1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and On their Destruction
Article 1. General Obligations. 1. Each State Party undertakes never under any circumstances: ...(b) To...acquire, stockpile, retain...anti-personnel mines.Article 3. Exceptions. 1. Notwithstanding the general obligations under Article 1, the retention or transfer of a number of anti-personnel mines for the development of and training in mine detection, mine clearance, or mine destruction techniques is permitted. The amount of such mines shall not exceed the minimum number absolutely necessary for the above-mentioned purposes.Article 4. Destruction of stockpiled anti-personnel mines. Except as provided for in Article 3, each State Party undertakes to destroy or ensure the destruction of all stockpiled anti-personnel mines it owns or possesses, or that are under its jurisdiction or control, as soon as possible but not later than four years after the entry into force of this Convention for that State Party.
The 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and On their Destruction (1997 Mine Ban Treaty) for the first time in history prohibits the use and requires destruction of a weapon that has been in widespread use around the world. At least 124 nations have possessed antipersonnel mines. Landmine Monitor estimates that there are currently more than 250 million antipersonnel mines stockpiled in at least 104 nations. In addition to governments, many rebel groups and other non-state actors also stockpile AP mines.
The Mine Ban Treaty bans stockpiling of antipersonnel mines and requires that a state destroy existing stocks within four years of the entry into force of the treaty for that state. A limited number of AP mines may be retained for training purposes, but not for operational use.
In recent years, approximately 19 million antipersonnel mines have been destroyed from the arsenals of at least 50 nations. Nineteen ban signatories have completed their stockpile destruction, totaling at least 9.6 million AP mines. Another twenty-six signatories are in the process of completely eliminating stocks, destroying more than 3.5 million to date. At least five non-signatories have also partially destroyed stocks in recent years, totaling more than 5.5 million, at least in part to comply with the revised Protocol 2 (Landmines) of the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons.
Stockpile destruction has received very little attention and funding compared to other elements of mine action (mine clearance, mine awareness, victim assistance). Yet it is essential that mines be destroyed before they get used -- it will save millions of innocent lives, but will also be much cheaper, safer, and easier to do than destroying them once they have been planted in the ground. The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) calls for a major effort to eradicate AP mine stockpiles as a form of preventive mine action. This should include establishment of bilateral, regional and/or international programs to provide financial and technical assistance for stockpile destruction. Such programs, however, should not impinge upon other mine action programs.
This Fact Sheet examines what is known about stockpiles of antipersonnel mines and stockpile destruction efforts to date, and raises various issues of concern. It has been prepared to help inform discussion at the first meeting of the Standing Committee of Experts on Stockpile Destruction. It draws on information contained in Landmine Monitor Report 1999: Toward a Mine-Free World, released by the ICBL at the First Meeting of States Parties in Maputo in May 1999, as well as information collected since the release, most notably from the Article 7 reports of States Parties.
For more detail, those interested should consult the Landmine Monitor Report 1999, the relevant Landmine Monitor country researcher, or Human Rights Watch, which oversees stockpile data for Landmine Monitor and serves as the main ICBL liaison to the Stockpile Destruction SCE. Comments, clarifications, corrections and additional information are most welcome.
In the past year, a good deal has been written about early over-estimates of the number of mines planted in the ground globally. Lost in that discussion is a fact that emerges from Landmine Monitor research: the common estimate of the number of antipersonnel mines stockpiled by nations (100 million) appears to be dramatically low.
1. Known Stockpiles
Landmine Monitor estimates that there are more than 250 million antipersonnel mines stored in the arsenals of at least 104 countries (see Appendix I). While this is by far the most informed and comprehensive assessment of global stocks, it is important to note that this number should not in any way be considered definitive, primarily because the size of the three biggest stockpiles (China, Russia, and Belarus) are estimates that could be millions, or even tens of millions, higher or lower.
The chart below shows the ten biggest stockpiles of AP mines. Of the top ten, six have not signed the ban treaty. Treaty non-signatories have an estimated 225-250 million AP mines in stockpile, while treaty signatories currently have an estimated 25-30 million in stockpile, of which states parties account for an estimated 13-15 million.
BIGGEST MINE STOCKPILES
China 110 million (e)
Russia 60-70 million (e)
USA 11.3 million
Ukraine 10 million (being destroyed)
Italy 5.5 million (being destroyed)
India 4-5 million (e)
Albania 2.2 million (e)
South Korea 2 million (e)
Sweden 1.7 million (being destroyed)
* Belarus has acknowledged "millions" in stockpile. However, it has estimated cost of destruction at "tens of millions," which likely means that tens of millions of AP mines are in stockpile.
Landmine Monitor research indicates that the biggest current stockpiles of treaty signatories belong to Ukraine (10 million) , Italy (5.5 million), Albania (2.2 million), Sweden (1.7 million), Japan (1 million), Bulgaria (886,000), Thailand (390,000), Czech Republic (320,000), Spain (320,000), and, likely, Greece (unknown but perhaps more than one million). With the exceptions of Albania and Greece, all of these countries are in the process of destroying their mines. Neither Albania nor Greece has ratified the treaty.
In addition to China, Russia, Belarus, USA, India, and South Korea, other non-signatories believed to have large stockpiles, possibly larger than some listed above, include Iraq, Iran, FR Yugoslavia, Pakistan, Egypt, Israel, Vietnam, Angola, and Finland.
