Mauritania

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 21 July 2015

Five-Year Review: State Party Mauritania ratified the convention on 1 February 2012 and reports that existing legislation is sufficient to enforce implementation of the convention’s provisions. Mauritania has participated in every Meeting of States Parties of the convention and in 2014, condemned new use of cluster munitions, including in South Sudan, Syria, and Ukraine. In its initial transparency report for the convention provided in 2013, Mauritania confirmed it has never used, produced, imported, or exported cluster munitions and has no stockpile, including for training or research purposes.

Policy

The Islamic Republic of Mauritania signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 19 April 2010, ratified on 1 February 2012, and the convention entered into force for the country on 1 August 2012.

Mauritania has reported its ratification legislation, Law 2011-050, under national implementation measures.[1] In April 2014, a government official said that international treaties ratified by Mauritania are automatically incorporated into the domestic law so there was no need for new or amended legislation specific to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[2]

Mauritania provided its initial Article 7 transparency report for the Convention on Cluster Munitions in March 2013 and submitted annual updated reports in April 2014 and May 2015.[3]

Mauritania actively participated in the Oslo Process that led to the creation of the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, making many strong contributions towards ensuring the most comprehensive treaty possible.[4] Mauritania did not sign the convention in December 2008, apparently due to political uncertainty, but signed at the UN in New York in April 2010.

Mauritania supports the work of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It has participated in every Meeting of States Parties of the convention. At the Fifth Meeting of States Parties in San Jose, Costa Rica in September 2014, Mauritania announced the completion of clearance of cluster munition remnants from its territory, formally stating it is now in compliance with the convention’s obligation to clear all contaminated areas.

Mauritania has attended all of the convention’s intersessional meetings in Geneva, including in June 2015. It has also participated in regional workshops on cluster munitions, such as the one held in Lomé, Togo in May 2013.

At the Fifth Meeting of States Parties, Mauritania condemned the use of cluster munitions in South Sudan, Syria, and Ukraine.[5] It has also voted in favor of UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria, such as Resolution 69/189 on 18 December 2014, which expressed “outrage” at the continued use.[6]

Mauritania has yet to elaborate its views on certain important issues relating to the interpretation and implementation of the convention, such as the prohibition on transit, the prohibition on foreign stockpiling, and the prohibition on investment in cluster munition production. During the negotiation of the convention in Dublin in May 2008, Mauritania called for clarity of language to ensure that the prohibition on assistance with prohibited acts would still be fully applicable during joint military operations with states not party.[7]

Mauritania is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Mauritania has stated that it has never used, produced, or transferred cluster munitions and does not have a stockpile of the weapons, including for research or training.[8]



[1] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for the period 12 January 2012 to 31 December 2012), Form A, 18 March 2013.

[2] CMC meetings with Lt.-Col. Alioune Ould Mohamed El Hacen, National Coordinator, National Humanitarian Demining Programme for Development (PNDHD), Ministry of Interior and Decentralisation, Geneva, 8 and 15 April 2014.

[3] The initial report covers calendar year 2012, while the update provided in April 2014 covers calendar year 2013. The report submitted in 2015 consists of the cover sheet for calendar year 2014, indicating no changes from the previous year.

[4] See ICBL, Cluster Munition Monitor 2010 (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada: October 2010), pp. 163–164.

[5] Statement of Mauritania, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fifth Meeting of States Parties, San Jose, 4 September 2014. Notes by the CMC.

[6] “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution A/RES/69/189, 18 December 2014. Mauritania voted in favor of a similar resolution on 18 December 2013.

[7] For Article 21 on relations with states not party, Mauritania proposed to delete the phrase “notwithstanding the provisions of Article 1” (Article 1 prohibits assistance with banned acts). Statements of Mauritania, Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, 20 May 2008, 23 May 2008, and 27 May 2008. Notes by Landmine Action.

[8] Forms B, C, D, and E of Mauritania’s Article 7 reports were not completed and the cover sheet lists them as “sans objet” or not applicable. Mauritania has stated that it does not stockpile cluster munitions. Interview with Lt.-Col. Alioune O. Mohamed El Hacen, PNDHD, Ministry of Interior and Decentralisation, Vientiane, 10 November 2010; email, 4 April 2011; and Monitor meeting, Geneva, 15 April 2013.


