Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 02 August 2018

Summary: Signatory Nigeria has not taken any steps to ratify the convention besides holding stakeholder consultations. Nigeria has participated in many of the convention’s meetings, most recently in September 2016, and voted in favor of a key United Nations (UN) resolution on the convention in December 2017.

Nigeria is not known to have produced or exported cluster munitions, but imported them and possesses a stockpile. In 2015 and 2016, Nigeria alleged that fighters from the armed non-state group Boko Haram have repurposed individual submunitions to use in improvised explosive devices (IEDs).


The Federal Republic of Nigeria signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 12 June 2009, but it has taken few steps to ratify it, besides conduct stakeholder consultations.[1] Nigerian officials have committed to ratify the convention as soon as possible, but the process had not advanced to the National Assembly as of June 2018.[2]

Nigeria participated in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions and joined in the consensus adoption of the convention text in Dublin in May 2008. It attended the Signing Conference in Oslo in December 2008 as an observer only and said it would sign after completing internal processes.[3] Nigeria subsequently signed the convention at the UN in New York in June 2009.

Nigeria has participated in most of the convention’s meetings as well as regional workshops, most recently in Kampala, Uganda in May 2017.[4]

Nigeria voted in favor of a key UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution promoting implementation and universalization of the convention in December 2017.[5]

In its capacity as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC), Nigeria voted in favor of a May 2014 resolution expressing concern at the use of cluster munitions in South Sudan.[6] Nigeria also voted in favor of a June 2015 UNSC resolution on Sudan that expressed concern at evidence of cluster munition use in Darfur.[7]

Nigeria is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is a signatory to the Convention on Conventional Weapons, but has not yet ratified it.

Use, production, and transfer

Nigeria is not known to have produced or exported cluster munitions, but imported them in the past.

Sierra Leone has alleged that Nigerian peacekeepers participating in an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) monitoring mission used cluster munitions in Sierra Leone in 1997, but the mission’s Force Commander General Victor Malu denied the allegation at the time.[8] In May 2012, Sierra Leone reiterated the allegations of use.[9] Nigeria again denied the use in September 2012, calling the finding “wrong and incorrect.”[10]


The status and composition of Nigeria’s stockpiled cluster munitions is not known, but in April 2012, a government official said Nigeria stockpiles United Kingdom (UK)-made BL755 cluster bombs.[11]In September 2012, Nigeria requested technical assistance and support from States Parties to destroy the BL755 cluster bombs.[12]During the First Review Conference of the convention in 2015, Nigeria again requested “cooperation and assistance” to fulfill its stockpile destruction obligations.[13]

In 2015, Nigeria’s armed forces (Defence Headquarters) issued a public warning on the threat posed by IEDs made by Boko Haram from submunitions removed from cluster munitions.[14]The Ministry of Defence did not name the type of cluster munitions depicted in photographs of the weapons that it said Nigerian Army engineers in Adamawa state recovered from arms caches found in areas contested by Boko Haram. The submunitions were the types used in French-made BLG-66 cluster munitions, the same type Nigeria is alleged to have used in Sierra Leone in 1997. Agence France-Pressespeculated that Boko Haram could have taken the cluster munitions from Nigerian ammunition stocks or received them from smugglers who obtained them from Libyan arms depots.[15]

Nigeria has not indicated if it will retain cluster munitions for research or training purposes.

[1] Statement of Nigeria, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, Norway, 11 September 2012; and email from Mimidoo Achakpa, Network Coordinator, IANSA Women’s Network-Nigeria, 20 June 2012.

[2] Previously, in August 2016, government officials confirmed Nigeria’s intent to complete its ratification of the convention, but said the process had been slow due to a lack of prioritization. ICBL-CMC meeting with Tony Alonwu, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN in Geneva, in Addis Ababa, 5 August 2016. See also, statement of Nigeria, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, Zambia, September 2013; statement of Nigeria, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 18 April 2012; and statement of Nigeria, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 10 November 2010. Notes by the CMC.

