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Landmine Monitor » Landmine Monitor 2014 » Ban

Ban Policy

© Ban Landmines Campaign Nepal (NCBL), April 2014 -- Campaigners marching together for universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty in Nepal, one of only 35 countries yet to become a State Party to the convention.

A Global Overview of Banning Antipersonnel Mines

The 1997 Mine Ban Treaty remains one of the great success stories in disarmament and in broader global humanitarian efforts, as demonstrated by its impressive implementation and the widespread adherence to the norm it is establishing against antipersonnel landmines.

Adopted on 18 September 1997, the Mine Ban Treaty was signed on 3 December 1997 by 122 countries and entered into force more than 15 years ago on 1 March 1999. The year 2014 marked an important milestone in the life of the treaty as Mozambique hosted the treaty’s Third Review Conference in June in Maputo, the location of the treaty’s First Meeting of States Parties back in May 1999.

Oman joined the Mine Ban Treaty since the Landmine Monitor 2013 was published, making a total of 162 States Parties or more than 80% of the world’s countries. The United States (US) announced several policy measures banning landmines in 2014 and President Barack Obama commented that the US is “going to continue to work to find ways that would allow us to ultimately comply fully and accede to the Ottawa Convention,” as the US calls the Mine Ban Treaty.[1]

Most of the countries outside the treaty abide by its key provisions, indicating near-universal acceptance of the landmine ban.

During this reporting period, September 2013 to October 2014, China and the US provided new information indicating that their stockpiles of antipersonnel mines are significantly smaller than previously believed. China informed Landmine Monitor that its stockpile totals “less than” five million, a great reduction from the previous estimate of 110 million antipersonnel mines.[2] The US has confirmed that its stockpile is three million, which is far fewer than the previous known total of 10.4 million mines.

New use of antipersonnel landmines has become a relatively rare phenomenon, but remains a concern in a small number of countries, most notably by non-state armed groups (NSAGs). The only confirmed use by government forces in the reporting period was in Syria and Myanmar (Burma).

While overall implementation by States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty has been impressive, there are serious compliance concerns regarding a small number of States Parties related to use of the weapon and destruction of stockpiles by the treaty-mandated deadlines. Full implementation and universalization of the treaty remain key objectives for the cooperative and enduring partnership of governments, international organizations, and the ICBL.

This overview chapter has two parts. The first provides a global overview of banning antipersonnel mines, as well as the use, production, transfer, and stockpiling of antipersonnel mines by states not party. The second section examines the implementation of and compliance with the Mine Ban Treaty. The focus of the reporting is on the second half of 2013 and first three quarters of 2014.

Universalizing the ban on antipersonnel mines

Since the Mine Ban Treaty entered into force on 1 March 1999, states that had not signed it by then may no longer sign and ratify the treaty but must accede, a process that essentially combines signature and ratification. Of the 162 States Parties, 132 signed and ratified the treaty, while 30 acceded.[3]

One country has joined the Mine Ban Treaty since Landmine Monitor 2013 was published; Oman acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 20 August 2014. With Oman’s accession, half of the Gulf Coordination Council (GCC) members are now party to the treaty, while Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have not joined.

The 35 states not party to the Mine Ban Treaty includes the Pacific state of the Marshall Islands, which is the last signatory left to ratify.

The US government announced new policy measures in June and September 2014 to ban production and acquisition of antipersonnel landmines, accelerate stockpile destruction, and ban use, except on the Korean Peninsula.[4] The White House said the new landmine policy means the US is “signaling our clear aspiration to eventually accede to the Ottawa Convention.”[5]

Palestine in June 2014 again reiterated its strong desire to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty as soon as possible, which it is now eligible to join following its new status at the UN.

Annual UN General Assembly resolution

An annual UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution provides an important opportunity for states outside the Mine Ban Treaty to indicate their support for the ban on antipersonnel mines and the objective of its universalization.[6] Many countries that have acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty since 1999 have done so after voting in favor of consecutive UNGA resolutions, including Oman.[7]

On 5 December 2013, UNGA Resolution 68/30 calling for universalization and full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty was adopted by a vote of 165 states in favor, none opposed, and 19 abstentions.[8] The abstentions included States Parties Yemen and Zimbabwe, neither of which has explained their vote. The number of affirmative votes and abstentions was the same as in 2012.[9] For the first time, non-signatory Libya voted in support of the resolution.

A core of 14 states not party have abstained from consecutive Mine Ban Treaty resolutions since 1997: Cuba, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Myanmar, North Korea (since 2007), Pakistan, Russia, South Korea, Syria, Uzbekistan (since 1999), the US, and Vietnam (since 1998).[10]

Non-state armed groups

A significant number of NSAGs have indicated their willingness to observe the ban on antipersonnel mines since the Mine Ban Treaty came into existence, showing the strength of the growing international norm. At least 64 NSAGs have committed to halt the use of antipersonnel mines over the past 12 years through the efforts of the Swiss NGO Geneva Call.[11] The exact number is difficult to determine, because NSAGs may split into factions, go out of existence, or become part of state structures.

More than 40 NSAGs have signed the Geneva Call Deed of Commitment, which includes a ban on any use, production, trade, or stockpiling of antipersonnel mines. In August 2014, two factions of the Sudan Liberation Movement, the SLM-AW headed by Abdel Wahid El Nur and the SLM-MM headed by Minni Arko Minawi, renounced use of antipersonnel mines by agreeing to the Geneva Call Deed of Commitment.[12] Two Kurdish NSAGs in Syria—the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ)—endorsed the Geneva Call Deed of Commitment in June 2014. The Hazzm Movement, a major brigade of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), endorsed it in October 2014.[13]

Convention on Conventional Weapons

Amended Protocol II of the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) entered into force on 3 December 1998 and regulates the production, transfer, and use of mines, booby-traps, and other explosive devices. The inadequacy of the original protocol gave impetus to the Ottawa Process that resulted in the Mine Ban Treaty. As of October 2014, a total of 101 states were party to Amended Protocol II. One state ratified the protocol since the publication of Landmine Monitor 2013; Iraq on 24 September 2014.

Only 10 of the 101 states that are party to Amended Protocol II have not joined the Mine Ban Treaty: China, Georgia, India, Israel, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, and the US. Therefore, for antipersonnel mines, the protocol is only relevant for those 10 countries as the rest are bound by the much higher standards of the Mine Ban Treaty.

The original Protocol II on mines, booby-traps, and other devices entered into force on 2 December 1983 and, while it was largely superseded by Amended Protocol II, there are still 10 states that are party to the original protocol that have not ratified the amended protocol, including Cuba, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Uzbekistan and Mine Ban Treaty States Parties: Djibouti, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mexico, Togo, and Uganda.

A total of 17 states that stockpile antipersonnel mines are not party to the Mine Ban Treaty, CCW Amended Protocol II, or CCW Protocol II. Five of these states are also landmine producers.

States that stockpile antipersonnel mines but are not party to the CCW

Armenia

Libya

Azerbaijan

Myanmar

Bahrain

Nepal

Egypt

Saudi Arabia

Iran

Singapore

Kazakhstan

Syria

Korea, North

UAE

Kyrgyzstan

Vietnam

Lebanon

Note: Italics indicate states that also reserve the right to produce antipersonnel mines

Use of antipersonnel landmines

In this reporting period, September 2013 through October 2014, the Monitor has confirmed new use of antipersonnel mines by the government forces of Syria and Myanmar, states not party to the Mine Ban Treaty, and by NSAGs in Afghanistan, Colombia, Libya, Myanmar, Pakistan, Syria, and Yemen as well as in the internationally unrecognized breakaway area of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Myanmar

Since the publication of its first annual report in 1999, the Monitor has consistently documented the use of antipersonnel mines by government forces and NSAGs in many areas of Myanmar (Burma). During this reporting period (since September 2013), information available to the Monitor indicates a significantly lower level of new mine use.

The Monitor received one report from the Free Burma Rangers stating that the Tatmadaw (the name of Myanmar’s army) used antipersonnel mines in April 2014 in Tan Tada, Mansi Township, Bhamo District in Kachin State, which reportedly resulted in at least one casualty.[14]

Syria

In late 2011, the first reports of Syrian government mine use emerged in the country’s border areas.[15] A Syrian official acknowledged the government had “undertaken many measures to control the borders, including planting mines.”[16] Both antipersonnel and antivehicle mines were emplaced on the borders with both Turkey and Lebanon.[17]

In April 2014, the use of Type 84 remotely-delivered landmines by government forces was recorded in Sawaysa, Quneitra in the Syrian-controlled Golan Heights.[18] Due to its sensitive magnetic fuze that also functions as an anti-disturbance device, the Chinese-manufactured mine can detonate from changes in its immediate magnetic environment, including proximity to a vehicle or a person wearing or carrying a sufficient amount of metal, such as military equipment or even a camera. Mines with antihandling devices or sensitive fuzes that explode from an unintentional or innocent act are considered antipersonnel mines under the Mine Ban Treaty and therefore prohibited.

A September 2014 video posted on YouTube shows antivehicle mines on a road near al-Hamaydia in Quneitra governorate that opposition forces said were laid by government forces.[19] A video uploaded in April 2013 shows antivehicle mines on a road in al-Raqqa governorate that opposition forces said were laid by government forces.[20] In August 2014, Reuters reported that Islamic State forces were killed by landmines during an attack on a Syrian government airbase at Tabqa, near the city of Raqqa.[21]

Non-state armed groups

Since September 2013, NSAGs used antipersonnel mines or victim-activated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that fall under the Mine Ban Treaty’s definition of antipersonnel mines in at least seven countries: States Parties Afghanistan, Colombia, and Yemen, and states not party Libya, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Syria. This is one less country than previously cited by the Monitor, with Tunisia being removed from the list.[22]

In Afghanistan, there has been extensive use of victim-activated IEDs by armed groups, mainly the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, and Hezb-e-Islami, which are opposing the Kabul government and NATO/International Security Assistance Force forces. In February 2014, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reported a decline for 2013 in incidents caused by pressure-plate IEDs resulting from a decline in use of victim-activated weapons and a corresponding increase in command-detonated IEDs. However, in the first half of 2014 UNAMA recorded an increase in incidents caused by victim-activated IEDs compared to the same time period in 2013. UNAMA stated that the majority of IEDs used in Afghanistan now are victim-activated IEDs, most of which utilize pressure plates.[23] UNAMA has previously called on armed groups in Afghanistan to prohibit their members from using pressure-plate IEDs.[24]

In Colombia, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, FARC) continued to use antipersonnel mines and IEDs on a regular basis. FARC is probably the most prolific user of antipersonnel mines among rebel groups anywhere in the world. Colombian NSAGs lay mines near their campsites or bases, on paths that lead to areas of strategic importance (such as to their bases, or to main transit routes), and to protect caches of explosives, weapons, medicine, and clothing. In 2013, FARC was accused of laying mines near destroyed infrastructure to prevent or delay its reconstruction.[25] NSAGs, predominantly FARC, also plant antipersonnel mines in or near coca fields to prevent eradication efforts, which caused casualties among coca eradicators. Mines are also used by the National Liberation Army (Unión Camilista-Ejército de Liberación Nacional, ELN) and by United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, AUC) successor groups.