NATIONS WITH ANTIPERSONNEL MINE STOCKPILES:
35 States Parties: Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Honduras, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mozambique, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Niger, Peru, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Venezuela, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
[Uncertain: Chad, Guinea, Panama, Paraguay, Senegal]
26 Signatories: Albania, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Brunei, Chile, Colombia, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Gabon, Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Indonesia, Kenya, Lithuania, Mauritania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Ukraine, Uruguay and Zambia.
[Uncertain: Botswana, Burundi, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo]
43 Non-signatories: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burma/Myanmar, Central African Republic, China, Congo (Brazzaville), Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Finland, Georgia, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, USA, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yugoslavia.
[Uncertain: Bahrain, Comoros, Mongolia, Nepal]
2. Uncertainties, Unknowns, Discrepancies
Landmine Monitor has been unable to determine if the following fourteen nations possess AP mine stocks:
States Parties: Chad, Guinea, Panama, Paraguay, Senegal;
Signatories: Botswana, Burundi, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo;
Non-Signatories: Bahrain, Comoros, Mongolia, Nepal.
In the case of some of these fourteen, it has not been possible to make a determination because of a lack of transparency on the part of the government, or because of insufficient research. This is the case with Chad, Guinea, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo, Bahrain, and Mongolia.
In other cases, there is some dispute, discrepancy, or contradictory information: Botswana, Burundi, Comoros, Nepal, and Senegal.
Botswana, a signatory, stated in June 1997 that it had no stockpile of AP mines. However, in 1995 a Defense Force official told Human Rights Watch that it maintained a small stockpile.
Burundi, a signatory, told the UN that it has never stockpiled AP mines. However, officials have also told the UN that they sometimes keep mines captured from rebels, and that the Defense Ministry has limited stocks for training. There have been allegations of use of mines by Burundi forces against rebel forces inside the country, along the Tanzanian border, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo in support of opposition forces.
Comoros, a non-signatory, claims that it has no AP mine stocks. French defense specialists told Landmine Monitor that they suspected Comoros maintained stocks.
Nepal, a non-signatory, has stated that it does not have any AP mines. But in 1998 a parliamentarian asked the government "to remove the mines stockpiled in the Swoyambhu area." The government has not responded to requests for clarification from the Nepal Campaign to Ban Landmines.
Senegal, a state party, indicated in its Article 7 report that it has never stockpiled AP mines. Yet, members of the Senegalese engineering corps told Landmine Monitor that the army had Warsaw Pact origin AP mines. At the First Meeting of States Parties in May 1999, Senegalese diplomats denied the Landmine Monitor's conclusion (based on testimony of Guinea-Bissau soldiers) that Senegalese forces had used AP mines in 1998 in support of Guinea-Bissau forces against army mutineers, but those same officials never claimed that Senegal had no stockpile of mines.
Lack of Transparency by States Parties and Signatories
Far too many states parties and signatories are reluctant or refusing to reveal any details about their stockpiles until required to do so by the Article 7 deadline. Seventeen of thirty-five states parties and twenty-one of twenty-six signatories that are known to have stocks have not disclosed stockpile totals. The lack of knowledge about mine stocks in some states parties that are heavily affected by mines is especially disturbing.
Angola which has been condemned as the only signatory which continues to use AP mines today has refused to provide any details about its stocks, but it is believed to have a very significant number.
In the case of Cambodia, Landmine Monitor reported that on 17 February 1999 RCAF Deputy Commander in Chief Lieutenant General Pol Saroeun formally stated that the Cambodian government no longer had stockpiles of antipersonnel landmines and that the armed forces had destroyed 71,991 AP mines between 1994 and 1998. However, it seems highly unlikely that the entire stockpile has been eliminated, given the relatively small number of AP mines destroyed and the previous estimates of Cambodia's stockpile at more than one million mines. At the December 1999 Standing Committee of Experts Meeting on Stockpile Destruction, the Cambodian delegate acknowledged that the government was continuing to try to identify additional stocks.
Mozambique, despite promises, has not provided details on its stockpile. Mozambique has yet to deliver its Article 7 report, due in August. Even at a high-profile stockpile destruction ceremony during the May 1999 First Meeting of States Parties in Maputo, the government was not able to give the actual number or types of AP mines destroyed or remaining in stocks. The Commander General of Police in Mozambique reported that 10,986 mines were found and destroyed by police forces between 1995 and 1998.
Landmine Monitor is also concerned about the lack of transparency on the part of Greece, a treaty signatory that has yet to ratify, because at least one media source has indicated that Greece's stockpile may number as much as 1.5 million.
Lack of Transparency by Non-Signatories
Extremely little is known about the AP mine stockpiles of treaty non-signatories because of a factors including claims of national security and a lack of requirement for transparency. Of the forty-three non-signatories with stockpiles, only the United States has provided significant information.
China's stockpile, the largest in the world, is estimated by Landmine Monitor to number 110 million, including 100 million Type 72 mines, based on interviews with government officials who have negotiated on landmines with China. However, Chinese officials have characterized the estimate as exaggerated.
Russia has made no official statements regarding the size of its AP mine stockpile, but several Russian officials told ICBL representatives that it numbered some 60-70 million, a figure also used in at least one Russian press article and supported by interviews with other, non-Russian government experts.
Belarus has acknowledged that it has "millions" of AP mines in stockpile, but has also said it will take tens of millions of dollars to destroy them (perhaps as much as $50 million), indicating that the number of mines is likely tens of millions.
