The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 11 September 2002, becoming a State Party on 1 March 2003.
Afghanistan has not adopted national implementation legislation. A draft regulation prohibiting the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of mines and cluster munitions was prepared in 2013. In August 2016, a representative of the Ministry of Justice stated to an NGO forum that the legal process of the legislation for the convention was now included in the priorities of the ministry, which hoped to finish the legal process by March 2017. In its Article 7 report submitted in 2017, Afghanistan reported the regulation remains at the Ministry of Justice awaiting final approval.
Afghanistan submitted its annual Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report covering calendar year 2016.
Over the past decade, Afghanistan has participated in every Meeting of States Parties, including the convention’s Fifteenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November–December 2016. Afghanistan has participated in all intersessional meetings of the Mine Ban Treaty, except in May 2016. It also attended the Mine Ban Treaty’s First Review Conference in Nairobi in 2004 and its Second Review Conference in Cartagena in 2009, however its delegation to the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014 was denied a transit visa en-route.
There have been no reports of antipersonnel mine use by coalition or Afghan national forces. However, use of victim-activated improvised mines and other improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by armed groups continued in 2016 and 2017, resulting in further casualties.
Non-state armed groups
The use of victim-activated improvised mines by armed groups, mainly the Taliban, and Daesh/Islamic State Khorasan Province, continued in 2017. In June, Afghanistan informed States Parties that new use of pressure plate improvised mines, which are causing approximately 60 deaths a month, was adding to their clearance burden and making it hard to meet their Article 5 obligations. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reported that anti-government forces used victim-activated improvised mines throughout 2016 and the first half of 2017. Victim-activated (pressure plate) improvised mines were responsible for more than half of all casualties attributed to indiscriminate explosive weapons during 2016, an increase of 4% from 2015. In 2017, UNAMA reported that use of pressure-plate IEDs in civilian-populated areas substantially contributed to the increases in both women and child casualties during the first half of the year. UNAMA documented a 42% increase in civilian deaths by victim activated IEDs compared to the same period in 2016. UNAMA shares the view of Mine Ban Treaty States Parties that victim-activated IEDs function as antipersonnel mines and are prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty, while command-detonated IEDs are not banned.
Previously, in September 2015, Afghan officials were quoted as stating that the Taliban had emplaced landmines and booby-traps around Kunduz after seizing the city. In December 2015, in Faryab province, officials recovered the body of a soldier that they allege had been booby-trapped with an explosive device by the Taliban. In July 2016, the administrative chief of Andar district of Ghazni province stated that Taliban forces had laid mines in public areas of the district, including near mosques and schools, in their armed conflict with the government.
The Taliban have not made any statement regarding use of victim-activated IEDs since October 2012, when, on the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan website, the Taliban denied the use of victim-activated explosive devices and said it uses only command-detonated explosive devices. As in previous years, the Taliban have claimed responsibility for an extensive number of attacks against military personnel and vehicles using landmines.
Production, transfer, stockpile destruction, and discoveries
Afghanistan is not known to have ever produced or exported antipersonnel mines. Throughout many years of armed conflict, large numbers of landmines from numerous sources were sent to various fighting forces in Afghanistan. In recent years, there were no confirmed reports of outside supply of antipersonnel mines to non-state armed groups.
Afghanistan reported that it completed its stockpile destruction obligation in October 2007, eight months after its treaty-mandated deadline of 1 March 2007. It reported the destruction of 525,504 stockpiled antipersonnel mines between 2003 and 2007. It is unclear how many stockpiled mines Afghanistan had destroyed at the time it declared completion of the program. It reported that it had destroyed 486,226 stockpiled antipersonnel mines as of April 2007, and later reported that it destroyed 81,595 antipersonnel mines in calendar year 2007.
Afghan security forces regularly recover weapons, sometimes including landmines, in their operations. In October 2016, the National Directorate of Security, the government’s primary intelligence agency, reported to have seized 25 improvised antipersonnel mines, among other weapons, in Takhar province. In May 2016, in Zabul province, the Afghan National Army recovered 48 landmines of an unknown type among other weapons during an offensive.
In 2017, Afghanistan reported that a total of 337 antipersonnel mines were discovered and destroyed during calendar year 2016 from stocks recovered during military operations, surrendered during disarmament programs, and discovered by civilians. Since Afghanistan’s stockpile destruction deadline, it has reported discovery and destruction of 83,632 antipersonnel mines in previously unknown stockpiles.