In Libya, in September 2014, reports emerged alleging new use of antipersonnel mines at Tripoli International Airport, which saw fighting in July/August between the Zintan alliance of militia groups and forces of the Libya Dawn Alliance.[26] A Human Rights Watch (HRW) investigation found that antipersonnel mines were likely laid in 2014 and not earlier but could not determine the party responsible for the use.[27] On October 29, HRW spoke by telephone with the commander of the Misrata Revolutionaries engineering unit within the Libya Dawn alliance which has been responsible for clearing landmines and other unexploded ordnance in Tripoli since August. The commander said his unit on August 24, the day of the airport takeover, had discovered a mined area of the airport.[28] He said a pickup truck mounted with anti-aircraft weapons entered the “old airport area” and detonated a mine, killing one fighter from the Misrata Umm al-Maarek brigade, Mohamed Abubaker Ali, and wounding several others.

In Myanmar, antipersonnel mine use by NSAGs dropped significantly compared to previous years due to a significant decrease in armed conflict as most groups have engaged in negotiations on a nationwide ceasefire. Continued fighting in the north of the country between government forces and the Kachin Independence Army and allied groups has resulted in some new mine use.

In Pakistan, the government has reported that antipersonnel mines have been used throughout the country, and attributes the use to “terrorists.”[29] Media reports register a large number of casualties, apparently from newly laid mines, in Baluchistan, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly the North-West Frontier Province), where the Pakistan Army and security forces have been engaged in armed conflict with Pakistani Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and Baloch insurgents.

In Syria, in December 2013 militants of Jabhat Al-Nusra and the Islamic State were alleged to have laid explosive booby-traps and mines as they were pushed from Ras Al-Ain by Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).[30] Previously, anti-regime rebels have apparently used antipersonnel mines and victim-activated IEDs. Rebels reportedly used antipersonnel landmines in the fighting at Qusair, which fell to government forces in early June 2013.[31] According to the Associated Press, in the year prior to the defeat at Qusair “rebels holding the town had heavily fortified it with tunnels, mine fields, and booby traps.”[32] According to one witness from the town, the Syrian military removed mines from around Qusair and cleared roads after the town fell.[33] A July 2013 media report featured a rebel engineer who designed a victim-activated IED.[34]

In Yemen, there were credible reports of use of antipersonnel mines by NSAGs in Sada’a governorate. In its 2014 Article 7 report, Yemen repeated that “YEMAC [Yemen Executive Mine Action Center] face new challenge in Sada’a governorate after insurgences war. New kinds of mines made manually by insurgences and planted in Sada’a, some of them demined by the insurgences and they missed others…lot of mine accidents happened and many of people killed and injured.” There have also been landmine casualties in Haijjah governorate, which borders Sada’a governorate and where Houthi rebels have been fighting local Sunni tribes backed by the government. In September 2013, a representative of the district of Al-Asha bordering Sada’a governorate told media that Houthi rebels were planting landmines “in the mountainous areas under their control.”[35]

In previous Landmine Monitor publications since 2009, there were reports of new use of antipersonnel mines by the insurgency in southern Thailand. While no new use of antipersonnel mines by the group was reported this year, it is still active and has not publicly renounced use of the weapon.

There were reports of NSAG use of antivehicle mines in Afghanistan, Mali, Pakistan, Sudan, South Sudan, and Ukraine.

Ukraine

Ukraine has accused Russian forces of laying antivehicle and antipersonnel mines on Ukrainian territory, but as of October 2014 it was not possible to confirm the use by any party of antipersonnel mines, or other devices prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty such as victim-activated IEDs and booby-traps. It appears that reports of minefields being emplaced to demarcate border areas after the annexation of the Crimea were actually either “phony minefields” or areas containing trip flares.[36]

However, landmines appear to be a part of the conflict between government forces and Russian-backed separatists that erupted in early 2014 initially in the Crimea and then in the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine. There is significant evidence present at different locations that antipersonnel mines of Soviet-origin with production markings from the 1980s are available to combatants and unconfirmed reports of emplaced antipersonnel mines being cleared.

On 11 October 2014 at a primary school in the city of Ilovaisk in Donetsk province, HRW researchers encountered four fuzeless OZM-72 mine bodies that had been ejected from a vehicle attacked while parked on school grounds in late August. Separatists showed the researchers another undamaged fuzeless OZM-72 mine[37] already in their possession in their vehicle.

Other areas

In July 2013, Nagorno-Karabakh’s military chief General Movses Hakobian was reported by the media to have stated that “his forces have placed more anti-personnel landmines this year along the Armenian-Azerbaijani ‘line of contact’ east and north of the disputed territory.”[38] General Hakobian said the use was aimed at preventing sabotage attacks by Azerbaijani troops.

In a 4 September 2013 response to an ICBL letter seeking clarification, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nagorno-Karabakh did not deny the allegations and said that “due to the ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan…today we are not in a position to refrain from using AP [antipersonnel] mines for defensive purposes along the line of contact.” He also wrote that “these mines are neither aimed at the civilian population nor at the extermination of the adversary but for limiting its advances and ceasing any possible military aggression against us.”[39]

Stockpiled antipersonnel mines and their destruction

The Monitor estimates that of the 35 states not party to the Mine Ban Treaty, as many as 31 stockpile the weapon. In the past, the Monitor has estimated that, collectively, states not party stockpile about 160 million antipersonnel mines. However, China has informed Landmine Monitor that its stockpile is “less than” five million[40] and the US has confirmed that its stockpile is three million.[41] Previously, China was estimated to have 110 million antipersonnel mines in stockpile and the US possessed 10.4 million. Therefore the global total may now be less than 50 million.

The states that stockpile the most antipersonnel mines are listed below:

Largest stocks of antipersonnel mines

Russia

26.5 million

Pakistan

estimated 6 million

India

estimated 4–5 million

China

“less than” 5 million

US

3 million

Total

45 million

States not party that may stockpile antipersonnel mines

Armenia

Korea, North

Pakistan

Azerbaijan

Korea, South

Russia

Bahrain

Kyrgyzstan

Saudi Arabia

China

Lao PDR

Singapore

Cuba

Lebanon

Sri Lanka

Egypt

Libya

Syria

Georgia

Mongolia

UAE

India

Morocco

US

Iran

Myanmar

Uzbekistan

Israel

Nepal

Vietnam

Kazakhstan

It is not certain that all of these 31 states stockpile antipersonnel mines. Officials from the UAE have provided contradictory information regarding its possession of stocks, while Bahrain and Morocco have stated that they have only small stockpiles used solely for training purposes. Three states not party, all Pacific states, have said that they do not stockpile antipersonnel mines: Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Tonga.

In June 2014, China informed Landmine Monitor that it currently stockpiles five million antipersonnel mines, a great reduction from the 110 million previously cited by the Monitor.[42] Chinese officials have often disputed that estimate, but it was not until a meeting with Landmine Monitor in June 2014 that Chinese representatives clarified for the record that the current stockpile is less than five million antipersonnel mines.[43] In a statement to the Third Review Conference, China said it has destroyed “several hundred thousand old and dysfunctional” antipersonnel mines “over the last two decades” and said “only a very limited number of [CCW] protocol compliant [antipersonnel mines] were kept for defense purpose.”[44]

As part of the 2014 policy announcements, the Department of Defense disclosed that the US has an “active stockpile of just over 3 million antipersonnel mines in the inventory.”[45] This represents a significant reduction from the previous total reported in 2002 of approximately 10.4 million antipersonnel mines.[46] The shelf-life of existing antipersonnel mines stockpiled by the US decreases over time, including deterioration of batteries embedded inside mines as they age. The new policy precludes the US from extending or modifying the life of the batteries inside the existing stockpile.[47]

Destruction of stockpiled antipersonnel mines in states not party to the Mine Ban Treaty routinely occurs as an element of ammunition management programs and the phasing out of obsolete munitions. In recent years, destruction has been reported in China, Israel, Mongolia, Russia, the US, and Vietnam.

Non-state armed groups

Few NSAGs today have access to factory-made antipersonnel mines compared to a decade ago due to the halt in trade and production and due to destruction of stockpiles under the Mine Ban Treaty. A few NSAGs have access to mine stocks from former regimes (such as in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia) while others produce their own improvised mines or acquire mines by removing them from minefields. In states not party, NSAGs have also been known to capture antipersonnel mines, steal them from arsenals, or purchase them from corrupt officials.

During this reporting period, NSAGs and criminal groups were reported to possess stocks of antipersonnel mines in Afghanistan, Colombia, Myanmar, and Pakistan. The Monitor largely relies on reports of seizures by government forces to identify NSAGs possessing mine stockpiles.

Production and transfer of antipersonnel mines

More than 50 states produced antipersonnel mines at some point in the past.[48] A total of 40 of these have ceased production of antipersonnel mines, including four that are not party to the Mine Ban Treaty: Egypt, Israel, Nepal, and most recently, the US.[49] A majority of major producers from the 1970s to 1990s are among those states that have stopped manufacturing and joined the Mine Ban Treaty.

The Monitor identifies 11 states as potential producers of antipersonnel mines: China, Cuba, India, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam. Most of these countries are not actively producing mines but reserve the right to do so. Active production may be ongoing in as few as four countries: India, Myanmar, Pakistan, and South Korea.