Finland has vaguely stated that it holds hundreds of thousands of AP mines, less than one million, but Finnish campaigners believe this is understated.
Landmine Monitor believes it can reliably estimate the size of India's stockpile at 4-5 million, and South Korea's somewhat less confidently at 2 million, even though official confirmation is impossible. Other non-signatories could have hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of AP mines, but no information is available, including Iraq, Iran, FR Yugoslavia, Pakistan, Egypt, Israel and Vietnam.
3. Countries without AP Mine Stockpiles
Seventy-six countries are believed to have no stockpiles of antipersonnel landmines, of which 49 are State Parties, 16 are treaty signatories, and 11 are non-signatories. The total includes 19 countries that have already destroyed their stocks, and 57 countries that apparently have never possessed AP mines. Many of the latter are small countries with limited military capacities and in some instances no military forces at all, such as Caribbean and Pacific Island nations.
Included in the 76 are eleven countries that have destroyed their operational stocks but have chosen to retain some AP mines for training under Article 3 of the ban treaty (Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Mali, Namibia, South Africa and the U.K.) and five countries that claim to possess no stocks of mines, other than those used for training (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Estonia, and Mauritius).
NATIONS WITHOUT ANTIPERSONNEL MINE STOCKPILES
49 State Parties: Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Canada, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, France, Germany, Grenada, Guatemala, Holy See, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Jamaica, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Namibia, Norway, Niue, Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Swaziland, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago and the U.K.
[Uncertain: Chad, Guinea, Panama, Paraguay, Senegal]
16 Signatories: Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cook Islands, Cte D'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Gambia, Ghana, Haiti, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Philippines, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, So Tom and Principe, Seychelles, and Vanuatu.
[Uncertain: Botswana, Burundi, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo]
11 Non-Signatories: Bhutan, Estonia, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Tonga, Tuvalu and United Arab Emirates.
[Uncertain: Bahrain, Comoros, Mongolia, Nepal]
III. STOCKPILE DESTRUCTION
Landmine Monitor research shows that approximately 19 million antipersonnel mines have been destroyed in recent years from the stocks of at least 50 nations.
1. Destruction Complete
Nineteen nations have already completed destruction of stocks totaling at least 9.6 million antipersonnel mines: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Luxembourg, Mali, Namibia, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, Switzerland and United Kingdom. All are states parties, except the Philippines, which is a signatory. Eleven of these are keeping a small number of mines for training, as permitted under the treaty.
NATIONS WHICH HAVE COMPLETED STOCKPILE DESTRUCTION
- Australia 128,161 destroyed by Sept. 1999
- Austria - 116,000 destroyed by 1996
- Belgium - 433,441 destroyed by Nov. 1997
- Bosnia & Herzegovina Unknown, destroyed by Nov.1999
- Canada 92,551 destroyed by Nov. 1997
- El Salvador - Unknown number destroyed
- France 1,095,000 destroyed by 20 Dec. 1999
- Germany -1.7 million destroyed by Dec. 1997
- Guatemala - Unknown number destroyed
- Hungary - 356,884 destroyed by June 1999
- Luxembourg - 9,600 destroyed by Aug. 1997
- Mali - Unknown number (est. 3,900) destroyed by April 1999
- Namibia - Unknown number destroyed
- New Zealand - Unknown number destroyed
- Norway - Unknown number destroyed by Oct. 1996
- Philippines - 2,460 Claymore mines destroyed by Feb. 1997
- South Africa - 243,423 destroyed by Oct. 1997, another 2,586 from March-Sept. 1999
- Switzerland 3.85 million destroyed from 1992 - Dec. 1997
- United Kingdom - 1,250,000 destroyed by Sept. 1999
2. Destruction Underway
Another twenty-six signatories are already in the process of destruction and have destroyed more than 3.5 million AP mines to date: Bulgaria, Cambodia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Macedonia, Moldova, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Yemen. In a few cases no mines have been destroyed but planning is well underway.
The following chart shows for each of the 26 countries, the number of AP mines destroyed so far, the number remaining, and the timetable for completion of destruction (if known). The source of information is the Landmine Monitor Report 1999 unless otherwise noted.
NATIONS DESTROYING STOCKS
- Bulgaria 4,010 destroyed; 885,872 remaining; complete by end 2000.
- Cambodia - 71,991 destroyed between 1994-1998; unknown number remaining.
- Croatia - 3,434 destroyed; 198,649 AP mines, 34,243 AP mine fuses and 315 AP mine bodies remaining; complete by 2003.
- Czech Republic - unknown number destroyed; 320,000 total stock; complete by 30 June 2001.
- Denmark - 97,095 destroyed, 169,422 remaining; complete by end 1999.
- Djibouti - 350 kg of landmines and UXO destroyed in 1998; unknown remaining.
- Guinea-Bissau - 2,000-2,300 destroyed in 1998; unknown number remaining.
- Honduras planning underway; 9,439 total stock, destroy during 1999-2002.
- Italy 1.6 million destroyed; 5.5 million remaining; destroy by 2001.
- Japan Unknown number destroyed; 1,000,089 total stock; complete by 28 Feb. 2003.
- Jordan 12,552 destroyed; 80,5688 remaining; complete by 2003.
- Macedonia - planning underway; 42,921 stockpiled.
- Moldova - unknown number destroyed; 12,000 stockpiled.
- Netherlands - 254,500 destroyed, 10,000 remaining.
