Cluster Munition Ban Policy
Summary: State Party Cameroon ratified the convention on 12 July 2012 and adopted national implementing legislation in December 2016. Cameroon has attended meetings of the convention, most recently in September 2017. Cameroon voted in favor of a key United Nations (UN) resolution on the convention in December 2018.
Cameroon provided an initial transparency report for the convention in August 2014, confirming that it has not used or produced cluster munitions. It has retained a stockpile of six cluster munitions and 906 submunitions for training purposes.
The Republic of Cameroon signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 15 December 2009, ratified on 12 July 2012, and the convention entered into force for the country on 1 January 2013.
Cameroon’s National Assembly adopted legislation on 14 December 2016 providing penal and fiscal sanctions for violations of the prohibitions of the convention.  Cameroon has also reported its Penal Code and other decrees and existing laws under national implementation measures applicable to the convention.  Cameroon said in September 2017 that it intends to establish a “national committee on weapons” to oversee implementation of the new law. 
Cameroon provided an initial Article 7 transparency report in August 2014, and submitted updated reports in 2015, 2016, and most recently in April 2017.  The 2016 national legislation mandates the Minister of Defense and Minister of Foreign Affairs to provide annual Article 7 transparency reports by April 1 of each year, detailing the type, quantity, and lot number of cluster munitions in Cameroon’s possession. 
Cameroon participated in the Oslo Process and joined in the consensus adoption of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Dublin in May 2008, but could not sign the convention in Oslo in December 2008 due to challenges in securing authorization.  It signed the convention at the UN in New York in December 2009 and ratified on 12 July 2012, after adopting ratification legislation in March 2011. 
Cameroon has participated in every meeting of the convention except the Eighth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in September 2018. 
In December 2018, Cameroon voted in favor of a key UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution urging implementation and universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.  Cameroon has voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since it was first introduced in 2015.
Cameroon has voted in favor of UNGA resolutions expressing outrage at the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in December 2018. 
Cameroon is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.
Cameroon has elaborated its views on certain important issues relating to the interpretation and implementation of the convention. In 2011, the Ministry for External Relations stated, “Cameroon has never produced, used, or stockpiled, let alone served as a platform for the transit or transfer of cluster munitions. It therefore approves a) the prohibition on the transfer of cluster munitions; b) the prohibition on the assistance in joint military operations; c) the prohibition on foreign stockpile of cluster munitions; d) the prohibition on investments in cluster munitions.”  Cameroon’s 2016 implementation legislation states that the president must approve any transit of cluster munitions on its territory.  It authorizes the transfer of cluster munitions for the sole purpose of destruction. 
Use, production, and transfer
Cameroon has stated on several occasions that it has not used or produced cluster munitions.  It imported or otherwise acquired a stockpile of cluster munitions produced in France in 1983, according to the lot numbers. 
Stockpiling and stockpile destruction
In August 2014, Cameroon reported a stockpile of six BLG-66 Belouga cluster bombs and 906 “grenades” or explosive submunitions. 
Under Article 3 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Cameroon must destroy all its stockpiled cluster munitions as soon as possible, but not later than 1 January 2021.
Cameroon never indicated that it planned to destroy the stockpile, but instead has stated via the initial transparency report and subsequent annual updates that it was retaining the stockpile for research and training purposes. 
Cameroon has retained six BLG-66 Belouga cluster bombs and 906 “grenades” or explosive submunitions for research and training purposes. That number has not changed since 2014, indicating that Cameroon has yet to consume or otherwise destroy the munitions in research or training exercises.
Cameroon’s 2016 implementing legislation permits the retention of a “limited” number of cluster munitions and submunitions for training related to the detection and destruction of cluster munitions.  The law does not elaborate what it means by “limited.”
 The law contains fines for violations, ranging from $1 to $170 (1,000 to 100,000 CFA) as well as penal sanction of various terms, e.g. 15–25 years for production, storage, importation, and transportation, and 10–30 years for sales. “Loi portant régime général des armes et munitions au Cameroun” (“Law on the general regime of weapons and ammunition in Cameroon”), Republic of Cameroon, Law No.2016/015, Chapter IV, 14 December 2016.
 Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form A, April 2017. Cameroon’s transparency reporting has been inconsistent and fraught with delays. An internet archiving service shows that Cameroon’s initial report from 2014 was not uploaded to the UN database of Convention on Cluster Munitions transparency reports until August 2016. Reports covering the years 2015 and 2016 were both uploaded in April 2017.
