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Country Reports
Lebanon, Landmine Monitor Report 2004


Key developments since May 2003: “Operation Emirates Solidarity,” the United Arab Emirates-funded mine clearance project in South Lebanon, was completed in June 2004. The project cleared about 5 million square meters of contaminated land in South Lebanon and destroyed 62,490 landmines. The Lebanese Army reported demining 1.6 million square meters of land in 2003, and destroying 2,200 antipersonnel mines, 250 antivehicle mines, and 8,000 UXO. NGOs, commercial companies and foreign armies cleared additional land. Between May 2003 and March 2004, mine risk education activities reached nearly 1 million citizens, including 200,000 students.

Key developments since 1999: Israel withdrew its forces from South Lebanon in May 2000, leaving behind a significant mine and UXO problem. In May 2001, the United Arab Emirates announced a contribution of up to $50 million to redevelop South Lebanon, including an unknown sum for demining, survey and mine risk education activities; “Operation Emirates Solidarity” began in October 2001 and was completed in June 2004 with clearance of about 5 million square meters of land. Between 1999 and 2003, 1,555,644 people received mine risk education. A nationwide Landmine Impact Survey was conducted from March 2002 to August 2003. The Mine Action Coordination Center for South Lebanon was established in early 2002. In 2001, the National Demining Office established a National Mine Victim Assistance Committee. Between 2000 and June 2004, landmines and UXO caused 291 casualties. Casualties have steadily declined from 119 in 2000, to 93 in 2001, 49 in 2002, and 26 in 2003.

Mine Ban Policy

Lebanon has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. In a September 2003 interview, the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Landmine Monitor that Lebanon is unable to join the treaty due to the continuing conflict with Israel, a long-held view.[1] Lebanon’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva provided the same reason in a statement made to the intersessional Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention in February 2004.[2] Since Israel’s withdrawal from South Lebanon in May 2000, many governments have urged Lebanon to join the Mine Ban Treaty.

Lebanon did not participate in the Ottawa Process, but was present at the December 1997 treaty signing as an observer. Lebanon has attended one annual meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty (in 2002). After coming for the first time in May 2001, Lebanon participated in all the 2003 and 2004 sessions of the treaty’s intersessional Standing Committees. Lebanon voted in support of the annual pro-mine ban resolutions in the United Nations General Assembly in 1996, 1997, and 1998. However, Lebanon became the first and only country to ever vote against a pro-ban resolution on 1 December 1999 when it voted against UNGA Resolution 54/54B, calling for universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty. It has since abstained from voting on the annual resolution, including in December 2003.

One of the first conferences on landmines in the Middle East took place in Beirut from 11-12 February 1999, hosted by the NGO Landmines Resource Center in cooperation with the National Army. On 11-12 January 2001, Landmine Monitor researchers from the region met in Beirut to prepare their 2001 report. Another two-day regional conference on landmines was held in Beirut in December 2003.[3] In April 2004, Lebanon attended a regional seminar on military and humanitarian issues surrounding the treaty in Amman, Jordan.

Lebanon is not a member of the Convention on Conventional Weapons or its Amended Protocol II, but it attended the Fifth Annual Conference of States Parties to Amended Protocol II in November 2003 as an observer. In an April 2004 letter to the UN Secretary General, Lebanon’s president, General Emile Lahoud, stated that the government would have no objection to joining Amended Protocol II if Israel would adhere to it, adding that Israel still refuses to provide Lebanon with maps to the minefields left behind after its occupation of South Lebanon.[4]

Production, Transfer, Stockpiling and Use

Lebanon is not known to have ever produced or exported antipersonnel mines. The Lebanese Army stockpiles an unknown number of antipersonnel mines.

There were no confirmed reports of antipersonnel mine use by any party, including non-state actors, in Lebanon in 2003 or the first half of 2004. The last known use of antipersonnel mines in Lebanon was by Israel and armed non-state actors, likely Hezbollah, in occupied South Lebanon in 1999 and prior to the May 2000 Israeli withdrawal. In March 2000, a Hezbollah spokesman stated that they generally do not classify themselves as landmine users.[5] Between 1975 and 2000, forces reported to have used landmines in Lebanon included the Lebanese Army, local militia groups, the Syrian Army, various armed Palestinian groups, Israel Defense Forces, and the South Lebanon Army.[6]

The National Demining Office (NDO) of the Lebanese Army facilitates the acquisition by commercial demining companies working in South Lebanon of mines and explosive devices for training in mine clearance operations.[7] These companies also neutralize some mines found in South Lebanon for training in mine operations.[8]

Landmine Problem

Lebanon’s nationwide Landmine Impact Survey (LIS) was completed by the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) in August 2003, but the official report has still not been released—due in part to delays in the UN certification of the survey.[9] Preliminary results of the survey indicate that 22 of 24 districts, covering 137 square kilometers, are affected to some degree by landmines and/or unexploded ordnance (UXO). The survey identified 306 affected communities, with a total of 1,087,249 people, or approximately 30 percent of the population of Lebanon.[10] According to the LIS, there are 28 highly impacted communities and more than 250 communities with medium or less impact.[11] The socio-economic impact of mines/UXO remains significant, especially in areas where it impedes the return of displaced people, such as in the provinces of Nabatieh, South Lebanon and Mount Lebanon. Mines and UXO also continue to contaminate certain areas of shoreline in Beirut, Tabarja, Tripoli, and the province of South Lebanon.

