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Country Reports
Swaziland, Landmine Monitor Report 2003


The Kingdom of Swaziland signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997, ratified on 23 December 1998, and the treaty entered into force for Swaziland on 1 June 1999. In its first Article 7 transparency report, submitted on 16 February 2000, Swaziland reported that full implementation legislation “is presently being drawn up.”[1] As of March 2003, no progress on the legislation had been reported. Swaziland has not submitted its three Article 7 updates, due annually on 30 April.

Swaziland did not attend the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in September 2002 or the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in February and May 2003 “due to financial constraints.”[2] It voted in favor of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 57/74 in November 2002 calling for universalization and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty. In its initial Article 7 Report, Swaziland confirmed that it has never possessed antipersonnel mines for any purpose.[3]

The Umbutfo Swaziland Defense Force (USDF) is responsible for mine action activities. Forty demining instructors were trained by US personnel in 1999.

Swaziland has a small mined area just east of the Lomahasha Customs point near the town of Mananga on the border with Mozambique. The suspected mined area has been marked to warn members of the public about the danger zone.[4] In June 2000, an Army Spokesperson told Landmine Monitor that Swaziland intended to clear the area. In June 2002, Landmine Monitor was informed that the USDF was waiting for Cabinet approval to establish a base in the area, from which to coordinate mine clearance operations.[5] However, no further progress has been reported and no mine clearance had taken place by mid-2003.

In February 2003, Swaziland stated it still intended to investigate the extent of landmine spillover along the whole of the Swaziland-Mozambique border as soon as possible.[6]

Landmine Monitor was told in late June 2002 that Swaziland had requested financial support from the US government to re-train its deminers. In March 2003, the US Embassy in Swaziland noted the lack of progress on the planned demining project and the failure to use donated demining equipment. An Embassy official said, “In light of this, the Embassy would not endorse further requests for USDF funding for this project.”[7]

There have been no reports of injuries or deaths caused by landmines for more than ten years.[8]

[1] Article 7 Report, Form A, 16 February 2000.
[2] Interview with Bernard Gumede, Under Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mbabane, 24 February 2003; interview with Brigadier Gen. Tshabalala, USDF, Mbabane, 4 March 2003.
[3] Article 7 Report, Forms B and G, 16 February 2000.
[4] Article 7 Report, Form I, 16 February 2000.
[5] Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 457.
[6] Interview with Bernard Gumede, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 24 February 2003.
[7] Email from Lisa Kenna, Political/Economic Officer, US Embassy, Mbabane, 21 March 2003.
[8] Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 457.