Uganda

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 09 July 2018

Summary: Signatory Uganda often expresses its intent to ratify the convention, but has not taken any steps towards this objective. Uganda has participated in many of the convention’s meetings, but not since 2015. It abstained from voting on a key United Nations (UN) resolution on the convention in December 2017.

Uganda states that it has not used, produced, or stockpiled cluster munitions, but there is evidence that cluster munitions were used in Uganda in the past.

Policy

The Republic of Uganda signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008.

Uganda has expressed its desire to ratify the convention on several occasions, but it has taken few steps to accede.[1] In May 2017, Uganda’s Minister of State for Defence and Veterans Affairs, Colonel Charles Okello Engola, reiterated the government’s commitment to ratify the convention.[2] Uganda’s Cabinet received a ratification package for the convention in May 2016 that must be submitted to parliament for consideration and approval.[3]

Uganda participated extensively in the Oslo Process that produced the Convention on Cluster Munitions and hosted a regional meeting on cluster munitions in Kampala in September 2008.

Uganda has participated in most of the convention’s meetings, but not since 2015.[4] It was invited to, but did not attend, the convention’s Seventh Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in September 2017. Uganda has participated in and hosted regional workshops on the convention, most recently in Kampala in May 2017.[5]

Uganda has not explained why it abstained from voting on a key UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution in December 2017 that calls on states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.”[6] It abstained from voting on previous UNGA resolutions promoting implementation and universalization of the convention in 2015 and 2016.

Uganda has condemned new use of cluster munitions.[7]

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

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Uganda has stated on several occasions that it does not stockpile cluster munitions and has never used, produced, or transferred the weapons.[8] At the convention’s First Review Conference in 2015, Uganda stated it “does not use, produce, stockpile or transfer cluster munitions and does not intend to do so.”[9] Minister of State for Defence and Veterans AffairsOkello told a May 2017 workshop that Uganda had never manufactured, acquired, transferred, or used cluster munitions.[10]

Until Uganda becomes a State Party and provides an Article 7 transparency report formally declaring the status of its stockpile, the Monitor will continue to list Uganda as a stockpiler of cluster munitions.

Previous use

Information and photographs, provided to Human Rights Watch (HRW) by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), of remnants cleared by mine action teams in northern Uganda near the then-Sudan border indicate that RBK-250-275 AO-1SCh cluster bombs were used in the past during the years-long fighting between the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Ugandan military.[11] It is not clear who used the cluster munitions or precisely when or how many munitions were used. On several occasions, Uganda has denied that its armed forces ever used cluster munitions and said the LRA was responsible.[12] The Uganda Mine Action Center (UMAC) has informed the Monitor that no unexploded submunitions remain.[13]

Uganda has denied using cluster bombs in South Sudan in early 2014, when it was providing air support to the government of South Sudan against opposition forces.In February 2014, evidence emerged showing that in the period since mid-December 2013 cluster munitions were used outside of Bor, the capital of Jonglei State, during the conflict between the opposition forces loyal to South Sudan’s former Vice President Riek Machar and Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) government forces, with air support for the SPLA provided by Uganda.[14] Remnants of at least eight RBK-250-275 cluster bombs and an unknown quantity of intact unexploded AO-1SCh fragmentation submunitions were found by a major road 16 kilometers south of Bor in an area that was not known to be contaminated before.[15]

South Sudan denied using cluster munitions in the conflict and denied any Ugandan use of the weapon.[16] In September 2014, Uganda denied that its armed forces possess cluster bombs and stated Uganda had not used the weapon in South Sudan.[17]

The use of cluster munitions in South Sudan received strong media coverage as well as public outcry and condemnations.[18] Approximately 30 countries have expressed concern at or condemned cluster munition use in South Sudan.[19] On 27 May 2014, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2155, which noted “with serious concern reports of the indiscriminate use of cluster munitions” in Jonglei state in February 2014and urged “all parties to refrain fromsimilar such use in the future.”[20]



[1] See for example, statement of Uganda, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Review Conference, Dubrovnik, 9 September 2015; statement of Uganda, Accra Regional Conference on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Accra, 28 May 2012; statement of Uganda, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 13 September 2011; and statement of Uganda, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 9 November 2010.

[3] Statements of Uganda, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fifth Meeting of States Parties San Jose, 3 September 2014; and Convention on Cluster Munitions Coordination Committee Meeting, Geneva, 28 April 2016. Notes by the CMC. In February 2014, a Ugandan diplomat told the CMC that the ratification process was underway but requires Cabinet approval before it can be referred to parliament for adoption. Interview with Matata Twaha, Second Secretary, Permanent Mission of Uganda to the UN in Geneva, Geneva, 20 February 2014.