- Nicaragua - 20,000 destroyed; 116,813 remaining, complete by April 2002.
- Portugal - unknown number destroyed and remaining.
- Slovakia est. 108,000 destroyed; 72,000 remaining, complete by Sept. 2000.
- Slovenia - 8,104 destroyed, 163,794 remaining.
- Spain - 590,000 destroyed, 247,000 remaining, complete by Nov. 2000.
- Sweden - 692,630 destroyed, 1,666,639 remaining, complete by end 2001.
- Thailand - 10,000 destroyed, est. 390,000 remaining.
- Tunisia - unknown number destroyed and remaining.
- Uganda - unknown number destroyed; 50,000 total stockpile.
- Ukraine - 101,028 destroyed in March 1998; 10 million remaining.
- Uruguay - unknown number destroyed; 2,338 stockpiled.
- Yemen planning underway, 42,000 fuzes destroyed, 59,000 remaining
3. Destruction by Non-Signatories
In addition, at least five non-signatories have recently destroyed significant numbers of AP mines, totalling more than 5.5 million. The United States destroyed 3.3 million AP mines (M-14 and M-16) as part of its commitment to eliminate use of dumb mines everywhere but Korea. China reported that it destroyed 1.7 million mines that were not compliant with new CCW requirements (GLD-110, -120, -130, -150, etc.). Russia destroyed 500,000 mines (thought to be PMNs) that were not CCW-compliant. Belarus destroyed 5,000 non-CCW compliant AP mines between 1996-1998. Finland has destroyed non-CCW compliant mines, but has not revealed the number.
4. Destruction not underway
Landmine Monitor is not aware of any destruction, or planning for destruction, of AP mines in twelve states parties known to have stocks; Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mozambique, Niger, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.
The same is true for twenty-two signatory nations with stocks: Albania, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Brunei, Chile, Colombia, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Gabon, Greece, Guyana, Indonesia, Kenya, Lithuania, Mauritania, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Zambia.
Landmine Monitor is unaware of any destruction in thirty-eight of the forty-three non-signatories with stocks.
IV. ISSUES OF CONCERN
1. Mines retained for Training
It appears that a significant number of treaty signatories, at least 36, are opting to exercise the Article 3 exception that permits retention of mines for training purposes.
While many nations have not yet revealed the number of AP mines to be retained, it appears many intend to keep between 1,000-5,000. Five have reported that they intend to keep 10,000 or more; Croatia, Japan, Bulgaria, Australia and Spain. During the Oslo negotiations, it was established for the diplomatic record that the number of mines retained for training should be in the hundreds or thousands, not tens of thousands. The ICBL has repeatedly questioned the need for live mines for training.
There are nations that have completely destroyed their AP mine stockpile and which have chosen not to retain any AP mines for training purposes as permitted under Article 3, including Austria, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines and Switzerland.
Switzerland completed destruction of its stockpile in December 1997 and chose not to retain any antipersonnel mines for training or any other purpose. New Zealand destroyed its small stockpile of both AP and antitank landmines rather than sell or transfer when the "de facto" ban on use of AP mines was declared in 1996. The New Zealand Army does not retain live AP mines for either operational or training purposes - all mines retained are either practice or inert and contain no explosives. The Philippines destroyed all of its mines, 2,460 Claymores, in 1996-1997.
Landmine Monitor reported that Austria retained a very small number of AP mines (believed to be 58) for training and research, but Austria reported under Article 7 that it had no AP mines retained in the reporting period. Norway was reported by Landmine Monitor as holding less than ten AP mines for training purposes yet, under Article 7 Norway reported that it has no AP mines stockpiled, except for U.S. stockpiles. Austria, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland all retain Claymore mines that are used in command-detonated mode.
Some countries that are in the process of destroying, or planning the destruction of, their stockpiled AP mines have indicated that they will not retain AP mines for training, including Bosnia and Uruguay. Landmine Monitor reported that Bosnia-Herzegovina will not retain mines for training purposes as appropriate training models are available. Bosnia-Herzegovina has not yet provided its Article 7 report, which was due at the end of August 1999. Uruguay told Landmine Monitor that it requires mines for training but inert mines will be used.
Several nations have chosen to retain only hundreds or less than a hundred AP mines. For example, Ireland has retained 130 AP mines, Macedonia retains fifty and Mauritius retains a dozen. In 1997, Zimbabwe committed itself to destroy what AP mines it had in stock "within the next five (5) years, with only a few retained for training and public awareness purposes." The exact number of AP mines retained for training is unknown and Zimbabwe is late submitting its Article Seven report.
Among the treaty signatories that have decided to retain at least 1,000 mines are:
Japan - 15,000
Bulgaria - 10,446
Australia - 10,000
Spain - 10,000
Italy - 8,000
Slovenia - 7,000
Belgium - 5,890
Netherlands - 5,000
Denmark - 4,962
Czech Republic - 4,900
South Africa - 4,830
France - 4,361
United Kingdom - 4,437
Yemen - 4,000
Germany - 3,006
Canada - 1,781
Luxembourg - 1,500
Hungary - 1,500
Honduras - 1,050
Cambodia - 1,000
Jordan - 1,000
Mali - 1,000
According to Landmine Monitor, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Estonia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Namibia, Nicaragua, and Sweden have indicated that they wish to retain AP mines for training, but numbers are not available.