The Monitor has removed the US from its list of landmine producers following the 27 June 2014 policy announced by the US foreswearing any future production or acquisition of antipersonnel mines.[50]

NSAGs in Afghanistan, Colombia, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Tunisia produce antipersonnel mines, mostly in the form of victim-activated IEDs. In July 2014, the Pakistan Army claimed they seized a landmine factory in North Waziristan.[51] In 2013, the Colombian Army continued to locate and destroy places of landmine assembly belonging to FARC.[52]

Trade in antipersonnel mines

A de facto global ban on the transfer of antipersonnel mines has been in effect since the mid-1990s. This ban is attributable to the mine ban movement and the stigma attached to the weapon. The Monitor has never conclusively documented any state-to-state transfers of antipersonnel mines.

While the Monitor has reported for the past decade that the global trade in antipersonnel mines had consisted of a low level of illicit and unacknowledged transfers, the abrupt appearance of mines in Sudan and Yemen in recent years raises the specter that some form of market for antipersonnel mines exists.[53]

At least nine states not party to the Mine Ban Treaty, including six landmine producers, have enacted formal moratoriums on the export of antipersonnel mines: China, India, Israel, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, and the US. Other past exporters have made statements declaring that they now have stopped exporting, including Cuba, Egypt, and Vietnam. Iran also claims to have stopped exporting, despite evidence to the contrary.[54]

Status and Operation of the Mine Ban Treaty

In general, States Parties’ implementation of and compliance with the Mine Ban Treaty has been excellent. The core obligations have largely been respected, and when ambiguities have arisen they have been dealt with in a satisfactory matter. However, there are serious compliance concerns regarding a small number of States Parties with respect to use of antipersonnel mines and missed stockpile destruction deadlines. In addition, some States Parties are not doing nearly enough to implement key provisions of the treaty, including those concerning mine clearance and victim assistance.

The treaty’s compliance provisions—contained in Article 8—have not been formally invoked to clarify any compliance question. At the Third Review Conference in June 2014, States Parties agreed to create a “cooperative compliance” committee to “facilitate compliance” under Article 8.1 of the treaty and to follow up on specific cases of possible non-compliance. The ICBL has on numerous occasions called for States Parties to operationalize Article 8’s formal mechanisms in order to be prepared for any eventual need. The ICBL believes it may become necessary for States Parties to consider this process if the apparent use of antipersonnel mines by forces loyal to the government of Yemen in 2011 and other serious allegations of use by States Parties are not adequately addressed by the concerned states.

Compliance

In December 2013 at the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, numerous states expressed concern about confirmed use of antipersonnel mines in Yemen and allegations of use in South Sudan, Sudan, and Turkey, and many states called for independent investigations.[55] Norway said that alleged and known instances of use were a threat to the viability of the convention.

In April 2014, Belgium and New Zealand reported that in their role as co-chairs of the Working Group on General Status and Operation of the Convention they had written letters to Sudan, South Sudan, and Turkey requesting that they communicate developments within their country regarding compliance.

At the Third Review Conference, States Parties to the convention created a new Committee on Cooperative Compliance. The new committee will consider whether a concern about compliance with the convention’s prohibitions contained in Article 1.1 is potentially credible and, if so, to consider any follow up that might be appropriate for States Parties.[56]

Use of antipersonnel mines by States Parties

In this reporting period, commencing in September 2013, there has been no confirmed use of antipersonnel mines by government forces of States Parties. Prior to Landmine Monitor 2013, there has never been a confirmed case of use of antipersonnel mines by the armed forces of a State Party since the Mine Ban Treaty became law in 1999. With the confirmation by Yemen that a violation of the convention by its forces occurred in 2011, that is no longer the case. Additionally, a number of allegations of mine use in previous years by the armed forces of South Sudan (in 2013 and 2011), Sudan (in 2011), Turkey (from 2009), and Cambodia/Thailand (2008 and 2009) remain unresolved and warrant ongoing attention and resolution by those governments and other States Parties.

Yemen

At the treaty’s intersessional Standing Committee meetings in May 2013, 15states as well as the President of the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties and the ICBL called for a thorough investigation of alleged use of antipersonnel mines, expressed concern at the civilian casualties, and urged rapid mine clearance as well as an investigation that would report back to States Parties.[57]

In November 2013, the prime minister’s office issued a statement that admitted a “violation” of the Mine Ban Treaty occurred in 2011 during the popular uprising that led to the removal of then-President Ali Abduallah Saleh.[58] At the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties in December 2013, Yemen said it had “lost control on the ground” during the 2011 political crises and committed to be “serious and transparent on that issue.”[59] The final report of the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties expressed concern at the “breach” of the Mine Ban Treaty at Bani Jarmooz and welcomed Yemen’s commitment to provide to them, through the president, a final report on the investigation by 31 December 2014.[60]

HRW has raised the need for clearance of Bani Jarmooz minefields with Yemeni government representatives on multiple occasions, including in meetings with President Abd Rabu Mansur Hadi and other high-ranking officials and political party leaders in Sana’a in January 2014.[61]

Yemen provided an interim report on 29 March 2014 that indicated plans had been made for clearance, marking, risk education, and victim assistance.[62] In April 2014, a HRW investigation confirmed no evidence of any mine clearance, nor any marking or fencing of mine-affected areas, and few if any risk education and victim assistance activities.

At the treaty’s Third Review Conference in June 2014, Yemen stated that the Military Prosecutor’s Office has begun an investigation to identify those responsible for the mine use at Bani Jarmooz, but gave no details about its progress or any of the other elements it committed to report on at Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, such as the possible origin of the mines.[63]

As of October 2014, the area of Bani Jarmooz was no longer under government control because it has been seized by Ansar Allah (also known as the Houthi rebellion).[64]

Allegations of use of antipersonnel mines by States Parties

South Sudan

There have been no confirmed reports of new antipersonnel landmines in the internal armed conflict that erupted in South Sudan in late 2013 and early 2014.

During 2011, there were several incidents in which landmines were apparently laid in South Sudan, including in the states of Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile; however, the Monitor could not determine who was responsible for the mine use or whether antipersonnel mines in addition to antivehicle mines had been laid.[65] The National Mine Action Authority (NMAA) visited the states of Jonglei, Upper Nile, Unity, and Western Bahr El Ghazal in June–July 2013 as part of a fact-finding investigation into the landmine use allegations, where it engaged in discussions with civil authorities in each state, including the governor and the deputy governor as well as the sector and division commanders from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). Both the civil authorities as well as the SPLA denied allegations of being involved in new mine laying activities and explicitly stated that no antipersonnel mines are held in SPLA stocks. The SPLA, however, confirmed that new mines had indeed been laid by rebel forces in Unity and Jonglei states.[66] In March 2014, the UN shared with the ICBL the seven-page report of the investigation by the three-person NMAA team led by Nyang Chol Dhuor.[67]

In July 2013 after a visit to Jonglei state, the NGO Refugees International issued a report that stated that “multiple UN and NGO sources have…reported that members of the SPLA have been laying anti-personnel mines in civilian areas. However the UN Mine Action Service has been unable to conduct an investigation that would confirm this.”[68]

Sudan

There have been no confirmed instances of government forces using antipersonnel mines since Sudan became a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty in 2004, but there have been several allegations of use of antipersonnel mines in Sudan—including in 2013 and the first half of 2014—that the Monitor has been unable to confirm. For example, in 2011 multiple reports emerged of new mine-laying in the Republic of Sudan’s South Kordofan state in the Nuba Mountains near the border with South Sudan as part of clashes between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the northern branch of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) now called SPLM-N.[69]

It is clear from evidence and testimony from various sources that antipersonnel mines are available for use in the southern part of the country, but the Monitor has not seen definitive evidence about whether such mines have been laid, and if so, what forces may have used antipersonnel mines. There is also a lack of clarity about whether antipersonnel mines or antivehicle mines, or both, have been used. In its Article 7 reports and statements, the government of Sudan has provided little to no official information on the mine use allegations, which it has denied responsibility for.[70]

In 2012, Sudan acknowledged the use allegations and committed to conduct an investigation and “declare the findings” in its next annual Article 7 report.[71] However, the Article 7 reports provided in April 2013 and April 2014 contain no new information with respect to the use allegation in South Kordofan state.

In August 2013, the South Kordofan state secretary for the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Eng. al-Rehema Ismail Fedail, reportedly accused the government of Sudan of planting landmines in North and South Kordofan states, identifying several newly mined locations including Um ‘Djamena, southern al-Dabekr, southern Abu Zabad, and al-Tamjoyah, in addition to al-Dashol and Abu Janok areas.[72]

On 29 August 2013, a delegation of the SPLM-N, comprised of Deputy Chairman Abdelaziz Alhilu and Secretary General Yasir Arman, signed the Geneva Call’s Deed of Commitment, thereby agreeing to prohibit the use, production, and transfer of antipersonnel mines, to cooperate in humanitarian mine action activities, and to destroy its stockpiles. Upon signing, Alhilu pledged to destroy all antipersonnel mines in SPLM-N possession as soon as possible, which he said were captured during military operations.[73] The SPLM-N is the third armed opposition group from Sudan to pledge non-use of antipersonnel mines, after JEM in April 2012 and the SPLM/A in 2001.[74]

At the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, government officials committed to look into the presence of antipersonnel mines in the south and have since formed a committee including ICBL member JASMAR, although security problems have so far impeded an on-site investigation. In February 2014, the ICRC issued a statement condemning the use of antipersonnel mines by any actor and calling on all parties to abide by international law after a Sudanese Red Crescent Society volunteer and other civilians were killed and injured in a landmine explosion involving a vehicle near Abu Jubaiha in South Kordofan.[75]

Turkey

In 2009, there were serious allegations of at least two instances of use of antipersonnel mines by members of the Turkish Armed Forces in southeastern Turkey near the border with Iraq, in Sirnak province (April 2009)[76] and Hakkari province (May 2009).[77] In May 2013, Turkey informed States Parties regarding the first incident, stating, “A detailed investigation comprising a consequent administrative legal scrutiny were undertaken. Let me share with you, for the record, that there has not been an explosion. Moreover the registry of Turkish Armed Forces shows that the mine allegedly in question was destroyed before the end of 2009, together with the stockpiled ones.”[78]

