Egypt

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 11 December 2023

Summary 

Non-signatory Egypt has not taken any steps to join the Convention on Cluster Munitions and continues to express its opposition to certain provisions of the convention. It last participated in a meeting of the convention in 2013. Egypt abstained from voting on a key annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution promoting the convention in December 2022.

Egypt is a producer, importer, and exporter of cluster munitions. Egypt possesses a stockpile of cluster munitions, but claims not to use them.

 

Policy

The Arab Republic of Egypt has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Egypt has not taken any steps to accede to the convention and has elaborated several reasons for not doing so.[1] At the UNGA in November 2022, Egypt repeated its criticism of the convention’s definition of cluster munitions, which it alleges was “deliberately designed to fit the specific production requirements of some states.” Egypt also reiterated its long-held concern over how the convention was created outside United Nations (UN) auspices.[2]

Egypt participated in the Oslo Process that created the convention, including the negotiations in Dublin in May 2008 as an observer, but did not adopt the convention.[3] Egypt expressed concern in October 2008 over both the “substantive content” of the convention and “the process which led to its conclusion outside the framework of the United Nations.”[4] It did not attend the convention’s Oslo Signing Conference, held in December 2008

Egypt last participated as an observer at a meeting of the convention in 2013.[5] Egypt was invited to, but did not attend, the Tenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in August–September 2022.

In December 2022, Egypt abstained from voting on the UNGA resolution that urged states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions “to join as soon as possible,” and provided a statement to explain its vote.[6] Egypt has abstained from the vote on the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since it was first introduced in 2015.

Egypt is not party to the Mine Ban Treaty. Egypt signed the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) in 1981, but never ratified it.

 

Production, transfer, and stockpiling

Egypt is a producer and exporter of cluster munitions. It has also imported cluster munitions and possesses a stockpile.

Two state-owned Egyptian companies have produced ground-launched cluster munitions:

  • SAKR Factory for Developed Industries has produced two types of 122mm surface-to-surface rockets: the SAKR-18 and SAKR-36, containing 72 and 98 dual-purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) submunitions, respectively;[7]
  • Heliopolis Company for Chemical Industries has produced 122mm and 130mm artillery projectiles, which contain 18 and 28 DPICM submunitions, respectively.[8] Heliopolis-made cluster munitions were displayed by Egypt’s Ministry of Military Production for sale at the international IDEX arms fair in Abu Dhabi in February 2017.[9]

Evidence indicates that Egypt exported or otherwise transferred cluster munitions to Syria in the past, prior to 2013.[10] Human Rights Watch (HRW) and others documented Syrian government use of 122mm cluster munition rockets bearing the markings of the SAKR Factory for Developed Industries.[11] The state-owned company has denied providing rockets to the Syrian government.[12]

Egypt has imported a significant quantity of cluster munitions, primarily from the United States (US), which provided at least 760 CBU-87 cluster bombs (each containing 202 BLU-97 submunitions) as part of a foreign military sales program in the early 1990s.[13] Lockheed Martin Corporation was awarded a US$36 million contract to produce 485 M26A1 extended range rockets for its M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) in 1991.[14] Egypt also received 1,300 Rockeye cluster bombs from the US between 1970 and 1995.[15]

KMG-U dispensers of Soviet-origin are in service for Egypt’s aircraft, according to Jane’s Information Group.[16]

 

Use

During the Oslo Process, Egypt stated that it had never used cluster munitions.[17]

Previous allegations

There have been several allegations of new use of cluster munitions by Egyptian forces since the Convention on Cluster Munitions was adopted. In February 2018, Amnesty International condemned new use of cluster munitions on the Sinai Peninsula by the Egyptian Air Force, citing evidence from two videos posted by Egyptian military social media accounts, including one that showed US-made CBU-87 Combined Effects Munitions, each containing 202 BLU-97 bomblets, being loaded on to Egyptian aircraft.[18] A February 2018 video posted on Twitter by the Egyptian Army’s official spokesperson showed a US-made Mk-118 submunition, used in Rockeye cluster bombs, that Egyptian armed forces alleged was found and destroyed in northern Sinai.[19] Further remnants of the same Mk-118 submunition, plus canister packing materials, were shown being recovered from a cache of explosives belonging to an anti-government militia in May 2022.[20]