Landmine Monitor reported that South Africa retained 5,000 AP mines for research and development and 13,000 AP mines for demining training, a total of 18,000 AP mines. In its Article 7 report, South Africa said it currently retained 10,992 AP mine casings for training, 255 unserviceable M1-59s awaiting destruction and 4, 830 AP mines for research and development. The 4,830 AP mines held by Mechem for research therefore may be a more accurate figure of mines retained. A total of 5,000 were initially kept but 170 were used from October 1997 for research.
Croatia in its Article 7 report indicated it is retaining 17,500 AP mines for training, the largest known number retained of any country. This will include 2,500 each of seven types. Croatia has said many are needed for testing clearance machines.
Japan states that it will retain 15,000 (3,000 each of five types) for a ten year period.
Bulgaria reported that it intends to retain 10,446 mines in its Article 7 report, but at the December 1999 SCE Meeting on Stockpile Destruction, the Bulgarian representative told Human Rights Watch that Bulgaria had recently decided instead that it only needed to retain 4,000 mines.
Australia intends to retain 4,500 M16s and 5,500 M14s over a five year period for research and training in humanitarian demining operations.
Spain, in addition to using blank cartridge mines without explosives inside for training, intends to retain ten thousand AP mines under Article 3 of the treaty. Spain plans to use 1,000 every year for training.
Italy's domestic ban law stipulates that the number of mines retained for training cannot exceed 10,000 units but in the Mine Ban Treaty ratification legislation, this number was reduced to 8,000 mines in response to international criticism.
Belgium was reported by Landmine Monitor as retaining a stock of 6,240 type M35 AP mines for training but in its Article Seven report, it reported 5,890 M35 AP mines retained for training.
Denmark was reported by Landmine Monitor as retaining 4,962 NM M14 AP mines under Article 3 but in its Article 7 report, Denmark indicated that it is retaining 5,083 AP mines.
Czech Minister of Defense on 23 May 1998 approved a plan to destroy its 330,000 stockpiled AP mines by June 2001, while retaining approximately 4,000 AP mines for training purposes. Yet at the First Meeting of States Parties in May 1999, the Czech representative said 4,900 AP mines would be retained for training.
France's domestic law stipulates the number of training mines may not exceed 5,000 as of December 2000. In its Article 7 report, France indicated it had retained 4,361 AP mines.
The United Kingdom announced in April 1998 that it would retain about 4,000 AP landmines for training. In its Article 7 report, the U.K. reported 4,437 AP mines retained. The UK Working Group on Landmines has said the U.K. possesses inert AP mines designed for training purposes and that it does not use live mines for training. In the light of this, the UKWGL has said that it believes retention of stocks for training appears to be unnecessary.
Germany's Article Seven report listed 3,006 different types of AP mines retained for training. Landmine Monitor reported that Germany retained 3,000 DM-31 AP mines for training and testing of demining technology. At the December SCE meeting, Germany's delegate said it would retain 10,000 mines.
Canada reported 1,781 AP mines retained for training in its Article 7 report. Landmine Monitor had reported that Canada retained about 1,800 AP mines for training with the option of a retaining a maximum of 2,000 AP mines.
When Hungary announced completion of its stockpile destruction in June 1999, the Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs said that "only a few hundreds" AP mines would be retained. Yet Hungary's Article 7 report indicated 1,500 AP mines retained for training.
Landmine Monitor reported that the Cambodia Mine Action Center (CMAC) has retained less than one thousand antipersonnel landmines for demining training but noted that CMAC usually uses copies of landmines for training purposes.
Landmine Monitor reported that Sweden intended to retain an undetermined number of AP mines for R&D and training purposes but that it would not take a decision on this until its stockpile destruction program is completed.
Estonia, a non-signatory has said that it does not use AP mines except for training, and that it has a small stockpile not exceeding that allowed under the ban treaty.
2. Claymore Mines
Claymore mines (directional fragmentation mines) are legal under the Mine Ban Treaty as long as they are command detonated, and not victim-actuated, or used with a tripwire. States parties that retain Claymores must use them in command detonated mode only. They should also take the technical steps and modifications necessary to ensure command detonation only.
Transparency is necessary on Claymore mines, too. Yet, very few of the governments that have submitted Article 7 reports have given any details on Claymore mines or on modification efforts to make these mines compliant under the treaty. Honduras noted it will destroy 2,031 M18 A1 Claymores but retain another 226. Croatia has indicated it will destroy 13,913 MRUD Claymore-type mines, and Bulgaria has said it will destroy MON-50 Claymore-type mines.
Landmine Monitor's research revealed that many countries that have retained Claymores are currently making them compliant with the command-detonation requirement. In Austria, stockpiled Claymores were adapted by closing the inlet for the fuse to prohibit use in tripwire mode. Canada retained 5,400 M18A1 Claymore mines that it states do not have a built-in tripwire capability. An additional 18,000 C19 Claymores have been ordered from a Canadian-manufacturer without a built-in tripwire capability. Norway now classifies its Claymores as command-detonated mines and is making alterations to ensure that these mines can be only used in command-detonation mode. Denmark's 1,000 M18A1 Claymores are now called "sector charges" and have been rebuilt to ensure that they can be command-detonated only.
The UK has now classified two mines as AP mines when used in victim-operated, "stand-alone" mode: the PJRAD "directional fragmentation mine" and the U.S. "Claymore" mine. It is unclear if any modifications will be made in these mines, and the U.K.s position regarding the stockpiling and destruction of these mines is unknown.
