Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 20 December 2023


The Arab Republic of Egypt has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty.

Egypt repeated its long-held position opposing the treaty at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in November 2022. Egypt has stated that antipersonnel mines remain a key means for securing its borders and criticized the Mine Ban Treaty for not, in its view, assigning responsibility for clearance to those who laid mines in the past.[1]

Egypt participated as an observer at several meetings of the 1996–1997 Ottawa Process that created the Mine Ban Treaty, including the Oslo negotiations. However, Egypt did not adopt the treaty or attend the December 1997 signing conference.

Egypt has participated as an observer at several meetings of the Mine Ban Treaty, most recently the Fourth Review Conference in Oslo in November 2019.[2]

Egypt did not attend the treaty’s Twentieth Meeting of States Parties in November 2022 in Geneva, or the intersessional meetings held in Geneva in June 2023.

Egypt abstained from voting on UNGA Resolution 77/63 in December 2022, which supported the universalization and full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty. Egypt has abstained from voting on the annual UNGA resolution promoting the treaty in all previous years.

Egypt signed the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) in 1981 but has never ratified it. Egypt is not party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Production, transfer, and stockpiling

Egypt has repeatedly stated that it ended its production of antipersonnel mines in 1988 and stopped exporting them in 1984.[3]

In November 2020, Egypt reiterated that it had “imposed a moratorium on its capacity to produce and export landmines since the 1980s.”[4] Since 2004, Egyptian officials have stated that the country has imposed a moratorium on the export and production of antipersonnel mines.[5]

Egypt has never responded to repeated requests from the Monitor to make its stated position formal and public in writing.

In 2017, Egypt’s Ministry of Military Production advertised antipersonnel landmines made by Heliopolis for sale at its display at the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) arms fair in Abu Dhabi.[6]

Egypt is believed to possess a large stockpile of antipersonnel landmines. However, no details are available on the size and composition of the stockpile, as it is considered a state secret.


There is no evidence that Egypt’s armed forces have used antipersonnel mines in recent years. In 2015, a military spokesperson reportedly stated that the Egyptian Army had emplaced landmines around its outposts in the Sinai region.[7]

Use by non-state armed groups

Media reports indicate new use of improvised antipersonnel landmines by militants linked to the Islamic State, in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula during 2020–2022. In early 2022, the Egyptian Army reportedly recovered pressure-plate improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that had been emplaced in houses, and also found them in arms caches.[8] A photograph shared on social media in April 2022 allegedly shows IEDs left by Islamic State militants in the Sinai region, which were recovered and cleared by Egyptian Army soldiers.[9] Additionally, a video posted on social media in May 2022 shows Egyptian forces dismantling a mine emplaced by the Islamic State south of Rahaf, in the Sinai region.[10]

In March 2022, and previously in May 2020, the Sinai Tribes Union issued statements on the death of Tarabin tribesmen due to landmines that it said were laid by a group associated with the Islamic State.

[1] “On several occasions, Egypt has expressed its reservations about the imbalanced nature of this instrument, which was developed and concluded outside the framework of the UN, mindful of the humanitarian considerations associated with landmines Egypt has a moratorium on the production and export of landmines since the 1980s, long before the conclusion of this convention. We believe the convention lacks the balance between the humanitarian concerns related to AP [antipersonnel] landmines and their possible legitimate military uses, especially in countries with long borders facing extraordinary security challenges. Furthermore, the convention does not establish a legal obligation on states to remove AP mines they have placed in the territory of other states making it almost impossible for many states to meet demining requirements on their own. This is particularly the case with Egypt.” The statement added that Egypt is contaminated by 22 million landmines; a figure that Egypt has not changed despite recent European Union (EU)-funded clearance, and land release by the Egyptian authorities of an estimated one-fifth of its previously suspected contaminated area. Egypt Explanation of Vote on Resolution L.5, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, 76th Session, New York, 2 November 2021.

[2] Egypt also attended the Third Review Conference in 2014 and Meetings of States Parties in 2010 and 2012–2013.

[3] Statement of Egypt, Mine Ban Treaty Seventh Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 22 September 2006; and Egypt Explanation of Vote on Resolution L.45, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, 74th Session, New York, 5 November 2019, pp. 22–23.

[4] Egypt Explanation of Vote on Resolution L.26, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, 75th Session, New York, 6 November 2020.

[5] Statement of Egypt, Mine Ban Treaty First Review Conference, Nairobi, 2 December 2004. Egypt told a United Nations (UN) assessment mission in February 2000 that it had ceased export of antipersonnel mines in 1984 and ended production in 1988, and several Egyptian officials over the years also told the Monitor informally that production and trade had stopped. Egypt reportedly produced two types of low metal content blast antipersonnel mines, several variations of bounding fragmentation mines, and a Claymore-type mine. There is no publicly available evidence that Egypt has produced or exported antipersonnel mines in recent years. See, ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2004: Toward a Mine-Free World (New York: Human Rights Watch, October 2004), p. 957.

[6] AP T78 and AP T79 plastic antipersonnel landmines were advertised. Brochure, Heliopolis Co. for Chemical Industries, National Organization for Military Production, Ministry of Military Production, Arab Republic of Egypt, p. 23. Received from Omega Research Foundation, 3 March 2017.

[7] “New security plans to ‘entrap’ Sinai militants by landmines,” The Cairo Post, 20 May 2015.

[8] See, Sinai Tribes Union video (0:53 seconds) regarding clearance of houses in Al-Husainat village. Sinai Tribes Union (SinaiTribes), “One of the houses that the Takfiri elements took as a headquarters for the leadership of terrorist operations in the village of Al-Husainat, where the heroes of the Sinai Tribes Union purify the houses of the village over a period of days, in order to avoid casualties from civilian citizens after their return to it. #Sinai #Union of Sinai Tribes.” 12 April 2022, 07:08 UTC. Tweet; Sinai Tribes Union video (0:08 seconds) of materials used for the construction of pressure-plate mines. Sinai Tribes Union (SinaiTribes), “The results of the raids by the heroes of the Sinai Tribes Union into the trenches and dens of the terrorist Takfiris.” 13 May 2022, 18:34 UTC. Tweet; and “Egyptians return to Sinai homes to find Islamic State booby traps,” Middle East Eye, 24 October 2020.