Cameroon

Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 19 October 2017

Policy

The Republic of Cameroon signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 19 September 2002, becoming a State Party on 1 March 2003.

Legislation to enforce the antipersonnel mine prohibition domestically has not been enacted. Cameroon submitted its initial Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report on 5 December 2005 and a subsequent report in August 2009, but has not provided any further annual reports.

Cameroon destroyed its stockpile of 9,187 antipersonnel mines in April 2003. Cameroon apparently retains 3,154 “inactive mines” for training purposes.[1] Cameroon has not provided further reporting on the use of retained mines, as agreed by States Parties.

Cameroon attended the Fifteenth Meeting of States Parties in Santiago, Chile, in November–December 2016, but did not make any statements. It did not attend the treaty’s intersessional meetings in June 2017.

Cameroon is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines, but not CCW Protocol V on explosive remnants of war.

Use

Cameroon has previously stated that it has not used, produced, or exported antipersonnel mines and will not facilitate their transit through its country.[2]

Non-state armed groups

In both 2016 and early 2017, UNMAS identified use of pressure plate-initiated improvised mines by Boko Haram in northern Cameroon. However, it is unclear if these improvised mines are detonated due to the pressure exerted by weight of a person or a vehicle.[3]

Most recently, a soldier and two civilians were killed on 15 September 2017 by a landmine planted by Boko Haram between Abdouri and Woulba, in the country’s northern region.[4]

The use of victim-activated improvised mines has regularly been reported in the northern extreme of the country, where it shares borders with Nigeria and Chad, though several of the incidents reported as “landmines” in the press appear to be antivehicle mines or remote-controlled improvised explosive devices.[5] In May 2015, Cameroon’s Defense Minister, Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o, stated that the Cameroonian military’s efforts to secure the country's northern border with Nigeria are being hampered by landmines planted by Boko Haram.[6] Boko Haram has been documented to manufacture and use victim-activated improvised explosive devices across the border in Nigeria.[7] In 2015, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported the presence of landmines in Fotokol and Mayo Moskota, both in Logone et Chari department.[8]



[1] See, ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 273.

[2] Statement of Cameroon, Mine Ban Treaty Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 19 September 2002.

[3] UNMAS, “Mission Report: UNMAS Explosive Hazard Mitigation Response in Cameroon 9 January–13 April 2017,” undated, p. 11.

[4] Simon Ateba, “Cameroon: Over 109 Houses Set on Fire by Boko Haram in Overnight Attacks,” Cameroon Concord, 18 September 2017.

[5] See for instance, Felix Nkambeh Tih, “Landmine explosion kills 2 soldiers in north Cameroon,” Anadolu Agency, 24 April 2014.

[6] Moki Edwin Kindzeka, “Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines,” Voice of America (VOA), 24 May 2015; Moki Edwin Kindzeka, “Cameroon Vigilantes Hunt for Boko Haram Landmines,” VOA, 4 March 2016; and “Six villagers injured in Boko haram landmine explosion,” Journal du Cameroun, 17 May 2017.

[7] See, ICBL, “Country Profile: Nigeria: Mine Ban Policy,” 21 November 2016.

[8] UNHCR/International Organisation for Migration (IOM), “Cameroon: Far North – Displaced Population Profiling,” 19 May 2015.