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Germany, Landmine Monitor Report 2003

Germany - German: "Quo vadis? - Deutsche Landminenpolitik am Scheideweg"
(external link to PDF file).
This is an independent, adapted translation by the German Initiative to Ban Landmines and does not neccessarily reflect the view of the ICBL.


Key developments since May 2002: Government funding for humanitarian mine action in 2002 amounted to €20.4 million, an increase of nearly 50 percent from 2001. The German Parliament passed a resolution in June 2002 urging the government to work nationally and internationally toward a ban of all antivehicle mines equipped with sensitive fuzes. In June 2003, Germany expressed its view that antivehicle mines with breakwire, tripwire and tilt rod fuzes “seem unable to be designed in such a way that an individual cannot initiate the mine and are therefore not a recommended method of detonation.”

Mine Ban Policy

The Federal Republic of Germany signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 23 July 1998, becoming a State Party on 1 March 1999. National implementation legislation was previously enacted on 9 July 1998.

Germany announced at the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in September 2002 that the Parliament had passed a resolution without opposition in June that called on “the United States of America, Russia, China, India and Pakistan, both Korean states and others...to join forces with the majority and ban antipersonnel mines.”[1] The resolution calls upon the government to continue to support actively the universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty and to encourage States to meet their obligations under the treaty.[2] Similarly, Germany’s December 2002 report to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe described the treaty as “the comprehensive legal instrument on the subject of antipersonnel mines; it should gain universal acceptance.”[3]

In November 2002, Germany voted in favor of UN General Assembly Resolution 57/74, which calls for universalization and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty.

Germany served as the co-chair of the Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education, and Related Technologies from September 2001 to September 2002. Germany participated extensively in the Standing Committee meetings in February and May 2003 and participated in the Universalization, Article 7 and Resource Mobilization Contact Groups, as well as the President’s Consultations on the 2004 Review Conference. Germany was one of five countries that offered to host the 2004 Review Conference.

At the meetings in February 2003, Germany announced that it had taken over the chair of the Mine Action Support Group (MASG) in New York for 2003. The MASG forum brings together major donors, as well as UN agencies and others working in mine action. The delegation stressed that “resource mobilization for mine action is one major purpose of these meetings of donor countries to which the German chairmanship will also be fully devoted.”[4]

Germany submitted its annual Article 7 transparency report for 2002 on 10 April 2003. This included voluntary Form J, giving details of mine action funding.

In June 2002, the German Parliament passed Resolution 14/9438. It was approved by the government parties (SPD and the Green Party) and the socialist opposition party PDS (Party of Democratic Socialism), with the abstention of the CDU and FDP.

The resolution urges the government to work at the national and international level toward a ban of all antivehicle mines equipped with sensitive fuzing systems. Specifically, the resolution requests the government to:

  • Encourage Ottawa Convention States Parties to reach a common understanding by the 2004 Review Conference that all mines equipped with fuzes that are also designed to be detonated by a person are antipersonnel mines and are covered by the treaty;
  • work toward a ban within the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) on all antivehicle mines with sensitive fuzes which can be unintentionally detonated by a person;
  • work toward a ban within the CCW on all antivehicle mines which are not detectable or which are not equipped with self-destruct/self-neutralization features;
  • remove step-by-step all antivehicle mines from German stockpiles which can pose a threat to civilians;
  • strengthen financial support of mine action programs nationally and through international organizations.[5]

The government parties also promised within their coalition agreement of 2002 to support a worldwide ban on all landmines posing a threat to civilians.[6]

Germany is a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and Amended Protocol II. It submitted the annual report required by Article 13 of the Protocol on 15 October 2002. This included details of financial and other assistance given to mine action programs in various countries to the end of 2001. Germany attended the Fourth Annual Conference of States Parties to Amended Protocol II in December 2002.

During discussions in the CCW Group of Governmental Experts during 2002 and 2003, Germany proposed agreement on technical parameters or limits to deal with the problem of sensitive fuzes on antivehicle mines. It presented an “open matrix,” inviting States Parties to provide information on existing fuzes and to identify best practices in order to minimize the risk of accidental or inadvertent actuation; this information was presented to the Group as a working paper.[7]

Foreign stockpiles and transit of antipersonnel mines

The United States is known to stockpile antipersonnel mines in Germany.[8] Germany has stated for several years that it does not consider foreign forces, or their weapons, stationed under the 1954 Convention to be under German jurisdiction or control; thus those forces and their weapons are not subject to the Mine Ban Treaty and that Germany will not report on the weaponry or equipment of such forces. More generally, however, Germany has taken the view that transit of antipersonnel mines is prohibited.[9]