[4] Uganda participated in the convention’s Meetings of States Parties in 2010–2014, the First Review Conference in 2015, and intersessional meetings in 2011–2013 and 2015. Uganda has also participated in and hosted regional workshops on the convention, most recently in Kampala in May 2017.

[5] Convention on Cluster Munitions Ratification Seminar, Kampala, 29–30 May 2017; and “The Addis Ababa Commitment on Universalization and Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” Africa Regional Workshop on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, 5 August 2016. See also, ICRC, “Zambia: Implementing the ban on cluster munitions in southern Africa,” 17 June 2015.

[6]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 72/54, 4 December 2017.

[7] Statement of Uganda, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Review Conference, Dubrovnik, 9 September 2015.

[8] In April 2012, a government official informed an intersessional meeting of the convention that “Uganda has never manufactured, acquired, stockpiled, transferred or used cluster munitions.” Statement of Uganda, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 18 April 2012. In September 2011, Uganda stated that it has never used, produced, transferred, or acquired cluster munitions. Statement of Uganda, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 13 September 2011. In June 2009, a senior official said that Uganda does not have any stockpiled cluster munitions. Presentation by Maj.-Gen. J. F. Oketta, Office of the Prime Minister, Berlin Conference on the Destruction of Cluster Munitions, 25 June 2009, slides 2 and 22.

[9] Statement of Uganda, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Review Conference, Dubrovnik, 9 September 2015.

[11] See for example, statement by Amb. Cissy Taliwaku, Deputy Head of Mission, Permanent Mission of Uganda to the UN in Geneva, to the Belgrade Conference for States Affected by Cluster Munitions, 4 October 2007. Notes by the CMC.

[12] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 2 April 2008 to 2 April 2009), Form J; “Landmine survivors welcome ban on cluster bombs,” IRIN (Gulu), 4 June 2008; Paul Amoru, “Cluster bombs conference on,” Daily Monitor, 29 September 2008; and interview with Maj.-Gen. J. F. Oketta, Office of the Prime Minister, in Berlin, 25 June 2009.

[13] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Vicent Woboya, Director, UMAC, 1 April 2010.

[14] HRW press release, “South Sudan: Investigate New Cluster Bomb Use,” 15 February 2014.

[15] The UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) report noted “UNMAS found physical evidence of the use of cluster munitions in the Malek area of Bor county, approximately 16 kilometres south of Bor along the Juba-Bor Road.” UNMISS, “Conflict in South Sudan: A Human Rights Report,” 8 May 2014.

[16] See, Jacey Fortin, “The Bad Bomb: Cluster Munitions, Cold Cases And A Case of Blame Game in South Sudan,” International Business Times, 12 March 2014. Both South Sudanese and Ugandan forces are believed to possess fixed wing aircraft and helicopters capable of delivering air-dropped cluster munitions, such as the RBK-250-275 AO-1SCh cluster bomb, while South Sudan’s opposition forces are not believed to possess these means of delivery.

[17] Statement of Uganda, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fifth Meeting of States Parties, San Jose, 3 September 2014.

[18] Statement by Margot Wallström, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Conference on Disarmament, Geneva, 2 March 2015; Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement, “Norway condemns use of cluster bombs in South Sudan,” 22 February 2014; and statement by Wylbur C. Simuusa of Zambia, President of the Fourth Meeting of States Parties of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, 14 February 2014.

[19] The following states expressed concern at and/or condemned the use of cluster munitions in South Sudan in national statements and/or resolutions since 2014: Argentina, Australia, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, South Korea, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mauritania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Rwanda, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

[20] See, UN Security Council press statement, “Security Council, Adopting Resolution 2155 (2014), extends mandate of mission in South Sudan,” 27 May 2014.


Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 30 October 2011

Commitment to the Mine Ban Treaty

Mine Ban Treaty status

State Party

National implementation measures

Legislation reported under development since 2004

Transparency reporting

Uganda has not submitted its Article 7 report due on 30 April 2011

Policy

The Republic of Uganda signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified on 25 February 1999, becoming a State Party on 1 August 1999.

National implementation legislation has reportedly been under development since 2004, but still had not been enacted as of August 2011.[1]

Uganda had not yet submitted its annual Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report, which was due by 30 April 2011. Uganda has provided eight previous reports.[2]

In 2011, Uganda has elected to serve as co-chair of the Mine Ban Treaty’s Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration.

Uganda is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its original Protocol II on landmines, but not Amended Protocol II or Protocol V on explosive remnants of war.

