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Country Reports
Tanzania, Landmine Monitor Report 2004


Key developments since May 2003: Tanzania completed the destruction of its stockpile of antipersonnel mines in July 2004, ahead of the 1 May 2005 deadline; 22,841 mines were destroyed and 1,146 retained for training purposes. In June 2004, DanChurchAid began mine risk education programs in refugee camps in Tanzania.

Key developments since 1999: Tanzania ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 13 November 2000 and became a State Party on 1 May 2001. It completed destruction of its stockpile of 22,841 antipersonnel mines in July 2004. Its initial Article 7 report, due by 28 October 2001, was submitted on 5 February 2003. Numerous landmine survivors from Burundi and DR Congo arrived in refugee camps in Tanzania from 1999-2002.

Mine Ban Policy

After participating fully in the Ottawa Process, the United Republic of Tanzania signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997, ratified on 13 November 2000 and the treaty entered into force on 1 May 2001. Tanzania has not adopted any new legal national implementation measures, stating that existing law, “The Tanzania Armaments Control Act, 1991,” is deemed sufficient “for the accomplishment of the Ottawa convention in the country.”[1] However, a Tanzania delegate at a Nairobi workshop on landmines in March 2004 told Landmine Monitor that the government’s position on the need for comprehensive implementation legislation is open to review.[2]

Tanzania submitted to the UN its initial Article 7 transparency report, due 28 October 2001, on 5 February 2003. It submitted an update on 21 June 2004, covering the period 1 May 2003 to 30 April 2004. According to Tanzania, it also submitted an update on 30 April 2003, but this has not been posted by the UN.[3]

Tanzania attended the First, Fourth and Fifth Meetings of States Parties in Maputo (May 1999), Geneva (September 2004), and Bangkok (September 2003), respectively. Tanzania only began participating in the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in 2003, attending in both February and May, plus the February 2004 meeting. The sponsorship program made it possible for Tanzania to become a more active participant in ban treaty fora and the intersessional work program.

Regionally, Tanzania attended the 2001 Bamako, Mali meeting on universalization and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty in Africa, and the March 2004 landmine workshop for East Africa, the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa regions, held in Nairobi, Kenya. Tanzania has voted in support of every annual pro-ban UN General Assembly resolution since 1996, including UNGA Resolution 58/53 on 8 December 2003.

In 2004, Tanzania for the first time made known its views on matters of interpretation and implementation related to Articles 1 and 2. States Parties have had extensive discussions regarding the issues of joint military operations with non-States Parties, foreign stockpiling and transit of antipersonnel mines, and antivehicle mines with sensitive fuzes and antihandling devices. Tanzania informed the Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention that it does not subscribe to the use of antipersonnel mines in joint operations and would not provide assistance “to anyone in activities prohibited to a State Party under this Convention.”[4] Similarly, in its June 2004 Article 7 report, Tanzania states, “Since the United Republic of Tanzania became a party to ‘The Landmine Ban Treaty of 1997,’ the state has not used any type of APMs on either joint military operations or provision of assistance to anyone in activities prohibited to a state party under this convention.”[5] Tanzania also stated during the February 2004 intersessional Standing Committee meetings that it does not use antivehicle mines; its June 2004 Article 7 report said, “Tanzania does not use antivehicle mines as antipersonnel mines.”[6]

Production, Transfer and Use

Tanzania reports that it has not produced antipersonnel mines.[7] The country is not believed to have exported mines. Tanzanian Armed Forces reportedly used landmines in Uganda in 1979 and in Mozambique in 1986-1988.[8] In its initial Article 7 Report, Tanzania states that defense headquarters “has disseminated instructions on the implementation of the mine ban down to the troops.”[9]

Stockpile Destruction

Until it submitted its 2003 Article 7 report, Tanzania was one of the only States Parties that had not revealed whether it held a stockpile of antipersonnel mines. Tanzania reported a stockpile of 23,987 antipersonnel mines, consisting of fragmentation and blast mines, mostly of Chinese, British and Indian origin.[10] Tanzania completed the destruction of its stockpile in four phases between March 2003 and July 2004.[11] It retained 1,146 mines for training purposes. The final 3,177 antipersonnel mines were destroyed during the last week of July 2004, in Tabora Region in central Tanzania.[12] The destruction was witnessed by the ambassadors of Angola, Zambia, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as well as by military personnel from Zambia, Russia, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya and Zimbabwe.[13] Phases I and II, in 2003, took place at the Msata military training area in Bagamoyo District, while Phase III took place at the Monduli military training area in Arusha Region in January 2004.[14] Tanzania completed its stockpile destruction well ahead of the treaty-mandated 1 May 2005 deadline.

