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Country Reports
AFRICA, Landmine Monitor Report 2003

Sub-Saharan Africa Map
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States Parties
Burkina Faso
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Congo (Brazzaville)
Democratic Republic of Congo
Côte D’ivoire
Equatorial Guinea
São Tomé E Principe
Sierra Leone
South Africa






Mine Ban Policy

Every one of the 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa is a State Party or signatory to the Mine Ban Treaty, except Somalia, which does not have a functioning government. During the reporting period, Africa accounted for five of the nine countries that became States Parties. Three African nations ratified: Cameroon (19 September 2002), The Gambia (23 September 2002) and São Tomé e Principe (31 March 2003). Two acceded: Comoros (19 September 2002) and Central African Republic (8 November 2002).

Burundi, Ethiopia and Sudan have signed, but not yet ratified the treaty. In Burundi, a draft law for ratification of the Mine Ban Treaty was adopted by the Council of Ministers on 25 March 2003 and then by the Senate on 18 June 2003. The Council of Ministers of Sudan officially endorsed the Mine Ban Treaty in May 2003 and transmitted it to the Parliament for ratification. Ethiopian officials reaffirmed their support for the Mine Ban Treaty, but no steps toward ratification were undertaken. Somalia has remained without a central government since 1991, but on 12 November 2002, representatives of 16 Somali factions meeting in Eldoret, Kenya, signed the Geneva Call’s Deed of Commitment banning antipersonnel mines.

No country completed domestic legislation to implement the Mine Ban Treaty. Eleven African States Parties have indicated that implementation legislation is in the process of being enacted, including three which initiated the process in this reporting period (Benin, Republic of Congo, and Togo). Others include Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, and Zambia. The South African Parliament passed implementation legislation in April 2003. Only four African States have domestic legislation in place: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritius and Zimbabwe. Senegal and Tanzania have joined Lesotho, Namibia, and Rwanda as countries that deem existing law as sufficient.

Compliance with the Mine Ban Treaty’s transparency reporting requirement continued to improve. During the reporting period, 12 of the 21 States Parties that submitted initial Article 7 reports were from Africa: Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, Niger, Seychelles, Tanzania, and Togo. At the same time, 10 of the 15 States Parties that still had not submitted an initial Article 7 reports were from Africa: Angola, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. The report was due as long ago as 1999 for Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, and Namibia.

No African country voted against or abstained from voting on UN General Assembly Resolution 57/74 on 22 November 2002, supporting implementation and universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty.

Delegations from 32 African governments attended the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva, in September 2002, including non-States Parties Burundi, Ethiopia, The Gambia (which ratified later in September), Sudan and Central African Republic (which acceded in November). Fourteen African States Parties did not attend. At the Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Kenya became co-chair of the Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies.

Representatives of 35 African governments attended at least one of the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva in February and May 2003, including signatories Burundi, Ethiopia and Sudan. Twenty-seven of the governments attended both meetings.

In November 2002, seven African governments (Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, DR Congo, Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania) participated in a Seminar on Implementation of Article 7 of the Ottawa Treaty, organized by Belgium, President of the Fourth Meeting of States Parties, and held in Brussels. In December 2002, an Ethiopian NGO, RaDO, hosted the ICBL/Landmine Monitor’s annual Africa-wide researchers’ meeting in Addis Ababa.

Pending formal approval in September 2003, Kenya will host the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty at UN facilities in Nairobi from 29 November to 3 December 2004.


In this reporting period, Landmine Monitor has found no concrete evidence of use of antipersonnel mines by any African State Party, but there were ever-more compelling reports of use of antipersonnel mines by government forces in Burundi, a treaty signatory, as well as by rebels. In Sudan, another treaty signatory, there were numerous reports of use of antipersonnel mines by government and rebel forces. Officials in Burundi and Sudan deny any use of antipersonnel mines. Several rebel groups used antipersonnel mines in DR Congo, as did various factions in Somalia.

Production and Transfer

No country in sub-Saharan Africa is known to produce antipersonnel mines. Past and present use of antipersonnel mines in the region raises concerns about illicit cross-border transfers of mines, but Landmine Monitor has not been able to document specific cases.