 Production, transfer, use, stockpiling, and retention

Uganda produced antipersonnel mines until 1995 when the state-run facility was decommissioned. It has stated that it has never exported antipersonnel mines.[3] Uganda completed the destruction of its stockpile of 6,383 antipersonnel mines in July 2003.[4]  Uganda last reported the discovery or seizure of additional antipersonnel mines in 2007.[5]

In every Article 7 report since 2004, Uganda has reported retaining 1,764 Type 72 antipersonnel mines for training purposes.[6] Uganda has never reported in any detail on the intended purposes and actual uses of its retained mines, a measure agreed by States Parties at the review conferences held in 2004 and 2009.

In 2000 and 2001, there were serious and credible allegations indicating the strong possibility of Ugandan forces used antipersonnel mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), particularly in the June 2000 battle for Kisangani. The government denied any use, but pledged to investigate; the results were never made known.[7] The government consistently accused Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels of using antipersonnel mines in Uganda until 2004, and regularly reported the seizure or recovery of stockpiled antipersonnel mines from the LRA until 2005.

 



[1] The draft law is titled “1997 Mine Ban Implementation Bill 2002.” In May 2002, Uganda reported the act was before parliament. In May 2004, officials told the Monitor that a revised draft was due to be presented to the cabinet for approval before going to parliament. In May 2005, Uganda reported, “An implementation act is ready to be presented before Parliament.” In December 2005, Uganda reported that national implementation legislation was “ready for parliamentary debate.” In May 2007, an official told the Monitor that the bill still had to be approved by the cabinet before being sent to parliament. No further update has been provided.

[2] Uganda submitted undated reports covering the periods from April 2009 to April 2010, 2 April 2008 to 2 April 2009, 2 April 2007 to 1 April 2008, and from 1 May 2006 to 1 April 2007. Previous reports were submitted on 5 December 2005, 11 May 2005, 24 July 2003, and 24 May 2002. The initial report was due in January 2000. Uganda did not submit annual reports in 2004 or 2006.

[3] In January 2005, a UN report said that landmines had been supplied from a Uganda People’s Defence Force camp to a rebel group in the DRC in violation of a UN embargo. The report did not specify if the mines were antipersonnel or antivehicle. Uganda strongly denied the allegation as “patently false and inflammatory.” See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 596.

[4] This figure was considerably higher than Uganda initially indicated would be destroyed, apparently because of additional mines captured from rebel forces and a decrease in the number of mines kept for training purposes.  Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, 5 December 2005. See also Landmine Monitor Report 2006, p. 746.

[5] See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 711, for details on destruction in 2007. In 2009, Uganda reported destroying 120 Type 72 mines, but it did not note where the mines came from or who had possession of them before their destruction. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 2 April 2008 to 2 April 2009), Form G.

[6] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period April 2009 to April 2010), Form D. At the Seventh Meeting of States Parties in September 2006, Uganda said it was retaining 1,798 mines of seven types for training purposes, but reported the destruction of 202 mines in training during the previous year. Statement of Uganda, Seventh Meeting of States Parties, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 19 September 2006. See also Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 700.

[7] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, pp. 834–835.


Mine Action

Last updated: 08 October 2013

Contamination and Impact

Mine and explosive remnants of war (ERW) contamination in the Republic of Uganda, located in the north, northeast, West Nile, and the Rwenzori subregions in western Uganda, was the result of armed conflict and civil strife, especially over the past two decades with regards to the Lord’s Resistance Army, a non-state armed group.[1]

Mines

Mined areas were identified in the border areas with South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Luwero Triangle in the center of the country, the West Nile region, and the Rwenzori Mountains.[2] In 2008–2010, Uganda confirmed 12 minefields in Agoro and Ngomoromo (in the Kitgum and Lamwo districts, respectively) in northern Uganda bordering South Sudan. During non-technical survey in 2011, an additional 34 mined areas were identified in the districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo, and Maracha (in western Uganda) and the Lamwo and Amuru districts (in the north of the country) for a total of 46 mined areas covering 1.6km2.[3] Uganda completed mine clearance operations in November 2012 and, at the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties in December 2012, declared it had met its Article 5 Mine Ban Treaty obligations.[4]

Cluster munition remnants

All known cluster munition remnants are reported to have been cleared in Uganda.[5]

Other explosive remnants of war

Uganda has ERW and unexploded ordnance (UXO) contamination. Uganda anticipated that explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) capacity is needed at least until the end of 2015 and planned to seek international funding to support the EOD teams.[6]

The remaining ERW problem in Uganda is said to exist in areas where internal conflicts were fought over the past 20 years, including the West Nile region in the north of the country and the Rwenzori subregion (the Kasese and Bundibugyo districts) in western Uganda near the border with DRC.[7]

In January 2012, two men were injured by a grenade while digging a pit latrine at a family health clinic next to the Uganda Red Cross office in Bundibugyo district in Kasese. The grenade was found three feet underground. According to the district police commander, the accident occurred in the same area where the Allied Democratic Forces, a rebel group, had constructed a base camp in the late 1990s.[8]

