Last Updated: 28 November 2013

Mine Ban Policy

Mine ban policy overview

Mine Ban Treaty status

State Party as of 1 October 2012

Participation in Mine Ban Treaty meetings

Attended the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties in December 2012 and intersessional Standing Committee meetings in May 2013

Key developments

Submitted initial transparency report in March 2013


The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of the Somali Republic was created under a 2004 charter and occupies Somalia’s seat at the UN. Somalia acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 16 April 2012 and the treaty entered into force for Somalia on 1 October 2012. Somalia has not yet instituted national implementation measures, but stated that it is aware of its obligation and is “committed to doing so in the future and to reporting on these measures.”[1]

Somalia submitted its initial Article 7 report for the Mine Ban Treaty on 30 March 2013.[2]

Somalia participated, for the first time as a state party, in the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva, in December 2012, where it made a presentation on contamination and its clearance efforts. Somalia also attended the treaty’s intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva in May 2013.

Somalia is a signatory to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Somalia is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).

Several Somali factions previously renounced use of antipersonnel mines by signing the Deed of Commitment, administered by Geneva Call.[3] Most of the signatories that are still active are allied to the TFG.[4]

The Somalia Coalition to Ban Landmines has continued to engage on the Mine Ban Treaty with government officials, as well as with the Somali National Mine Action Agency.

Production, Transfer and stockpiling

Somalia has stated that it has never had production facilities for antipersonnel mines within the country.[5] Somalia’s initial Article 7 report states that “large stocks are in the hands of former militias and private individuals.” The report also states that Somalia is “putting forth efforts to verify if in fact it holds antipersonnel mines in its stockpile.” No stockpiled mines have been destroyed since the convention came into force for Somalia.[6] Most factions involved in armed conflict in Somalia are believed to possess mines.[7] Previously, demobilizing militias have turned in mines.[8] Some mines have been turned in by armed groups for destruction in the past.[9]

No transfers of antipersonnel mines were reported during 2012 or early 2013. The Monitor has reported transfers in previous years.[10] No open sale of antipersonnel mines has been reported since 2009. [11]


There have been no allegations of use of antipersonnel mines by government forces in Somalia. Recent use by al-Shabaab insurgents has been alleged in several news reports, but the Monitor is unable to verify these reports.[12] In the past, there has been use of antipersonnel mines by various factions in Somalia, but in recent years the Monitor has not been able to verify any reports of new use by any of the non-state armed groups (NSAGs) operating in the country.

NSAGs use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in large numbers and media often refer to command-detonated IEDs and bombs as “landmines.”[13] Victim-activated mines and other explosive devices are prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty, but command-detonated mines and devices are not. Monitor analysis of media reports indicates that most, if not all, of the recovered explosive weapons and explosive attacks attributed to mines involve command-detonated or time-detonated bombs. In October 2011, TFG and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces discovered an IED-manufacturing facility in Mogadishu, after which the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) noted, “The presence of improvised pressure plates indicates that [al-Shabaab] intends to employ Victim Operated IEDs, against vehicles or dismounted troops.”[14]


[1] Mine Ban Treaty Initial Article 7 Report (for the period 16 April 2012 to 30 March 2013), Section A (Somalia did not use the Article 7 report forms but submitted a report following the same format),$file/Somalia+2012.pdf.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Between 2002 and 2005, Geneva Call received signatures from 17 factions. See Landmine Monitor Report 2006, p. 1,064. In August 2009, Geneva Call informed the Monitor that eight signatories were no longer active. Email from Nicolas Florquin, Program Officer, Geneva Call, 26 August 2009.

[4] Geneva Call, “Non-State Actor Mine Action and Compliance to the Deed of Commitment Banning Anti-Personnel Landmines, January 2008–June 2010,” 24 June 2010, p. 4.

[5] Mine Ban Treaty Initial Article 7 Report (for the period 16 April 2012 to 30 March 2013), Section E,$file/Somalia+2012.pdf.

[7] The former TFG Deputy Prime Minister told the Monitor in 2005 that he believed militias in Mogadishu alone held at least 10,000 antipersonnel mines. Interview with Hussein Mohamed Aideed, Deputy Prime Minister, in Geneva, 15 June 2005.

[8] Photographs of the Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration program available on the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) website in July 2009 showed mines and improvised explosive devices. See AMISOM, “Pictures of some collected/surrendered Weapons and Ammunitions to AMISOM,” undated,

[9] See ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Somalia: Mine Ban Policy,” 28 June 2013.

