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Country Reports
BURKINA FASO, Landmine Monitor Report 2001
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Key developments since May 2000: Burkina Faso has proposed a draft decree, including penal sanctions for violation, to implement the Mine Ban Treaty at the national level. It submitted its first Article 7 transparency report on 4 December 2000.

Mine Ban Policy

Burkina Faso signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 16 September 1998, becoming the 40th country to do so, and therefore triggering the treaty’s entry into force on 1 March 1999; the same day Burkina Faso became a State Party.

On 10 January 2001, the Cabinet officially stated that, “Burkina Faso...plans to resolutely commit itself in the fight for a mine ban.”[1] On 4 April 2001, during a weekly Cabinet meeting, the Minister of Security announced the adoption of a draft decree on the total ban of antipersonnel mines on the territory.[2] Proposed sanctions for violation are a one- to five-year term of imprisonment and/or a fine from CFA300,000-1,500,000 (US$410-$2,050).[3] The draft explicitly states that antivehicle mines equipped with antihandling devices are not covered by the prohibition.[4] The Minister of Defense and Minister of Justice and the Promotion of Human Rights will be responsible for the implementation of the decree.[5]

Under Article 7 of the Mine Ban Treaty, Burkina Faso was to submit transparency reports on 28 August 1999, 30 April 2000 and 30 April 2001. However, it has submitted only one Article 7 report, on 4 December 2000 for calendar year 2000. The report submitted is a nil one, apart from Form A, which provides information about the law authorizing ratification of the Mine Ban Treaty.[6] The next transparency report was reportedly ready for submission to the UN, but is now being reviewed with a view to adding the adoption of the decree.[7]

Despite its own delays in submitting the Article 7 reports, during the Bamako Seminar on Universalization and Implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty in Africa, held in Mali on 15-16 February 2001, Burkina Faso chaired a workshop with Belgium on “writing the national report” and offered to be a focal point on the issue for other interested countries.[8]

Burkina Faso attended the Second Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in September 2000, and the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in December 2000 and May 2001. It voted in favor of UN General Assembly Resolution 55/33v in November 2000, which calls for universalization and full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty.

Burkina Faso is not a State Party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW). It participated as an observer to the first Annual Conference of States Parties to CCW Amended Protocol II in December 1999, but did not attend the second meeting in December 2000.

Production, Transfer, Use, and Stockpiling

Burkina Faso has not produced or exported antipersonnel mines. The military and governmental authorities have reaffirmed that the country has never used antipersonnel mines.[9]

Landmine Monitor reported last year that Burkina Faso appears to possess only a small number of inert antipersonnel mines for military instruction purposes.[10] No further details on the nature or quantity of this stockpile have been obtained and the Article 7 report makes no reference to them. The draft decree specifically allows the retention or transfer of up to 500 antipersonnel mines for military training purposes.[11]

Soldiers in the Burkina Faso armed forces reportedly get basic training on antipersonnel mines. In addition, “a few dozen” sappers have acquired relevant skills and expertise through more extensive training.[12]

Mine Action

Burkina Faso is not mine-affected. It is not involved in conducting mine clearance or mine awareness programs and has not made any financial contribution to mine action programs.

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[1] Compte rendu du Conseil des Ministres du mercredi 10 January 2001 [Report of the Cabinet Meeting of 10 January 2001], Sidwaya No. 4179, 11 January 2001, p. 2.
[2] “Compte rendu du Conseil des Ministres du mercredi 4 Avril 2001” [Report of the Cabinet Meeting of 4 April 2001], Sidwaya No. 4236, 5 April 2001 p. 2.
[3] <www.oanda com>, exchange rate at 4 April 2001.
[4] Decree No. 2001 - /PRES/PM/SECU, Titre I, Article 2.
[5] Decree No. 2001 - /PRES/PM/SECU, Titre III, Article 10.
[6] Article 7 report, submitted 4 December 2000 for calendar year 2000.
[7] Interview with a civil servant at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ouagadougou, 24 April 2001.
[8] Bamako seminar, Conclusions opérationnelles présentées par le Mali, 2.3.7. Rédaction des rapports nationaux, Bamako, Mali, 16 February 2001.
[9] Interview with Maxime Yabre, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Lt-Col Harouna Ouedraogo, Chief of Cabinet, Ministry of Defense, Ouagadougou, 9 January 2001.
[10] Landmine Monitor Report 2000, p. 45.
[11] Decree No. 2001 - /PRES/PM/SECU, Titre I, Article 3.
[12] Interview with Lt-Col Harouna Ouedraogo, Ministry of Defense, Ouagadougou, 30 March 2001.