[3] For details on Nigeria’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 223–224.

[4] Nigeria has participated in all of the convention’s Meetings of States Parties except in 2014 and 2017. It attended the First Review Conference in 2015 and intersessional meetings in 2011–2012 and 2014.

[5]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 72/54, 4 December 2017. It voted in favor of previous UN resolutions supporting the convention in 2015 and 2016.

[7] UNSC Resolution 2228, 29 June 2015.

[8] According to sources close to the Sierra Leonean military, in 1997 Nigerian forces operating as ECOMOG peacekeepers dropped two cluster bombs on Lokosama, near Port Loko. See, IRIN-WA Weekly Roundup, IRIN, 10 March 1997. Additionally, Nigerian ECOMOG peacekeepers were reported to have used French-produced BLG-66 Belouga cluster bombs in an attack on the eastern town of Kenema. See also, “10 Killed in Nigerian raid in eastern Sierra Leone,” Agence France-Presse (AFP), 11 December 1997.

[9] Statement of Sierra Leone, Accra Regional Conference on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, 28 May 2012.

[10] Statement of Nigeria, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 11 September 2012.

[11] Statement of Nigeria, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 18 April 2012. Jane’s Information Group has reported that the Nigerian Air Force possesses BL755 cluster bombs. Robert Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, Issue 44 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2004), p. 843.

[12] Statement of Nigeria, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 11 September 2012.

[13] See, for example, Croatia Progress Report, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Review Conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia, 6 October 2015.

[14]Boko Haram has cluster bombs: Nigeria’s DHQ,” The News Nigeria, 8 October 2015.

[15]‘Boko Haram cluster bombs’ may come from Nigerian military,” AFP, 13 October 2015. See also, Philip Obaji Jr., “Boko Haram’s Cluster-Bomb Girls,” The Daily Beast, 2 October 2016.

Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 16 October 2018


The Federal Republic of Nigeria acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 27 September 2001, and the treaty entered into force for the country on 1 March 2002.

Nigeria has stated since 2004 that it is in the process of enacting national legislation to implement the treaty. In its last Article 7 report, submitted in 2012, Nigeria again stated, “Domestication of MBT [Mine Ban Treaty] is in progress,” as it had also noted in its 2009 and 2010 reports.[1] Nigeria has not submitted any further Article 7 reports since 2012.

The current status of national implementation legislation is not known. In September 2013, the Monitor was informed that a committee on international humanitarian law was considering the status of international instruments that Nigeria is party to or has yet to join. While consultations were ongoing, the implementing legislation for the Mine Ban Treaty had not yet been sent by the committee to parliament.[2] In 2006, Nigeria reported that an implementation bill was undergoing its first reading in the National Assembly.[3]

Nigeria attended the Fifteenth Meeting of States Parties in Santiago in November–December 2016, but did not make any statements. Nigeria did not attend the intersessional meetings in June 2017.

It is unclear if Nigeria is in violation of its Article 5 obligations. In 2004, Nigeria did not report any contamination in its initial Article 7 report. Subsequent Article 7 reports suggest contamination was periodically cleared in areas associated with the Biafran civil war. In October 2017, the Economic Community of Western African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice has awarded 88 billion Naira (US$242.4million) damages against the federal government for its failure to clear landmines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) remaining from the civil war in the southeast of the country. In a consent judgment the court ordered the federal government to commence clearance within 45 days. Landmine victims launched the legal case against the Nigerian government at the ECOWAS Court in 2012, requesting the court to order the Nigerian government to act on explosive hazards remaining in 11 states of the country.[4]

Nigeria has signed, but not ratified, both the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).


Boko Haram militants have been using landmines, improvised landmines, and other types of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) since mid-2014. Nigeria has not provided an Article 7 report since 2012, which would update States Parties regarding any new mine use within the country. Nigeria did not provide updated information at the November–December 2016 Meeting of States Parties.

