Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019


The Republic of Rwanda signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified on 8 June 2000, becoming a State Party on 1 December 2000. The treaty was incorporated into domestic law with a presidential order of 24 December 1998.[1] Rwanda has not enacted further domestic legislation to implement the Mine Ban Treaty.[2]

Rwanda does not regularly attend meetings of the treaty. Its last attendance was at the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in December 2013. Rwanda has not submitted an annual updated Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report since 2008.[3]

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

Production, transfer, stockpiling, and use

There have been no reports of use of antipersonnel mines in Rwanda since 1998.[4] Rwanda has reported that it has never produced and has no stockpiles of antipersonnel mines. In April 2008, it stated, “Rwanda government has never imported antipersonnel mines since 1994 and has destroyed all that were imported by the former government forces.”[5] This was the first time Rwanda indicated that it destroyed stockpiles inherited by the previous government.[6]

After initially indicating that it retained no antipersonnel mines for training or development purposes, Rwanda reported in April 2003 that it possessed 101 antipersonnel mines, “uprooted from minefields and retained for training purposes.”[7] In 2008, Rwanda reported 65 mines retained for training purposes, a reduction of 36 mines and also that 25 explosive ordnance disposal personnel had been trained, presumably using the mines.[8] Rwanda has not provided updated information since 2008.

[1] Order of the President, No. 38/01, 24 December 1998. Rwanda has also stated that an existing law, Decree-Law 12/79, which prohibits illegal import, use, transfer, and possession of arms and ammunition, covers mines, although mines are not explicitly mentioned. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 1 June 2006.

[2] It reported in 2004 and 2005 that efforts were underway. It then reported that a bill was before cabinet for approval as of April 2006. A Ministry of Defense official said in May 2006 that the draft law had been submitted to parliament. No further progress has been reported. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 594.

[3] Rwanda has submitted six reports, in April 2008, and on 1 June 2006, 15 June 2005, 1 April 2004, 22 April 2003, and 4 September 2001.

[4] However, there were allegations of mine use by Rwandan forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2000, and of transfer of antipersonnel mines to non-state armed groups in the DRC as late as 2004. Rwandan officials have repeatedly denied all allegations of involvement in mine use in the DRC. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2006, p. 612.

[5] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Forms B and E, April 2008.

[6] No details are provided about when or how many mines were destroyed. Previously, Rwanda said that in 1994, the former government “fled into neighboring Congo with all arms and ammunitions including antipersonnel mines,” and that the current government “has never imported antipersonnel mines, and therefore no stockpiled antipersonnel mines [are] in Rwanda.” Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form E, 1 June 2006. The same language was used in earlier reports.

[7] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 22 April 2003. The mines included 32 PMD-6, 26 TS-50, and 43 M-35 mines.

[8] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, April 2008. The mines included 22 PMD-6, 26 TS-50, and 17 M-35, which would indicate that 10 PMD-6 and 26 M-35 mines had been consumed in training.