Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019


The Republic of Senegal signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 24 September 1998, becoming a State Party on 1 March 1999. On 3 August 2005, the president signed a national implementation law.[1] The law makes production, purchase, sale, stockpiling, transfer, and use of antipersonnel mines a criminal offense.[2]

Senegal frequently attends meetings of the treaty, including the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014, and more recently the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, where it provided a statement on Article 5 mine clearance activities.[3] Senegal did not attend the intersessional meetings in Geneva in May 2019. Senegal previously served on the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance (2014–2015).

Senegal is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war. It is also party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Production, transfer, stockpiling, retention, and use

Government authorities claim that Senegal has never used antipersonnel mines inside or outside the country.[4] Senegal has consistently stated in its Article 7 reports that it has never produced, possessed, or stockpiled mines.

In April 2010, Senegal reported that 28 mines were consumed in training during 2009. These mines had been collected from demining operations or taken from rebel stockpiles discovered in the field. Twenty-four mines were destroyed during training activities by the armed forces and four mines were defuzed and stored by the NGO Humanity & Inclusion (HI, formerly Handicap International) for training purposes.[5] Previously Senegal had only reported the use of mines for training in one year, 2006.[6]

Sporadic armed conflict in the Casamance region of Senegal continued between government forces and the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (Mouvement des Forces Démocratiques de Casamance, MFDC).[7] There have not been any allegations of new use of antipersonnel mines by the MFDC in this reporting period (from May 2010 to May 2011), but use of antivehicle mines by armed groups resulted in civilian and military deaths and injuries.[8]

In March 2009, an MFDC representative who claimed to speak on behalf of all factions told the Monitor, “For the time being we don’t need mines, but [possible future use] will entirely depend on the government. Mines are a defensive tool for us. The state has obliged us to use mines and to go to war.”[9]

Previously, in March and April 2006, the Salif Sadio faction of the MFDC fled Senegal and laid both antipersonnel and antivehicle mines in northern Guinea-Bissau.[10] There were also credible allegations of use of antipersonnel mines by MFDC rebels in Senegal in 1999 and 2000.[11] In 2010, the Sadio faction stated to the Swiss NGO Geneva Call that they did not use antipersonnel mines but would not rule out use of the weapon in the future. The faction admitted to using antivehicle mines. Geneva Call also held a meeting with the Kassolol faction of the MFDC at which the leaders of the faction confirmed their agreement in principle to enable the “gradual implementation” of humanitarian demining.[12]

[1] Law on the Prohibition on Antipersonnel Mines, adopted on 14 July 2005. Previously, Senegal reported that violations of the Mine Ban Treaty were punishable under national constitutional law and the 2001 penal code.

[2] Articles 5 and 6 of the law include penal sanctions of a prison term of five to 10 years, a fine of XAF1 million to 3 million (US$2,170 to $6,510) for individuals, and a fine of XAF30 million to 50 million ($65,100 to $108,500) for legal entities.

[3] Statement of Senegal, Mine Ban Treaty Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 29 November 2018.

[4] However, it appears certain that Senegalese forces used antipersonnel mines in Guinea-Bissau in 1998, to support government troops against a self-proclaimed military junta. Such use would have occurred after Senegal signed the Mine Ban Treaty, but before its entry into force for the government. See, Landmine Monitor Report 1999, pp. 76–79.

[5] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 30 April 2010. Senegal reported that the armed forces used the following types and quantities: 10 MI AP DV; 10 MI AP ID; one PRB M35, one M 969, and two PMN. HI used two MAPS and two PRB M35.

[6] In April 2007, Senegal reported that 24 antipersonnel mines were used for training purposes before their destruction in August and September 2006. It stated that the mines were either taken from demining operations or discovered among rebel stockpiles, and that the defuzed mines were used to instruct deminers. The mines were 10 MI AP DV; 10 MI AP ID; two PMN; one M 969; and one PRB M35. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 30 April 2007.

[7] The MFDC has had at least three military factions, with shifting leaders and some infighting. Some MFDC leaders signed a peace accord with the government in December 2004, but further negotiations on its implementation have not taken place. The agreement acknowledged the scourge of antipersonnel mines and called for humanitarian demining in Casamance. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 505.

[8] In November 2010, a civilian bus struck an antivehicle mine in Sindian district of Bignona killing the driver and a passenger and another eight persons were injured. In March 2011, an antivehicle mine injured five Senegalese soldiers in Tendine, in an area under the control of the MFDC. “Veille de Tabaski meurtrière dans la région de Ziguinchor: 3 morts, des dizaines de blessés” (“Eve of Tabaski deadly in Ziguinchor region: 3 dead, dozens injured”), Ziguinchor News, 19 November 2010; and “Casamance – Un Vehicule Militaire Saute Sur Une Mine: 5 soldats grièvement blesses” (“Casamance – A military vehicle detonates a mine: five soldiers seriously injured”), Le Quotidien (Senegal), 7 March 2011.

[9] Interview with Daniel Diatta, Representative of the Secretary-General, MDFC, Ziguinchor, 20 March 2009. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 607.

[10] For details, see, Landmine Monitor Report 2006, pp. 463–464.

[12] Geneva Call, “Annual Report 2010,” p. 18.