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Country Reports
Qatar, Landmine Monitor Report 2004


Key developments since 1999: The Mine Ban Treaty entered into force for Qatar on 1 April 1999. Qatar has taken no national legal measures to implement the treaty. Qatar submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report, due by 27 September 1999, on 3 August 2002. It confirmed that Qatar is not mine-affected, has never used, produced or exported antipersonnel mines, and has no stockpile of live mines. Qatar has not formally stated if any US mines stored in the country fall under Qatar’s jurisdiction or control.

Qatar signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997, ratified on 13 October 1998, and the treaty entered into force on 1 April 1999. Qatar has taken no national legal measures to implement the treaty.[1] In May 2003, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar told Landmine Monitor, “There was no immediate need to formulate legislation because Qatar has not had any landmine problems and does not use landmines.”[2]

Qatar was a full participant in the Ottawa Process and one of the few nations in the Middle East to sign the treaty in 1997. Qatar has voted in favor every annual pro-ban UN General Assembly resolution since 1996.

Qatar has participated more extensively in the Mine Ban Treaty work program in recent years. It attended the Fifth Meeting of States Parties in Bangkok in September 2003, and the intersessional meetings in Geneva in February and June 2004. In April 2004, Qatar attended a regional seminar on military and humanitarian issues surrounding the treaty in Amman, Jordan. Previously, Qatar participated in the Meetings of States Parties in 2000 and 2002, and its first presence at intersessional Standing Committee meetings was in February 2003.

On 29 March 2004, Qatar submitted its second Article 7 transparency report. Its initial Article 7 report, which was due on 27 September, was submitted on 3 August 2003 for the period 2001-2002; this is a “nil” report. Both reports are in Arabic.

Qatar maintains that it has never produced or transferred antipersonnel mines.[3] At the Fifth Meeting of States Parties in September 2003, Qatar reiterated that it has never used, produced, or exported antipersonnel mines, and that it has no stockpile of live mines.[4] Qatar did not declare any stockpiles of antipersonnel mines in its Article 7 reports. Qatari military officers have told Landmine Monitor that Qatar possesses a small stockpile of dummy antipersonnel mines (without fuses or detonators) for training purposes; they also said Qatar does not possess Claymore-type mines or antivehicle mines.[5]

Qatar is not mine-affected. It is not known to have contributed to any international mine action programs since 1999, although representatives did express an interest at the September 2003 Fifth Meeting of States Parties in supporting a victim assistance program.[6] In 1999, Qatar donated $200,000 to the (Slovenia) International Trust Fund for mine action in Bosnia-Herzegovina.[7]

Joint Operations and Foreign Stockpiling

Qatar has not engaged in the extensive discussions that States Parties have had on matters of interpretation and implementation related to Articles 1, 2, and 3 and the issues of joint military operations with non-States Parties, foreign stockpiling and transit of antipersonnel mines, antivehicle mines with sensitive fuzes or antihandling devices, and the permissible number of mines retained for training. However, it has addressed some of these issues directly with the ICBL and Landmine Monitor.

Before the March 2003 conflict in Iraq, the United States stockpiled approximately 11,000 antipersonnel mines at two facilities in Qatar. Artillery projectiles containing antipersonnel mines were stored at Camp As-Saliyah as part of pre-positioned US Army equipment. The US Air Force at Al-Udeid air base stored cluster munitions containing antipersonnel mines. On 5 September 2002, Secretary of the US Army Thomas White disclosed that in July 2002 the Army moved equipment and ammunition from Qatar to Kuwait.[8]

Qatar has not officially made its position known regarding the presence and conduct of the military forces of the United States, a non-State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty, on its territory. The Qatari Foreign Minister stated in July 2002, “As for the legality of the joint operations with the non-signatories relating to stock-pile, use of antipersonnel mines or transporting or transiting them, we assure you that the Qatari Armed Forces never practice any of these acts.”[9] This view was subsequently reinforced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and seemingly expanded to include citizens of Qatar in a reply to a questionnaire: “The parties involved affirm their position on not participating or supporting any citizen of Qatar to carry, transport, or store any antipersonnel mines with the US.”[10] Qatari officers told Landmine Monitor in February 2003 that Qatar would not participate in any joint military activity where the military partner lays mines in front of a coalition position.[11]

Qatar has not formally stated if any US mines stored in Qatar fall under Qatar’s jurisdiction or control. Any antipersonnel mines under Qatar’s jurisdiction or control were required to have been destroyed or removed before Qatar’s 1 April 2003 treaty-mandated deadline for completion of stockpile destruction. Qatari military officers told Landmine Monitor that there is a written cooperation agreement between Qatar and the US regarding Camp Al-Saliyah and the US is responsible for providing security for the camp. The officers also indicated that Qatar does not exercise jurisdiction or control inside US facilities in Qatar.[12]

[1] Form A of Article 7 reports submitted on 3 August 2002 and 31 March 2004 say “none.”
[2] Reply to Landmine Monitor Questionnaire by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, 17 May 2003. Unofficial translation by Human Rights Watch.
[3] Reply to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 17 May 2003.
[4] Statement by Qatar, Fifth Meeting of States Parties, Bangkok, 16 September 2003 (unofficial translation).
[5] Interview with Col. Hassan Al Mohandi and Lt. Col. Fraj J.F. Al-Adba, Geneva, 6 February 2003.
[6] Statement by Qatar, Fifth Meeting of States Parties, 16 September 2003.
[7] Letter from Amb. Saad Mohamed Al-Kobaisi, Qatari Ambassador to the US, 9 September 1999.
[8] Charles Aldinger, “US Army moved arms near Kuwait in mobility exercise,” Reuters (Washington DC), 5 September 2002. For details on US stocks, see Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 421.
[9] Letter to ICBL (Elizabeth Bernstein) from Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs, provided by the Embassy of Qatar to the United States with cover letter dated 3 July 2002.
[10] Reply by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 17 May 2003.
[11] Interview with Col. Hassan Al Mohandi and Lt. Col. Fraj J.F. Al-Adba, 6 February 2003.
[12] Ibid.