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

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. It attended the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in September 2002 and the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in February and May 2003. As in previous years, Saudi Arabia was absent from voting in November 2002 on United Nations General Assembly Resolution 57/74 supporting the Mine Ban Treaty. Saudi officials continued to show interest in the treaty, its progress, and new demining technology. Saudi Arabia has penal laws that forbid and punish the possession and transfer of arms and munitions including landmines.[1]

Saudi Arabia states that it has never produced, exported, or used antipersonnel mines. Saudi officials have previously indicated that their country imported antipersonnel mines in the past from the United Kingdom and the United States. In May 2003, a Saudi Brigadier General assured Landmine Monitor that this stockpile is safe and secure, and would only be used in wartime; all minefields would be marked, registered, and fenced in accordance with the technical annex of CCW Amended Protocol II. He confirmed that the United States stockpiles antipersonnel mines in Saudi territory, but said the US could not use the mines on Saudi soil, according to an existing agreement between the two countries.[2]

Saudi Arabia is not a mine-affected country. The engineering corps of the Saudi army has a unit in every region of the kingdom that is responsible for on-demand clearance of unexploded ordnance (UXO). In the past these units cleared training areas and camps used by allied forces before and during the 1991 Gulf War. Except for destruction of two Iraqi missiles that fell in desert areas in Saudi Arabia in 2003, there was no UXO clearance in 2002 or 2003.[3]

In May 2002, Saudi Arabia donated 50 mine detectors and 40 protective suits to Lebanon. In October 2002, it provided Yemen with $1 million as the second part of a donation of $3 million for mine action activities, including mine risk education. Saudi Arabia sent a large field hospital to Baghdad to provide medication to Iraqi victims of war, and some of the victims have been transferred to Saudi Arabia for more medical care.[4]

[1] Interview with Brigadier General Ibrahim M.K. Al-Arifi, Saudi Ministry of Defense and Aviation, Geneva, 14 May 2003.
[2] Ibid
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.