Impact

Last updated: 16 November 2021

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Treaty Status | Management & Coordination | Impact (contamination & casualties) | Addressing the Impact (land release, risk education, victim assistance)

Country Summary

Landmine and cluster munition remnants contamination in Mauritania is a legacy of the conflict over Western Sahara between 1975–1978.

Mauritania declared fulfilment of its Mine Ban Treaty clearance obligations in November 2018, and fulfilment of its Convention on Cluster Munitions clearance obligations in September 2014. However, in June 2020 Mauritania submitted a request to extend its Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 clearance deadline by one year after discovering previously unknown mined areas. The purpose of the extension was to conduct a survey to gain a more accurate contamination estimate.[1] After this initial one-year extension, Mauritania submitted a fourth extension request in June 2021 to extend its Mine Ban Treaty clearance deadline.[2]

Mauritania also reported discovering previously unknown cluster munition contamination, and in June 2021 requested an extension to its Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 4 clearance deadline until August 2024. The extension was granted at the second part of Second Review Conference of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in September 2021.

Risk education and victim assistance are included within Mauritania’s National Mine Action Strategic Plan for 2016–2020. The National Humanitarian Demining Program for Development (Programme National de Déminage Humanitaire pour le Développement, PNDHD) is the focal point for victim assistance. The Mauritanian government provides a grant for victim assistance to PNDHD and the national rehabilitation center.[3] Though some assistance is provided through PNDHD and this center, few specific activities or services have been reported by Mauritania.

Treaty Status

Treaty status overview

Mine Ban Treaty

State Party (Entry into force: 1 January 2001)

Article 5 clearance deadline: 31 January 2022

Fourth extension request submitted in June 2021

Convention on Cluster Munitions

State Party (Entry into force: 1 August 2012)

Article 4 clearance deadline: 1 August 2024

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

State Party (Ratification: 3 April 2012)

 

Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 clearance deadline

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, and in accordance with the five-year extension request granted by States Parties in 2015, Mauritania was required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 January 2021.[4] In November 2018, at the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, Mauritania declared that it had fulfilled its Article 5 obligations.[5]

In June 2020, Mauritania submitted a request to extend its Article 5 deadline to 31 January 2022 after discovering previously unknown mined areas.[6] The purpose of the extension was to assess the extent of contamination. Having confirmed the contamination through survey in the first quarter of 2021, Mauritania submitted a fourth Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 extension request in June 2021, with a deadline of 31 December 2026.[7]

Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 4 clearance deadline

Under Article 4 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Mauritania is required to destroy all cluster munition remnants in contaminated areas under its jurisdiction or control by 1 August 2022.

In September 2014, at the Fifth Meeting of States Parties to the convention, Mauritania submitted a declaration of compliance with its Article 4 clearance obligations.[8] Hoyever, in January 2020, Mauritania reported newly discovered cluster munition contamination in the Tiris Zemmour region, and submitted a request to extend its Article 4 deadline in June 2021 .[9] In September 2021, Mauritania was granted two additional years, to 1 August 2024, to meet its clearance obligations.

Management and Coordination

Mine action

Mine action management and coordination overview

Mine action commenced

2000

National mine action management actors

PNDHD

Mine action strategies and operational plans

National Mine Action Strategic Plan 2016–2020

Mine action standards

Mauritanian National Mine Action Standards; first approved in 2007 and updated annually

 

Coordination

PNDHD, formed in 2000, coordinates mine action operations in Mauritania.[10] Since 2007, mine action has been the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior and Decentralization with oversight from an inter-ministerial steering committee.[11] PNDHD is based in the capital, Nouakchott, and a regional mine action center is based in Nouadhibou.[12]

Strategies and policy

In 2017, Mauritania reported that a National Mine Action Strategic Plan for 2016–2020 had been developed. Its objectives included verifying contamination in border areas and clearing any newly identified contamination by 2020, continuing risk education and victim assistance, and maintaining national mine clearance capacities.[13]

Information management

The national mine action database in Mauritania is maintained by PNDHD. PNDHD was using version 6 of the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) software.[14]

National standards

The Mauritanian National Mine Action Standards were approved in 2007. They are reported to be in line with International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) but are adapted to local geography and available equipment.[15] They include standards for technical and non-technical survey, that were developed with support from the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) and Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA).[16]

Mauritania plans to conduct a review of its national mine action standards during its Mine Ban Treaty fourth clearance deadline extension period, to ensure that they are still adequate and up to date.[17]

Risk education management and coordination

No specific coordination mechanism for risk education was reported, although PNDHD is the government focal point.

