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Country Reports
Kenya , Landmine Monitor Report 2004


Key developments since May 2003: In August 2003, Kenya completed destruction of its stockpile of 35,774 antipersonnel mines. In September 2003, Kenya was mandated by the Fifth Meeting of States Parties to host the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty at UN facilities in Nairobi in 2004. Kenya has drafted national implementation legislation. In March 2004, Kenya co-hosted a regional workshop on landmines and the ban treaty for East African, Great Lakes and Horn of Africa countries. A new “Persons with Disabilities Act 2003” received presidential assent on 31 December 2003.

Key developments since 1999: Kenya ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 23 January 2001, and the treaty entered into force on 1 July 2001. Kenya submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report on 27 December 2001. Kenya served as co-rapporteur and then co-chair of the Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies from September 2001 to September 2003. Kenya completed destruction of its stockpile of antipersonnel mines in August 2003, well in advance of its deadline. It has drafted national implementation legislation. Kenya has been active regionally on the landmine issue. In response to demands from the local population, the Kenyan military in 2002 began some risk education in areas contaminated with unexploded ordnance. The British Army and Kenyan military carried out joint UXO clearance operations in 2001 and 2002. Kenya will host the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in November/December 2004.

Mine Ban Policy

After participating in the Ottawa Process, Kenya signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 5 December 1997, ratified on 23 January 2001, and the treaty entered into force on 1 July 2001. Kenyan officials attributed the delay in ratification to lengthy consultative and legislative processes.[1] Kenya has not yet enacted national implementation legislation, but has drafted a bill, “The Prohibition of Antipersonnel Mines Bill 2004.” In February 2004, the government stated that the bill would be presented to Parliament before the commencement of the First Review Conference in November.[2]

Kenya has attended all annual meetings of States Parties, including the Fifth Meeting of States Parties held in Bangkok, Thailand in September 2003. It has actively participated in the intersessional Standing Committee meetings, including the February and June 2004 meetings. Kenya served as co-rapporteur and then co-chair of the Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies from September 2001 to September 2003.

Kenya’s offer to host the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty, from 29 November to 3 December 2004, was formally approved at the Fifth Meeting of States Parties. Kenya has actively participated in the preparatory process for the Review Conference, and gave a detailed presentation to States Parties on logistical matters in June 2004.

On 31 March 2004, Kenya submitted its annual Article 7 transparency report, covering the period from 1 May 2003 to 7 February 2004. It submitted its initial Article 7 report on 27 December 2001, and its first annual update in May 2002.[3] Kenya indicated that its second annual update report was submitted on 7 February 2003, but as of August 2004 it had not been posted to the UN website.[4]

Kenya has been active regionally on the landmine issue. Most recently, in March 2004, Kenya co-hosted a workshop on landmines and the ban treaty in East Africa, the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa regions.[5] It also hosted a meeting for Landmine Monitor’s Africa researchers in Nairobi in November 2001.[6] Kenya attended both the Horn of Africa/Gulf of Aden conference on landmines held in Djibouti in November 2000, and the Bamako, Mali all-Africa seminar on universalization and implementation in Africa, in February 2001. In April 2004, Kenya participated in a seminar on landmines hosted by France’s National Commission for the Elimination of Antipersonnel Landmines, held in Paris, France. Kenya has voted in support of every pro-ban UN General Assembly resolution since 1996, including UNGA Resolution 58/53 on 8 December 2003.

Kenya has participated only rarely in the extensive States Parties discussions regarding matters of interpretation and implementation of Articles 1, 2, and 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty, and the issues of joint military operations with non-States Parties, the prohibition on assisting banned acts, antivehicle mines with sensitive fuzes and antihandling devices, and the acceptable number of mines that can be retained for training purposes. However, at the Meeting of States Parties in September 2003, Kenya made a statement on Article 2 of the Mine Ban Treaty: “Kenya holds the view that any mine that functions as an antipersonnel mine or can be modified to function like an antipersonnel mine, should be considered an antipersonnel mine and therefore banned within the context of the definition of a mine and in cognizance of the letter and spirit of the convention.”[7]

Kenya’s draft implementation bill does not permit the military to participate in joint operations or drills where antipersonnel mines are being used.[8] The government reiterated this position in interventions on Article 1 at the February 2004 Standing Committee meeting on General Status and Operations of the Convention, and urged that in order to embrace the spirit of the ban treaty, it was necessary for States Parties to review the status and contents of memoranda of understanding allowing for joint operations.[9]

