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Country Reports
Nigeria, Landmine Monitor Report 2003


Key developments since May 2002: Nigeria has not submitted its Article 7 Report, due on 28 August 2002. The status of a possible landmine stockpile remains unclear.

Mine Ban Policy

The President signed Nigeria’s instrument of accession to the Mine Ban Treaty on 23 July 2001, and it was formally deposited with the United Nations on 27 September 2001. The treaty entered into force on 1 March 2002. In February 2002, a government official stated that the government is “looking into” domestic implementation legislation for the treaty.[1] Since that time, Nigeria has not provided any information about national implementation measures, which are required under Article 9.

Nigeria’s initial Article 7 transparency report was due 28 August 2002. As of July 2003, it had not been deposited with the UN. Nigeria has not offered an explanation for its failure to meet this treaty obligation.

Nigeria attended the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in September 2002 and participated in intersessional Standing Committee meetings in February and May 2003.

Nigeria voted in favor of UN General Assembly Resolution 57/74 on 22 November 2002, calling for universalization and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty. In its statement to the First Committee, Nigeria’s delegation stated the government is “totally committed” to the elimination of landmines. Further, the delegation noted “the positive role that NGOs have continued to play in this area” and called “on member states that have not done so to accede to the Convention as early as possible.”[2]

Production, Transfer, Stockpiling and Use

Nigeria is not known to have ever produced or exported antipersonnel mines. In the past it has stated that it has not acquired or used antipersonnel mines since the 1967-1970 Biafra Civil War.[3]

In February 2001, the Chief of Operations of the Nigerian Army said that most Nigerian antipersonnel mines were used up in the war and remaining stocks were destroyed shortly thereafter. He said that no antipersonnel mines were retained even for training or development purposes.[4] In 2002, Landmine Monitor reported that slides presented at a Standing Committee meeting in May 2002 of the disaster at the Lagos Ammunition Depot showed antipersonnel mines.[5] Nigeria has not provided any clarification of its stockpile situation.

Landmine Casualties

Nigeria is not mine-affected. There were casualties from landmines laid in the civil war, but no further information is available. It is not known if any Nigerian soldiers involved in peacekeeping operations have been killed or injured by landmines. In January 2002, the day after the explosions at the Lagos Ammunition Transit Depot, a young man was reportedly injured after stepping on a landmine at the scene.[6] A Nigerian human rights group, Environmental Rights Action, has reported at least one injury caused by unexploded ordnance in December 2002.[7]

[1] Interview with Desk Officer on Disarmament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja, Nigeria, 20 February 2002.
[2] Statement by Ambassador E.E. Onobu, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja, on the General Debate of the First Committee at the 57th United Nations General Assembly Session, New York, 3 October 2002.
[3] Landmine Monitor Report 2001, pp. 256-257. Nigeria denies allegations that its ECOWAS troops used mines in the 1990s in Liberia and Sierra Leone. See Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 203.
[4] Interview with Major General Yellow-Duke, during the Bamako Regional Seminar on Landmines, Mali, 15 February 2001.
[5] Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 386.
[6] “Today in the Nigerian Papers,” P.M. News, 29 January 2002; see also Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 386.
[7] “Unexploded Ordnance Threatens Residents of Southern Town – Rights Group,” IRIN, 24 December 2002.