Every year, the NDO of the Lebanese Army provides Landmine Monitor with a list of mined areas in Lebanon, sorted by mohafazat (province) and cadaa (district). As of 1 March 2003, the Army counted 1,233 cleared areas and 2,180 uncleared areas. As of 28 May 2004, the Army counted 900 additional cleared areas, with a total of 25 million square meters of land. Despite the increased demining activity, the Army counted approximately 2,500 uncleared areas, a bigger total than in the past. More uncleared areas have been identified as a result of expanded and better survey and information-gathering activities. The uncleared areas total 115 million square meters, their locations are as follows: 108 in Tripoli and Batroun district; 15 in Beirut; 326 in Mount Lebanon province; 77 in West Bekaa district; 632 in the South; and 1,028 along the southern border, the “blue-line” zone.[12]

The Lebanese Army has estimated that there are about 550,000 landmines laid throughout the country, with South Lebanon being the most heavily contaminated area, containing approximately 400,000 mines.[13] The UN has stated that the majority of the mined areas in the south are found in border minefields along the UN-drawn “blue-line” between Lebanon and Israel/Occupied Territories of Palestine. Border minefields are located from the coast at Naquora all the way to Kfar Chouba in the east.[14] Israeli maps report a total number of 1,869 minefields along the border, containing an estimated 246,012 antipersonnel mines and 10,666 antivehicle mines.[15] The mines there were mostly planted by Israel and its Lebanese militia allies, as well as by Lebanese armed groups, although mine clearance teams have also found ordnance from conflicts in the 1920s and World War II.[16]

The Lebanese Army has told Landmine Monitor that the Israeli maps provide information on less than 80 percent of the minefields and that fieldwork has shown the maps are about 60 percent accurate.[17] The UN Interim Force in Lebanon reportedly stated that Israel had provided maps for only 40 percent of the minefields.[18] Israel would not disclose information regarding minefields in the area north of the Litani River up to Jezzine.[19] On 30 January 2004, Lebanon obtained some of Israel’s South Lebanon minefield maps during a Hezbollah prisoner exchange with Israel.[20]

New minefields and dangerous areas are still being discovered. In June 2003, a new minefield belt was discovered around the outside perimeter of the town of Marjayoun.[21]

Survey and Assessment

The Mines Advisory Group (MAG), in collaboration with the NDO, began a nationwide Landmine Impact Survey (LIS) in March 2002 and completed it in August 2003. The report was due for release in mid-2004. The Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF) provided technical support and advice to the LIS. The UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) certified the report in September 2004 and it has been sent to MAG for distribution.[22] The European Commission funded the survey with €1.6 million.

The survey data has been fed into the IMSMA databases installed at the NDO and at the Mine Action Coordination Center for South Lebanon (MACC SL). The NDO’s IMSMA database covers the entire country, while MACC SL’s is for South Lebanon only. A system of data exchange between the NDO and MACC SL has been established. In March 2004, a real time IMSMA read-only terminal was installed in the Demining Coordination Cell (DCC) at the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), allowing DCC staff to obtain updates from the IMSMA database as new information is entered.[23]

Post-clearance surveys began as a joint task of the MACC SL and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Socio-economic Development Project in December 2003 with initial reports expected in early 2004.[24]

Coordination and Planning

The National Demining Office of the Lebanese Army is the official body in charge of the national mine action plan and undertakes all coordination and planning efforts. The NDO has established two committees, one for mine risk education and the other for survivor assistance, which meet regularly to coordinate their activities. Bilateral contacts between the NDO, the Ministry of Defense, and major stakeholders and donor countries continued in 2003 and 2004.[25]

The NDO coordinates its activities with the Mine Action Coordination Center for South Lebanon, which was established in Tyre in early 2002. The MACC SL manages the United Arab Emirates-funded “Operation Emirates Solidarity” demining project in South Lebanon. MACC SL includes components from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), the United Arab Emirates Army, and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).[26] MACC SL continued to hold its weekly coordination meetings for the demining organizations working in the south. The last meeting of the donor group, the International Support Group for Mine Action in Lebanon (ISG), took place on 16 December 2003.

In May 2001, the NDO launched a five-year strategic plan. In September 2003, with the assistance of UNDP, the NDO began a strategic review to evaluate past activities and planning, and “establish an End State Strategy that is both realistic and supported by all stakeholders.”[27] As of August 2004, the Minister of Defense, who heads the project, was examining the review.[28]

The Army Engineering Corps has developed a set of prioritization criteria for mine clearance, taking into consideration the needs of local communities.”[29] The NDO has begun using the results of the LIS to plan demining operations.

Under Operation Emirates Solidarity, the Landmines Resource Center has carried out a community liaison project linking the demining companies and the communities targeted by the demining operations, enabling the communities to express their needs and to report dangerous areas for verification and clearance.[30]

Mine Action Funding

There is no one source available for mine action funding in Lebanon and with several actors engaged in these activities, funding is difficult to track. In 2001, the UAE pledged up to $50 million to support re-development and mine action in South Lebanon. Its project, Operation Emirates Solidarity, concluded in June 2004. It is not known how much of the UAE pledge was spent on mine action in 2003.