Stockpiling and Destruction

Four African States Parties completed destruction of their antipersonnel mine stockpiles in this reporting period: Chad, Djibouti, Mozambique and Uganda. This brings the total of African countries to have done so to ten. Gabon revealed for the first time that it had previously destroyed its stockpile, thus joining Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Chad completed destruction of its 4,490 stockpiled antipersonnel landmines in January 2003. Djibouti destroyed its stockpile of 1,118 antipersonnel mines on 2 March 2003. Mozambique completed destruction of its stockpile of 37,318 antipersonnel mines on 28 February 2003. Uganda completed destruction of its stockpile of antipersonnel mines in July 2003.

Three African States Parties initiated their stockpile destruction during the reporting period: DR Congo, Guinea-Bissau, and Tanzania. In the DR Congo, the NGO Handicap International Belgium reported destroying 1,660 antipersonnel mines from rebel stockpiles in 2002 and 2003. Guinea-Bissau destroyed 1,000 mines in September 2002. Tanzania destroyed its first 9,837 antipersonnel mines in March 2003.

Two African States Parties--the Republic of Congo and Kenya--have not begun the destruction process, but each has developed a plan to destroy their stockpiles in advance of the treaty-mandated deadline.

Ten States Parties have not officially declared the presence or absence of antipersonnel mine stockpiles because of their failure to submit transparency measures reports on time: Angola, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. The stockpile destruction deadline for Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, and Namibia was 1 March 2003.

Eighteen States Parties in Africa have declared that they have no stockpile of antipersonnel mines, except, in some instances, those retained for training purposes: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Comoros, The Gambia, Ghana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Swaziland, Togo, and Zambia.

Of the three signatories, Burundi has stated it has a stockpile of only 1,200 antipersonnel mines, solely for training purposes, but allegations of ongoing use by the Burundi Army cast doubts on that claim. For Ethiopia, stockpile details are unknown. Sudan’s assertions that it has no stockpile conflicts with allegations of recent and past use of antipersonnel mines. In Somalia, which remains outside of the Mine Ban Treaty, militias and private individuals are believed to possess large stocks of landmines.

Nineteen African States Parties have exercised, or intend to exercise, the option, under Article 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty, to retain antipersonnel mines for training and development purposes: Botswana (“few”), Burkina Faso (“very few”), Cameroon (500), Central African Republic (“very limited quantity”), Djibouti (2,996), Kenya (3,000), Mali (2,000), Mauritania (843), Mauritius (93), Mozambique (1,427), Namibia (unknown number), Republic of Congo (372), Rwanda (101), South Africa (4,400) Tanzania (1,147), Togo (436), Uganda (1,764), Zambia (6,691), and Zimbabwe (700).

Several are retaining their entire stockpile of antipersonnel mines for research and training purposes: Togo (436), Mauritius (93 mines), and Botswana (unknown number). Zambia originally proposed retaining its entire stockpile of 6,691 antipersonnel mines under Article 3, but it has reconsidered its position and announced that this total will be reduced.

During this reporting period, two African States Parties heeded the ICBL’s call to reduce their retained stockpile number: Mauritania decided to reduce from 5,728 to 843 and Uganda reportedly decided to reduce from 2,400 to 1,764.

Mine Action Funding

The primary donors to mine action programs in sub-Saharan Africa during the reporting period were Canada, Denmark, the European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.

According to the information available to Landmine Monitor, the largest cumulative mine action funding recipients in Africa are Mozambique ($177 million), Angola ($92 million), and Eritrea ($25 million).

In 2002, donors provided $21.2 million in mine action funding for Angola, $16.9 million for Mozambique, and $11.1 million for Eritrea, ranking them the fourth, sixth, and eighth biggest recipients globally for the year.

Mine action funding was also provided for Somaliland ($5.6 million), Sudan ($5.1 million, Ethiopia ($4.9 million), DR Congo ($1.5 million), and Chad ($1.3 million), as well as smaller amounts for Benin, Burundi, Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, Uganda, and Zambia. Total funding for sub-Saharan Africa in the reporting period amounted to about $70 million.

