Djibouti

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 05 September 2023

Summary: Djibouti signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions in July 2010, but still has not ratified the convention despite pledging to do so. Djibouti participated in the convention’s intersessional meetings in May 2022, and voted in favor of the key annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution promoting the convention in December 2022.

Djibouti states that it has not used, produced, or stockpiled cluster munitions.

Policy

The Republic of Djibouti signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 30 July 2010.

Various government officials have expressed Djibouti’s intent to ratify the convention, but no steps have been taken to complete ratification.[1] The current status of its ratification is not known.

Djibouti participated in several meetings of the Oslo Process that created the convention. It did not attend the Oslo Signing Conference in December 2008, but signed the convention at the United Nations (UN) in New York in July 2010 after making several positive statements in support of the convention.[2]

Djibouti participated in Meetings of States Parties in 2010–2012. After a long absence, it started to re-engage with the convention in 2022, attending the intersessional meetings held in Geneva in May, followed by the Tenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in August–September.[3] Djibouti did not make any statements at these meetings.

Djibouti has participated in regional workshops on the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Most recently, Djibouti attended a workshop on the convention for states from Francophone Africa, held in Yaoundé, Cameroon in February 2023.

Djibouti voted in favor of the key UNGA resolution in December 2022 that urged states outside the convention to “join as soon as possible.”[4] It has voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since it was first introduced in 2015.

Djibouti is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Djibouti has stated several times that it has not used, produced, or stockpiled cluster munitions.[5]



[1] In 2017, a representative from Djibouti confirmed the government’s desire to ratify the convention, but did not provide any further information. CMC meeting with Houmed-Gaba Maki, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Djibouti to the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, Geneva, 25 April 2017. Notes by the CMC. Previously, in 2012, Djibouti said that ratification of the convention was underway, but provided no further details. Statement of Djibouti, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 13 September 2012.

[2] For more information on Djibouti’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through mid-2010, see ICBL, Cluster Munition Monitor 2010 (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2010), pp. 143–144.

[3] Djibouti participated in the convention’s Meetings of States Parties in 2010–2012 and intersessional meetings in 2011. It participated in a regional workshop on the convention held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in August 2016. See, “The Addis Ababa Commitment on Universalization and Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” African Regional Workshop of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Addis Ababa, 5 August 2016.

[4]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 77/79, 7 December 2022.

[5] Statement of Djibouti, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 13 September 2012; interview with Amb. Mohamed Siad Douale, Permanent Mission of Djibouti to the UN in Geneva, 13 April 2010; and statement of Djibouti, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 10 November 2010. Notes by the CMC.


Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019

Policy

The Republic of Djibouti signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 18 May 1998, becoming a State Party on 1 March 1999. The president signed national implementation legislation on 11 March 2006.[1] The law also created a national commission responsible for application of the law.

Djibouti attended its first meeting of the treaty in a decade when it attended the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November 2018. Djibouti did not attend the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014. Djibouti last submitted an Article 7 transparency report in 2005.

Djibouti is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), but is not party to its Amended Protocol II on landmines or CCW Protocol V on explosive remnants of war. Djibouti is not party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Production, transfer, stockpiling, and retention

Djibouti reported that it has not produced antipersonnel mines. It is not known to have ever exported mines.[2]

On 2 March 2003, one day after its treaty-mandated deadline, Djibouti destroyed the last of its stockpile of 1,118 antipersonnel mines.[3] In 2005, Djibouti reported that it retained 2,996 antipersonnel mines for training purposes, the same number it first declared in January 2003.[4] It has not provided an update since that time and has never reported in any detail on the intended purposes and actual uses of its retained mines—a step agreed by States Parties at the Mine Ban Treaty’s First Review Conference in November–December 2004.

Use

Both the government and the Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy used landmines around military positions and on access roads during the 1991–1994 civil war.[5]



[1] “Loi n°141/AN/06/5ème L portant mise en oeuvre de la Convention d’Ottawa sur l’interdiction de l’emploi, du stockage, de la production et du transfert des mines anti-personnel et sur leur destruction” (“Implementation of the Ottawa Convention),” Journal Officiel de la République de Djibouti, www.presidence.dj.