Since 2006, EOD teams have destroyed over 50,000 items of UXO and ERW.[9]

Mine Action Program

Key institutions and operators

Body

Situation on 1 January 2013

National Mine Action Authority

NMASC (Office of the Prime Minister)

Uganda Mine Action Centre (UMAC)

UMAC (Office of the Prime Minister)

National demining operators

Ugandan Army and police seconded to UMAC

National risk education operators

Anti-Mines Network-Rwenzori (AMNET-R)

Uganda’s mine action program has been nationally owned from its inception in 2006. The national authority is its National Mine Action Steering Committee (NMASC), located within the Office of the Prime Minister in Kampala.[10] Mine action is integrated in the government of Uganda’s Peace, Recovery, and Development Plan, one of the aims of which is to facilitate the return and resettlement of internally displaced persons.[11]

The Office of the Prime Minister, through UMAC, is responsible for the management and coordination of mine action in the country, with the exception of victim assistance, which falls under the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and the Ministry of Health. UMAC, established in Kampala in 2006, is responsible for quality management of demining operations, risk education, and accreditation of mine action operators. A regional mine action office was established in Gulu in 2008.[12] The Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) and the Uganda Police Force (UPF) provided all demining personnel to UMAC.

Danish Demining Group (DDG) provided technical assistance to UMAC from 2008 until November 2012, when Uganda completed clearance operations in all 46 known mined areas.[13]

Land Release

Mine clearance in 2012

Although Uganda took seven years to clear 46 mined areas, 70% of the work was accomplished over 11 months in 2012. Non-technical and technical surveys completed in late 2011 added 34 mined areas and 834,000m2 to be cleared, increasing the number of mined areas from 12 to 46. By 1 August 2012, Uganda’s Article 5 deadline, Uganda had cleared or discredited 40 of 46 minefields covering 1,666,160m2 and still had 103,655m2 in six mined areas in Agoro to clear.[14] Left with no other choice than to request an extension to the end of November, Uganda cited the additional mined areas identified in the surveys as the primary reason they were unable to finish on time and required an extension of the deadline. The four-fold increase in the workload so late in the program presented a major challenge for UMAC; however, DDG, which acts as the technical advisor to UMAC, cited UMAC’s low rate of clearance productivity until early 2012 (in addition to a demining accident involving a UPDF deminer in November 2011 that required re-clearance of two previously-cleared mined areas) as a major reason why Uganda was unable to complete clearance by August. Clearance operations were also slowed by delays in releasing personnel from the UPDF and from the UPF to attend manual demining training courses.[15]

With higher productivity of the demining teams, UMAC moved the two EOD teams to clear mines to ensure another request after November would not be needed. By the end of November, Uganda had completed clearing all 46 mined areas.[16]

Mine clearance in 2006–2012

Overall, Uganda released 46 mined areas covering 1.6km2 through technical and non-technical survey and clearance. During clearance operations 4,314 antipersonnel mines, 42 air bombs and 15 UXO were found and destroyed. EOD teams in separate operations found and destroyed 9,273 UXO and 20 antivehicle mines.[17]

Two teams from Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) South Sudan with two MineWolf machines seconded to DDG mechanically cleared approximately 70% of all contaminated area at a cost of US$400,000. Mechanical breakdowns delayed completion, even though the average daily output of the MineWolf machines exceeded the planned output by 1,000m2 per day.[18]

Mine clearance in 2006–2012[19]

Year

No. of CHA cleared

Area cleared (m²)

Antipersonnel mines destroyed

Antivehicle mines destroyed

UXO destroyed

2012

37

1,160,131

3,314

0

15

2011

5

219,126

587

0

0

2010

4

206,971

179

0

0

2009

0

30,928

198

0

0

2008

0

0

14

0

0

2007

0

0

14

0

0

2006

0

0

8

0

0

Total

46

1,617,156

4,314

0

15

Kasese district proved challenging to UMAC. Much time was wasted looking for UXO sites that had been identified in a non-technical survey in 2008 but did not exist.[20] Similarly, in Kasese district, operators found 19 of the 22 confirmed hazardous areas (CHA) did not contain either landmines or UXO and cleared only 8,571m2 containing five antipersonnel landmines.[21]

Final statistics by district on mine clearance 2006-2012[22]

District

Region

No. of CHAs cleared

Area cleared (m2)

Antipersonnel mines destroyed

Antivehicle mines destroyed

UXO destroyed

Kasese

Western

22

8,571

5

0

0

Lamwo

Northern

20

1,102,735

1,594

0

10

Bundibugyo

Western

2

2,611

3

0

0

Amuru

Northern

1

499,473

2,705

0

0

Maracha

West Nile

1

3,766

7

0

5

 Total

 

46

1,617,156

4,314

0

15

Compliance with Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, and in accordance with the three-year extension to its deadline granted by the Second Review Conference in 2009,[23] Uganda was required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 August 2012.

