A national mine action law was drafted. In September 2004, the government established a committee to deal with destruction of antipersonnel mine stockpiles and other ERW issues. A nationwide inventory of antipersonnel mine stockpiles was started and a destruction plan approved. From March 2003 to 30 April 2005, a total of 28,893 stockpiled mines were destroyed in cooperation with demining NGOs. In April 2005, Afghanistan retained 1,076 mines for training mine detection dogs. In December 2004, Afghanistan became co-rapporteur of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration. Media reports indicated possible new use of mines by opposition forces. Use of improvised explosive devices by opposition forces appeared to increase in 2004 and 2005. The Landmine Impact Survey conducted November 2003-November 2004 reduced the area of estimated contamination from 1,350 square kilometers to 715 square kilometers. In 2004, over 33 square kilometers of mined areas and nearly 70 square kilometers of battle areas were cleared, destroying over 5,000 antipersonnel mines, 500 antivehicle mines and one million other explosives. Some 65 square kilometers of mined areas and former battlefields were also surveyed. An estimated US$91.8 million was dedicated to mine action in 2004, a large increase from 2003. UNMACA reported funding of $97.2 million in its fiscal year 2004-2005. In 2005, for the first time, Afghanistan made a significant donation to mine action ($1.6 million). Mine risk education was received by over two million Afghans in 2004-2005. Only 27 percent of mine-impacted communities reported some form of MRE in the previous two years. Significant decreases in new casualties from landmines, UXO and cluster munitions were recorded in 2004 compared with 2003. Casualties included at least one deminer killed and 13 injured. Afghanistan was identified at the First Review Conference to the Mine Ban Treaty as one of 24 States Parties with the greatest need and responsibility to provide survivor assistance.
A humanitarian demining law was drafted for parliamentary approval after elections in July 2005. Revision of the mine action strategy was finalized in March 2005, postponing clearance of high and medium priority mine-affected areas to 2006, and of all areas to 2009. Government responsibility for mine action was also postponed to 2006-2009. In 2004, over 400,000 square meters were released (including some 180,000 square meters demined), compared with over 1,100,000 square meters in 2003. The reduced clearance and need to revise the strategy were attributed to difficulties in 2004, when one of the two clearance organizations withdrew due to lack of funding, and a serious training accident delayed other planned activities. UNICEF supported the preparation of two mine and weapons risk manuals. Some US$3.8 million in funding was provided by international donors for mine action in 2004. Mine/UXO casualties increased significantly in 2004. At the First Review Conference in Nairobi, Albania was identified as one of 24 States Parties with the greatest needs and responsibility to provide adequate survivor assistance. A new victim assistance project was started in October 2004 by UNDP. In January 2005, the National Strategy on People with Disabilities was approved, and in April 2005 a new law entitling all persons with disabilities to a social pension was adopted.
Algeria destroyed 144,020 stockpiled antipersonnel mines between November 2004 and May 2005. It plans to complete the destruction of its stockpile in November 2005. Algeria hosted an international seminar on the implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty in Algiers in May 2005. In December 2004, Algeria became co-chair of the Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies. In September 2004, the Interministerial Committee for the Implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty became operational. The Committee drafted a mine action plan for the period 2005 to 2009; as of September 2005, it had not been adopted by the government. On 27 November 2004, Algeria re-launched its demining program on the eastern and western borders; 137,395 antipersonnel mines were cleared between November 2004 and July 2005.
Angola presented a plan for stockpile destruction in June 2005. Angola stated that if it is unable to meet its 1 January 2007 deadline for destruction of its antipersonnel mine stockpile, it would ask for an extension; however, there is no provision in the Mine Ban Treaty for such an extension. The Landmine Impact Survey was suspended on 31 May 2005 due to lack of funds, after completing survey of 10 of the 18 provinces. After securing additional funding, the LIS was re-started and is “on-going on a reduced level.” Angola reported clearance of 10.7 square kilometers and removal of 7,351 antipersonnel mines in 2004, a considerable increase on 2003 (3,525,197 square meters). Five of 11 mine action operators reported clearance of over 9.5 square kilometers in 2004 to April 2005, plus area-reductions and road clearance. An estimated US$28 million was provided by international donors for mine action in Angola in 2004, continuing the trend of increased donations in recent years. CNIDAH, the Inter-Sectoral Commission on Demining and Humanitarian Assistance, promoted the creation of mine committees at provincial and community levels. It prepared IMAS-based standards for mine risk education, which came into effect on 1 January 2005. Mine risk education by 18 organizations covered 15 provinces. There was a significant decrease in the number of reported mine casualties in 2004. At the First Review Conference, Angola was identified as one of 24 States Parties with the greatest needs and responsibility to provide adequate survivor assistance.
On 28 February 2005, Bangladesh completed destruction of its stockpile of 189,227 antipersonnel landmines. In December 2004, Bangladesh became co-chair of the Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction. Nonviolence International-Bangladesh conducted a three-day MRE training program in Chittagong in the first half of June 2004.
Belarus has decided to convert over 200,000 OZM-72 bounding fragmentation mines into command-detonated munitions. Belarus has committed to destroying MUV-type fuzes used as antihandling devices and booby-traps. Belarus submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report on 1 July 2004 and a second report on 9 May 2005. Belarus cleared more than 1,000 antipersonnel mines in 2004, but has not formally declared itself to be mine-affected. The Ministry of Defense reported spending around US$460,000 on clearance operations during the year. The Ministry of Defense launched a mine risk education campaign aimed at preventing casualties among the civilian population in affected areas. Mine casualties continued to occur in 2004 and 2005.
Bhutan acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 18 August 2005, following approval by the National Assembly in July 2005. Bhutan formally announced its intention to accede in September 2004.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
In December 2004 Bosnia and Herzegovina amended the criminal code to apply penal sanctions for violations of the Mine Ban Treaty. BiH’s mine action strategy was revised in 2004, and integrated with national development goals. The new strategy aims to reduce by 40 percent the total mine-suspected area by the end of 2008, two months before the Article 5 deadline. Illegal caches of antipersonnel mines continued to be discovered. At the end of December 2004, it was estimated that some 2,300 square kilometers, about 4.4 percent of the country, was affected by mines and unexploded ordnance. In 2004, 4.3 square kilometers of land was demined. A further 2.3 square kilometers was reduced by technical survey, a large increase on 2003. Both national and international funding of mine action in BiH increased in 2004, totaling US$28.6 million (compared with $17.46 million in 2003). International donors contributed $18.8 million to the total. A new mine risk education strategy was developed, including integration with other aspects of mine action, marking of minefields, and strengthening the delivery and coordination of mine risk education. BiH standards for mine risk education were adopted. The downward trend in mine/UXO casualties continued in 2004. At the First Review Conference, BiH was identified as one of 24 States Parties with the greatest needs and responsibility to provide adequate survivor assistance. In June 2005, BiH presented some of its objectives for the period 2005-2009 to address the needs of mine survivors.
On 8 November 2004, Burundi declared a stockpile of 1,212 antipersonnel mines, but was conducting further inventories of stocks. The increased number of mine casualties, particularly in Bujumbura Rural province where fighting has been taking place, indicates ongoing use of antipersonnel mines. However, Landmine Monitor has received very few specific allegations about use by either FNL rebels or Army forces. The UN supported the establishment of a mine action coordination center. In November 2004, Burundi announced plans for a national landmine impact survey to be conducted in 2005. In May 2005, DanChurchAid started mine clearance activities in Makamba province near the border with Tanzania. The Swiss Foundation for Mine Action postponed clearance activities planned for 2005; it carried out nationwide mine risk education during 2004. Total funding of US$6.5 million is sought for mine action in Burundi in 2005. UNICEF suspended its support for the Department for Civil Protection’s mine risk education program, awaiting creation of a national mine action authority. In 2004, there was a significant increase in the number of reported mine/UXO casualties. Burundi acknowledges that in terms of survivor assistance “everything remains to be done.” At the First Review Conference, Burundi was identified as one of 24 States Parties with the greatest needs and responsibility to provide survivor assistance.