Kenya is not a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons. It is, however, a member of the Conference on Disarmament where, in June 2004, it offered surprising support for a US landmine policy announcement–a policy condemned by the ICBL as a step backward in the establishment of a new international norm banning antipersonnel landmines.[10]

Production, Transfer, Stockpiling and Use

Kenya has never produced or exported landmines. In August 2003, Kenya’s military destroyed the country’s entire stockpile of 35,774 antipersonnel mines, far ahead of its treaty-mandated deadline of 1 July 2005.[11] The stockpile destruction, a controlled demolition, took place between 14-24 August 2003 at Archer’s Post Military Range, and was witnessed by diplomats, UN personnel, local and international media. The Kenyan government met the entire cost of destroying the stockpile, amounting to US$575,260.[12]

Kenya retained 3,000 antipersonnel mines for training purposes, as permitted under Article 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty. Kenya clarified in February 2003 that it does not possess Claymore-type directional fragmentation mines.[13]

Some landmine use has been reported in the past in northern Kenya. Kenyan security forces alleged that antipersonnel mines were used in the past along the Somali border in North Eastern Province, especially by Shifta bandits in the 1960s.[14] More recently, Ethiopia’s Oromo Liberation Front, a rebel group operating in southern Ethiopia, was accused of planting antivehicle and possibly antipersonnel mines inside Kenyan territory in the late 1990s.[15] The claim that landmines were laid at some point is supported by a number of mine-related incidents in the region.[16]

Mine/UXO Problem and Clearance

While Kenya does not have a major landmine problem, it is contaminated by unexploded ordnance (UXO), especially in the pastoral north of the country where annual military drills by Kenyan and foreign military forces are carried out around the Archer’s Post and Dol Dol areas of Samburu district, and where the 1950s Mau Mau rebellion was intense.[17] British forces train Kenyan military in clearance techniques and provide some of the equipment needed to conduct clearance operations.[18] A case lodged in 2001 against the UK Ministry of Defense for damages to the affected population was settled out of court in July 2002.[19]

A joint UXO clearance operation by the British Army and Kenyan military was launched in April 2001. In 2002, clearance activities took place in 15 training sectors, covering 1,500 square kilometers within Archer’s Post Sector Two; some 300 square kilometers of contaminated area was cleared.[20] In 2004, a Kenyan military official told Landmine Monitor that the clearance operations restored the confidence of the affected population. Whenever a suspicious object is found, the population reports it to the authorities and disposal procedures are instituted without delay.[21]

Since 2001, Kenya has been involved in demining along the Eritrea/Ethiopia border as part of the UN peacekeeping mission. In 2004, Kenya deployed 250 soldiers.[22]

Mine/UXO Risk Education

There is minimal mine/UXO risk education in Kenya, despite the presence of victims in UXO-contaminated areas and camps for refugees from neighboring mine-affected countries. An estimated 600,000 people in contaminated areas and refugee camps in the northern part of the country stand to benefit from mine/UXO risk education.[23] The Kenyan military began carrying out mine/UXO risk education in Samburu district in 2002, following demands from the population there. Additionally, a local NGO, Organization for the Survival of Il-Laikipiak Indigenous Maasai Group Initiative (OSILIGI), has conducted some MRE discussion sessions in the area and carried out random evaluation checks on the progress being made in the clearance operations.[24]

Others involved in MRE in the past include the Rotary Club, through its Jaipur Foot Project and in conjunction with other organizations, such as the Kenya Boy Scouts movement, National Council of Churches and the Association of Physically Disabled Persons,[25] and in 2000, the Jesuit Refugee Service Eastern Africa.[26] Additionally, the Kenya Coalition Against Landmines has been involved in activities advocating for mine awareness.

Landmine/UXO Casualties

In June 2003, a police reservist was killed and eight people seriously injured when their vehicle reportedly hit a landmine in the Moyale area.[27] UXO pose a greater risk to civilians than landmines. Between 1999 and 2002, at least 48 people were killed and injured in mine/UXO incidents: 13 injured in 2002; seven injured in 2001; 14 killed and five injured in 2000; and one killed and eight injured in 1999. It is believed there could be more UXO casualties that go unreported in remote areas of northern Kenya.[28] According to one media report, more than 500 people may have been killed by UXO since military drills began in 1945, and many more injured.[29] Landmine Monitor did not find any reports of landmine incidents occurring along the Kenya border with Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Uganda, or in the four main refugee camps of Dadaab, Liboi, Kakuma, and Lagderra.

