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Country Reports
Oman, Landmine Monitor Report 2003


Mine Ban Policy

Oman has not acceded the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. In March 2003, a Defense official stated that Oman is studying the Mine Ban Treaty and the Ministry of Defense has appointed a special group to analyze the treaty.[1] Oman attended the Fourth Meeting of States Parties and participated in intersessional Standing Committee meetings in February 2003. On 22 November 2002, Oman voted in favor of UN General Assembly Resolution 57/74 supporting universalization and implementation of the treaty, as it has done in previous years.

Oman has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines, but it has imported and used them in the past. In 2001, Oman stated that it has a limited number of stockpiled mines for training purposes.[2] The United States stockpiled at least 6,248 antipersonnel mines at airbases in Oman, but the status of these stocks is not known following combat operations in Iraq.

Landmine Problem and Mine Action

Oman has a mine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) problem as a legacy of a 1964-1975 internal conflict. A variety of antipersonnel and antivehicle mines were used.[3] The majority of mines and UXO are located in Dhofar region of southern Oman and in two mined zones along the border with Yemen.[4] The Royal Army of Oman has mapped seven zones of suspected mined areas based on historical records of battlefield areas, unit positions, and landmine incident reports.[5]

In 1999, Oman was accepted into the US Humanitarian Mine Action Program. The US assisted Oman by training deminers, establishing a mine detecting dog program, providing equipment such as personal protective gear and mine disposal technologies, funding logistic support and supplying a landmine survey and information management capability. Oman received more than $2.8 million in mine action assistance between 2000-2002, including $495,000 in 2002.[6] In 2002, donations were used to fund RONCO, a commercial U.S. demining contractor, to maintain the mine detecting dog program, to support demining operations and to verify clearance of mined areas.[7]

Landmine Casualties and Survivor Assistance

Landmine Monitor did not find evidence of new landmine casualties in Oman in 2002. According to the Omani government, landmines and UXO have killed twelve people and wounded 84 since the end of the Dhofar conflict in 1975. In March 2001, two people were seriously injured in a UXO incident.

The government provides medical assistance and rehabilitation for mine and UXO survivors through the Armed Forces and other State authorities.[8]

[1] Telephone interview with Colonel Hamood Al-Rashidi, Ministry of Defense, Muscat, 9 March 2003.
[2] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire from the Ministry of Defense, 27 February 2001; see Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 1038.
[3] Steve Soucek and Darrell Strother, “Humanitarian Demining in Sultanate of Oman,” Journal of Mine Action, Issue 5.3, Fall 2001, p. 49.
[4] Al-Mahra Governorate is located in the easternmost part of Yemen, bordering Oman. According to the Landmine Impact Survey on Yemen, 2000, “Landmines in Al-Mahra have been laid around former military positions during the 1973-1984 conflict.”
[5] Steve Soucek and Darrell Strother, “Humanitarian Demining,” Journal of Mine Action, 2001, p. 49.
[6] US Department of State, “US Humanitarian Mine Action in the Middle East: A Six-Year Progress Report,” 6 December 2002.
[7] US Department of State, “To Walk the Earth in Safety,” September 2002.
[8] See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 723.