Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 17 August 2022


State Party Rwanda ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 25 August 2015. It voted in favor of the key annual United Nations (UN) resolution promoting the convention in December 2021. Rwanda last participated in a meeting of the convention in 2012.

Rwanda says it has never used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions, but must submit a transparency report for the convention to formally confirm its cluster munition-free status.


The Republic of Rwanda signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008 and ratified it on 25 August 2015. The convention entered into force for the country on 1 February 2016.

Rwanda has not enacted implementing legislation for the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[1]

As of August 2022, Rwanda had not provided its initial Article 7 transparency report for the convention, which was originally due by 31 July 2016. Timely submission of this report is a legal obligation.[2]

Rwanda attended one regional meeting of the Oslo Process, in Kampala, Uganda in September 2008 and signed the convention in Oslo in December 2008.[3]

Rwanda attended the convention’s Third Meeting of the States Parties in Oslo in September 2012, which marked its first and, to date, only participation in a meeting of the convention.

In December 2021, Rwanda voted in favor of a key United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution promoting implementation of the convention, which urged States Parties to provide “complete and timely information” to promote transparency and compliance.[4]

Rwanda expressed concern in 2014 at the “reported use of cluster munitions” in Ukraine.[5] It voted in favor of a 2014 Security Council resolution that expressed concern at the “indiscriminate” use of cluster munitions in South Sudan.[6] Rwanda has also voted in favor of Human Rights Council and UNGA resolutions condemning use of cluster munitions in Syria.[7]

Rwanda has not elaborated its views on certain important issues related to the interpretation and implementation of the convention, such as the prohibitions on transit; on assistance during joint military operations with states not-party that may use cluster munitions; on foreign stockpiling of cluster munitions; on investment in production of cluster munitions; and the need for retention of cluster munitions for training purposes.

Rwanda is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Rwanda stated in 2008 that it does not use, produce, transfer, or stockpile cluster munitions.[8] It must submit a transparency report for the convention to formally confirm this cluster munition-free status.

[1] Rwanda’s parliament adopted ratification legislation (Law 13/2011) on 30 May 2011. See, Official Gazette of the Parliament of Rwanda, Law 13/2011, published on 9 June 2011.

[2] Reports should be emailed to the UN Secretary-General via the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs at: For more information, see:

[3] Rwanda also attended a regional meeting on the convention in Kampala, Uganda in September 2008, and the Berlin Conference on the Destruction of Cluster Munitions in June 2009. For details on Rwanda’s cluster munition policy and practice through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), p. 147.

[4]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 76/47, 6 December 2021. Rwanda voted in favor of previous UNGA resolutions promoting the convention in 2015 and 2017–2020.

[5] Security Council, “Provisional report of the 7287th meeting of the UN Security Council,” S/PV.7287, 24 October 2014, p. 17.

[6] Security Council, “Security Council, Adopting Resolution 2155 (2014), Extends Mandate of Mission In South Sudan, Bolstering Its Strength to Quell Surging Violence,” SC11414, 27 May 2014. The resolution noted “with serious concern reports of the indiscriminate use of cluster munitions” and called for “all parties to refrain from similar such use in the future.”

[7]The human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic,” Human Rights Council Resolution 42/27, 27 September 2019; and “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 74/169, 18 December 2019.

[8] Statement of Rwanda, Kampala Conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, 30 September 2008. Notes by the CMC.

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.

Mine Action

Last updated: 09 August 2011

Contamination and Impact

Mines and explosive remnants of war

The Republic of Rwanda had a small residual problem with mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), the legacy of the 1990–1994 war against the government that committed the 1994 genocide, from the retreat of the army and Interahamwe militias to neighboring countries, and their subsequent attacks launched from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1996–1998 in the northwest of the country.[1]

At the Second Review Conference to the Mine Ban Treaty in November–December 2009, Rwanda declared it had fulfilled the clearance requirements of Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty. It stated that mine clearance had resulted in expanded commercial activity through safe access along hundreds of kilometers of roads and due to former tea plantations and farmland being again available for cultivation.[2]

The conflict in Rwanda resulted in a residual amount of ERW that may take years to clear,[3] as well as large amounts of small arms and ammunition. In 2009, Mines Advisory Group (MAG) destroyed more than 100 different types of small arms and over 70 tons of surplus munitions.[4] 

Mine Action Program

Key institutions and operators


Situation on 1 January 2011

National Mine Action Authority


Mine action center


International demining operators


National demining operators

Rwanda Defense Forces, operating under the NDO

The National Demining Office (NDO), set up in 1995, has managed and implemented demining operations under the Ministry of Defense.[5] Mines Awareness Trust (MAT) and Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) supported demining in 2009 but have since left the country.

Land Release

In 2009, Rwanda completed its mine clearance operations with support from MAT (for quality management) and NPA (which provided a MineWolf machine to assist with the clearance effort). Since operations began in 2002, Rwanda cleared 52 mined and battle areas covering a total of 1,946,754m2 and found and destroyed 660 antipersonnel mines, 29 antivehicle mines, and 2,034 pieces of unexploded ordnance.[6] 

Compliance with Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, Rwanda was required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 December 2010.

At the Second Review Conference in November–December 2009, Rwanda declared it had fulfilled its Article 5 obligations and pledged to submit a full report to the States Parties. Rwanda said they would also inform States Parties if new mined areas were identified.

Quality management

In May 2008, MAT deployed three mine detection dog teams to Rwanda for quality management.[7] In October 2009, MAT completed quality control of all cleared mined areas, with the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining verifying the work.[8]


[1] Statement of Rwanda, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 10 May 2006.

