Mine Ban Policy
The Republic of the Union of Myanmar has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty.  In recent years, it has sent mixed messages about its position regarding the treaty.
In July 2012, Minister of Foreign Affairs U Wunna Maung Lwin stated that Myanmar was considering accession to the Mine Ban Treaty and it was reported that the government was no longer using landmines.  But in November 2012, at the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit President Thein Sein stated, “I believe that for defence purpose, we need to use landmines in order to safeguard the life and property of people and self-defence.” 
In December 2013, Myanmar stated that its participation as an observer in the treaty’s Meetings of States Parties “clearly reflects our keen interest in the present and future work of the convention.” 
Despite not joining, Myanmar has participated in several Meetings of States Parties of the Mine Ban Treaty as an observer, including in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2006, and in 2003. It first participated in intersessional meetings of the treaty in Geneva in May 2013 and again in April 2014. However, Myanmar did not participate in the Third Review Conference held in Maputo, Mozambique, in June 2014 or the intersessional meetings held in Geneva in June 2015. 
A National Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), which was negotiated during the previous year and signed by eight ethic armed groups in October 2015, states that the parties to the agreement will “end planting of mines” and “cooperate on the process of clearing all landmines.”  (See Use by non-state armed groups, below.)
Myanmar was one of 17 countries that abstained from voting on UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 69/34 on 2 December 2014, which called for universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty, as it has on all similar annual resolutions since 1997.
No parliamentary party has introduced legislation to ratify the Mine Ban Treaty, but disability rights legislation introduced in June 2014 references the rights of landmine victims. 
In April 2015, the Humanitarian Mine Action Initiative, a cluster of NGOs advocating for a landmine ban, led by Peace Myanmar Aid Foundation, organized an International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action in Yangon. At the event, the Yangon Division Chief Minister stated,“Efforts are to be made to end the use of landmines. Special emphasis is being placed on the peacemaking processes as the clearance of landmines can be started after the ceasefire deal.”  Equality Myanmar distributed CDs of an anti-landmine music video featuring Burmese musicians at the event.
In December 2014, the Halt Mine Use in Burma/Myanmar campaign held a press conference in Yangon to launch the Landmine Monitor 2014 country report on Myanmar.  The campaign distributed 1,000 copies of the Burmese-language translation of the 2014 Myanmar country report. Previously in May 2013, the government for the first time accepted a high-level ICBL delegation that met with Minister U Aung Min, as well as with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and with the Myanmar Peace Centre.
Since the publication of its first report in 1999, Landmine Monitor has documented the use of antipersonnel mines by government forces and by non-state armed groups (NSAGs) in many parts of the country. Information collected by the Monitor indicates that in the second half of 2014 and first half of 2015 there were fewer credible allegations of mine use by the Tatmadaw (the Myanmar Armed Forces). Reports of mine use by opposition NSAGs have also diminished in this period.
In April 2014, UNICEF expressed its concern over new minefields being laid in armed conflict in Kachin State, but did not attribute the use.  Other UN reports and statements have expressed concern about landmines in Myanmar, but it is unclear if any are referring to new use in 2014 or 2015. In May 2014, the UN Secretary-General released the fourth report on Children and Armed Conflict, which continued to document child casualties in Myanmar from landmines and risks to children due to unmarked minefields.  In September 2014, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar again called on the government of Myanmar to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty and noted that it had been three years since armed conflict had recommenced in Kachin and Northern Shan States and that people displaced by the fighting fear to return home as it was “riddled with landmines.” The Special Rapporteur noted that “progress has not been made in the mapping and locating as well as clearance of landmines.”  In July 2014, the spokesperson for the UNHCR in Thailand made clear that the existence of landmines and unmarked minefields are an impediment to any return of refugees to Myanmar. 
In March 2015, villagers from Pyin Soe village in eastern Paletwa township of Chin State, near the border with Bangladesh, reported that they were warned by soldiers from Light Infantry Brigade 289 not to go beyond a stream near their village as the soldiers had laid mines on the other bank.  The villagers fled their village late in March due to fear of landmines. In September 2015, Myanmar Army soldiers asked villagers to take them to a front line location in Momauk township at which point the soldiers laid mines and warned the villagers not to come back to the area.  Landmines laid by government forces near their outposts in Kachin State continue to cause civilian casualties, however it is not known when the mines werelaid. 
Use by non-state armed groups 
Since 2011, when the government announced its intention to seek peace agreements with armed groups, it has held multiple meetings with almost every ethnic armed group in the country. The need to end landmine use and ensure clearance has been mentioned in several meetings. 