From September 2003 until December 2004 Cambodia co-chaired the Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies. Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister attended the First Review Conference, and ICBL Youth Ambassador Song Kosal addressed the opening ceremony. A major launch of the Landmine Monitor Report 2004 was held in Cambodia with the King’s participation. Cambodia newly discovered and destroyed over 15,000 stockpiled antipersonnel mines in 2004, more than any year since the destruction program was completed.
In June 2005, Cambodia reported to States Parties that it would request an extension to the Article 5 deadline (March 2010) unless donors increased funding. International donations for mine action in Cambodia increased substantially in 2004, to over US$41 million. Cambodia reported that approximately $30 million was expended on mine action in 2004. An evaluation of mine action claimed that only one tenth of the area previously identified as mine-contaminated would require clearance. The evaluation recommended redefining the mine action authority's role. During 2004, four demining operators cleared over 32 square kilometers of land, less than in 2003. On 10 August 2005, five national standards for demining were approved by Prime Minister Hun Sen. Mine risk education reached about 600,000 people in 2004, including repeat visits. There was a significant increase in the number of casualties reported, compared with 2003; more casualties were due to unexploded ordnance than previously. At the First Review Conference, Cambodia was identified as one of 24 States Parties with significant numbers of mine survivors, and with the greatest needs and responsibility to provide adequate survivor assistance. In June 2005, as part of its commitment to the Nairobi Action Plan, Cambodia presented some of its objectives for the period 2005–2009 to address the needs of mine survivors.
National implementation legislation is in the approval process. Chad stated its objective to be “free of the impact of mines and UXO before the end of 2010....” Despite the conflict in Tibesti, Chad was chosen to compete for the UNDP Completion Initiative. In October 2004, Mines Advisory Group took over supervision of clearance operations and started a new project to clear arms caches and water points in the northern regions. From May 2004 to April 2005, 244,227 square meters were cleared of mines and 2.68 square kilometers were cleared through battle area clearance; 3,630 antipersonnel mines, 1,364 antivehicle mines and 67,513 UXO were destroyed. An MRE campaign reached more than 41,307 people, and 990 community volunteers were trained. Reported casualties increased significantly in 2004. At the First Review Conference, Chad was identified as one of 24 States Parties with the greatest needs and responsibility to provide adequate survivor assistance.
A mine clearance operation which began in August 2004 at Chacalluta Airport in Arica was completed in April 2005, with destruction of almost 5,000 antipersonnel mines and more than 2,000 antivehicle mines. On 21 July 2005, Chile began mine clearance along its border with Bolivia at Tambo Quemado. In its May 2005 Article 7 report, Chile reported significant new information on mined areas. Chile is preparing legislation to more fully and specifically implement the Mine Ban Treaty. Chile and Argentina have made a joint proposal for expanded reporting on mines retained for training and development purposes.
Colombia completed destruction of its stockpiled antipersonnel mines on 24 October 2004. Non-state armed groups, most notably FARC, continued to use antipersonnel mines and improvised explosive devices on a regular basis. The mine problem has continued to escalate. As of 1 July 2005, 31 of Colombia’s 32 departments, and more than half the country’s municipalities, were affected by mines or unexploded ordnance. In August 2004, the government approved the National Strategic Plan for mine action for 2004–2009. In 2004, the Antipersonnel Mine Observatory recorded 863 new landmine/UXO casualties, a significant increase from the 724 new casualties recorded in 2003. At the First Review Conference, Colombia was identified as one of 24 States Parties with the greatest needs and responsibility to provide adequate survivor assistance.
Croatia will host the Sixth Meeting of States Parties in November-December 2005. Croatia enacted comprehensive national implementation legislation in October 2004. It established a national commission to monitor implementation. Croatia served as co-chair of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration until November 2004. Croatia ratified CCW Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War on 7 February 2005. As of late August 2005, the Croatian company Agencija Alan was still displaying for sale the TMRP-6 antivehicle mine equipped with a tilt rod in its product catalogue; the ICBL believes this mine is banned. Through general survey, Croatia has reduced its estimate of mined and suspected mined areas to 1,174 square kilometers. Croatia’s draft mine action program calls for clearance of 346 square kilometers of known mined areas by its treaty-mandated deadline of 1 March 2009. In 2004, over 10.6 square kilometers of land were demined and a further 23 square kilometers reduced by survey. As a result, two of the 14 mine-affected counties were cleared of mines in 2004. A total of 4,453 antipersonnel mines, 5,257 antivehicle mines and 40,850 UXO were found and destroyed. Almost US$52 million was spent on demining in 2004; international donations increased substantially, to $9.8 million in 2004. A total of 36,200 people received mine risk education training in 2004 and 100,000 people were exposed to MRE messages. There was a significant increase in mine casualties, most caused by antipersonnel mines. At the First Review Conference, Croatia was identified as one of 24 States Parties with the greatest needs and responsibility to provide adequate survivor assistance. In 2004–2005, the legal provisions for mine survivors were extended.
In August 2005, Turkish forces agreed on clearance of Turkish minefields laid in the buffer zone, and clearance activities started on 12 August. Clearance of minefields laid by Republic of Cyprus National Guard in the buffer zone started in November 2004; 294,118 square meters of mined area and 2,063 mines were cleared November 2004–30 June 2005. The European Commission contributed €2.5 million (some US$3.1 million) for clearance of the buffer zone. The UN Mine Action Cell was established in April 2004 to manage and monitor the clearance project. Cyprus reported destruction of 335 antipersonnel mines in mined areas outside the buffer zone in 2004. It destroyed 4,368 stockpiled antipersonnel mines between July 2003 and December 2004, including 441 in 2004.
Djibouti again appears to have declared that it has met its Article 5 obligation to clear all mined areas, although there is evidence that mined areas still exist.
France conducted a military mission in March-April 2005 to prepare for clearance of its mine-affected La Doudah military base.
Democratic Republic of Congo
As of May 2005, the DRC was still unable to report on the number and types of antipersonnel mines stockpiled in the country. Its deadline for completion of stockpile destruction is 1 November 2006. Some antipersonnel mines from former opposition forces are being destroyed as part of the demobilization process, and some Army-held mines have also been destroyed. Landmine Monitor has not received any serious allegations or reports of use of antipersonnel mines by non-state armed groups since June 2004. By 16 June 2005, 828 dangerous areas had been registered by the UN Mine Action Coordination Center in Kinshasa. An advance mission for a national landmine impact survey was conducted in March 2005; another advance assessment, in 2004, led to a survey in one province starting in April 2005. DRC’s Article 7 report for 2004 did not report any mine clearance conducted during the year. However, several NGOs reported data on clearance activities in 2004-2005, as well as mine risk education programs. Over US$4.4 million was donated for mine action in the DRC in 2004. A significant decrease in mine/UXO casualties was recorded in 2004. At the First Review Conference, the DRC was identified as one of 24 States Parties with the greatest needs and responsibility to provide adequate survivor assistance.
In August 2004, Ecuador destroyed 1,970 antipersonnel mines it had retained for training, leaving it with a total of 2,000 mines. In 2004, seven new mine casualties were reported; no casualties for 2005 were reported as of September.
National implementation legislation entered into force in November 2004. In December 2004, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official called into question previous claims by a UK-based mine clearance group that significant mine and ERW affected areas remain in El Salvador. At the First Review Conference, El Salvador was identified as one of 24 States Parties with the greatest needs and responsibility to provide adequate survivor assistance. In June 2005, as part of its commitment to the Nairobi Action Plan, El Salvador presented some of its objectives for the period 2005–2009 to address the needs of mine survivors.
