Mine Action

Last updated: 17 December 2012

Contamination and Impact


Wide desert and coastal areas of Kuwait were contaminated with mines as a result of the 1990–1991 Gulf War. Despite massive clearance operations that employed foreign contractors following the war, mines remain in some areas, particularly along the natural sand corridors, although the precise extent of residual contamination is not known. In its Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 reports, Kuwait declared no known or suspected mined areas, noting that there are “no mined areas left in Kuwait recently and formally [sic].”[1] Incidents involving mines have, however, continued to occur, most recently in June 2011.[2]

Cluster munition remnants and other explosive remnants of war

There is also a residual problem of unexploded submunitions and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) from the 1990–1991 Gulf War. In December 2010, for example, 3.5 tons of unexploded ordnance, including an unspecified number of unexploded submunitions, were found south of Kuwait city. The area was cleared by Ministry of Defense personnel.[3] On 11 May 2011, six unexploded submunitions were detected close to an agricultural farm in Abdaly near the border with Iraq. A team from the Ministry of the Interior disposed of these munitions, which were believed to be remnants of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990.[4]

Mine Action Program

There is no formal mine action program in Kuwait. The Ministry of Defense is responsible for coordinating all demining operations. The Engineering Corps of the Land Forces deals with mines, cluster munition remnants, and other ERW in desert areas, while the Ministry of Interior deals with ordnance in populated areas. Both bodies respond to calls from public and private organizations.

Land Release

Clearance of contamination is based on responding to reports of items or explosions. Kuwait does not report formally on antipersonnel mines or other ordnance destroyed during these operations.[5]

Compliance with Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, Kuwait is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 January 2018. In December 2009, Kuwait reaffirmed its commitment to tackling the use of antipersonnel mines, which caused serious damage to people and the environment during the 1990–1991 Iraqi occupation of the country and said that it would do its best to clear its territory of antipersonnel mines.[6]


[1] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports, Forms C and F, 28 May 2008, 24 May 2009, and 24 May 2010.

[2] Email from Dr. Raafat Misak, Scientific Researcher, Environment and Urban Development Division, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, 2 August 2011.

[3] Ibid., 2 August 2011.

[4] Report in Al Qabas (daily newspaper), 12 May 2011, p. 10.

[5] See, for example, Article 7 Reports, Form G, 24 May 2009 and 24 May 2010.

[6] See, for example, “Kuwait signs Cartagena declaration on fighting use of landmines,” Kuwait News Agency (Kuwait), 6 December 2009, www.kuna.net.kw.