Uganda became a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty in 1999, but it was not until 2008, with UNDP support, that mine clearance and survey commenced (although little was accomplished). In the middle of August 2009, Uganda applied for a three-year extension of its deadline noting it had vastly underestimated the time needed to clear the known mined areas. The extension request was approved at the Second Review Conference, four months after Uganda’s Article 5 deadline had already expired.

From 2009, under the technical supervision of DDG, Uganda began to make progress in clearing mines while facing numerous challenges over the next three years. One challenge was inadequate survey information on the locations of mined areas, necessitating a new survey. Thick vegetation and difficult terrain in mined areas, especially in the Agoro Mountains, as well as lengthy and bureaucratic procurement procedures also delayed clearance operations. The lack of national mechanical capacity delayed operations until funding could be obtained to secure the equipment, which ultimately came from NPA’s mine action program in South Sudan. In May 2012, clearance was not finished; at the Intersessional Standing Committee Meeting on Mine Clearance, Uganda said it “remained committed” to meeting its 1 August 2012 deadline.[24] However, as described above, it missed the August deadline and did not complete its commitment until November 2012.[25] At the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties in December, Uganda declared it had met its Article 5 Mine Ban Treaty obligations.[26]

At a weapons contamination conference sponsored by the ICRC and the African Union in Addis Ababa in March 2013, Uganda reflected on its experience clearing landmines and shared a number of lessons learned with other African mine-affected states.[27] They include:

·         National surveys are essential to determining the extent of mine contamination;

·         Assess the need for mechanical assets;

·         If engaged with partners, ensure roles are clearly understood through written agreements;

·         Community liaison and the handover of cleared land are critical to earning community confidence; and

·         A solid mine action structure that includes national management, training, and access to international technical assistance should be developed.

Explosive ordnance disposal

Since 2006, EOD teams have found almost 50,000 UXO and ERW. UMAC also reported that 97 antipersonnel mines and 20 antivehicle mines were found during EOD operations, indicating that not all landmines were found in defined minefields.[28] Uganda acknowledges that even though EOD teams have cleared thousands of UXO since 2006, UXO will continue to be found in the north, northeastern, northwestern and Rwenzori subregions of the country. UMAC plans to employ four EOD teams with 60 personnel from 2013 to 2015 to conduct EOD operations as needed.[29]

Quality management

National Mine Action Standards were passed and approved in December 2008.[30] A five-person quality assessment (QA) team within UMAC conducts internal quality control (QC) as well as QA.[31] DDG conducted external QA/QC.[32]

 



[1] Declaration of completion of implementation of Article 5 by Uganda, Mine Ban Treaty Twelfth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 5 December 2012.

[3] Uganda Mine Action Centre (UMAC), Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) July Monthly Report, 2 August 2012.

[4] Declaration of completion of implementation of Article 5 by Uganda, Mine Ban Treaty Twelfth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 5 December 2012.

[5] Email from Vicent Woboya, Director, UMAC, 8 April 2010.

[6] Statement of Uganda, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Geneva, 22 May 2012.

[7] Email from Samuel Paunila, former country director, Danish Demining Group (DDG), Uganda, 9 June 2011; and response to Monitor questionnaire by Vicent Woboya, UMAC, 10 June 2011.

[8] Machrine Birungi, “Grenade Blast Injures Two in Bundibugyo,” Uganda Radio Network, 17 January 2012; and Catherine Ntabadde Makumbi, “Grenade injures two in Bundibugyo, Red Cross provides evacuation services,” Uganda Red Cross Society, 17 January 2012.

[9] UMAC, IMSMA Database, updated 15 August 2012.

[11] Government of Uganda, “Report Presented by the Office of the Prime Minister, Republic of Uganda to the Second Review Conference of the AP Mine Ban Convention,” May 2009, p. 1.

[12] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Vicent Woboya, UMAC, 29 March 2009.

[13] DDG, “Monthly Operations Report July 2012.”

[14] UMAC, IMSMA July Monthly Report, 2 August 2012; and email from Samuel Paunila, DDG, Uganda, 16 August 2012.

[15] DDG, “Monthly Operations Report July 2012.”

[16] Declaration of completion of implementation of Article 5 by Uganda, Mine Ban Treaty Twelfth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 5 December 2012; and DDG, “Monthly Operations Report July 2012.”

[17] Ibid.

[18] DDG, “Monthly Operations Report July 2012.”

