NB! EMBARGOED UNTILL SEPT 7 2000
On 7 September 2000, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) released the second annual report of its Landmine Monitor initiative: a 1,115 page book, titled Landmine Monitor Report 2000: Toward a Mine-Free World. The report is the most comprehensive book to date on the global landmine situation, containing information on every country in the world with respect to mine use, production, trade, stockpiling, humanitarian demining and mine survivor assistance. A 65-page Executive Summary is also available.
Landmine Monitor is an unprecedented initiative by the ICBL to monitor implementation of and compliance with the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, and more generally to assess the efforts of the international community to resolve the landmines crisis.
Overall, the major finding of this report is that while antipersonnel mines continue to be laid and take far too many victims, the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty and the ban movement more generally are having a major impact globally. This progress is shown by:
- the growing number of governments joining and fully implementing the treaty (currently 101 ratifications and 138 signatories, nearly three-quarters of the world's nations);
- reduced use of the weapon in recent years;
- a dramatic drop in production (from 54 known producers to 16);
- an almost complete halt in trade (not a single significant shipment identified in 1999/2000);
- increased destruction of stockpiled antipersonnel mines (more than 22 million destroyed by over 50 nations, including some 10 million since March 1999);
- increased funding for humanitarian mine action (more than $211 million in 1999 alone, an increase of about one-third over 1998);
- fewer mine victims in key affected countries including Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia and Mozambique;
- more land demined (in 1999 seven of the largest humanitarian mine/UXO clearance programs cleared a combined total of more than 168 million square meters of land).
Other key findings of the Landmine Monitor Report 2000, which focused on a reporting period from the entry into force of the Mine Ban Treaty in March 1999 to mid -2000, include:
- Landmine Monitor research identifies eighty-eight nations that are affected to some degree by landmines and/or unexploded ordnance (UXO), a higher number than previously thought.
- Landmine Monitor research indicates that there have been new mine/UXO victims in seventy-one countries since March 1999. A majority (39) of these countries were at peace, not war. The countries with the greatest number of new victims in this time period appear to be Afghanistan, Cambodia, and, surprisingly, Burma. Significant numbers of new victims are also found in Angola, Chechnya, and Kosovo.
- Organized humanitarian mine action programs of some sort are taking place in forty-one countries. Surveys or assessments have been carried out in 24 nations, and the first major Level One Impact Survey was completed in Yemen in July 2000.
- Landmine Monitor found no credible, verifiable evidence of any State Party violating the core prohibitions in the Mine Ban Treaty, those banning use, production, and trade.
- In the period from the entry into force of the Treaty in March 1999 to mid 2000, it appears likely that there was new use of antipersonnel mines in 20 conflicts by eleven governments and at least 30 rebel groups/non-state actors.
- In addition to ongoing use of antipersonnel mines by treaty signatory Angola, it appears that two other treaty signatories, Burundi and Sudan, used mines in 1999-2000.
- There was use of antipersonnel mines in three new outbreaks of fighting since March 1999: in Chechnya by Russian forces and Chechen rebels, in the Philippines by three rebel groups and in Kashmir by Pakistan-backed militants, and allegedly Pakistan Army troops.
- The heaviest use of mines since March 1999 occurred in Chechnya, especially by Russian forces, and in Kosovo, primarily by Yugoslav forces, but also by the Kosovo Liberation Army. Mine use in Chechnya continues to this day. Humanitarian clearance operations in Kosovo have also had to cope with an estimated 15,000 or more unexploded cluster bomblets dropped by NATO aircraft. Extensive use by Mine Ban Treaty non-signatories in these two conflicts alone likely means that more mines were used in this Landmine Monitor reporting period than the previous one.
- There was ongoing, and in some instances increased, use of mines in Burma (Myanmar) by government forces and at least ten ethnic armed groups, in Sri Lanka by government and rebel forces, in Nepal by Maoist rebels, in Afghanistan by opposition forces, in Angola by government and rebel forces, in the Democratic Republic of Congo by government and rebel forces, in the Eritrea-Ethiopia border conflict by Eritrean forces, in Senegal by rebel forces, in Uganda by rebel forces, in Somalia by various factions, in Colombia by rebel groups, in South Lebanon by Israel and non-state actors, in Georgia by non-state actors, and in Turkey and Northern Iraq by rebel forces.
- Continued, but unconfirmed, allegations have been made of new use in this period by the armies of three Mine Ban Treaty States Parties -- Rwanda, Uganda, and Zimbabwe -- in the complicated regional conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- While 29 countries that had previously signed the Mine Ban Treaty formally ratified it since March 1999, only three new nations joined the treaty (Tajikistan, Liberia, and Nauru).
- Landmine Monitor estimates that there are more than 250 million antipersonnel mines in the arsenals of 105 nations, with the biggest estimated to be China (110 million), Russia (60-70 million), Belarus (10-15 million), United States (11 million), Ukraine (10 million), Pakistan (6 million), and India (4-5 million).
- Twenty-one Mine Ban Treaty nations have completely destroyed their stockpiles, and another 24 are in the process. Seventeen treaty states parties have yet to begin destruction, which must be completed with four years.
115 Landmine Monitor researchers in 95 countries have systematically collected and analyzed information from a wide variety of sources in an effort to provide this comprehensive report. The book also includes appendices with reports from major actors in the mine ban movement, such as key governments, regional organizations, UN agencies and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The ICBL received the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to eradicate antipersonnel mines. The Landmine Monitor initiative is coordinated by a "Core Group" of five organizations: Human Rights Watch, Handicap International, Kenya Coalition Against Mines, Mines Action Canada, and Norwegian People's Aid.