Tanzania stated during the February 2004 intersessional Standing Committee meetings that it does not possess Claymore-type mines.[15]

Landmine Problem

Tanzania has indicated in its Article 7 reports that there are no mined areas in the country. Although there is no evidence that mines have been planted inside Tanzania, there are mine survivors from Burundi and the DRC are found in Tanzania. Tanzania borders countries in the west that have witnessed violent conflicts and, historically, Tanzania has hosted refugees from Uganda, Rwanda, DRC and Burundi. Since the end of 2002, there have been few refugee arrivals in Tanzania as entry points into Tanzania from the neighboring countries were closed; most activities are now geared toward voluntary repatriation from Tanzania. In 2004, border crossings into Burundi began to re-open.[16]

Mine Risk Education

In view of the repatriation efforts, the UN and others have recognized the need for mine risk education (MRE) programs in the refugee camps for those preparing to return to mine-affected countries. DanChurch Aid (DCA) proposed providing MRE in the affected camps, following an assessment by their mine risk education and advocacy officer.[17] DCA has estimated that at least 27 percent of the 127,000 people in Kibondo camp originate from known mine-contaminated provinces, meaning that about 40,000 refugees would be returning to high-risk areas without proper preparation.[18] DCA’s mine risk education project was initiated in June 2004.[19]

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and UNICEF have also acknowledged the need for mine risk education for refugees, going beyond past efforts of simply putting up mine awareness posters. UNICEF is seeking to implement mine risk education in the Kasulu and Kigoma camps. A UNICEF official told Landmine Monitor about plans for training community liaisons, teachers and social workers to undertake MRE programs in the camps and with refugees when they return to their countries of origin. For the Burundian refugees, UNICEF would use the same materials and programs as those already used inside Burundi.[20]

Mine Clearance Research and Development

The Belgian government, through the Belgian Directorate General for International Co-operation (DGIS), has been the main funding source for the Apopo Research Project, based at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in Morogoro.[21] This six-year project is an effort to find reliable, inexpensive means for demining in southern Africa. It is investigating the use of biosensors (rats) in humanitarian mine clearance operations. Other donors include: Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, which is funding related sub-studies; the Province of Antwerp, which has made a yearly grant since 1999; and the Flemish Community, which has funded fieldwork in Mozambique since February 2003. The European Union, in cooperation with DGIS, is going to support a 30-month transition phase from research to implementation — including test and validation, capacity building and development of operational procedures.[22]

While Tanzania does not provide any direct financial support, its in-kind contribution has been facilitating the operation of the project and allocating 777 antipersonnel mines from its stockpiles for the project.[23]

Landmine Casualties and Survivor Assistance

Tanzania’s main link to the landmine problem is the refugee population entering from neighboring countries, although a few nationals have reportedly been killed or injured in the border areas. The last reports of mine casualties occurred in 1999: two men were killed in a mine explosion while cultivating land at the border; a young boy was killed while grazing cattle in the Ngara district in the north-west; and a Tanzanian man was injured in Burundi while conducting cross-border trade.[24] In 2003, three Tanzanian nationals were killed in a mine incident in Makamba province in Burundi.[25]

Public health facilities and services available to landmine survivors along the Tanzania-Burundi border are sparse and under-funded. Tanzania has no specific funding for landmine survivor assistance. Survivors are treated in local hospitals, mostly mission hospitals in the border area; however, hospitals are not specifically equipped to handle landmine casualties.[26]

Since 2001, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in an agreement with the Tanzanian government, UNHCR, Caritas and the International Rescue Committee, has been the lead agency in ensuring that appropriate medical care is available for war-wounded refugees arriving in Tanzania from Burundi and the DRC. The ICRC covers the cost of treatment at Heri and Kigoma missionary hospitals and Kibondo District Hospital, distributes medical supplies to border first aid facilities, and arranges transportation to hospital. ICRC-supported hospitals treated three mine survivors in 2003; a significant decrease from the 26 mine casualties admitted in 2002. In October 2002, the ICRC program expanded to include arranging for up to 50 amputees a year to be fitted with prostheses at the Tanzanian Training Center for Orthopedic Technicians (TATCOT); 26 refugee amputees have benefited from the program.[27]