In the second case, an investigation by the Chief Prosecutor’s Office in Van determined that the mine belonged to the Turkish military and was planted on the orders of a Turkish Commander.[79] In May 2013, Turkey informed States Parties, “The most recent hearing of the trial was held by this Military Court on April 19, 2013. The court rendered its verdict and sentenced a Turkish Brigadier General to 6 years and 8 months of imprisonment due to ‘causing death and injury by negligence.’” Turkey informed States Parties that this was an initial verdict and not a final decision.[80]

In December 2013, Turkey stated that following reports of an explosion in 2009, one member of its military had been sentenced to more than six years imprisonment following a thorough investigation. According to information provided by Turkey in May 2013, the verdict and sentence are unrelated to Turkey’s obligations under the Mine Ban Treaty, since there was no mention of the illegal use of antipersonnel mines. Turkey also notified States Parties that the case was under appeal.[81] In April 2014, Turkey stated that “confirmed use and allegations of use are two different things. We will continue to be as transparent as possible.”[82]

Cambodia/Thailand

In March 2013, three Thai soldiers were injured by what the Thai military described as newly planted mines near the Ta Kwai Temple in Phanom Dong Rak district. Cambodia investigated and in its report to States Parties found the mines were old, dating from the Cambodian civil war.[83] Cambodia provided a copy of its investigation report to the Mine Ban Treaty Implementation Support Unit and the ICBL at the May 2013 intersessional meetings and to the government of Thailand through diplomatic channels.[84]

Other allegations made by Thailand of Cambodian use of antipersonnel mines on the Cambodian/Thai border in 2008 and 2009 were never resolved.[85]

Stockpile destruction

A total of 156 of the 162 States Parties do not stockpile antipersonnel mines, including 88 States Parties that have officially declared completion of stockpile destruction and 65 that have declared never possessing antipersonnel mines (except in some cases for training purposes). The status is unclear for three others, but they are not thought to stockpile:

  • Tuvalu has not made an official declaration, but is not thought to possess antipersonnel mines.[86]
  • New State Party Oman will declare any stocks when it submits its initial transparency report due by 31 July 2015.[87]
  • Somalia, while initially declaring not to possess any antipersonnel mines, is undertaking a stockpile inventory to determine if it currently possesses any antipersonnel mines.

Of the remaining six States Parties with stockpiles, Belarus, Greece, and Ukraine remain in violation of Article 4 after having failed to complete the destruction of their stockpiles by their four-year deadline.[88] Finland and Poland are in the process of destroying their stockpiles. Guinea-Bissau apparently still needs to destroy a small quantity of antipersonnel mines that were discovered after its 1 November 2005 deadline had passed.

Collectively, States Parties have destroyed more than 48 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines, including more than one million destroyed in 2013. In February 2014, Côte d’Ivoire completed the destruction of the 1,526 antipersonnel mines of four types found during an inventory inspection.

Six States Parties possess more than nine million antipersonnel mines remaining to be destroyed: Ukraine (5,767,600), Belarus (3,356,636), Greece (452,695), Finland (55,181), Poland (16,957), and Guinea-Bissau (at least seven mines).

Stockpile destruction deadlines

Somalia

1 October 2016

Finland

1 July 2016

Poland

1 June 2017

Finland has completed more than 95% of its stockpile destruction and was on track to finish the destruction by the end of 2015. It states that a total of 744,891 antipersonnel mines were destroyed in 2013, a significant increase from the 200,000 mines destroyed in 2012.[89]

In June 2014, Poland reiterated previous announcements first made in 2012 that it had already completed destroying more than one million antipersonnel mines or 97% of its stockpile and that stockpile destruction would be completed “well before the 2017 deadline.”[90]

The inability of Belarus, Greece, and Ukraine to complete their stockpile destruction is a matter of deep concern for States Parties, the ICBL, and the ICRC. The Cartagena Action Plan 2010–2014 calls on States Parties that missed their deadline to comply without delay and also to communicate their plans to do so, to request any assistance needed, and to provide an expected completion date. The Maputo Action Plan added a call for these states to provide a plan for the destruction of their remaining stockpiles by 31 December 2014.

Belarus

Belarus reported in April 2014 that Spanish company Explosivos Alaveses SA (EXPAL) had completed the construction of the destruction facility and that personnel were testing and adjusting equipment. Belarus announced that EXPAL destroyed the first mines at the facility on 26 March 2014 when it conducted two tests that destroyed two KSF-1 canisters, each containing 144 PFM-1 mines.[91] In June 2014, Belarus announced that the facility opened in May 2014 and was expected to reach its planned operational capacity of the destruction of 8,500 mines a day by the end of June.[92] Belarus stressed its full support for the convention’s goals and pledged to spare no effort to complete its obligations “in the near future” but did not provide a timeline for the expected completion of the stockpile destruction.[93]

Greece

Greece announced in June 2014 that 239,112 mines had been transferred to the VIDEX facility in Bulgaria, where 107,058 DM31 mines had been destroyed.[94] It stated that Hellenic Defence Systems S.A. (EAS) and VIDEX were expected to complete destruction of the stockpile by the end of 2015 “notwithstanding…any future unforeseen circumstances.” EAS estimated that the transfer of the stockpile to Bulgaria would be completed by 18 August 2014, the date on which the contract expired.

In October 2014, a Greek official informed the ICBL that a total of 452,695 antipersonnel mines remained in Greek stockpiles awaiting transfer for destruction. A total of 500,590 mines were transferred to Bulgaria for destruction, but the destruction process halted after a series of explosions on 1 October 2014 demolished the Bulgarian facility, killing 15 workers (13 men and two women).[95] The blasts completely obliterated the factory, leaving behind two craters the size of football fields and scattering debris over several hundred feet from the site.[96]

The cause of the explosions could not immediately be determined, however Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev blamed the incident on “arrogant nonobservance” of safety procedures.[97] Two months prior to the incident, Bulgarian officials raised serious concerns about safety breaches at the plant.[98] There had been at least three previous unplanned explosions at the destruction facility in 2006, 2007, and 2010, which caused fatalities and injured six people, and in 2010, destroyed two buildings.[99]

It appears that all mines present at the facility at the time of the explosion on 1 October 2014 were destroyed, but some could remain at the site as unexploded ordnance. Greece has yet to announce a new plan for the destruction of its remaining 452,695 mines, but an official informed the ICBL that it intends to submit a revised destruction plan to States Parties by the end of 2014, as called for in Action 5 of the Maputo Action Plan.[100]

Ukraine

Ukraine and the NATO Support Agency (NSPA)[101] signed an agreement on 21 September 2011 to implement a project to destroy 2.7 million PFM mines in cassettes and blocks using €2.35 million (US$3.27 million) in funding coming from the EU through a NATO/Partnership for Peace (PfP) Trust Fund over a period of three years.[102] It has since reported a number of bureaucratic issues leading to repeated delays in the transfer of these funds from the EU. Additionally, Ukraine has not provided clear information on plans to destroy the three million PFM mines contained in 220mm rocket warheads not covered by its agreement with NPSA, nor has Ukraine publicly announced plans to destroy its stockpile of 149,096 POM-2 mines.[103]

In its 2014 Article 7 transparency report, Ukraine reported the destruction of 332,352 PFM mines in 2013 with funds provided by Germany.[104]

The impact on the stockpile destruction program of the political and military conflict currently gripping Ukraine is not known.

Mines retained for training and research (Article 3)

Article 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty allows a State Party to retain or transfer “a number of anti-personnel mines for the development of and training in mine detection, mine clearance, or mine destruction techniques…The amount of such mines shall not exceed the minimum number absolutely necessary for the above-mentioned purposes.”

A total of 73 States Parties have reported that they retain antipersonnel mines for training and research purposes, of which 39 have retained more than 1,000 mines and three (Finland, Bangladesh, and Turkey) have each retained more than 12,000 mines. Eighty-four States Parties have declared that they do not retain any antipersonnel mines, including 31 states that stockpiled antipersonnel mines in the past. A total of 31% of the States Parties that retain mines failed to submit an annual transparency report for calendar year 2013, which was due by 30 April 2014.

Reporting is necessary to understand the intended purposes or actual uses of retained mines. Because of this lack of information, it is not possible to present a total figure of mines retained for 2013 that would serve as a basis of meaningful comparison for previous years.

Key updates from calendar year 2013 were:

  • Bhutan submitted its first report since 2008, showing a reduction of 4,001 mines.
  • Slovenia eliminated 89% of its retained mines, putting it below the 1,000-mine threshold.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina eliminated 40% of its retained mines, putting it below the 1,000-mine threshold.
  • Australia eliminated more than 40% of its retained mines, a total of 1,870 mines.
  • Brazil eliminated nearly 20% of its retained mines, a total of 1,336 mines.
  • Slovenia eliminated nearly all of its retained mines, a total of 2,619 mines.

States retaining more than 1,000 antipersonnel mines

State

Last total declared
(for year)

Initial declaration

Consumed during 2013

Year of last declared consumption

Total quantity reduced as excess to need

Finland

16,500 (2013)

16,500

0

None ever

Turkey

14,944 (2013)

16,000

97

2013

Bangladesh

12,050 (2013)

15,000

450

2013

Sweden

6,235 (2013)

13,948

695

2013

Greece

6,142 (2013)

7,224

16

2013

Belarus

6,022 (2013)

7,530

0

2012

Algeria

5,970 (2013)

15,030

0

2009

Croatia

5,714 (2013)

17,500

3

2013

Brazil

5,251 (2013)

17,000

1,336

2013

Venezuela

4,874 (2011)

4,960

N/R

2010

Tunisia

4,770 (2013)

5,000

70

2013

France

3,958 (2013)

4,539

0

2012

Yemen

3,760 (2013)

4,000

0

2008

Bulgaria

3,557 (2013)

10,466

115

2013

6,446

Nigeria

3,364 (2011)

3,364

N/R

None ever

Thailand

3,227 (2013)

15,604

123

2013

4,517

Serbia

3,149 (2013)

5,000

0

2011

1,970

Djibouti

2,996 (2004)

2,996

N/R

None ever

Chile

2,925 (2013)

28,647

87

2013

23,694

Cambodia

2,827 (2013)

701

0

Unclear

Belgium

2,564 (2013)

5,980

5

2013

Indonesia

2,454 (2013)

4,978

0

2009

2,524

Romania

2,395 (2013)

4,000

105

2013

1,500

Czech Rep.