On 8 April 2005 the Eritrean mine action program was halted by government action for the second time in three years, when vehicles used by the demining teams and other UN equipment were seized. The Minister of National Development later indicated that Eritrea does not require further UN technical assistance for its mine action program. The Landmine Impact Survey, completed in June 2004, found that more than 655,000 people in 481 communities were affected by landmines and UXO in nearly 1,000 contaminated areas. Some 3.6 square kilometers of land and 2,180 kilometers of road were cleared of mines in 2004 (1,327 antipersonnel mines, 93 antivehicle mines and 3,865 UXO were destroyed). In addition, 21,855 square meters of land were marked or surveyed. Eritrea completed its National Mine Action Strategic Plan in late 2004. In total, US$5.8 million was spent on national mine action programs in Eritrea in 2004, excluding UNMEE costs. International donors contributed some $4.9 million in 2004.
National mine risk education, which had been suspended in 2002 during government restructuring, re-started in 2004. In March 2005, mine risk education started in areas outside the Temporary Security Zone, the first such programs there since the end of the 1998–2000 war with Ethiopia. Increased coverage was achieved inside the TSZ. Reported mine/UXO casualties in the Temporary Security Zone decreased significantly in 2004. At the First Review Conference, Eritrea was identified as one of 24 States Parties with the greatest needs and responsibility to provide adequate survivor assistance. As part of its commitment to the Nairobi Action Plan, Eritrea has identified some of its objectives for the period 2005–2009 to address the needs of mine survivors.
Estonia acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 12 May 2004, and the treaty entered into force on 1 November 2004. Estonia submitted its initial Article 7 transparency measures report on 21 March 2005, which declared no antipersonnel mines in stockpile or retained for training. In 2004, a total of 1,952 items of UXO were destroyed, and to 19 September 2005 1,114 UXO were destroyed, including 82 mines. Almost 400 UXO were found on the island of Saaremaa during planned clearance operations and the construction of a ferry port in 2005.
Greece has completed its plan for stockpile destruction and approved the budget. Greece is maintaining its minefields on the border with Turkey, but is replacing antipersonnel mines with antivehicle mines. As of 22 April 2005, 7,660 of the 24,751 antipersonnel mines in the Evros minefields on the border had been removed and replaced with antivehicle mines. In June 2005, an army deminer was killed during clearance operations. In 2004, the national clearance battalion surveyed 808,169 square meters of land and cleared a further 511,810 square meters. The annual cost of demining operations in Greece was €3.3 million (US$4.1 million).
In 2004, clearance operations were completed in the departments of Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz and Huehuetenango. Clearance in 2004 resulted in the destruction of 40 items of unexploded ordnance, including two antipersonnel mines. Mine risk education reached 92,231 people in 395 communities. Guatemala served as co-chair of the Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction from September 2003 until December 2004, and took on the role of co-rapporteur of the Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention at that time.
Guinea-Bissau sheduled to complete stockpile destruction on 17 October 2005, shortly before its 1 November 2005 treaty-deadline. A mine action plan for 2004 to 2009 was developed to meet Guinea-Bissau’s obligations under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty. Handicap International started a project in 2005 to develop demining capacity and efficiency. Over 215,000 square meters of land were cleared in 2004, less than in 2003. Under US$1 million was contributed by international donors for mine action in Guinea-Bissau in 2004, a decrease from 2003. Mine risk education in 2004 was interrupted by a shortfall in funding. A significant increase in mine/UXO casualties was reported in 2004. At the First Review Conference, Guinea-Bissau was identified as one of 24 States Parties with the greatest needs and responsibility to provide adequate survivor assistance. In June 2005, Guinea-Bissau presented its objectives for 2005–2009 to address the needs of mine survivors.
Guyana has not yet submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report, due 29 July 2004.
Jordan published its National Mine Action Plan for 2005–2009. The plan aims to make Jordan free of all antipersonnel mines by 2009. In 2004 and to 1 May 2005, army engineer demining teams cleared 1,266,000 square meters, destroying 806 antipersonnel mines and 35 antivehicle mines in 14 minefields. A modified landmine impact survey was due to start in late 2005. The Jordanian Red Crescent Society carried out more than 100 mine risk education events, reaching nearly 12,000 people. Jordan received some US$2.2 million from international donors for mine action in 2004. The number of reported mine/UXO casualties increased substantially in 2004. The NCDR victim assistance subcommittee was created in 2004 to collect data on mine casualties in Jordan.
From 28 November to 3 December 2004, Kenya hosted the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty, also known as the Nairobi Summit on a Mine-Free World. National implementation legislation is being prepared. A joint British-Kenyan International Mine Action Training Centre, for mine action training in sub-Saharan Africa, was inaugurated on 17 February 2005 close to Nairobi.
Latvia acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 1 July 2005. It submitted a third voluntary transparency report in June 2005, with revised stockpile totals. In 2004, explosive ordnance disposal teams destroyed 3,426 items of UXO, including 42 antipersonnel and antivehicle mines.
On 20 October 2004, Liberia submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report, originally due by 28 November 2000. The “nil” report indicates that Liberia has no stockpile of antipersonnel mines, including for training purposes, and no areas containing or suspected to contain antipersonnel mines. Liberia’s treaty-mandated deadline for destroying any stocks of antipersonnel mines, 1 June 2004, passed without Liberia officially informing States Parties that it had met the obligation. On 16 September 2005, Liberia joined Amended Protocol II (Landmines) of the Convention on Conventional Weapons.
Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of)
FYR Macedonia joined CCW Amended Protocol II on 31 May 2005. No survey activities were carried out in 2004, and detailed reporting of clearance activities in 2004 has not been obtainable. International funding of mine action continued in 2004, but at a reduced level with donors indicating the need for greater national ownership of the mine/UXO problem. In January 2005, responsibility for mine action was passed to a new Directorate. There were no confirmed reports of mine or UXO casualties during 2004; however, no national agency carries out comprehensive recording of mine/UXO incidents.
Malawi has drafted national implementation legislation. The President of Malawi attended the First Review Conference. Malawi has begun surveying and clearing camps belonging to the disbanded Malawi Young Pioneers. Malawi developed a five-year plan for mine action, with UN technical assistance. A program was developed for a comprehensive survey of mine casualties. The five-year plan includes the objective of improving victim assistance. In 2004, a new national disability policy was approved.
Mauritania completed its stockpile destruction program in December 2004 and will retain 728 mines for training purposes.
Demining operations in 2004 were limited to small-scale EOD operations and the clearance of some 26,000 square meters in Nouadhibou region, of which 20,000 square meters were cleared by the French NGO HAMAP Démineurs. In 2004, the National Humanitarian Demining Office started a technical survey to reduce the size of suspected hazardous areas. Mine risk education was initiated by UNICEF in August 2004, to train 100 community activists and mark suspected hazardous areas; by August 2005, some 2.5 square kilometers had been marked. In August 2004, Mauritania started collecting casualty data.
During 2004, Moldova destroyed 736 mines it had previously identified as retained for training. It also stated that the 249 remotely-controlled antipersonnel mines it still retained would be destroyed in the future. Moldova revised its information on previous destruction of stockpiled antipersonnel mines, indicating 13,194 mines were destroyed in 2002.
Mozambique reported in April 2005 that national implementation legislation was awaiting approval by the Assembly. Mozambique served as a Friend of the President for the First Review Conference. Mozambique hosted a major launch of the Landmine Monitor Report 2004. Major changes were made in this reporting period, replacing the previous target date of 2012 to become impact-free with the treaty-compliant target of 2009 to become mine-free, integrating mine action in national development plans, and changing the basis of mine action planning and prioritization. A 10-year review of mine action in Mozambique identified serious deficiencies in the action plan, limited ability to plan and prioritize mine action effectively, and a need to integrate mine action with national development. Clearance results and ongoing revision of the 2001 Landmine Impact Survey led the National Demining Institute to sharply reduce its estimate of suspected mine-contaminated land to 171.6 square kilometers. Substantially more land was cleared of mines and unexploded ordnance in 2004 (nearly 12 square kilometers) than in 2003, removing the threat to 379 villages and 217,000 people. A further 4.6 square kilometers was surveyed, canceling 84 suspected hazardous areas in five provinces. One mine clearance operator ceased work in 2005, due to lack of funds. Two others announced plans to withdraw in 2006–2007. Little mine risk education took place in 2004, due to lack of funding.
