Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019


The Republic of Cyprus signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified it on 17 January 2003, becoming a State Party on 1 July 2003. Cyprus stated that domestic implementation of the treaty is achieved through the legislation adopted for ratification.[1]

Cyprus regularly attends meetings of the treaty, including the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014. More recently, Cyprus attended the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November 2018, where it submitted an Article 5 mine clearance deadline extension request.[2] Cyprus also attended the intersessional meetings in Geneva in May 2019. Cyprus consistently submits annual Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 transparency reports.

Cyprus is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war. Cyprus is a signatory state to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Production, transfer, stockpile destruction, and retention

Cyprus previously stated that it never produced or exported antipersonnel mines.[3] In its initial Article 7 report, Cyprus declared a total of 48,475 stockpiled antipersonnel mines before the destruction program started in December 2003.[4] Cyprus completed stockpile destruction on its treaty-mandated deadline of 1 July 2007.[5]

Cyprus initially retained 1,000 antipersonnel mines for training and research purposes.[6] This number did not change between 2003 and 2008, indicating that none of the mines retained were consumed in training activities over that period. Six of the mines were transferred in 2009 to the British security and demining company ArmorGroup (now known as G4S Ordnance Management) for training activities, reducing the total to 994.[7]

At the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in June 2010, Cyprus announced that, following the adoption of the Cartagena Action Plan at the Second Review Conference in December 2009, the government of Cyprus would conduct a review of the number of mines it retains for training and development purposes to ensure it is the “minimum number absolutely necessary.” As a result of the review, Cyprus stated it had decided to reduce the number of mines it retained by destroying 494 mines in 2010, leaving a total of 500.[8] In October 2010, Cyprus destroyed 494 antipersonnel mines it had retained at the Firing Range of Kalo Chorio, Larnaca.[9]

In its 2012 Article 7 report, Cyprus reported no change in 2011 on the number of antipersonnel mines it is retaining from that of the reduced amount of 500 declared in 2010.

[1] “Law Ratifying the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction,” Law No. 37 (III), 2002. In addition, the Law Concerning Explosive Materials of 2005 makes it a crime to use, produce, stockpile, or transfer any explosive material without the necessary authority. Law No. 19 (1) 2005, Article 4. The law includes penal sanctions.

[2] Statement of Cyprus, Mine Ban Treaty Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 26 November 2018.

[3] The United States government identified Cyprus as a past producer, but Cyprus has denied it. See, Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 704.

[4] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 1 July 2003 to 31 December 2003), Form B. Cyprus has at times reported other numbers, but officials have stated this is the correct total. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2006, pp. 374–375 for details. The stockpile initially declared consisted of eight types or variants of mines from China, Singapore, Taiwan, and the US: M2A1 (474), M2A3 (179), M16 (4,086), M16A1 (16,440), M16A2 (20,146), M16E3 (278), VS-50 (4,450), and GLD-112 (2,422).

[5] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2007), Form G. The destroyed mines were M2A1/A4, M16A1/A2, M16E3, VS-50, and GLD-112. The report does not provide the number of each type.

[6] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2008) Form D. The form states “Unchanged from last reporting.” The mines are stored at the National Guard warehouse at Palodia village near Limassol and are used by Cyprus Mine Action Centre. The total retained included 100 each of types M2A1, M2A3, M16A1, and M16A2, as well as 200 each of M16, VS-50, and GLD-112 types. While the 1,000 figure remained the same since 2003, Cyprus changed the composition in the 2006 report to 200 M16 mines and zero M16E3 instead of 100 M16 and 100 M16E3.

[7] The six mines included three of type GLD-112 and three of type VS-50. Email from Panayiotis Papadopoulos, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 23 June 2010; statement of Cyprus, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 25 June 2010; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2009), Form D.2. The Article 7 report only indicates the transfer of the mines and it is not clear if they were destroyed by ArmorGroup during training.

[8] Statement of Cyprus, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 25 June 2010. Notes by Action on Armed Violence.

[9] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2010) Form D. Cyprus declared retaining 50 each of M2A1, M2A3, M16A1, and M16A2 antipersonnel mines, and 100 mines each of M16, VS-50, and GLD-112 antipersonnel mines. The mines are stored within a facility at the National Guard, Palodia, Limassol district, and are used by the Cyprus Mine Action Centre.