According to information supplied to Landmine Monitor by donors, mine action funding for Lebanon in 2003 from six major donors totaled $5.9 million, including Greece ($2.02 million), the United States ($1.96 million), Norway ($1.17 million), European Union ($570,626), Switzerland ($130,000), and Japan ($53,462).[31]

  • European Commission provided €504,309 ($570,626) for mine action in south Lebanon
  • Greece provided €1,784,596 ($2,019,270) to International Mine Initiative (IMI) for mine clearance
  • Japan provided $53,462 to MAG for its Mine Detection Dog program
  • Norway provided a total of NOK8,292,000 ($1.17 million) in 2003, consisting of $714,286 (NOK5,000,000) to MAG for mechanical demining, $428,571 (NOK3,000,000) to NPA for mine victim rehabilitation, and $41,714 (NOK292,000) to UNDP for the Trees Instead of Mines project
  • Switzerland provided $130,000 for MRE training by UNMAS
  • The United States provided $1,964,475 to mine action in Lebanon

The NDO also reported the following: the United Arab Emirates contributed $2,466,431 for MAC SL; UNIFIL/DPKO provided $1,526,848 for coordination between 2001 and 2003; and the UN Voluntary Trust TF provided $717,087 in unearmarked contributions for coordination in 2002-2003.[32]

On 27 February 2004, the US provided the Lebanese Army with a grant of $500,000 to remove underwater mines and for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD). The US trained the Lebanese Army for this project and in addition supplied the Engineering Regiment with enough demining material and suits to equip fifty deminers. In July 2003, US experts completed a $4.5 million program in Lebanon to train army personnel and dogs to clear landmines.[33] The US also donated five ambulances and four other vehicles for detecting mines and treating injuries.

A five-year demining training program (2000-2005) by France for experts from the Lebanese Army continued in 2003.

In December 2003, Humanitarian Concern International contributed $10,000 towards a conference on landmine victims organized by the National Committee for Victim Assistance at the NDO. The conference was also supported by the World Rehabilitation Fund (WRF) and Norwegian People's Aid. In September 2003, the Landmine Survivors Network (LSN) donated $5,000 towards a camp for landmine survivors from the Arab world organized in Lebanon. WRF and NPA also supported the camp.

Mine Clearance

A variety of actors engaged in mine clearance in Lebanon in 2003 including the national armies of Lebanon, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates; commercial operators such as BACTEC and Minetech; Ukrainian peacekeepers; and NGOs International Mine Initiative (IMI) and Mines Advisory Group.

In 2003, three Lebanese Army demining companies are conducted mine clearance in Abbassiyya and Markaba. A fourth company is divided between Batroun (North Lebanon) and Souk El Gharb (Mount Lebanon). The Army deployed four humanitarian demining companies with 75 deminers in each and eighteen mine detection dogs.[34] The Army uses a mechanical mine clearance flail, the Armtrac 100, provided by the US State Department. In 2003 and 2004, the Syrian Army provided 146 deminers to support the Lebanese Army’s demining work in West Bekaa and Jezzine.

The Lebanese Army reported demining 1.6 million square meters of land in 2003, and destroyed 2,200 antipersonnel mines, 250 antivehicle mines, and 8,000 UXO from 70 minefields and dangerous areas.[35] In 2002, the Army reported demining 1.7 million square meters of land and destroyed 7,973 antipersonnel mines, 139 antivehicle mines, and 8,109 UXO. From 1 January 1990 through 31 December 2003, the Lebanese Army cleared 20 million square meters of land and destroyed 40,000 antipersonnel mines, 5,500 antivehicle mines, and 60,000 UXO.

The Mines Advisory Group (MAG) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the NDO in October 2000 to conduct mine clearance in Lebanon, which was renewed in 2002. MAG has recruited locally and trained approximately 70 deminers for deployment in two Mine Action Teams (MATs), as well as establishing the infrastructure and capacity required to implement a nationwide LIS. In 2003, a new mine detecting dog capacity augmented the technical survey work and a midi-flail system was introduced to work alongside the demining teams. Between 12 January and 31 August 2003, MAG was contracted by UNOPS to conduct surveys in Marjayoun.[36] On 13 October 2003 MAG began mine clearance in the village of Aarab El Louaizh, located within UNFIL area of operations near the “blue line,” and by December 2003 it had cleared 140 antipersonnel mines.[37] By February 2004, MAG had relocated to an area further north, near Beiteddine in Mount Lebanon, due to heightened tensions, where it has been working in coordination with the NDO.[38] MAG also sent a team to eastern Sidon in February 2004. In 2002–2003, MAG’s operating budget in Lebanon was $2,462,593.[39]

In 2003, with its survey, MDD and clearance teams, MAG cleared a total of 105,534 square meters, and destroyed 753 antipersonnel mines, 27 antivehicle mines and 862 UXO, including eight cluster bomblets).[40] From January 2004 to September 2004, MAG cleared 76,000 square meters and destroyed 106 antipersonnel mines, an antivehicle mine, two bomblets and 60 other UXO.

The International Mine Initiative (IMI), a Greek NGO, came to Lebanon on 1 November 2002 and started operations on 1 December 2002. It deployed a 13-person manual demining team, two mine detecting dog teams, and a mechanical clearance team. In June 2004 it completed demining on the outskirts of Arnoun in Nabatieh district.[41] According to IMI, the organization cleared 47,000 square meters containing approximately 213 antipersonnel mines, 4 antivehicle mines, and 9 UXO over an 80-day period in 2003.

BACTEC, a British commercial demining company, conducted clearance in 2003 and 2004 in South Lebanon as part of Operation Emirates Solidarity. It employs over 280 staff and fourteen mine detecting dogs. Its tools include four Bozena-3 flails, an Armtrac 100 flail, two bulldozers, and two vegetation cutters. MineTech, a commercial demining company from Zimbabwe, conducted demining as a part of OES until it completed operations in August 2003. MineTech employed 84 staff, including 53 expatriates, as well as 20 mine detecting dogs, and it used an Armtrac 325 flail.