[2] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form E, 16 January 2003.

[3] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, Tableau Explicatif, 6 February 2004; and Article 7 Report, Form G, 16 January 2003.

[4] Mines retained include: 650 M12; 307 M412; 621 PPM2; 665 T72; 521 MB; 16 DV; 30 M961; 10 AV; 128 PPMISR; 12 MLE421; 18 M59; and 18 of unknown type and origin. Article 7 Reports, Form D, 25 January 2005; and Form D, 16 January 2003.

[5] See, Landmine Monitor Report 1999, pp. 33–34.


Mine Action

Last updated: 17 December 2012

Contamination and Impact

Mines

With the completion of mine clearance by France in May 2008 around its ammunition storage area (ASA) at La Doudah, there were no known mined areas remaining in Djibouti. At a regional seminar for French-speaking countries in October 2008, Djibouti reported that it was “mine free since the completion of demining at La Doudah.”[1] In June 2008, however, a border conflict between Djibouti and Eritrea at Ras Doumeira had raised fears of the possibility of new contamination.[2] Moreover, in November 2009 Djibouti reported that it had a residual problem of antipersonnel mines.[3]

Cluster munition remnants and other explosive remnants of war

Djibouti is thought to have a small residual problem with explosive remnants of war (ERW), primarily unexploded ordnance (UXO). There is not known to be a problem with cluster munition remnants.

Mine Action Program

There is no ongoing mine action program in Djibouti, although a national mine action center continues to function.[4]

Land Release

Formal mine clearance operations by Djibouti on suspected hazardous areas apart from the French ASA at La Doudah ended in 2003 and only sporadic clearance of UXO has occurred since then under the auspices of a national mine action center.[5]

Compliance with Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, Djibouti was required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 March 2009. Although it has not formally declared fulfillment of this obligation, Djibouti is not included on the Mine Ban Treaty Implementation Support Unit’s (ISU) list of States Parties with remaining Article 5 obligations and Djibouti has not requested an extension to its deadline.[6] Djibouti has not submitted a Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report since 2005. In March 2012, the director of the ICBL wrote to Djibouti’s Minister for Foreign Affairs to inquire about residual contamination. As of 1 August 2012, no reply had been received.

 



[1] Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), “Annexe 2: Synthèse d’informations—Djibouti” (“Annex 2: Information Overview—Djibouti”), Seminar of African Francophone Actors of Mine and ERW Action, Benin, 20–22 October 2008, www.gichd.org.

[2] See, for example, International Crisis Group, “CrisisWatch, No. 59,” p. 2, 1 July 2008, www.crisisgroup.org; and Barry Malone, “Djibouti president accuses Eritrea over border fight,” Reuters (Addis Ababa), 14 June 2008, www.alertnet.org.

[3] “Djibouti: Synthèse d’informations de l’action contre les mines et les restes explosifs de guerre (dont sous-munitions)” (“Djibouti: Overview of information on mine action and ERW (including submunitions)”), 30 September 2009, Second African Francophone Seminar on Mine and ERW Action, Dakar, Senegal, 2–4 November 2009.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] ISU, GICHD, “Clearing Mined Areas: 40 States Parties in the Process of Implementing Article 5, List of countries,” www.apminebanconvention.org.


Casualties

Last updated: 21 October 2018

The last casualties recorded for the Republic of Djibouti were in 2013, when there was one media report of 11 military casualties caused by an incident when their vehicle was damaged by an explosive device suspected to be a landmine. It was not clear if the mine was detonated remotely.[1] In 2012, a young boy was injured by an antipersonnel landmine.[2] 

The total number of mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties in Djibouti is not known. The Monitor identified 85 mine casualties from 1999 to 2016, with 23 people killed and 55 injured; it is not known if the other seven casualties survived.[3] 



[1] These casualties have not been included in the global total for 2013. “Un camion militaire de l'armée djboutienne a sauté sur une mine…bilan 11 blessés” (“A vehicle from the Djibouti army hit a mine…11 injured”), Alwihdainf, 19 August 2013.

[2] United States Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, “Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Djibouti (Djibouti), Lac Assal Land Mine Causes Injury,” 3 February 2012.

[3] See, ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2008: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada: October 2008).