 “Loi portant régime général des armes et munitions au Cameroun” (“Law on the general regime of weapons and ammunition in Cameroon”), Republic of Cameroon, Law No.2016/015, Chapter IV, Article 36, 14 December 2016.
 Law 2011/003 was adopted on 6 March 2011 and signed into law by President Paul Biya on 6 May 2011
 Cameroon attended the convention’s First Review Conference in 2015, intersessional meetings in 2013–2014, and regional workshops on the convention, most recently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in August 2016.
 “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 73/54, 5 December 2018.
 “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 73/182, 17 December 2018. Cameroon voted in favor of similar resolutions in 2013–2017.
 Original text in French: “Le Cameroun, n’est producteur, ni utilisation, ni stockeur encore moins une plate-forme de transit et de transfert des armes à sous-munitions. Il approuve par conséquent a) l’interdiction de transfert des sous-munitions; b) l’interdiction d’assistance en opérations militaires conjointes; c) l’interdiction de stocker des armes à sous-munitions étrangères; d) l’interdiction d’investir dans les armes à sous-munitions.” “Cameroon and the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” statement provided to Handicap International in email from Dr. Yves Alexandre Chouala, Ministry of External Relations, 12 May 2011.
 “Loi portant régime général des armes et munitions au Cameroun” (“Law on the general regime of weapons and ammunition in Cameroon”), Republic of Cameroon, Law No.2016/015, Chapter II, Article 6, 14 December 2016.
 Ibid., Chapter IV, Article 35.
 Statement of Cameroon, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 15 September 2011; statement of Cameroon, Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, Closing Plenary, 30 May 2008. Notes by Landmine Action; and statement of Cameroon, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 10 November 2010. Notes by the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC).
 Each bomb contains 152 submunitions; Cameroon reported a total of 906 submunitions rather than 912 submunitions.
 Ibid., Form C. See also, statement of Cameroon, Convention on Cluster Munitions Seventh Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 4 September 2017. Official audio recording, UN Digital Recordings Portal.
 “Loi portant régime général des armes et munitions au Cameroun” (“Law on the general regime of weapons and ammunition in Cameroon”), Republic of Cameroon, Law No.2016/015, Chapter IV, Article 35, 14 December 2016.
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The Republic of Cameroon originally declared that there were no mined areas under its jurisdiction and control, and its first Article 5 deadline expired in 2013. However, since 2014 victim-activated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have caused casualties, particularly in Cameroon’s northern districts along the border with Nigeria. The extent of contamination is not known but is believed to be small. Cameroon has yet to report and clarify on the extent of contamination from improvised mine types.
The total number of mine/explosive remnant of war (ERW) casualties in Cameroon is not known. Between 2014 and 2019, the Monitor recorded 161 mine/ERW casualties. The majority of the casualties were caused by improvised mines, although media reports generally did not specify the initiation mechanism of the devices used, which could clarify if they were in effect antipersonnel mines.
Cameroon does not have a functioning mine action program. Members of the country’s security forces have been regularly trained in explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) by France, Russia, and the United States (US). Cameroon did not report any risk education activities in 2019. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) continued to support the only hospital providing surgical services in Logone-et-Chari department.
Treaty status overview
Mine Ban Treaty
Convention on Cluster Munitions
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
Mine action management and coordination
Cameroon does not have a functioning mine action program.
Cameroon originally declared that there were no mined areas under its jurisdiction and control. However, since 2014 mines of an improvised nature have caused casualties, particularly in Cameroon’s northern districts along the border with Nigeria, as Boko Haram’s military activities escalate. However, it is not clear whether these meet the definition of an antipersonnel mine.
The extent of mine contamination in Cameroon is not known. Cameroonian military officials reported in 2015 that “huge” numbers of landmines had been planted by Boko Haram along Cameroon’s Nigerian border, posing a threat to civilians, livestock, and soldiers. They also reported recurrent use of mines along the road between Kerawa and Kolofata, targeting army vehicles.
In 2019, there continued to be a number of reports of casualties from mines of unspecified types.
There are no legacy minefields in Cameroon, and incidents relating to ERW are reported infrequently.