A draft of the text of the NCA provided to the Monitor states that the parties to the agreement will “end planting of mines” and “cooperate on the process of clearing all landmines.”  On 15 October 2015, the NCA was signed by eight ethnic armed groups, all of whom had previously engaged in mine warfare, including two factions of the Karen National Union, the Restoration Council for Shan State, the Arakan Liberation Party, the Pao National Liberation Organization, the All Burma Students Democratic Front, the Chin National Front, and the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army.  Monitoring of the ceasefire has yet to be agreed. There are no clear guidelines for interpretation or implementation of the mine related aspects of the ceasefire text. Several major armed groups remain outside the agreement.
No armed group unilaterally renounced antipersonnel mine use during the discussions with the government on a nationwide ceasefire. 
In March 2015, villagers from Pyin Soe village in eastern Paletwa township of Chin State, near the border with Bangladesh, reported that they saw the Arakan Army (AA) lay mines near the edges of their village during conflict between the AA and the Myanmar Army. The villagers fled their village late in March due to fear of landmines.  Since the resumption of armed conflict in Kachin State in 2013, mine warfare by the Kachin Independence Organization/Army (KIO/KIA) has been reported in the Monitor. In May 2015, the KIA sent a letter to several villages in Mogaung township notifying them that new mines were being laid there.  Although UNICEF expressed concern at new minefields being laid in the conflict in Kachin State it did not attribute the use (see above). In December 2014, the government published allegations of landmine use by the KIA, and stated that 10 people had died and 37 were injured due to KIA-laid mines between October 2013 and November 2014.  In July 2015, the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) allegedly laid mines during armed conflict with the army and border guard forces on the Asian Highway in Kawkareik Township, Karen State. 
The ongoing conflict in southern Kachin and northern Shan states have caused people to flee and landmine incidents and unexploded ordnance have been reported in Maing Khaung (Mansi township), Lwegel, and Namhkam from fighting in early 2014. Some internally displaced persons (IDPs) reported that paths to their villages are now believed to have been mined during or after clashes in April 2014. 
Backpack Health Worker Teams stated that armed conflict in Shan and Pao areas, including the presence of landmines, prohibited delivery of medical assistance, but did not make clear if the mines were newly laid or not. 
Production, stockpiling, and transfer
Myanmar Defense Products Industries (Ka Pa Sa), a state enterprise at Ngyaung Chay Dauk in western Pegu (Bago) division, has produced fragmentation and blast antipersonnel mines, including ones with low metal content.  Authorities in Myanmar have not provided any information on the types of mines it produces or the quantities of stockpiled antipersonnel mines it possesses. The Monitor has previously reported that, in addition to domestic production, Myanmar has obtained and used antipersonnel mines of Chinese, Indian, Italian, Soviet, and United States manufacture, as well as some mines whose origin has not been identified.  Myanmar is not known to have exported antipersonnel mines. 
Non-state armed group production, transfer, and stockpiling
The KIO, Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), DKBA, Karenni Army, and the United Wa State Army have produced blast and fragmentation mines. Some also make Claymore-type directional fragmentation mines, mines with anti-handling fuzes, and explosive booby-traps. All units of the KNLA are reportedly able to manufacture and deploy bounding mines after training by a foreign technician.  Armed groups in Myanmar have previously acquired mines by removing mines laid by others, seizing Tatmadaw stocks, and obtaining mines from the clandestine arms market. 
In February and March 2015, government forces claimed to have recovered landmines on multiple occasions from Kokang insurgents.  In February 2015, police forces claim to have recovered a landmine among other weapons turned in during a surrender by KNU/KNLA (PC) combatants.  In July 2015, government and border guard forces claim to have recovered 50 landmines in two incidents, among other weapons, from the Karen Klo-Htoo-Baw Organisation, formerly DKBA Brigade 5. 
 Formerly called the Union of Myanmar. The military junta ruling the country changed the name from Burma to Myanmar. Many ethnic groups in the country, and a number of states, still refer to the country as Burma. Internal state and division names are given in their common form, or with the ruling Union Solidarity Development Party (USDP) designation in parentheses, for example, Karenni (Kayah) state. Since 2009, the Monitor has used township names according to the UN Myanmar Information Management Unit (MIMU). For more information see the MINU website .
