Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 16 November 2021


The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. In December 2010, Nepal stated that recommendations regarding accession to the Mine Ban Treaty would be completed “soon.”[1]

On 7 December 2020, Nepal abstained from voting on annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 75/52, calling for universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty. Nepal has abstained from the vote every year since 2007, having previously voted in favor of each annual resolution on the treaty from 1996. In a June 2013 explanation of its abstention to the Nepal Campaign to Ban Landmines (NCBL), a Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative said that “The reason for abstaining in the UNGA resolutions may be that the participating teams may not be ‘well-informed’ in those matters.” The representative said he would send a message to the concerned authorities regarding future votes.[2]

Nepal has not attended a Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty since 2010 and did not attend the Eighteenth Meeting of States Parties, held virtually in November 2020.

The reason for Nepal’s inaction on acceding to the treaty remains unclear.

Previously, NCBL drafted an Article 7 report, in cooperation with the military, and submitted it to the former Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction (MoPR) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. NCBL requested that the government submit the voluntary report, but this did not occur. NCBL has consistently engaged key stakeholder ministries, which have contributed to awareness-raising and capacity-building on mine action via NCBL programs.

On 20 January 2021, NCBL submitted a letter to parliament speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota urging that accession to the Mine Ban Treaty be placed before parliament.[3] In June 2021, NCBL organized a special event about aspects of the national budget that related to persons with disabilities, to provide recommendations regarding services, facilities, and rights for survivors of landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).[4]

During the past fifteen years, NCBL has received successive statements of support from ministers in the former MoPR, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Defence. It has organized events jointly with the former MoPR, such as the annual International Mine Awareness Day, on 4 April. In November 2016, Minister of Foreign Affairs Prakash Sharan Mahat told an NCBL delegation that he was one of the driving forces behind Nepal signing the Biological Weapons Convention, adding that he would lobby for accession to the Mine Ban Treaty and would contact the relevant ministries. However, he left office seven months later.[5] In March 2017, NCBL met with Tirtha Raj Wagle, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who suggested organizing an interministerial discussion.[6] However, the former officials that NCBL engaged with were subsequently transferred, and no further progress has been made towards accession.[7]

Twenty-seven of Nepal’s political parties have signed an NCBL letter seeking accession to the treaty.[8] On 30 May 2019, NCBL met with two Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs officials, Secretary Rajib Gautam and Joint Secretary Phanindra Gautam. The Joint Secretary stated that he would look into starting the accession process. In May and June 2019, NCBL held further advocacy meetings on the Mine Ban Treaty with the president of the Parliamentary Committee of Law, Justice and Human Rights, with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and with the Foreign Secretary. In June 2019, NCBL also met with Dharma Raj Shahi, from the Officer Relief Department of the Ministry of Home Affairs, regarding victim support. He assured that survivors of landmines and IEDs were provided with assistance, as defined in government policy.

In May 2020, NCBL presented a request to the secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to participate in the virtual intersessional meetings of the Mine Ban Treaty. On 6 June and 3 August 2020, NCBL held follow-up meetings of parliamentarians on the formation of a parliamentary committee on the Mine Ban Treaty, coordinated by the former Law Minister. Subsequently, on 24 August 2020, NCBL encouraged and supported the virtual meeting of the “Parliamentary Forum against Landmines and IEDs,” which recommended that Nepal should join the Mine Ban Treaty and create a voice in parliament for assistance to survivors. The forum also urged the government to engage in dialogue with Communist Party of Nepal-Biplav faction to halt the use of explosive weapons and enter mainstream politics. On 15 August 2020, NCBL met with a former commander of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, to discuss the problem of IEDs and explosive remnants of war (ERW) in the post-conflict situation.[9]


On 21 June 2010, Nepal told the Monitor that “Nepal does not produce any kind of antipersonnel landmines and the landmines that the Nepal Army is using have been produced abroad.”[10] Nepal repeated this at the Tenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in December 2010.[11]

Use, transfer, and stockpiling

The November 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) committed the government and the former Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist to halt the use of mines, and required the parties to assist each other to mark and clear mines and booby-traps.[12]

Nepal is not known to have ever exported landmines. In December 2009, the former MoPR stated that Nepal has not planted mines since the end of the insurgency in 2006, and that Nepal does not “enable the transfer” of mines.[13]

During the conflict, the Nepali Army used antipersonnel mines and IEDs, assembled in-country, around military installations, police posts, and infrastructure. The Nepali Army has stated that it started using landmines in 2002 and estimates that it deployed around 14,000 antipersonnel mines (11,000 PMD-6 mines, and 3,000 POMZ-2 and M14 mines). It estimates that it also used around 25,000 command-detonated IEDs.[14] In June 2010, Nepal told the Monitor that it used mines in 53 locations and IEDs in 275 locations during the conflict.[15] In June 2011, Prime Minister Jhalnath Khanal detonated the final mine, ending clearance of the areas mined by the Nepali Army during the civil war. He stated that “Today is a historical day because Nepal has been liberated from all kinds of landmines.”[16]