[19] Declaration of completion of implementation of Article 5 by Uganda, Mine Ban Treaty Twelfth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 5 December 2012.

[20] DDG, “Monthly Operations Report February 2011.”

[21] Declaration of completion of implementation of Article 5 by Uganda, Mine Ban Treaty Twelfth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 5 December 2012.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Email from Vicent Woboya, UMAC, 9 July 2009; and letter from Pius Bigirimana, Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister to Jürg Streuli, President of the Mine Ban Treaty Ninth Meeting of States Parties, 2 July 2009.

[24] Statement of Uganda, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Geneva, 22 May 2012.

[25] Email from Vicent Woboya, UMAC, 11 August 2012.

[26] Declaration of completion of implementation of Article 5 by Uganda, Mine Ban Treaty Twelfth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 5 December 2012.

[27] Presentation of Uganda, Key Challenges to Mine Clearance, Uganda’s Experience, African Union/ICRC Weapon Contamination Workshop, Addis Ababa, 5 March 2013.

[28] UMAC Statistics 2006–2012, provided to the Monitor, August 2012.

[29] Declaration of completion of implementation of Article 5 by Uganda, Mine Ban Treaty Twelfth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 5 December 2012.

[30] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Elina Dibirova, Risk Education/Victim Assistance Specialist, DDG, 27 February 2009.

[31] Email from Vicent Woboya, UMAC, 8 April 2010.

[32] Memorandum of Understanding for 2010–2012 between DDG and the Office of the Prime Minister.


Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 22 November 2013

The Republic of Uganda completed mine clearance operations in November 2012. At the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties in December 2012, Uganda declared that it had met its Article 5 Mine Ban Treaty obligations.[1] Contributions made in 2011 were used to complete clearance operations.

In 2012, Germany and Norway contributed a combined US$144,492 for victim assistance.[2]

International contributions: 2012[3]

Donor

Sector

Amount

(national currency)

Amount ($)

Germany

Victim assistance

€99,000

127,304

Norway

Victim assistance

NOK100,000

17,188

Total

 

 

144,492

Summary of contributions: 2008–2012[4]

Year

National contributions ($)

International contributions

($)

Total contributions

2012

500,000

144,492

644,492

2011

500,000

4,886,184

5,386,184

2010

400,000

1,741,145

2,141,145

2009

125,000

578,646

703,646

2008

250,000

783,506

1,033,506

Total

1,775,000

8,133,973

9,908,973

 

 



[1] Declaration of completion of implementation of Article 5 by Uganda, Twelfth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 5 December 2012.

[2] Germany, Convention on Conventional Weapons, Amended Protocol II, Form B, 23 March 2013; and response to Monitor questionnaire by Ingunn Vatne, Senior Advisor, Department for Human Rights, Democracy and Humanitarian Assistance, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 11 April 2013.

[3] Average exchange rate for 2012: €1=US$1.2859; NOK5.8181=US$1. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2013.

[4] See Landmine Monitor reports 2008–2011; and ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Australia: Support for Mine Action,” 10 September 2012. Interview with Vicent Woboya, Director, Uganda Mine Action Centre (UMAC), in Phnom Penh, 1 December 2011.


Casualties

Last updated: 23 January 2018

Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2016

2,792 casualties (533 killed; 2,259 injured)

Casualties occurring in 2016

14 (2015: 6)

2016 casualties by survival outcome

2 killed; 12 injured (2015: 6 injured)

2016 casualties by device type

14 explosive remnants of war (ERW)

In 2016, the Monitor identified 14 ERW casualties in the Republic of Uganda from two incidents. In February, one child was killed and eight others wounded at their school by a grenade found near old military barracks.[1] In June, one person was killed and four injured by an ERW incident at a scrap metal factory.[2]

In 2015, the Monitor identified six casualties in Uganda from two incidents. Both incidents involved ERW explosions triggered by fire and occurred in northern Uganda.[3] Two men at Gulu Central Prison were also injured by an unknown explosive device that was accidentally detonated while burning garbage.[4]

Following a peak of about 150 mine/ERW casualties recorded per year during 1996–1997, the number of annual mine/ERW casualties has decreased significantly.[5] The most recently reported antipersonnel mine casualty occurred in November 2012; Uganda declared itself mine-free in December 2012.[6]

The total number of mine/ERW casualties in Uganda is not known. At least 2,792 casualties (533 killed; 2,259 injured) had been identified by December 2016.[7]

Cluster munition casualties

A 2006 survey of mine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) casualties in Gulu district determined that 3% of recorded casualties (1,387 at the time) were caused by cluster munition remnants. Five other suspected submunition casualties were reported in 2006.[8] As of the end of 2015, no additional casualties caused by cluster munition remnants had been identified since 2006.