In September 2018, Mines Advisory Group (MAG) stated that there was evidence of significant new use of landmines by Boko Haram and its splinter groups. MAG reported that locally-manufactured antipersonnel landmines were used on roads, fields, and within villages, mostly in Borno state, but also in Yobe and Adamawa.[5]

Since 2016, Nigeria suffered a series of incidents appearing to involve improvised antipersonnel mines.[6] On 6 March 2018, four loggers were killed when they stepped on landmines left by Boko Haram near Dikwa, 90 kilometers east of Maiduguri in Borno state. The four had gone to retrieve a vehicle abandoned the previous day following a Boko Haram ambush.[7] On 21 August 2017, at least two Nigerian cattle farmers were killed and three severely injured when they stepped on a landmine while traveling to Biu, Borno state. The civilians were apparently attempting to flee a Boko Haram ambush, and were running across fields when they triggered the landmine, allegedly planted by the insurgents.[8]

In 2016, a technical expert working for the Norwegian Refugee Council provided the Monitor with photographs and technical characteristics of Boko Haram-made victim-activated improvised landmines that are triggered by a pressure plate. The expert alleged the technology was transferred to Boko Haram from Al-Shabaab in Somalia.[9]

Previously, in August 2015, Colonel Sani Usman, the spokesperson of the Nigerian army, was reported to have stated that the army had cleared landmines planted by Boko Haram militants from the Gwoza-Yamteke road in Borno state. He said the militants converted chemistry laboratories at the Dikwa School of Agriculture into bomb-making factories when they seized the town.[10] The Nigerian army released a series of photos showing its engineers removing items planted along the Gwoza-Yamteke highway.[11] In August 2016, a Nigerian media outlet reported that the army was involved in clearing Boko Haram landmines.[12] (See the Mine Action profile for more details). That month, the Nigerian army reportedly arrested five Boko Haram militants who were alleged to be laying landmines.[13]

Production, transfer, and stockpiling

In 2009 and 2010, Nigeria reported the past production of what it described as “conventional [antipersonnel] landmines” that were victim-activated and attached a photograph of what it said was a “Biafran fabricated landmine (OGBUNIGWE) used during the Nigerian Civil War 1967–70.”[14] Nigeria has stated that it has not acquired or used antipersonnel mines since the 1967–1970 Biafra Civil War. Nigeria has denied allegations that its ECOWAS troops used mines in the 1990s in Liberia and Sierra Leone.[15]

In February 2001, the Chief of Operations of the Nigerian army reported to the Monitor that Nigeria had destroyed its antipersonnel mines remaining after the Biafra War, and had not retained any for training or development purposes.[16] In May 2002, however, Nigeria presented photographs to the Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction showing that antipersonnel mines were among munitions involved in a January 2002 fire and explosion at the Ammunition Transit Depot in Ikeja Cantoment, Lagos.[17]

In its initial Article 7 transparency report in 2004, Nigeria declared a stockpile of 3,364 Dimbat mines for research and training.[18] In 2005, Nigeria reported that all of its retained mines had been destroyed.[19] Nigeria stated in 2007, “With the completion of these destruction exercises, we are able to report that there are no more anti-personnel mines on Nigeria soil.”[20] However, in 2009, Nigeria reported 3,364 “British made AP mines” as retained for training and also stated that it had destroyed 9,786 stockpiled “British made AP landmines” in 2005.[21] In 2010 and again in 2012, Nigeria continued to list retaining 3,364 “British and Czechoslovakian made AP Landmine[s]” but did not specify the types.[22]

[1] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report(for the period 1 April 2010–31 March 2011), Form A. In the 2009 report, Nigeria also stated that an interministerial committee had been formed to prepare a draft bill and that once drafted, the bill would be presented to the National Assembly for consideration. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report(for the period 2006–2009), Form A.

