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


Mine Ban Policy

Morocco has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. It was one of twenty countries to abstain on the vote on UN General Assembly Resolution 54/54 B in support of the Mine Ban Treaty in December 1999. Morocco explained its abstention by saying that “it could not become a signatory for the time being, due to security issues in its southern province.”[1]

Morocco was one of just twelve non-signatories that attended (as an observer) the First Meeting of States Parties (FMSP) to the Mine Ban Treaty in Maputo in May 1999. At the FMSP, a Moroccan representative stated that he did not entirely agree with having Morocco included among the “bad countries.”[2] In a statement to the plenary, the Moroccan representative said, “My country is only deferring signature of the convention, and this is due to the conditions linked to the security of our southern provinces and to the achievement of our territorial integrity.... We should also be precise that this circumstantial situation will disappear on its own when the integrity of my country will not any more be the object of threats or controversies.... We hope that this situation will resolve in the future months.”[3] Similarly, in a response to a Landmine Monitor questionnaire, Morocco stated that it would accede to the treaty when conditions are right.[4]

Morocco has sent representatives from its permanent mission based in Geneva to nearly all meetings of the Intersessional Standing Committees of Experts.

Morocco is not a party to either the original or revised landmine protocols of the Convention on Conventional Weapons, but Morocco attended, as an observer, the December 1999 First Conference of States Parties to Amended Protocol II. According to Morocco’s UN Ambassador in Geneva, in May 2000 the Moroccan parliament approved Amended Protocol II, and ratification should occur soon; the necessary documents are being processed in Rabat.[5]

Morocco is a member of the Conference on Disarmament (CD). In its response to the Landmine Monitor questionnaire, Morocco said it encourages introduction of the mine issue in the CD, and believes this is the best forum to insure the widest ban on mine transfers. However, in an interview, a Moroccan diplomat has said that it is not necessary to rush to the disarmament conference on a mine transfer ban in order to assuage the conscience of those who do not wish to sign the Mine Ban Treaty.[6]

Production, Stockpiling, Transfer, Use

Morocco is not known to have ever produced or exported AP mines. Morocco has recently stated that it does not import or export antipersonnel mines.[7] According to an arms monitoring group in France, Morocco has not imported any AP mines since 1978.[8] The size and composition of Morocco’s current AP mine stockpile is not known but is considered by Moroccan officials as highly sensitive.[9] There is no new information regarding the use on antipersonnel mines by Morocco in the past year.

Landmine Problem and Mine Action

Morocco is not considered to be mine-affected except for the territory it controls in Western Sahara. The situation in the Western Sahara is covered in a separate Landmine Monitor entry; see also Landmine Monitor 1999 for details on the mine problem in Morocco and Western Sahara.

The Moroccan Army possesses a mine clearance capability and has conducted some clearance operations in Western Sahara. The Moroccan military has signed an accord with the UN Mission for a Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) for mine clearance in Moroccan zones.[10] According to a MINURSO officer, roughly 60% of the Moroccan-controlled area has been cleared, and about 20% of the Polisario-controlled area.[11]

The most recent report of the UN Secretary General states that “during the period of 13 May 2000 to 3 July 2000, 278 mines and unexploded ordnance were marked and 124 destroyed on the Moroccan side while 488 were marked and 177 destroyed on the Frente Polisario side.”[12] Between 6 December and 22 May 2000, both sides in cooperation with MINURSO conducted twenty-eight disposal operations for UXO and ammunition.[13] These operations have not been carried out without danger, as eleven soldiers in the international MINURSO contingent have died in mine or UXO incidents over the course of its presence in the area.[14]

Morocco states that to its knowledge there are no Moroccan civilian mine victims.[15]


[1] Statement by Moroccan Representative to the UN First Committee, Press Release GA/DIS/3162, 8 November 1999.
[2] Interview with Mr. Omar Zniber, Head, United Nations Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Maputo, March 1999.
[3] Statement by Moroccan Representative to the FMSP, Maputo, 3-7 May 1999. Unofficial translation by Landmine Monitor.
[4] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Ambassador Nacer Benjelloun-Touimi, Permanent Representative of Morocco in Geneva, received by facsimile, 23 June 2000.
[5] Meeting with Ambassador Nacer Benjelloun-Touimi, Geneva, 31 May 2000.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire, 23 June 2000; Statement to the FMSP, Maputo, 3-7 May 1999.
[8] See Landmine Monitor Report 1999 for more on past imports.
[9] Interview with Ambassador Nacer Benjelloun-Touimi, , Geneva, 31 May 2000.
[10] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire, 23 June 2000.
[11] Interviews with MINURSO officers, Laayoune, 20-21 June 2000.
[12] “Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation Concerning Western Sahara,” S/2000/683, 12 July 2000, pp. 3-4.
[13] Ibid., p. 3; “Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation Concerning Western Sahara,” S/2000/131, 17 February 2000, p. 3.
[14] Interviews with MINURSO officers, Laayoune, 20-21 June 2000.
[15] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire, 23 June 2000.