Egyptian officials have never responded to requests from The New York Times, the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC), HRW, Amnesty International, and others to either confirm or deny claims that the Egyptian Armed Forces have used cluster munitions in northern Sinai.[21]

Alleged use outside of Egypt

A November 2017 video released by the Egyptian Army shows a reported attack by the Egyptian Air Force on a convoy of trucks in Libya, in which cluster munitions may have been used.[22]



[1] For example, in September 2011, Egypt claimed the convention “will not hold states which are using cluster munitions responsible for their acts” or “hold them to account for clearing contaminated areas.” Statement of Egypt, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 14 September 2011.

[2] Explanation of Vote by Egypt on Resolution L.68, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, 28th Plenary Session, video record, 2 November 2022.

[3] For details on Egypt’s cluster munition policy and practice through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 197–199.

[4] Explanation of Vote by Egypt, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, 30 October 2008.

[5] Egypt participated as an observer at the convention’s Second Meeting of States Parties in Beirut, Lebanon in 2011, as well as at intersessional meetings held in Geneva in 2011 and 2013.

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

[7] Leland S. Ness and Anthony G. Williams, eds., Jane’s Ammunition Handbook 2007–2008 (Surrey: Jane’s Information Group, 2007), p. 707. France declared that upon entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in 2010, France’s military retained six warheads for 122mm SAKR rockets containing a total of 588 submunitions. France Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form C, 31 January 2011, p. 92. See, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Database.

[8] Leland S. Ness and Anthony G. Williams, eds., Jane’s Ammunition Handbook 2007–2008 (Surrey: Jane’s Information Group, 2007), pp. 582 and 589–590.

[9] Brochure, Heliopolis Co. for Chemical Industries, National Organization for Military Production, Ministry of Military Production, Arab Republic of Egypt, pp. 8, 10, and 12. Shared by Omega Research via Twitter, 3 March 2017.

[10] HRW, “Syria: Army Using New Type of Cluster Munition,” 14 January 2013. In addition, a number of SAKR rockets were found in Iraq by UN weapons inspectors, possibly indicating export activity. The SAKR rockets were the “cargo variant” but had been modified by Iraq to deliver chemical weapons. “Sixteenth quarterly report on the activities of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission in accordance with paragraph 12 of Security Council resolution 1284 (1999) S/2004/160,” Annex 1, p. 10.

[11] See, “Evidence of New Grad Launched Cluster Munitions Used in Syria,” Brown Moses blog, 15 December 2012; HRW, “Syria: Army Using New Type of Cluster Munition,” 14 January 2013; and “Sakr 122mm Cargo Rockets & Submunitions in Syria,” The Rogue Adventurer blog, 15 January 2013. It is not known if the 122mm rockets were the SAKR-18 or SAKR-36 type. See also, “Dael find a surface to surface missile did not explode Egyptian industry,” YouTube.com, 8 November 2014 (no longer available online). New use was alleged in Idlib, Syria in February 2019. See, Qalaat Al Mudiq (QalaatAlMudiq), “#Syria: additional evidence #SAA used 122 mm rockets produced in Egypt to bomb Greater #Idlib. One of these rockets fell in #KafrSajnah today. 4th pic for comparison.” 18 February 2019, 19:04 UTC. Tweet.

[12] SAKR Factory for Developed Industries Facebook post, 23 September 2014.

[13] “Dozen + Mideast Nations Bought Weapons since Gulf War,” Aerospace Daily, 10 December 1991; and Barbara Starr, “Apache buy will keep Israeli edge,” Jane’s Defence Weekly, 1 October 1992.

[14] US Department of Defense press release, “US Army Aviation & Missile Command Contract Announcement: DAAH01-00-C-0044,” 9 November 2001.