[2] Interview with Mimidoo Achakpa, Coordinator, International Action Network on Small Arms (Nigeria), Director, Women’s Right to Education Programme (WREP), Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, in Lusaka, 13 September 2013.

[3] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 22 August 2006.

[4] ECOWAS Court, “Nigeria Agrees to pay N50 billion Naira to civil war bomb victims,” 30 October 2017. Judgement included a further N38 billion Naira “for the total demining and reconstruction of the communities; rebuilding of public buildings, creation of mine centres, the construction of class rooms and other infrastructure.” See also, Tobias Lengnan Dapam, “Towards clearing abandoned civil war landmines,” People’s Daily, 24 November 2017.

[5] MAG, “Out of Sight: Landmines and the Crisis in Northeast Nigeria,” September 2018, p. 4. MAG states that their research revealed that almost 90% of the victims of explosive incidents were from antipersonnel landmines, with a casualty rate of almost 19 per day during 2017 and early 2018.

[6] See, for example: “Five killed in Boko Haram mine blast, ambush,” Vanguard, 21 June 2017.

[7] “Boko Haram terror continues, 10 killed in fresh attacks,” Telangana Today (AFP), 7 March 2018.

[9] Email exchange with Manuel Gonzal, Security Advisor, Norwegian Refugee Council - Nigeria, 7 March 2016.

[10] “Nigerian Army Disables Boko Haram Explosives,” Voice of America, 5 August 2015.

[12] Maiduguri Duku Joel, “Military receives equipment to clear Boko Haram landmines in Northeast,” The Nation, 20 August 2016.

[13] Seun Opejobi, “Boko Haram: Troops arrest four responsible for planting landmines, bomb experts in Borno,” Daily Post, 12 August 2016. Photographs of locally manufactured victim-activated, pressure plate, improvised mines accompanied the media article. It is not clear under which law or regulation the militants will be charged. Nigeria is not known to have implementation legislation for the Mine Ban Treaty.

[15] For further details, see, Landmine Monitor Report 2001, pp. 256–257; and Landmine Monitor Report 1999, pp. 201–203.

[16] Interview with Maj. Gen. Yellow-Duke, Bamako, in Mali, 15 February 2001.

[17] Presentation by Bob Scott, Munitions Consultants, United Kingdom (UK), Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 30 May 2002. For details, see, Landmine Monitor Report 2004, pp. 638–641.

[18] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 22 June 2004. The origins of the mines were not given, but the Monitor has reported that in the past Nigeria imported antipersonnel mines from the former Yugoslavia, the former Soviet Union, the former Czechoslovakia, France, and the UK. For details, see, Landmine Monitor Report 1999, pp. 202–203.

[19] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Forms D and G, 15 April 2005. Two hundred antipersonnel mines were destroyed in November 2004, and the remaining 3,164 were destroyed in February 2005 in a ceremony witnessed by Nigeria’s then-President, officials from the Ministry of Defense, and foreign observers. Nigeria also reported destroying at the same time 1,836 pieces of unexploded ordnance recovered from the Lagos Ammunition Transit Depot explosion. It did not specify how many of these items were antipersonnel mines.

[20] Letter from Amb. Dr. Martin I. Uhomoibhi, Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN in Geneva, 10 July 2007.

Mine Action

Last updated: 15 November 2018


Treaty status

Mine Ban Treaty

State Party

Article 5 deadline: 1 March 2012

Needs to request an extension

Mine action management

National mine action management actors

No formal mine action program

United Nations Agencies

UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) assessment mission in 2017

Mine action strategic plan

None, but the 2016 Buhari Plan for Rebuilding the North East from the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative (PCNI) includes a plan for demining

Operators in 2017


Armed forces


National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), responsible for clearance according to PCNI