[10] Between 2002 and 2006, the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia published a number of reports containing allegations of the transfer of antipersonnel and other mines from a number of countries, including States Parties Eritrea and Ethiopia, to various Somali combatants. See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, pp. 1,004–1,005; Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 978–979; Landmine Monitor Report 2006, pp. 1,065–1,066; Landmine Monitor Report 2005, pp. 870–871; and Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 1,112. In response to the claims by the UN Monitoring Group, the Presidents of the Seventh and Eighth Meetings of States Parties wrote to the chair of the group for clarification and further information, but did not receive responses.

[11] In June 2009, Reuters reported the continued sale of mines and other weapons at markets in Mogadishu. One arms dealer claimed to sell mines (type unspecified, but likely antivehicle) for approximately US$100 apiece. “Arms Trade-Dealers revel in Somali war business,” Reuters (Mogadishu), 9 June 2009,; see also Landmine Monitor Report 2008, pp. 1,003–1,005, for details including sellers and markets identified by the UN Monitoring Group.

[12] See, “Landmine danger persists in Somalia,” UN IRIN (Mogadishu), 1 February 2013,; and Majid Ahmed, “Somalia struggles to deal with threat of landmines and unexploded ordnance,” Sabahi, 8 August 2013,

[13] According to a June 2011 UN Monitoring Group report, “Improvised explosive device technology in Somalia is relatively low-tech compared with other conflict arenas. The most common explosives used in attacks are TNT and RDX, which can be extracted from mortars and other high explosive artillery shells. More rudimentary improvised explosive devices include anti-tank mines and medium-to-high-caliber ammunition that can be altered for remote detonation. As for fragmentation improvised explosive devices, bomb makers lay 3-10 cm pieces of rebar, nuts and bolts, and ball bearings cast in resin on top of the explosive.” UN, Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea pursuant to Security Council resolution 1916 (2010), S/2011/433, 18 July 2011, p. 45, para. 138. The UN Monitoring Group found that antivehicle mines were modified for remote detonation and deployed as IEDs in Somalia, sometimes with additional metal objects (bolts, metal filings) welded to the casing to enhance the fragmentation effect. UN, “Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia pursuant to Security Council resolution 1853 (2008),” S/2010/91, 10 March 2010, p. 50, para. 174. See, for example, recovery of ‘landmines’ by African Union forces, Abdulkadir Khalif, “Amisom forces uncover buried explosives,” Daily Monitor, 19 December 2011,; and “Somalia: Landmine Blast Rocks Ethiopian Convoy in Beledweyne, Central Region,” Shabelle Media Network, 14 May 2012,

[14] UN Security Council, “Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea pursuant to Security Council resolution 2002 (2011),” S/2012/545, 13 July 2012, para. 21, p. 167, Citing an unpublished UNMAS report, “Confirmed Find of Bomb Making Equipment – 12 October 2011,” UNMAS report, 13 October 2011.

Last Updated: 02 September 2013

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

The Somali Republic signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008.

In April 2013, a representative of the Somalia National Mine Action Agency (SNMAA) informed the Monitor that continuing political instability and a full political agenda has stalled Somalia’s ratification of the convention, but emphasized that the presidency is still committed to ratification.[1] In September 2011, Somalia stated that ratification of the convention was with “the Council of Ministers of the Somalia Transitional Federal Government to be discussed, approved and presented to the Transitional Federal Parliament of Somalia to ratify.”[2]

Somalia attended one meeting of the Oslo Process that produced the convention (Vienna in December 2007).[3] It did not participate in any international or regional meetings in 2009 or 2010. Somalia attended the convention’s Second Meeting of States Parties in Beirut, Lebanon in September 2011 where it provided an update on ratification. It participated in the Third Meeting of States Parties in Oslo, Norway in September 2012 but did not make any statements. For the first time, Somalia attended intersessional meetings of the convention in Geneva in April 2013, but did not make any statements.

Somalia did not participate in a regional seminar on the universalization of the convention held in Lomé, Togo in May 2013.

Somalia acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 16 April 2012. It is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Somalia has not made a national statement to express concern at Syria’s use of cluster munitions, but it voted in favor of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution on 15 May 2013 that strongly condemned “the use by Syrian authorities of…cluster munitions.”[4]

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Somalia is not known to have used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions.

In April 2013, the director of SNMAA informed the Monitor that cluster munition remnants were recently discovered near Somalia’s border with Ethiopia and the area is being surveyed to determine the extent of contamination.[5] According to available information, dozens of failed PTAB-2.5M and some AO-1SCh explosive submunitions have been found within a 30-kilometer radius of the Somali border town of Dolow. The contamination is believed to have occurred during the 1977–1978 Ogaden War between Somalia and Ethiopia, but it is unclear who was responsible for the use.[6]


[1] Interview with Mohammed A. Ahmed, Director, SNMAA, in Geneva, 16 April 2013.