2,301 (2013)

4,859

59

2013

Peru

2,015 (2013)

9,526

0

2012

7,487

Japan

1,930 (2013)

15,000

231

2013

Canada

1,909 (2013)

1,781

12

2013

Germany

1,880 (2013)

3,006

231

2013

Denmark

1,820 (2013)

4,991

12

2013

2,900

Tanzania

1,780 (2008)

1,146

N/R

2007

Uganda

1,764 (2011)

2,400

N/R

2003

Spain

1,691 (2013)

10,000

19

2013

6,000

Namibia

1,634 (2009)

9,999

N/R

2009

Netherlands

1,557 (2013)

4,076

193

2013

Mozambique

1,363 (2013)

1,427

0

2012

260

Australia

1,264 (2013)

10,000

1,870

2013

7,033

Slovakia

1,220 (2013)

7,000

52

2013

5,500

Kenya

1,020 (2007)

3,000

N/R

2007

Botswana

1,019 (2011)

1,019

N/R

Unclear

Partial Total

151,815

315,197

5,781

69,831

Note: N/R = not reported

In addition to those listed above, an additional 33 States Parties each retain fewer than 1,000 mines and together possess a total of 13,959 retained mines.[105]

A major concern for the ICBL is the large number of States Parties that are retaining mines but apparently not using those mines for permitted purposes. For these States Parties, the number of mines retained remains the same each year, indicating none are being consumed (destroyed) during training or research activities, which is typically the case for most countries, and no other details have been provided about how the mines are being used. Eight States Parties have never reported consuming any mines retained for permitted purposes since the treaty entered into force for them: Burundi, Cape Verde, Cyprus, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo.

Numerous States Parties have reported decreases in the number of mines retained, but only a few have explained the reductions in their transparency reports. Among the states that reduced the number of mines retained without explanation for calendar year 2013 were Bhutan (4,001 fewer mines), Bosnia and Herzegovina (759 fewer mines), Brazil (1,336 fewer mines), Czech Republic (59 fewer mines), Lithuania (36 fewer mines), the Netherlands (193 fewer mines), Slovakia (52 fewer mines), Thailand (123 fewer mines), and Turkey (97 fewer mines).

Three States Parties increased the number of their retained mines in the reporting period. Cambodia retained an additional 1,637 mines cleared in its demining operations. Senegal’s total increased by 13 mines. France retained an additional two mines.

While laudable for transparency, several States Parties are still reporting as retained antipersonnel mines devices that are fuzeless, inert, rendered free from explosives, or otherwise irrevocably rendered incapable of functioning as an antipersonnel mine, including by the destruction of the fuzes. Technically, these are no longer considered antipersonnel mines as defined by the Mine Ban Treaty:

  • Australia keeps no serviceable detonators for more than 1,200 retained mines in stock.
  • Canada reported it has transferred 84 mines from Afghanistan without fuzes.
  • Serbia reported that 1,045 of its mines were fuzeless.
  • Cambodia has 60 antipersonnel mines without fuzes in training fields maintained by NGOs.
  • Lithuania reported it has 269 mines with command controlled fuzes, which are not covered under the treaty.
  • France reported it has 75 mines that either do not have detonators, igniters, or are otherwise incapable of functioning.
  • Eritrea, France, Germany, Mozambique, and Senegal also reported that some of the mines they retained were inert or fuzeless, or were otherwise incapable of functioning as antipersonnel mines.

A total of 22 States Parties have over time used expanded Form D of annual transparency reports to voluntarily report additional information on retained mines.[106]

Transparency reporting

Article 7 of the Mine Ban Treaty requires that each State Party “report to the Secretary General of the United Nations as soon as practicable, and in any event not later than 180 days after the entry into force of this Convention for that State Party” regarding steps taken to implement the treaty. Thereafter, States Parties are obligated to report annually, by 30 April, on the preceding calendar year.

During the reporting period, September 2013 to October 2014, an initial report was submitted by Equatorial Guinea (originally due 28 August 1999) and Liberia provided its first annual update since the submission of its initial report in October 2004. Oman’s initial transparency report is due by 31 July 2015. Tuvalu (due 28 August 2012) has never submitted an initial report.

As of 1 October 2014, only 52% of States Parties had submitted annual reports for calendar year 2013. Encouragingly, three States Parties (Bhutan, Burkina Faso, and Liberia) submitted an annual transparency report in 2013 after not turning in a report for two or more years.

Of the 77 States Parties[107] that have failed to meet this legal obligation, 62 have failed to submit an annual transparency report for two or more years. Among the States Parties that did not submit reports for 2013 are five States Parties with Article 5 clearance obligations (Ethiopia, Niger, Palau, Somalia, and Tajikistan).

No state submitted a voluntary report in 2014. In previous years, Morocco (2006, 2008–2011, and 2013), Azerbaijan (2008 and 2009), Laos (2010), Mongolia (2007), and Sri Lanka (2005) submitted voluntary reports.

Treaty meetings

Two major meetings of the Mine Ban Treaty took place in the reporting period: the Third Review Conference in Maputo, Mozambique on 23–27 June 2014 and the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty held at the UN in Geneva on 2–6 December 2013.

Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties

A total of 115 states attended the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties: 101 States Parties and observer delegations from 14 states not party to the treaty.[108] An ICBL delegation of more than 150 campaigners, including landmine and cluster munition survivors, participated in the meeting.

The meeting’s opening ceremony featured remarks by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon delivered by the UN Geneva Office Acting Director Michael Møller, and addresses by ICRC Vice President Christine Beerli, Nobel Peace laureate Jody Williams for the ICBL, and Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) President Barbara Haering.

The Permanent Representative of Algeria to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Boudjemâa Delmi, was appointed president of the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties. During the meeting, four States Parties—Bhutan, Germany, Hungary, and Venezuela—declared the completion of mine clearance, fulfilling their Article 5 mine clearance obligations. The meeting granted mine clearance deadline extension requests to six states: Chad (until 2020), Mozambique (2014), Niger (2015), Serbia (2019), Sudan (2019), and Turkey (2022).

The three States Parties that remain in violation of the Mine Ban Treaty for missing their deadlines for destroying stockpiled antipersonnel mines—Belarus, Greece, and Ukraine—all reported on their stockpile destruction efforts. The meeting requested that Yemen undertake an investigation and report back on reported antipersonnel mine use. It issued a Geneva Progress Report, detailing mid-term progress in implementing the 2010–2014 Cartagena Action Plan adopted by the Second Review Conference in 2009.

Third Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty

The Third Review Conference of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty was held in Maputo on 23–27 June 2014. A total of 92 states attended: 81 States Parties and observer delegations from 11 states not party to the treaty.[109] The conference’s opening ceremony included remarks by Mozambican President Armando Guebuza as well as the governor of Maputo and Mozambican landmine survivors. The Maputo Review Conference included a two-day “high-level segment” with statements and official endorsements of a “Maputo +15 Declaration” that both marks progress achieved over the past 15 years since Mozambique hosted the First Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in May 1999 and also urges states to move toward completion of the treaty’s time-bound obligations “with the urgency that the completion work requires” and “to meet these goals to the fullest extent possible by 2025.”

Mozambique’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Henrique Banze was elected President of the Third Review Conference, a position he will serve until the end of 2014 when Belgium takes the role as president-designate of the Fourteenth Meeting of States Parties.

States Parties Belarus, Greece, Finland, and Poland gave updates on their progress in stockpile destruction while the conference granted Article 5 mine-clearance deadline extensions to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (by 2021), Eritrea (2020), Yemen (2020), and Zimbabwe (2018). State Party Ethiopia was not present and failed to provide an extension request for its June 2015 clearance deadline.

The Fourteenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty will be held at the UN in Geneva on 30 November–4 December 2015, while intersessional Standing Committee meetings are next scheduled for 4–5 June 2015.

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[1] Office of the Press Secretary, “Remarks by the President at Clinton Global Initiative,” The White House, 23 September 2014, www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/09/23/remarks-president-clinton-global-initiative.

[2] ICBL/Monitor interview with Ji Haojun, Deputy Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Col. Wu Gang, Policy Division, Ministry of Defense, in Maputo, 24 June 2014. There is uncertainty about the method China uses to derive this figure. For example, it is not known whether antipersonnel mines contained in remotely delivered systems, so-called “scatterable” mines, are counted individually or as just the container, which can hold numerous individual mines.

[3] The 30 accessions include two countries that joined the Mine Ban Treaty through the process of “succession.” These two countries are Montenegro (after the dissolution of Serbia and Montenegro) and South Sudan (after it became independent from Sudan). Of the 132 signatories, 44 ratified on or before entry into force (1 March 1999) and 88 ratified afterward.

[4] Office of the Press Secretary, “Fact Sheet: Changes to U.S. Anti-Personnel Landmine Policy,” The White House, 23 September 2014, www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/09/23/fact-sheet-changes-us-anti-personnel-landmine-policy.

[5] Office of the Press Secretary, “Press Gaggle by Press Secretary Josh Earnest en route Joint Base Andrews, 6/27/2014,” The White House, 27 June 2014, www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/06/27/press-gaggle-press-secretary-josh-earnest-en-route-joint-base-andrews-62.

[6] The US was the first country to introduce a resolution to ban landmines in 1996, urging states “to pursue vigorously” an international ban treaty “with a view to completing the negotiation as soon as possible.” UNGA Resolution 51/45S was passed on 10 December 1996 by a vote of 156–0, with 10 abstentions. Since 1997, the US has abstained on every UNGA resolution in support of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. Of the 18 states not party (at the time) that voted in support of Resolution 68/30 on 5 December 2013, eight have voted in favor of every Mine Ban Treaty resolution since 1997 (Armenia, Bahrain, Georgia, Oman, Poland, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and the UAE), while 10 that consistently abstained or were absent previously now vote in favor (Azerbaijan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Morocco, and Tonga).

[7] This includes: Belarus, Bhutan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Finland, FYR Macedonia, Nigeria, Oman, Papua New Guinea, and Turkey.

[8] The 19 states that abstained were comprised of 17 non-signatories (Cuba, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Syria, US, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam) and Mine Ban Treaty States Parties Yemen and Zimbabwe. Since 1997, Yemen and Zimbabwe have both voted in support of every annual UNGA resolution on the Mine Ban Treaty. Both voted in support for the First Committee vote, but then changed to abstain from the final vote. See the voting record available at: www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/68/PV.60.

