Last updated: 10 October 2018



All known casualties (between 2006 and 2017)

714 mine/unexploded remnants of war (ERW) casualties: 174 killed; 540 injured

Casualties in 2017 

Annual total


16% increase from
114 in 2016

Survival outcome

30 killed; 103 injured

Device type causing casualties

61 antivehicle mine; 27 improvised mine; 24 ERW; 20 unspecified mines; 1 unknown device

Civilian status

55 civilian; 78 military

21 unknown

Age and gender

95 adults
3 women; 24 men; 68 unknown

17 children
16 boys; 1 girl


Casualties in 2017—details

As in 2016, the majority of mine ERW casualties in 2017 occurred in incidents in the in the regions of Kidal, Gao, and Timbuktu in the Republic of Mali.

Of the 78 military casualties, 31 were Malian military personnel, and nine were international military personnel, including two French. Twenty-five were United Nations peacekeepers from the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), of which eight were reported to be Chadian.

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) of many types have been widely used in Mali, and it is possible that media reporting does not distinguish with accuracy whether incidents were caused by antivehicle mines, radio-initiated IEDs, pressure-plate IEDs (types of victim-activated improvised mines) or any combination of these in a single device. The Monitor does not include casualties reported to be caused by remotely detonated explosive devices in its records.

The UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) reported 12 casualties caused by antivehicle mines, however, they were also described in their database as caused by “mine/IEDs.” These include items newly used/emplaced in 2017.[2] The Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) also recorded casualties caused by antivehicle mines. The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) reported 20 casualties caused by unspecified mines. It also reported 27 casualties caused by “mines/IEDs,” which the Monitor has included in the annual dataset for Mali as improvised mines. Numerous other casualties recorded by ACLED as caused only by IEDs have not been included in Monitor data, as it is not clear if they were remotely detonated. Humanity & Inclusion (HI, formerly Handicap International) reported casualties caused by ERW and unknown devices.

Improvised mines (also known as victim-activated IEDs) causing casualties in Mali sometimes include manufactured mines as components. The improvised mines used in Mali are understood to act as improvised antivehicle mines or other such artisanal devices, rather than as antipersonnel mines by nature. Although it cannot be excluded that the detonating switch could act as an antipersonnel device given the artisanal nature of the pressure plate, there have not been confirmed reports of people detonating such mines without vehicles in Mali. To date, the means of activation has been driving on the devices with vehicles such as cars, buses, and military vehicles, sometimes those in convoys. In 2017–2018, carts were also reported to have activated devices.[3]

Although it has not been recorded to have occurred, the existing improvised mine varieties, when equipped with improvised pressure plates as a firing switch, could potentially be activated by the weight of a person stepping on them. Those improvised mines with such sensitivity of fusing can be regarded as improvised mines that are by their design and nature antipersonnel mines, although they are emplaced so as to cause casualties in vehicles.

[1] Unless otherwise indicated, casualty data for 2017 is based on: emails from Aida Ariño-Fernández, Acting Senior Programme Officer, UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), 26 February 2018; and from Maddalena Malgarini, Technical Protection Coordinator, HI-Mali, 19 June 2018; Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD)-Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) antivehicle mine database provided by email from Ursign Hofmann, Policy Advisor, GICHD, 22 February 2018; and the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) data for Mali, January to December 2017.

[2] UNMAS noted they classify incidents according to the UNMAS IED Lexicon and do not register incidents as “improvised mines” in their database but provided only those casualties under the mine category. Victim-operated IEDs (VOIEDs) have not been included in the reporting. Email from Aida Ariño-Fernández, UNMAS, 26 February 2018.

[3] Emails from Maddalena Malgarini, HI-Mali, 26 September 2017; 19 June 2018; and 13 July 2018.