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Country Reports
Botswana, Landmine Monitor Report 2004


Key developments since 1999: Botswana ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 1 March 2000, and became a State Party on 1 September 2000. It has not adopted national legal measures to implement the treaty. Botswana submitted an initial Article 7 report on 28 September 2001, but has not provided required annual updates since then.

Botswana signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997, ratified on 1 March 2000, and the treaty entered into force on 1 September 2000. Since 2001, Landmine Monitor has reported that Botswana has been in the process of preparing implementation legislation, but no progress was apparent by mid-2004.[1] In the absence of specific ban treaty-related legislation, the Botswana military is taught the law of armed conflict, including a general overview of relevant conventions and protocols applicable to the conduct of military operations.[2]

While Botswana participated actively in the Ottawa Process, it has since attended just one Mine Ban Treaty-related meeting, when its Geneva mission representative was present for the January 2002 intersessional Standing Committees. According to a government official, one reason for the lack of participation was that the country was not mine-affected and therefore had little to contribute.[3] Botswana has nonetheless voted in support of every annual pro-ban United Nations General Assembly resolution since 1996.

Botswana submitted an initial Article 7 transparency report on 28 September 2001, about six months past the due date. It has not provided any subsequent updates, due annually by 30 April each year.[4] According to the initial report, Botswana has never produced or exported antipersonnel landmines. The Botswana Defense Force (BDF) has retained seven inert antipersonnel mines and three antivehicle mines for training purposes.[5] Botswana Defense Force officials stated that the military has never laid any landmines in Botswana or in any other country.[6]

In 2000 and 2001, Landmine Monitor reported that the Botswana Red Cross Society conducted regular mine risk education for BDF personnel, in conjunction with the regional office of the International Committee of the Red Cross.[7]

[1] In 2001, Landmine Monitor reported that the Attorney General’s Chambers had been instructed to prepare legislation and that it had met with the Zimbabwe office of the International Committee of the Red Cross for assistance; see Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 58. That assistance reportedly continued in 2002; see Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 129. No progress was reported in 2003; see Fax from P.S. Tau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 8 May 2003.
[2] Botswana presentation to the ICRC-hosted Southern African Regional Seminar on International Humanitarian Law, Pretoria, South Africa, 21-23 May 2002.
[3] Interview with Mr. Sanoto, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President, Botswana, 6 February 2001.
[4] The reporting period was not specified in the 2001 Article 7 Report.
[5] Interview with Col. Tjatanga Moloi, Botswana Defense Force, Gaborone, 2 March 2001.
[6] Ibid. However, according to Jane’s Mines and Mine Clearance, 2002-2003, South African Shrapnel No. 2 and the Zimbabwe RAP No. 1 and RAP No. 2 blast mines are believed to be present in Botswana. See, Jane’s Mines and Mine Clearance, 2002-2003, Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2002, p. 718. For information on possible use during Zimbabwe’s war for independence, see Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 13.
[7] Interview with Acting Secretary-General, Botswana Red Cross, Gaborone, 26 February 2001.