[2] Statement of Somalia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 14 September 2011,

[3] For details on Somalia’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), p. 153.

[4] “The situation in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution A/67/L.63, 15 May 2013,

[5] Interview with Mohammed A. Ahmed, SNMAA, in Geneva, 16 April 2013.

[6] Email from Mohammed A. Ahmed, SNMAA, 17 April 2013. Photographs of the cluster munition remnants are available here: It is not possible to determine definitively who was responsible for this cluster munition use. The Soviet Union supplied both sides in the Ogaden War, and foreign military forces known to have cluster munitions fought in support of Ethiopia, including the Soviet Union and Cuba.

Last Updated: 28 November 2013

Mine Action

Contamination and Impact

As a result of border conflicts with Ethiopia and two decades of civil war, the Somali Republic is littered with landmines, explosive remnants of war (ERW), and stockpiles of weapons, which is only part of the humanitarian crisis in Somalia. Flooding, drought, and health epidemics have also contributed to the crisis as have lack of access by NGOs that has affected the delivery of humanitarian aid and mine action operations.[1]

The landmine problem in Somalia is only comprehensible in the context of the security situation in the country, and even then, the problem is not completely understood. The attack on the UN compound in Mogadishu in June 2013 illustrates the instability and security concerns that pre-occupy field operations in Somalia.[2] Incidents involving landmines were reported in 2012 in south central Somalia and the Sanaag and Sool regions in northwest Somalia.[3]

Landmines, unexploded ordnance (UXO), improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and other ERW are a contributing factor to the protracted emergency situation in many parts of Somalia.


There is no quantifiable estimate of mine contamination in south central Somalia.[4] However, surveys in Bakol, Bay, and Hiraan regions in south central Somalia have revealed that, of the 718 communities in total, approximately one in 10 contained mined areas. Surveys in the Afgoye Corridor and parts of Mogadishu have indicated some antipersonnel and antivehicle mine contamination.[5]

In south central Somalia, some of the contaminated areas are in Abodwaq (Galguduud region), Belet Weyn (Hiraan), Dollow (Gedo), and Mataban (Galguduud).[6] Other mined areas are mainly along the Ethiopian border, but they seem to have minimal impact on the surrounding population. That appears to be one of the reasons why the areas had not been cleared until 2013 when The Development Initiative (TDI), a private commercial company, was contracted by the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to conduct mine clearance.[7]

Explosive remnants of war

Surveys indicate that most districts in Mogadishu are affected to some extent by ERW and abandoned stockpiles, and that IEDs present a daily threat to communities and aid organizations.[8] Surveys by the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), Danish Demining Group (DDG), and UN Somalia Mine Action (UNSOMA), in coordination with the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), identified 340 dangerous areas in 2011 containing 3,219 ERW in Banadir, Galgaduud, and Mudug regions.[9] Reflecting the predominance of ERW contamination, mine action capacity in Somalia mainly consists of explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams, of which there were 24 in 2012.[10]

Mine Action Program

Somalia has a complex operating environment with differing threat profiles. The UN has divided Somalia into three zones—Somaliland, Puntland, and south central Somalia—to implement mine action activities. The respective authorities responsible for mine action in each of the three areas design strategies and set priorities.[11] The Monitor reports on Somaliland separately.

Key institutions and operators


Situation on 1 January 2013

National Mine Action Authority

Somalia National Mine Action Agency (SNMAA)

Mine action center

Puntland Mine Action Center (PMAC, covering Puntland region in northeast Somalia), South Central Somalia Mine Action Center

International operators

UNMAS, DDG, MAG, African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), TDI, Ukroboronservice (UOS)

National operators

Puntland police, Transitional Federal Government police

South central Somalia

The UN Somalia Mine Action Programme (known as UN Somalia Mine Action, UNSOMA) has been managed by UNMAS since early 2009.[12] UNMAS provides capacity development to the local authorities, engages in emergency humanitarian activities, and supports AMISOM.[13]

Security Council resolutions 1863 (2009) and 2036 (2012) provided the mandate for UNMAS to coordinate mine action and support AMISOM, the Somali Security Sector, and humanitarian aid in what UNMAS describes as “explosive management support.”[14] In south central Somalia, UNSOMA provides capacity-building support to AMISOM regarding explosives management in Mogadishu where there are large quantities of ERW, weapons, and ammunition stockpiles.