Victim assistance management and coordination

Victim assistance management and coordination[18]

Government focal points

PNDHD

Coordination mechanisms

None

Plans/strategies

No specific victim assistance strategy, but victim assistance is included within the National Mine Action Strategic Plan

Disability sector integration

 

Income-generation projects funded by PNDHD in coordination with the regional network of persons with disabilities

Survivor inclusion and participation

PNDHD consults with survivors’ organizations annually to identify the needs of survivors and prioritize activities

 

Coordination

No specific coordination mechanism was reported, though the Mauritanian government provided a grant to PNDHD and the National Orthopedic and Functional Rehabilitation Center (Centre National d’Orthopédie et de Réhabilitation Fonctionnelle, CNORF) for victim assistance services.[19]

Laws and policies

Discrimination against persons with disabilities is prohibited in Mauritania, and the law mandates access to public buildings. However, legislation was not enforced and persons with disabilities generally did not have adequate access to public buildings.[20]

Since December 2017, persons with disabilities in Mauritania have been eligible to apply for a disability card, which provides free access to healthcare services in public hospitals, and access to transportation and healthcare services in private hospitals at discounted rates.[21]

In April 2020, the Ministry of Social Affairs, Childhood, and Family signed an agreement with the National Health Insurance Fund (Caisse Nationale d'Assurance Maladie, CNAM) for 2,000 persons with disabilities in Mauritania to benefit from health insurance. Both the ministry and CNAM are responsible for selecting beneficiaries.[22]

Impact

Contamination

Contamination (as of December 2020)[23]

Landmines

16.18km²

Extent of contamination: medium

Cluster munition remnants

14.02km²

Extent of contamination: medium

ERW

N/R

Note: ERW=explosive remnants of war; N/R=not reported.

Landmine contamination

In 2018, Mauritania reported the release of all known antipersonnel mine contaminated areas, totaling 40 areas and covering 67km². In 2020, Mauritania reported newly discovered landmine contamination, and submitted a one-year request for an extension to its Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 clearance deadline, in order to assess the extent of contamination.

A survey conducted in February and March 2021 identified 19 mined areas, covering a total of 16.18km².[24] The majority of areas were located on the Nouadibou peninsular (16 areas) with two areas in Tiris Zemour and two areas in Adrar.[25] In addition, local authorities have reported a mined area in Ouadane, in the Adrar region, the size of which is yet to be determined.[26] Some of the newly discovered mined areas are thought to “lie outside of Mauritanian jurisdiction but [are] under Mauritanian de facto control,” and require coordination with relevant authorities to determine the extent under Mauritanian jurisdiction.[27] Antipersonnel and antivehicle mines have been identified in the newly discovered contaminated areas.

In addition to the human cost, the remaining contamination in Mauritania has a socio-economic impact, preventing access to pastures and other community resources, and killing livestock.[28]

Cluster munition remnants contamination

In 2020, Mauritania reported discovering previously unknown cluster munition contaminated areas, dating from 1980 and 1990.[29] After an initial assessment in February 2021, 14.02km² of land was found to be contaminated with cluster munition remnants. These areas are all located in the region of Tiris Zemmour in the north of Mauritania, bordering Western Sahara.[30] Further survey will need to be carried out to determine the exact size of these contaminated areas.[31]

Casualties

Casualties overview[32]

Casualties

All known casualties (between 2008 and 2020)

627 (370 killed, 255 injured, 2 unknown survival outcome)

Casualties in 2020

Annual total

2 (increase from 1 in 2019)

 

Survival outcome

2 injured

Device type causing casualties

1 ERW, 1 unspecified mine

Civilian status

1 civilian, 1 unknown

Age and gender

1 man, 1 boy

 

Note: ERW=explosive remnants of war.