Kenya’s Department of Defense confirmed that the demining team abroad has not suffered any casualties, nor have there been casualties to deminers in Kenya since the start of the UXO clearing exercise in April 2001.[30]

Survivor Assistance

Public health facilities in Kenya are believed to be adequate to provide first aid and advanced medical care to mine/UXO casualties, ranging from rural health centers to national referral hospitals.[31]

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Lopiding hospital in Lokichokio, on the Kenya-Sudan border, continues to provide first aid, surgical care, and physical rehabilitation to mine survivors and other persons with disabilities, evacuated across the border from southern Sudan by the ICRC. The hospital also provides follow-up assessment, nursing care and physiotherapy, and on-going training for surgeons, nurses and orthopedic technicians. From 1999-2003, the Lopiding Hospital provided surgical treatment for at least 40 landmine casualties from southern Sudan, including seven in 2003, ten in 2002, 19 in 2000, and four in 1999.[32] In January and February 2004, three mine casualties were admitted to the hospital.[33] From 1999 to 2003, the hospital’s orthopedic workshop fitted 1,945 prostheses (457 for mine survivors), produced 850 orthoses (at least two for mine survivors) and more than 5,800 crutches, and distributed at least 97 wheelchairs. In 2003, it fitted 462 prostheses (125 for mine survivors), produced 169 orthoses (one for a mine survivor) and 1,338 crutches, and distributed 49 wheelchairs.[34]

The Nairobi-based Jaipur Foot Project manufactures orthopedic devices for all persons with disabilities. In 2003, the project fitted 598 amputees with prostheses, including a mine survivor from Sudan, and distributed 595 wheelchairs and 50 tricycles. In 2002, 465 mobility devices were produced. In 2001, 483 amputees were fitted with prostheses, including seven mine/UXO survivors. The project also provides crutches, wheelchairs, tricycles, surgical shoes, continuing medical care and a repair service using volunteer doctors and counselors. The Jaipur Foot Project provides limbs to other countries in the sub-region including Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Sudan and Uganda. In November 2002 and March 2004, the project distributed more than 200 wheelchairs donated by the Rotary Club.[35]

In July 2002, the United Kingdom agreed to pay over US$7 million to more than 200 Kenyans killed or injured by mines and explosives left in military training fields by the British Army in northern Kenya. Most of the casualties were children who accidentally detonated UXO while herding livestock.[36]

In 2002, the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF) opened an office in Nairobi as part of a new project called the Omega Initiative. The program provides technical and financial assistance to victims of war, and other persons with disabilities, in sub-Saharan Africa. Funded by the US government’s Leahy War Victims’ Fund, the program offers services ranging from capacity building and sustainability, employment and economic integration, physical rehabilitation, prostheses and assistive devices, to psychological and social support.[37] In 2004, the Omega Initiative will provide US$50,000 as technical and capacity-building support to the Jaipur Foot Project.[38]

Disability Policy and Practice

The Ministry of Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services is responsible for issues relating to persons with disabilities, including mine/UXO survivors. The new “Persons with Disabilities Act 2003” received presidential assent on 31 December 2003. The bill sets out the rights of persons with disabilities, including rights to medical care, rehabilitation, employment, and education. The legislation also provides for the establishment of a national council for persons with disabilities.[39]

In April 2004, the government launched a national 10-year program entitled “Kenya National Plan of Action: Africa Decade of Persons with Disabilities” to address the needs of persons with disabilities in the country.[40]