Nepal told the Monitor in June 2010 that it is now only using antipersonnel mines for training purposes. Nepal stated that “Landmines needed for this purpose have been retained in minimum number,” noting that this is in line with Article 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty.[17] The Nepal Police, the Armed Police Force, and the Nepali Army also retain stocks of IEDs.[18]

In 2007, a Nepali Army spokesperson stated that the army had a stockpile of about 3,000 antipersonnel and antivehicle mines, including POMZ-2 and PMD antipersonnel mines. Nepal imported mines from China, India, and the former Soviet Union, mostly in the 1980s.[19]

The former rebel Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist became a part of the interim government in April 2007, and led the government in 2008–2009, 2011–2013, and 2016–2017. There have been no reports of new use of antipersonnel mines, victim-activated IEDs, or booby-traps by any armed group within Nepal during the reporting period.

[1] Statement of Nepal, Mine Ban Treaty Tenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 December 2010.

[2] Meeting with Modita Bajracharya, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kathmandu, 26 June 2013.

[3] Email from Purna Shova Chitrikar, Director, NCBL, 23 October 2017.

[4] Participants included Sher Bahadur Tamang (Minister of Health and Population, and Coordinator of the Parliamentary Forum against Landmines and Explosives), Dr. Padma Prasad Khatiwada (Vice President of the Social Welfare Council), Dr. Suresh Malla (former Member of Parliament), Dr. Birendra Kumar Pokharel (Country Coordinator of the Abilis Foundation), and mine survivors Tulsi Pariyar, Krishna Bahadur Ghishing, Surendra KC, Krishna Adhikari, and Dudhraj Adhikari.

[5] NCBL meeting with Prakash Sharan Mahat, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kathmandu, 23 November 2016.

[6] NCBL meeting with Tirtha Raj Wagle, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 24 March 2017.

[7] The list of ministers whom NCBL previously met includes Janardan Sharma, Rakam Chemjong, Girija Prasad Koirala, Sher Bahadur Deuwa, Sahana Pradhan, Satya Pahadi, Shanti Devi Yadav, Mahendra Pandey, Bal Krishna Khand, Narahari Acharya, Prakash Sharan Mahat, and Krishna Bahadur Mahara, among others.

[8] Several parties that previously signed the letter have merged with other parties, changed name, or cease to exist. The following currently-existing political parties have signed the pledge: Nepali Congress, Communist Party of Nepal/Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN/UML), Nepal Communist Party (Maoist-Maoist Center), Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum, Communist Party of Nepal/Marxist-Leninist (CPN/ML), Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Nepali Janata Dal, Samajvadi Janata Party, Dalit Janajati Party, Nepa: Rastriya Party, and Rastriya Janamorchha.

[9] Email from Purna Shova Chitrakar, Director, NCBL, 9 September 2020.

[10] Letter No. GE/2010/576 from Hari Prasad Odari, Second Secretary, Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, 21 June 2010.

[11] Statement of Nepal, Mine Ban Treaty Tenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 December 2010.

[12] CPA between the Government of Nepal and Communist Party of Nepal/Maoist (CPN/M), 21 November 2006, points 5.1.1(i), 5.1.2, and 5.1.4. Earlier, the May 2006 bilateral cease-fire between the government of Nepal and the CPN/M, and an accompanying Code of Conduct, committed both sides to discontinue landmine use.

[13] Statement by Rakam Chemjong, Mine Ban Treaty Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 4 December 2009.

[14] See, ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2007: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2007), pp. 936–937. The Monitor reported indicators of mine use by government forces in Nepal as early as 1999.

[15] Letter No. GE/2010/576 from Hari Prasad Odari, Permanent Mission of Nepal to the UN in Geneva, 21 June 2010.

[16]Nepal declared free of mines five years after civil war,” BBC News, 14 June 2011. Nepal continues to clear IED fields laid by the security forces during the civil war. Four International Mine Action Standard (IMAS) Demining Platoons were involved in the clearance of landmines, IEDs, and ERW. Clearance operations started on 13 October 2007 and were successfully completed on 14 June 2011. Nepal declared itself mine-free on 14 June 2011. The Nepali Army Mine Action Coordination Centre (NAMACC) cleared a total area of 225,217.46m2, in which 10,941 antipersonnel landmines and 1,078 ERW/IEDs were destroyed. The Nepali Army cleared conventional Russian antipersonnel mines in 53 locations (PMD-6 and M14: Blast type; and POMZ-2: Fragmentation type) in addition to command-detonated devices in 341 locations. The Nepali Army laid command-detonated IEDs within 341 bases for security measures, according to a presentation by the Nepali Army at an Advanced Mine Risk Education Training workshop, jointly organized by NCBL and MoPR in Makawanpur, on 7–8 August 2014.

[17] Letter No. GE/2010/576 from Hari Prasad Odari, Permanent Mission of Nepal to the UN in Geneva, 21 June 2010.

[18] Presentation by DSP Benu Prasad Pathak, Armed Police Force, NCBL Interaction Program, 10 January 2011.

[19] See, ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2007: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2007), p. 936.