Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 05 September 2023

Summary: Signatory Kenya has pledged to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but has not taken any steps to do so. It participated in a regional workshop on the convention in March 2022. Kenya voted in favor of a key United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution promoting universalization of the convention in December 2022.

Kenya is not known to have produced or imported cluster munitions, and has not clarified if it possesses any stocks. Kenya has denied an allegation that its air force used cluster munitions in 2016.


The Republic of Kenya signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008.

Kenya had expressed it intent to ratify the convention several times up until 2013, but does not appear to have taken any steps towards ratification since then apart from undertaking internal consultations on the matter. In 2009 and 2010, Kenya stated that the Office of the Attorney General was preparing the ratification package.

Kenya has not introduced any specific national implementing legislation for the convention.[1]

Kenya participated in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions and worked to achieve a strong convention text, which it joined in adopting in Dublin in May 2008.[2]

Kenya last participated in a formal meeting of the convention in September 2016.[3] It was invited to, but did not attend, the convention’s Tenth Meeting of States Parties held in Geneva in August–September 2022. Kenya has participated in regional workshops on the convention, most recently in Abuja, Nigeria in March 2022.[4]

In December 2022, Kenya voted in favor of the key UNGA resolution that urged states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.”[5] Kenya has voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since it was first introduced in 2015.

Kenya is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).

Production, transfer, and stockpiling

Kenya is not known to have ever produced cluster munitions. Kenya has not indicated whether it has imported cluster munitions or possesses any stocks.[6]


There is no evidence to indicate that Kenya has used cluster munitions in recent years.

However, in May 2016, Kenya denied an allegation that it used air-delivered cluster munitions in neighboring Somalia, a State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[7] A United Nations (UN) investigation found that Kenyan forces conducted airstrikes in Somalia’s Gedo region on 15–23 January 2016, but could not confirm whether Kenya used cluster munitions during the attacks. Based on available evidence, the Monitor also could not conclusively determine whether Kenya used cluster munitions during this incident.

[1] In 2012, Kenya said the 2010 constitution “provides that international treaties which Kenya has ratified form part of the national law.” Statement of Kenya, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 12 September 2012. Notes by the CMC.

[2] For details on Kenya’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions 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. 102–103.

[3] Previously, Kenya attended Meetings of States Parties in 2011–2016, the First Review Conference in 2015, and regional workshops on the convention.

[4] Convention on Cluster Munitions Implementation Support Unit (ISU), Report on the African Regional Convention on Cluster Munitions Universalization Workshop in Abuja, Nigeria, 23–24 March 2022.

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

[6] Kenya is reported to possess Grad 122mm surface-to-surface rockets, but it is not known if these include versions with submunition payloads. International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), The Military Balance 2011 (London: Routledge, 2011), p. 429.

[7] Security Council, “Report of the Secretary-General on Somalia,” S/2016/430, 9 May 2016, p. 10, para. 51. Somali media reported that cluster munitions were used in the Gedo region of Somalia in January 2016, and published photographs reportedly taken at the site of the attack that showed dead livestock and the remnants of United Kingdom (UK)-made BL755 cluster bombs and submunitions. See, “Losses shelling forces arrested Gedo and Juba,” Calanka Media, 24 January 2016; and “Kenya launches deadly retaliatory attack,” Somali Memo Media Network, 24 January 2016.

Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019


The Republic of Kenya signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 5 December 1997 and ratified it on 23 January 2001, becoming a State Party on 1 July 2001. Kenya has been reporting that national legislation was in progress since 2004.[1]

From 28 November to 3 December 2004, Kenya hosted the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty, also known as the Nairobi Summit on a Mine-Free World.

Kenya occasionally attends meetings of the treaty, most recently the Fifteenth Meeting of States Parties in Santiago in November–December 2016. Kenya did not attend the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014. Kenya last submitted an updated Article 7 transparency report in 2008. Kenya is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons. Kenya is a signatory state to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Production, transfer, stockpiling, and retention

Kenya has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines. In August 2003, Kenya’s military destroyed its stockpile of 35,774 antipersonnel mines (5,216 No. 6 blast mines, 9,665 No. 4 blast mines, 9,937 No. 12 bounding fragmentation, 4,744 NR 413 fragmentation mines, and 9,212 No. 409 blast mines), far ahead of its treaty-mandated deadline of 1 July 2005.[2] Kenya imported these mines from the United Kingdom, Israel, and Belgium.[3]

In its 2008 Article 7 report, Kenya cited a total of 3,000 antipersonnel mines retained for training purposes.[4] This is the same number it has cited in previous Article 7 reports. However, at the April 2007 Standing Committee meetings, Kenya reported that the number of retained mines stood at 2,460 “after using 540 APMs for the provided purposes.”[5] It is not known if the total of 3,000 retained mines in the February 2008 report indicates an unexplained increase back to 3,000, or if it is an error.[6]

[1] In 2008, Kenya stated, “Legislation for domestication of land mine ban treaty to follow.” Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, February 2008. In November 2007, Kenya assured States Parties that it “is committed to fulfill her [treaty] responsibilities including that of domestication of the instrument.” Earlier, Kenya reported that the Attorney General’s office drafted national implementation legislation and sent it to the Office of the President for approval in June 2005. Parliament reportedly approved the preparation of national implementation legislation on 9 December 2004.