According to a UNICEF study, eight civilian mine casualties, injured across the border in Burundi, were treated in hospitals in the Kasula district of Tanzania in 2002, and another 43 treated in 2001.[28] Landmine Monitor surveys in the border area also identified two Burundian mine casualties in 2003 and 21 in 2000. In addition, at least 16 landmine casualties from the DRC have received treatment in Tanzania since 2001; three in June 2003; three in 2002; and ten in 2001.[29]

[1] Article 7 Report, Form A, 21 June 2004.
[2] Interview with Radhia Msuya, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nairobi, 3 March 2004.
[3] Tanzania’s most recent Article 7 Report was dated 2 February 2004, but was submitted to the UN on 21 June 2004. Its initial Article 7 Report covered the period 1 May 2001 to 28 October 2002. The first annual update, which the UN does not have posted, covered the period 1 May 2002 to 30 April 2003.
[4] Intervention by Tanzania on Article 1, Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 9 February 2004. Notes by Landmine Monitor.
[5] Article 7 Report, Form J, 21 June 2004.
[6] Intervention by Tanzania on Article 1, Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention; Article 7 Report, Form J, 21 June 2004.
[7] Article 7 Report, 21 June 2004, indicates “non applicable” in reference to decommissioning of production capabilities. The initial Article 7 Report, Form A, states, “Tanzania is not producing mines of any type.”
[8] Human Rights Watch, Still Killing: Landmines in Southern Africa, New York: HRW, 1997, pp. 71, 140.
[9] Article 7 Report, Form A, 5 February 2003.
[10] According to the latest Article 7 Report, there were also a number of German mines, some Russian, and one from Egypt. See 2004 Article 7 Report, pp. 4-11 for more details.
[11] As reported in the 2004 Article 7 Report, Form A, the first three phases occurred as follows: 9,837 were destroyed on 27 March 2003; 5,489 on 28 August 2003; and, 4,338 on 29 January 2004.
[12] Media reports from Tanzania have cited different days for final completion: Thursday, 29 July in “Tanzania completes destruction of landmines,” AFP (Dar es Salaam), 31 July 2004, and Friday, 30 July in “Tanzania destroys all stockpile of landmines,: Xinhua (Dar es Salaam), 31 July 2004.
[13] “Tanzania now Freed of Landmines,” The East African (Nairobi), 3 August 2004.
[14] Article 7 Report, Form G, 21 June 2004.
[15] Intervention by Tanzania on Article 1, Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, 9 February 2004
[16] Landmine Monitor field reports, 8-11 March 2004.
[17] Email from Eva Veble, Mine Risk Education and Advocacy Officer, DCA, 29 April 2004.
[18] DanChurchAid Project Proposal, “Mine Risk Education for Burundi refugees in Kibondo camps, Western Tanzania,” 28 April 2004.
[19] Email from Eva Veble, DCA, 10 August 2004.
[20] Email from Robert Carr, Emergency Coordinator, UNICEF, 9 March 2004.
[21] In 2003, Landmine Monitor reported DGIS had contributed approximately US$700,000.
[22] See the Apopo Research Project Website: http://www.apopo.org/partners/funding.html .
[23] Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 457.
[24] Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 157; Landmine Monitor Report 2000, p. 191.
[25] Landmine Monitor analysis of “Tableau Récapitulatif des données sur les victimes civiles de mines antipersonnel et UXO (2003-March 2004),” Department for Civil Protection, Ministry of Interior and Public Security, information sent to Landmine Monitor (Burundi) by Liliane Bigayimpunzi, UNICEF, Bujumbura, 25 May 2004.
[26] For details see Landmine Monitor Report 2002, pp. 480-482.
[27] ICRC Special Report, “Annual Report 2003,” Geneva, August 2004, pp. 27-28; “Mine Action 2002,” Geneva, July 2003, p. 26. The ICRC also provided similar medical assistance in 1999 and 2000.
[28] UNICEF Burundi, “Mine Victims in Burundi in 2001-2002,” 2003, p. 28.
[29] The first field survey was carried out in February 2001, the second from 7-14 January 2002, and the third in March 2004. Information on casualties is taken directly from hospital records and records of the International Rescue Committee. See also Landmine Monitor Report 2002, pp. 480-481; and Landmine Monitor Report 2001, pp. 156-157.