Production and Transfer

Previous production and acquisition of antipersonnel mines, including from the armed forces of the former East Germany, has been reported in the Landmine Monitor, as has previous export of mines. Before entry into force of the Mine Ban Treaty, an export moratorium was enacted in 1994 and a complete ban on antipersonnel mines was enacted in 1996.[10]

The German Initiative to Ban Landmines (GIBL) has drawn attention to the production of delivery systems that can be used with antivehicle mines and submunitions which may have antipersonnel mine-like effects. Euro Rocket System GmbH (a joint company of Diehl Munitions and Lockheed Martin Corporation) supplies the MLRS and Guided MLRS which can be used with AT-2 antivehicle mines, equipped with antihandling devices, or submunitions like SMart 155 or M77/M85.[11]

The EADS-Lenkflugkörpersysteme GmbH (EADS-LFK) offers the Autonomous Freeflight Dispenser System, which can be used to deploy mines like the MIFF and MUSPA,[12] which some States classify as antipersonnel mines.[13]

Stockpiling and Destruction

Germany completed destruction of its stockpile of some 1.7 million antipersonnel mines in December 1997.

During 2002, two companies received quantities of antipersonnel mines for destruction from foreign sources. Spreewerk Lubben destroyed 42,175 antipersonnel mines from Taiwan, including 17,986 M2, 12,145 M3, 58 M12/M12A1, and 11,986 M14 mines. EBV destroyed 5,984 BLU 92 Gator mines, which had been transferred from the Netherlands.[14]

Germany’s April 2003 Article 7 report recorded a total of 2,555 antipersonnel mines retained under Article 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty. Of this total, 2,501 mines are held by the Armed Forces at three locations. Fifty-four mines are held by two companies for research and testing, including testing of the Rhino mine clearance machine. At the end of 2001, 2,574 antipersonnel mines were held, indicating consumption in 2002 of 19 mines. The purposes for which these mines were used are not reported.[15]

Antivehicle mines with sensitive fuzes and antihandling devices

The ICBL and many States Parties have since the inception of the Mine Ban Treaty maintained that an antivehicle mine with an antihandling device that explodes from the unintentional act of a person is prohibited by the treaty. Germany is one of five States Parties that have publicly disagreed with this legal interpretation.

Information provided to GIBL by the German Federal Ministry of Defense in June 2003 indicated that Germany has more than 900,000 AT-2 antivehicle mines equipped with an antihandling device. Other sources indicate that Germany has as many as 1.5 million antivehicle mines with antihandling devices, including more than 1.2 million AT-2, 125,000 DM 31 and 125,000 MIFF mines.[16]

At the Fourth Meeting of States Parties, the German delegation drew a distinction between antivehicle mines with antihandling devices, and antivehicle mines with sensitive fuzes, stating the former are permitted, while the latter is prohibited: “A mine fitted with a fuze—not the antihandling device—of which the construction on purpose is designed to include the actuation also by a person, should be considered an antipersonnel mine and banned under the Convention, regardless of an attached label possibly calling it an anti-vehicle mine ...” Germany called on States Parties to “reach a common understanding to this end.”[17]

However, the Parliamentary resolution adopted in June 2002 affirms that all mines equipped with fuzes which are also designed to be detonated by a person must be regarded as antipersonnel mines and are covered by the treaty. It does not explicitly exclude antihandling devices.[18]

As noted above, Germany has taken the lead in the CCW in trying to address the issue of antivehicle mines with sensitive fuzes. This effort does not include antivehicle mines with antihandling devices. In a paper distributed in June 2003, Germany stated, “Our first thoughts are that three fuses seem unable to be designed in such a way that an individual cannot initiate the mine and are therefore not a recommended method of detonation.” The three were identified as break wire, trip wire and tilt rod fuzes.[19]

In May 2003, Germany opposed a proposal of the International Committee of the Red Cross to do expert work on antivehicle mines with sensitive fuzes within the Mine Ban Treaty context. Germany’s view is that antivehicle mines do not fall under the Mine Ban Treaty and should only be discussed in the framework of CCW.[20]

Mine Action Funding

In 2002, Germany’s funding for mine action projects, not including research and development funding, increased nearly 50 percent, with the largest portion going to Afghanistan. German policy, with some exceptions, is to direct support primarily to countries that have ratified the Mine Ban Treaty.[21]

Government funding for humanitarian mine action in 2002 amounted to €20,430,402 (US$19.4 million), up from €13.7 million in 2001.[22] The German Ministry for Foreign Affairs supported mine action programs in 20 countries in 2002 with €19,192,227 ($18.2 million), including €373,434 ($354,762) allocated to multilateral programs. Afghanistan received €6,444,530 ($6.1 million).[23] The Ministry for Development contributed €1,238,175 ($1.18 million) for victim assistance programs in Angola and Vietnam.[24]