In Phase Two of Operation Emirates Solidarity, conducted between May 2002 and 22 August 2003, BACTEC and MineTech cleared over 4 million square meters of land and destroyed 34,862 antipersonnel mines, 1,533 antivehicle mines, and 3,261 UXO.[42] In Phase Three of OES, between 28 June 2003 and November 2003, BACTEC cleared 500,000 square meters of contaminated land[43] and destroyed 19,866 antipersonnel mines, 40 antivehicle mines, and 682 UXO.[44]

The UN Interim Force in Lebanon has deployed the Ukrainian Army’s Third Engineer Battalion (UKRBATT) to carry out mine action activities since January 2001. In 2003 and 2004, UKRBATT conducted surveys of minefields along the “blue line” and other border areas working under the direction of the MACC SL. The survey data was then entered into the IMSMA at MACC SL.[45]

Operation Emirates Solidarity formally closed on 6 June 2004. According to MACC SL, under OES a total of 4,936,004 square meters of contaminated land was cleared and 62,490 landmines destroyed.[46] In 2004, a program began to plant trees in the cleared areas. By April 2004, 47,000 trees had been planted, with a goal to reach 170,000.[47] Six teams of soldiers from the UAE Engineer Regiment were deployed on three-month tours of duty in Lebanon until May 2004, when the UAE completed its mission.[48]

The MACC SL quality assurance team is comprised of a UN component and a Lebanon Armed Forces/NDO component. UNOPS has contracted Armor Group, a British company, and the Swedish Rescue Services Agency (SRSA) to provide quality assurance services on BACTEC and LAF.[49] In January 2004, Armor Group and LAF completed a review of National Technical Standards and Guidelines (TSGs), evaluating operational methodology and altering it where needed.[50] SRSA supported MACC SL by providing it with a Mine Detection Dog specialist.[51] The Lebanon Armed Forces Sampling Team continues to conduct Technical Survey operations and UXO and EOD response tasks allocated by MACC SL.[52]

Between 19 January 2004 and on 29 May 2004, BACTEC conducted a “Sweep Through” post-clearance review to check suspected mined areas in locations cleared under OES in 2003, visiting more than 200 sites by May 2004.[53] It concentrated mainly near the town of Marjayoun, close to the Al Qlaiaz minefield belt, where new minefields had been discovered.[54] At the conclusion of the “Sweep Through” project, MACC SL declared it had achieved “a mine safe/impact free environment” throughout the areas cleared under OES.[55]

The remaining mine/UXO threat within the former Israeli occupied area is now located in the Jezzine/Nabatyre/Hasbyre area, between the Litani and Awali Rivers, and along the “blue line.”[56]

The National Demining Office has provided the following statistics on mine clearance in 2003 and 2004. In many cases, they vary significantly from the information provided by the mine action operators themselves or by MACC SL.

NDO Statistics on Mine Clearance in Lebanon: January-December 2003[57]

Operation Emirates Solidarity
LAF Sampling Teams/MACC SL
AP Mines
AT Mines
Area m2

NDO Statistics on Mine Clearance in Lebanon: 1 January 2004-April 2004[58]

OES Project
LAF Sampling Teams/MACC SL
AP Mines
AT Mines
Area m2

Mine Risk Education

In 2003 and 2004, members of the National Mine Risk Education Committee continued to implement mine risk education (MRE) programs in Lebanon.[59] The committee, established in April 2002,[60] is headed by the officer in charge of the MRE section at the NDO. This Committee replaced the Mine Awareness Steering Committee based at the Landmines Resource Center (LMRC) that was established in 1999.[61]

The NDO reports that between 1 May 2003 and 16 March 2004 mine risk education activities reached approximately 1 million citizens in 603 towns (130 towns and villages in the South and West Bekaa), including 200,000 students in 584 schools (93,000 students in 200 schools in Beirut).[62] This represents an increase in comparison to the 500,000 people reported in the previous period.[63] Between 1999 and 2003, 1,555,644 people received MRE.[64]

In May 2003, the National MRE Committee launched a MRE campaign in Mount Lebanon province and in Batroun district of the north. In July and August 2003, LMRC was appointed by the National MRE Committee and the NDO to conduct a mine risk education needs assessment in Mount Lebanon and Batroun. Its results were used to plan interventions in these areas. LMRC, supported by the World Rehabilitation Fund, also conducted a training workshop in July 2003 for mine risk education volunteers from Mount Lebanon and Batroun. In August 2003, in collaboration with the NDO, an American team from the Humanitarian Demining Training Center conducted a child-to-child training workshop on MRE for 13 teachers in Nabatieh.

In 2003, Norwegian People’s Aid helped local partners to: 1) conduct a follow-up mine risk education campaign in 160 villages in South Lebanon and West Bekaa, 2) carry out awareness activities in 50 villages in Mount Lebanon, 3) conduct a MRE campaign in 100 villages in Mount Lebanon and Batroun, 4) design and produce MRE materials, including posters, booklets and signs, and 5) produce an audio cassette of a children’s song on MRE.[65]

In January 2004, at the request of the MRE Committee and the NDO director, UNICEF completed an external evaluation of all MRE products and campaigns implemented in South Lebanon and West Bekaa since the Israeli Forces withdrawal in May 2000, to help the NDO assess and select the best adapted activities and products for future MRE.[66] The evaluation showed that a major proportion of target communities and school children identified with the work of the committee. They remembered messages and methods and found them appropriate. They called for MRE to be more focused on schools through trained teachers.[67]

In 2003, the MRE Committee launched a reminder MRE campaign in the South and West Bekaa. In April 2004, the MRE Committee began a new MRE campaign in the North. The US Agency for International Aid conducted a program in Jezzine to promote awareness and prevention.[68]

In August 2004, the NDO signed an agreement with the International Mine Initiative (IMI) to launch an MRE campaign in 100 towns and villages in North Lebanon and Mount Lebanon. In September 2004, the NDO is planning to launch special awareness training workshops for 600 teachers all over Lebanon supported by US European Command, WRF and NPA.[69] In 2003-2004, the following MRE products were produced by the MRE national committee: a coloring book for children (UNICEF funding), a song for children (NPA and WRF funding), and an MRE facilitators handbook.

