Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019


The Republic of the Sudan signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified on 13 October 2003, becoming a State Party on 1 April 2004.[1] Sudan adopted the Sudan Mine Action Law by Presidential Decree #51 on 31 March 2010.[2] The act is comprised of 29 articles divided into four chapters. Chapter four includes Mine Ban Treaty obligations, including the prohibition on antipersonnel mine use and stockpiling, clearance of contaminated areas, risk education, victim assistance, and transparency reporting. It also includes penalties for violations.[3]

Sudan regularly attends meetings of the treaty, including the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014, and more recently the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November 2018, where it requested an extension for its Article 5 mine clearance obligations.[4] Sudan also attended the intersessional meetings of the treaty in Geneva in May 2019, where it provided statements on victim assistance and cooperative compliance, as well as an update on Article 5 mine clearance progress. Sudan consistently submits annual updated Article 7 transparency reports.[5]

Sudan is not party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Sudan signed the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) on 10 April 1981, but has not ratified it. Sudan is not party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Production and transfer

Sudan has declared that it “never produced” antipersonnel mines.[6] It has repeatedly stated that it has not produced or exported antipersonnel mines.[7]


There have been no confirmed instances of government forces using antipersonnel mines since Sudan became a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty in 2004, but there were several reports of use of antipersonnel mines in Sudan in 2011, 2012, and 2013 that the Monitor has been unable to confirm.

It is clear from evidence and testimony from various sources that in the southern part of the country antipersonnel mines are available for use, but the Monitor has not seen definitive evidence about what forces may have used antipersonnel mines. There is also a lack of clarity about whether antipersonnel mines or antivehicle mines, or both, have been used. In its Article 7 reports and statements the government of Sudan has provided little to no official information on the mine use allegations, for which it has denied responsibility.

On 22 July 2014, Spokesperson for the Sudan Liberation Movement (Abdel Wahid al-Nur, SLM-AW) Mustafa Tambur told Radio Dabanga that the Sudanese government had planted landmines in the Kutum locality in North Darfur. Heavy rainfall allegedly revealed 23 antipersonnel mines in the Fonu area near Kutum. Tambur also demanded that the international community call on the Sudanese government to stop using landmines.[8]

On 14 August 2014, the Leaders of the both factions of the Sudan Liberation Movement—Mini Minawi, leader of the SLM-MM[9] and Abdol Wahid, leader of the SLM-AW[10]—met in Geneva to sign Geneva Call’s Deed of Commitment to ban antipersonnel landmines. Abdol Wahid told Radio Dabanga that this agreement brought Sudan closer to fighting the deadly landmine contamination in Darfur. Mini Minawi also told the radio station that this commitment was “an importance step” within this humanitarian framework.[11] With the two main factions of the SLM signing Geneva Call’s Deed of Commitment, all four main non-state armed groups actively operating in Sudan have pledged to refrain from using antipersonnel landmines.[12]

On 29 August 2013, a delegation of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), comprised of Deputy Chairman Abdelaziz Alhilu and Secretary General Yasir Arman, signed Geneva Call’s Deed of Commitment, thereby agreeing to prohibit the use, production, and transfer of antipersonnel mines, to cooperate in humanitarian mine action activities, and to destroy its stockpiles. Upon signing, Alhilu said, “In compliance with our pledge, we will destroy all [antipersonnel] mines in our possession as soon as possible. These mines were captured during military operations.”[13] During Geneva Call’s third meeting of signatories to the Deed of Commitment, spokesperson of the SPLM-N’s delegation, Mubarak Ardol, stated that the SPLM-N will invite all interested parties to witness the public destruction of the landmines the group has acquired during “military operations over the past four year[s].” He also added that the SPLM-N’s delegation proposed adding a fourth protocol to the Deed of Commitment concerning humanitarian assistance in war zones.[14]

Stockpiling and destruction

Sudan reported completion of destruction of its stockpile of 10,566 antipersonnel mines on 31 March 2008, just ahead of its 1 April 2008 treaty-mandated deadline. The reported size and composition of Sudan’s stockpile, as well as the number of mines to be retained for training purposes, have varied.[15] At the Second Review Conference in 2009, Sudan stated that a total of 10,656 stockpiled antipersonnel mines were destroyed (possibly a typographical error from the 10,566 mentioned above).[16] However, Sudan declared in April 2012 and again in April 2013 that a total of 13,371 stockpiled antipersonnel mines were destroyed in Khartoum in 2007.[17]

In 2009, Sudan reported the discovery of arms caches including antipersonnel mines at various locations of southern Sudan that were subsequently destroyed in Blue Nile state in 2008.[18]

Mines retained for training purposes

In its April 2019 Article 7 report, Sudan stated that it is retaining a total of 739 mines. From 2009 to 2015, Sudan reported a total of 1,938 mines, but since 2016 has been steadily decreasing the number retained. In 2009, Sudan reported a reduction in the number of mines retained for training from 4,997 to 1,938 mines.[19] From 2009 to 2015, Sudan reported the transfer of 75 “Type 35” plastic mines from the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) to the UN Mine Action Office “for training purposes,” but the total number of mines retained for training remained unchanged.[20] Sudan has not disclosed the intended purposes or actual uses of its retained mines, as agreed by States Parties at Mine Ban Treaty Review Conferences held in 2004 and 2009.