Danish Demining Group (DDG)—risk education, and EOD training

Mines Advisory Group (MAG)—risk education and non-technical survey

Extent of contamination as of end 2017


Not known, includes improvised mines

Other ERW contamination

Not known

Land release in 2017


Demining only conducted to support military operations, results not reported

Some limited non-technical survey conducted

Other ERW

Not reported



In 2017, due to limited resources, the army’s priority was to provide demining support for military operations. The army lacked the capacity to undertake humanitarian demining and called for additional equipment, ongoing support, and training

Some equipment and training has been provided to the army and police in 2017 and 2018

In early 2018, it was reported that some demining was taking place to facilitate the save return of internally displaced persons (IDPs)

Notes: EOD = explosive ordinance disposal; ERW = explosive remnants of war.



In 2017–2018, numerous incidents involving both civilian and military casualties from landmines and a range of other locally produced explosive devices planted by Boko Haram continued to be reported in the northeast of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The majority of reports appear to describe mines of an improvised nature produced or adapted locally by Boko Haram, whether antipersonnel or antivehicle.

The extent of contamination from mines and other explosive devices is not known. Incidents involving landmines and other explosive devices have been reported in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states, with Borno state the most heavily affected. According to the Nigerian military, the Sambisa forest in Borno state, Boko Haram’s stronghold, has been heavily mined, along with “extensive” mine use by Boko Haram around military positions.[1]

UNMAS carried out a scoping mission to the three northeastern states in April 2017 to assess the extent of the threat from munitions, explosive remnants of war (ERW), and “unconfirmed but credible reports of landmines.” It received reports of the use of both antipersonnel and antivehicle mines of an improvised nature around defensive positions.[2]

UNMAS confirmed that use of explosive devices by Boko Haram was extensive, and included body-borne, vehicle-borne, pressure plate-activated, and to a lesser extent, command-wire and radio-controlled devices. In particular, Boko Haram had made significant use of pressure-plate-activated mines on main supply routes, primarily to attack military convoys, it said.[3]

A November 2015 assessment in Adamawa and Borno states by international demining organization Danish Demining Group (DDG) had noted local community reports of a number of local government areas in Borno state they thought needed clearance, including Bama, Dikwa, Gwoza, Kala-Balge, Kukawa, Marte, and Ngala.[4] Interviewees identified contamination including antipersonnel and antivehicle mines resembling Chinese No. 4 antipersonnel mines and Type 72 antivehicle mines; a variety of body-borne, vehicle-borne, and remotely controlled devices; as well as cluster munition remnants, mortars, rockets and rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades, and Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS).[5]

In 2015, the Nigerian army warned civilians of the threat of improvised devices using adapted submunitions. Caches of French-made air-delivered BLG-66 “Beluga” cluster munitions were reportedly found in Adamawa state, alleged to have been taken from stockpiles of the Nigerian armed forces or smuggled in from Libya.[6]

Contamination from mines and other explosive devices has had a serious humanitarian impact, impeding the return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and exacerbating the crisis in the region.[7] In October 2016, the governor of Adamawa state confirmed that many IDPs continued to be unable to return to their farms due to a fear of landmines.[8] Roads were closed to civilian traffic by the military due to the presence of mines or other explosive devices and there were numerous reports of civilian casualties and farmers who feared returning to work their fields, contributing to sharply worsening food shortages.[9] According to UNMAS, as of April 2017, Borno state hosted 80%—1.5 million—of Nigeria’s IDP population, and 400,000 returnees were living in areas affected by the conflict.[10] It reported that the security situation in Adamawa and Yobe states had improved gradually, but remained volatile, especially in the northeastern part of Yobe.[11]

UNMAS also declared that the likelihood of explosive accidents might significantly increase with the planned mass return of more than one million refugees and IDPs.[12] It similarly expected a significant threat to UN and humanitarian agencies with the expansion of relief efforts and increased use of main supply routes.[13]

Military casualties have also been reported among soldiers clearing mines. In 2015, two soldiers were killed and two others seriously wounded during clearance operations in Gudumbali town.[14] UNMAS reported in April 2017 that manual render-safe procedures were the primary method used by the Nigerian military EOD teams, which could be contributing to a high number of casualties among EOD personnel.[15]

There have been numerous reports of mine/ERW casualties. (For details see Nigeria’s casualty profile.)

