First of all, I feel obliged to underline what I consider the main feature of this year’s activity, namely the exceptional concordance between the legislative body...and civil society, through NGOs and particularly those engaged in the Italian Campaign to Ban Landmines. It often happens in all countries that behind laws passed by parliaments there are lobbies expressing interests of various natures, more or less legitimate, not always transparent. Rarely are these interests, or better the promoters of these interests, acknowledged as inspirers of the legislator’s will.” Foreword of Achille Occhetto to Law 374/97, presented in Ottawa, 2 December 1997. This sentiment was repeated at the First Meeting of States Parties to the MBT in May 1999, by the Head of the Italian delegation. This cooperation model, unprecedented in Italy, has served since then for other actions promoted by civil society, such as the campaigns against child labour or for debt cancellation.
[7] The idea was originally formulated on 12 December 1997 during the first international conference on humanitarian demining organized by the ItCBL, with the title “From Landmines to Food: Clearing the Road to Development.” The ItCBL proposed a joint, ad hoc “working table” on mine action to State Secretary Rino Serri, attending the conference. The proposal was later presented again to Secretary Serri on 26 May 1998, in a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
[8] The English version of the Italian policy paper on mine action, as finally endorsed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, can be found on the website of the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining: http://www.gichd.ch.
[9] The establishment of a trust fund for humanitarian demining was a binding recommendation annexed to Law 106/99 that ratified the MBT.
[10] The ItCBL has solicited a rapid debate and approval via a letter to Achille Occhetto, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Commission, 22 February 1999. At the end of April 2000, the legislative department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent out a note expressing its objections to the additional L20 billion fund dedicated to the programs in the Balkans, with the twofold reason that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not have the budget for it in year 2000, and no sufficient details are provided on how the money ought to be spent in the field.”
[11] CD/1572.
[12] Landmine Monitor Report 1999, pp. 717-729.
[13] “Destruction of Antipersonnel Landmines in Italy,” Presentation by Ministry of Defense to SCE on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 22-23 May 2000. Destruction of “warfare mines” began in February 1999, of “practice mines” in November 1998.
[14] Article 7 Report, submitted 29 March 2000, data as of 31 January 2000. The report cites a beginning total of 6,529,809 “total warfare APM” in stock. That included 2.068 million PMC mines (designated as “out of order”), 1.736 million AUPS mines, and 1.423 million VAR 40 mines. The report indicates that 1,672,934 mines had been destroyed (all AUPS mines), leaving a total of 4,856,875 yet to be destroyed.
[15] “Destruction of Antipersonnel Landmines in Italy,” Presentation by Ministry of Defense to SCE on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 22-23 May 2000. The precise number cited was 2,053,286 destroyed.
[16] Ibid.
[17] Oral remarks by Italian delegation to the SCE on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 23 May 2000. This information has not been officially confirmed.
[18] Registro delle Mine (Register of Mines), 16 November 1998, released 30 April 1999/29 October 1999.
[19] Information provided by U.S. government sources to Human Rights Watch, March 1999.
[20] Article 7 Report, submitted 29 March, data as of 31 January 2000.
[21] The Italy section of Landmine Monitor Report 1999 deals with the numerous shareholders’ passages of Misar at length. The acquisition of Misar by SEI makes it potentially the only company in Italy still active in the landmine producing sector. While no sales of landmines have been registered up to 1998 (the ItCBL was not able to get relevant data for 1999) the location of Misar stocks remains unknown, whether in Italy or even in France. No response has been given so far to the ItCBL’s requests for clarification, which were repeated during the press conference held in Baiano di Spoleto on 2 December 1999 after visiting the military site where stockpile destruction is taking place.
[22] “Destruction of Antipersonnel Landmines in Italy,” Presentation to the Standing Committee of Experts on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 22-23 May 2000.
[23] There are some differences between the figures in the Article 7 report (as of 31 January 2000) and the SCE presentation (as of 30 April 2000), small differences concerning Army explosive material (Article 7: 6,482,876 units, SCE: 6,482,852), more substantial differences in Army inert materials (Article 7: 551,947, SCE: 555,629) and components (Article 7: 720,826, SCE: 1,441,239), and manufacturing companies’ inert materials (Article 7: 34,111, SCE: 31,857).
[24] Interview with Vincenzo Oddo, Office VI (Emergency), Development Cooperation Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome, 15 March 2000.
[25] Ibid.
