Landmines: To Ban or Not to Ban?


-Shankari Sundararaman, Researcher, IDSA


In the last two decades, one of the most urgent problems that has required special attention is the issue of the indiscriminate use of landmines. The shift in the method of landmine usage has been dramatic with extremely tragic and devastating results. During this period, the role of mines has shifted from primarily being defensive and tactical battlefield weapons to one where they have become offensive strategic weapons that are utilised to control large areas of land. In comprehending the transition in their usage, it becomes imperative to identify the actors responsible for the use of landmines--in the first case, as weapons of defence, their use was limited to state actors and the military, thus confining them to conditions or situations of war. The second case is significant because from the 1970s onwards there has been a spurt in low intensity conflicts and has led to an increased proliferation of landmines, which like the automatic rifle, has become a weapon of choice for many governments as well as guerrilla/insurgency groups around the world.

According to the estimates put foward there are a minimum of 85 million and a maximum of more than 110 million unexploded landmines scattered over about 62 countries. A United States Department of State Report claims that there are roughly 65-110 million anti-tank and anti-personnel landmines laid over 62 countries.1 While it has been recognised as a widespread problem, the countries most affected are Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Iraq, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Northern Somalia, Vietnam and former Yugoslavia. (See List 1.) The above statistics are mere indicators of the extent of the problem and the urgent need to assess the situation as well as the ongoing debate. This article will attempt to give an overview of the landmines issue and the debate on securing a ban on landmines and their use.

List 1

The Burden List: Countries and Regions with Landmine Burden

Country Landmines

Afghanistan 10,000,000

Angola 9-15,000,000

Armenia unknown

Austria unknown

Azerbaijan 50,000

Belarus unknown

Belgium unknown

Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-3,000,000

Cambodia 8-10,000,000

Chad 70,000

Chechnya unknown

China 10,000,000

Colombia unknown

Costa Rica 1-2,000

Croatia 2,000,000

Cuba unknown

Cyprus 17,000

Czech Republic unknown

Denmark 9,900

Djibouti unknown

Ecuador 60,000

Egypt 23,000,000

El Salvador 10,000

Eritrea 1,000,000

Ethiopia 500,000

Falkland Islands/Malvinas 25,000

Georgia 75-150,000

Germany 1,300

Greece unknown

Guatemala 2-4,000

Guinea-Bissau unknown

Honduras 30-35,000

Iran 16,000,000

Iraq 10,000,000

Israel unknown

Jordan 207,000

Republic of Korea unknown

Kuwait unknown

Laos unknown

Latvia 17,000

Lebanon 9,000

Liberia 18,250

Libya unknown

Luxembourg unknown

Mauritania unknown

Mexico unknown

Moldova unknown

Mongolia unknown

Myanmar unknown

Netherlands unknown

Nicaragua 108,000

Oman unknown

Peru unknown

Philippines unknown

Russian Federation unknown

Rwanda 60,000

Senegal unknown

Sierra Leone unknown

Slovenia unknown

Somalia 1,000,000

Sri Lanka unknown

Sudan 1,000,000

Syria unknown

Tajikistan unknown

Thailand unknown

Tunisia unknown

Turkey unknown

Uganda unknown

Ukraine unknown

Vietnam unknown

Western Sahara unknown

Yemen 100,000

Yugoslavia 500,000

Zimbabwe unknown

Sources: Landmine Data Base, Department of Humanitarian Affairs, United Nations; and Hidden Killers: The Global Landmines Crisis, United States Department of State, Internet Edition.


An Introduction to Landmines: A Profile

A landmine can be broadly defined as a "static unattended explosive device that is operated by the victim."2 The more accepted legal definition of a landmine is: "A munition placed under, on or near the ground or other surface area and designed to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person or vehicle."3 There are two main categories of landmines--the anti-tank mines (AT) and the anti-personnel mines (AP). In the first case, as the name suggests, the weapon is targetted against tanks and vehicles, usually contains more than 5 kg of explosives and is actuated by the application of pressures or weights of between 100 to 300 kg. Anti-personnel mines, on the other hand, contain between 10 to 250 grams of explosive and are triggered by pressures of about 0.5 to 50 kg.4

