Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019


The Republic of Namibia signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 21 September 1998, becoming a State Party on 1 March 1999. In 2009, Namibia reported that it views the Explosive Act of 1956 as “sufficient” legal measures to ensure implementation of the treaty.[1] The Mine Ban Treaty is also viewed as part of national law under the Namibian Constitution.[2]

Namibia attends meetings of the treaty semi-regularly, most recently the Fifteenth Meeting of States Parties in Santiago in November–December 2016. Namibia also attended the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014. Namibia has not submitted an updated Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report since April 2010.

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

Production, transfer, use, stockpile destruction, and retention

Namibia maintains that it has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines and that it obtained mines as “leftovers during the liberation struggle.”[3] There have been no serious allegations of use of antipersonnel mines by Namibian forces since the April 2002 peace agreement in Angola.[4]

In 2004, Namibia provided its initial Article 7 transparency report where it disclosed that its stockpiles were comprised of 298 PPM-2, 100 OZM-72, 41 PROM-1, 3,720 PMN, 777 POMZ-2, 7,364 POMZ-2M, 19,412 PMD-6, 22 Claymore, and 122 “Mine Sharpener” mines. Namibia reported that by May 1998 it had destroyed 21,857 stockpiled antipersonnel mines and was retaining 9,999 mines.[5] By the end of 2005, it had reduced the number of retained mines to 3,899.[6] In April 2009, Namibia reported a reduced total of 1,734 mines retained for training and stated that 2,165 mines were destroyed “in past years” in “training of our troops and deminers in order to enabled them to identify and learn how to detect, handle, neutralize and destroy the mines wherever been found.”[7] In April 2010, Namibia further reduced the total number of mines retained for training by 100 to 1,634 mines, but reported the transfer for the purposes of training of a 400 PMD-6 mines as well as 20 “Mine Sharpener” and two Claymore mines.[8] Namibia has not provided updated information on mines retained since 2010.

Namibia did not report in detail on the intended purposes and actual uses of its retained mines, as agreed by States Parties.

[1] In 2004 and 2005, Namibia reported that draft implementation legislation was “under consideration.” In May 2006, a defense official told the Monitor that it may not be necessary since the government believes that it has completed its obligations under the treaty. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports, Form A, 7 July 2004, 9 September 2005, and 20 April 2006. Interview with Maj. Filemon Kotokeni, Chief of Mine Action, Namibian Defence Force, Ministry of Defence, in Geneva, 9 May 2006.

[2] For details on Article 144 of Namibia’s Constitution, see, Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 121. It is not clear how penal sanctions would be applied to offending parties with regard to specific articles of the Mine Ban Treaty.

[3] Statement of Namibia, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 21–22 June 2004. The United States Department of Defense claimed that Namibia produced PMD-6 antipersonnel mines in the past. See, Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 65.

[4] In 2000 and 2001, Landmine Monitor reported on antipersonnel mine use in Namibia by UNITA rebel forces and Angolan government forces, and on unsubstantiated allegations of use by Namibian troops. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2000, pp. 81–84; and Landmine Monitor Report 2001, pp. 123–125.

[5] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Forms D and G, 7 July 2004. Prior to this Namibia had made no official declarations about its stockpile, even though its treaty deadline for stockpile destruction was 1 March 2003.

[6] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 20 April 2006. In June 2005, Namibia stated that it had destroyed 3,848 of the retained mines during training activities, leaving 6,151 mines. Statement of Namibia, Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 17 June 2005. Notes by the Monitor.

[7] Namibia reported retaining 550 PMD-6, 500 POMZ-2M, 400 PMN, 100 PPM-2, 100 POMZ-2, and 40 OZM, as well as 40 “Mine Sharpener” and two Claymores, which totals 1,732 mines, not 1,734. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Forms B and D, 30 April 2009.

[8] Namibia has reported retaining 600 POMZ-2M (100 more than reported in 2009), 400 PMN, 400 PMD-6 (150 fewer than in 2009), 80 PPM-2 (20 fewer than in 2009), 90 POMZ-2 (10 fewer than in 2009), 40 OZM-72, and two PROM-1, as well as well as 20 “Mine Sharpener” and two Claymores. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Forms B and D, 30 April 2009.