Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 28 September 2022


The Federal Republic of Nigeria acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 27 September 2001, and the treaty entered into force for the country on 1 March 2002.

Nigeria has not enacted national implementing legislation for the Mine Ban Treaty, but has considered doing so in the past.[1] In 2006, Nigeria reported that an implementation bill was undergoing its first reading in the National Assembly.[2]

Nigeria has provided seven annual Article 7 transparency reports, but none since 2012. Nigeria has not heeded requests from States Parties to provide an updated annual report.[3]

Nigeria attended the Nineteenth Meeting of States Parties, held virtually in November 2021, but did not make any statement. During the meeting, States Parties granted Nigeria an extension to its Article 5 clearance deadline, which Nigeria said was necessary due to new contamination from improvised antipersonnel mines laid by non-state armed groups (NSAGs).

Nigeria has signed, but not ratified, both the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).

Production, transfer, stockpiling, and use

According to Nigeria, antipersonnel landmines were produced in the country the past, long before the adoption of the Mine Ban Treaty.[4]

Nigeria imported or otherwise acquired antipersonnel landmines in the past. In its initial Article 7 transparency report, submitted in 2004, it declared a stockpile of 3,364 Dimbat mines for research and training.[5] However, in 2005, Nigeria reported that all the mines retained for training had been destroyed.[6] In 2009, Nigeria reported that it had destroyed 9,786 stockpiled “British made AP [antipersonnel] landmines” in 2005 and retained another 3,364 mines for research and training.[7] In 2010, and again in 2012, Nigeria reported the retention of 3,364 “British and Czechoslovakian made AP Landmine[s],” but did not specify the types.[8]

There is no evidence to indicate that Nigerian government forces have used antipersonnel landmines since Nigeria signed the Mine Ban Treaty. In the past, antipersonnel mines were laid during the 1967–1970 Biafran Civil War. Nigeria has denied allegations that its Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) troops used antipersonnel mines in Liberia and Sierra Leone the 1990s.[9]

Production and use by non-state armed groups

Boko Haram and related NSAGs have made and emplaced victim-activated landmines and other improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in northeast Nigeria in recent years.

At the Fourth Review Conference in November 2019, Nigeria stated that the northeastern states of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe were most affected by new use of antipersonnel mines.[10] A report by Mines Advisory Group (MAG) recorded 697 incidents involving improvised mines laid by Boko Haram, which resulted in 1,052 casualties across the three states between January 2016 and August 2020.[11] In 2017, the United Nations (UN) reported extensive use of simple pressure plate activated IEDs on main supply routes, and significant use of IEDs around Boko Haram-held areas.[12]

Multiple casualties were recorded in Nigeria in 2022 due to mines and IEDs laid by NSAGs, in particular Boko Haram and Islamic State-affiliated groups. Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) recorded 14 IED explosions in Nigeria from January–May 2022.[13]

On 21 February 2022, four security personnel were killed and one was injured when their vehicle hit a landmine in Niger state, in central Nigeria, according to local police, who attributed the attack to cattle thieves.[14] In April 2022, four hunters were killed and seven injured when an IED laid by insurgents exploded along the Borno highway.[15] On 7 May 2022, an IED laid by Boko Haram killed six of the group’s own fighters as they traveled through Borno state.[16]

[1] In 2012, Nigeria reported that, “Domestication of MBT [Mine Ban Treaty] is in progress.” Nigeria Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 1 April 2010–31 March 2011), Form A, April 2012. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database.

[2]Nigeria Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 22 August 2006.

[4] Nigeria Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 1 July 2009–31 December 2009), Forms H and J, April 2010.

[5] Nigeria Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 22 June 2004. The origins of the mines were not given, but the Monitor has reported that in the past, Nigeria imported antipersonnel mines from the former Yugoslavia, the former Soviet Union, the former Czechoslovakia, France, and the United Kingdom (UK). See, ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 1999: Toward a Mine-Free World (New York: Human Rights Watch, October 2009) pp. 202–203.

[6] Nigeria Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Forms D and G, 15 April 2005. In November 2004, 200 antipersonnel mines were destroyed. The remaining 3,164 mines were destroyed in February 2005, in a ceremony witnessed by Nigeria’s president, Ministry of Defense officials, and foreign observers. At the same time, Nigeria reported destroying 1,836 pieces of unexploded ordnance (UXO) recovered from the site of the Lagos Ammunition Transit Depot explosion. It did not specify how many of these items were antipersonnel mines.

[7] Nigeria Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 2006–2009), Forms D and G.

[8] Nigeria Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 1 April 2010–31 March 2011), Form B; and Nigeria Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 1 July 2009–31 December 2009), Form B.

[9] See ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2001: Toward a Mine-Free World (New York: Human Rights Watch, August 2001), pp. 256–257; and ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 1999: Toward a Mine-Free World (New York: Human Rights Watch, October 2009), pp. 201–203.

[10] Nigeria has formed an interministerial committee to develop a national mine action strategy, and to prepare a workplan for survey and clearance. Nigeria has stated that it “wishes to comply with the obligations of the APMBC [Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention], namely preparing an updated Article 7 transparency report and by developing an Article 5 extension request to work audaciously towards the clearance of all mined areas in order to meet the 2025 Convention deadline. The Committee’s preliminary investigation has discovered the use of victim-activated Improvised Explosive Devices which fall under the definition of AP [antipersonnel] mines according to the Convention. It is expected that the Committee’s Article 7 report will provide details on all suspected and confirmed improvised landmine contamination areas.” Statement of Nigeria, Mine Ban Treaty Fourth Review Conference, Oslo, 27 November 2019.

[11] MAG, “Hidden Scars: The Landmine Crisis in north-east Nigeria,” December 2020; and MAG, “Nigeria: 2016 – June 30th 2019 Explosive Ordnance Incident Map – Accessible/Inaccessible Areas in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe as of August 2019,” 22 August 2019.

[12] Bruno Bouchardy, Field Coordinator, United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) Mali, and Michael Hands, Mine Action Officer, United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU), “Mission Report: UNMAS Explosive Threat Scoping Mission to Nigeria 3 to 14 April 2017,” April 2017, p. 3.

[14]Landmine Kills Four Security Personnel in Central Nigeria,” The Defense Post, 21 February 2022.

[15] Olatunji Omirin, “Landmine Kills 4 Hunters, Injures 7 In Borno,” Daily Trust, 4 April 2022.

[16] Kingsley Omonobi, “Explosive planted by Boko Haram kill 6 terrorists in Borno,” Vanguard, 7 May 2022.