New Zealand retains a small stockpile of command-detonated Claymore mines. Switzerland removed and destroyed the tripwires from their stockpiled Claymore mines and changed the name to "charges diriges 96 lgres" (96 directional fragmentation explosives). Non-signatory U.S. has now classified Claymore mines as command-detonated munitions rather than mines. The Pentagon has indicated that these mines will never be used with tripwires; their only use will be in command-detonated mode.
Some countries appear to have simply renamed or reclassified their Claymore mines. In December 1998 Finland reclassified its Claymore mines as directional fragmentation explosives.
Some countries have completely destroyed their Claymore mines or are using them only for training. The Philippines destroyed its stockpile of 2,460 by February 1997 but later admitted that certain units of the Armed Forces were still keeping and using Claymores illegally either as souvenirs or as a weapon in case of emergency. Papua New Guinea retains only command-detonated Claymore mines for training.
3. Antivehicle mines with Antihandling Devices
The ICBL believes that according to the definitions in the treaty, antivehicle mines (AVMs) equipped with antihandling devices (AHDs) that function like AP mines -- explode from an unintentional or innocent act -- are banned by the treaty. The diplomatic record would support this view, as it was made explicit during the negotiations in Oslo in September 1997.
Thus AVMs with AHDs should be included in Article 7 reporting, including numbers possessed and destroyed. Yet, none of the governments that have submitted Article 7 reports have given any details on antivehicle mines equipped with antihandling devices. Although not included in its Article 7 report, Canada removed and destroyed tilt rod fuses from 20,000 M21 antivehicle mines, which it concluded were not in compliance with the treaty.
4. Stockpiling and Transit of Foreign Antipersonnel Mines
The United States has approximately 200,000 so-called smart mines stored in at least ten countries: seven NATO nations -- Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom -- plus Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia. The U.S. has engaged in discussions with these nations in an effort to convince them that it is permissible under the treaty to allow U.S. mines to stay.
Under Article 1( c) each State Party undertakes never under any circumstances to "assist, encourage or induce, in any way, anyone" to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under the Convention. The ICBL believes that it would violate the spirit and likely the letter of the treaty for States Parties to permit the U.S. (or any other government or entity) to stockpile antipersonnel mines on their territory. On 20 August 1999, ninety-seven heads of non-governmental organizations of the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines (USCBL) wrote to President Clinton urging him to declare that, as a matter of policy, the U.S. will not use AP mines if it is engaged in joint military operations or exercises with treaty signatories. It also called on the President to insist that the U.S. not engage in activities (including stockpiling AP mines in ban signatory countries) which undermine the treaty and put signatories in danger of violating it. No reply has been received yet by the USCBL to this letter.
On 20 September 1999, the ICBL Coordinator wrote to the seventeen NATO members that are signatories to the ban treaty to urge them to challenge, rather than support, the U.S. insistence on the right to transfer or transit AP mines through their territories, as well as stockpile them there.
In Italy, the U.S. stockpiles 33,000 Air Force Gator mines, and a small number of MOPMS mines. Following a strict reading of the Italian legislation, all NATO AP landmines stockpiled in Italy should have been disclosed in quantity and category by 17 March 1998, to be handed over to specially designated local sites by 14 June 1998. Very little is known about locations, quantities and types of NATO landmines in Italy and Landmine Monitor interviews with officials indicate that Italy will not press its NATO ally on this matter.
In Germany, the U.S. stockpiles 14,124 Air Force Gator mines, thousands of Army Volcano mines, and a small number of MOPMS. Landmine Monitor reported that after consultations by the U.S. with Germany, the U.S. concluded that U.S. AP mines can remain indefinitely. The German government argues that according to the "Status of Forces Agreement" (SOFA), weapons of foreign forces within Germany are not covered by German law and control. Germany neglected to provide data on U.S. stockpiles in its Article 7 report. The German Initiative to Ban Landmines argues that the German government should not "run away and hide behind NATO obligations."
In Norway, the location, type and quantity of stockpiled U.S. AP mines are unknown. In a letter to the U.S. Secretary of State, the Norwegian Foreign Minister wrote that the United States can transport mines in and out of the storage areas until 1 March 2003. In its Article Seven report, Norway declined to report the U.S. stocks of AP mines on its territory.
In the United Kingdom, Landmine Monitor reported that the U.S. stockpiles more than 10,000 Gator, Volcano and MOPMS mines on Diego Garcia, a UK dependent territory in the Indian Ocean. The U.K. declined to give details on U.S. stocks on its territories in its Article 7 report. The U.K. government has stated that there are "no US stocks in Britain," and that the UK holds no AP mine stocks outside its territories.
In Spain, U.S. landmine stockpiles are located on its military bases, including Rota (Cdiz), which is supposed to contain around 2,000 U.S. mines (most likely all Gators). Landmine Monitor quoted a press report that the United States has decided to withdraw its stockpile from Rota. U.S. bases in Spain remain under the jurisdiction of the Spanish government and, consequently under Spanish rule, these stockpiles must be either destroyed or retired to U.S. territory, according to the Spanish law. Spanish authorities have told the U.S. that it will be required to withdraw its stocks and they have already begun to negotiate the terms and conditions of the withdrawal. The deadline for the end of the withdrawal of all the US landmine stockpiles had been fixed at 1 July 1999, but no updated information on this is available.