On 4 December 2011, Presidential Decree No. 276 established the SNMAA under the supervision of the Office of the President, with its main office in Mogadishu. The SNMAA has the authority to coordinate, supervise, and implement mine action activities in addition to approving national strategies and maintaining a national database and is responsible for the implementation of all obligations under the Convention on Cluster Munitions, the Mine Ban Treaty, and other disarmament treaties adhered to by the government of Somalia. Article 6 of the Presidential Decree allows SNMAA to borrow money from both national and international financial institutions.[15]

Mohamed Abdulkadir Ahmed was appointed as the national director of the Agency.[16] Ahmed had previously worked with the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) as an International Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) database expert. The SNMAA is significantly under-resourced. Mohamed Ahmed reported having only a desk, a chair, and no job description at the UNMAS compound in Mogadishu.[17] However, in March 2013 Somalia submitted its first Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report.

On 6 August 2013, the President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, signed a law establishing the Somali Explosive Management Agency (SEMA), which is the national mine action authority.[18]

In 2012, TDI, the first commercial demining company in south central Somalia, recruited, trained, and deployed four manual clearance teams and four EOD teams for south central Somalia.[19] TDI, DDG, and UOS, a Ukrainian commercial company, conduct EOD.[20]

Land Release

There is no formal land release policy in Somalia. Operators clear explosive items on location primarily on a response/call-out basis. Mine action operations are largely EOD and spot clearance tasks.[21]

Survey in 2012

There has been no comprehensive landmine or ERW impact survey conducted in south central Somalia. Non-technical surveys (NTS) are conducted when security, safety, and access allow. Small, rapid, initial surveys in Gedo, Hiran, Bay, and Bakol regions and Mogadishu indicate that over one in 10 communities are impacted by mines and ERW.[22] All districts of Mogadishu are affected by ERW and stockpiles; IEDs present a daily threat to communities, AMISOM peacekeepers, and humanitarian actors.

Mine and battle area clearance in 2012

In 2011–2012, EOD teams from TDI, UOS, DDG, and AMISOM found 17 antipersonnel mines, four antivehicle mines, and 20,000 UXO in six districts.[23]

With UNSOMA support and training in south central Somalia, AMISOM conducted clearance and EOD in all 16 districts of Mogadishu, destroying more than 6,000 items of landmines and UXO.[24]

In 2012, the national police in Mogadishu found and destroyed 1,300 UXO, including more than 100 IEDs.[25]

In February 2013, TDI reported finding and destroying 40 UXO, 72 cannon rounds, and six antipersonnel mines while clearing 13,000m2 near the Ethiopian border.[26]

Northeast Somalia (Puntland)

In Puntland, the PMAC coordinates all pillars of mine action on behalf of the government with several local and international partners. No mine clearance has been conducted since the landmine impact survey was completed in 2005, when it identified 35 suspected hazardous areas in Bari, Mudug, and Togdheer regions of Puntland.[27] According to MAG, the impact from mines is unclear and further NTS and technical surveys are required to ensure the cost and impact effectiveness of future clearance of the suspected mined areas near the Ethiopia-Somalia border in Puntland, where most are located. The situation is additionally complicated by community elders in the impacted areas who do not all support clearance of the areas.[28]

In 2012, DDG and police EOD teams destroyed 1,729 UXO and 156 antipersonnel mines in 67 communities. The police also conducted battle area clearance on 12,200m2 and PMAC reported they destroyed nine IEDs. MAG closed its police EOD training program in August 2012 as its funding expired. UNOPS provides operational funding and technical support to PMAC and the Police EOD team.[29]

Compliance with Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty

On 16 April 2012, Somalia became the 160th State Party to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty. Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, Somalia is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 October 2022.


[1] African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), “Humanitarian Affairs Unit,” AMISON Review, May–July 2013, p. 7.

[3] UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), UNMAS Annual Report 2012, p. 21.

[4] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, 30 March 2013, p. 3.

[5] UNMAS, UNMAS Annual Report 2011, New York, August 2012, p. 68.

[6] Response to Monitor questionnaire from Klaus Ljoerring Pedersen, Danish Demining Group (DDG), 8 May 2012.

[7] Response to Monitor questionnaire from Rob White, Head of Operations, Mines Advisory Group (MAG), 8 May 2012; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report, 30 March 2013, p. 4.

[9] UNMAS, UNMAS Annual Report 2011, New York, August 2012, p. 68.

[11] UN, “2011 Portfolio of Mine Action Projects,” New York, March 2011, p. 257.

[12] UNMAS, UNMAS 2010 Annual Report, New York, August 2010, p. 54.

[13] UN, “2011 Portfolio of Mine Action Projects,” New York, March 2011, p. 257; and interview with Tammy Orr, UNMAS, in Geneva, 16 March 2011.

[15] Presidential Decree Somali Republic No. 276, 4 December 2011.