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has budgeted a total of €19 million ($18 million) for mine action in 2003, including €5 million earmarked for mine action in Iraq. Expenditure of the funds for Iraq will be dependent on the cooperation of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.[25]

In 2002 Germany dispersed mine action funding in countries as follows:

  • Afghanistan – €6,444,530 ($6,122,304), comprising €2,520,915 toward the Mine-detection Dog Center, through such agencies as UNOCHA and UNMAS, and IHS; €1,181,208 to Novib for OMAR demining costs, and for mine awareness programs; €1,455,860 to UNMAS, in cooperation with MCPA and UNMACA, for survey costs, and mine dog groups and EOD teams; €247,166 of in-kind donations to UNMACA; €481,926 to Handicap International (HI) for mine awareness programs; €226,000 to UNDP for the Comprehensive Disabled Afghans’ Program; €195,240 to HELP, with UNMACA and OMAR, for technical advisor costs; and €136,215 to HALO Trust for mine detection equipment.
  • Albania – €300,000 ($285,000) to HELP/Swiss Federation for mine clearance along Kosovo border.
  • Angola – €2,490,144 ($2,365,637), comprising €861,175 to GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit, German Agency for Technical Cooperation) for a physical therapy/rehabilitation center; €485,000 to Survey Action Center for Landmine Impact Survey; €305,148 to Menschen gegen Minen for mine clearance in Kunene Province; €291,746 to Medico International for clearance in Moxico Province; €201,177 to HI for mine risk education in Bengo and Cuando Cubango Provinces; €200,668 to Stiftung Sankt Barbara for clearance in Kuvango; and €145,230 to Dt. Welthungerhilfe for EOD teams.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina – €1,692,937 ($1,608,290), comprising €499,892 to FFG, €496,871 to DEMIRA, €487,113 to Kölnische Franziskaner, €133,242 to HELP, and €73,309 to ZOM Bihac for mine clearance projects; and €3,510 to GICHD for project evaluation.
  • Cambodia - €1,018,489 ($967,565), comprising €918,489 to CMAA-CMAC for mine clearance, and €100,000 to HIB for a victim information system.
  • Chad - €322,272 ($306,158) to HELP for clearance.
  • Croatia - €800,000 ($760,000) to Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund for clearance.
  • Eritrea - €99,989 ($94,990) to UNMEE-MAC for mine detector upgrades.
  • Ethiopia - €200,000 ($190,000) to UNDP for a CTA advisor team.
  • Georgia - €160,040 ($152,038) to HALO Trust for two mine clearance teams.
  • Laos - €745,212 ($707,951) to Potsdam Kommunikation for UXO/mine clearance.
  • Lebanon - €27,872 ($26,478) donation of mine detectors to the Defense Ministry.
  • Mozambique - €912,007 ($866,407), comprising €863,313 to Menschen gegen Minen for mine clearance; €37,426 to ADP for protection and a medical advisor; and €11,268 to GICHD for project evaluation.
  • Russian Federation - €1,200,000 ($1,140,000), comprising €1 million to ICRC for prosthetic/orthopedic center, Grozny; and €200,000 to UNICEF for mine victim rehabilitation.
  • Somalia - €714,086 ($678,382), comprising €709,313 to Stiftung Sankt Barbara for clearance, and €4,773 to GICHD for evaluation.
  • Sudan - €502,151 ($477,043), comprising €442,151 to UNMAS for mine detection dogs and mine awareness activities, and €60,000 to UNICEF for mine risk education.
  • Thailand - €25,565 ($24,287) to HI for a victim assistance regional workshop.
  • Tunisia - €70,835 ($67,293) of mine detectors donated to the Defense Ministry.
  • Vietnam - €1,539,217 ($1,462,256), comprising €615,950 to SODI and €546,267 to Potsdam Kommunikation for mine clearance, and €377,000 to GTZ for an orthopedic center.
  • Yemen - €791,622 ($752,041), comprising €728,000 to GTZ and the German Embassy for a mine dog center, and €63,622 to UNDP for a German expert to YEMAP.
  • Also, Germany contributed €113,130 to support the ITEP Secretariat; €106,560 to GICHD for various projects; €97,903 to ICBL for the Landmine Monitor 2002 project and evaluation of the global landmine problem; €13,034 to UNMACC for a German expert in Prishtina, and €42,807 for project evaluations.