[15] Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), US Department of Defense, “Cluster Bomb Exports under FMS, FY1970–FY1995,” 5 November 1995, obtained by HRW in a Freedom of Information Act request, 28 November 1995.

[16]Robert Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, Issue 44 (Surrey: Jane’s Information Group, 2004), p. 838.

[17] Statement by Ehab Fawzy, Oslo Conference on Cluster Munitions, Oslo, 22 February 2007. Notes by the CMC and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).

[19] Military Spokesperson (EgyptArmySpox), “Eleventh statement of the General Command of the Armed Forces.” 20 February 2018, 05:56 UTC. Tweet.

[20] Sinai Tribes Union (SinaiTribes), “The heroes of the armed forces and the heroes of the Sinai Tribes Union today wrote the most wonderful epics of heroism and dedication to national duty, as they repelled a massive attack on one of the security pillars west of the city of Rafah.” 22 May 2022, 21:04 UTC. Tweet. The tweets by a pro-military tribal militia provide video and photographs of recovered unexploded ordnance and other improvised weapons.

[21] See, Rick Gladstone and Nour Youssef, “Egypt Is Using Banned U.S.-Made Cluster Munitions in Sinai, Rights Group Says,” New York Times, 28 February 2018; CMC, “Is Egypt using cluster munitions? [Updated],” 1 March 2018; and Amnesty International press release, “Egypt’s use of banned cluster bombs in Sinai confirmed,” 28 February 2018.

[22] Egyptian Army Facebook post, 11 November 2017. The video claims to show the destruction by the Egyptian Air Force of a 10-vehicle convoy en route from Libya to Egypt. In its Facebook post, the Egyptian Army alleges that the vehicles carrying rebels contained arms, ammunition, and contraband, all of which were destroyed in the attack.


Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 20 December 2023

Policy

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.

Use

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.


Mine Action

Last updated: 12 November 2018

 

Treaty status

Mine Ban Treaty

State not party

Mine action management

National mine action management actors

“Support the North West Coast Development Plan and Mine Action Programme: Mine Action,” a joint project between the Egyptian government and the UN Development Programme (UNDP)
National Centre for Landmine Action and Sustainable Development, established in 2017

Operators in 2017

Egyptian Army Corps of Engineers

Extent of contamination as of end 2017

Landmines

Not known
2,680km2 of land in the North West Coast estimated to still be contaminated

Cluster munition remnants

None

Other ERW contamination

Extent not reported

Land release in 2017

Landmines

Not reported

Other ERW

Not reported

Progress

Landmines

It was reported that a total area of 1,096 km² has been “cleared” since the beginning of the “Support the North West Coast Development Plan and Mine Action Programme: Mine Action” project in 2009
Phase two of the mine action project ended in 2017, and negotiations for a third phase were reported to be under way in August 2017

Notes: ERW = explosive remnants of war.

Contamination

The Arab Republic of Egypt is contaminated with mines in the Western Desert, which date from the Second World War, and in the Sinai Peninsula and Eastern Desert, which are a legacy of wars with Israel between 1956 and 1973. Some recent mine incidents in Sinai may have been caused by mines emplaced by anti-government jihadist groups.[1] It was reported in August 2016 that Islamic State had been digging up Second World War-era landmines and re-using them.[2] The precise extent of contamination across the country remains unknown and past estimates have been unreliable.

Most of the Western Desert contamination occurred around the location of Second World War battles that took place between the Quattara depression and Alamein on the Mediterranean coast. Other affected areas lie around the city of Marsa Matrouh and at Sallum near the Libyan border. In November 2016, during a ceremony to mark the opening of a new prosthetic limb center, the United Kingdom’s (UK) Ambassador to Egypt announced that all the maps of minefields laid by British and Allied forces during World War II had been handed over.[3] According to the head of the military engineering department, though, the British minefield maps were “sketch maps” and most of the mines were buried randomly. In January 2018, the British Member of Parliament Daniel Kawczynski put a written question to the UK Secretary of State for International Development asking whether her department was taking steps to assist with the mapping and disposal of Second World War mines in the Tobruk and El Alamein regions. The UK reiterated that maps of minefield locations had been provided to the Egyptian authorities and that, since 2006, through multilateral funding along with other donors (including Germany, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States), the UK had funded clearance of 130,446 acres of land around El Alamein.[4]