[16] Presidential Decree Somali Republic No. 272, 29 November 2011.

[17] Interview with Mohamed Abdulkadir Ahmed, Director, SNMAA, in Geneva, 24 May 2012.

[18] UNMAS, Somalia, August 2013.

[20] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, 30 March 2013, p. 5.

[21] Presentation by Mohamed Abdulkadir Ahmed, National Director, Somalia Mine Action Center, at the African Union/ICRC Weapons Contamination Workshop, Addis Ababa, 3–5 March 2013.

[22] UNMAS, UNMAS Annual Report 2011, New York, August 2012, p. 68.

[23] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, 30 March 2013, p. 6.

[24] UNMAS, Factsheet Vol. 1 – Somalia 2012, updated May 2012.

[26] Tweet from TDI, TDI @TDI18, 15 February 2013.

[27] Interview with Abdirisak Issa Hussein, Director, PMAC, in Geneva, 22 March 2012.

[28] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Rob White, MAG, 8 May 2012.

[29] PMAC, Annual Report 2012, Annex A.

Last Updated: 28 November 2013

Casualties and Victim Assistance

Casualties and Victim Assistance

Summary findings

·         The Somali Republic lacked coordination and planning of victim assistance for mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW survivors), including health and disability services

·         The security situation significantly hampered existing efforts to implement assistance

·         An extensive survey of mine/ERW survivors in Mogadishu demonstrated a significant need for work and training opportunities for economic inclusion

Victim assistance commitments

Somalia is responsible for significant numbers of mine/ERW survivors, though the total number is unknown. Somalia has commitments to provide victim assistance as a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty, which entered into force for the state on 1 October 2012.


Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2012

2,851 mine/ERW casualties (962 killed; 1,756 injured; 133 unknown)

Casualties in 2012

66 (2011: 146)

2012 casualties by outcome

21 killed; 45 injured (2011: 38 killed; 92 injured; 16 unknown)

2012 casualties by device type

3 unspecified mine; 27 other ERW; 36 unknown device

At least 66 mine/ERW casualties were recorded by UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Somalia (excluding Somaliland) in 2012.[1] All but one casualty was a civilian. Of the casualties reported, 71% were children, including 37 boys and 9 girls (and one gender unknown), 15 were men, and four were women. This is a large increase in child casualties compared to the 41% figure reported in 2011. At least 146 mine/ERW casualties were recorded in Somalia (excluding Somaliland) in 2011 and 159 in 2010.[2]

However, the large difference between annual reported casualty statistics in 2012, compared to 2010 and 2011, cannot be seen as an accurate indication of change due to the lack of accurate and consistent casualty data across the years. According to UNMAS, the significant underreporting of casualties and the absence of a comprehensive national casualty monitoring mechanism was one of the greatest challenges to reducing death and injury; also, the lack of baseline data made monitoring of trends impossible.[3]

It was often not possible to adequately distinguish between attacks by command-detonated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and incidents involving victim-activated IEDs, which are de facto landmines, with this data.[4] No information was provided for 2012.

Of the total casualties for Somalia in 2012, five were reported by the Puntland Mine Action Center (PMAC).[5] However PMAC reported in its 2012 Annual Report there were 16 mine/unexploded ordnance (UXO) victims and 32 IED victims in Puntland in 2012.[6] This is a significant decrease in mine/UXO casualties compared to previous years when PMAC recorded 35 in 2011 and 41 in 2010.[7]

The Monitor identified 2,851 mine/ERW casualties in Somalia (excluding Somaliland) between 1999 and the end of 2012. Of these, 962 people were killed, 1,756 were injured, and the state of the remaining 133 casualties (whether killed or not) was unknown.[8]

Victim Assistance

The Monitor identified at least 1,756 mine/ERW survivors by the end of 2012.

Assessing victim assistance needs

The Somalia Coalition to Ban Landmines (SOCBAL) conducted a survey of mine/ERW survivors in Mogadishu in collaboration with the Institute for Education for Disabled People (IEDP) in July 2013.[9] The majority of survivors and their families in Mogadishu are in camps for internally displaced persons. The SOCBAL survey team visited eight such camps and also observed the living conditions of the mine/ERW survivors, recognizing that they are also in the situation of extremely vulnerable persons. The overall purpose of the survey was to better understand the number of survivors who live in the city, the extent of survivor’s needs, and if any form of assistance has been provided. In total, 850 survivors were surveyed, 719 males and 131 females (including 83 boys and 14 girls under 15 years old).[10]