Non-governmental mine action funding

In 2002, member organizations of the German Initiative to Ban Landmines allocated €3.03 million ($2.88 million) for mine action in nine countries.[26] Mine action funding by these NGOs for each country is described below:[27]

  • Afghanistan - €1,030,620 ($979,089), including €111,760 through Medico International for clearance, mine awareness, vocational training, and rehabilitation projects; €404,857 through Christoffel Blindenmission for treatment and rehabilitation programs persons with disabilities, including mine survivors; €510,303 through Kindernothilfe for emergency aid and rehabilitation.
  • Angola - €343,767 ($326,579), constituting €291,746 through Medico International for mine clearance, mine risk education, emergency assistance, and strengthening local initiatives; as well as €52,021 through Handicap International for mine risk education in Bengo and Cuando Cubango Provinces.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina - €36,872 ($35,028) through Christoffel Blindenmission for orthopedic treatment programs.
  • Cambodia - €1,232,037 ($1,170,435), constituting €36,872 through Cristoffel Mission for the Blind for an orthopedic workshop, €47,000 through Terres des hommes for young adult education; €19,000 through Handicap International for the Cambodia Mine Victim Information System; €42,265 for disability/mine survivor assistance; €28,500 for rehabilitation with sports; €500,000 through the German National Committee for UNICEF for mine awareness, survivor assistance, rehabilitation, and information programs; €495,272 through Christoffel Blindenmission for rehabilitation; and €100,000 through Misereor for vocational training, a microcredit program, and survivor assistance.
  • El Salvador - €30,000 ($28,500) through Medico International for support of a rehabilitation center for war disabled.
  • Germany - €177,504 ($168,629), constituting €150,904 from GIBL member organization for the GIBL project office, and €26,600 for events, printing, and other costs.
  • Kosovo - €146,000 ($138,700), constituting €100,000 through Bread for the World, with Action by Churches Together, for mine risk education and clearance; and €46,000 through German Caritas for mine risk education.
  • Sri Lanka - €1,165 ($1,107) through Kindernothilfe for emergency aid, rehabilitation, and mine risk education.
  • Sudan - €25,070 ($23,817) through Oxfam for mine risk education in Malakal.
  • Turkey - €5,000 ($4,750) through Medico International for support of a mine conference.

NGO activities

The German Initiative to Ban Landmines was the source of the draft resolution adopted by Parliament in June 2002 as Resolution 14/9438. GIBL was involved throughout in a consultative process coordinated with high-ranking members of both government parties.

On 7 March 2003, the World Prayer Day of women dedicated to the people of Lebanon supported the signature collection of the GIBL for a total ban on all landmines. This was widely reported in the media.

In 2002-2003, GIBL continued to monitor international weapon exhibitions in order to verify the compliance with the Mine Ban Treaty. At the IDET weapons exhibition in Brno (Czech Republic) on 28-30 April 2003, GIBL observed the Czech arms producer Policske Strojirny had on offer a victim-activated, tripwire-fuzed “Anti-Transport Mine,” which GIBL considers to be in contravention of the Mine Ban Treaty.[28]

Landmine Problem and Casualties

In 2002, 150 tons of bombs, mines, hand grenades, explosives and other munitions from World War II were eliminated in Baden-Württemberg.[29]

Since 1991 around 8,200 tons of explosives have been disposed in Brandenburg. In 2002, 655 tons were destroyed, including 1,751 mines. Costs were estimated at €10 million in 2002. A total of 425 hectares was cleared, and a further 400,000 hectares are reported as suspected battle areas.[30]

Mine incidents continue to occur occasionally on the old east-west divide, though in 2002 and early 2003 no mine incidents were reported. However, three people were injured in 2001 as a result of unexploded ordnance in North-Rhine Westfalia.[31]

On 9 May 2002, a German and an Italian member of the NATO peacekeeping force in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia were killed when a German KFOR vehicle carrying a mine clearance team hit an antivehicle mine near the northwestern village of Lesnica, close to the border with Kosovo.[32] On 29 May 2003, one German ISAF peacekeeper was killed and another injured when their military personal carrier hit an antivehicle mine near Kabul.[33]

