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


Key developments since March 1999: On 21 July 2000 Mauritania became the 100th country to ratify the Mine Ban Treaty. Mauritania is now receiving demining training and assistance from the United States.

Mauritania signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997. In February 1999, the National Assembly and the Senate passed a law authorizing the President to ratify the treaty.[1] Just as Landmine Monitor Report 2000 went to print, on 21 July 2000, Mauritania deposited its instrument of ratification with the United Nations, thus becoming the 100th country to ratify the Mine Ban Treaty. On the occasion, Mauritania’s Ambassador to Canada, Adberrahim Ould Hadrami said, “Mauritania is located in the most mine-affected region in the world. Mauritania’s ratification of the Ottawa Convention demonstrates our commitment to join the international community in addressing the landmine problem in Africa and elsewhere.”[2]

Mauritania participated in the First Meeting of States Parties in Maputo in May 1999, represented by Ambassador Abderrahim Ould Hadrami, the Director of International Organizations in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It has not attended any of the treaty intersessional meetings in Geneva. Mauritania was absent from the vote on UN General Assembly Resolution 54/54B in support of the Mine Ban Treaty in December 1999, but had voted in favor of pro-ban UNGA resolutions in 1997 and 1998. Mauritania is not a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and is not a member of the Conference on Disarmament.

Mauritania has never produced or exported antipersonnel landmines. It is believed to have imported mines from France, Britain, Italy, Egypt, former Soviet Union, former Yugoslavia, and Argentina.[3] Details on its stockpile of AP mines are currently unknown.

Mauritania is mine-affected from World War II and from the war in Western Sahara. Mines are found in the Adrar region, the Tiris Zemour region and the Dakhalt Nouadibou region, as well as around the military bases of F'Derik, Bir-Mogrein, and Tour Bleue in Nouadhibou.[4]

Mauritania was accepted into the U.S. humanitarian demining program on 10 December 1998. It will receive approximately $3.185 million in bilateral demining assistance from the U.S. in 1999 and 2000.[5] In March 2000, at Z'Reida Base, near Nouakchott, a Mauritanian army company participated in a demining training session by U.S. military personnel.[6]

There is no mine awareness program underway at present and there is no reliable assessment of the number of landmine casualties. The U.S. Department of State estimated nineteen mine casualties in 1998.[7] In December 1999 two people were reported killed and two injured in a mine incident at Laguera, in the Nouadhibou area.[8]


[1] Official Journal, N°944, 15 February 1999.
[2] Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade press release No. 186, “Axworthy Welcomes 100th Ratification of Landmine Convention,” 27 July 2000.
[3] Osservatario sul commercio delle arme report, Italy Toscane IRES.
[4] Interview with three mine clearance specialists, 26 December 1999.
[5] U.S. Department of State, “Congressional Budget Justification for Foreign Operations, FY 2001 – Bureau of African Affairs,” 15 March 2000; U.S. Department of State, “To Walk the Earth in Safety,” April 1999, p. 11; U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Political Military Affairs, Office of Humanitarian Demining Programs, Fact Sheet: “Meeting of the Interagency Working Group on Demining 10 December 1998.”
[6] Interview with Peter John Crittenden, U.S. liaison officer, U.S. Embassy, December 1999.
[7] U.S. State Department, Hidden Killers, September 1998, p. A-2.
[8] Interview with Dr. Anne, Surgeon, CHN, 9 April 2000.