No baseline information exists on the prevalence and circumstances of persons with disabilities, including mine/UXO survivors. The Ministry of Social Development is responsible for compiling, storing, and managing information on disability, but it did not have an information system on persons with disabilities.[11] Following the collapse of the former central government of Somalia in 1991, no ministry has been managing or recording issues related to persons with disabilities in Somalia.[12] In 2012, Somalia reported that mine/ERW casualty data was stored in the national Information System for Mine Action (IMSMA).[13]

In Puntland, PMAC collected “victim data and mine/UXO accident reports” from various sources, including police stations, regional liaison officers, hospitals, and other government officials. The PMAC operations section regularly visited police stations and hospitals as follow-up.[14]

Survivors interviewed during the 2013 SOCBAL survey often reported that they had already been surveyed several times, including having their contact details and photographs taken by international and local NGOs, but were frustrated that no assistance had followed.[15]


There was no specific victim assistance coordination in Somalia. The Ministry of Social Development is the leading agency for disability issues including victim assistance; however, there was no relevant legislation regarding the needs and rights of survivors.[16] Nor was there any available information about any relevant national planning, focal point, or survivor participation.

In April 2013, the director of SOCBAL met with officials from UMMAS-Somalia to discuss victim assistance activities. Challenges to coordination included the lack of a fully functional national mine action center and the absence of governmental focal point in the ministry concerned with victim assistance. However, subject to funding availability, there was a will to start victim assistance programs in the near future.[17]

Implementing a mine victim assistance program was included in the PMAC annual plan for 2012; however, no progress on this objective was reported in the PMAC Annual Report for 2012.[18]

Somalia provided detailed information on victim assistance and the existing lack of planning and services in Form J of its initial Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report.[19] Somalia did not make statements on victim assistance at the Twelfth meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in December 2012, or at the meeting of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration in May 2013.

Victim assistance in 2012

In 2012, survivors in Somalia received minimal services in every aspect of victim assistance.[20] A survey of 850 survivors in Mogadishu in 2013 found that survivors were concerned about societal discrimination, a lack of services, and fulfillment of basic rights because they did not have access to healthcare, education, or employment opportunities.[21]

Somalia lacked adequate rehabilitation services and facilities, qualified medical practitioners, as well as social inclusion programs for persons with disabilities. There was a lack of mobility and other assistive devices; locations where they were available were often difficult to access due to conflict and poverty.[22] Persons with disabilities also lacked economic inclusion activities.[23]

Service accessibility and effectiveness

Emergency and continuing medical care

Ongoing conflict in 2012 continued to erode the minimal health resources available. The number of war-wounded patients requiring treatment in hospitals in Mogadishu decreased in 2012 compared to previous years.[24] In 2012, the ICRC supported 11 hospitals in Somalia, who in turn assisted 2,503 weapon-wounded patients, which included 68 people who were injured by mines or ERW.[25]

Violence against healthcare workers, health facilities, and patients also posed a serious challenge to assistance activities.[26] The ICRC supported the provision of first aid through 55 posts in predominantly war-affected areas in 2012.[27] The independently run ambulance service in Mogadishu continued to operate despite the high risk to voluntary emergency personnel operating the eight available vehicles.[28] In 2013, it was reported that some of the mine/ERW victims had serious health conditions due to infection of their injuries, but they had not received hospital care.[29]

The ICRC continued to provide medical supplies, equipment, funds, staff training, and supervision, along with infrastructure maintenance, to the two hospitals in Mogadishu where most weapon-wounded casualties were treated: Keysaney (run by the Somali Red Crescent Society, SRCS) and Medina (community-run). Supplies were provided, as needed, to other facilities.[30] A surgical operating theatre was constructed at Keysaney Hospital in 2011, which had been hit by artillery fire and damaged on numerous occasions. In January 2012, Keysaney was struck again by two mortar shells.[31] Two Somali doctors continued specialist surgical training in 2012, supported by the ICRC. Medical staff from southern and central Somalia received training supported by the ICRC through specific courses and supervision.[32]

UNMAS employs an emergency team of a dozen Somali medics who provide on-site assistance. The team of medics also provides emergency support at local hospitals and conducts medical training for hospital staff, mine action partners, local staff members, and police explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) units.[33]

Physical rehabilitation including prosthetics

Somalia reported that “There are no organizations known to be providing rehabilitation services for landmine survivors in Somalia except in Somaliland.”[34] However, the Norwegian Red Cross Society continued to provide support to physical rehabilitation centers run by the SRCS in Galkayo, Hargeisa, and Mogadishu, which received additional technical support from the ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD). The production of prosthetic and orthotic devices and services to beneficiaries at the Galkayo center in Puntland increased by 13% compared to 2011. The SFD also sponsored prosthetic/orthotic staff training in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.[35]

