Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 16 November 2021


The Republic of Niger signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified on 23 March 1999, becoming a State Party on 1 September 1999. National implementation legislation for the treaty, Law 2004-044, entered into force on 15 September 2004.[1]

Niger submits Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 transparency reports infrequently, most recently in June 2018.[2] Previously, Niger last submitted an annual Article 7 report in November 2012.

Niger has attended every Meeting of States Parties since 2011, and most intersessional meetings. During the treaty’s Eighteenth Meeting of States Parties, held virtually in November 2020, Niger received a third Article 5 clearance deadline extension, until 31 December 2024.[3]

Niger is party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Niger is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines. However, it is not party to CCW Protocol V on explosive remnants of war (ERW).

Production, transfer, stockpile destruction, and use

Niger has never produced or exported antipersonnel landmines. In April 2003, Niger reported that it had destroyed its entire stock of 48 antipersonnel mines.[4] Niger did not retain any antipersonnel mines for training or research purposes.[5]

Non-state armed groups (NSAGs) have occasionally used improvised antipersonnel mines in the east and west of Niger, resulting in civilian casualties in 2020 and 2021. In July 2021, near the border with Chad and Nigeria, a civilian was injured by a victim-activated device, placed by either Boko Haram or Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP). In April 2021, near the border with Burkina Faso, one civilian was killed and another injured by a victim-activated device, allegedly laid by Jama'a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM). Use of improvised antivehicle mines by NSAGs in Niger has also been reported.[6]

Previously, from 2007 to 2009, an armed insurgency took place in the north of Niger involving the Touareg NSAG and the Niger Justice Movement (Mouvement des Nigériens pour la Justice, MNJ). In late 2009, MNJ suffered a major split, with many of its leaders forming a new armed group, the Nigerian Patriotic Front (Front Patriotique Nigérien, FPN), which negotiated an end to the conflict with the government. Niger stated on several occasions that the rebels had not used antipersonnel mines.[7] MNJ representatives also denied any use.[8] A media report in October 2009 stated that FPN handed over some antivehicle mines during official ceremonies, to reaffirm their commitment to the peace process.[9] In 2008 and 2009, Niger reported collecting and destroying antipersonnel mines belonging to other NSAGs.[10] In March 2010, a representative of the national mine action authority in Niger told the Monitor that all antipersonnel and antivehicle mines previously seized or discovered had been destroyed.[11]

[1] Niger Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, 26 May 2005, Form A. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database. According to Article 13 of Law 2004-044, use, production, stockpiling, or transfer of antipersonnel mines can be punished with a prison term of between 10 and 20 years, as well as a fine of XOF1million–3 million (US$2,170–$6,510). Average exchange rate for 2009: XOF1=US$0.00217. Oanda, Article 16 of the law directs that the National Commission for the Collection and Control of Illicit Weapons (Commission Nationale pour la Collecte et le Contrôle des Armes Illicites, CNCCAI) is responsible for ensuring the law’s application.

[2] Niger Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, June 2018. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database.

[3] At the June 2017 intersessional meetings, Niger announced the discovery of a second minefield adjacent to the first, covering 196,523m2. At the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in November 2018, Niger announced that it had not been able to make any progress in demining due to a lack of funding, and stated that it would have to submit a fourth extension request. See, Niger Mine Ban Treaty Fourth Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 28 May 2020; and Statement of Niger, Mine Ban Treaty Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 27 November 2018.

[4] Niger Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, 4 April 2003, Form G. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database. Previously, Niger reported that it had no stockpile of antipersonnel mines, including for training purposes. See, ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2002: Toward a Mine-Free World (New York: Human Rights Watch, August 2002), pp. 384–385.

[5] In its earlier Article 7 reports, Niger indicated that it was retaining for training purposes 949 antivehicle mines and 146 French “éclairant” (flare) mines. These are not considered antipersonnel mines under the Mine Ban Treaty. In its Article 7 report submitted on 26 May 2009, Niger reported only the 146 flare mines as retained, and that none of the flares contained explosives. Niger Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, 29 June 2006, Form D; and Niger Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, 26 May 2009. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database.

[6] Both incidents are from Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) Database. See, Clionadh Raleigh, Andrew Linke, Håvard Hegre, and Joakim Karlsen, “Introducing ACLED-Armed Conflict Location and Event Data,” Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 47, Issue 5, 28 September 2010, pp. 651–660; and ACLED, “Explosive Developments: The Growing Threat of IEDs in Western Niger,” 19 June 2019.

[7] In November 2008, Niger told the Ninth Meeting of States Parties that insurgents had not used antipersonnel mines, but had used antivehicle mines, causing both military and civilian casualties. It noted that while a previous Article 7 report had listed some suspected mined areas, subsequent investigations by the authorities found no use of antipersonnel mines. Niger confirmed again in May 2009 that no antipersonnel mines had been used by the rebels, but said it could guarantee that they will not be used as the conflict had not ended. See, ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2009: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2009), p. 589.

[8] See, ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2008: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2008), p. 559; and Geneva Call, “Annual Report 2008,” undated, p. 13.

[9] Mohamed Madou and Addine Ag Algalass, “Cérémonie officielle de remise d’armes à Agadez: D’importantes quantités d’armes et de munitions remises aux autorités” (“Official ceremony of handing over of weapons in Agadez: Large quantities of arms and ammunition handed over to authorities”), Le Sahel, 13 October 2009.

[10] See, ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2009: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2009), pp. 588–589; and ICBL, Landmine Monitor 2010 (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2010). The mines reportedly came from two sources. Media reports said that in July 2008 Niger discovered over 1,000 abandoned mines on the border with Chad. The mines were believed to have been lifted from minefields by smugglers for resale. Others were recovered through a government-initiated program to buy mines and other weapons from traffickers to prevent them from falling into the hands of rebels. Niger said in May 2009 that the program had led to the recovery of many mines, all of which had been destroyed, but the program was halted as it actually increased the flow of arms into the country. The head of CNCCAI told the Monitor in May 2009 that the mines acquired were old mines that had been removed from the ground, and were believed to have come from Chad. Interview with Col. Maï Moctar Kassouma, President, CNCCAI, in Geneva, 28 May 2009.

[11] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Allassan Fousseini, Consultant, CNCCAI and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Niger, 10 March 2010.