[2] Statement of Rwanda, Second Review Conference, Mine Ban Treaty, Cartagena, 1 December 2009.

[3] NPA, “Rwanda Project Report,” 12 December 2008, p. 12.

[4] MAG, “Rwanda: 30,000 small arms destroyed,” 18 January 2010,

[5] Statement of Rwanda, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 5 June 2008.

[6] Statement of Rwanda, Second Review Conference, Mine Ban Treaty, Cartagena, 1 December 2009.

[7] Email from Maj. Wilson Ukwishaka, Deputy Coordinator, NDO, 14 May 2008; MAT, “The Mines Awareness Trust: Rwanda MDD,”; and response to Monitor questionnaire by MAT, 14 April 2009.

[8] Email from Ben Remfrey, former Director, MAT, 25 May 2010.


Last updated: 21 October 2018


All known casualties (between 1991 and 2017)

716 mine/unexploded remnants of war (ERW) casualties: 306 killed; 410 injured


No Mine/ERW casualties were identified in the Republic of Rwanda for 2017. Nine mine/ERW casualties were identified in Rwanda in 2016. One child was killed and three others injured in the Nyanza district when a grenade they had found while collecting scrap metal exploded in their hands.[1] In a separate incident, two men and three boys were killed by a suspected landmine on a former battlefield in the Nyagatare district.[2] Prior to 2016, the last casualties reported in Rwanda occurred in 2011, when the Monitor identified five ERW casualties.[3]

The total number of mine/ERW casualties in Rwanda is not known, and estimates vary. Between 1991 and 2016, 716 casualties were identified in Rwanda (306 killed; 410 injured).[4]

[2]Five killed in Nyagatare in landmine accident,” The New Times, 1 November 2016.

[3]Rwanda: Grenade Injures Two Children,” AllAfrica, 4 March 2011; “One killed as grenade explodes near Kigali,” People’s Daily Online, 29 July 2011; and “Rwanda: 1 mort et deux blessés dans l'explosion d'une grenade” (“Rwanda: 1 killed and two injured due to grenade explosion”), Panapress, 27 July 2011.

[4] In addition to the five casualties from 2011, the Rwandan National Demining Office (NDO) recorded 702 casualties between 1991 and 2008. Email from Maj. Ukwishaka, NDO, 10 May 2009.

Victim Assistance

Last updated: 13 July 2017

The Association of Landmine Survivors and Amputees of Rwanda and other Persons with Disabilities (ALSAR) estimated there were more than 2,000 survivors in the country.[1]

Victim assistance in Rwanda is incorporated into the broader disability framework, as part of the overall plan for all persons with disabilities that guides the work of the National Council on Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), the National Programme for Mainstreaming Disability in Rwanda (2010–2019), and laws relating to the protection of persons with disabilities (civilians and former combatants) from 2007. The NCPD, established in 2010, included mine/explosive remnant of war (ERW) survivors as members.[2] Its Strategic Plan for 2013–2018 explicitly mentioned persons with disabilities as a result of landmines and includes an operational plan for its implementation.[3] Despite efforts to promote the rights of persons with disabilities, they continue to face many challenges in their daily lives, including the inaccessibility of infrastructures.[4]

As of September 2015, ALSAR reported having 30 members and welcomed others to join the organization.[5] ALSAR continues to advocate for the rights of survivors and to conduct awareness-raising campaigns and peer-support activities.[6]

Handicap International (HI) worked at a national level to support inclusive education as well as disabled people’s organizations. HI was also developing community-based rehabilitation (CBR) by providing financial and technical support to the College of Medicine and Health Sciences (CMHS) so it can provide the necessary training.[7] HI also intends to promote CBR by providing support to the General Disabled People’s Organisation of Rwanda (AGHR) and the Action for Inclusive Education Development in Rwanda (AIEDR), and through the implementation of coordination mechanism.[8]

Mine/ERW survivors are entitled to receive medical care and prosthetic devices free of charge.[9]

The National Union of Disability Organizations in Rwanda, established in September 2010, is a national umbrella organization of persons with disabilities.

The rights of persons with disabilities are protected by the National Laws Nº 01/2007 on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities in general and Nº 02/2007 on the Protection of Former War Combatants with Disabilities.[10] Landmine survivors and other persons with disabilities were still facing social exclusion, discrimination, and other issues in their everyday life.[11]

[1] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Rose Kanyamfura, Vice President, ALSAR, 30 March 2010.

[2] Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), “Norad Report 6/2012 Review: Organisational Performance Review of the Norwegian People’s Aid,” September 2011.

[3] National Council of Persons with Disabilities, “NCPD Strategic Plan and Its Operational Plan for the Implementation July 2013–June 2018,” 31 May 2013.

[4] National Council of Persons with Disabilities, “NCPD salute the effort of Rwanda government in disability movement,” 19 October 2016; and Athan Tashobya, “Persons with disabilities raise concern over inclusion,” The New Times, 8 February 2017.

[5] Eugene Kwibuka, “Local activists unite against cluster bombs,” The New Times, 31 August 2015.

[6] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Georges Wilson Rubanzana, ALSAR, 11 March 2017.

[7] Elise Cartuyvels, “Rwanda Country Card,” HI, August 2016, p. 2.

[8] Ibid., p. 4.

[9] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Georges Wilson Rubanzana, Legal Representative, ALSAR, 11 March 2017.

[11] Jean-Christophe Nsanzimana, “Rwanda: Disability Often Still Carries a Stigma,” AllAfrica, 13 January 2013, quoted in “The Month in Mines: January 2013,” Landmines in Africa, 9 February 2013; and United States Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016: Rwanda,” Washington, DC, March 2017.