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Country Reports
Qatar, Landmine Monitor Report 2003
In Arabic (As PDF)


Key developments since May 2002: Qatar submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report, indicating that it is not mine-affected, and that it has never used, produced or exported antipersonnel mines, and has no stockpile of live mines. Qatar provided some clarifications regarding its position on US mines stockpiled in Qatar and on joint military operations with non-States Parties.

Qatar signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997, ratified on 13 October 1998, and the treaty entered into force for it on 1 April 1999. Legislation to implement the treaty has not been enacted.[1] A detailed reply from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar to Landmine Monitor in May 2003 explains, “There was no immediate need to formulate legislation because Qatar has not had any landmine problems and does not use landmines.”[2]

Qatar attended the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in September 2002 and intersessional Standing Committee meetings in February 2003. At the February meetings, Qatari representatives told Landmine Monitor that Qatar has been encouraging other Gulf Cooperation Council members to join the Mine Ban Treaty, notably Bahrain and Kuwait.[3] Qatar called on all mine users to take responsibility for the clearance of their mines in a statement made at the United Nations during the debate on the annual pro-ban General Assembly resolution.[4] Qatar voted in favor of UN General Assembly Resolution 57/74 on 22 November 2002.

The United Nations received Qatar’s initial Article 7 transparency report on 23 April 2003, though it was submitted on 3 August 2002.[5] The due date had been 27 September 1999. The Department of Military Cooperation was responsible for preparing and submitting the report, in which Qatar confirmed that it is not mine-affected.

Qatar also confirmed that it has never produced or transferred antipersonnel mines.[6] Qatar did not declare any stockpiles of antipersonnel mines in its Article 7 Report, confirming a previous statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs that Qatar, “does not own any stock-pile of mines nor does it have mined areas, and it uses sound mines which are harmless to people and the environment in training its armed forces.”[7] Qatari military officers have told Landmine Monitor that Qatar possesses a small stockpile of dummy antipersonnel mines (without fuzes or detonators) for training purposes; they also said Qatar does not possess Claymore-type mines or antivehicle mines.[8]

Qatar is not known to have contributed to any international mine action programs in 2002.

Foreign Stockpiling

Before the March 2003 conflict in Iraq, the United States stockpiled approximately 11,000 antipersonnel mines at two facilities in Qatar. Artillery projectiles containing antipersonnel mines were stored at Camp As-Saliyah as part of pre-positioned US Army equipment. The US Air Force at Al-Udeid air base stored cluster bombs containing antipersonnel mines. On 5 September 2002, Secretary of the US Army Thomas White disclosed that in July 2002 the Army moved equipment and ammunition from Qatar to Kuwait.[9]

Qatar has not officially made its position known regarding the presence and conduct of the military forces of the United States, a non-State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty, on its territory. The Qatari Foreign Minister stated in July 2002, “As for the legality of the joint operations with the non-signatories relating to stock-pile, use of antipersonnel mines or transporting or transiting them, we assure you that the Qatari Armed Forces never practice any of these acts.”[10] This view was subsequently reinforced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and seemingly expanded to include citizens of Qatar in a reply to a questionnaire: “The parties involved affirm their position on not participating or supporting any citizen of Qatar to carry, transport, or store any antipersonnel mines with the US.”[11] Qatari officers told Landmine Monitor in February 2003 that Qatar would not participate in any joint military activity where the military partner lays mines in front of a coalition position.[12]

Qatari military officials noted that foreign contract workers from Pakistan and Bangladesh, a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty, perform work inside US facilities in Qatar.[13] Two US companies, DynCorp (now owned by Computer Sciences Corporation) and ITT Federal Systems, were awarded operations and maintenance contracts for the pre-positioned US equipment in August 2000. DynCorp is apparently sub-contracting some of this work to a subsidiary company based in the United Kingdom, another State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty (see report on the United Kingdom for details).

Qatar has not formally stated if any US mines stored in Qatar fall under Qatar’s jurisdiction or control. Any antipersonnel mines under Qatar’s jurisdiction or control were required to have been destroyed or removed before Qatar’s 1 April 2003 treaty-mandated deadline for completion of stockpile destruction. Qatari military officers told Landmine Monitor that there is a written cooperation agreement between Qatar and the US regarding Camp Al-Saliyah and the US is responsible for providing security for the camp. The officers also indicated that Qatar does not exercise jurisdiction or control inside US facilities in Qatar.[14]

[1] Article 7 Report, Form A, 3 August 2002. The form says “none.”
[2] Reply to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, 17 May 2003. Unofficial translation by Human Rights Watch.
[3] Interview with Col. Hassan Al Mohandi and Lt. Col. Fraj J.F. Al-Adba, Ministry of Defense, Geneva, 6 February 2003.
[4] Statement by Jamal Nassir Al-Bader, Permanent Mission of Qatar to the UN, to the General Assembly First Committee, 1 October 2002. Unofficial translation by Landmine Monitor.
[5] The report covers the period 2001-2002 and is a “nil” report. The Qatari Embassy in Kuwait sent the Article 7 report, dated 3 August 2002 (document number SOK/MD/1601/2002), to the Netherlands Embassy in Kuwait, rather than directly to the United Nations.
[6] Reply to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 17 May 2003.
[7] Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 421.
[8] Interview with Col. Hassan Al Mohandi and Lt. Col. Fraj J.F. Al-Adba, 6 February 2003.
[9] Charles Aldinger, “US Army moved arms near Kuwait in mobility exercise,” Reuters (Washington DC), 5 September 2002. For details on US stocks, see Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 421.
[10] Letter from Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, to Elizabeth Bernstein, Coordinator, ICBL, Washington, DC, provided by the Embassy of Qatar, Washington, DC, with cover letter dated 3 July 2002.
[11] Reply to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 17 May 2003.
[12] Interview with Col. Hassan Al Mohandi and Lt Col Fraj J.F. Al-Adba, 6 February 2003.
[13] Ibid.
[14] Ibid.