Landmine Problem

There are 23 mine-affected countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including all four non-States Parties: Angola, Burundi, Chad, DR Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, plus Somaliland. Republic of Congo and Kenya are no longer listed as mine-affected by Landmine Monitor.

Six African States Parties are among the group of 14 mine-affected States Parties facing the March 2009 deadline for clearance of all mined areas, as required by Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty: Djibouti, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal and Zimbabwe.

Djibouti should be “mine-safe” by the end of 2003, according to the US State Department. Malawi acknowledged suspected mined areas along the border with Mozambique in its initial Article 7 report submitted February 2003 and is seeking funds for survey and demining activities. According to Mozambique’s national mine action plan adopted in 2001, the objective is to create a “mine-impact free” country within ten years. Recent fighting in the north has left Namibia with a mine problem. In Zimbabwe, a National Authority on Mine Action was established in 2002 to formulate a national mine action plan.

Recent fighting has left Namibia with a mine problem, but its long-term mine action plan is unknown. In Senegal, the director of the military engineers stated that a systematic humanitarian mine clearance program remains impossible as long as there is no peace agreement with rebel forces in Casamance. A mine clearance plan has been developed, which would be carried out in three phases over a five-year period.

Landmine Impact Surveys (LIS) were completed in Chad and Mozambique in 2001. LIS are scheduled for completion in Ethiopia and Somaliland in 2003 and in Eritrea in 2004. A LIS got underway Angola in this reporting period. The DR Congo, Somalia (Puntland), and Sudan are under consideration for LIS.

Landmine Monitor recorded other general surveys and assessments of the mine problem in Angola, Chad, DR Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sudan, and Uganda in 2002 and early 2003.

In 2002, the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA), which assists mine action programs with data collection and mapping of information, was installed in DR Congo, Sudan, and Zambia. Others that have the system include Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Somaliland.

Mine Clearance

Humanitarian mine clearance by international, national, and non-governmental actors was underway in at least eleven countries of the region in 2002 and 2003. This includes nine States Parties (Angola, Chad, Djibouti, DR Congo, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Mozambique, and Rwanda) and two signatories (Ethiopia and Sudan). There are also humanitarian mine clearance programs in Somaliland.

  • In Angola, mine action NGOs reported the clearance of more than 2.6 million square meters in 2002 and the first quarter of 2003.
  • In Chad, the NGO HELP reported that it cleared a total surface area of 1,935,000 square meters in 2002, destroying 2,970 mines and 6,904 UXO.
  • A unit of the army of Djibouti, together with US commercial contractor RONCO, cleared 4,986 square meters of land in 2002.
  • In DR Congo, between June 2001 and April 2003, Handicap International Belgium cleared 25,756 square meters of land in and around Kisangani. In May 2003, it was forced to stop demining activities due to a lack of funds. Limited mine clearance has been also been conducted by militaries and the UN.
  • In Eritrea, DDG cleared a total of 154,000 square meters of land from January until the July 2002 proclamation expelling most mine action NGOs. DCA cleared 250,500 square meters of mine-affected land between 1 June 2001 and July 2002. HALO was asked to leave the country in June 2003, after having been permitted to continue their operations after July 2002.
  • Ethiopia’s first humanitarian NGO, Ethiopian Mine Action Office (EMAO), began demining operations in mid-2002 and by January 2003, it had cleared 396,555 square meters of land.
  • In Guinea-Bissau, the mine action coordination center CAAMI reported in June 2003 that 390,000 square meters of land had been cleared since 2000. A second domestic mine clearance NGO, LUTCAM, started field operations in February 2003. According to the UN Development Program (UNDP), the demining NGO HUMAID cleared 333,240 square meters of land between November 2000 and February 2003.
  • In Mauritania, a total of 5,294 mines and 5,098 UXO were cleared and destroyed between April 2000 and April 2003 by the government’s National Humanitarian Demining Office.
  • In Mozambique, the National Institute for Demining (IND) reports that 8.9 million square meters of land was cleared in 2002, a slight increase from 8.7 million square meters cleared in 2001. Conflicting numbers were reported by various demining NGOs, however.
  • In Rwanda, deminers from the National Demining Office, under the Ministry of Defense, cleared a total of 1,220 mines and 27,791 UXO from 1995 to 2002.
  • In Sudan, mine clearance activities expanded in 2002. Those active included DCA and Landmine Action, local NGOs Operation Save Innocent Lives (OSIL) and Sudan Integrated Mine Action Service (SIMAS), and, for a limited period, the US’s Quick Reaction Demining Force (QRDF).
  • In Somaliland, three NGOs (DDG, HALO, and the Santa Barbara Foundation) carried out demining activities in 2002, clearing 1.5 million square meters of mined land, and 20 million square meters of battle area.

