Kyrgyzstan

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 05 September 2023

Summary: Non-signatory Kyrgyzstan adopted the Convention on Cluster Munitions in 2008, but never signed it and has taken no steps to join since then. Kyrgyzstan last participated in a meeting of the convention in 2013. It voted in favor of a key United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution promoting the convention in December 2022.

Kyrgyzstan states that it has never used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions.

Policy

The Kyrgyz Republic has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Kyrgyzstan last commented on the convention in an April 2010 letter to the Monitor, when it said that its possible accession to the convention was “under consideration.”[1]

Kyrgyzstan participated in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions and joined in the consensus adoption of the convention text in Dublin in May 2008. Yet Kyrgyzstan did not attend the convention’s Signing Conference in Oslo in December 2008.[2]

Kyrgyzstan participated as an observer at the convention’s Meetings of States Parties in 2012 and 2013, but has not attended any meetings of the convention since then.

In December 2022, Kyrgyzstan voted in favor of a key UNGA resolution urging states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.”[3] It has voted in favor of the annual resolution promoting the convention since 2016.[4]

Kyrgyzstan is not party to the Mine Ban Treaty or the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Kyrgyzstan informed the Monitor in 2010 that it has never used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions.[5]



[1] Letter No. 011-14/809 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan, 30 April 2010.

[2] For details on Kyrgyzstan’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2010, see ICBL, Cluster Munition Monitor 2010 (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2010), p. 225.

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

[4] Kyrgyzstan abstained from the vote on the first UNGA resolution promoting the convention in 2015.

[5] Letter No. 011-14/809 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan, 30 April 2010.


Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019

Policy

The Kyrgyz Republic has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty.

In an April 2010 letter to the Monitor, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it supports the idea of a full ban on antipersonnel mines and advocates for the successful implementation of the treaty.[1] However, as in the past, Kyrgyzstan indicated it could not yet join because it does not have necessary alternatives for border defense and because it lacks both financial and technical resources to implement the treaty.[2] It last participated in a treaty meeting as an observer at the 2005 Meeting of States Parties.

On 5 December 2018, Kyrgyzstan voted in favor of UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 73/61, calling for universalization and full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty.[3] Prior to December 2010, Kyrgyzstan had abstained on similar UNGA resolutions.

Kyrgyzstan is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons, nor is it party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Production, transfer, stockpiling, and use

In April 2010, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that Kyrgyzstan has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines.[4] Kyrgyzstan has not enacted legislation to regulate export and manufacture of antipersonnel mines “due to the absence of technical means on the territory of our country.”[5]

Kyrgyzstan inherited a stockpile of mines from the Soviet Union.[6] In April 2010, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs officially confirmed that the Ministry of Defense possesses a stock of PMN and OZM-72 antipersonnel mines—which it described as expired—and the State Border Guard Service possesses “a small amount” of antipersonnel mines, which are “kept for guarding the more vulnerable sectors of the state border with difficult access in high mountains.”[7]

Kyrgyzstan said that it does not have the financial resources to destroy its expired mines or to purchase alternatives. It estimates the cost of destroying its expired stockpiles of PMN and OZM-72 antipersonnel mines at approximately US$600,000. It linked stockpile destruction to acquisition of new types of mines (apparently command-detonated), which it said might cost $1.5 million.[8]

Kyrgyzstan has acknowledged previously that it used antipersonnel mines in 1999 and 2000 to prevent infiltration across its borders.[9] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed in May 2010 that in 1999–2000 the military “used a certain amount of antipersonnel landmines,” but stated that reports and maps of the mined areas were produced and that after the end of the military operation, the mines were removed and destroyed.[10] In June 2011, a government official confirmed that “We do not have any minefields on the territory of Kyrgyzstan.”[11]



[1] Letter 011-14/809 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 30 April 2010. This is the first formal communication on mines from the government of Kyrgyzstan since 2006.

[2] See, for example, statement of Kyrgyzstan, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation, Geneva, 8 May 2006. Kyrgyzstan told States Parties that it supports the goal of a mine-free world and welcomes the decreasing use of antipersonnel mines around the world. It said that a step-by-step approach—beginning with mine clearance, then stockpile destruction—could prepare the basis for Kyrgyzstan to accede.

[3] “Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction,” UNGA Resolution 73/61, 5 December 2018.

[4] Letter 011-14/809 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 30 April 2010.