In October 2017, it was reported by the European Union’s (EU) ambassador to Egypt that 2,680km2 of land in the North West Coast was estimated to still be contaminated.[5]

In August 2016, it was reported that Islamic State had been harvesting the explosives from World War II mines still uncleared in Egypt. According to Ambassador Fathy el-Shazly, formerly the head of Egypt’s Executive Secretariat for Mine Clearance, “We’ve had at least 10 reports from the military of terrorists using old mines. Even now, these things trouble us in different ways.”[6] These findings were reiterated in June 2017 at a UN Security Council briefing when Egypt’s Permanent Representative to the UN Amr Abdel-Latif Abul Atta stated that “abandoned mines and explosive remnants of wars have become a source of access for armed movements and terrorists to find materials for manufacturing improvised explosive devices.”[7] It was reported in January 2018 that Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM), which pledged allegiance to Islamic State in 2014, has been using old mines and caches of explosives left in Sinai to produce different types of explosive devices. There were at least five major attacks by terrorist groups using such devices in Egypt in 2017.[8]

Program Management

In 2017, as in previous years, the mine action program in Egypt was not functioning effectively.

The second phase of a joint project between the Egyptian government and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), “Support the North West Coast Development Plan and Mine Action Program: Mine Action,” ended in 2017. The project provided for creation of an Executive Secretariat for Mine Clearance and the Development of the North West Coast within the Ministry of Planning to coordinate implementation of the North West Coast Development Plan through a partnership consisting of the Ministry of Planning, the Ministry of Defense, and the UNDP. The project foresaw demining based on humanitarian and development needs, mine risk education, and assistance to mine victims.[9]

It was reported that a total area of 1,096 km² has been “cleared” since the beginning of the project in 2009 and that there are plans to establish an eco-oriented city, the “New City of Alamein.”[10]

The first phase concluded in 2014. The Director of the Executive Secretariat acknowledged that the results had been “disappointing,” due to instability in the country.[11] A second phase, funded by the EU, the UNDP, and USAID, ended in 2017. In August 2017, it was reported that negotiations had begun on a third phase of the project to allocate $5 million to clear the rest of the northern coast and the Sinai Peninsula.[12]

Funding was also used for capacity-building, establishing a quality management unit, and supporting the creation of the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) database.

Clearance was conducted using both manual and mechanical demining techniques. The executive secretariat is said to have procured 461 mine detectors, 355 demining suits and protective helmets, one Casspir armored vehicle with the “Mine Lab” detecting device, and five Armtrac vehicles.[13]

In January 2017, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr announced the establishment of the National Center for Landmine Action and Sustainable Development. Minister Nasr said that the center would begin clearing 600km2 in the northern coast and would also establish infrastructure after clearance was completed.[14]

Operators

Mine clearance in Egypt is conducted by the Egyptian Army Corps of Engineers, part of the Egyptian armed forces.

The Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) provides support to the executive secretariat and the Army Corps of Engineers in information management and operations. This support includes revision and introduction of national standard operating procedures for mine action in 2014, advice on land release methodology and techniques, and assistance to the UNDP in improving mechanical mine action.[15]

As noted above, the UNDP is a partner in Egypt’s national demining and development program.

Land Release

Egypt has not reported with any credibility on its release of mined areas in recent years.

 

The Monitor acknowledges the contributions of the Mine Action Review (www.mineactionreview.org), which has conducted the primary mine action research in 2018 and shared all its country-level landmine reports (from“Clearing the Mines 2018”) and country-level cluster munition reports (from “Clearing Cluster Munition Remnants 2018”) with the Monitor. The Monitor is responsible for the findings presented online and in its print publications.



[1]Sinai landmine kills three soldiers,” News24, 9 March 2015.