[1] Statement by the Permanent Representative of Germany to the Conference on Disarmament, Ambassador Volker Heinsberg, Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 16-20 September 2002.
[2] German Parliament, Document 14/9438, June 2002, p. 4.
[3] Response to Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) questionnaire, 16 December 2002, p. 2.
[4] Statement of Germany, Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 3 February 2003.
[5] German Parliament document 14/9438. Translation by Landmine Monitor researcher.
[6] SPD/Bündnis 90-Die Grünen: Koalitionsvertrag 2002-2006: Erneuerung – Gerechtigkeit – Nachhaltigkeit.
[7] The Group of Governmental Experts met in July 2002, December 2002, March 2003 and June 2003, in Geneva. Fifteen States had submitted information to the matrix as of 10 June 2003. See, Future Document CCW/GGE/V/WG.2/WP.2
[8] For details, see previous editions of Landmine Monitor Report.
[9] See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 271.
[10] See Landmine Monitor Report 1999, pp. 611-621.
[11] Colin King, “Submunitions & Other Unexploded Ordnance – Explosive Remnants of War,” ICRC, August 2000.
[12] GIBL interviews with a Lenkflugkörpersysteme GmbH salesman at the International Aerospace Exhibition and Conferences, Berlin, 10 May 2002, and with a Dynamit Nobel salesman at the IDET arms show, Brno, 28-30 April 2003. According to LFK, the AFDS dispenser is produced only for export. For further details see www.landmine.de.
[13] The German Federal Ministry of Defense classifies the MUSPA mine as an anti-aircraft system. However, a US government database classifies it as an antipersonnel mine. See, www.humanitariandemining.org Italy destroyed its MUSPA mines. Italy, Article 7 Report, Form G, 29 March 2000.
[14] Article 7 Report, Form D, 10 April 2003.
[15] Ibid; Article 7 Report, Form D, 16 April 2002.
[16] GIBL and Landmine Action (UK), “Alternative Anti-personnel Mines–The Next Generations,” March 2001, p. 29; Canadian Forces Mine Awareness Database 96 & 99; Forecast International/DMS Inc., “Ordnance report: MUSPA, MIFF, MW-1,” 1995.
[17] Statement by Germany, Fourth Meeting of States Parties, 16-20 September 2002.
[18] German Parliament Document 14/9438, June 2002, p. 4. For parliamentary appeals leading up to this resolution, see Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 272.
[19] See, Future Document CCW/GGE/V/WG.2/WP.2 and attached chart, “Sensitive Fuses for Anti-Vehicle Mines,” as of 10 June 2003.
[20] See, ICBL Interventions on Article 2, to the Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 16 May 2003.
[21] Response to OSCE questionnaire, 16 December 2002, p. 6.
[22] Article 7 Report for calendar year 2002, Form J, 10 April 2003; email from Ministry for Foreign Affairs to the GIBL, 22 April 2003; email from Ministry for Development to the GIBL, 8 May 2003. Exchange rate €1 = US$0.95, used throughout this report. Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 6 January 2003.
[23] Email from Ministry for Foreign Affairs to the GIBL, 22 April 2003.
[24] Email from Ministry for Development to the GIBL, 8 May 2003.
[25] Email from Ministry for Foreign Affairs to the GIBL, 24 June 2003.
[26] The programs of these GIBL member organizations are included: Bread for the World, Christoffel Mission for the Blind, German Justitia et Pax Commission, German Committee for Freedom from Hunger, German Caritas, Social Service Agency of the Evangelical Church in Germany, EIRENE International, Handicap International Germany, Jesuit Refugee Service, Kindernothilfe (Help for Children in Need), Medico International, Misereor, OXFAM Germany, Pax Christi, Solidarity Service International, Terre Des Hommes, UNICEF Germany. Some of these programs are co-financed by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Economic Co-operation and Development; their contributions are subtracted from the total in order to show the public donation contribution.
[27] Responses to GIBL Questionnaire 2002 by member organizations, Berlin, April 2003.
[28] “Czech arms producer suspected of violating the Ottawa Convention,” Press Release, GIBL, 9 May 2003; available at www.landmine.de.
[29] “Kampfmittelbeseitigung / Gemeinden sprerren sich gegen Sparpläne” (Removal of Unexploded Ordnance/communes opposes cuts program), Südwest-Presse online, 24 January 2003.
[30] “Bisher 8200 Tonnen Munition geborgen” (Unit now 8,200 tons explosives has been saved), Märkische Allgemeine, 21 March 2003.
[31] “Über 1200 Bomben entschärft” (More than 1,200 bombs have been disposed of), Kölner Stadtanzeiger, 19 August 2002.
[32] “Peacekeeper killed in Macedonia landmine blast,” Agence France Presse, 9 May 2002.
[33] “German peacekeeper killed in landmine explosion near Afghan capital,” Xinhua (press agency), 29 May 2003; “Landmine kills German peacekeeper,” Independent (British daily newspaper), 30 May 2003; “Deutscher Soldat bei Minen-Explosion bei Kabul getötet” (German soldier killed in mine explosion in Kabul), Deutsche Presseagentur, 29 May 2003; “Blast kills peacekeeper,” Washington Post, 30 May 2003.