Bangladesh

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 11 July 2017

Summary: Non-signatory Bangladesh has not elaborated its view on cluster munitions or its position on joining the convention. However, it voted in favor of key UN resolutions on the convention in 2015 and 2016 and has participated in two of the convention’s meetings, most recently in 2014. Bangladesh is not known to have used, produced, exported, or possessed any stockpiles of cluster munitions.

Policy

The People’s Republic of Bangladesh has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Bangladesh has never made a public statement elaborating its views on cluster munitions or position on joining the convention.[1]

In December 2016, Bangladesh voted in favor of a key UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution, which urges states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.”[2] It previously voted in favor of the first UNGA resolution on the convention in December 2015.[3] Bangladesh did not explain why it supported these non-binding resolutions, which many non-signatories voted for.

Bangladesh participated in several meetings of the Oslo Process that created the convention, but did not attend the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008.[4] It attended a regional conference on cluster munitions in Bali, Indonesia, in November 2009.

Bangladesh participated as an observer in the convention’s Meeting of States Parties in 2013 and 2014, as well as intersessional meetings of the convention in 2011 and 2014. Bangladesh was invited to, but did not attend the convention’s Sixth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in September 2016. At the time, the country’s representative in Geneva told the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) that Bangladesh has no objection to the convention.[5]

Bangladesh is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Bangladesh is not known to have used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions. In September 2013, a representative of Bangladesh’s armed forces told the CMC that Bangladesh does not possess cluster munitions.[6]



[1] In 2010, an official informed the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) that Bangladesh’s accession to the convention was a matter of priorities. Meeting with Sarwar Mahmood, Counselor, Permanent Mission of the Bangladesh to the UN in New York, New York, 19 October 2010. Notes by the CMC.

[2]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 71/45, 5 December 2016.

[3]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 70/54, 7 December 2015.

[4] For more information on Bangladesh’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2010, see ICBL, Cluster Munition Monitor 2010 (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2010), p. 196.

[5] ICBL-CMC meeting with Toufiq Islam Shatil, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN in Geneva, Geneva, 6 September 2016.

[6] CMC interview with Muhammad Golam Sarowar, Armed Forces Division, Armed Forces of Bangladesh, in Lusaka, 12 September 2013. Notes by the CMC.

Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 25 November 2013

Mine ban policy overview

Mine Ban Treaty status

State Party

National implementation measures

Legislation reported in progress since 2002

Transparency reporting

28 February 2013

Policy

The People’s Republic of Bangladesh signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 7 May 1998, ratified on 6 September 2000, and became a State Party on 1 March 2001.

Bangladesh has not drafted implementation legislation for the Mine Ban Treaty.[1] In 2009, Bangladesh stated that it “is aware of its obligation in terms of enacting enabling legislation in support of the provisions of the Anti-personnel Mine Convention. Recently the government has initiated the process to draft legislation banning the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of Anti-personnel Mines.”[2] Bangladesh has made similar statements each year since 2002. In 2013, Bangladesh reported, “necessary implementation measures are in process” under national implementation measures.[3]

Bangladesh attended the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in December 2012 but did not make any statements and did not attend the intersessional meetings in May 2013.

Bangladesh submitted its annual Article 7 report on 28 February 2013, covering the period from 1 March 2012 to 28 February 2013.[4]

Bangladesh is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines.[5] It attended the Fourteenth Annual Conference of the protocol on 14 November 2012 but has not submitted an annual report as required by Article 13 since 2006.

Production, transfer, use, stockpiling, and destruction

Bangladeshi officials have often stated that the country has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines and never used antipersonnel mines within the country or along its borders.[6]

Bangladesh completed destruction of 189,227 stockpiled antipersonnel mines in February 2005.[7]

Bangladesh has 2,499 Iranian-produced M18A1 Claymore-type mines that it maintains can only be used in command-detonated mode, and therefore are not prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty.[8] Bangladesh has not described in detail the specific measures it has taken to ensure that the mines can only be used in command-detonated mode, as has been urged by other States Parties.