[1] See Landmine Monitor Report 2000, p. 171.
[2] Statement by Chris Murungaru, Minister of Provincial Administration and National Security, during the official launching of “The Nairobi 2004 Summit on a Mine Free World,” Nairobi, Kenya, 4 February 2004.
[3] Kenya’s initial Article 7 Report covered the period from 28 January 2001 to 28 December 2001. The first annual update was submitted on 15 May 2002, for the period 29 December 2001 to 30 April 2002.
[4] Report for Landmine Monitor, prepared by Col. Mohamed Hussein Ali, Department of Defense, Nairobi, April 2003. This was also stated by the Kenya delegation in a meeting during the May 2003 Standing Committee meetings.
[5] The workshop was co-organized by the ICRC and the government of Kenya, with the support of the government of Canada. It was attended by 60 participants, among them representatives of ten countries from the regions: Burundi, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.
[6] Participants at this meeting took the opportunity to hold a one-day roundtable discussion with government officials and Nairobi-based diplomats to discuss universalization and implmentation of the ban treaty throughout the region.
[7] Statement by the Kenya on Article 2, Fifth Meeting of States Parties, Bangkok, 17 September 2003.
[8] Draft legislation, “The Prohibition of Antipersonnel Mines Bill 2004.”
[9] Notes taken by Landmine Monitor on 9 February 2004, Geneva; see also, summary page of Standing Committee meetings, available at: http://www.gichd.ch/mbc/iwp/SC_feb04/speeches_gs.htm .
[10] Statement by Philip R.O. Owade, Deputy Permanent Representative, Kenya Mission to UN Geneva, 24 June 2004. For the ICBL position on US policy, see ICBL website, at: www.icbl.org. For more on the US policy, see the US entry in this report.
[11] Kenya’s stockpiles were imported from Britain, Belgium and Israel. See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 322, for details of the types of mines.
[12] Article 7 Report, Form F, covering the period 1 May 2003 to 7 February 2004; Presentation by Brig. E.K. Tonui on the stockpile destruction during the Kenya-ICRC regional landmines workshop, Nairobi, 2-4 March 2004.
[13] Oral remarks to Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 6 February 2003 (Landmine Monitor/HRW notes).
[14] Landmine Monitor researcher interview with senior police commander, 12 November 1998.
[15] Interview with senior government official, Nairobi, 6 January 2000.
[16] See Landmine Monitor Report 2000, pp. 172-173; Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 84; Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 324; and Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 314.
[17] The British military has carried out live-fire training in Kenya for several months each year since 1945. For details, see Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 313, and Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 324.
[18] Remarks by Paul Harvey, Deputy British High Commissioner, 13 September 2002.
[19] “Pastoralist compensation,” IRIN, 22 August 2002; Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 323.
[20] See Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 313, for further details.
[21] Interview with Brig. E.K. Tonui, Department of Defense, Nairobi, 11 March 2004.
[22] Presentation by Brig. E.K. Tonui, at the Workshop on Landmines in East Africa, the Great Lakes and the Horn of Africa Regions, Nairobi, 4 March 2004.
[23] Population estimate based on figures obtained from local administrators responsible for the strand of communities in northern Kenya, as reported in Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 324.
[24] Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 313.
[25] Interview with Sunil Sinha, Program Manager, Jaipur Foot Project, Nairobi, 30 October 2002.
[26] Landmine Monitor Report 2000, p. 174.
[27] “Mine explosion kills officer,” East African Standard, 11 June 2003.
[28] Interviews with Sunil Sinha, Program Manager, Jaipur Foot Project, Nairobi, 30 October 2002 and 13 June 2003; Landmine Monitor media search of local newspapers, January-December 2001; telephone interview with the NGO OSILIGI, 30 January 2002.
[29] “Victims speak out on UK’s 540m shillings payout offer for their suffering,” Daily Nation, 2 September 2002, p. 11.
[30] Interview with Brig. E.K. Tonui, Geneva, 28 June 2004. He told Landmine Monitor that the team recently received additional demining equipment and has been allowed to demine beyond the Temporary Security Zone on the Eritrea side.
[31] For more details see Landmine Monitor Report 2000, p. 175; Landmine Monitor Report 1999, pp. 159-160.
[32] ICRC Special Reports, “Mine Action 2003,” Geneva, August 2004, pp. 26-27; “Mine Action 2000,” July 2001, p. 17; “Mine Action 1999,” August 2000, p. 22; interview with Sister Engred Tjosflaat, Head Nurse, Lopiding Hospital, 17 December 2002.
[33] Telephone interview with Margaret, Head Nurse, ICRC Lopiding Hospital, 9 April 2004.
[34] ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Programs, “Annual Report 2003,” Geneva, 9 March 2004, p. 26; “Annual Report 2002,” June 2003, p. 10; “Annual Report 2001,” 14 April 2002; “Annual Report 2000,” 31 March 2001; “Annual Report 1999,” 31 March 2000, p. 11.
[35] Interviews with Sunil Sinha, Program Manager, Jaipur Foot Project, Nairobi, 9 March 2004, 13 June 2003, and 30 October 2002.
[36] “Britain to Pay Kenyans Hurt by Explosions of Its Weapons,” Agence France-Presse, 20 July 2002.
[37] For more details, see www.omegainitiative.org.
[38] Interview with Sunil Sinha, Program Manager, Jaipur Foot Project, Nairobi, 9 March 2004.
[39] “New Law in Kenya after years of lobbying by disabled people,” Disability Tribune, February 2004.
[40] “The Policy for Disabled People is Launched,” East African Standard (Kenya), 15 April 2004.