When MRE began in Lebanon in 1996, it was generally provided through lectures by a combination of military officers and NGO staff. By 2004, MRE is provided by about 250 trained youth activists during summer and scout camps, at schools, with clubs, in villages and communities. Messages and materials are being developed on the basis of the characteristics of the target audience, taking into consideration vulnerability, age and literacy levels. No material is produced and printed without validation from its target, meaning pre-test, post-test and evaluation of impact. The involvement of the military is now limited to monitoring and supervision.[70]

MRE operators in Lebanon do not generate clearance requests.[71] However, organizations such as MAG and the LMRC conduct community liaison.[72]

Landmine Casualties[73]

In 2003, 26 new landmine/UXO/cluster bomb casualties were recorded, including three people killed and 24 injured; all were males.[74] This represents a significant decrease from the 49 new casualties reported in 2002, 93 casualties in 2001, and 119 in 2000. The decline in mine casualties is believed to be the result of humanitarian mine clearance activities undertaken since 1998 and an extensive mine risk education campaign. Casualties in 2003 include a 43-year-old man who lost his leg on 22 July after stepping on a landmine in the area of Meiss el Jebel, near the “blue line,”[75] and a mine incident on 21 October that injured a 57-year-old man while gathering firewood near the border.[76] On 22 November, two children suffered injuries to their hands and chests as a result of an explosion occurring while they played near a school in Houla.[77]

The majority of casualties in 2003 were inhabitants of South Lebanon, but incidents were also recorded in other parts of the country. Incidents occurred in areas that were already known or suspected to be dangerous, but that were not fenced or marked. The injuries were caused by antipersonnel mines, cluster bomblets, and in one case, an unidentified object. People are often aware of the landmine problem, but enter suspected areas for economic reasons. Five casualties in 2003 were under 18 years.

New landmine/UXO casualties continue to be reported in 2004, with four adults injured as of June 2004, including a man who lost his finger when a mine exploded near Sarda, on 22 March,[78] and another man who lost his foot when he stepped on a landmine in the area of Hounin on 4 April.[79]

Since 2001, 39 deminers have been killed or injured during mine clearance operations: seven in 2003; 12 in 2002; and 20 in 2001.[80] In December 2003, two Syrian military personnel were seriously injured during mine clearance operations.[81] A British deminer lost his leg in a landmine accident on 20 July 2002.[82] In September 2002, a Zimbabwean deminer lost his hand in a mine accident.[83] In May 2002, a Mozambican peacekeeper serving with the United Nations force in South Lebanon (UNIFIL) was seriously injured in an accident during mine clearance operations. According to Lebanese Police, he was the third Mozambican peacekeeper to be injured during clearance operations that month.[84]

The Landmines Resource Center of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Balamand maintains a landmine casualty database in cooperation with the NDO. LMRC provides both the NDO and MACC SL with casualty data. LMRC began data collection in August 1998 and records landmine casualties in Lebanon through its network of NGO contacts and focal points in the villages of the south. In collaboration with concerned NGOs from the National Victim Assistance Committee, LMRC completed a new phase of landmine casualty data collection between July and December 2002 in the South and West Bekaa. In March 2004, LMRC started another phase of landmine casualty data collection in Chouf and Aley, the two most mine-affected districts of Mount Lebanon province. This data collection cycle is partially funded by NPA. Data collection is taking place under the supervision of the NDO and in collaboration with the National Victim Assistance Committee.

From 2000 to June 2004, 291 landmine/UXO/cluster bomb casualties were recorded (35 killed and 254 injured). As of 31 December 2003, the database contained information on a total of 3,846 landmine/UXO casualties in Lebanon, including 1,719 people killed and 2,127 injured.

Survivor Assistance

On 21 October 2001, the NDO established a National Mine Victim Assistance Committee that includes the major actors in survivor assistance in Lebanon.[85]

In the South, the existing first aid structure is used for the evacuation of landmine casualties, including ambulances and first aid care provided by the Lebanese Red Cross, the Islamic Health Council and the Al-Rissala First Aid Service. The Lebanese Red Cross has a network of 38 centers and 2,000 volunteers. Landmine casualties are taken to the nearest emergency room, usually hospitals in Saida, as the four other hospitals in the South are unable to provide the necessary assistance. The government normally pays for initial hospital care, either through the Ministry of Health, the National Social Security Fund, the Council of the South, or the Military Hospital (for military personnel only), while funding for long-term hospital care is not available. In certain cases, landmine survivors are obliged to leave the hospital.[86]

In addition to services provided by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Affairs, rehabilitation services are also provided through NGOs. Although the Ministry of Health, or the Council of the South, covers the cost of prosthetics, physiotherapy and rehabilitation, the services are not available in government hospitals. NGOs provide the services and are later reimbursed for the costs. However, there are reportedly long delays in repayment of costs to the orthopedic workshops. Amputees requiring a prosthetic device must first be measured at an NGO workshop and then travel to Beirut to obtain approval from the government committee before the device can be fitted. There is reportedly no coordination between the Ministry of Health and the Council of the South.[87]