In Japan, the U.S. stockpiles 6,600 Air Force Gator mines and several thousand Volcano mines. Landmine Monitor reported that Japanese government believes that "under the treaty, the obligation as the state party is to undertake measures within the framework of its jurisdictional authority to cease or deter activities prohibited under the treaty - thus it continues to be feasible for the U.S. forces to retain any antipersonnel landmines withheld and stockpiled in the U.S. bases in Japan." Japan declined to give any information on this in its Article 7 report.
In Greece the U.S. stockpiles more than 1,000 Gator mines. Greece has not yet ratified, and has not submitted an Article 7 report.
In non-signatory countries, the U.S. stockpiles about 49,610 Air Force Gator mines in Saudi Arabia, 770 Air Force Gator mines in Turkey and an unknown number of self-destructing AP mines in South Korea in addition to 1.2 million so-called dumb mines.
In France, AP mines have been stockpiled by the army in overseas departments and territories. According to a Defence Ministry spokesperson, these mines were to be destroyed outside Africa by 30 October 1999, and in Africa by 15 November 1999. Stockpile destruction by the French Army took place in the Ivory Coast, French Guyana and Djibouti.
V. NON-STATE ACTORS AND STOCKPILES
Information on the mine stockpiles of non-state actors has been very difficult to obtain. While a handful of non-state actors have publicly stated that they will not use AP mines, none are known to have destroyed stocks. Some examples of non-state actors and mine stocks include:
In Burma, two stockpiles of landmines in the hands of ethnic military forces are estimated to number in the thousands, mostly of indigenous construction.
In Cambodia, it is widely believed that there are caches of mines in different parts of the country left over from years of conflict and under the control of soldiers, village security, businessmen, or simply left undiscovered in the forest. No records have been kept of such stockpiles but the Cambodia Action Center will undertake an information gathering process in relation to this issue in the next year.
Chechnya's stockpile of Soviet-produced mines is located in secret camps and bases in mountain regions during wartime. In addition, there are armed groups and private individuals, such as black market merchants, who have stocks of AP mines.
In Colombia, the army has reportedly destroyed a considerable number of AP mines captured from Colombian guerrillas but there is no comprehensive information available on the quantities or types of stockpiled mines held by Colombia's non-state actors.
In Congo-Brazzaville it is highly likely that not only the formally constituted national armed forces now in a state of considerable disorganization but also the various militia aligned with major political players have access to stocks of landmines.
The stockpile of Russian arms and ammunition, including landmines, in the Transdniester region of Moldova is reportedly huge, poorly guarded and easily accessible.
In Pakistan irregulars have traditionally possessed a wide variety of arms and explosives. Such groups are likely to have independent stocks of mines and high quality modern explosives capable of being made into improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Casamance separatists in Senegal are believed to have stocks of mines, apparently obtained from the black market in neighboring Gambia and Guinea-Bissau.
Somaliland acknowledges that it has stocks inherited from the Somali army or various demobilized militias but no timetable for destruction of stocks is available and the size and composition of the AP mine stockpile is not known.
The Liberation Tiger Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka has manufactured IEDs in significant numbers, including one known as a "Johnny" or "Jony" mine.
Operation Save Innocent Lives (OSIL-Sudan), the mine action NGO of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement and Army told Landmine Monitor that "both [sides] have stockpiles and there is no way to ascertain figures even though it is important to note that the quantity of landmines in the Sudan can provide conflict in Africa for the coming decade."
In Turkey, Turkish troops fighting the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) in the southeast of the country - as well as northern Iraq - regularly recover caches of AP mines among other weapons that have been stockpiled by the rebels. No independent efforts have been made to establish the number or quantity of mines stockpiled by the PKK.
In Uganda, three rebel groups are known to have stockpiles of AP mines - the Lords Resistance Army (LRA), the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and the West Nile Bank B but according to the Ugandan government there is not much information on the quantities and types of these mines.
In Yemen, weapons of any kind, including AP mines, are still available in special arms outlets, open to the public for trade. For example, Landmine Monitor visited an arms market in Jehanna outside Sanaa on 15 February 1999 where no landmines were on display, but according to the salesmen, landmines could be delivered upon request. The government is very concerned about this problem and tries to enforce the 1992 law that forbids unlicensed keeping of arms.
VI. CONCLUSION & RECOMMENDATIONS
While more information is available than ever before on stockpiles of antipersonnel mines and on their destruction, far more information should be made available. Transparency is essential if the world is to swiftly, deliberately and methodically destroy antipersonnel mines.
Countries should ratify or accede to the Mine Ban Treaty and provide, within the timeframe specified, the requested Article 7 report. To date 136 countries have signed, of which 89 have ratified, and just 27 of the 53 Article 7 reports expected by the end of November 1999 have been submitted to date.
Countries should make data relating to stockpile and their destruction publicly available through a detailed Article 7 report and through regular briefings with the media and NGOs, including Landmine Monitor researchers.
Countries should follow the lead set by Canada, Croatia, South Africa and others by holding ceremonies to both initiate and complete stockpile destruction which are open to the media, NGO and diplomatic community.
Countries should follow the lead set by France with respect to foreign stockpiles of AP mines, setting a timetable for destruction and inviting media and NGO observation. In Djibouti, the President and an NGO representative from the National Commission for the Elimination of Landmines witnessed destruction of 2,378 stockpiled AP mines.
A number of countries have indicated their difficulty in destroying stockpiled AP mines, citing technical and financial challenges.