Casualties in 2020: details

Two mine/ERW casualties were reported in 2020.[33]

The Monitor has recorded a total of 627 casualties in Mauritania for all time, based on PNDHD updates. However, from 2016–2019, PNDHD repeatedly recorded a total of 618 casualties for all time due to mines/ERW, while also reporting additional annual casualties.[34] As of June 2021, PNDHD reported an updated total of 624 casualties for all time.[35] Mauritania indicated that the total number of casualties was likely to be higher, particularly among migrants, smugglers, and shepherds crossing mined areas.[36] Over 80% of known casualties in Mauritania were men, and most incidents occurred during activities such as farming, herding, and fishing.[37]

Cluster munition remnant casualties

The first cluster munition remnant casualty in Mauritania was recorded in 2021, as no casualties had been reported previously.[38] However, national casualty data is not disaggregated according to the type of device (landmine or cluster munition) and reporting indicates that cluster munition incidents involving livestock had previously occurred in the country.[39] It is possible that cluster munition incidents have occurred which were not disaggregated from mine/ERW casualties.[40]

Addressing the Impact

Mine action

Clearance operators

National

Armed Forces of Mauritania, Engineer Corps

International

 

Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), since 2011

 

Clearance activities in Mauritania are conducted by the Engineer Corps of the Armed Forces of Mauritania, under the direction of PNDHD. Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) had previously undertaken clearance in Mauritania from 2011–2015, and assisted PNDHD in carrying out a survey of newly identified contaminated areas in February and March 2021.[41]

Land release

Landmines

No release of mined or cluster munition contaminated land took place in 2019 or 2020; although PNDHD reported conducting survey to confirm the newly identified contaminated areas.[42]

Following survey of the newly identified mined areas, Mauritania developed a workplan as part of its fourth Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 extension request, submitted in June 2021.[43]

To complete demining work in the north, Mauritania estimated that it requires US$650,000 for equipment and $1.8 million annually to run the program. The costs for local PNDHD staff and office space will be paid for by the Mauritanian government.[44] As of March 2021, international funding for clearance had not yet been secured.[45]

Mauritania estimated that the deployment of eight demining teams, over five years, is required to complete clearance by 31 December 2026.[46] The first six months of the extension period will be devoted to the identification of funding, staff, equipment, and any other required resources, while the last four months will be used for the preparation and completion of reporting.[47]

Mauritania reported that most of the land to be released from mine/ERW contamination is used by nomadic or semi-nomadic communities for pastures. Mauritania anticipates that some of the newly discovered contaminated land could also be used for mining activities once cleared.[48]

Cluster munition remnants

A survey was conducted in February 2021, after which Mauritania determined that areas found to be contaminated by cluster munition remnants were under its jurisdiction and control. In June 2021, Mauritania submitted a request to extend its Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 4 clearance deadline by two years, until 1 August 2024.[49] The extension was granted at the second part of Second Review Conference of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in September 2021.

Mauritania foresees the deployment of four battle area clearance teams, to survey and clear the residual contamination during the extension period for a total budget of $1.8 million.[50]

Residual risk

Mauritania reported that additional previously unknown contamination could still be discovered in the future, given the size of its desert areas. Mauritania plans to strengthen and maintain its national clearance capacity to respond to residual risk.[51]

Border cooperation

Mauritania reported that some of the newly discovered mined areas are not under its jurisdiction, although they are under its de facto control. Clearance of these areas will require coordination with relevant authorities.[52]

Risk education

Implementation

Risk education in Mauritania is overseen by PHDHD and is provided to local administrative authorities, the staff of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), elected officials, teachers, shepherds, nomads, and fishermen.[53]

Risk education messages have been disseminated through radio campaigns, and awareness and information campaigns, in all areas where there were confirmed or suspected hazardous areas.[54]

Risk education has been provided in schools close to contaminated areas, and training has been provided for teachers to promote risk education in their communities. School notebooks, caps, and t-shirts with safety messages were distributed to schoolchildren.[55] Risk education materials take age, gender, and the diverse needs of affected communities into consideration.[56]

Victim assistance

Victim assistance operators[57]

Type of organization

Name of organization

Type of activity

Governmental

PNDHD

Funding for income-generation activities

National

National Orthopedic and Functional Rehabilitation Center (Centre national D'orthopédie et de rééducation fonctionnelle, CNORF)

Physical rehabilitation, prosthetics, and psychological support

 

Medical care and rehabilitation

Medical care for mine/ERW survivors is covered by the Mauritanian government.[58] Survivors receive physical rehabilitation and psychological support services at CNORF.[59]

There is no community-based rehabilitation program for persons with disabilities, although the law provides for its implementation.[60]

Socio-economic and psychosocial inclusion

PNDHD funds income-generation activities for the most vulnerable mine/ERW survivors.[61]


[3] Mauritania Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), Form H. See, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Database.