International donors provided an estimated $11.95 million for mine action in Mozambique in 2004 (in contrast to over $15 million in 2003), and the Mozambican government provided increased funding of $7.9 million (partly in-kind, including tax exemptions). Mine/UXO casualties increased in 2004. Mozambique acknowledges that victim assistance is the “weakest component” of its mine action program. At the First Review Conference, Mozambique was identified as one of 24 States Parties with significant numbers of mine survivors, and with the greatest responsibility to act, but also the greatest needs and responsibility to provide adequate assistance. In June 2005, as part of its commitment to the Nairobi Action Plan, Mozambique presented some of its objectives for the period 2005–2009 to address the needs of mine survivors.
Namibia submitted an initial Article 7 report on 7 July 2004, which was due by 28 August 1999. The annual update for 2004 was not submitted by the due date of 30 April 2005. Namibia revealed that in 1998 it had destroyed 21,857 mines and retained 9,999 for training. In June 2005, it reported that 3,848 of the retained mines had been destroyed during training activities. Namibia has acknowledged that there is a residual mine/unexploded ordnance problem, for which it has maintained a response capability. In July 2005, Namibia began a survey to identify any mine/UXO-affected areas.
Nicaragua acted as a Friend of the President of the First Review Conference and has served as co-chair of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration since December 2004. Nicaragua hosted a Workshop on Advancing Victim Assistance in the Americas in April 2005. In October 2004, Nicaragua destroyed 810 antipersonnel mines previously retained for training purposes. During 2004, 387,906 square meters of land were cleared, and 10,430 landmines and 653 UXO were destroyed. New minefields are still being discovered in Nicaragua. From 1990 to 28 February 2005, Army demining teams cleared 120,568 antipersonnel landmines, including 11,092 unrecorded mines, from 4,106,714 square meters. It was estimated that 26,167 mines remained to be cleared. In 2004, 102,239 people in 315 high-risk communities received mine risk education, as did almost 30,000 people in 102 communities January–April 2005. International donors provided $4 million for mine action in Nicaragua in 2004. At the First Review Conference, Nicaragua was identified as one of 24 States Parties with significant numbers of mine survivors, and with the greatest needs and responsibility to provide adequate survivor assistance. In June 2005, Nicaragua presented some of its objectives for the period 2005-2009 to address the needs of mine survivors.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 28 June 2004 and it entered into force for the country on 1 December 2004. Papua New Guinea submitted its initial Article 7 report, prior to entry into force, on 29 November 2004.
Perú named for the first time the three penitentiary centers it had mined in the departments of Puno, Cajamarca and Lima. In June 2005, the Police stated that 1,361 electrical towers in Huancavelica, Ica and Lima previously demined are still considered dangerous and mine-affected. No mine risk education has been carried out in Perú since October 2003. There were no known landmine casualties in 2004, in contrast to 2003 when 21 mine/UXO casualties were reported. At the First Review Conference, Perú was identified as one of 24 States Parties with the greatest needs and responsibility to provide adequate survivor assistance. Perú presented its survivor assistance objectives for the period to 2009.
National implementation legislation was filed in the House in August 2004 and the Senate in November 2004. The rebel New People’s Army continued to use command-detonated mines and improvised explosive devices; it denied using victim-activated mines. There were also reports of continued antipersonnel mine use by the Abu Sayyaf Group. Following a resumption of fighting for the first time since 1996, a commander with the Moro National Liberation Front-Misuari group acknowledged using antipersonnel and antivehicle mines. In 2004 a significant increase in the number of new mine casualties was reported.
Mine clearance slowed down significantly in 2004 following the end of funding from the US, the only external donor to the demining program. During 2004, 19,687 square meters were demined, destroying some 750 mines and UXO. About 900,000 square meters of mine-affected land remain to be cleared. Mine/UXO casualties increased in 2004, reportedly due to the lack of mine risk education.
On 14 July 2005, the General Assembly of Senegal adopted a law on mine action. Following a security incident in April 2004, the Army ceased demining activities. At the end of 2004, UNDP began assistance to the mine action program in Senegal. A six-month emergency study was planned to start in October 2005, to collect information on the presence of landmines in Casamance and assess their impact on the population. Limited mine clearance which started in the second half of 2003 stopped in April 2004 after deminers were killed in a security incident. Handicap International believes that the reduction in casualties, from 198 in 1998 to 17 in 2004, is due in large part to mine risk education. Senegal has been identified as one of 24 States Parties with significant numbers of mine survivors, and with the greatest needs and responsibility to provide adequate survivor assistance.
Serbia and Montenegro
Serbia and Montenegro submitted its initial Article 7 report on 25 October 2004. A stockpile destruction project has been established, in cooperation with the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency; destruction began on 17 August 2005. Serbia and Montenegro intends to retain 5,000 antipersonnel mines for training purposes. In 2004, at least 1.6 square kilometers of land was cleared in Serbia at a cost of some US$2 million; some 1,060 antipersonnel mines and 215 antivehicle mines were destroyed. The Montenegrin Ministry of Health established a commission for antipersonnel mine survivors, and the Serbian Ministry of Health established the Council of Health Workers to develop programs to assist landmine survivors. At the First Review Conference, Serbia and Montenegro was identified as one of 24 States Parties with the greatest needs and responsibility to provided adequate survivor assistance.
The government and SPLM/A signed a Comprehensive Peace Agreement in January 2005 that includes a prohibition on use of landmines. There have been no serious allegations of new use of antipersonnel mines by government, SPLA or other forces anywhere in Sudan in this reporting period. Sudan prepared its initial Article 7 transparency report, indicating a preliminary stockpile of 9,485 antipersonnel mines. Sudan has decided to retain 5,000 mines for training purposes. New mine action structures were developed, with extensive UN involvement, to allow increased mine action following the peace agreement. However, operational capacity was reported as inadequate. In 2004-2005, capacity was concentrated on survey and clearance of transport routes and resettlement areas needed for refugees, aid and UN peacekeeping forces. Demining organizations cleared half a square kilometer of land in 2004, destroying 336 antipersonnel mines, 400 antivehicle mines, and 200,000 items of unexploded and abandoned ordnance. More than 106 kilometers of road were verified. In 2004, some US$15 million was donated for mine action in Sudan.
A significant decrease in mine/UXO casualties was reported in 2004; however, casualty data is “vastly underreported.” At the First Review Conference, Sudan was identified as one of 24 States Parties with the greatest needs and responsibility to provide adequate survivor assistance. In October 2004, a new orthopedic workshop and rehabilitation center opened in Rumbek, and in January 2005, Sudan’s first internationally recognized diploma course in prosthetics and orthotics started. In June 2005, as part of its commitment to the Nairobi Action Plan, Sudan presented its objectives for the period 2005 to 2009 to meet the needs of mine survivors.