Norwegian People’s Aid launched a new mine survivor assistance program in the South, in cooperation with the NDO and the National Mine Victim Assistance Committee, at the beginning of 2001. The program includes several components, including emergency and first aid, psychosocial support, prosthetic and orthopedic workshops, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and economic reintegration. NPA works in cooperation with local partners to implement activities. In 2003, NPA partners provided training in first aid and emergency evacuations for approximately 80 people, equipped five rescue ambulances with trauma kits and emergency medical equipment, provided rehabilitation services to around 200 mine survivors, and adapted the homes of eight mine survivors. NPA supported the first stage of the Mount Lebanon survey on mine survivors and their needs, supported 30 mine survivors with income-generating projects, trained NGOs in writing funding proposals and strategic planning, and sent representatives to a regional landmine conference in Sharjah, UAE in December 2003. NPA also supported, with other donors, a conference for governmental authorities, local and international NGOs, and mine survivors to meet and discuss their needs. Funding for the program is provided by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[88]

In 2003, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) supported orthopedic centers in Beit Chebab and Sidon with the supply of materials and components, technical support and financial assistance to cover the cost of services for Palestinian refugees and destitute Lebanese with disabilities. The two centers produced 58 prostheses, including three for mine survivors, in 2003.[89]

In September 2003, the Vision Association for Development and Rehabilitation and Care in Lebanon, in cooperation with Landmine Survivors Network, held the First Arab Summer Camp in Lebanon. Participants included landmine survivors from Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan, and Syria. The aim of the camp was to improve the psychosocial recovery of survivors through peer support. NPA also provided funding for the summer camp.[90]

Most actors in survivor assistance in Lebanon agree that more attention is needed on employment and economic reintegration activities.[91]

In June 1998, the US-based World Rehabilitation Fund (WRF) launched a comprehensive mine action program in Lebanon with funding from UNDP and the US Leahy War Victims Fund. Activities are implemented in collaboration with the NDO and local and international organizations and agencies. Components of the program included: designing and implementing an approach to community based rehabilitation that meets the needs of persons residing in mine-affected areas; a project to address the problems of war-related stress among young women through the development of a mentoring program; creating a mechanism in cooperation with the Ministry of Health to standardize services for the provision of prostheses and orthoses; and creating sustainable income-generating activities. In February 2002, the “Development Cooperative in Jezzine,” was established with support from WRF to enable mine survivors to become productive members within their families and communities. In 2003, 124 mine survivors were members of the cooperative and were engaged in beekeeping, raising poultry and herb cultivation to raise an income. WRF continues to provide technical and material assistance in support of data collection and management, advocacy and community mobilization, and capacity building in survivor assistance.[92]

In February 2004, the local NGO, Lebanese Welfare Association for the Handicapped in Beirut, with support from NPA, started a program to provide income generation loans for mine survivors. Six mine survivors received loans to start small businesses, including beekeeping/honey production, a grocery store, kiosks, milk production, and egg production.[93]

In October 2002, the Welfare Association for the Handicapped in Nabatieh received $10,000 from the Near East Foundation for a credit program to assist landmine survivors.[94] The Association is also implementing a loan/credit program with NPA funding.

Two mine survivors from Lebanon participated in the Raising the Voices training program in Geneva in June 2004.

Disability Policy and Practice

On 25 May 2000, the “Access and Rights of the Disabled” law was approved by the Parliament; however, the law is not yet effective, due to lack of funding.[95] The law established the National Disability Council, headed by the Minister of Social Affairs, which aims to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to their rights. In December 2003, the Ministry of Social Affairs reported that, as part of the law, it had issued cards for medical and social benefits to persons with disabilities.[96]