The Mogadishu survivor survey in 2013 reported that the quality of prosthetic limbs was such that they last for about two years. It was noted that some US$67 in additional costs were incurred in obtaining a prosthetic limb.[36]

Social and economic inclusion

The ICRC supported livelihood-support projects for some 120,000 vulnerable people to allow them to produce their own food or generate an income in 2012.[37]

The IEDP provides basic education and skills for persons with disabilities, and sometimes for their children; including literacy and numeracy, computer skills, carpentry and machinery, and career skills. In 2013 IEDP was looking for opportunities to assist survivors in Mogadishu identified in the SOCBAL survey.[38]

In early 2012 the NGO INTERSOS introduced a special support unit for its courses in its vocational training centers in Baidoa and in Jowhar, supported by UNHCR. Activities also included awareness-raising on disability issues for students, parents, teachers, and community members.[39]

Psychological assistance

There is almost no psychosocial support in Somalia due to the impact of the ongoing conflict, despite the significant need for such services.[40]

Laws and policies

The Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic (TFC) did not address discrimination on the basis of disabilities; however, it states that the government shall guarantee the welfare of persons with disabilities.[41]

There are no laws requiring access to buildings for persons with disabilities. In 2012, it was reported that Somalia “did not have, and never had, accessible public services for persons with disabilities.” Three-quarters of all public buildings in Somalia were not accessible for wheelchair users, and there were no public transportation facilities with wheelchair access. Schools throughout the country did not accept the majority of children with disabilities as pupils.[42] In 2011, it was found that three-quarters of all public buildings were not designed to include accessibility for wheelchair users and there were no public transportation facilities with wheelchair access.[43]

As of July 2013, Somalia had not signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).


[1] Email from Tammy Orr, Programme Officer, UNMAS Somalia, 3 June 2013.

[2] See 2011 Monitor report on Somalia, UNMAS reported details for the 159 casualties and also stated that there were “162 known victims” in 2010. UNMAS, “Annual Report 2010,” New York, September 2011, pp. 55–56. The UN also reported that, in total, 190 mine/ERW casualties were recorded in Somaliland, Puntland, and south central Somalia in 2010 (154 casualties, excluding casualties in Somaliland, as reported in the Landmine Monitor Report 2011). UN, “Somalia,”

[3] UNMAS, “Annual Report 2011,” New York, November 2012, p. 65.

[4] Email from Tammy Orr, UNMAS Somalia, 12 October 2012. Due to the inability to differentiate victim-activated IED casualties, no emplaced-IED casualties have been included in the global casualty total for Somalia.

[5] Email from Tammy Orr, UNMAS Somalia, 3 June 2013.

[6] PMAC, “PMAC 2012 Annual Report,” Garowe, March 2013, p. 10.

[7] PMAC, “PMAC 2011 Annual Report,” Garowe, January 2012, p. 3. Another 29 IED incidents causing 43 casualties were also reported; PMAC, “Annual Report 2010,” 7 June 2011, p. 10.

[8] See previous Monitor reports on Somalia,

[9] The survey was conducted in eight of the 16 districts of Mogadishu: Karaan, Xamar Weyne, Waberi, Wardhiigleey, Howl wadaag, Dayniile, Wadajir Xamar, and Jadiid.

[10] SOCBAL, “Mogadishu Landmine/ERW Victims Survey 14 – 28 July, 2013: Summary Report,” 2013.

[11] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 16 April 2012–30 March 2013), Form J, 30 March 2013.

[12] Email from Dahir Abdirahman, Director, SOCBAL, 3 October 2013.

[13] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 16 April 2012–30 March 2013), Form J, 30 March 2013.

[14] PMAC, “PMAC 2012 Annual Report,” Garowe, March 2013, p. 7.

[15] SOCBAL, “Mogadishu Landmine/ERW Victims Survey 14–28 July, 2013: Summary Report,” 2013.

[16] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 16 April 2012–30 March 2013), Form J, 30 March 2013.

[17] SOCBAL, “Mogadishu Landmine/ERW Victims Survey 14–28 July, 2013: Summary Report,” 2013.

[18] PMAC, “PMAC 2012 Annual Report,” Garowe, March 2013, p. 5.

[19] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 16 April 2012–30 March 2013), Form J, 30 March 2013.

[20] Ibid.

[21] SOCBAL, “Mogadishu Landmine/ERW Victims Survey 14–28 July, 2013: Summary Report,” 2013.

[22] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 16 April 2012–30 March 2013), Form J, 30 March 2013.