[1]Child killed in Uganda by suspected old grenade,” 24 News, 18 February 2016.

[2] Yazid Yolisigira, “Factory blast leaves one dead, injures four,” Daily Monitor, 20 June 2016.

[3] A report referred to the device as a “bomb,” however it appears to have been ERW. Julius Ocungi, “Bomb blast injures Amuru family,” Daily Monitor, 5 June 2015; and Julius Ocungi, “Suspected bomb blast injures two inmates,” Daily Monitor, 24 March 2015.

[4] Police reported that the device could have been a planted bomb or other explosive device.

[5] Casualty data analysis over time based on previous Monitor data; and “Mines/UXO victim status in IMSMA: Mine and UXO Victims data collected by UMAC [Ugandan Mine Action Center]/DDG [Danish Demining Group], Handicap International [HI] and AVSI [Association of Volunteers in International Services] in Uganda 1971–2011,” provided by email from Afedra Robert Iga, UMAC, 25 May 2011.

[6] Media monitoring from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2015; and email from Samuel Omara, Information Management Officer, DDG/UMAC, 22 March 2013.

[7] Through August 2010 there were 2,744 casualties (524 killed; 2,220 injured) registered. No further casualties were confirmed between the date of publication (August 2010) and the end of 2010. Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD), “Comprehensive Plan on Victim Assistance 2010–2014,” Kampala, August 2010, p. 4; emails from Samuel Omara, UMAC, 27 June 2012, and 22 March 2013; and media monitoring, 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2015.

[8] AVSI, “Gulu District Landmine/ERW Victims Survey Report,” May 2006, p. 20; and HI, Circle of Impact: The Fatal Footprint of Cluster Munitions on People and Communities (Brussels: HI: May 2007), p. 147.


Victim Assistance

Last updated: 21 October 2018

Victim assistance action points

  • Improve the sustainability, quality, and availability of prosthesis and rehabilitation services, including by enhancing coordination and dedicating the necessary national resources.
  • Eliminate barriers to access, including to health and livelihoods, for survivors and other persons with disabilities.
  • Closely consult with local survivor organizations in decision making processes.

Victim assistance planning and coordination

Government focal point

The Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development (MGLSD)

Coordination mechanisms

None for victim assistance

Coordination regularity/frequency and outcomes/effectiveness

No victim assistance meetings were held
The Intersectoral Committee on Disability, which planned to meet quarterly, restarted meetings in 2017

Plans/strategies

None, the 2006 national disability policy was due for a planned review since 2015

Disability sector integration

The MGLSD is also responsible for disability planning and projects

Survivor inclusion and participation

Survivors participated in specific public events and at the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Reporting (Article 7 and statements)

Uganda has not submitted a Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report since 2012; its last Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report (for 2011) did not provide information on victim assistance.[1] Uganda last made a statement on victim assistance at the Mine Ban Treaty Fifteenth Meeting of States Parties in Santiago in November 2016[2]

 

International commitments and obligations

Uganda is responsible for a significant number of landmine survivors, cluster munitions victims, and survivors of other explosive remnants of war (ERW) who are in need

Mine Ban Treaty

Yes

Convention on Cluster Munitions

Yes

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Yes

 

Laws and policies

No significant changes to legislation or the implementation of laws and policies were reported in 2017.

Major Developments in 2017–2018

In October 2018, the Republic of Uganda held a national meeting with over 50 disability and victim assistance experts, representatives of relevant ministries, and landmine survivors’ and persons with disabilities’ organizations. The meeting was held with the support of the Mine Ban Treaty Implementation Support Unit, and funded by the European Union, with the aim of initiating the process of revising the national disability policy with a victim assistance inclusive perspective.

Needs assessment

No assessments of the needs of survivors were reported. Data on mine/ERW survivors was not disaggregated among data on other persons with disabilities. However, a data collection tool developed by the MGLSD and Ministry of Health was available and could be updated for use in survey.

In mid-2018, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), in consultation with the MGLSD, began undertaking the Uganda Functional Disability Survey based on the Washington Group Questions on Disability.[3] Data collection on persons with disabilities remained a challenge. The 2014 national census, released by the UBOS in 2016, found that the disability prevalence rate was about 12%.[4]

Medical care and rehabilitation

No improvements were reported and the health and rehabilitation systems remained under-funded and inaccessible due to costs and distances to reach facilities. Quality healthcare remained unaffordable and inaccessible to survivors in many regions, and particularly in remote and rural areas where private health centers were not profitable and limited NGO funding for health services and essential transportation to medical facilities had significantly declined in the period 2014–2017.At times when the health budget cycle meant that the allocated budget was fully spent, stores of medicines were not available.[5]