All known mine/ERW casualties (between 2014 and 2019)
At least 161 (76 killed and 85 injured)
Casualties in 2019
43 (increase from 29 in 2018)
19 killed; 24 injured
Device type causing casualties
21 improvised mines; 9 ERW; 10 unspecified mines; 3 undifferentiated mines/ERW
21 civilians; 12 military; 10 police
Age and gender
24 adults (1 woman and 23 men)
13 children (2 girls, 3 boys, 8 gender unknown)
6 age and gender unknown
Casualties in 2019: details
The Monitor recorded 43 mine/ERW casualties in Cameroon in 2019, which represents an increase by almost half from the 29 casualties recorded for 2018. In 2019, casualties from improvised mines continued to be reported, mostly in the Far North region, and several mine incidents were reported in the Southwest region. These incidents were linked to fighting between Cameroon’s government forces and Boko Haram along the border with Nigeria. The initiation mechanism of the devices used was generally not specified. There were reports of similar incidents during the first quarter of 2020.
There is no estimate of the total number of mine/ERW casualties in Cameroon. Since 2014, the Monitor recorded at least 161 mine/ERW casualties, of which 76 were killed and 85 were injured. Many of the incidents were linked to Boko Haram activities in the Far North region of Cameroon. However, most media reports did not specify the type of mine causing the incident. Several incidents caused by improvised mines type were reported in 2014, and between 2017 and 2019. UNMAS identified use of improvised mines in Cameroon since 2016.
Operators and service providers
Military Engineer Corps
EOD capacity within the gendarmerie
UNMAS reported in April 2017 that Cameroon’s Military Engineer Corps has official responsibility for clearing munitions and that an EOD capacity within the gendarmerie was being created to address the mine threat. A capacity for battle area clearance (BAC) and EOD spot tasks was also reported to be required.
From June 2018 to June 2019, over 1,400 members of Cameroon’s security forces were trained in EOD by the francophone international police training network (Réseau international francophone de formation policière, Francopol). This followed an earlier training of 25 Cameroonian soldiers by the French and the US armies in Level 4 EOD, from March to April 2018. Since 2015, Cameroon was reported to have received demining/EOD training and equipment from Russia and the US.
Land release overview
Landmine clearance in 2019
Cameroon needs to clarify and to provide information on the nature of mine contamination, including disaggregated data on improvised mines
It is not known if and to what extent mine clearance or EOD has been undertaken in affected areas. At the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2019, Cameroon appealed for international support to increase its mine clearance capacity and to enable the country to conduct technical surveys.
Cameroon did not report any risk education activities in 2019.
In its 2016–2017 protection strategy, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) identified the need to assess the situation related to mines, including those of an improvised nature, and to develop a risk education strategy in the Far North region. The strategy was to benefit refugee and displaced populations, as well as host communities. In the Far North, Boko Haram’s attacks have displaced thousands of people since 2013. Numbers of displaced people have increased from 60,000 in December 2014 to 300,000 in December 2019.
In 2019, the ICRC continued to support one hospital in northern Cameroon, although the precarious security situation and a government-imposed curfew limited access to health services. The hospital in Mada was the only facility providing surgical services in the Logone-et-Chari department. The ICRC also provided wound-dressing kits to two primary health care centers in northern Cameroon.
 Moki Edwin Kindzeka, “Land Mines Hamper Cameroon, Chad in Fight Against Boko Haram,” Voice of America News, 3 March 2015; and Moki Edwin Kindzeka, “Boko Haram Surrounds Havens with Land Mines,” Voice of America News, 24 May 2015.
 Monitor media monitoring from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019.
 UNMAS, “Mission Report: UNMAS explosive hazard mitigation response in Cameroon, 9 January–13 April 2017,” 30 April 2017, p. 1.
 Unless otherwise indicated, casualty data for 2019 is based on Monitor media monitoring from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019 and analysis of Armed Conflict Location and Event Data project (ACLED) data for calendar year 2019. Approved citation: Clionadh Raleigh, Andrew Linke, Håvard Hegre, and Joakim Karlsen, “Introducing ACLED-Armed Conflict Location and Event Data,” Journal of Peace Research, Issue 47(5), 2010, pp. 651–660.
 Monitor media monitoring from 1 January 2020 to 24 April 2020; and the ACLED data on Cameroon for the first quarter of 2020. Approved citation: Clionadh Raleigh, Andrew Linke, Håvard Hegre, and Joakim Karlsen, “Introducing ACLED-Armed Conflict Location and Event Data,” Journal of Peace Research, Issue 47(5), 2010, pp. 651–660.
 Monitor analysis of ACLED data for calendar years 2014 and 2017–2019. Approved citation: Clionadh Raleigh, Andrew Linke, Håvard Hegre, and Joakim Karlsen, “Introducing ACLED-Armed Conflict Location and Event Data,” Journal of Peace Research, Issue 47(5), 2010, pp. 651–660.