[5] Letter from Amb. G. Isakova, Permanent Mission of the Kyrgyz Republic to the UN in Geneva, 29 June 2011.

[6] Statement by Talantbek Kushchubekov, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mine Ban Treaty First Review Conference, Nairobi, 3 December 2004.

[7] Letter 011-14/809 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 30 April 2010. A military source requesting anonymity told the Monitor in May 2005 that the Ministry of Defense has tens of thousands of PMN and OZM-72 antipersonnel mines and the State Border Guard Service has 1,000 to 2,000 antipersonnel mines, and that most if not all of these mines had expired.

[8] Letter 011-14/809 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 30 April 2010.

[9] Statement of Kyrgyzstan, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on General Status and Operation, Geneva, 8 May 2006.

[10] Letter 011-14/809 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 30 April 2010.

[11] Letter from Amb. G. Isakova, Permanent Mission of the Kyrgyz Republic to the UN in Geneva, 29 June 2011.


Mine Action

Last updated: 12 November 2018

Treaty status

Mine Ban Treaty

Not a party

Mine action management

National mine action management actors

None

Operators in 2017

None reported

Extent of contamination as of end 2017

Landmines

Suspected contamination, though location and extent of any mined areas is not known

Cluster munition remnants

None

Other ERW contamination

Not known. Poor ammunition storage poses a risk to human security

Land release in 2017

Landmines

Not reported

Note: ERW = explosive remnants of war.

Contamination

The Kyrgyz Republic is suspected to be contaminated by mines, though the precise location and extent of any mined areas is not known. According to the Minister of Defence, contamination in the southern Batken province bordering Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the result of mine use by Uzbekistan’s military between 1999 and 2000, was cleared by Uzbek forces in 2005.[1] It was reported, however, that rainfall and landslides had caused some mines to shift.[2]

In 2003, Kyrgyz authorities claimed that Uzbek forces had also laid mines around the Uzbek enclaves of Sokh and Shakhimardan located within Kyrgyzstan. Press reports have suggested that Uzbek troops partially cleared territory around the Sokh enclave in 2004–2005 and that they completely cleared mines around the Shakhimardan enclave in 2004.[3] In October 2017, Uzbek President Islam Karimov, and his Kyrgyz counterpart, Almazbek Atambaev, signed an agreement to demarcate some 85% of the countries’ nearly 1,300km-long border and began discussing options for the 36 disputed sectors.[4]

Kyrgyzstan has admitted using antipersonnel mines in 1999 and 2000 to prevent infiltration across its borders, but has claimed that all the mines were subsequently removed and destroyed.[5] In June 2011, a government official confirmed, “We do not have any minefields on the territory of Kyrgyzstan.”[6]

In October 2011, ITF Enhancing Human Security (ITF), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Defense conducted a mine action assessment mission. The assessment confirmed that poor ammunition storage conditions as well as obsolete ammunition posed a serious threat to human security. Agreement on cooperation was reached on 25 July 2013, when the ITF signed a Protocol on Cooperation with the Ministry of Defense of the Kyrgyz Republic.[7] The ITF reported that in 2014 it continued to implement activities agreed on in the Protocol on Cooperation. This includes technical checks on antipersonnel mines and other ammunition in three storage warehouses, procurement of explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) equipment, and support for disposal of ammunition surpluses.[8]

Program Management

Kyrgyzstan has no functioning mine action program.

Land Release

There are no reports of any survey or clearance of mined areas occurring in 2017.

 

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] Fax from Abibilla Kudaiberdiev, Minister of Defense, 4 April 2011.

[2] See, for example, Y. Yegorov, “Uzbekistan agrees to remove minefields along its border with Kyrgyzstan,” Eurasia Daily Monitor, Vol. 1, Issue 41, 29 June 2004.

[3] S. Zhimagulov and O. Borisova, “Kyrgyzstan Tries to Defend Itself from Uzbek Mines,” Navigator(Kazakhstan), 14 March 2003; and “Borders are becoming clear,” Blog post, Uzbekistan.

[5] Statement of Kyrgyzstan, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 8 May 2006; and Letter 011-14/809 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 30 April 2010.

[6] Letter from Amb. G. Isakova, Permanent Mission of Kyrgyzstan to the UN in Geneva, 29 June 2011.

[7] ITF, “Kyrgyz Republic,” undated.

[8] Ibid.