Overall the 10 Ministry of Health monitored referral rehabilitation centers were inadequately supplied and poorly functioning. The distribution of materials for manufacturing prosthesis and mobility devices though the state system was not adequately reaching all those in need and prostheses were not affordable for the majority of persons with disabilities. It was reported that the state was not providing funding for rehabilitation centers, which are key providers of mobility devices. The Ministry of Health placed disability services under the category of an unfunded priority. Therefore, rehabilitation centers relied on NGO support and international contributions. A change would require attention to the issue by the finance ministry and the allocation of a dedicated rehabilitation budget.[6]

Socio-economic and psychosocial inclusion

No improvements in psychosocial assistance including peer support were reported. The Ugandan Landmine Survivors’ Association (ULSA) implemented livelihood and income-generation activities with the remaining AAR Japan support.[7] A number of survivor groups create and sell regionally specific crafts to generate income based on incentive programs established many years ago. A teacher-training module on disabilities was intruded to the professional education system in 2018.[8]

Cross-cutting

Uganda is receiving and hosting many refugees who are mine survivors, and thus required additional resources to meet their needs.[9] Humanity and Inclusion (HI, formerly Handicap International) relaunched programs in 2017 and worked with refugees with disabilities, most of whom have fled the conflict in South Sudan.[10]

Victim assistance providers and activities

Name of organization

Type of activity

Government

MGLSD

Grants and cash transfers for persons with disabilities; data collection; training on psychosocial support

Ministry of Health

Medical care; community-based rehabilitation (CBR); officially responsible for 10 orthopedic workshops

Mulago National Referral Hospital orthopedic workshop

Prosthetics and orthotics

Arua Regional Referral Hospital orthopedic center

Physical rehabilitation in West Nile region (northwestern Uganda)

Fort Portal Hospital/Buhinga Orthopedic Workshop

Prosthetics services not functioning, but based in Kabarole district, western Uganda. Fort Portal is the referral hospital for the districts of Bundibugyo, Kabarole, Kamwenge, Kasese, Ntoroko, and Kyenjojo

Gulu Regional Orthopedic Workshop (GROW)/Gulu Referral Hospital

Prosthetics and orthotics physical rehabilitation for conflict victims and main rehabilitation center for mine/ERW survivors supported by AVSI through the Trust Fund for Victims

Lira Regional Rehabilitation Hospital

Minor repairs to prosthesis in northern region

National NGO

Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services in Uganda (CoRSU)

Physical rehabilitation services, CBR; private user-pays prosthetics services for adult amputees

Local landmine survivors organizations:
Apac Landmine Survivors Association
Amuru Landmine Survivors Association
Gulu Landmine Survivors Group
Kitgum Landmine Survivors Association
Lira Landmine Survivors Association
Oyam Landmine Survivors Association
Pader Landmine Survivors Group
Agago Landmine Survivors Association
Yumbe Landmine Survivors Association/Yumbe United Amputee Association

Variously: peer support and advocacy; income-generation activities: vocational training and socio-economic projects; housing support

Kasese Landmine Survivors Association (KALSA)

Peer support and advocacy; income-generation activities

ULSA

Economic inclusion; access physical rehabilitation; advocacy—not active in 2018

Ave Maria Vocational Training Center

Vocational training

CEASOP

Vocational training

International organization/NGO

AVSI

Physical rehabilitation through GROW

AAR-Japan

Income-generating projects

Humanity and Inclusion (HI)

Identifies vulnerable persons with disabilities among refugees entering Uganda; facilitates access to humanitarian services and aid; psychosocial support; rehabilitation care; mobility aids for refugees; and financial assistance to refugee families

 



[2] Statement of Uganda, Mine Ban Treaty Fifteenth Meeting of States Parties, Santiago, 30 November 2016.

[3] Interview with Beatrice Kaggya, Commissioner for Disability and Elderly, MGLSD, 2 August 2017; and presentation by Beatrice Kaggya, Uganda National Victim Assistance Dialogue, Kampala, 11 October 2018.

[4] Uganda Bureau of Statistics 2016, “The National Population and Housing Census 2014 – Main Report,” Kampala, Uganda, 24 March 2016.

[5] Notes from Monitor Field Mission July–August 2017, and visit in October 2018.

[6] Observations from Monitor Field Mission July–August 2017, and from a visit in October 2018; National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU), “Alternative Report to the UN Committee of Experts on the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD),” December 2014, paras. 64–65.

[7] Interview with Margaret Arach Orech, ULSA, in Geneva, 31 August 2017.

[8] Observations from Monitor Field Mission July–August 2017, and visit October 2018.

[9] Statement of Uganda, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 9 June 2017.

[10] HI, “Uganda,” undated.