Program Management

There is no structured mine action program in Nigeria. Both Nigeria’s armed forces and its police carry out EOD activities and ERW clearance. The state police have EOD units that support the army in clearing UXO and explosive devices. The army’s ERW clearance is primarily focused on facilitating military operations and clearing roads and areas to facilitate access for troops to carry out attacks on Boko Haram and to keep military supply routes open.[16] The 2016 Buhari Plan for Rebuilding the North East from the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative (PCNI) includes a plan for demining as part of clean-up operations in reclaimed communities before resettlement of IDPs. It assigns responsibility for clearance to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Nigerian military and paramilitary agencies.[17] In September 2018, it was announced that the federal government was planning to spend $6.7 billion to deliver the PCNI.[18]

In March 2017, the United States (US) reported donating demining and EOD equipment to Nigeria and providing mine action training for Nigeria’s EOD teams at the Nigerian School of Military Engineering.[19] In December 2016, a media source published photos of a “newly-acquired” Slovak-made Bozena demining machine, which it said had been deployed on roads in Borno state.[20] In 2015, it was reported that Nigeria had ordered 10 demining machines from a Slovakian company, with five scheduled for delivery in 2015 and the remainder in 2016.[21] In 2015, 24 Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs) were said to have been given to the Nigerian army by the US.[22]

In April 2017, a senior Nigerian military commander informed UNMAS that due to limited resources, the army’s priority was to provide demining support for military operations. Saying that it lacked the capacity to undertake humanitarian demining, he called for additional equipment ongoing support, and refresher training.[23]

The 2017 and 2018 Humanitarian Response Plans from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) for northeast Nigeria both make reference to mine action activities, in particular emphasizing the importance of mine risk education, which features in three of the 2018 plan’s objectives.[24] In 2017, DDG was delivering mine risk education sessions for community members and humanitarian organizations in the northeast states. It will also provide recommendations to the government regarding how to ensure injury surveillance systems include data on injuries from mines and other ERW. Funded by the European Union (EU), the project is part of a wider initiative to promote stability in Nigeria’s northeast and will run from December 2016 to November 2018.[25] In 2017, DDG also delivered initial EOD training to police officers in Maiduguri, Borno state.[26]

Mine Advisory Group (MAG) has been working in Nigeria since 2016 initially in arms management and destruction. In March 2017, MAG secured funding to begin providing risk education to IDP, refugees and host communities affected by the conflict. MAG is also working to map mine contamination in northeast Nigeria and has conducted non-technical survey in accessible areas of Borno state.[27] In July 2018, UNMAS deployed a rapid response team to Maiduguri in order to develop a program aimed at coordinating and supporting humanitarian mine action.[28]

Land Release

MAG conducted non-technical survey in Konduga, Gubio, Bama, and Gwoza, in Borno state in 2017 and 2018. Due to issues with access this relatively “light touch” non-technical survey is based on collecting information from individuals during mine risk education sessions. When participants report having seen a suspicious device while they were fleeing the conflict, MAG send staff to verify, and if this is confirmed, they demarcate, take pictures and global positioning system (GPS) coordinates, and hand over the information to the security forces. During this process MAG has located 23 devices across 17 different locations within Borno state.[29]

In April 2017, Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai reported that the army was carrying out limited clearance of routes in forested areas to enable troop movements, but said that humanitarian demining of the Sambisa forest as such had not begun. He called for assistance from the UN and NGO demining organizations.[30]

In March 2018, Colonel Garba Nura, Acting Brigade Commander of the 21st Armoured Brigade, reported that demining of roads and general areas was taking place around Bama in Borno state to facilitate the safe return of IDPs to the area.[31]

Article 5 Compliance

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, Nigeria was required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 March 2012. At the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties in November 2011, Nigeria declared it had cleared all known antipersonnel mines from its territory.[32]

Under the convention’s agreed framework, in the event a mined area is discovered after the expiry of a State Party’s Article 5 clearance deadline, it should immediately inform all other States Parties of this discovery and undertake to destroy or ensure the destruction of all antipersonnel mines as soon as possible. Nigeria has not submitted an Article 7 transparency report since 2012.

