Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 24 October 2017


The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. In December 2010, Nepal stated that recommendations regarding accession to the Mine Ban Treaty would be completed “soon.”[1]

The November 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) committed the government and the former Communist Party of Nepal/Maoist to halt the use of mines and required the parties to assist each other to mark and clear mines and booby-traps.[2] Subsequent to the CPA, it took until 2015 for Nepal to draft and adopt a new constitution as a republic. Since that time Nepal has had four Prime Ministers.

The reason for Nepal’s inaction in acceding to the Mine Ban Treaty remains unclear. The Nepal Campaign to Ban Landmines (NCBL) drafted an Article 7 Report in cooperation with the army and submitted to the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction (MoPR) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The NCBL requested the government to submit the voluntary report, but this did not occur. The NCBL has consistently engaged all key stakeholder ministries, who have contributed to awareness-raising and capacity-building on mine action through NCBL programs.[3]

The NCBL has received successive statements of support from key ministers in the MoPR, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Defence. The NCBL organized events jointly with the MoPR, such as the International Mine Awareness Day on 4 April. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prakash Sharan Mahat said to an NCBL delegation that he was one of the driving force to sign the Biological Weapons Convention and that he would lobby for the accession of the Mine Ban Treaty also. He will contact to the line ministries.[4] The NCBL met with Tirtha Raj Wagle, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who suggested organizing an inter-ministerial discussion.[5] However the former officials NCBL spoke with were subsequently transferred in each case, and no further progress has been made towards accession.[6]

Nepal has not attended a Meeting of States Parties to the convention since the Tenth Meeting of States Parties in December 2010, and did not attend the conventions Third Review Conference in September 2014. The NCBL forwarded via email to the mission of Nepal in Geneva an invitation letter for Nepal to participate in the Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings, and have met with Brigu Dhungana, Deputy Consular of Geneva Mission on 7 April 2014, and with Ambassador Deepak Dhital and Counsellor Suresh Adhikari on 6 September 2016.[7]

On 6 December 2016, Nepal abstained from voting on UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 71/34 calling for universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty. This was the tenth consecutive year that Nepal abstained on the annual resolution, after voting in favor of all previous pro-ban resolutions since 1996.[8] In a June 2013 explanation of its abstention to the NCBL, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative said, “The reason for abstaining in the UNGA resolutions may be that the participating teams may not be ‘well-informed’ in those matters.” He said he would send a message to the concerned authorities regarding future votes.[9]

At one point a total of 27 of Nepal’s political parties signed an NCBL letter to seek Nepal’s accession to the Mine Ban Treaty.[10] The NCBL undertook a series of meetings with key government ministries to advocate for steps the government could take toward Mine Ban Treaty accession. This included a meeting in June with the Joint Secretary of the MoPR regarding the submission of Mine Ban Treaty voluntary Article 7 reports, as well as a joint meeting in July 2016 with the MoPR, Nepal Army, Armed Police Force, Nepal Police, and Department of Education, and meetings in August with ex-generals from the Nepal Army.[11] Also in July, a delegation from the NCBL met with Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Minister of Foreign Affairs. The NCBL also handed over the Survivor’s Declaration of November 2016 (Kathmandu). The NCBL delegation urged the government to accede the Mine Ban Treaty. The NCBL also urged the government to provide support to victims of landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The NCBL organized a photo and painting exhibition on 1–3 December 2016 and organized a survivors rally on 3 December 2016. The NCBL continued to organize public activities in 2017 to encourage accession to the Mine Ban Treaty, including a photo and painting exhibition in Basantapur on 1 March, a joint event with the MoPR on 4 April 2017, and a remembrance of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of Mine Ban Treaty in Durbar Square in Kathmandu on 18 September 2017.[12]


On 21 June 2010, Nepal wrote to the Monitor that “Nepal does not produce any kind of antipersonnel landmines and the landmines that the Nepal Army is using have been produced abroad.”[13] Nepal repeated this in its remarks to States Parties in December 2010 at the Tenth Meeting of States Parties.[14]

Use, transfer, and stockpiling

Nepal is not known to have ever exported mines. In December 2009, the MoPR stated that Nepal has not planted mines since the end of the insurgency in 2006,[15] and that Nepal does not “enable the transfer” of mines.