[1] Interview with Amb. Antoine Chedid, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Beirut, 4 September 2003.
[2] Statement by Amb. Joubran Soufan, Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Lebanon to the UN, intersessional Standing Committee meeting, Geneva, 13 February 2004.
[3] Nada Raad, “Conference outlines successes, challenges in de-mining work,” Daily Star, 2 December 2003.
[4] Letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, from Gen. Emile Lahoud, President of Lebanon, 31 March 2004. Israel ratified Amended Protocol II in October 2000.
[5] Interview conducted in South Lebanon, March 2000.
[6] James Trevelyan, “Landmine and Unexploded Ordnance Problem in Lebanon,” February 2000.
[7] Interview with United Arab Emirates representative, South Lebanon, 31 March 2003. The UAE has paid for the explosives, which it obtains from the Czech Republic and Syria.
[8] Information provided to Landmine Monitor by Col. Kassem Jammoul, NDO, 28 May 2004.
[9] Notes taken in a meeting with UNMAS, NDO, MAC SL, and LMRC, Tyre (South Lebanon), 8 July 2004.
[10] First Report of the National Demining Office of the Lebanese Army, “Working for Future of our Country, Report 1-2004: Mine Action in Lebanon 2003,” p. 3; see also Norwegian People's Aid, “NPA Humanitarian Mine Action 2004: Lebanon.”
[11] NDO, “Mine Action in Lebanon 2003,” p. 3.
[12] Information provided to Landmine Monitor by Col. Kassem Jammoul, Operation Officer, NDO, 28 May 2004.
[13] Report of the NDO operation section, March 2004. There are conflicting reports regarding the number of mines remaining. One press account stated that the United Nations agreed with the estimate of 400,000 mines in the formerly occupied border zone: Jonathan Fowler, “U.N. Lebanon peace program hinges on tree-planting,” Associated Press, 29 April 2004. Another article stated that according to the UN, there were 480,000 mines in Southern Lebanon with about half of those on military territory and therefore “not a priority.” “Lebanon’s tree-for-a-mine project could help Middle East peace,” Agence France-Presse, 29 April 2004. The NDO website suggests that 550,000 was the original number of mines in Lebanon, and that now the number has been reduced to 400,000. See www.ndo-lb.org .
[14] MACC SL, “Annual Report for 2003,” online version, p. 1.
[15] Presentation by Lt. Col. Kassem Jammoul, NDO, to a visiting delegation from US Department of State, 6 May 2003.
[16] Jonathan Fowler, “U.N. Lebanon peace program,” AP, 29 April 2004.
[17] Interview with Gen. Massaad, Director, National Demining Office, and other NDO personnel (Lt. Col. Kassem Jammoul, Lt. Col. Takieddine Taneer, Maj. Khaled Alieh, and Maj. Marwan Sakr), Hazmieh, 5 May 2003.
[18] “Lebanon fetes Hezbollah for securing Israeli minefield maps in prisoner swap,” Agence France-Presse (Lebanon), 6 February 2004.
[19] Samer Wehbe, “US completes de-mining training,” Daily Star, 4 July 2003.
[20] “Lebanon fetes Hezbollah,” AFP, 6 February 2004; “Hezbollah hands over Israeli maps of land-mines to Lebanese army,” TV Al-Manar (Lebanon), 6 February 2004; Ileil Shahar, “Sharon Stands Behind POW Deal,” Maariv International (Internet news source), 25 January 2004; interview by LM/HRW with members of the Israeli delegation to the Eighth Session of the CCW Group of Government Experts, Geneva, 8 July 2004.
[21] MACC SL, “Quarterly Report: July–September 2003, p. 5.
[22] Email from William Barron, Operations Director, VVAF, 30 September 2004.
[23] MACC SL, “Newsletter,” March 2004, p. 2.
[24] NDO, “Mine Action in Lebanon 2003.”
[25] Interview with Gen. Massaad, NDO, 5 May 2003.
[26] MACC SL, “Quarterly Report: October–December 2003,” p. 1.
[27] Ibid, p. 2.
[28] Interview with Chip Bowness, Chief Technical Advisor, NDO, Hazmieh, 11 August 2004.
[29] Interview with General Massaad, NDO, 5 May 2003.
[30] LMRC community liaison reports to UAE and UNOPS, May 2002-March 2003.
[31] See individual country reports in Landmine Monitor Report 2004. In some cases, funding is for country’s fiscal year, not the calendar year. Landmine Monitor did currency exchanges and rounded off numbers.
[32] Unless noted, this section was taken from Landmine Monitor 2004 donor country reports or from First Report of the National Demining Office of the Lebanese Army, “Working for Future of our Country, Report 1-2004: Mine Action in Lebanon 2003,” p. 5.
[33] Samer Wehbe, “US completes de-mining training,” Daily Star, 4 July 2003.
[34] NDO, “Mine Action in Lebanon 2003.” p. 5.
[35] Ibid, p. 1, Annex B.
[36] See “MACC SL Clearance Organizations,” www.maccsl.org/clear_org.htm, accessed 12 October 2004.
[37] MACC SL, “Quarterly Report: October–December 2003,” p. 7.
[38] Report of the Mine Action Co-ordination Center, South Lebanon, January and February 2004, p. 4.
[39] MAG response to LM Questionnaire, submitted 20 August 2004.
[40] Email from Tim Carstairs, Director for Policy, MAG, 7 October 2004.
[41] Samer Wehbe, “Arnoun demined after 80-day Greek operation,” Daily Star, 17 June 2004.
[42] MACC SL, “Quarterly Report: July–September 2003, p. 3. See www.maccsl.org/statistics.htm, accessed 12 October 2004.
[43] MACC SL, “Quarterly Report: October–December 2003,” p. 3.
[44] MACC SL, “Quarterly Report: July–September 2003,” p. 3.
[45] MACC SL, “Quarterly Report: October–December 2003 and January–May 2004.”
[46] See www.maccsl.org/statistics.htm. These numbers include the survey work completed by MAG and LAF, in addition to the clearance work conducted by BACTEC and MineTech.
[47] Jonathan Fowler, “U.N. Lebanon peace program,” Associated Press, 29 April 2004.
[48] “UAE team ends demining mission in Lebanon,” Emirates New Agency, 22 May 2004.
[49] MACC SL, “Newsletter,” Issue 4, May 2004, p. 2.
[50] MACC SL, “Report,” January and February 2004, p. 4.
[51] MACC SL, “Newsletter,” Issue 4, May 2004, p. 10.
[52] MACC SL, “Report,” May 2004, p. 2.
[53] MACC SL, “Newsletter,” Issue 4, May 2004, p. 5.
