Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 11 October 2012


Guinea-Bissau signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 22 May 2001, becoming a State Party on 1 November 2001. In December 2004, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said Guinea-Bissau was planning to enact domestic legislation to implement the treaty,[1] but in July 2007, the director of the National Mine Action Coordination Center (CAAMI) told the Monitor that the government would not adopt a new law as the treaty automatically became national law under the constitution, making mine-related crimes subject to existing penal sanctions.[2] Guinea-Bissau has reported that the Mine Ban Treaty was approved by parliament on 13 December 2000 and subsequently by the office of the president by a decree, thus entering the Convention’s obligations into law in Guinea-Bissau.[3]

Guinea-Bissau submitted its 10th Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report in 2011. As of 1 October 2012, it had yet to provide the annual updated report due April 2012.

Guinea-Bissau attended the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Phnom Penh in November–December 2011, as well as the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in May 2012.

Guinea-Bissau is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war, but it has not submitted an Article 13 report for Amended Protocol II.

Production, transfer, stockpiling, and retention

Guinea-Bissau has reported that it never produced or exported antipersonnel mines. On 17 October 2005, Guinea-Bissau destroyed the last of its 10,654 stockpiled antipersonnel mines, just ahead of its stockpile destruction deadline of 1 November 2005.[4]

In December 2011, Guinea-Bissau demonstrated transparency by reporting that an ammunition storage assessment conducted jointly with the UN Mine Action Service had identified a small number of additional stockpiled antipersonnel mines in the military bases of Quebo and Gabu.[5] Seven PMN mines were found, as well as two boxes containing an undetermined number of POMZ-2 mines. Guinea-Bissau stated its intention to destroy them no later than 31 March 2012, but as of September 2012 the Monitor had not received a confirmation that the mines had been destroyed. Under the Cartagena Action Plan, a State Party that discovers stockpiled mines after the expiration of its deadline must share such information with States Parties as soon as possible and destroy the mines as a matter of urgent priority.

In its 2008 Article 7 report, Guinea-Bissau reported having retained 109 mines for training purposes.[6] However, 100 of these—50 POMZ-2 and 50 PMD-6—were listed as “disarmed.”[7] In its 2009 report, Guinea-Bissau stated that the 50 POMZ-2 mines had been recycled for metal use, and the 50 PMD-6 mines had also been destroyed.[8] In its subsequent Article 7 reports, Guinea-Bissau listed only nine mines as retained for training: six PMN, one M409, and two M969 mines. Most recently, in 2011, Guinea-Bissau reported that there was no training underway.[9]


There have been no reports of use of antipersonnel mines in Guinea-Bissau since March and April 2006, when a faction of the Senegal-based Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (Mouvement des Forces Démocratiques de la Casamance, MFDC) fled from Senegal and laid both antipersonnel and antivehicle mines in northern Guinea-Bissau.[10]


[1] Statement by Soares Sambu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mine Ban Treaty First Review Conference, Nairobi, 2 December 2004.

[2] Email from César de Carvalho, General Director, CAAMI, 19 July 2007. This point has been stated in Guinea-Bissau’s Article 7 reports; see, for example, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report 2006 (for the period 30 April 2005 to 30 April 2006), Form A. The report cites Articles 85.1, para. h), and 68, para. e), of the Constitution as making the treaty national law, and Article 206 of the Penal Code, which allows sentencing of crimes. Penal Code Article 206, Number 1 prohibits the use of explosives.

[3] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A (for the period 30 April 2010 to 30 April 2011),$file/Guinea-Bissau+2010.pdf.

[4] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Forms F and G (for the period 30 April 2005 to 30 April 2006); and Landmine Monitor Report 2006, pp. 461–462. Guinea-Bissau destroyed 4,943 antipersonnel mines on 17 October 2005; 1,000 mines on 12 September 2002; and 4,711 mines in February 1998. There are differences between the numbers of stockpiled mines Guinea-Bissau declared in its previous Article 7 reports and the number destroyed in October 2005.

[5] Statement of Guinea-Bissau, Mine Ban Treaty Eleventh Meeting of States Parties, Phnom Penh, 1 December 2011.

[6] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report. Form D (for the period April 2007 to April 2008). Guinea-Bissau had made inconsistent statements about its intent to retain mines for training purposes. See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 377.

[7] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D (for the period 30 April 2005 to 30 April 2006). At the time of the final destruction in October 2005, Guinea-Bissau said that it would retain 67 mines. This included 58 disarmed mines (50 POMZ-2 and eight PMD-6) and nine active. Letter to Kerry Brinkert, Director, Implementation Support Unit, Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, from César de Carvalho, CAAMI, 20 October 2005.

[8] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D (for 30 April 2008 to 30 April 2009).

[9] Under mines retained for training, Guinea-Bissau stated “No training for us is taking place.” Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D (for the period 30 April 2010 to 30 April 2011),$file/Guinea-Bissau+2010.pdf.

[10] For details, see Landmine Monitor Report 2006, pp. 463–464. In April 2006, Guinea-Bissau declared that it had ousted rebel forces from its territory. The ICBL condemned the antipersonnel mine use in northern Guinea-Bissau and noted that the MFDC in 1999 signed the Banjul Declaration, which among other things, committed the group to cease using landmines.