[9] The 165 affirmative votes secured in 2013, and 2010 is the highest number since the first UNGA resolution supporting the Mine Ban Treaty passed in 1997. The lowest number of votes in support was 138 in 2001. The first resolution in support of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, UNGA 52/38A, secured a vote of 142 in favor, none against, and 18 abstained.

[10] Uzbekistan voted in support of the UNGA resolution on the Mine Ban Treaty in 1997.

[11] As of October 2014, 44 through the Geneva Call Deed of Commitment, 19 by self-declaration, and four by the Rebel Declaration (two signed both the Rebel Declaration and the Deed of Commitment), see www.genevacall.org/how-we-work/deed-of-commitment/. Prior to 2000, several declarations were issued regarding the mine ban by NSAGs, some of whom later signed the Deed of Commitment and the Rebel Declaration.

[12] “Final two Sudan rebel groups sign landmine ban,” Radio Dabanga, 15 August 2014, www.radiodabanga.org/node/78593.

[13] See Geneva Call Press Release, “Syrian Kurdish armed non-State actor commits to ban anti-personnel mines, sexual violence and child recruitment,” 16 June 2014, www.genevacall.org/syrian-kurdish-armed-non-state-actor-commits-ban-anti-personnel-mines-sexual-violence-child-recruitment/; and Geneva Call Press Release, “Major brigade of the Free Syrian Army commits against anti-personnel mines and sexual violence,” 27 October 2014, www.genevacall.org/syria-major-brigade-free-syrian-army-commits-anti-personnel-mines-sexual-violence/.

[14] Free Burma Rangers (FBR) statement, “Civilian Killed by Landmine, Teenage Girl Raped and Over 3,600 New IDPs in Kachin State,” 24 April 2014, www.freeburmarangers.org/2013/01/07/burma-army-opens-new-offensive-in-pang-wa-and-laiza-areas-using-helicopters-and-landmines-in-attacks-in-kachin-state/. In follow up email with FBR it was clarified that the mine had been laid by the Tatmadaw sometime between November 2013 and January 2014. See Myanmar/Burma Landmine Monitor Ban Policy profile, www.the-monitor.org/index.php/cp/display/region_profiles/find_profile/MM/2014.

[15] ICBL Press Release, “ICBL publicly condemns reports of Syrian forces laying mines,” 2 November 2011, www.icbl.org/en-gb/news-and-events/news/2011/icbl-publicly-condemns-reports-of-syrian-forces-la.aspx.

[16] “Assad troops plant land mines on Syria-Lebanon border,” The Associated Press, 1 November 2011, www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/assad-troops-plant-land-mines-on-syria-lebanon-border-1.393200.

[17] “Syria: Army Planting Banned Landmines: Witnesses Describe Troops Placing Mines Near Turkey, Lebanon Borders,” Human Rights Watch (HRW), 13 March 2012, www.hrw.org/news/2012/03/13/syria-army-planting-banned-landmines. Stephanie Nebehay, “Syria using mines and cluster bombs on civilians: campaigners,” Reuters, 29 November 2012, www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/29/us-syria-crisis-landmines-idUSBRE8AS0RF20121129.

[18] Mark Hiznay, “Remotely Delivered Antivehicle Mines Spotted in Syria,” Landmine and Cluster Munition Blog, landmineandclustermunitionblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/remotely-delivered-antivehicle-mines-spotted-in-syria/.

[19] “2014-9-12 ألوية الفرقان | القنيطرة: تفكيك ألغام من مخلفات قوات الأسد في قرية الحميدية,” YouTube, 12 September 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDn0g9qKn5U.

[20] “الرقة النظام يزرع ألغام حول الفرقة 17 19-4-2013,” YouTube, 19 April 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUgUOgzG__o&list=PLPC0Udeof3T6NPdHiWgDvc8zAzafWxSZC&index=2.

[21] Tom Perry, “Syria Reinforces Air Base Under Islamic State Attack: Monitor,” Reuters, 22 August 2014, www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/22/us-syria-crisis-islamicstate-idUSKBN0GM0F920140822.

[22] NSAG used mines in at least eight countries in 2012–2013, six countries in 2011–2012, four countries in 2010, six countries in 2009, seven countries in 2008, and nine countries in 2007.

[23] In 2013, UNAMA reported 557 civilian casualties from pressure-plate IEDs that had been planted on roads routinely used by civilians. This was significant decrease from 913 casualties in 2012. However, in the first six months of 2014, UNAMA documented 308 victim-activated IED casualties, an increase from the same period in 2013. UNAMA, “Afghanistan Annual Report 2013, Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict,” Kabul, February 2014, p. 20, unama.unmissions.org/Portals/UNAMA/human rights/Feb_8_2014_PoC-report_2013-Full-report-ENG.pdf; and also UNAMA, “Afghanistan Mid-year Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict: 2014,” Kabul, July 2014, p. 17, unama.unmissions.org/Portals/UNAMA/human%20rights/English%20edited%20light.pdf.

[24] UNAMA, “Afghanistan Annual Report 2012, Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict,” Kabul, February 2013, p. 14, unama.unmissions.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=K0B5RL2XYcU=. In 2011, UNAMA called on the Taliban to publicly reaffirm its 1998 decree banning mine use. See, statement of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan on the Problem of Landmines, 6 October 1998, in Landmine Monitor Report 1999, pp. 433–434, www.the-monitor.org/index.php/publications/display?act=submit&pqs_year=1999&pqs_type=lm&pqs_report=afghanistan&pqs_section=.

[25] “Three Killed by Landmine in Colombia,” Latin American Herald Tribune (Bogotá), 16 August 2012, www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=558948&CategoryId=12393.

[26] Video footage reportedly filmed in September at Tripoli International Airport by Alnabaa—a private Libyan satellite TV network—and by Al Jazeera shows the clearance of at least twenty T-AB-1 antipersonnel mines and at least one PRB M3 antivehicle mine. Reports by both TV networks alleged that the mines were laid by the Zintani-led forces, which controlled the airport from 2011 until August 2014. See youtu.be/1iuDv4vwvHk?t=1m3s and youtu.be/g1yZ1rW_vrI?t=1m32s.

[27] HRW, “Evidence of New Landmine Use in Tripoli,” 5 November 2014, www.hrw.org/news/2014/11/04/libya-evidence-new-landmine-use-tripoli. The Zintan alliance of militia groups, a coalition of militias from the inland mountain town of Zintan, controlled Tripoli Airport from the end of 2011 until August 2014, when Libya Dawn Alliance of militias from the coastal city of Misrata seized control after five weeks of intense fighting. At the time of fighting, a Zintani force known as the Airport Security Katiba was controlling Tripoli Airport and its vicinity.

[28] The commander informed HRW that his unit has found and cleared approximately 600 landmines since August 24, mostly T-AB-1 antipersonnel mines, from the Tripoli International airport compound.

[29] CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report, Form B, 13 March 2014, www.unog.ch/80256EDD006B8954/%28httpAssets%29/4BD911629947013FC1257CD1004DEBC6/$file/Pakistan_APII_NAR_2014.pdf.

[30] Hannah Lucinda Smith, “Land Mines in Ras Al-Ain”, Asharq Al Awsat, 7 December 2013, www.aawsat.net/2013/12/article55324635.

[31] According to the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper, Hezbollah and Syrian army units conducting mine clearance in Qusair found dozens of mines provided by Hezbollah to Hamas in 2007–2008. Sources hinted that Hamas may have provided the mines to Syrian rebels. The report has not been confirmed by Hezbollah’s leadership. Roi Kais, “Report: Mines found in Qusair provided by Hezbollah to Hamas,” Ynet, 10 June 2013, www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4390325,00.html.

[32] Sarah El Deeb, “Syrian rebels reeling from loss of Qusair,” Associated Press, 11 June 2013, bigstory.ap.org/article/syrian-rebels-reeling-loss-qusair.

[33] Albert Aji and Sarah El Deeb, “Syrian army captures Qusair, key border town, in blow to rebels,” Associated Press, 5 June 2013, www.mercurynews.com/ci_23393574/syrian-army-captures-qusair-key-border-town-blow.

[34] Matthieu Aikins, “Makers of war,” Wired, July 2013, www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/07/diy-arms-syria/.

[35] Nasser Al-Sakkaf, “10 killed by landmine,” Yemen Times, 5 September 2013, www.yementimes.com/en/1709/news/2845/10-killed-by-landmine.htm.

[36] CCW Amended Protocol II defines it: “‘Phoney minefield’ means an area free of mines that simulates a minefield. The term ‘minefield’ includes phoney minefields.” Article 2, paragraph 8.

[37] These multi-purpose antipersonnel munitions can be emplaced in either a command-detonated or victim-activated manner. When used in victim-activated mode, they are prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty.

[38] Lusine Musayelian, “Karabakh Enhances Defense Capabilities,” Asbarez (Stepanakert), 26 July 2013, asbarez.com/112014/karabakh-enhances-defense-capabilities/.

[39] Statement by the ICBL, “ICBL gravely concerned about use of antipersonnel mines by Nagorno-Karabakh,” 20 September 2013, www.icbl.org/en-gb/news-and-events/news/2013/icbl-gravely-concerned-about-use-of-antipersonnel.aspx.

[40] There is an amount of uncertainty about the method China uses to derive this figure. For example, it is not known whether antipersonnel mines contained in remotely delivered systems, so-called “scatterable” mines, are counted individually or as just the container, which can hold numerous individual mines.

[41] For China; ICBL/Monitor interview with Ji Haojun, Deputy Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Col. Wu Gang, Policy Division, Ministry of Defense, in Maputo, 24 June 2014. For the US: “We have an active stockpile of just over 3 million anti-personnel mines in the inventory.” US Department of Defense, “Department of Defense Press Briefing by Rear Adm. Kirby in the Pentagon Briefing Room,” 27 June 2014, www.defense.gov/Transcripts/Transcript.aspx?TranscriptID=5455.

[42] The older estimate is based on interviews with non-Chinese government officials involved in CCW Amended Protocol II discussions in 1995 and 1996.

[43] ICBL/Monitor interview with Ji Haojun, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Col. Wu Gang, Ministry of Defense, in Maputo, 24 June 2014. There is uncertainty about the method China uses to derive this figure. For example, it is not known whether antipersonnel mines contained in remotely delivered systems, so-called “scatterable” mines, are counted individually or as just the container, which can hold numerous individual mines.