[2] P. Schwartzstein, “ISIS Is Digging Up Nazi Land Mines in Egypt,” Newsweek, 10 August 2016.

[3] A. Nayder, “Helping Landmine Victims in Marsa Matrouh-And Preventing More,” Because, 3 November 2016.

[4] Daniel Kawczynski, MP,“Egypt and Libya: Land Mines–Written question122961,” 16 January 2018.

[5]Egypt battles landmines 75 years after El Alamein,” Agence France-Presse, 28 October 2017.

[6] P. Schwartzstein, “ISIS Is Digging Up Nazi Landmines From World War 2 As Explosives,” Newsweek, 10 August 2016.

[7] Statement of Amr Abdel-Latif Abul Atta, Permanent Representative to the UN, UN Security Council Meeting, UN doc. SC/12866, 13 June 2017.

[8]How Egyptian security dealt with IEDs threat?Egypt Today, 1 January 2018.

[9] UNDP, “Support to the North West Coast Development and Mine Action Plan,” undated.

[10] European Commission “Joint Staff Working Document 2018: The European Union’s Support for Mine Action across the World,” 14 February 2018, p. 23

[11] M. Samir, “UNDP, USAID provide EGP 13.8m for WWII landmines clearance programme,” Daily News Egypt, 20 May 2015.

[12] Ibid.; and “Egypt to invest $17.5M in Anti-Mines Action Project,” APA News, 11 August 2017.

[13] See, Executive Secretariat for Mine Clearance and the Development of the North West Coast, “Demining,” undated.

[15] GICHD, “Where we work: Egypt,” June 2015.


Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 06 October 2016

The mine action program in the Arab Republic of Egypt has been stalled since 2009 following the completion of the first phase of a UNDP-supported mine action program (“Support to the North West Coast Development Plan and Mine Action Program”). The second phase of the project—which aims to expand mine clearance operations, facilitate development in the region, reintegrate mine victims, strengthen the national mine action capacity, and assist with resource mobilization efforts—was supposed to start in 2011, but was subject to numerous delays due to lack of funding and political events in Egypt.[1] Finally, phase II was launched in October 2014 with new support (US$6.3 million) provided by the European Union (EU).[2]

In 2015, New Zealand was Egypt’s sole international mine action donor, contributing some NZ$600,000 ($420,000) through the UNDP.[3]

Since 2012, Egypt has not reported any contributions to its own mine action program. The Egyptian army conducts all demining, and no costs associated with demining by the military are publicly available.  

From 2011–2015, international contributions totaled some $9.6 million, 65% of which was provided in 2014.

Summary of contributions: 2011–2015[4]

Year

International contributions ($)

2015

420,060

2014

6,256,239

2013

492,240

2012

1,162,207

2011

1,247,932

Total

9,578,678

 



[1] Interview with Amb. Fathy el-Shazly, Executive Secretariat, in Geneva, 21 March 2012; and UNDP, “Support to the North West Coast Development Plan and Relevant Mine Action: Phase II,” Project Overview, undated.

[2] UNDP, “EU and UNDP Celebrate the Launch of the Second Phase of the Project to Help Develop the North West Coast and Mine Action,” Press Release, 24 October 2014. Email from Jérôme Legrand, Policy Officer, Conventional Weapons and Space Division (K1), European External Action Service (EEAS), 11 June 2015. Average exchange rate for 2014: €1=US$1.3297. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 2 January 2015.

[3] New Zealand Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, April 2016. Average exchange rate for 2015: NZ$1=US$0.7001. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 4 January 2016.

[4] See previous Monitor reports. 


Victim Assistance

Last updated: 01 April 2018

Several sources have estimated the total number of known casualties to be around 8,000 in the Arab Republic of Egypt. However, the period of data collection for these statistics is not reported. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported in 2006 that there had been 8,313 mine casualties (696 people killed; 7,617 injured; 5,017 were civilians) in the Western Desert since 1982.[1] Almost identical statistics were reported in 1998, but for the period 1945–1996.[2]

By May 2015, detailed information had been collected on 761 survivors in the Matruh governorate.[3] This database was believed to include information on 91–95% of all mine/ERW survivors in the governorate.[4] No data was available on survivors based outside of Matruh and no updates had been announced since 2015.