Vice Prime Minister Saidamir Zuhurov led Tajikistans delegation to the First Review Conference. In December 2004, Tajikistan voted in favor of UN General Assembly Resolution 59/84 supporting the Mine Ban Treaty, after being the only State Party to abstain from voting on similar resolutions the previous two years. Tajikistan initiated mine clearance operations in its central region in June 2004. In August 2004, general survey began in Sugd region of the north. In 2004 through May 2005, only 56,900 square meters were cleared, including 252 mines and UXO. In May 2005, general survey was concluded in Tursunzade districtthe first assessment in the west of the country, close to the Uzbek border. In 2004, Tajikistan received some US$2.45 million in mine action funding, a significant increase. In 2005, UNICEF started a mine risk education project. At the First Review Conference, Tajikistan was identified as one of 24 States Parties with the greatest needs and responsibility to provide adequate survivor assistance. In June 2005, as part of its commitment to the Nairobi Action Plan, Tajikistan presented some of its objectives for the period 2005-2009 to address the needs of mine survivors.
Key developments since 2004: In June 2005, the Organization of American States reported that Suriname initiated mine clearance operations in February 2005 and completed them on 4 April 2005. However, the government of Suriname has not yet reported that it has fulfilled the requirements of Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty to clear all mined areas.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs served as President of the Fifth Meeting of States Parties until the November 2004 Review Conference. The Master Plan on Humanitarian Mine Action of Thailand for 2005–2009 was launched; this does not refer to the Article 5 deadline of 1 March 2009 for clearance of all mined areas. Less than one percent of mine-contaminated area has been cleared after six years. In 2004, over two square kilometers of land were cleared and area-reduced, with a further 500,000 square meters cleared in January-May 2005. The government contributed US$965,000 to mine action within Thailand, and international donors provided a similar amount. TMAC’s plans to create a fifth demining unit were postponed due to lack of government funding. During the reporting period, more than 120,000 people received mine risk education. In 2004, TMAC recorded fewer mine casualties than in 2003. A national plan for mine victim assistance was under development. At the First Review Conference, Thailand was identified as one of 24 States Parties with the greatest needs and responsibility to provide adequate survivor assistance.
In November 2004, Tunisia started to clear the Ras Jedir minefield, representing 70 percent of known mined areas on its territory; as of April 2005, the army had already cleared 3,305 mines. In addition, the Army destroyed 477 UXO from World War II-era battlefields between 1 December 2004 and 15 June 2005.
Turkey submitted an initial transparency measures report in October 2004 and an annual update in May 2005. It declared a stockpile of 2.97 million antipersonnel mines and about 920,000 antipersonnel mines emplaced in border areas. Turkey ratified CCW Amended Protocol II on 2 March 2005. During clearance operations in 2004, 1,225 antipersonnel mines were removed and destroyed; 16,065 square meters were cleared in 2004 and early 2005. A significant increase in mine/UXO casualties was reported in 2004. The PKK/Kongra-Gel has continued to use landmines. Turkey is the lead nation in a project to clear a heavily contaminated former Soviet ammunition storage facility in Azerbaijan.
Turkmenistan reported in April 2005 the completion of destruction of all its antipersonnel mine stockpiles, including those previously retained for training. In June 2004, Turkmenistan for the first time participated in Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings.
The Lord’s Resistance Army continues to use antipersonnel mines. There are reports of Army seizures of antipersonnel mines from the People’s Redemption Army. In February 2005, a UNDP Mine Action Advisor was appointed to help the government establish a mine action program, which was officially launched in July 2005 by the Deputy Prime Minister. In March, the Department of Disaster Preparedness and Refugees within the Office of the Prime Minister took responsibility for mine action coordination. In August through mid-September 2005, 20 army engineers were trained in mine clearance at the international training center in Nairobi. Mines Awareness Trust carried out a training needs assessment for mine clearance and mine risk education. At the First Review Conference, Uganda was identified as one of 24 States Parties with the greatest needs and responsibility to provide adequate survivor assistance. In June 2005, Uganda identified some of its objectives for the period 2005-2009 to address the needs of mine survivors.
Vanuatu ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 16 September 2005. Vanuatu participated in the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in Nairobi in November-December 2004.
Venezuela submitted its first Article 7 report in two years, which provided additional details on stockpile destruction and revised previous information on mines laid by Venezuela in the past. Venezuela joined the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II on 19 April 2005. In July 2005, Venezuela set out a timetable for clearance, before its Article 5 deadline, of antipersonnel mines around six Navy posts. As of August 2005, mine clearance operations had not started.
Yemen enacted legislation to implement the Mine Ban Treaty in April 2005. In June 2004, the government reportedly accused a militant group of using antipersonnel landmines in clashes with troops. A revised National Mine Action Strategic Plan was released in June 2004, covering the period 2004-2009. As of June 2005, clearance had been completed in 10 of 14 communities highly affected by mines and unexploded ordnance, and 53 of the 86 medium-impact communities. Aden and Hodeidah governorates were declared free of mines. In 2004, 464 antipersonnel mines, 203 antivehicle mines and 10,594 UXO were cleared from 2.7 square kilometers of land. Technical survey was conducted on 69 square kilometers of suspected land. An independent evaluation concluded that the Yemen mine action program shows “a depth of maturity comparable to the best mine action programs in the world.” At the First Review Conference, Yemen was identified as one of 24 States Parties with the greatest needs and responsibility to provide adequate survivor assistance. As part of its commitment to the Nairobi Action Plan, Yemen has set its objectives for 2005 to 2009 to address the needs of mine survivors. In September 2004, the Yemen Association for Landmine and UXO Survivors was launched.
Zambia’s domestic implementation legislation, enacted in December 2003, became effective in August 2004. The legislation formalized the establishment of the Zambia Anti-Personnel Mine Action Center (ZAMAC), replacing the Zambian Mine Action Center (ZMAC). Zambia completed destruction of its stockpile of 3,345 antipersonnel mines in October 2004 and is retaining a further 3,346 mines for training. Zambia developed a five-year plan for mine action (2005-2009), although the objective is to be mine-free by 2007. In 2004, 7,780 square meters were demined, in one of the 41 mine/UXO contaminated areas. With the end of US assistance, Zambia planned to create a trust fund for humanitarian demining.
In August 2005, Zimbabwe developed a five-year plan for the clearance of all mined areas, to comply with Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty. The plan is estimated to cost almost US$30 million. In September 2005, clearance of the Victoria Falls-Mlibizi area, which has been a demining priority for five years, was reported to be almost complete.
Ethiopia ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 14 December 2004 and the treaty entered into force for the country on 1 June 2005. In 2004, demining operations were conducted over a total of more than 10 square kilometers of land in Afar and Tigray regions; 478 antipersonnel mines, 67 antivehicle mines and 8,354 UXO were destroyed. A strategic plan for mine action was presented to the government in August 2005 for approval. Some 800,000 people received mine risk education during 2004. A favorable evaluation of the mine risk education program was published in July 2005. Mine/UXO casualties continued to be reported in 2004 and 2005. Ethiopia has been identified as one of 24 States Parties with the greatest needs and responsibility to provide adequate survivor assistance. The enlargement and renovation of five regional physical rehabilitation centers was completed.
In June 2005, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official told the ICBL that ratification legislation passed by parliament would be printed in the government gazette very soon, one of the last steps required for Haiti to ratify. Also in June 2005, Haiti attended the intersessional meetings in Geneva, its first participation in a Mine Ban Treaty-related meeting.
In June 2005, representatives of the interdepartmental working group on the Mine Ban Treaty reached a consensus in favor of ratification and submitted a recommendation to the President for his approval. The ICBL conducted a special advocacy mission to Indonesia in July 2005 during which the Minister of Defense pledged support for ratification without further delay.
Poland changed its policy and has begun the internal process of ratifying the Mine Ban Treaty. The Ministry of Defense said there were no obstacles to destruction of Poland’s stockpile of 997,680 antipersonnel mines and estimated destruction should not take more than two years. Defense officials indicated Poland will keep about 5,000 antipersonnel mines for training purposes. In April 2005, Poland submitted its third voluntary Article 7 transparency report. In 2004, 1,517 antipersonnel and antivehicle mines and 52,308 UXO were destroyed in clearance and explosive ordnance disposal operations; in the first quarter of 2005, 564 landmines and 2,368 UXO were cleared by EOD teams. Poland contributed 424 military engineers to missions abroad which include mine clearance duties; this assistance is valued at US$1.74 million.
