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Country Reports
MADAGASCAR, Landmine Monitor Report 2001
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Madagascar signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified on 16 September 1999. The treaty entered into force for Madagascar on 1 March 2000. Madagascar submitted its first Article 7 transparency report on 20 June 2001. It had been due on 28 August 2000. The Article 7 report indicates that because Madagascar does not possess any antipersonnel landmines, no national implementing measures have been taken. It notes that a directive has been issued to the Armed Forces so that they are aware of and understand the requirements of the Mine Ban Treaty.[1] The Article 7 report makes no mention of mines retained for training, although Landmine Monitor was told by a military official that a small number are being kept. (See below).

Madagascar sent its Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador, S.E. M. Maime Zafera, to the Second Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in September 2000. Madagascar has not participated in any meetings of the intersessional Standing Committees of the Mine Ban Treaty. However, it did attend the Bamako Seminar on the Universalization and Implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty in Africa, held on 15-16 February 2001 in Mali. In November 2000, Madagascar voted in favor of the UN General Assembly resolution supporting the Mine Ban Treaty.

Madagascar is not a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), but attended as an observer the Second Annual Conference of the States Parties to Amended Protocol II to the CCW in Geneva in December 2000.

Madagascar is not known to have produced or exported antipersonnel mines. In 1999, the Minister of the Armed Forces confirmed to the UN that it had not imported any landmines since 1970.[2] According to General Brigadier Rene Bournas, Director of the War Victims and Veterans Office (ONMAC), Madagascar Defence Force, Madagascar has no stock and only a small amount of mines are being retained for training or research purposes.[3] The number and types of retained mines remains unknown, except that these mines are of French origin and are “leftovers” from the time when the French military trained the Madagascar Defence Force.[4] The 20 June 2001 Article 7 report made no mention of mines retained for training. There have been no confirmed instances of use of antipersonnel mines in Madagascar.[5]

Although Madagascar is not considered mine-affected, it has indicated its willingness to participate in mine action activities in other countries if requested to do so, for example, in observing stockpile destruction processes.[6]

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[1] Article 7 report, submitted 20 June 2001. A copy of the one-page directive is attached to the report. The report itself consists of four sentences and does not follow the standard reporting format.
[2] Telephone interview with Mme Elena Rajaonarivelo, Madagascar Mission to the UN, New York, 31 March 1999.
[3] Interview with General Brigadier Rene Bournas, Director of the War Victims and Veterans Office (ONMAC), Madagascar Defence Force, Bamako, Mali, 16 February 2001.
[4] Ibid. It is possible that these mines are of the MI AP ED FI Claymore type or fixed types M61 and M63 from Alsetex. Belkacem Elomari and Bruno Barrillot, “The Elimination of Anti-Personnel Mines: Principles for Control and Verification: The Case of France,” (Lyon: Observatoire des transferts d'armements, 1998).
[5] As previously reported by Landmine Monitor, according to the US Department of State, the only use of landmines in Madagascar was in 1991 when they were used as a deterrent to opposition marches in the immediate vicinity of the Presidential Palace. However, according to General Brigadier Bournas, these were in fact not landmines but hand grenades attached to tripwires. Interview with General Brigadier Bournas, Madagascar Defence Force, 16 February 2001.
[6] Interview with General Brigadier Bournas, Madagascar Defence Force, 16 February 2001.