[4] Mauritania had submitted a second Article 5 extension request in April 2015, despite being on track to complete clearance of all known areas containing antipersonnel mines by the end of the year. Under the five-year extension, the Mauritanian government would enter into a dialogue with “all of the stakeholders in the Western Sahara conflict” so as to clarify “the status of the suspected areas.” See, Mauritania Mine Ban Treaty Second Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 2 April 2015, p. 4.

[5] Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) press release, “Mauritania 31st Country to Declare Itself Mine-Free,” 29 November 2018.

[8] Declaration of compliance with article 4.1 (a) of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, submitted by Mauritania to the Convention on Cluster Munitions Fifth Meeting of States Parties, San Jose, 3 September 2014.

[9] Mauritania Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form F and Annex 1. See, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Database.

[10] Decree No. 1960/MDAT/MDN establishing the PNDHD, 14 August 2007.

[11] Decree No. 001358/MDAT establishing the Steering Committee of the PNDHD, 3 September 2007; and Mauritania Mine Ban Treaty Fourth Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 24 March 2021, p. 4.

[12] Mauritania Mine Ban Treaty Fourth Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 24 March 2021, p. 13; and Mauritania Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), p. 12. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database.

[13] See, ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Mauritania: Mine Action,” 7 November 2018.

[14] Mauritania Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), p. 9. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database.

[18] Interview with Alioune ould Menane, National Coordinator, PNDHD, 7 February 2019; Mauritania National Human Rights Commission (Commission Nationale des Droits de l’Homme, CNDH), “Annual Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Mauritania: 2019–2020,” 4 May 2021, p. 99; Mauritania Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020). See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database; and Mauritania Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), Form H. See, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Database.

[19] Mauritania Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form H. See, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Database.

[20] US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, “2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Mauritania,” 30 March 2021; CNDH, “Annual Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Mauritania: 2019–2020,” 4 May 2021, p. 100.

[21] Kissima Diagana, ‘‘Société: Une carte pour faciliter l’accès des personnes handicapées aux services’’ (‘‘Society: A card to facilitate access for people with disabilities to services’’), Initiatives News, 25 December 2017; and CNDH, “Annual Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Mauritania: 2019–2020,” 4 May 2021, p. 98.

[22] ‘‘Mauritanie: assurance maladie pour 2000 personnes handicapées’’ (“Mauritania: health insurance for 2000 persons with disabilities”), Sahara Media, 14 April 2020.

[24] Mauritania stated that this was a rough estimate of contamination, pending further technical survey of mined areas. See, Mauritania Mine Ban Treaty Fourth Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 24 March 2021, pp. 3 and 9.

[27] Ibid., p. 13.

[28] Ibid., p. 7.

[29] Mauritania Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form F. See, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Database.

[31] Ibid., p. 5.

[32] Unless otherwise indicated, 2020 casualty data is based on Monitor analysis of media reports in 2020. Past casualty data obtained in Mauritania Mine Ban Treaty Fourth Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 24 March 2021; and via Monitor analysis of Armed Conflict Location and Event Data project (ACLED) data for calendar year 2019. Clionadh Raleigh, Andrew Linke, Håvard Hegre, and Joakim Karlsen, “Introducing ACLED-Armed Conflict Location and Event Data,” Journal of Peace Research, Issue 47, Vol. 5, September 2010, pp. 651–660. See also, Statement of Mauritania, Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings, held virtually, 23 June 2021.

[34] See, for example, email from Lt.-Col. El Hacen, PNDHD, 12 June 2017; Mauritania Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, 30 April 2017, Form G; and Mauritania Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), p. 12. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database.

[35] Statement of Mauritania, Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings, held virtually, 23 June 2021.

[36] Mauritania Mine Ban Treaty Third Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 7 January 2020, p. 4; and Statement of Mauritania, Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings, held virtually, 23 June 2021.

[37] Mauritania Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), p. 11. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database.

[39] Mauritania Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form H. See, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Database.

[40] Mauritania Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), Form H. See, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Database.

[44] Ibid., p. 12.

[45] Ibid., p. 10.

[46] Ibid., p. 10.

[47] Ibid., pp. 9–10.

[48] Ibid., p. 8.

[50] Ibid., pp. 5 and 7.

[53] Ibid., p. 8.

[54] Ibid. p. 8; and Statement of Mauritania, Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings, held virtually, 23 June 2021.

