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Country Reports
Guyana, Landmine Monitor Report 2004


Key developments since May 2003: Guyana ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 5 August 2003 and it entered into force on 1 February 2004. Guyana attended its first Meeting of States Parties in September 2003 and its first intersessional meetings in June 2004.

Mine Ban Policy

The Republic of Guyana signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997, ratified on 5 August 2003, and it entered into force on 1 February 2004. In a letter to the Coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Guyana’s President, Bharrat Jagdeo, said the government would work to “ensure that the necessary legal and administrative frameworks are instituted” to ensure “early implementation of the treaty.”[1]

Measures taken to implement the ban domestically should be made available in the country’s initial Article 7 transparency report, which was due by 29 July 2004. The report had not been submitted as of September 2004.

Guyana did not actively participate in the Ottawa Process leading to the Mine Ban Treaty, but it has supported every pro-ban resolution of the United Nations General Assembly since 1996. During the period that Guyana had signed but not ratified the treaty, government officials and political leaders expressed support for the prohibition of antipersonnel mines, and their intention to ratify soon, on several occasions.[2] On 7 May 2002, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a seminar on landmines in Georgetown with the support of Canada and the Netherlands.[3] Guyana’s National Assembly approved ratification of the Mine Ban Treaty in April 2003.

Guyana attended its first Meeting of States Parties in September 2003 in Bangkok, where a representative from its Permanent Mission to the UN in New York made a statement.[4] Guyana also participated in its first intersessional Standing Committee meetings in June 2004, as well as the Review Conference preparatory meeting in June. It has participated in regional seminars on landmines in Ecuador (August 2004) and Argentina (November 2001).

Guyana is not known to have ever produced or exported antipersonnel mines. Guyana has not revealed details about its stockpile of antipersonnel mines or plans for destruction. Landmine Monitor has previously reported an estimated stockpile of 20,000 antipersonnel mines. In June 2002, a Guyana Defense Force official reported that some, if not all, of the stockpiled antipersonnel mines were PMB-2 mines manufactured by North Korea.[5] The Mine Ban Treaty requires that Guyana destroy its stockpile of antipersonnel mines as soon as possible, but no later than 1 February 2008.

Guyana is not mine-affected, but on 18 December 2000 a series of explosions leveled the Camp Groomes army base, killing three soldiers and littering unexploded ordnance around the facility.[6] In September 2002, a team of Brazilian experts provided the Guyana Defence Force with a four-week training in Explosive Ordnance Disposal.[7]

[1] Letter to ICBL (Elizabeth Bernstein) from Bharrat Jagdeo, President of the Republic of Guyana, 3 October 2003.
[2] Letter ICBL (Elizabeth Bernstein) from H.D. Hoyte, Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform, 5 August 2002; Letter from Sonia Elliot, Charge d’affaires, Permanent Mission of Guyana to the UN, New York, 27 July 2001.
[3] The Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Canada’s Mine Action Ambassador spoke at the seminar. See “Guyana urged to ratify Ottawa Convention banning landmines,” Stabroek News (Georgetown), 8 May 2002.
[4] Statement by Nadira Mangray, Representative of the Republic of Guyana to the Fifth Meeting of States Parties, Bangkok, Thailand, 15-19 September 2003.
[5] Interview with Guyana Defense Force official who requested anonymity, Georgetown, June 2002.
[6] “US experts complete risk assessment following Camp Groomes blast,” CANA news agency (Bridgetown), 27 December 2000; Abagail Kippins, “U.S. experts here to probe GDF ammo camp blast,” Guyana Chronicle, 23 December 2000.
[7] “Brazilian team to train GDF in explosives disposal,” Stabroek News, 24 September 2002.