Ukraine’s parliament ratified the Mine Ban Treaty in May 2005, but Ukraine had not officially deposited its ratification with the UN as of September 2005. The European Commission decided in 2004 to fund the destruction of Ukraine’s 5.9 million PFM mines, and in June 2005, following ratification, announced that it had concluded negotiation of the terms of reference for a €6 million (US$7.5 million) project to destroy the mines. Ukraine officially ratified CCW Protocol V on explosive remnants of war in May 2005.
In a poll conducted by the Armenian National Committee of the ICBL in April-May 2005, only 39 percent of respondents supported the government’s position not to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty. In August 2004, the UN Development Programme launched a major, 36-month project with the European Commission, UNDP and government of Armenia funding. A Landmine Impact Survey completed in August 2005 identified 102 suspected hazardous areas totaling 321,680,000 square meters and affecting 60 communities. In 2004, 50,000 square meters were cleared of mines and unexploded ordnance; in 2005 to September, a further 50,000 square meters were cleared. Reported mine casualties increased significantly in 2004.
Azerbaijan has expressed greater support for the Mine Ban Treaty and eradicating antipersonnel mines. The Deputy Foreign Minister indicated Azerbaijan will prepare a voluntary Article 7 report and will vote in favor of the pro-ban UNGA resolution. In 2004, more than 2.4 square kilometers of mined areas and nearly 4.8 square kilometers of UXO-contaminated land was cleared and area-reduced. Clearance capacity increased in 2004. Funding decreased from 2003 to US$3.2 million in 2004, including $255,000 from the government. Mine risk education focused on strengthening community-based initiatives and integrating it into the school curricula. The number of new mine/UXO casualties increased in 2004. A countrywide survey identified 1,883 mine survivors.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials for the first time indicated there were no major impediments to joining the Mine Ban Treaty, and said internal processes to consider accession were underway. Bahrain attended the First Review Conference in Nairobi, its first participation in a meeting of Mine Ban Treaty States Parties. Ministry of Defense officials revealed for the first time that Bahrain keeps a limited stock of antipersonnel mines for training purposes. The ICBL and UNMAS each conducted their first advocacy missions to Bahrain, and the Egyptian NGO Protection and the Bahrain Human Rights Society organized a landmine workshop.
Myanmar’s military forces, the Tat Ma Daw, and at least 12 non-state armed groups have continued to use antipersonnel mines. This includes two groups newly identified as mine users, the Karenni People’s National Liberation Front and Karenni National Solidarity Organization, which have undertaken some armed activities in collaboration with the Tat Ma Daw. In the absence of official information, informal interviews with officials and civilians reveal that mines pose a significant threat to communities in nine of 14 states and divisions. Forced demining by civilians (“atrocity demining”) was reported in 2004–2005, as in previous years. No humanitarian mine clearance has taken place in Burma. No military or village demining has been reported since May 2004. At a UNHCR seminar in November 2004, the mine threat was identified as one of the most serious impediments to the safe return of internally displaced persons and refugees. Mine risk education is carried out by NGOs on an increasing basis, in refugee camps and within other assistance efforts. The number of mine incidents and casualties remains unknown, but NGOs providing assistance to mine survivors indicate that casualties have increased. Mine action and other humanitarian assistance programs were disrupted by changes in the government in October 2004.
China expressed its desire to expand cooperation with Mine Ban Treaty States Parties. China sent a high-level observer delegation to the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty and said it was “positively considering” the submission of a voluntary Article 7 transparency report. It also declared that the army had recently begun a new round of demining operations in areas where border demarcation is in progress, on the border with Vietnam in Guangxi and Yunnan provinces. China has continued to destroy and modify antipersonnel mines that do not comply with CCW Amended Protocol II. At the Sixth Annual Conference of States Parties to CCW Amended Protocol II, China stated that a new international demining assistance program was due to start in the first half of 2005.
At the First Review Conference in December 2004, Egypt for the first time officially announced a moratorium on the production of antipersonnel mines. Egypt distanced itself from the Common African Position on Landmines adopted in Addis Ababa on 17 September 2004. The National Committee to Develop the North West Coast and Mine Clearance did not meet during the reporting period. No mine risk education activities were reported in Egypt during 2004 and the first half of 2005. At least 10 people were injured in mine/UXO incidents in 2004.
Finland announced in September 2004 that it would not join the Mine Ban Treaty until 2012, six years later than its previously stated goal. A total of €300 million (US$373 million) is to be devoted over eight years for landmine alternatives. In 2004, Finland provided some $4.8 million for mine action in mine-affected countries.
In September 2004, the OSCE expressed concern about new mine-laying by both Georgian and South Ossetian forces. Georgia is due to complete an inventory and assessment of its stockpile of munitions in September-October 2005; the Deputy Minister of Defense told ICBL that landmines will be among the first weapons scheduled for destruction and that Georgia does not intend to keep any antipersonnel mines. In July 2004, the Survey Action Center conducted an advance mission to Georgia to assess the need for a Landmine Impact Survey. No Georgian Army clearance was reported in 2004; limited clearance activities were ongoing in 2005. HALO Trust conducted a survey of Georgia’s mine and UXO problem in September–October 2004. It expanded its mine risk education to include areas near former military bases and mined areas. HALO also carried out minefield marking. In 2004–2005, Georgia hosted a middle manager’s training course for mine action programs in the Caucasus.
India attended the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in Nairobi in November-December 2004 as an observer, the country’s first participation in a treaty-related meeting. Numerous non-state armed groups continued to use mines and improvised explosive devices in many parts of India, from which significant civilian and military casualties are reported. The Indian Army claimed that it had completed almost all demining operations on the border with Pakistan, apart from the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. The chairman of a parliamentary committee revealed that Army personnel suffered substantial losses in the laying and clearance of mines on the border with Pakistan. Media reports suggest there about 260-270 civilian and military casualties from mines and improvised explosive devices annually.
From March 2004 to March 2005, 528 square kilometers of mine-contaminated land were cleared, with 252,383 antipersonnel mines, 37,522 antivehicle mines and 1,478,508 UXO destroyed. UNDP is assisting in development of a national mine action strategy and action plan. In August 2005, Iran's mine action center announced a 10-year plan to eliminate all landmines in Iran by 2015, with target dates for several mine-affected provinces. During 2004, mine risk education was extended. In September 2005, UNHCR agreed to transfer its mine risk education training of returnees to Afghanistan and Iraq to the Iranian Red Crescent Society.
The National Mine Action Authority estimates that there are some 8,000 square kilometers of contaminated land in Iraq, including 1,578 square kilometers affected by mines and UXO, and 6,370 square kilometers of border minefields. This estimate is expected to increase once the Iraq Landmine Impact Survey (ILIS) is completed in 2006. As of September 2005, the ILIS had identified 1,460 affected communities, including 83 communities with high impact, 519 with medium and 858 with low impact. In October 2004, NMAA adopted a national mine action strategy which envisions an Iraqi society “free from fear and impact” of landmines and UXO by 2020. According to NMAA, in 2004 more than 61 square kilometers of land were cleared, including 56 square kilometers through battle area clearance; 13,321 antipersonnel mines, 8,806 antivehicle mines and 1,170,478 UXO were destroyed. NMAA has stated that mine action funding of US$355 million is needed for the period 2004 to 2008. International donations to mine action in Iraq totaled about $58.7 million in 2004. The Iraqi government is reportedly investing $20 million in mine action.