Through the end of 2016 the National Committee for Supervising the Demining of the North West Coast was responsible for the coordination of victim assistance.[5] In January 2017, Egypt established a new governmental agency for mine action including victim assistance, the National Center for Mine Action and Sustainable Development,to replace the Executive Committee for Supervising Mine Clearance and Development of the North West Coast, established in 2005.[6] Victim assistance activities have been restricted to the Matruh governorate and there was no victim assistance coordination for the rest of Egypt.[7]

The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Solidarity shared responsibility for protecting the rights of all persons with disabilities in Egypt.[8]

In 2015, the UNDP, in partnership with the Ministry of International Cooperation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Defense, launched the second phase of “Support to the North West Coast Development Plan and Relevant Mine Action,” which included victim assistance activities.[9] In 2015, the Executive Secretariat reported that 259 survivors received prostheses under these projects.[10]

In October 2016, the Ministry of International Cooperation, the European Union (EU) Delegation to Egypt, and the UNDP inaugurated the EU-funded Artificial Limbs Center in Marsa Matrouh. The center is the first prosthetics facility in the North-West Coast area and was built to serve the population of Matrouh governorate and its neighboring areas.[11] The UNDP reported that the opening of the center was one of the major accomplishments of the project “Support to the North West Coast Development Plan and Relevant Mine Action: Phase II.”[12]

While the constitution states that all citizens are equal, there is no explicit prohibition on discrimination. Egypt had no legislation prohibiting discrimination against persons with disabilities in education, access to healthcare, or the provision of other state services, nor are there laws mandating access to buildings or transportation. Discrimination remained widespread. Transport on state-owned mass transit buses was free for persons with disabilities, but the buses were not wheelchair-accessible, and access required assistance from others. Persons with disabilities received special subsidies to purchase household products, wheelchairs, and prosthetic devices.[13]

Egypt ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 14 April 2008.



[1] Jano Charbel, “Egypt continues to suffer from WWII landmines,” 4 April 2017; and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, “A paper on the problem of Landmines in Egypt,” 27 July 2006.

[2] Notes taken by the Monitor, Beirut Conference, 11 February 1999; Ministry of Defense, “The Iron Killers,” undated, pp. 3–4; and Amb. Dr. Mahmoud Karem, “Explanation of Vote by the Delegation of the Arab Republic of Egypt on the Resolution on Anti-Personal Landmines,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Policy Document, November 1998. Similar figures cited in a Ministry of Foreign Affairs paper on the Mine Ban Treaty, obtained 5 September 2004, were at the time believed to only apply to casualties occurring in the Western Desert since 1982.

[3] Egypt Mine Action Project North West Coast, “Victim Assistance,” undated.

[4] Executive Secretariat, “Victim Assistance Strategy Paper,” Cairo, 2010, p. 28.

[5] Egypt Mine Action Project North West Coast, “About Us,” undated.

[7] Egypt Mine Action Project North West Coast, “Victim Assistance,” undated.

[8] United States (US) Department of State, “2016 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Egypt,” Washington, DC, 3 April 2017.

[9] UNDP, “Egypt - Mine Action Project Quarterly Progress Report,” 1 January 2013–31 March 2013; UNDP, “Support to the North West Coast Development and Mine Action Plan - What is the project about?,” undated; and UNDP, “From Victims to Activists,” undated.

[10] Egypt Mine Action Project North West Coast, “Victim Assistance,” undated.

[11] Ministry of International Cooperation, “Dr. Nasr Inaugurates the First Artificial Limbs Center in Marsa Matrouh,”21 October 2016; and A. Nayder, “Helping Landmine Victims in Marsa Matrouh-And Preventing More,” Because, 3 November 2016.

[13] US Department of State, “2016 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Egypt,” Washington, DC, 3 April 2017.