Countries should be transparent about their problems with stockpile destruction by providing data on the number, type and location of stockpiled AP mines.
Countries should follow the lead demonstrated by Canada and others and establish bilateral agreements to assist in stockpile destruction. Under a bilateral agreement reached in January 1999, Canada provides financial and technical support for destruction of Ukraine's 10 million stockpiled AP mines. Ukraine signed the treaty on 24 February but has yet to ratify.
Consideration should be given to the establishment of regional and international programs for financial and technical assistance for stockpile destruction.
Countries should offer to share their experiences on stockpile destruction as Austria has done. At the First Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, Austria offered the support of its Armed Forces in assisting to implement the ban treaty noting that they "are ready to share their experience in environmentally sound and cost-effective destruction of stockpiles."
Countries should offer use of destruction facilities. For example, Slovakia has offered use of its destruction facilities, which it says can destroy "approximately 500,000 to one million mines per year."
The Intersessional Standing Committee of Experts on Stockpiling, co-chaired by Hungary and Mali, with Malaysia and Slovakia as rapporteurs, is perhaps the only venue for discussion of stockpiling and stockpile destruction. It is very important that experts on stockpiling and stockpile attend the meetings of this SCE, both from governments, NGOs and other backgrounds.
COUNTRIES WITH STOCKPILED ANTIPERSONNEL MINES
- Afghanistan - Unknown
- Albania - est. 2.2 million stockpiled
- Algeria - Unknown
- Angola - Unknown
- Argentina - Unknown
- Armenia - Unknown
- Azerbaijan - Unknown
- Bangladesh - Unknown
- Belarus - est. tens of millions stockpiled
- Brazil - Unknown
- Brunei - 9,000 estimated stockpiled
- Bulgaria - 885,872 stockpiled, destruction underway
- Burma (Myanmar) - Unknown
- Cambodia - Unknown, destruction underway
- Central African Republic - Unknown
- Chile - Unknown
- Colombia - Unknown
- Congo (Brazzaville) - Unknown
- Croatia - 198,649 stockpiled, destruction underway
- Cuba - Unknown
- Cyprus - Unknown
- Czech Republic - 320,000 stockpiled, destruction underway
- Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea - Unknown
- Democratic Republic of Congo - Unknown
- Denmark - 169,422 stockpiled, destruction underway
- Djibouti - Unknown, destruction underway
- Ecuador - Unknown
- Egypt - Unknown
- Eritrea - Unknown
- Ethiopia - Unknown
- Finland -hundreds of thousands stockpiled
- Gabon - Unknown
- Georgia - Unknown
- Greece - Unknown
- Guinea-Bissau - Unknown, destruction underway
- Guyana - Unknown
- Honduras - 9,439 stockpiled, destruction in planning
- India - est. 4-5 million stockpiled
- Indonesia - Unknown
- Iran - Unknown
- Iraq - Unknown
- Israel Unknown
- Italy - 5.5 million stockpiled, destruction underway
- Japan - 1,000,089, destruction underway
- Jordan - 80,868 stockpiled, destruction underway
- Kazakhstan - Unknown
- Kenya - Unknown
- Kuwait - Unknown
- Kyrgzstan - Unknown
- Laos - Unknown
- Latvia - 4,500 or 20,000 stockpiled
- Lebanon - Unknown
- Liberia - Unknown
- Libya - Unknown
- Lithuania - Unknown
- Macedonia - 42,921 stockpiled, destruction in planning
- Madagascar - Unknown
- Malawi - Unknown
- Malaysia - Unknown
- Mauritania - Unknown
- Moldova - est. 12,000 stockpiled
- Morocco - Unknown
- Mozambique - Unknown
- Netherlands - 10,000, destruction underway
- Nicaragua - 116,813 stockpiled, destruction underway
- Niger - Unknown
- Nigeria - Unknown
- Oman - Unknown
- Pakistan - est. hundreds of thousands stockpiled
- Peoples Republic of China - est. 110 million stockpiled
- Peru - Unknown, destruction start early 2000
- Poland - Unknown
- Portugal Unknown, destruction underway
- Republic of Korea - est. 2 million
- Romania - Unknown
- Russia - est. 60-70 million stockpiled
- Rwanda - Unknown
- Saudi Arabia - Unknown
- Sierra Leone - Unknown
- Singapore - Unknown
- Slovakia est. 72,000 stockpiled, destruction underway
- Slovenia - 163,794 stockpiled, destruction underway
- Somalia Unknown
- Spain - 247,000 stockpiled, destruction underway
- Sri Lanka - Unknown
- Sudan - Unknown
- Sweden - 1,666,639 stockpiled, destruction underway
- Syria - Unknown
- Tajikistan - Unknown
- Thailand - est. 390,000 stockpiled, destruction underway
- Tunisia - Unknown, destruction underway
- Turkey - Unknown
- Turkmenistan - Unknown
- Uganda - est. 50,000 stockpiled, destruction underway
- Ukraine - 10 million stockpiled, destruction underway
- United States of America - 11,299,338 stockpiled
- Uruguay - 2,338 stockpiled, destruction underway
- Uzbekistan - Unknown
- Venezuela - Unknown
- Vietnam - Unknown
- Yemen - 59,000
- Yugoslavia - Unknown
- Zambia - Unknown
- Zimbabwe - Unknown
Mary Wareham, Human Rights Watch
1630 Connecticut Ave NW, #500
Washington, USA 20009