Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 13 November 2019


The Republic of Burundi signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 22 October 2003, becoming a State Party on 1 April 2004. A national implementation law, Law No. 1/30, was passed by the legislature in September 2008 and took effect on 10 October 2008.[1] It includes penal sanctions against the use of antipersonnel mines.[2]

Burundi occasionally attends meetings of the treaty, most recently the Sixteenth Meeting of States Parties in Vienna in December 2017. Burundi also attended the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014. It submits updated Article 7 transparency reports semi-regularly, most recently in April 2016. Burundi is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war, but not Amended Protocol II on landmines. Burundi is party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Production, transfer, use, and stockpiling

Burundi has stated that it has never produced antipersonnel mines.[3] It is not known to have exported antipersonnel mines.

Since the Mine Ban Treaty entered into force for Burundi on 1 April 2004, there have been no confirmed instances of use of antipersonnel mines by the army.[4] There have been no confirmed instances of use of antipersonnel mines by rebel forces since May 2006, when negotiations to end hostilities began. Prior to May 2006, the government accused the National Forces of Liberation (Forces Nationales de Libération, FNL) of sporadic mine use.[5]

Burundi completed the destruction of its stockpile of antipersonnel mines on 17 March 2008, ahead of its treaty-mandated deadline of 1 April 2008. It destroyed a total of 664 mines, including 591 POMZ-2M and 73 TS-50 mines.[6] The 664 mines destroyed exceeded the 610 reported as stockpiled as of April 2007.[7]

In 2016, Burundi confirmed it was retaining two POMZ-2M and two TS-50 mines for training purposes.[8]

During a civilian disarmament campaign from July–October 2009, 28 antipersonnel mines were surrendered by the population and subsequently destroyed by Mines Advisory Group (MAG).[9] Burundi later reported that its police forces recovered another 76 antipersonnel mines during the civilian disarmament campaign. The mines were destroyed with technical assistance from MAG on 16 June 2010.[10]

MAG also continued to report the discovery and destruction of previously unknown stocks of antipersonnel mines.[11] From April–May 2010, MAG reported the collection of three antipersonnel mines in its work to remove and destroy surplus small arms and light weapons in Bubanza, Bujumbura Mairie, Bujumbura Rural, and Cibitoke provinces in western Burundi.[12]

[1] Statement of Burundi, Ninth Meeting of States Parties, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 24 November 2008.

[2] Law No. 1/30 on the national implementation of the 1997 Ottawa Convention. Those prosecuted for breaking this law will face either a prison sentence of between five and 15 years, a fine ranging from BIF5,000,000 to BIF15,000,000 (US$4,150 to $12,450), or both. In cases where a mine has caused fatalities, anybody convicted of breaking this law would face a life sentence. In addition, the law indicates national procedures to submit Article 7 reports and to report on mine action, mine risk education, and victim assistance activities. Average exchange rate for 2009: BIF1=US$0.00083. Oanda, www.oanda.com.

[3] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports, Form E, 8 November 2004; and 9 August 2005.

[4] The Monitor reported credible allegations of use of antipersonnel mines by both government and rebel forces in the past, see, Landmine Monitor Report 2004, pp. 234–237. Burundi officials denied allegations against government forces.

[5] See, Landmine Monitor Report 2006, pp. 234–235.

[6] Twelve of the POMZ-2M mines were from former rebel National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (Conseil National pour la Défense de la Démocratie-Forces pour la Défense de la Démocratie) stocks, and the rest were from army stocks. After stockpile destruction in 2008 and 2009, Burundi stated that the total number of mines held by the FNL, the last remaining rebel group, remained to be confirmed. The FNL and the government signed a Cessation of Hostilities Agreement on 26 May 2008. In April 2009, FNL combatants began demobilization and the surrender of weapons to the African Union Special Task Force. There have been no reports of antipersonnel mines being handed in. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2009, pp. 230–231.

[7] Statement of Burundi, Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 23 April 2007. In this statement, Burundi informed States Parties that, after reviewing its mine inventory, it concluded that it had 610 antipersonnel mines in stock, and not the 1,212 previously declared on several occasions.

[8] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, April 2017.

[9] The campaign was run by the Burundian National Commission for Civilian Disarmament and Against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons. The mines were all POMZ-2Ms. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form B, 30 April 2010; email from Julie Claveau, Country Program Manager, MAG, 10 February 2010; “Burundians hand in thousands of weapons,” IRIN, 4 November 2009, www.irinnews.org; and UN Integrated Mission in Burundi, “Burundi Désarmement. La population continue à remettre volontairement les armes” (“Burundi Disarmament. The population continues to voluntarily hand in weapons”), 25 July 2009, www.binub.turretdev.com.

[10] Statement of Burundi, Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 21 June 2010. The mines were reported as 55 TS-50; eight PMA-2; six POMZ-2M; and seven igniters, and were destroyed in Mudubugu. See also, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form B, 30 April 2010.

[11] Email from Julie Claveau, MAG, 10 February 2010. Burundi reported that in April 2009 a cache of 41 TS-50 antipersonnel mines was discovered in the village of Mabayi, Cibitoke province. It said the mines were being held for the time being by MAG, which indicated that the mines were subsequently destroyed. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Forms B and D, 30 April 2009; and email from Julie Claveau, MAG, 3 August 2009.

[12] MAG, “MAG Burundi Programme Update 01 April–31 May 2010,” www.maginternational.org.