Given the extent of apparent contamination from antipersonnel mines, Nigeria should request a new extended Article 5 deadline, which should be no more than 10 years. It must also continue to fulfil its reporting obligations under the Mine Ban Treaty, including by reporting on the location of all suspected or confirmed mined areas under its jurisdiction or control and on the status of programs for the destruction of all antipersonnel mines therein.[33] As of September 2018, Nigeria had not made a public declaration of any newly discovered antipersonnel mine contamination to States Parties of the Mine Ban Treaty.


The Monitor acknowledges the contributions of the Mine Action Review (, which has conducted the primary mine action research in 2018 and shared all its country-level landmine reports (from “Clearing the Mines 2018”) and country-level cluster munition reports (from “Clearing Cluster Munition Remnants 2018”) with the Monitor. The Monitor is responsible for the findings presented online and in its print publications.

[2] Bruno Bouchardy, Field Coordinator, UNMAS Mali, and Michael Hands, Mine Action Officer, UN Office to the African Union, “Mission Report: UNMAS Explosive Threat Scoping Mission to Nigeria 3 to 14 April 2017,” April 2017, p. 3.

[3] UNMAS, “Mission Report: UNMAS Explosive Threat Scoping Mission to Nigeria 3 to 14 April 2017,” April 2017, p. 3.

[5] Ibid.

[6]Boko Haram has cluster bombs: Nigeria’s DHQ,” The News Nigeria, 8 October 2015; “Nigeria: Boko Haram Cluster Bomb May Come from Nigerian Military,” AllAfrica, 14 October 2015; and P. Hazlewood, “‘Boko Haram cluster bombs’ may come from Nigerian military,” AFP, 13 October 2015.

[7] H. Idris and I. Sawab, “Nigeria: Liberated Areas – Why IDPs Can’t Return Home,” AllAfrica, 7 March 2015; I. Sawab and H. K. Matazu, “Nigeria: Boko Haram – Plying Borno Roads Still a Nightmare,” AllAfrica, 9 May 2015; and Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, “Nigeria IDP Figures Analysis,” 31 December 2015.

[8] K. R. Anwar and R. W. Ahmad, “Nigeria: Fear of Landmines Scares Adamawa Farmers, Jibrilla says,” AllAfrica, 24 October 2016

[9] Sawab and Matazu, “Nigeria: Boko Haram – Plying Borno Roads Still a Nightmare,” AllAfrica, 9 May 2015; Idris and Sawab, “Nigeria: Liberated Areas – Why IDPs Can’t Return Home,” AllAfrica, 7 March 2015; and K. Sieff, “A famine unlike we have ever seen,” The Washington Post, 13 October 2016.

[10] UNMAS, “Mission Report: UNMAS Explosive Threat Scoping Mission to Nigeria 3 to 14 April 2017,” April 2017, p. 2.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid., p. 3.

[13] Ibid.

[14] I. Sawab and H. K. Matazu, “Nigeria: Boko Haram – Plying Borno Roads Still a Nightmare,” AllAfrica, 9 May 2015; and P. Clottey, “Nigerian Army Disables Boko Haram Explosives,” Voice of America News, 5 August 2015. Their unit had been clearing mines along the Gwoza-Yamteke road and seized a bomb-making facility in what formerly was a chemistry laboratory at the Dikwa School of Agriculture.