Opposition forces have used antipersonnel and antivehicle mines, and most frequently, improvised explosive devices, both command-detonated and victim-activated. In August 2005, a US official said IED attacks were up 100 percent from the previous year. The transitional government of Iraq is studying accession to the Mine Ban Treaty. Iraq voted in favor of UN General Assembly Resolution 59/84 on 3 December 2004, supporting universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty. Given the destruction of Iraq’s production facilities, and the government’s statements in support of banning antipersonnel mines, Landmine Monitor has decided to remove Iraq from the list of countries producing antipersonnel mines.
In 2004, there were at least 261 new, recorded mine/UXO casualties; the actual number is likely much higher. As of August 2005, the ILIS had recorded 510 “recent” casualties; more than 20 percent were children under 15. The ILIS had also recorded 6,657 “less recent” casualties.
In June 2005, a Kuwaiti official told the ICBL that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defense had both recommended acceding to the Mine Ban Treaty. The Minister of Defense said in October 2004 that Kuwait does not have a stockpile of antipersonnel mines. In 2004, 20 new mine/UXO casualties were reported, representing a significant increase from the two casualties reported in 2003.
Landmine Monitor was informed that the Ministry of Defense stockpiles several tens of thousands of antipersonnel mines and the Frontier Troops stockpile some 1,000 to 2,000 antipersonnel mines; the shelf life for most if not all of these mines has expired. In 2004, clearance of mined territory around the Uzbek-populated Shakhimardan enclave in Kyrgyzstan was reportedly completed by Uzbekistan.
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
In July 2005, Laos confirmed its intention to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty in the future. The new National Regulatory Authority, envisaged by the March 2004 National Strategic Plan, had not started to operate as of August 2005. Some 18 square kilometers of land were cleared by UXO Lao and two commercial operators in 2004, and an additional 1.4 square kilometers were cleared by Mines Advisory Group in 2004 to January 2005. In 2004, international donors provided $8.1 million for mine action in Laos, twice as much as in 2003. Around 300,000 people received mine/UXO risk education in 2004 and the first quarter of 2005. In 2004, a significant increase in the number of mine/UXO casualties was reported.
Lebanon attended and made statements at the First Review Conference in 2004 and the intersessional meetings in June 2005. The Landmine Impact Survey, released in February 2005, found 28 highly impacted communities and over 250 communities with medium or low impact. National technical survey started in April 2005. In August 2004, Lebanon finalized its End-State Strategy for Mine Action and Long-Term Plan (2005–2009); this sets the goal of clearing high and medium impact areas by 2010. In 2004, more than two square kilometers of mine-affected land was cleared, destroying 2,929 antipersonnel mines, 287 antivehicle mines and 5,991 UXO. Since 2002, Operation Emirates Solidarity has cleared and released to the community over 4.9 square kilometers of mined and mine-suspected land in former Israeli-occupied territories in South Lebanon. The project closed in June 2004, with clearance uncompleted in Area 6. Lebanon received US$9.7 million in international mine action funding in 2004, in addition to $4 million of government assistance. There was a significant decrease in mine casualties in 2004. Assistance to mine survivors was identified as a national mine action priority.
At the first landmine seminar in Libya in May 2005, the President of the Gaddafi Foundation for Charitable Associations and the son of Libya’s President, called for the country to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty. In April 2005, Libya established the National Program for Demining and Land Reclamation to clear affected areas so they could be used as part of the national development plan. In May 2005, Libya launched a national campaign to remove the landmines planted along its borders with Egypt and Chad.
Mongolia’s Program of Action for 2004-2008 lays out a step-by-step approach aimed at accession to the Mine Ban Treaty in 2008. In October 2004, the then-President of Mongolia denounced the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of landmines during an official visit to Canada. At the same time, Mongolia stated its intention not to deploy its antipersonnel mines. Mongolia has indicated that it will submit a voluntary Article 7 transparency report. A NATO workshop held in Ulaanbaatar in June 2004 concluded that detailed assessment of long-abandoned military sites was needed, and recommended that Mongolia develop an action plan for survey, clearance and rehabilitation of the sites; no progress was reported by May 2005.
In December 2004, Morocco for the first time voted in favor of the annual UN General Assembly resolution supporting universalization and full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty. At the First Review Conference, Morocco asserted that it de facto implements all of the treaty’s provisions. It acknowledged that it has a stockpile of antipersonnel mines used only for training purposes. From April 2004 to April 2005, 354 mines and items of unexploded ordnance were discovered and marked, and 30 explosive ordnance disposal operations were conducted on both sides of the barrier dividing Morocco and Western Sahara.
The civil war intensified, including widespread use of landmines and improvised explosive devices by both sides, particularly after King Gyanendra seized power in February 2005. One of the localized civilian militias known as Village Defense Forces said it laid 1,500 mines in its area of operation. From 8–9 September 2004, the Nepal Campaign to Ban Landmines hosted a seminar attended by high level representatives of the three leading political parties that concluded with a declaration calling on Nepal to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty. NCBL recorded from media reports that the Royal Nepalese Army disposed of or removed explosive devices in 46 districts in 2004. In 2004, UNICEF and its partners helped establish a Mine Risk Education Working Group.
In March 2005, officials told the UN Mine Action Service that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has approved Oman’s accession to the Mine Ban Treaty, but the Ministry of Defense does not want to move forward without a common position among Gulf Cooperation Council member states.
Pacific Islands (Micronesia, Palau, Tonga, Tuvalu)
The Executive Branch of the Federated States of Micronesia completed a review of the Mine Ban Treaty and intends to send the agreement to the Congress for accession in September 2005. In December 2004, Tuvalu voted in favor of UN General Assembly Resolution 59/84, and Palau abstained; this was the first time either nation had voted on the annual pro-Mine Ban Treaty resolution.
Several non-state armed groups have used landmines and improvised explosive devices regularly, most notably in Baluchistan, Waziristan Agency and elsewhere in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Pakistan claims to have completely cleared the border area that it mined during tensions with India in 2001–2002. Mine risk education was carried out by NGOs in the FATA, and to some extent by Pakistani authorities. In 2004, the number of casualties increased significantly compared with 2003; most were due to improvised explosive devices.
Republic of Korea
The ROK cleared 8,800 mines around military sites in 2004. The government increased its contributions to mine clearance in Eritrea, Mozambique and, substantially, Iraq. The government contributed $3.1 million to mine action in 2004, including $3 million for Iraq, a sum three times all of its previous contributions.
Russian forces continued to use antipersonnel mines in Chechnya. The rebels who seized the school in Beslan, North Ossetia, in September 2004 with disastrous consequences emplaced both antipersonnel mines and improvised explosive devices throughout the school. Russia for the first time disclosed the number of antipersonnel mines in its stockpile is 26.5 million, of which 23.5 million are subject to destruction by 2015. Approximately 19.5 million antipersonnel mines were destroyed or disposed of between 2000 and November 2004. Russia is planning to spend some 3.33 billion rubles (US$116 million) for new engineer munitions, including alternatives to antipersonnel mines, from 2005 to 2015. Russia ratified CCW Amended Protocol II on 2 March 2005. According to media reports, in 2004 the Russian National Corps of Emergency Humanitarian Operations cleared more than 30,000 UXO in the Russian Federation; in clearance through July 2004, this included 2,842 landmines. A local commercial company completed a contract to demine the island of Sakhalin of explosive ordnance in December 2004, clearing over 25 million square meters and destroying more than 500 pieces of explosive ordnance.
At the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty, Saudi Arabia called upon mine-producing countries to stop production.
The Prime Minister of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government attended the Mine Ban Treaty’s First Review Conference, where he confirmed the government’s intention to join the treaty. The Deputy Prime Minister participated in the intersessional Standing Committee meetings held in Geneva in June 2005, where he announced his decision to destroy the antipersonnel mine stockpile held by his militia. There has been ongoing use of antipersonnel landmines in various parts of Somalia by a number of factions. The Somalia Coalition to Ban Landmines was launched in November 2004. A Landmine Impact Survey identified 35 mine-affected communities in Puntland, nine of which were highly impacted and nine others medium impacted. Police explosive ordnance disposal teams were trained and deployed in Puntland. In 2004, a significant increase in mine casualties was reported.