In February 2013, cross-border traders informed the Monitor that officers of the Nasaka (Burmese Border Forces) warned them that an operation to lay landmines along the land border between Myanmar and Bangladesh would begin soon. On 12 February 2013, residents of Naikongchari in Bangladesh stated to the Monitor that a Bangladeshi national saw an object which he alleged looked like a landmine near pillar 51 (the border is marked by numbered pillars). Local Border Guard of Bangladesh (BGB) forces went to pillar 51 and removed the object and reportedly sent it to their battalion office at Naikongchari.[9] Another news report noted that mines had been planted in the areas near border pillars 37 to 40. Later in February, the BGB issued a warning to locals to avoid border area and increased their surveillance to prevent people from getting near the border.[10]

In March 2013, the ICBL wrote to Bangladesh’s Minister of Foreign Affairs to request information on any recent landmine use along Bangladesh’s border with Myanmar and reminded the government that Bangladesh should declare any recovered antipersonnel landmines from its border areas in its Article 7 Report. The ICBL asked if the minister “could confirm whether military forces from Myanmar recently laid mines on Bangladeshi territory or transited Bangladesh territory to undertake mine laying on Myanmar territory, and we would welcome any additional information you have on this matter.”[11] As of October 2013, the ICBL had received no response to its letter.

Mines retained for research and training

Bangladesh has retained 12,500 antipersonnel mines for research and training under Article 3 of the treaty, which is the second highest number among States Parties. The number of antipersonnel mines retained since Bangladesh’s initial Article 7 report in 2002 has remained unchanged.[12] This indicates that mines are not being consumed during any training or research activities.

In December 2009, Bangladesh said that the retained mines “are used only to impart training to Bangladesh Armed Forces personnel, specifically to assist engineering contingents to prepare for UN peacekeeping missions with de-mining mandate.”[13] In the past, Bangladesh Army officials have stated that they need a large number of retained mines because they believe that deminer training requires live rather than dummy mines and because engineering units and training facilities are spread all over the country.[14]

In its Article 7 reports, Bangladesh has not used the expanded Form D for reporting on retained mines that State Parties agreed to in 2005. The form is intended to ensure that States Parties are transparent about the precise intended purposes, actual uses, and future plans for use of retained mines.



[1] In its first mention in its Article 7 report in April 2003, Bangladesh stated that its implementation legislation was in its “final stage of preparation.” Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 29 April 2003. However, in subsequent Article 7 reports including the one from June 2010, it has simply repeated that “Necessary implementation measures are in progress.” Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 25 June 2010.

[2] Statement by Amb. Akramul Qader, State Minister, Embassy of Bangladesh to the United States (US), Mine Ban Treaty Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 3–4 December 2009.

[3] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 28 February 2013.

[4] Bangladesh submitted 10 previous reports on 29 February 2012, 28 February 2010, 15 May 2009, 30 April 2008, 28 February 2007, 24 March 2006, 29 March 2005, 28 April 2004, 29 April 2003, and 28 August 2002.

[5] Bangladesh has not submitted an annual transparency report under Article 13 since February 2006.

[6] It most recently said this in its statement at the Second Review Conference in 2009.

[7] For details on stockpile destruction, see, Landmine Monitor Report 2005, pp. 156–157.

[8] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form B, 28 February 2007.

[9] Above information was provided to the Monitor by Bangladeshi nationals living near the border with Myanmar or who regularly cross it for business purposes. All requested anonymity. Naikongchari, February 2013.

[10] Deepak Acharjee, “Myanmar army undermines border norms,” The Independent (Bangladesh), 12 June 2013.

[11] Letter from Kasia Derlicka, Director, ICBL, to Dr. Dipu Moni, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, 8 March 2013.

[12] Bangladesh initially listed 15,000 retained mines, including 2,500 M18A1 Iranian Claymore-type mines. In 2005, it changed the M18A1 number to 2,499 for unknown reasons. In its last four Article 7 reports, it did not include the 2,499 M18A1 mines in the list of retained mines, explaining that the devices are not prohibited under the Mine Ban Treaty. In its 2013 report, Bangladesh indicated that it retains 12,500 mines. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 28 February 2013.

[13] Statement by Amb. Qader, Embassy of Bangladesh to the US, Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 3–4 December 2009.

Casualties

Last updated: 05 May 2017

The last recorded new explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties in the People’s Republic of Bangladesh occurred in 2008, when there were three reported ERW casualties in two incidents.[1] The last casualties reported as explicitly due to landmines were in 2001.

The total number of casualties from mines and ERW in Bangladesh is not known. Between 1993 and the end of 2008, there were at least 198 mine/ERW casualties; 66 people were killed and another 132 injured in landmine/ERW incidents.[2]



[1]Bomb blows away farmer’s hand in Jhenidah,” The Daily Star (Jhenidah), 30 April 2008; and “2 women killed as grenade goes off,” The Daily Star (Bandarban), 13 December 2008.

[2] ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2004: Toward a Mine-Free World (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2004). In addition to the 64 people killed and 131 injured reported until 2001, three casualties (two killed, one injured) were recorded in 2008. ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2009: Toward a Mine-Free World (Mines Action Canada, 2009).