[26] Angola is considered a priority area by the Cooperation Department.
[27] Only US$900,000 has actually been spent out of this contribution; the rest is to be given back to the Italian Government, as residual funds that could not be spent by 31 December 1999 (in compliance with the Law of 18 November 1923 no. 2440 on the State's General Accounts); this does not take into consideration the bureaucratic slowness peculiar to Cooperation procedures (it takes at least 3 to 5 months for a contribution to be disbursed, after its approval), and risks paralyzing many initiatives.
[28] Interview with Stefano Calabretta, Intersos, Rome, 9 March 2000.
[29] This is the first time the Italian Government has pledged a contribution to UNMAS. This policy has been confirmed for the year 2000, when another L1 billion is expected to be contributed to this UN agency.
[30] The delay in this and the following project was due to an “oversight” on the part of the Treasury.
[31] Interview with Nicola Occhipinti, Office II (Multilateral Cooperation), Development Cooperation Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome, 22 March 2000.
[32] Telephone interview with Giorgio Raineri, responsible for the Operating Support Unit of Emergency, 23 March 2000.
[33] An officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticized WHO for its "slowness and inability to manage this kind of project.” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is taking steps to stir WHO into action, and is even considering withdrawing the funds. Interview, Rome, 15 March 2000.
[34] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not routinely monitor directly the implementation of projects which it supports through multilateral channels, unless serious problems are reported, as in the case of WHO; even in these cases, visits of monitoring delegations are organized only rarely and only for contributions exceeding L1 billion. This is mostly due to the Cooperation Department's scarcity of means and personnel. Interview with Mrs. Dradi, Office II (Multilateral Cooperation), Development Cooperation Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome, 15 March 2000.
[35] Programma Italia/UNDP/ILO/UNICRI/UNOPS di Sviluppo Umano a Livello Locale in Mozambico, aggiornato a gennaio 2000 (1999 PDHL/MOZ Report), pp. 24-30.
[36] Report of the Medical Rehabilitation Programme for War Victims, AVSI. Interview with Alberto Repossi, Programme Officer Desk Africa, AVSI, 9 March 2000.
[37] Special Appeal Mine Action 1999-2003, International Committee of the Red Cross.
[38] Interview with Stefano Calabretta, Humanitarian Mine Action Unit, Intersos, Rome, 28 January 2000.
[39] Interview with Col. Mario Pellegrino, technical expert deminer and volunteer of the ItCBL, Rome, 1 February 2000. The clearance follows standardized procedures for the manual (metal detectors and prodders) and mechanical activities, but ItCBL noticed little attention paid to the safety of personnel in the field. There was also a lack of reconstruction, social and economic programs in favour of the refugees, and quite strained relationship with UNOCHA. The ItCBL team could not verify the relations between its local partners and the Taleban regime; OMAR denies any collaboration with the political power. The liberty with which they act indicates good relations with the Taleban, but this is necessary to operate in Afghanistan.
[40] Interview with Luca Cappelletti, Press Office, UNICEF-Italy, Rome, 26 January 2000.
[41] Telephone interviews with Stefano Oltolini, Aibi, Milano, and Carola Molteni, Aibi officers for Albania, 31 January 2000.
[42] Interview with Stefano Calabretta, Intersos, Rome, 28 January 2000.
[43] Telephone interview with Simona Stella, Cesvi, Bergamo, 7 March 2000.
[44] Interview with Elena Abbati, Latin America Area Assistance, Movimondo, Rome, 7 February 2000.
[45] Telephone interview with Raffaella Di Salvatore, Cospe, Firenze, 2 February 2000; Cospe has worked in close contact with Handicap International, having offices in the cities of Ziguingchor and Dakar in Senegal.
[46] Telephone interview with Alberto Repossi, Program Officer for Africa, AVSI, Milano, 20 March 2000.
[47] Telephone interview with Giorgio Raineri, Emergency, Milano, 24 March 2000.
[48] These figures refer only to surgical operations, not including ambulatory patients and first aid activities.
[49] Telephone interview with Ennio Miccoli, Coopi, Milan, 3 February 2000.
[50] Telephone interview with Claudia Belleffi, CUAMM, Padua, 14 April 2000.
[51] Interview with Federica Biondi, Intersos, Rome, 7 March 2000.
[52] Telephone interview with Maria Letizia Zamparelli, Studies and Planning Special Activities Service, Italian Red Cross, Rome, 24 April 2000.