Sri Lanka participated as an observer in the First Review Conference and attended the June 2005 intersessional meetings, where it announced the submission of its first voluntary Article 7 transparency report. In September 2004, Sri Lanka acceded to CCW Amended Protocol II. In 2004, almost four square kilometers of land were cleared, a large increase on 2003; 28,409 antipersonnel mines, 56 antivehicle mines and 6,699 UXO were destroyed. A further 1.5 square kilometers were cleared from January to March 2005. Three NGOs conducted community impact surveys and/or technical surveys. The Regional Mine Action Office in Killinochchi, covering the LTTE-controlled area in Vanni region, became fully operational. International donations to mine action in 2004 totaled about US$23.6 million, a large increase from 2003. Mine risk education expanded significantly, reaching more than 280,000 people, and national standards were finalized in July 2004. During 2004 there were two positive evaluations of mine risk education in Sri Lanka. There were significantly fewer mine/UXO casualties in 2004 than in 2003. In May 2005, the Sri Lanka School of Prosthetics and Orthotics opened.
Key developments since 2004: In August 2005, the Syrian Army started clearance of two villages in the Golan Heights. In July 2004, the President of Syria issued a new national law to protect the rights of persons with disabilities.
United Arab Emirates
The UN Mine Action Service conducted the first advocacy mission to the UAE in September 2004. The UAE appears to be giving more serious consideration to the Mine Ban Treaty. In 2004, the UAE donated over US$6 million to mine action, principally to Operation Emirates Solidarity, which cleared some five square kilometers of mine-affected land in South Lebanon in 2001-2004, with a total UAE contribution of $50 million.
United States Of America
The US government spent a total of US$109.3 million in fiscal year 2004 on humanitarian mine action programs in 31 countries; one-third of this total was allocated to mine action in Iraq. A decision will be made in December 2005 whether the US will begin producing a new antipersonnel mine called Spider. The Pentagon requested a total of $1.77 billion for research on and production of new landmine systems over the next five years. The US banned the use of persistent, non-detectable landmines on 3 January 2005. Landmines killed 13 and injured 34 US military personnel in 2004 in Afghanistan and Iraq. Improvised explosive devices, including those that function as antipersonnel mines, killed and injured hundreds more.
Uzbekistan apparently began clearance operations on its borders with Kyrgyzstan in mid-2004, but reportedly halted in November 2004. Clearance around the Shakhimardan enclave was reportedly completed in 2004.
Phase I of the UXO and Landmine Impact Survey was completed in March 2005; as of September, it was still awaiting government approval. International organizations cleared some 3.9 square kilometers of land in 2004, destroying over 25,000 mines and UXO. The Army and other military units cleared 570,000 square meters in A Luoi district, Thua Thien-Hue province from September 2004 to April 2005. More than 127,000 people received mine risk education during 2004, mainly in the central provinces of Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue and, increasingly, the Ho Chi Minh Highway corridor. In 2004, more mine/UXO casualties were reported than in 2003.
HALO Trust cleared and area-reduced almost 2.3 square kilometers of land in 2004, destroying 815 antipersonnel mines, 153 antivehicle mines and more than 1,500 UXO. Abkhazia received about US$2 million for mine action in 2004, including $1.5 million from the US; in 2005, US demining assistance to Abkhazia increased to $3 million.
Russian federal forces and Chechen rebels continued to use antipersonnel landmines, albeit with less frequency. The rebels primarily use command-detonated bombs and improvised explosive devices. In early 2005, it was calculated that 30 percent of agricultural land in Chechnya is contaminated by mines and unexploded ordnance. In March 2005, the first humanitarian clearance capacity since 1999 arrived in Chechnya to conduct clearance of agricultural areas and survey and clear Grozny’s chemical plant. A survey by UNICEF in September 2004 found that more than one in ten children has a mine survivor in the family and one in five has seen a real mine. During 2004, UNICEF and its partners focused mine risk education on schoolchildren and their parents; in 2005 UNICEF introduced a community-based approach and was appointed the lead UN agency. An evaluation of its mine risk education program was conducted in January 2005. A significant decrease in civilian mine/UXO casualties was recorded in 2004. Azerbaijan agreed to provide free rehabilitation services to disabled Chechen refugees, including mine survivors.
In February 2005, the UK sent a mission to the Falkland Islands as part of its ongoing feasibility study for clearance of mine contamination resulting from the UK-Argentine war of 1982. The UK and Argentina, which claims sovereignty over the Islands, made a joint statement to the Standing Committee meetings in June 2005 on the two countries’ feasibility study. Joint Working Party meetings took place in October 2004, and April and July 2005.
In 2004, nearly four square kilometers of land were cleared in Kosovo, compared with less than one square kilometer cleared in 2003. In clearance and other operations, 910 antipersonnel mines, 15 antivehicle mines, 772 cluster bomblets and 2,554 UXO were destroyed. Survey of suspected areas and new reports by the public and authorities in 2004 led to the discovery of new areas affected by mines and UXO. In September 2005, there were 36 dangerous areas and 53 explosive ordnance disposal tasks recorded, compared with 68 dangerous areas and 52 EOD tasks at the end of 2003; however, new areas of mine/UXO contamination continued to be discovered. Donors provided an estimated US$1.58 million of funding in 2004. Fewer new casualties were reported in 2004 than in 2003.
In 2005, the National Mine Action Committee started to develop a mine action strategy and a formal mine action structure, with UNICEF support. In 2004, the Palestinian Bomb Squad Unit responded to nearly a thousand call-outs and conducted 33 explosive ordnance disposal operations.
In 2004, HALO Trust cleared 3.6 square kilometers of affected land through manual and mechanical demining, and a further 450,000 square meters in 2005 through April. It concentrated clearance on farmland, and re-focused mine risk education on adults, in view of mine casualties rising as agricultural production increased. By the end of 2004, ICRC had provided safe play areas for children in 27 villages.
In July 2004 and November 2004, Somaliland officials indicated they were prepared to sign the Geneva Call Deed of Commitment on a comprehensive ban on antipersonnel mines, but have not done so. There was a launch of the Landmine Monitor Report 2004 and of the new Somalia Coalition to Ban Landmines in Hargeisa in November 2004. HALO Trust and the Danish Demining Group demined more than 22 square kilometers of land in 2004, destroying 304 antipersonnel mines and 103 antivehicle mines. A national mine action strategy and policy, which was developed and presented to parliament in 2004, awaited approval after elections in September 2005. International donations increased in 2004, after declining since 2001. Donors reported providing over US$4 million for mine action in Somaliland in 2004, double the amount donated in 2003. In January 2005, Handicap International launched a new MRE project targeting herders in affected communities in four regions.
In January 2005, the National Defense Committee of the national legislature rejected a bill seeking to prohibit antipersonnel mines. From July 2004 to June 2005, land needed for dam construction on Kinmen Island was cleared of mines. On 25 April 2005, two Zimbabwean deminers were killed and one was injured, when stored antipersonnel mines exploded on Kinmen Island.
The Swiss-based NGO Geneva Call visited Western Sahara in June 2005, and Polisario indicated its support for a comprehensive ban on antipersonnel mines. From April 2004 to April 2005, 354 mines and items of unexploded ordnance were discovered and marked, and 30 explosive ordnance disposal operations were carried out on both sides of the barrier dividing Morocco and Western Sahara.
 The military junta now ruling the country changed the name from Burma to Myanmar. Many ethnic groups within the country still prefer to use the name Burma. In this report, Myanmar is used when referring to the policies and practices of the State Peace and Development Council, and Burma is used otherwise. State and Division names are given in their common form, or with the SPDC designation in parentheses, e.g., Karenni (Kayah) State.