[44] Statement of China, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, 27 June 2014, www.maputoreviewconference.org/fileadmin/APMBC-RC3/friday/13_HIGH_LEVEL_SEGMENT_-_China.pdf.

[45] “We have an active stockpile of just over 3 million anti-personnel mines in the inventory.” US Department of Defense, “Department of Defense Press Briefing by Rear Adm. Kirby in the Pentagon Briefing Room,” 27 June 2014, www.defense.gov/Transcripts/Transcript.aspx?TranscriptID=5455.

[46] Information provided by the US Armed Services in Spring/Summer 2002, cited in US General Accounting Office, “GAO-02-1003: MILITARY OPERATIONS: Information on U.S. use of Land Mines in the Persian Gulf War,” September 2002, Appendix I, pp. 39–43. See also: US entry in ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2009 (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, 2009), bit.ly/1wAJOma.

[47] A US official confirmed to HRW that the US would not extend the shelf-life of existing systems, for example, by replacing their batteries. Meeting with US Delegation, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, 27 June 2014. Unofficial notes by HRW.

[48] There are 51 confirmed current and past producers. Not included in that total are five States Parties that have been cited by some sources as past producers, but who deny it: Croatia, Nicaragua, Philippines, Thailand, and Venezuela. It is also unclear if Syria has been a producer.

[49] Additionally, Taiwan passed legislation banning production in June 2006. The 36 States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty that once produced antipersonnel mines are Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe.

[50] The landmine policy announcement was made by the US ambassador to Mozambique on June 27, at the Mine Ban Treaty’s Third Review Conference and detailed in a White House fact sheet. Statement by Ambassador Douglas Griffiths, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, 27 June 2014, www.maputoreviewconference.org/fileadmin/APMBC-RC3/friday/13_HIGH_LEVEL_SEGMENT_-_United_States.pdf; and Office of the Press Secretary, “Fact Sheet: Changes to U.S. Anti-Personnel Landmine Policy,” The White House, 27 June 2014, www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/06/27/fact-sheet-changes-us-anti-personnel-landmine-policy.

[51] “Miranshah: Another landmine manufacturing factory unearthed,” Dunya News (Miranshah), 4 July 2014, dunyanews.tv/index.php/en/Pakistan/227582-Miranshah-Another-landmine-manufacturing-factory-.

[52] See for example, “Ejército ubicó 100 minas antipersona,” Emisora del Ejército Nacional, 30 October 2013, www.emisoraejercito.mil.co/content/ej-rcito-ubic-100-minas-antipersona.

[53] In Yemen, the appearance of East German PPM-2 antipersonnel mines, in connection with two allegations of new use, suggests that a new supply channel is in place given that Yemen did not declare the type to be in stockpile or as part of existing mine contamination. PPM-2 antipersonnel mines are known to be present in Somalia, across the Gulf of Aden. In Sudan, the appearance in the past two years of significant numbers of No. 4 antipersonnel mines with Farsi-language markings also seemingly indicates that stockpiles of antipersonnel mines are available to the various actors engaged in the conflict in the southern provinces of Sudan.

[54] Landmine Monitor received information in 2002, 2003, and 2004 that demining organizations in Afghanistan were removing and destroying many hundreds of Iranian YM-I and YM-I-B antipersonnel mines, date stamped 1999 and 2000, from abandoned Northern Alliance frontlines. Information provided to Landmine Monitor and the ICBL by HALO Trust, Danish Demining Group, and other demining groups in Afghanistan. Iranian antipersonnel and antivehicle mines were also part of a shipment seized by Israel in January 2002 off the coast of the Gaza Strip.

[55] A total of 18 states and one regional group took the floor during the meeting to express concern: Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa and Switzerland, as well as the European Union. ICBL, “Summary of Compliance Issues,” Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, Switzerland, 2-5 December 2013.

[56] The committee will also, “When appropriate, in close consultation with the States Parties concerned, clarify the situation, and if as a result it assesses that the concern is credible, make suggestions on steps that the States Parties concerned could take to ensure that the Convention remains strong and effective; For cases where the concern is credible, present preliminary observations at intersessional meetings if need be, and conclusions and recommendations at Meetings of the States Parties or Review Conferences; Remain transparent and accountable, including by reporting on activities at both intersessional and Meetings of the States Parties or Review Conferences.” . “Decisions on the Convention’s Machinery and Meetings,” Maputo, 27 June 2014, p. 5, www.maputoreviewconference.org/fileadmin/APMBC-RC3/3RC-Decisions-Machinery-27Jun2014.pdf.

[57] Afghanistan, Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Ireland, Jordan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Slovenia, and Switzerland.

[58] “The government pledges its commitment to implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty,” Saba News Service, 19 November 2013, www.sabanews.net/ar/news331538.htm. See also, ICBL Web Post, “Yemen mine use: official communiqué,” 22 November 2014, www.icbl.org/en-gb/news-and-events/news/2013/yemen-mine-use-official-communiqué-17-11-2013.aspx.

[59] It said the Prime Minster had directed that an inter-agency investigation committee be established to look into the incident and determine who was responsible, applying criminal sanctions in accordance with the 2005 implementation law. Yemen reported that the “Minister for Defense had given the order to implement this investigation, to account for those who participated in that action, and to clear the mines.” It stated that the engineering corps and the general reserve forces had commenced clearance operations at Bani Jarmooz. Statement of Yemen, Mine Ban Treaty Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 5 December 2013. Original in Arabic, translation by the Monitor, www.apminebanconvention.org/fileadmin/pdf/other_languages/arabic/MBC/MSP/13MSP/11g_COMPLIANCE_CONCERNS_-_Yemen.pdf

[60] This report would include information on (a) the status and outcomes of Yemen’s investigation; (b) the identification of those responsible for deploying antipersonnel mines, and subsequent measures taken; (c) information on the source of the antipersonnel mines and how those mines were obtained, particularly given that Yemen had long ago reported the destruction of all stockpiles; (d) the destruction of any additional stocks discovered and the clearance of the mined areas in question; and (e) action to prevent and suppress any possible future prohibited activities undertaken by persons or on territory under its jurisdiction or control.

[61] HRW meeting with Maj. Gen. Ahmed Hussein al-Akily, Director of the Office of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Sana’a, late January 2014.

[62] According to the report, local people in Bani Jarmooz and Arhab districts intervened to stop the demining operations on their first day in protest at the government’s failure to provide compensation for mine-related deaths and injuries, damaged vehicles, and loss of agricultural income. “Yemen Initial Report to the President of the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties,” 29 March 2014, www.apminebanconvention.org/fileadmin/APMBC/IWP/IM-apr14/Yemen-interim-report-29Mar2014.pdf.

[63] Interview with Yemen’s Delegation to the Third Review Conference, Maputo, 26 June 2014. Notes by HRW.

[64] Email from HRW’s researcher based in Sana’a, 21 October 2014.

[65] Statement of ICBL, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on General Status and Operation, Geneva, 25 May 2012.

[66] UNMAS has been unable to independently verify the allegations due to access restrictions to the alleged sites. Email from Lance Malin MBE, UNMAS, 14 October 2013.

[67] Email to Tamar Gabelnick, Policy Director, ICBL, from Gustavo Laurie, Acting Senior Liaison Officer, UNMAS Geneva, 13 March 2014, containing the NMAA report dated 12 March 2014 and entitled “NMAA investigation report on alleged re-mining in the Republic of South Sudan.”

[68] Refugees International, “South Sudan: Protection and Assistance Challenges Demand a Firm Response,” 11 July 2013, www.refintl.org/policy/field-report/south-sudan-protection-and-assistance-challenges-demand-firm-response.

[69] After years of conflict, the government of Sudan and the southern-based rebel group the SPLM/A signed a peace agreement on 9 January 2005 that led to a referendum in January 2011 approving self-determination for the South. The Republic of South Sudan became an independent state on 9 July 2011 and the SPLA became the regular army of the new Republic of South Sudan while the SPLM became the governing political party. The northern branch of the SPLM became an independent party in Sudan after the South’s secession. See Salma El Wardany, “Sudan Army, Opposition Fighters Clash in Southern Kordofan,” Bloomberg, 24 September 2011, www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-23/sudan-clashes-resume-in-southern-kordofan-state-smc-reports.html. UN reports stated that both the SAF and the SPLM-N were reported to have laid antipersonnel mines in strategic areas of Kadugli, the capital of South Kordofan state. UNHCR, “Thirteenth periodic report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Sudan: Preliminary report on violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in Southern Kordofan from 5 to 30 June 2011,” August 2011, para. 25; and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “Sudan, South Kordofan – Situation Report No. 12,” covering the period 12–17 July 2011, reliefweb.int/report/sudan/south-kordofan-situation-report-no-12.

[70] During 2012, several mine use allegations in South Kordofan were reported by international media outlets and NGOs (see ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Sudan,” www.the-monitor.org/index.php/cp/display/region_profiles/find_profile/SS/2013, 2013). The ICBL has expressed “grave concern” at allegations of antipersonnel mine use by armed forces of the Republic of the Sudan in Southern Kordofan and urged the government of Sudan to clarify whether its forces used antipersonnel mines. Letter from Kasia Derlicka, Director, ICBL, to Ali Ahmed Karti, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sudan, 8 March 2012.

[71] Letter from Mohamed Eltaib Ahmed, Chief of Operations, National Mine Action Centre (NMAC) on behalf of the government of the Republic of the Sudan, to the ICBL Director, dated 25 May 2012, and provided to the ICBL by Sudan’s Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva, 24 May 2012; and intervention of Sudan on compliance, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on General Status and Operation, Geneva, 24 May 2012. Notes by the ICBL. At a HRW side event briefing on landmine use allegations, the Sudan delegation stated that Sudan would in fact investigate the allegations. Statement by Steve Goose, HRW, for the ICBL, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on General Status and Operation, Geneva, 25 May 2012, www.hrw.org/news/2012/05/25/statement-compliance-mine-ban-treaty.

[72] “JEM identifies sites in Kordofan where government is burying mines,” Radio Tamazuj, 2 August 2013, radiotamazuj.org/en/article/jem-identifies-sites-kordofan-where-government-burying-mines.