[54] Ibid, pp. 5, 12; MACC SL, “Quarterly Report: July–September 2003,” p. 3.
[55] MACC SL, “Report,” May 2004, p. 1.
[56] Ibid.
[57] NDO, “Mine Action in Lebanon 2003,” Annex B, P. 2.
[58] Ibid.
[59] The committee includes the Landmines Resource Center, ICRC, Lebanese Red Cross, UNICEF, World Rehabilitation Fund, Islamic Health Council, Islamic Al Rissala Scouts Association, Lebanese Welfare Association for the Handicapped, Lebanese Welfare Association for the Injured and Disabled of War, Welfare Association for the Handicap in Nabatieh, Vision Association for Development, Rehabilitation and Care in Bekaa, National Center for Development and Rehabilitation in Mount Lebanon, NPA, and the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Education. See www.ndo-lb.org .
[60] Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p.709.
[61] Landmine Monitor Report 2000, p.948.
[62] Information provided by Col. Taneer, Head of MRE section, NDO, 13 August 2004.
[63] Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p.645.
[64] Email to Landmine Monitor (HI) from Habouba Aoun, Coordinator, Landmine Resource Center, 27 September 2004.
[65] Information on NPA’s activities was all provided by NPA Lebanon. Email from Firas Abi Ali, Mine Action Program Officer, NPA Lebanon, 26 May 2004.
[66] Email from Julie Myers, Project Officer, UNICEF New York, 16 September 2004.
[67] Email from Habouba Aoun, LMRC, 27 September 2004.
[68] Samer Wehbe, “US completes de-mining training,” Daily Star, 4 July 2003.
[69] Notes provided by Col. Takiedine Taneer, Head of MRE section, NDO, 28 August 2004.
[70] Email from Habouba Aoun, LMRC, 27 September 2004.
[71] Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p.709.
[72] Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p.642; information provided by Lydia Good, Project Coordinator for Lebanon, MAG, 20 August 2004.
[73] Unless otherwise stated, the information on landmine casualties is taken from the Landmine Resource Center (LMRC) database as of June 2004.
[74] The NDO website reports only 20 casualties for 2003. Lebanese Minister of Defense Mahmoud Hammoud reported in December 2003 that landmines had killed 16 people, including 10 civilians, in 2003. “Lebanon clears quarter of landmines left by Israel – minister,” AFP (Beirut), 16 December 2003.
[75] MACC SL, “Quarterly Report: July–September 2003,” p. 2.
[76] Cynthia Johnston, “Dangerous ground remains in Lebanon,” Reuters, 3 November 2003.
[77] MACC SL, “Quarterly Report: October–December 2003,” p. 2. The report classifies the incident under “Recent Mine Strikes,” but notes that an investigation could not confirm exactly what caused the explosion, but only that it resulted from an unexploded item left from the occupation.
[78] MACC SL, “Newsletter,” Issue 4, May 2004, p. 21.
[79] MACC SL, “Newsletter,” April 2004, p. 1; “Land mine explosion injures villager in south Lebanon,” Associated Press (Beirut), 4 April 2004.
[80] Casualties during mine clearance activities are included in the LMRC database. See also NDO website, www.ndo-lb.org, (accessed 10 September 2004); Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 645.
[81] “Two Syrian Soldiers Wounded by ‘Israeli’ Mine in S. Lebanon,” The Daily Star, 16 December 2003.
[82] Rodeina Kenaan, “British sapper loses leg in southern Lebanon landmine explosion,” Associated Press, 20 July 2002.
[83] “African mine-clearer loses hand in explosion in south Lebanon,” AP, 21 September 2002.
[84] “Mozambican peacekeeper loses hands in Lebanon mine-clearing accident,” AFP, 20 May 2002.
[85] Committee members include: WHO, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the Council of the South, LMRC, ICRC, the Lebanese Red Cross, UNICEF, World Rehabilitation Fund, the Islamic Health Council, the Islamic Al Rissala Scouts Association, the Lebanese Welfare Association for the Handicapped, the Welfare Association for the Handicapped in Nabatieh, the Vision Association for Development, Rehabilitation & Care in Bekaa, the Welfare Association for the Care of the Injured and Disabled of War in Lebanon and Norwegian People’s Aid.
[86] See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 710; see also Landmine Survivors Network, “Victim Assistance Programs in Yemen and Lebanon – 2002: A guide to organizations working with landmine survivors,” p. 13.
[87] LSN, “Victim Assistance Programs in Yemen and Lebanon,” pp. 13-14.
[88] Email from Firas Abi Ali, NPA, 26 May 2004; email from Desk Officer, NPA, 19 June 2003. For details of NPA activities in prior years see Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 646 and Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 710.
[89] ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Programs, “Annual Report 2003,” Geneva, 9 March 2004, pp. 17 and 26. The ICRC physical rehabilitation program supported three centers in Lebanon between 1982 and 1995. Between 1996 and 2002 the centers were supported by the ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled.
[90] Email from Adnan Al Aboudi, Director, Landmine Survivors Network (Jordan), 18 April 2004; email from Firas Abi Ali, NPA, 26 May 2004.
[91] LSN, “Victim Assistance Programs in Yemen and Lebanon,” p. 15.
[92] Email from Toufic Rizkallah, Assistant Director, WRF Lebanon, 24 August 2004 and response to socio-economic reintegration questionnaire; WRF, “The Socio-Economic Reintegration of Landmine Survivors Program Report: Lebanon, Mozambique and Cambodia,” New York, 2003, pp. 9-12; USAID, “Patrick J Leahy War Victims Fund: 2004 Portfolio Synopsis,” Washington DC, p. 46; Landmine Monitor Report 2003, pp. 646-647; Landmine Monitor Report 2002, pp. 710-711.
[93] Boutros Hobeika, Public Relations Officer, LWAH, response to socio-economic reintegration questionnaire, 23 August 2004.
[94] Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 647.
[95] Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 711.
[96] Nada Raad, “Conference outlines successes,” Daily Star, 2 December 2003.