Casualties and Victim Assistance

Last updated: 27 October 2015

Victim assistance commitments

The Republic of Rwanda is responsible for significant numbers of survivors of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) who are in need. It has made commitments to provide victim assistance through the Mine Ban Treaty and has ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Rwanda ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 15 December 2008.


Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2014

707 mine/ERW casualties (300 killed; 407 injured)


No new mine/ERW casualties were identified in Rwanda in 2014. The last casualties reported in Rwanda occurred in 2011, when five ERW casualties were identified.[1]

The total number of mine/ERW casualties in Rwanda is not known, and estimates vary. Between 1991 and 2014, 707 casualties were identified in Rwanda (300 killed, 407 injured).[2]

Victim Assistance

The Association of Landmine Survivors and Amputees of Rwanda and other Persons with Disabilities (ALSAR) estimated there were more than 2,000 survivors in the country.[3]

As of September 2015, ALSAR reported having 30 members and welcomed others to join the organization.[4]

Victim assistance in Rwanda is incorporated into the broader disability framework, as part as the overall plan for all persons with disabilities that guides the work of the National Council on Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), the National Programme for Mainstreaming Disability in Rwanda (2010–2019), and laws relating to the protection of persons with disabilities (civilians and formers combatants) from 2007. The NCPD, established in 2010, included mine/ERW survivors as members.[5] Its Strategic Plan for 2013–2018 explicitly mentioned persons with disabilities as a result of landmines and includes an operational plan for its implementation.[6]

Handicap International (HI) worked at a national level to improve care management for people with physical disabilities by supporting an occupational therapy training program. HI’s programs included support for inclusive education and disabled people’s organizations. HI was also developing community-based rehabilitation in Kayonza district.[7]

The National Union of Disability Organizations in Rwanda was established in September 2010 as a national umbrella organization of persons with disabilities.

Landmine survivors and other persons with disabilities were still facing social exclusion, discrimination, and other issues in their everyday life.[8]

[1]Rwanda: Grenade Injures Two Children,” AllAfrica, 4 March 2011; “One killed as grenade explodes near Kigali,” People’s Daily Online, 29 July 2011; and “Rwanda: 1 mort et deux blessés dans l'explosion d'une grenade” (“Rwanda: 1 killed and two injured due to grenade explosion”), Panapress, 27 July 2011.

[2] In addition to the five casualties from 2011, the Rwandan National Demining Office (NDO) recorded 702 casualties between 1991 and 2008. Email from Maj. Ukwishaka, NDO, 10 May 2009.

[3] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Rose Kanyamfura, Vice President, ALSAR, 30 March 2010.

[4] Eugene Kwibuka, “Local activists unite against cluster bombs,” The New Times, 31 August 2015.

[5] Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), “Norad Report 6/2012 Review: Organisational Performance Review of the Norwegian People’s Aid,” September 2011.

[6] National Council of Persons with Disabilities, NCPD Strategic Plan and Its Operational Plan for the Implementation July 2013–June 2018, 31 May 2013.

[7] Email from Jean-François Michel, Desk Officer, African Great Lakes region, HI, 2 March 2015.

[8] Jean-Christophe Nsanzimana, “Rwanda: Disability Often Still Carries a Stigma,” AllAfrica, 13 January 2013, quoted in “The Month in Mines: January 2013,” Landmines in Africa, 9 February 2013. United States Department of State, “2014 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Rwanda,” Washington, DC, 25 June 2015.