[73] Geneva Call, “Major Sudanese armed group commits against anti-personnel mines,” 29 August 2013, www.genevacall.org/major-sudanese-armed-group-commits-anti-personnel-mines/.

[74] Geneva Call, “Sudan: the Justice and Equality Movement pledges against antipersonnel mines,” 24 April 2012, www.genevacall.org/sudan-justice-equality-movement-pledges-anti-personnel-mines/. JEM was party to two previous peace agreements in Sudan that prohibited mine use and required cooperation on mine action. See ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2008: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2008), p. 620, www.the-monitor.org/index.php/publications/display?url=lm/2008/countries/sudan.html.

[75] ICRC, “The International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement deplores the death of a Sudanese Red Crescent Society volunteer,” 16 February 2014, www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/news-release/2014/02-14-sudan-red-crescent-volunteer-death.htm.

[76] The Turkish newspaper Taraf published a document allegedly belonging to the 23rd Gendarmerie Division Command indicating that members of the Turkish Armed Forces laid M2A4 antipersonnel mines in Sirnak province on 9 April 2009. Melìs Gönenç, “Mine news became evidence,” Taraf online, 16 April 2010,; and “Allegation: Turkey breaking landmine ban,” United Press International, 16 April 2010, www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2010/04/16/Allegation-Turkey-breaking-landmine-ban/UPI-19481271424759/.

[77] The second case relates to seven Turkish soldiers who were killed and eight wounded by an antipersonnel mine near Çukurca on 27 May 2009. “Askerlere mayınlı tuzak: Altı şehit” (“Tripwire mine incident kills six soldiers”), Radikal (Hakkari), 29 May 2009, www.radikal.com.tr/Radikal.aspx?aType=RadikalHaberDetay&ArticleID=938124&Date=29.05.2009&CategoryID=98; and Mustafa Yuksel,“Jandarma, 7 askerin şehit olduğu patlamayı masa başında inceledi” (“Explosion which killed seven soldiers under desk investigation”), Zaman, 9 April 2010, www.zaman.com.tr/newsDetail_openPrintPage.action?newsId=971113.

[78] Statement of Turkey, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on General Status and Operation, Geneva, 27 May 2013, www.apminebanconvention.org/fileadmin/APMBC/IWP/SC-may13/Speeches-GS/4_COMPLIANCE_-Turkey.pdf .

[79] Metin Arslan, “Last photo of TSK mine victims in Çukurca revealed,” Today’s Zaman, 7 May 2010, www.todayszaman.com/national_last-photo-of-tsk-mine-victims-in-cukurca-revealed_209560.html. The case was forwarded to the Turkish General Staff Military Prosecutor’s Office in 2010. According to media accounts, in September 2010 a report on the incident to the military’s prosecutor’s office found that the device used was an “anti-personnel landmine.” Brigadier General Zeki Es, who allegedly ordered the emplacement of the mine, was arrested in November 2010 and a case was opened in the Turkish Martial Court. Metin Arslan and Fatih Karakiliç, “General who planted deadly Çukurca mines sent to jail,” Today’s Zaman, 8 November 2010, www.todayszaman.com/newsDetail_getNewsById.action;jsessionid=C251025604FC927FED73437D08C4DDE2?newsId=226646&columnistId=0.

[80] Statement of Turkey, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on General Status and Operation, Geneva, 27 May 2013, www.apminebanconvention.org/fileadmin/APMBC/IWP/SC-may13/Speeches-GS/4_COMPLIANCE_-Turkey.pdf ..

[81] Intervention by Turkey, Mine Ban Treaty Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 5 December 2013. Notes by the ICBL.

[82] Statement of Turkey, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on General Status and Operation, Geneva, 9 April 2014. Notes by the ICBL.

[83] See ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Thailand: Mine Ban Policy,” www.the-monitor.org/index.php/cp/display/region_profiles/theme/3088, 28 November 2013. According to a request made by the ICBL, Cambodia conducted a fact-finding mission to the site from 10–12 May 2013 that determined the Thai solders were injured by mines laid during the Cambodian civil war. It said its soldiers found indications of the incident on the same day, and recorded a GPS reference that differed from the reference declared by the Thai military. Cambodia stated that the incident took place to the side of, not on, a specially cleared path used for military-to-military meetings between the Thai and Cambodian military in the area. The Cambodian delegation provided copies of the report at the May 2013 intersessional meeting in Geneva.

[84] Statement of Cambodia, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Compliance, Geneva, 30 May 2013. Notes by the ICBL; and Investigation Report on Thailand’s Allegation of New Mines Laid by Cambodia, 17 May 2013. Report copy provided to ICBL at the Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meeting, 31 May 2013. Report prepared by a five-person team from the Cambodian Mine Action Authority and the Cambodian National Center for Peacekeeping Forces and ERW Clearance.

[85] In October 2008, two Thai soldiers stepped on antipersonnel mines while on patrol in disputed territory between Thailand and Cambodia, near the World Heritage Site of Preah Vihear. Thai authorities maintained that the area was previously clear of mines and that the mines had been newly placed by Cambodian forces. Cambodia denied the charges and stated that the Thai soldiers had entered Cambodian territory in an area known to contain antipersonnel mines and were injured by mines laid during previous armed conflicts. In April 2009, another Thai soldier was reportedly wounded by an antipersonnel mine at the same location during further armed conflict between the two countries. In September 2009, Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army, Gen. Anupong Paochinda, stated that Cambodian troops were laying fresh mines along the disputed areas and close to routes where Thai soldiers make regular patrols. See Landmine Monitor Report 2009, pp. 243–244, 719–720, www.the-monitor.org/index.php/publications/display?url=lm/2009/; and ICBL, “Country Profile: Cambodia: Mine Ban Policy,” www.the-monitor.org/index.php/cp/display/region_profiles/theme/617, 6 August 2010.

[86] Tuvalu stated in 2002 that it does not stockpile antipersonnel mines.

[87] An Omani official informed the Monitor in 2007 that the country’s stockpile consists of fewer than 2,000 antipersonnel mines, and that there had been no new procurement of mines in more than 20 years. Interview with Staff Cmdr. Maj. Elbarami, Ministry of Defence, Mine Ban Treaty Eighth Meeting of States Parties at the Dead Sea, 19 November 2007.

[88] Belarus and Greece had a deadline of 1 March 2008, while Ukraine had a deadline of 1 June 2010.

[89] Statement of Finland, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, 23 June 2014. Previously at the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties in December 2013, Finland reported that stockpile destruction was 90% completed. Statement of Finland, Mine Ban Treaty Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 December 2013.

[90] Statement of Poland, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, 24 June 2014.

[91] Statement of Belarus, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Standing Committee Meetings, Geneva, 11 April 2014. Notes by ICBL.

[92] Statement of Belarus, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, 24 June 2014. Notes by the Monitor.

[93] Ibid., 27 June 2014.

[94] Statement of Greece, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, 24 June 2014.

[95] Email from Yannis Mallikourtis, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Greece to the UN in Geneva, to Tamar Gabelnick, ICBL, 22 October 2014.

[96] Georgi Kantchev, “After Deadly Blast, Bulgaria Asks If Arms Disposal Is Worth It,” The New York Times, 2 October 2014, www.nytimes.com/2014/10/03/world/europe/deadly-blasts-in-bulgaria-rip-through-plant-decommissioning-land-mines.html.

[97] Ibid.

[98] Tsvetelia Tsolova and Stoyan Nenov, "Blasts kill 15 people at Bulgaria explosives plant," Reuters, 2 October 2014, www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/02/us-bulgaria-blast-idUSKCN0HR12Q20141002.

[99] Georgi Kantchev, “After Deadly Blast, Bulgaria Asks If Arms Disposal Is Worth It,” The New York Times, 2 October 2014, www.nytimes.com/2014/10/03/world/europe/deadly-blasts-in-bulgaria-rip-through-plant-decommissioning-land-mines.html; and Sean Carney, "Bulgarian Munitions Factory Blast Kills 15," The Wall Street Journal, 2 October 2014, online.wsj.com/articles/no-survivors-likely-in-bulgarian-munitions-factory-blast-1412257715.

[100] Email from Yannis Mallikourtis, Permanent Mission of Greece to the UN in Geneva, to Tamar Gabelnick, ICBL, 22 October 2014.

[101] In June 2011, the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA), which had previously been engaged with Ukraine for stockpile destruction, was reorganized and renamed NSPA.

[102] The agreement is Phase II of a broader €25 million ($35 million) demilitarization project being conducted under the auspices of NATO/PfP and numerous NATO member states. Interview with NAMSA Representative, Kiev, 8 November 2011; and statement of Ukraine, Mine Ban Treaty Eleventh Meeting of the States Parties, Phnom Penh, 1 December 2011, www.apminebanconvention.org/meetings-of-the-states-parties/11msp/what-happened/day-5-thursday-1-december/statements/. Average exchange rate for 2011: €1=US$1.3931. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2012.

[103] Statement of the ICBL, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 27 May 2013.

[104] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, 1 April 2014, www.unog.ch/80256EDD006B8954/(httpAssets)/D594702A0E4C212EC1257B4A004C38B3/$file/Ukraine+2012.pdf.

[105] States Parties retaining less than 1,000 mines under Article 3: Angola (972), Zambia (907), Mali (900), Bosnia and Herzegovina (865), Jordan (850), Argentina (841), Honduras (826), Mauritania (728), Portugal (694), Italy (628), South Africa (576), Cyprus (500), Bhutan (490), Zimbabwe (450), Nicaragua (448), Togo (436), United Kingdom (371), Slovenia (361), Congo (322), Ethiopia (303), Cote d’Ivoire (290), Lithuania (269), Uruguay (260), Cape Verde (120), Iraq (107), Eritrea (101), Ecuador (100), Gambia (100), Rwanda (65), Senegal (50), Benin (16), Guinea-Bissau (9), and Burundi (4).

[106] Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Cote D’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Gambia, Germany, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Japan, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Romania, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Zambia. Some States Parties on this list only used some voluntary elements of Form D.

[107] Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Burundi, Cameroun, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lesotho, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Montenegro, Namibia, Nauru, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Niger, Niue, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Zambia.

[108] The 14 states not party were: China, Cuba, Egypt, India, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Myanmar, Palestine, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and US.

[109] The 11 states not party were: China, Egypt, India, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and US.