In addition, limited mine clearance was underway in at least five African countries in 2002 and 2003, including four States Parties (Namibia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) and one signatory (Burundi). The Namibia Development Corporation funded the clearance in 2002 of dozens of 30-hectare plots in the West Caprivi region. Zambian Army deminers, in consultation with RONCO, began clearance operations in May 2002 clearing roads along Lake Kariba to open up the area for a US$50 million World Bank development project. In Zimbabwe, 85 kilometers of the Victoria Falls minefield were cleared, destroying 16,000 mines. Limited military mine clearance for tactical purposes took place in Burundi and Uganda.

No mine clearance of any type was noted in 2002 in seven mine-affected countries, including six States Parties (Liberia, Malawi, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Swaziland) and Somalia. Malawi and Niger are planning to conduct humanitarian mine clearance, but no information is available in the other countries.

Mine Action Coordination and Planning

Landmine Monitor noted some form of coordination and planning body in place in 13 of Africa’s 23 mine-affected countries (Angola, Chad, Djibouti, DR Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sudan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe), as well as Somaliland.

In July 2002, the Eritrean government announced the establishment of the Eritrean Demining Authority to manage and coordinate mine action in Eritrea. The previous government coordinating bodies were disbanded, the national mine action NGO closed, and most international mine action NGOs were expelled from the country. In Somalia, the UN abandoned efforts to set up mine action offices due to insecurity there. During 2002, Somaliland mine action agencies underwent reorganization, and UN and other international agencies expressed concern regarding possible negative consequences of a lack of a clear coordination mechanism there.

In September 2002, a memorandum of understanding was agreed to by the government of Sudan, the SPLA and UNMAS regarding UN mine action support to Sudan. UNMAS set up a Mine Action Center in Khartoum in September and established a southern Mine Action Coordination Office in February 2003. In Zimbabwe, a National Authority on Mine Action was established in early 2002, in addition to the Zimbabwe Mine Action Center.

During this reporting period, Landmine Monitor noted the existence of a national mine action plan in just six of Africa’s 23 mine-affected countries (Chad, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Senegal, Sudan, and Zimbabwe). A number of countries were in the process of drafting and approving plans.

In Angola, joint UN/NGO/government assessment teams conducted the first phase of a Rapid Assessment of Critical Needs process, in which teams visited 28 locations where internally displaced persons (IDPs) had returned to previously inaccessible areas. They found that 26 of the 28 locations were seriously mine-affected. In Chad, a National Strategic Plan for the period 2002-2015 was developed in 2002, using the results of the Landmine Impact Survey completed in 2001. It forms part of the country’s National Strategy to Reduce Poverty: 2001-2015. In 2003, the DR Congo submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report identifying 165 mined or suspected mined areas in 11 provinces. In Mozambique, a Five-Year National Mine Action Plan was developed for the period 2002-2006, using the findings of the Landmine Impact Survey completed in August 2001. Mozambique reports that mine action is integrated into the government’s Absolute Poverty Reduction Plan.

During the February and May 2003 meetings of the Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Related Technologies, mine-affected States Parties provided updates on their developments, activities and needs in mine action, including eight from Africa (Chad, DR Congo, Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, and Zambia).