During the conflict, the Nepal Army used antipersonnel mines and IEDs, assembled in-country, around military installations, police posts, and infrastructure. The Nepal Army has stated that it started using mines in 2002 and estimates it deployed around 14,000 antipersonnel mines (including 11,000 PMD-6 mines and 3,000 POMZ-2 and M14 mines). It also estimates that it used about 25,000 command-detonated IEDs.[16] In June 2010, Nepal told the Monitor that it used mines in 53 locations and IEDs in 275 locations during the conflict.[17] In June 2011, Prime Minister Jhalnath Khanal detonated the final mine, ending clearance of the areas mined by the Nepal Army during the civil war. He stated, “Today is a historical day because Nepal has been liberated from all kinds of landmines.”[18]

Nepal wrote to the Monitor in June 2010 that it is now only using antipersonnel mines for training purposes. It stated, “Landmines needed for this purpose have been retained in minimum number,” noting that this is in line with Article 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty.[19] The Nepal Police, Armed Police Forces, and the Nepal Army also retain stocks of IEDs.[20]

A Nepal Army spokesperson said in 2007 that the army had a stockpile of about 3,000 antipersonnel and antivehicle mines, including POMZ-2 and PMD antipersonnel mines. Nepal imported its mines from China, India, and the former Soviet Union, mostly in the 1980s.[21]

The former rebel Communist Party of Nepal/Maoist (CPN/M) became a part of the interim government in April 2007 and led the government in 2008–2009, 2011–2013 and 2016–2017. There have been no reports of new use of antipersonnel mines, victim-activated IEDs, or booby-traps by any armed group within the country during the reporting period.

[1] Statement of Nepal, Mine Ban Treaty Tenth Meeting of States Parties, 2 December 2010.

[2] CPA between Government of Nepal and then Communist Party of Nepal/Maoists (CPN/M), 21 November 2006, points 5.1.1(i), 5.1.2, and 5.1.4. Earlier, the May 2006 bilateral cease-fire between the government of Nepal and the CPN/M, and accompanying Code of Conduct, committed both sides to discontinuing the use of mines.

[3] Email from Purna Shova Chitrikar, Director, NCBL, 23 October 2017.

[4] NCBL meeting with Prakash Sharan Mahat, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kathmandu, 23 November 2016.

[5] NCBL meeting with Tirtha Raj Wagle, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 24 March 2017.

[6] List of Ministers whom the NCBL previously met include: Janardan Sharma, Rakam Chemjong, Girija Prasad Koirala, Sher Bahadur Deuwa, Sahana Pradhan, Satya Pahadi, Shanti Devi Yadav, Mahendra Pandey, Bal Krishna Khand, Narahari Acharya, Prakash Sharan Mahat, and Krishna Bahadur Mahara among others.

[7] Email from Purna Shova Chitrikar, NCBL, 23 October 2017.

[8] An advisor to the Prime Minister later told the NCBL that the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the UN in New York decides how to vote. Telephone interview with Raghuji Panta, Advisor to the Prime Minister, 23 May 2010.

[9] Meeting with Modita Bajracharya, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kathmandu, 26 June 2013.

[10] Several parties that previously signed have merged with other parties, changed names or ceased to exist. However, the following currently existing political parties have signed the pledge: Nepali Congress, CPN (UML), Nepal Communist Party (Maoist- Maoist Center), Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum, CPN (ML), Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Nepali Janata Dal, Samajvadi Janata Party, Dalit Janajati Party, Nepa: Rastriya Party, and Rastriya Janamorchha.

[11] Email from Purna Shova Chitrakar, NCBL, 9 December 2016.

[12] NCBL, “News Updates,” undated.

[13] Letter No. GE/2010/576 from Hari Prasad Odari, Second Secretary, Permanent Mission of Nepal to the UN in Geneva, 21 June 2010.

[14] Statement of Nepal, Mine Ban Treaty Tenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 December 2010.

[15] Statement by Rakam Chemjong, Mine Ban Treaty Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 4 December 2009.

[16] See, Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 936–937. The Monitor reported indicators of mine use by government forces as early as 1999.

[17] Letter No. GE/2010/576 from Hari Prasad Odari, Permanent Mission of Nepal to the UN in Geneva, 21 June 2010.

[18]Nepal declared free of mines five years after civil war,” BBC News, 14 June 2011. Nepal continues to clear IED fields laid by the security forces during the civil war. Four International Mine Action Standard (IMAS) Demining Platoons were involved in the clearance of landmines, IEDs, and explosive remnants of war (ERWs). Clearance operations started on 13 October 2007 and was successfully completed on 14 June 2011. Nepal declared mine-free on 14 June 2011. NAMACC has cleared an area total of 225,217.46m2 during which it found 10,941 antipersonnel mines and 1,078 ERW/IEDs. The Nepal Army cleared conventional Russian antipersonnel mines in 53 locations (PMD-6 & M14: Blast type and POMZ-2: Fragmentation type) and command-detonated devices in 341 locations. The Nepal Army laid command-detonated IEDs within 341 bases for security measures according to a presentation by the Nepal Army at an Advanced Mine Risk Education Training, jointly organized by the NCBL and MoPR, Makawanpur, 7–8 August 2014

[19] Letter No. GE/2010/576 from Hari Prasad Odari, Permanent Mission of Nepal to the UN in Geneva, 21 June 2010.

[20] Presentation by DSP Benu Prasad Pathak, Armed Police Force, NCBL Interaction Program, 10 January 2011.