Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 26 September 2019


The Republic of Niger signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified on 23 March 1999, becoming a State Party on 1 September 1999. National implementation legislation (Law 2004-044) entered into force on 15 September 2004.[1]

Niger submits Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 reports infrequently, most recently in June 2018. Previously Niger last submitted a report in November 2012.

Niger has attended every annual Meeting of States Parties since 2011, as well as most intersessional meetings, most recently in June 2018. Previously at the June 2017 intersessional meetings, Niger submitted a request to extend its deadline to complete Article 5 requirements by five years.

Niger is party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II on landmines, but not CCW Protocol V on explosive remnants of war.

Production, transfer, stockpile destruction, and use

At the June 2017 intersessional meetings, Niger announced it had cleared over 39,000m2 and destroyed 1,075 mines since 2014.[2] However, it also announced the discovery of a second minefield adjacent to the first, covering 196,523m2, explaining the request for an extension. At the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in November 2018, Niger announced that it had not been able to make any progress in demining due to a lack of funding and stated it may have to submit a third extension request.[3]

Niger has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines. In April 2003, Niger reported that it had destroyed its entire stock of 48 antipersonnel mines.[4] It did not retain any antipersonnel mines for training or research purposes.[5]

Use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by Islamic State affiliates in western Niger has been confirmed in 2019, including antivehicle mines with pressure plate initiating devices. However, it is unclear whether there has been use of antipersonnel mines.[6]

From 2007 to 2009, an armed insurgency took place in the north of the country with the Touareg non-state armed group (NSAG) and the Niger Justice Movement (Mouvement des Nigériens pour la Justice, MNJ). In late 2009, the MNJ suffered a major split, with many of its leaders forming a new armed group, the Nigerian Patriotic Front (Front Patriotique Nigérien, FPN), which negotiated an end to conflict with the government. Niger stated on several occasions that the insurgents had not used antipersonnel mines.[7] MNJ representatives also denied any use of antipersonnel mines.[8] A media report in October 2009 stated that the FPN, a splinter faction of the MNJ, handed over some antivehicle mines during official ceremonies to reaffirm their commitment to the peace process.[9]

Niger collected and destroyed antipersonnel mines belonging to other armed groups in 2008 and 2009.[10] In March 2010, a representative of the national mine action authority told the Monitor that there were no new recoveries or surrenders of antipersonnel mines by NSAGs in 2009. He also confirmed that all antipersonnel and antivehicle mines previously seized or discovered had been destroyed.[11]

[1] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 26 May 2005. According to Article 13 of Law 2004-044, use, production, stockpiling, or transfer of antipersonnel mines can be punished with a prison term of between 10 and 20 years, as well as a fine of XOF1million–3 million (US$2,170–$6,510). Average exchange rate for 2009: XOF1=US$0.00217. Article 16 of the law directs that the National Commission for the Collection and Control of Illicit Weapons (Commission Nationale pour la Collecte et le Contrôle des Armes Illicites, CNCCAI) is responsible for ensuring the law’s application.

[2] See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 Extension Request, 4 October 2016, p. 2.

[3] Statement of Niger, Mine Ban Treaty Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 27 November 2018.

[4] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, 4 April 2003. Previously, Niger reported that it had no stockpile of antipersonnel mines, including for training purposes. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2002, pp. 384–385.

[5] In its earlier Article 7 reports, Niger indicated that it was retaining for training purposes 949 antivehicle mines and 146 French “éclairant” (flare) mines. None are considered antipersonnel mines under the Mine Ban Treaty. In its Article 7 report submitted on 26 May 2009, Niger reported only the 146 flare mines as retained, and reported that none of the flares contained explosives. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports, Form D, 29 June 2006; and, 26 May 2009.

[7] In November 2008, Niger told the Ninth Meeting of States Parties that insurgents had not used antipersonnel mines, but have used antivehicle mines, causing both military and civilian casualties. It noted that while a previous Article 7 report had listed some suspected mined areas, subsequent investigations by the authorities found no use of antipersonnel mines. Niger confirmed again in May 2009 that no antipersonnel mines had been used by the rebels, but said it cannot guarantee that they will not be used as the conflict has not ended. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2009, p. 589.

[8] See, Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 559; and Geneva Call, “Annual Report 2008,” Geneva, undated, p. 13.

[9] Mohamed Madou and Addine Ag Algalass, “Cérémonie officielle de remise d’armes à Agadez: D’importantes quantités d’armes et de munitions remises aux autorités” (“Official ceremony of handing over of weapons in Agadez: Large quantities of arms and ammunition handed over to authorities”), Le Sahel, 13 October 2009.

[10] See, Landmine Monitor Report 2009, pp. 588–589; and Landmine Monitor Report 2010. The mines reportedly came from two sources. Media reports said that in July 2008 Niger had discovered more than 1,000 abandoned mines on the Niger-Chad border. The mines were believed to have been lifted from minefields by smugglers for resale. Others were recovered through a government-initiated program to buy mines and other weapons from traffickers to prevent them from falling into the hands of rebels. Niger said in May 2009 that the program had recovered many mines, all of which had been destroyed, but the program was halted as it actually increased the flow of arms into the country. The head of the national mine action authority (CNCCAI) told the Monitor in May 2009 that the mines acquired were old mines that had been removed from the ground, and were believed to have come from Chad. Interview with Col. Maï Moctar Kassouma, President, CNCCAI, in Geneva, 28 May 2009.

[11] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Allassan Fousseini, Consultant, CNCCAI/UNDP, Niger, 10 March 2010.