Mine Risk Education

MRE programs were conducted in 10 countries (Angola, DR Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal, Sudan, and Uganda) and Somaliland. Basic or minimal MRE activities took place in seven countries (Burundi, Chad, Djibouti, Malawi, Mauritania, Zambia and Zimbabwe). No MRE activities were recorded in six mine-affected countries (Liberia, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and Swaziland). A pressing need for MRE, or increased MRE, was apparent in Angola, Burundi, Chad, Mozambique, and Somalia.

In Angola, a comprehensive report assessing MRE activities was produced in 2002, and MRE programs expanded during the year. The July 2002 proclamation disbanding mine action NGOs in Eritrea negatively impacted MRE programs there. In Mauritania, UNICEF plans MRE programs for 2003 to 2005, pending funding. Lack of funds caused all MRE programs in Rwanda to cease in 2002, and hampered MRE activities in Zimbabwe. Meanwhile, a new school-teacher MRE training program was undertaken in 2002 as part of Senegal’s large MRE program.

Mine Casualties

In 2002 and 2003, new landmine casualties were reported in 20 of the 24 mine-affected countries in the sub-Saharan Africa region: Angola, Burundi, Chad, DR Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. New mine casualties were also reported in Somaliland. The Republic of Congo and Nigeria reported new UXO-related casualties in 2002. It is possible that mine incidents occurred in the other mine-affected countries in the region, but there was a lack of tangible evidence to indicate new casualties.

New mine/UXO casualties were reported in: Angola, with 287 casualties recorded (the real total is thought to be much higher); Burundi, with 114 new casualties; Chad, where one military hospital registered 200 mine casualties; DR Congo, where at least 32 casualties were reported; Eritrea, with 78 casualties reported in the Temporary Security Zone; Ethiopia, with 67 new casualties; Guinea-Bissau, with at least 33 casualties; Mozambique, with at least 47 new casualties; Senegal, where 56 casualties were reported; Somalia, with at least 53 casualties; and Sudan, with at least 68 new casualties.

In 2002-2003, mine/UXO casualties also included nationals from African countries killed or injured while abroad engaged in military or demining operations, peacekeeping, or other activities: Burundi, The Gambia, Mozambique, Namibia, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

Survivor Assistance

In many of the mine-affected countries in the region, medical facilities and rehabilitation services are in poor condition, mostly due to a lack of financial resources, and a lack of equipment, medicine, and skilled personnel. Armed conflict, whether ongoing or in the past, has also taken a heavy toll on the health infrastructure in several countries. Consequently, in many instances the assistance available to landmine survivors is inadequate.

In Angola, less than 30 percent of the population has access to health care, and few facilities are available for mine survivors and other persons with disabilities; however, the Ministry of Health is developing a national policy for physical rehabilitation. In DR Congo, a social fund for mine survivors was created at the level of the Presidency. In Eritrea, the UNDP Capacity Building Program in Victim Assistance is working with the government to build national capacity to provide adequate assistance to mine survivors. In Ethiopia, a physiotherapy unit and gait-training area is being developed to expand and improve the quality of services available at the Dessie orthopedic center. In Guinea-Bissau, CAAMI organized its first meeting to elaborate a national plan of action to support mine survivors.

In Mozambique, the IND’s Five Year National Mine Action Plan (2002-2006) affirms its coordinating role in mine victim assistance. In Namibia, the ICRC-upgraded Rundu prosthetic/orthotic workshop began production. In Rwanda, a national plan for the rehabilitation of persons with a physical disability was drafted. In Somalia, a Minister of Disabled and Rehabilitation was named in the new cabinet of the Transitional National Government. In Somaliland, the recent Landmine Impact Survey found that of 184 recent mine survivors most had received emergency medical care but very few had received rehabilitation. In Sudan, the National Mine Action Office has recruited a Victim Assistance Officer to assist in capacity building and develop a plan of action for victim assistance. In Zimbabwe, a Victims Assistance, Rehabilitation, Reintegration, and Resettlement Office was established as part of the Zimbabwe Mine Action Center.

In the Africa region, the voluntary Form J reporting attachment to the Article 7 report was submitted by Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe to report on victim assistance and other mine action activities. The DR Congo and Rwanda used Form J to report on other issues.