[23] Ahmed Mohamed, “Al-Shabaab Recruiting Disabled Somalis: Physical and Mentally Challenged Citizens Used as Fighters, Spies,” Somalia Report, 19 April 2012,

[24] ICRC, “Annual Report 2012,” Geneva, May 2013, p. 101.

[25] Ibid., p. 165.

[26] ICRC, “Somalia: twenty years of war surgery at Mogadishu’s Keysaney Hospital,” 7 June 2012,

[27] ICRC, “Annual Report 2012,” Geneva, May 2013, p. 167.

[28] Mahmoud Mohamed, “Paramedics risk their lives to save others in Mogadishu,” 15 March 2012,

[29] SOCBAL, “Mogadishu Landmine/ERW Victims Survey 14–28 July, 2013: Summary Report,” 2013. The extra costs included $50 for the storekeeper, $15 for the technician, and $2 for registration.

[30] ICRC, “Annual Report 2012,” Geneva, May 2013, p. 164.

[31] ICRC, “Annual Report 2011,” Geneva, May 2012, p. 153; and ICRC, “Somalia: twenty years of war surgery at Mogadishu’s Keysaney Hospital,” 7 June 2012,

[32] ICRC, “Annual Report 2012,” Geneva, May 2013, p. 167.

[33] From February 2010 until the end of 2012, the emergency team medics treated 5,381 trauma victims at Medina Hospital in Mogadishu, including: 50 UXO accident survivors, 342 IED survivors , 965 shell injuries, and more than 4,000 gunshot wounds. “Somalia commits to a future clear of landmines,” 7 December 2012,

[34] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 16 April 2012–30 March 2013), Form J, 30 March 2013.

[35] ICRC SFD, “Annual Report 2012,” Geneva, May 2013, p. 16.

[36] SOCBAL, “Mogadishu Landmine/ERW Victims Survey 14–28 July, 2013: Summary Report,” 2013. The extra costs included $50 for the storekeeper, $15 for the technician, and $2 for registration.

[37] ICRC, “Annual Report 2012,” Geneva, May 2013, p. 165.

[38] SOCBAL, “Mogadishu Landmine/ERW Victims Survey 14–28 July, 2013: Summary Report,” 2013; and letter from Abdullahi Hassan, General Secretary, IEDP, 29 August 2013.

[39] INTERSOS, “Disability is not Inability,” 9 January 2013,

[40] United States (US) Department of State, “2012 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Somalia,” Washington, DC, 19 April 2013; and Hamza Mohamed, “Somali capital struggles to provide mental healthcare,” The Guardian, 5 April 2012,

[41] US Department of State, “2012 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Somalia,” Washington, DC, 19 April 2013.

[42] Somali Diaspora Disability Forum (SDDF), “An open letter to President Hassan: The New Government and Disability subject in Somalia – A way ahead,” 29 September 2012,

[43] US Department of State, “2012 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Somalia,” Washington, DC, 19 April 2013.

Last Updated: 22 November 2013

Support for Mine Action

In 2012, eight donors contributed US$25 million for clearance and risk education in the Federal Republic of Somalia.[1] Accounting for over 83% of the support was €13 million ($16.7 million) from the European Union (EU) and ¥319 million ($4 million) from Japan.

The UN General Assembly assessed $32.3 million for mine action activities for coordination, capacity building, and explosive-management support to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).[2] Somalia was the second-largest recipient of peacekeeping-assessed funds for mine action in 2012. South Sudan was the largest recipient.

The combined international assistance was $57.3 million making Somalia the largest recipient of mine action support in 2012.

International contributions: 2012[3]



Amount (national currency)











United Kingdom












United States









Clearance, risk education







Summary of contributions: 2008–2012[4]


Peacekeeping assessed funds


International donors Amount




























N/A = not applicable


[1] Response to Monitor questionnaire from Adam Ravnkilde, Security Policy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 17 May 2013; email from Carolin J. Thielking, European Union (EU) Mine Action Focal Point, Division for WMD, Conventional Weapons and Space, European External Action Service, 15 May 2013; Financial Tracking System, Reliefweb,; Japan, Convention on Conventional Weapons, Amended Protocol II, 28 March 2013; response to Monitor questionnaire by Ingunn Vatne, Senior Advisor, Department for Human Rights, Democracy and Humanitarian Assistance, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 11 April 2013; Sweden, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, 27 March 2013; and email from Pi Tauber, Project Assistant, Danish Demining Group, 15 July 2013.

[2] UN Mine Action Service, “UNMAS Annual Report 2012,” pp. 21 and 39.

[3] Average exchange rate for 2012: DKK5.7922=US$1; €1=US$1.2859; ¥79.82=US$1; £1=US$1.5853; NOK5.8181=US$1; and SEK6.7721=US$1. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2013.