 UNMAS, “Mission Report: UNMAS explosive hazard mitigation response in Cameroon, 9 January–13 April 2017,” 30 April 2017, pp. 12 and 14.
 Francopol, “Closing ceremony of the awareness-raising project on the specifics of the fight against terrorism and dealing with improvised explosive devices,” 4 July 2019; and “Cameroon: 1,000 police officers and gendarmes trained to fights against explosive devices,” Daily News Cameroon, 19 June 2019.
 Mireille Onana Mebenga, “Military Engineering – Deminers trained,” Cameroon Tribune, 23 April 2018; and “Cameroonian military initiated into the clearance of explosives by the Americans and the French,” Cameroun 24, 24 April 2018.
 UN General Assembly, “Fourth Committee approves draft resolution urging states to help victims, as it concludes general debate on assistance in mine action,” 23 October 2019.
 UNHCR, “National protection cluster strategy in Cameroon 2016–2017” (“Stratégie nationale du secteur protection au Cameroun 2016–2017”), undated, p. 18.
 Ibid., p. 259.
Mine Ban Policy
The Republic of Cameroon signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 19 September 2002, becoming a State Party on 1 March 2003.
Legislation to enforce the antipersonnel mine prohibition domestically has not been enacted. Cameroon submitted its initial Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report on 5 December 2005 and a subsequent report in August 2009 but has not provided any further annual reports.
Cameroon destroyed its stockpile of 9,187 antipersonnel mines in April 2003. Cameroon apparently retains 3,154 “inactive mines” for training purposes. It has not provided further reporting on the use of retained mines, as agreed by States Parties.
Cameroon attended the Sixteenth Meeting of States Parties in Vienna, Austria in December 2017 but did not make any statements. It did not attend the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in September 2018, nor the treaty’s intersessional meetings in June 2018.
Cameroon is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines, but not CCW Protocol V on explosive remnants of war.
Cameroon has previously stated that it has not used, produced, or exported antipersonnel mines and will not facilitate their transit through its country.
Non-state armed groups
In both 2018 and early 2019, UNMAS identified use of pressure plate-initiated improvised mines by Boko Haram in northern Cameroon. However, it is unclear if these improvised mines were detonated due to the pressure exerted by weight of a person or a vehicle. Such use was previously identified in 2016 and 2017.
Most recently, a soldier and two civilians were killed on 15 September 2017 by a landmine planted by Boko Haram between Abdouri and Woulba, in the country’s northern region.
The use of victim-activated improvised mines has regularly been reported in the northern extreme of the country, where it shares borders with Nigeria and Chad, though several of the incidents reported as “landmines” in the press appear to be antivehicle mines or remote-controlled improvised explosive devices. In May 2015, Cameroon’s Defense Minister, Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o, stated that the Cameroonian military’s efforts to secure the country's northern border with Nigeria are being hampered by landmines planted by Boko Haram. Boko Haram has been documented to manufacture and use victim-activated improvised explosive devices across the border in Nigeria. In 2015, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported the presence of landmines in Fotokol and Mayo Moskota, both in Logone et Chari department.
 Statement of Cameroon, Mine Ban Treaty Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 19 September 2002.
 “Quatre policiers tués dans l’explosion d’une mine au Cameroun anglophone,” RFI Afrique, 17 June 2019; “Cameroon separatists ‘blow up’ military vehicle,” BBC, 30 November 2018; and “7 killed in Boko Haram attack in Cameroon’s Far North region,” Xinhuanet, 19 April 2019.
 UNMAS, “Mission Report: UNMAS Explosive Hazard Mitigation Response in Cameroon 9 January–13 April 2017,” undated, p. 11.
 Simon Ateba, “Cameroon: Over 109 Houses Set on Fire by Boko Haram in Overnight Attacks,” Cameroon Concord, 18 September 2017.
 See for instance, Felix Nkambeh Tih, “Landmine explosion kills 2 soldiers in north Cameroon,” Anadolu Agency, 24 April 2014.
 Moki Edwin Kindzeka, “Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines,” Voice of America (VOA), 24 May 2015; Moki Edwin Kindzeka, “Cameroon Vigilantes Hunt for Boko Haram Landmines,” VOA, 4 March 2016; and “Six villagers injured in Boko haram landmine explosion,” Journal du Cameroun, 17 May 2017.
 UNHCR/International Organisation for Migration (IOM), “Cameroon: Far North – Displaced Population Profiling,” 19 May 2015.