 U Wunna Maung Lwin made these statements to the President of the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties, Prak Sokhonn of Cambodia, on the margins of the Association of South-East Asian States (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers Meeting in Phnom Penh in July 2012. Press Release, “Myanmar seriously considering landmine treaty as part of its state reforms,” Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention Implementation Support Unit, 12 July 2012.
 The speech of the President was republished in the government newspaper. “Establishment of ASEAN Community is not ultimate goal of ASEAN but a milestone towards stable, peaceful and prosperous region,” New Light of Myanmar , 19 November 2012 .
 Statement of Myanmar, Mine Ban Treaty Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 5 December 2013.
 In June 2014 at the Third Review Conference, there were several calls for Myanmar to accede to the treaty, including by Belgium and France. Statement of Belgium, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, 23 June 2014; and statement of France, Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, 23 June 2014. Notes by the Monitor.
 According to the draft NCA, agreed by a drafting team from both sides in March 2015, under Chapter 3: Ceasefire related matters, point 5 (a) it states that, “Both parties agree to end the following activities: …. planting of landmines…”
Section 5 (e) states, “In line with progress on the peace process, both parties agree to cooperate on the process of clearing all landmines planted by both sides’ armies. Joint efforts on landmine clearing projects shall be carried out in close consultation with different levels of the government.” For more analysis see: Mine Free Myanmar, “The Mine Ban and the National ceasefire process,” 11 August 2015.
 “Rights of land mine victims should be included in bill on rights of disabled people: activists,” New Light of Myanmar , 16 June 2014, p. 1. In February 2013, the chair of the National Democratic Force (NDF), a political party with seats in parliament, informed the Monitor that the NDF had requested that the landmine issue be put on the agenda for discussion in parliament the previous year, but as of mid-2013, the item remained in the parliamentary secretariat and had not been placed on the agenda. NDF members speculated that the issue may be being kept off the parliamentary agenda. See ICBL, “Country Profile: Myanmar/Burma: Mine Ban Policy,” 30 October 2014.
 Press Release, “UN International Mine Awareness Day,” Equality Myanmar, 7 April 2015; also “5m in landmine peril, groups warns,” Eleven Myanmar , 5 April 2015.
 “Press Conference and release of Landmine Monitor 2014 Myanmar/Burma Country Report,” 29 December, Yangon. Audio recording of press conference and questions available with the link.
 UNICEF, “Children of Kachin in Myanmar need protection and have a right to peace, says UNICEF: Landmines silent but deadly threat,” Press Release, 22 April 2014.
“Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Myanmar,” A/68/878–S/2014/339 (paragraph 110), 15 May 2014.
 UNGA, “Situation of human rights in Myanmar,” para’s 35–36, A/69/398 , 23 September 2014.
 Thin Lei Win, “Conditions not right in Myanmar for Burmese refugees in Thailand to return home – UNHCR,” Reuters , 23 July 2014.
 Chin Human Rights Organization, “Thematic Briefing: Armed conflict in Paletwa, southern Chin State,” 15 June 2015, p. 7.
 Monitor interview with humanitarian organizations working with conflict-displaced communities in Kachin state, Yangon, 9 & 13 October 2015. Informants requested anonymity.
 See, for example, “Landmine Kills Elderly Woman in Hsenwi Township,” Burma News International , 8 July 2015.
 At least 17 NSAGs have used antipersonnel mines since 1999, however, some of these groups have ceased to exist or no longer use mines.
 U Wunna Maung Lwin made these statements to the President of the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties, Prak Sokhonn, on the margins of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting in Phnom Penh, in July 2012. Press Release, “Myanmar seriously considering landmine treaty as part of its state reforms,” Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention Implementation Support Unit, 12 July 2012.
 According to the draft NCA, agreed by a drafting team from both sides in March 2015, under Chapter 3: Ceasefire related matters, point 5 (a) it states that, “Both parties agree to end the following activities:…planting of landmines…” Section 5 (e) states, “In line with progress on the peace process, both parties agree to cooperate on the process of clearing all landmines planted by both sides’ armies. Joint efforts on landmine clearing projects shall be carried out in close consultation with different levels of the government.” For more analysis see: Mine Free Myanmar, “The Mine Ban and the National ceasefire process,” 11 August 2015.
 “Peace Deal Signed,” Global New Light of Myanmar, 16 October 2015, p. 1. Each of the political organizations that signed the ceasefire agreement has an armed wing. The armed wing of the KNU factions is the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the RCSS is the political organization of the Shan State Army South, the ALP has its Arakan Liberation Army, the PNLO has its Pao National Liberation Army, and the CNF has the Chin National Army. The other two groups have the same name for their armed organizations.