[15] UNMAS, “Mission Report: UNMAS Explosive Threat Scoping Mission to Nigeria 3 to 14 April 2017,” April 2017, p. 5.

[16] DDG, “Mine Action Assessment: Northeastern Nigeria (Adamawa and Borno States) 1–15 November 2015,” undated.

[17] PCNI, “The Buhari Plan: Rebuilding the North East: Volume II,” June 2016, pp. 23–26.

[19] U.S. Embassy & Consulate in Nigeria website, “U.S. donates Demining and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Training Equipment,” 9 March 2017.

[20] M. P. Moore, “This Month in Mines, December 2016,” Landmines in Africa blog, 27 February 2017.

[22] Ibid.

[23] UNMAS, “Mission Report: UNMAS Explosive Threat Scoping Mission to Nigeria 3 to 14 April 2017,” April 2017, p. 5.

[24] UNOCHA, “Humanitarian Response Plan 2018,” December 2017, pp. 27, 60, and 63; and UNOCHA, “Humanitarian Response Plan 2017,” December 2016, p. 24.

[26] Email from Lionel Pechera, UNMAS Nigeria, 17 September 2018.

[27] Email from Nina Seecharan, MAG, 2 October 2018.

[28] Email from Lionel Pechera, UNMAS Nigeria, 17 September 2018.

[29] Email from Nina Seecharan, MAG, 2 October 2018.

[31]How Bama IDPs will return home – Gov. Shettima,” Premium Times, 30 March 2018.

[32] Statement of Nigeria, Mine Ban Treaty 11th Meeting of States Parties, Phnom Penh, 29 November 2011. In January 2017, a civil war-era landmine was found in Ebonyi state, which villagers thought was an IED. Police forensics concluded it was a landmine left over from the conflict that ended 47 years ago, which had washed up in a river. A bomb squad destroyed the device, and according to the police, the area was searched and no evidence of other contamination was found. J. Eze, “Nigeria: Civil War Explosive Found in Ebonyi Community – Police,” AllAfrica, 17 January 2017.

[33] Final Report of the Mine Ban Treaty12th Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 21 January 2013, p. 10.

Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 31 October 2018


All known casualties for all time through 2017

895 mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties*

Casualties in 2017

Annual total


Increase from

149 in 2016

Survival outcome

83 killed; 152 injured

Device type causing casualties

220 improvised mine; 14 ERW; 1 undifferentiated mine/ERW

Civilian status

76 civilian; 151 military; 8 unknown

Age and gender

156 adults:
156 men

26 children:
10 boys; 2 girls; 14 unknown

53 #unknown


Casualties in 2017–details

In 2017, 235 improvised mine casualties were recorded in the Federal Republic of Nigeria from data collected by Mines Advisory Group (MAG). Overall MAG research reported 439 casualties from 144 mine/ERW incidents for the period January 2016 through March 2018.[2] This new information on casualties in Nigeria recorded by MAG resulted in an improved understanding of the extent of casualties and the impact of improvised mines Nigeria.[3]

*Total casualties, details

The Monitor database includes 402 casualties between 2012 and 2017, with 158 people killed and 244 injured. This included 18 casualties from media reporting scanning for 2015 and the remainder was recorded by MAG, 149 casualties in 2016 and 235 casualties in 2017. In a compensation claim of 2012, another 493 survivors “pre-enumerated by the Ministry of Defence” were included as confirmed victims of mines/ERW for entitlements by the Economic Community of Western Africa States (ECOWAS) community court.[4]

[1] Unless otherwise indicated, casualty data for 2017 is based on Monitor analysis of data provided by email from Sebastian Kasack, Senior Community Liaison Advisor, Mines Advisory Group (MAG), 12 October 2018.

[2] MAG, “Landmines and the Crisis in Northeast Nigeria,” September 2018; and email from Sebastian Kasack, MAG, 12 October 2018.

Victim Assistance

Last updated: 28 November 2013

Update pending