[1] South Sudan became an independent state on 9 July 2011.

[2] Interview with Adil Abdelhamid Adam, Legal Advisor, National Mine Action Center, Khartoum, 28 March 2011. The Monitor has copies of the law and the decree in Arabic.

[3] Ibid., 31 March 2010. In April 2009, Sudan reported that draft national implementation legislation had been cleared by the Government of National Unity (GONU) Ministry of Justice and “endorsed by the concerned committee of the National Assembly responsible for the validations of humanitarian laws.” Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 13 April 2009.

[4] Presentation by Sudan, Mine Ban Treaty Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 27 November 2018.

[5] Ambassador Osman Abufatima Adam Mohammed, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Sudan to the UN in Geneva serves as President of the Convention and will chair the 18th Meeting of States Parties in November 2020. Mine Ban Convention, “Sudan, New Convention President,” 16 January 2020.

[6] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form E, April 2013.

[7] Previous editions of the Monitor have noted no evidence of production of antipersonnel mines by Sudan but have cited allegations of transfer to militant groups in neighboring countries prior to Sudan becoming a State Party. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 223. Sudan has consistently reported that it “has never produced AP [antipersonnel] mines.” See, for example, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form E, April 2012.

[8]Landmines exposed by rain in North Darfur,” Radio Dabanga, 22 July 2014.

[10] Ibid.

[11]Last two Sudan rebel groups sign landmine ban,” Radio Dabanga, 15 August 2014.

[12] Geneva Call, “Sudan,” undated.

[13] Geneva Call Press Release, “Major Sudanese armed group commits against anti-personnel mines,” 29 August 2013.

[15] See, Landmine Monitor Report 2009, pp. 675–676. In its February 2006 Article 7 report, Sudan declared a total of 14,485 antipersonnel mines of eight types held in army and Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) stockpiles, and stated that 5,000 mines of various types would be retained for training purposes by the Engineer Corps of the SAF. In its Article 7 reports submitted in May 2006 and April 2007, Sudan declared a total of 4,485 stockpiled antipersonnel mines of 18 types, all under GONU control, and an additional 10,000 mines of unspecified types to be retained for training purposes, with GONU and the government of South Sudan each retaining 5,000 mines. Sudan destroyed a total of 10,556 mines on 30 April 2007 in northern Sudan and 31 March 2008 in Southern Sudan. In an April 2008 letter, Sudan stated that, of a total stockpile of 15,566 antipersonnel mines, it had destroyed 10,566 and retained 5,000. Sudan stated that the adjusted figure of 15,566 mines (rather than the 14,485 mines previously reported) was the result of additional mines stockpiled by SPLA forces not being previously included in inventories. In its 2009 Article 7 report, Sudan revised its number of mines retained for training purposes, this time reporting a total of 1,938 mines of six types. In a presentation during the May 2009 intersessional Standing Committee meetings, Sudan revised its total number of stockpiled mines, reporting that in spite of its original declaration of 14,485 stockpiled mines, only 12,513 were “accounted for” during physical stock-taking. It is likely that number is supposed to be 12,504 (the 10,566 destroyed mines plus the 1,938 retained mines). Sudan noted, “As no proper records have been maintained, determining the exact number and types of APMs [antipersonnel mines] was a challenge.” In its 2011 Article 7 report, Sudan declared the destruction of 10,656 stockpiled mines (4,488 mines destroyed in Khartoum in April 2007 and 6,078 in Juba, South Sudan on 31 March 2008). Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, April 2011.

[16] Statement by Dr. Abdelbagi Gailani, State Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Secretary-General of the National Mine Action Authority, Mine Ban Treaty Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 3 December 2009.

[17] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, April 2012; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, April 2013.

[18] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, 13 April 2009. At the Ninth Meeting of States Parties in November 2008, Sudan said that it had found “additional abandoned caches” of mines and would destroy them. In March 2008, Sudan indicated that it expects additional stockpiled antipersonnel mines will be identified and destroyed, given the difficulties of doing a comprehensive inventory and collection of all the stockpiled antipersonnel mines belonging to all former combatants in Sudan. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 634.

[19] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 13 April 2009.

[20] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 13 April 2009; and in reports submitted 13 April 2009, 28 April 2010, April 2011, April 2012, April 2013, April 2014, and April 2015.