[2] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Forms B and D, 1 April 2005.

[3] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, 15 May 2002.

[4] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, February 2008. The 3,000 mines include: 700 each of No. 4, No. 12 and No. 409 mines, 500 No. 6 mines, and 400 NR PRB mines.

[5] “Kenya’s Progress on Aspects of Articles 3 and 5,” Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 27 April 2007. It stated that the mines were used for training in detection, clearance and destruction techniques at training institutions, and were consumed during “humanitarian demining and EODs; demolition/destruction practical exercises; mine awareness training to peacekeeping contingents deployed to various missions.”

[6] Prior to the 2007 statement, Kenya had, since its initial declaration in 2001, consistently reported a total of 3,000 mines retained, suggesting that no mines had been consumed (destroyed) during training activities. However, in June 2006, an official at the International Mine Action Training Centre (IMATC) told the Monitor that it was using antipersonnel mines provided by the Kenyan Army for its training activities, and that the mines were being consumed during the training courses. Interview with Lt. Col. Tim Wildish, Commandant, International Mine Action Training Centre, Nairobi, 6 June 2006.


Last updated: 05 May 2017

Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2016

124 mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties (45 killed; 79 injured) 1999-2016, and at least 1,274 persons were reported as having been injured by ERW prior to 2004 but were not included in Monitor data.

Casualties in 2016

0 (2015: 1)


In 2016, the Monitor did not record any new mine/ERW casualties in the Republic of Kenya. Monitor media scanning identified four improvised explosive device (IED) casualties in one incident that may have been caused by a mine, however these casualties have not been included in the global total for 2016 as it was not clear if the device was an improvised landmine (victim-activated IED) or if remote means of activation were used. In the incident, an off duty ambulance was reported to have “hit an IED, which was hanging from a tree,” or “ran over a home-made bomb” killing the driver of the vehicle and injuring the three passengers.[1] Throughout 2016, the media reported frequent security forces casualties from “landmines” attributed to non-state armed groups; however, the means of detonation was not recorded and those casualties have therefore not been included in the total.[2]

In 2015, a 10-year-old boy was injured by unexploded ordnance within a live-fire range near Wamba.[3] The number of annual recorded casualties has remained low in recent years (one in 2015, seven in 2014, none in 2013, and one in 2012). Most casualties have been children and young men. In 2011, 29 new mine/ERW casualties were identified in Kenya, including 22 children.[4]

The Monitor has recorded 124 mine/ERW casualties in Kenya between 1999 and the end of 2016 (45 people killed and 79 injured).[5] Casualty figures are likely incomplete because there is no systematic casualty data collection mechanism in Kenya. In addition, 228 Masai and Samburu tribespeople identified as injured by unexploded ordnance (UXO) in training areas used by the British army made an out of court settlement with the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence in 2002.[6] In 2004, another 1,046 Kenyans reportedly injured by UXO were identified in a claim that was also compensated ex gratia by the UK Ministry of Defense.[7]

[1] See; “Driver killed in attack buried in Garissa,” The Star, 23 June 2016; and “Kenyan ambulance driver killed in Garissa IED attack,” The East African, 21 June 2016.

[2] See, for example: “Five Kenyan police killed after truck hits explosive device,” News 24 Africa, 27 January 2016; “Kenya: Police escape with minor injuries after explosion,” Hiiraan Online, 5 June 2016; “KDF soldiers injured after IED blows military tank in Lamu,” The Star, 26 July 2016; “Police injured in blast in Kenya's coastal region,” Shanghai Daily, 2 August 2016; and “Kenya Muslim cleric killed by explosive devices near Somali border,” Coastweek, 26 January 2016.

[3]Kenya: UK Denies Troops Kidnapped Kenyan Minor,” cajnews Africa, 17 November 2015.

[4] Monitor media monitoring 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2015.

[5] Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor global casualty database query for 1999–2015.

[6] Paul Redfern, “UK to pay munitions victims £4.5m,” News Sunday, 21 July 2002.

[7] Colin Blackstock, “Kenyans win MoD damages,” The Guardian,12 February 2004. 

Victim Assistance

Last updated: 05 May 2017

The total number of survivors is unknown, but is at least 1,097 (1,046 reported through the British compensation claims process and 51 survivors identified by the Monitor in 2003–2015) in the Republic of Kenya. Mine/ERW survivors receive the same services as other persons with disabilities.

Access to services for persons with disabilities remained limited. Additional support for persons with disabilities is provided by the United Disabled Persons of Kenya Group (UDPK), chaired by Senator Godliver Omondi. The UDPK is a cross disability organization meant to provide education and awareness for persons with disabilities. In April 2015, the UDPK participated in the Bridges between Worlds follow-up meeting hosted by the chair of the Mine Ban Treaty’s Committee on Victim Assistance.[1]

Kenya ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 19 May 2008.

[1]Experts call for stronger bridges to be built in support of landmine survivors,” Mine Ban Treaty Implementation Support Unit, 23 April 2015.