[55] Mauritania Mine Ban Treaty Third Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 7 January 2020, p. 4; and Statement of Mauritania, Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings, held virtually, 23 June 2021.

[57] Mauritania Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019), Form G, p. 16, and Form H, p. 18. See, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Database; and Mauritania Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), pp. 10–11. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database.

[58] Mauritania Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2019). See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database.

[59] Mauritania Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), pp. 10–11. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database.

[61] Mauritania Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), p. 11. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database; and Mauritania Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2020), Form H. See, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Database.


Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019

Policy

The Islamic Republic of Mauritania signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified on 21 July 2000, becoming a State Party on 1 January 2001. Mauritania adopted national legislation including penal sanctions to implement the Mine Ban Treaty on 2 January 2008.[1] A national commission was set up to be responsible for the mine issue and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty in July 2002.[2]

Mauritania consistently attends meetings of the treaty, most recently the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November 2018, where it announced that it had completed its Article 5 mine clearance obligations.[3] Mauritania also attended the intersessional meetings of the treaty in May 2019. Mauritania consistently submits annual updated Article 7 transparency reports.

Mauritania is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons. Mauritania is party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Production, transfer, stockpile destruction, and retention

Mauritania has always reported that it has never manufactured antipersonnel mines. It is not known to have exported mines. Mauritania completed the destruction of its stockpile of 21,168 antipersonnel mines on 5 December 2004, ahead of its deadline of 1 January 2005.[4]

Mauritania initially intended to retain 5,728 mines for training purposes, but decided in 2004 to reduce the number to 728: 100 PMN mines, 161 Model 51 mines, and 467 MP mines. It has since reported the same number each year; no mines have been consumed in training activities from 2005 to 2019.

In 2009, Mauritania stated that it was looking at the possibility of gradually destroying the retained mines starting in 2010.[5] With respect to mines retained, in April 2007 Mauritania said that it agreed with the ICBL and others that the number of mines retained for training and development purposes should at most be in the hundreds or thousands.[6]

 



[1] Law No. 2008-06 Relative to the Prohibition of Antipersonnel Mines in Mauritania, 2 January 2008. The legislation bans the acquisition, manufacture, stockpiling, transfer, import, export, and use of antipersonnel mines. It provides penalties of one to three years’ imprisonment and fines of MRO100,000 to 1 million ($442 to 4,417) for violations. The law permits retention of mines for training and development, and sets conditions for implementing Article 8 of the Mine Ban Treaty on compliance.

[2] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 25 April 2005.

[3] Statement of Mauritania, Mine Ban Treaty Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 29 November 2018.

[4] It destroyed 16,168 French-made APID 51 mines in 2001 and 2002, and destroyed the final 5,000 antipersonnel mines on 5 December 2004, including 1,738 Soviet PMN mines, 1,728 French Model 51 mines, and 1,533 “MP” mines, which are most likely Yugoslav PMA-3 mines. The quantities provided for each type of mine total 4,999, not 5,000. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2005, pp. 422–423.

[5] Statement of Mauritania, Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 25 May 2009. Notes by the Monitor.

[6] Statement of Mauritania, Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 27 April 2007. Notes by the Monitor. In May 2006, Mauritania called on other States Parties to reduce the number of mines retained as much as possible. Statement of Mauritania, Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 12 May 2006. Notes by the Monitor.


Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 22 December 2023

In 2022, Mauritania received US$1.8 million in international mine action support from France. The funds went to clearance activities implemented by HAMAP-Humanitaire, a French non-governmental organization (NGO).[1] This was the first recorded mine action funding for Mauritania since it reported the discovery of previously unknown mined areas in June 2020.[2]

In its Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 4 deadline extension request submitted in 2021, Mauritania reported that it was providing a total of €250,000 (US$263,350) toward its national mine action program, covering 2021–2022.[3]



[1] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Yves Marek, Ambassador for Mine Clearance, France Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, 21 September 2023.

[2] See Impact country profiles. ICBL-CMC, “Country Profiles: Mauritania,” undated.

[3] Mauritania Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 4 deadline Extension Request, 30 June 2021, pp. 7–8; and Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 4 Analysis Group, “Analysis of Mauritania’s deadline extension request under Article 4 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” 9 August 2021, p. 2. Average exchange rate for 2022: €1=US$1.0534. United States (US) Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 9 January 2023.