 In the past, a few armed groups, and former armed groups, unilaterally renounced the use of antipersonnel mines by signing the Deed of Commitment administered by the Swiss NGO Geneva Call. The Chin National Front/Chin National Army renounced use in July 2006. The Arakan Rohingya National Organization and the National United Party of Arakan, both now militarily defunct, renounced use in October 2003. The Lahu Democratic Front (LDF), Palaung State Liberation Army, and PPLO/Pa’O Peoples Liberation Army (PPLA) renounced use in April 2007. In a June 2010 report, Geneva Call noted that LDF and the PPLA had disbanded.
 Chin Human Rights Organization, “Thematic Briefing: Armed conflict in Paletwa, southern Chin State,” 15 June 2015, p. 7.
 Casualty statistics supplied to the Monitor by UNHCR, Yangon, 12 October 2015.
 “Locals speak of KIA’s acts,” Global New Light of Myanmar , 8 December 2014, p. 9.
 “Karen Rebels Plan Attack of Myanmar Military For Highway Opening Ceremony, ” Radio Free Asia, 16 July 2015; “Karen Villagers –“We Lost Everything In Asia Highway Conflict… .,” Karen News, 27 September 2015; and interview with humanitarian organization that requested anonymity, Yangon 9 October 2015.
 Email from UNHCR Protection Sector in Myanmar, 2 October 2014.
 Backpack Health Worker Teams, “BPHWT 2014 Annual Report,” undated, p. 10. Incidents involved inter-NSAG conflicts as well as conflict between NSAG and the government.
 Myanmar produces the MM1, which is modeled on the Chinese Type-59 stake-mounted fragmentation mine; the MM2, which is similar to the Chinese Type-58 blast mine; a Claymore-type directional fragmentation mine; and a copy of the US M14 plastic mine.
 See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 938. The mines include: Chinese Types-58, -59, -69, -72A; Soviet POMZ-2, POMZ-2M, PMN, PMD-6; US M14, M16A1, M18; and Indian/British LTM-73, LTM-76.
 In 1999, Myanmar’s representative to the UN stated that the country was supportive of banning exports of antipersonnel mines, however, no formal moratorium or export ban has been proclaimed. See Landmine Monitor Report 2000, p. 469.
 According to a United States (US) cable released by Wikileaks in August 2011, in December 2006 during an interview with US Embassy officials a Karen politician indicated that “in 2005 a foreign expert trained the KNLA on how to manufacture ‘Bouncing Betty’ anti-personnel mines, packed with ball bearings. The KNLA claims all of its brigades now know how to produce this ‘new’ landmine. KNLA officers claim they use them only in forward areas to slow the Burmese Army’s advance into traditional KNU territory. The source said the new mines are much more lethal than earlier KNLA mines that tended to maim rather than kill.”“06RANGOON1767, BURMA REGIME AND KAREN MISTRUST CONTINUES,” US Department of State cable dated 4 December 2006, released by Wikileaks on 30 August 2011.
 Landmine Monitor Report 2009 identified the presence of US-made M26 bounding antipersonnel mines in Myanmar but could not identify the source or the user. In 2010, a confidential source indicated that the KNLA had received many M26 mines from the Royal Thai Army in the past, before Thailand joined the Mine Ban Treaty. See Landmine Monitor Report 2009, p. 1013.
 “Urns of bone ash from fallen officers and other ranks buried at Memorial for Fallen Heroes,” Global New Light of Myanmar , 24 February 2015, p. 1; “Military column seize arms and ammunition, stimulant tablets from Kokang insurgents,” Global New Light of Myanmar, 25 February 2015, p. 9; “Tatmadaw never tolerates attempts to encroach upon Myanmar’s sovereignty: Army holds press conference,” Global New Light of Myanmar, 22 February 2015, pp. 1–3; “Kokang insurgents commit unlawful acts in laukkai,” Global New Light of Myanmar, 20 February 2015, p. 9; “Drugs, weapons and ammunition seized from Kokang renegade groups,” Global New Light of Myanmar, 17 February 2015, p. 3; and “Tatmadaw columns reopen Laukkai-Kongyan road for secure transport after occupying hills,” Global New Light of Myanmar , 2 March 2015, p. 2.
 “KNU/KNLA (PC) members return to the legal fold,” Global New Light of Myanmar , 1 February 2015, p. 3.
 “Tatmadaw, BGF combs KKO of Kawkariek area,” Global New Light of Myanmar , 20 July 2015, p. 9.