Mines retained for training and development
Afghanistan does not retain any live mines for training in mine detection, mine clearance, or mine destruction techniques. It has reported that “mine bodies used in these programmes have had their fuzes removed and destroyed and are no longer capable of being used.” In June 2011, the chief of operations of the Mine Action Coordination Centre of Afghanistan (MACCA) confirmed to the Monitor that Afghanistan does not retain any live mines for training or other purposes. All mines retained are fuzeless and are used to train mine detection dogs.
 Previously, Afghanistan reported that the Ministry of Defense instructed all military forces “to respect the comprehensive ban on antipersonnel mines and the prohibition on use in any situation by militaries or individuals.” Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2008), Form A. In April 2016, Afghanistan wrote that, “Afghanistan has long time back drafted a law as an instrument for the implementation of Article 9 of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention and Convention on Cluster Munitions. This will supplement an existing law banning the use, acquisition, trading and stockpiling of weapons, ammunition and explosive items without the required legal license. This new law relates specifically to the provisions of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and Ottawa Treaty. The Ministry of Justice has already reviewed this draft and advised that it should be made available as an annex to the existing law than processing it as a new law. This is still in the ministry of justice. H.E. The President is aware of it through DMAC and has promised to put pressure on the Ministry of Justice to take it in the review plan of 1395 (April 2016 – March 2017).” Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, April 2016.
 Statement by Shah Wali Ataie’s, Director of Planning and Policy, Ministry of Justice, Kabul, 1 August 2016. Meeting organized by Afghan Landmine Survivors’ Organization, Directorate of Mine Action Coordination, Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority, United Nations Mine Action Services, and Mine Detection Center on 1st August 2016, 6th Anniversary of Convention on Cluster Munitions Entry into Force with the theme of “Global Day of Action.” Seventy-five people participated from the government, civil society organizations, and media. The participations requested that the Ministry of Justice finish the legislation process for both the Mine Ban Treaty and Convention on Cluster Munitions. Notes by Islam Mohammadi, Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor Researcher.
 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016). Previous Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 reports were submitted annually, except in 2011.
 UNAMA, “Afghanistan: Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict Annual Report 2016,” Kabul, February 2017, p. 7.
 UNAMA, “Afghanistan: Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict mid-year report 2017,” Kabul, July 2017, p. 5.
 Ibid., p. 36.
 UNAMA, “Afghanistan: Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict mid-year report 2016,” Kabul, September 2016, p. 50.
 “Afghan forces struggle to retake Kunduz city from Taliban,” The Express Tribune (AFP), 30 September 2015.
 “Taliban kill ANA soldier, place bomb beneath his corpse in Faryab,” Pajhwok Afghan News, 26 December 2015.
 “Taliban trying to overrun Andar district, says district chief,” Pajhwok Afghan News, 27 July 2016.
 “We clearly want to state that our Mujahideen never place live landmines in any part of the country but each mine is controlled by a remote and detonated on military targets only.” “Reaction of Islamic Emirate regarding accusations of UNAMA about explosive devices,” 22 October 2012.
 In April 2007, Afghanistan informed States Parties that while it had destroyed 486,226 stockpiled antipersonnel mines, two depots of antipersonnel mines still remained in Panjsheer province, about 150 kilometers north of Kabul. Provincial authorities did not make the mines available for destruction in a timely fashion. For details on the destruction program and reasons for not meeting the deadline, see, Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 89–90; and Landmine Monitor Report 2008, pp. 79–80.
 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2013), Form G. How many stockpiled mines Afghanistan had destroyed at the time it declared completion of the program lacked clarity. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2009, pp. 99–100.
 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2007), Form G, 13 May 2008.
 Ghanizada, “Taliban terrorist group’s mine making center busted in Takhar: NDS,” Kaama Press, 16 October 2016.
 “3 fighters killed, landmines seized in Zabul operation,” Pajhwok Afghan News, 6 May 2016.
 Afghanistan’s Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form B states that 337 antipersonnel mines of Chinese and Russian manufacture were seized or recovered during 2016.
 The type and number of mines destroyed in each location, and the dates of destruction, have been recorded in detail. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form G.
 Reported in Afghanistan’s Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, each year since 2012.
 Email from MACCA, 4 June 2011.
 Interview with MACCA, in Geneva, 24 June 2010. The former UN Mine Action Center for Afghanistan Program Director also told the Monitor in June 2008 that all retained mines are fuzeless and that the fuzes were destroyed prior to use in training activities.