Other than these two broad classifications, landmines are also divided into two main different types--blast and fragmentation mines. Blast mines are laid on the surface or the sub-surface and are activated by pressure laid on a sensitive plate. Among these are the small blast mines having a diameter of less than 10 centimetres while the larger blast mines have a diameter of about 11.2 centimetres. The most common of the small blast mines are the Italian scatterable TS-50 and SB-33; the hand laid VS-50 and VAR-40; the US M-14; the Chinese Type 72 and the Russian PFM-1. Among the larger blast mines are the Russian PMN series. The distinction between these two types is not much except that in the larger blast mine, the cone--that is the area carrying the explosive--is larger. Thus, in terms of the amount of explosive used, the larger ones will contain more--for example, a VS-50 has 42 grams of RDX-TNT a PMN-2 carries 150 grams of TNT and a PMN contains 240 grams.

As compared to the blast mines, the fragmentation mines are different in that they are laid on the ground but when triggered rise above the ground before exploding--thus, sending shrapnel, pre-cast fragments or steel balls over a radius of 10 to 50 metres. Within this group are three different sub-groups: the bounding fragmentation mine in which a small propelling charge lifts the mine a few feet into the air before it explodes. The chances of survival in this case are very little, with the shrapnel being thrown over a much wider area. The Italian Valmara-69, the US M-16 and the Russian OZM series are examples of this type. The second category comprises the directional fragmentation mines, which fire small fragments in a predetermined direction and the most obvious example of this type is the US M-18 A1, commonly referred to as the Claymore. The third category of fragmentation mines are the stake mines--mounted on stakes, they rise above the ground thereby increasing the shrapnel effect. The Russian MON and POMZ are examples of this category.5

When compared with other forms of munitions, mines are distinguished by three characteristics: firstly, they are victim activated unlike other weapons which have to be aimed and fired. Second, they are delayed-action weapons, that is, when laid they are not meant for immediate effect but remain concealed, primed or dormant until triggered by an unsuspecting victim. Though they have been basically directed against legitimate military targets, their effectiveness remains intact long after the hostilities and this has caused them to emerge as a viable threat to humanitarian concerns since their activation usually occurs as a result of the movement of civilian populations. Third, one of the unique features is the element of uncertainty attached to landmines which makes them even more formidable and disruptive. Remaining buried for years, they continue to be concealed, thus receiving the name "eternal sentinels," and in most cases, after a period of time, minefields become indistinguishable from the surrounding countryside.6

These characteristics of landmines amply reflect the need for an urgent appraisal of the weapon and its usage. Unlike other categories of weapons, landmines are not targetted only against military and defence personnel but in most cases have affected the lives and livelihood of civilian populations.

Historical Usage of Landmines and Their Development

In tracing the historical development of landmines, the invention of gunpowder can probably be taken as the genesis. Even during wars in earlier times, explosive devices were utilised in order to overcome fortifications. However, for the purpose of identifying historical development and usage, the early precursors to landmines seem to have emerged during World War I when artillery shells with exposed fuses were buried by the Germans to prevent the movement of French and British tanks and the sea mines were also extensively used. During World War II, the task of defence seemed to have become easier with the invention of trinitrotoluene (TNT), a light-weight explosive used for the first anti-tank mines--approximately 10 kg of TNT was packed into steel cylinders and then buried--these were extensively used by Allied and Axis powers.7

The development of landmines--the anti-personnel variety--emerged more as a corollary to the anti-tank mines. The anti-tank mines were easily removed by the enemy troops and were then replaced in their own territory. In order to prevent this, smaller anti-personnel mines were developed and once the rationale for their use had been established, anti-personnel mines became weapons in their own right. With the development of technology, mines also became more updated and sophisticated models emerged--the scatterables and the smart mines are especially noteworthy. Scatterables put the earlier hand laid mines to a second category since these could easily be placed by the help of planes, rockets, etc and this meant that more mines could be laid faster and over a larger area of land. Smart mines have electronic sensors and automatic de-activation techniques by which they are considered to be safer.

Militarily, landmines have had a significant role, especially since they provided the cheapest military option for border defence. Providing a low cost option to several tactical problems, landmines became an important part of the weaponry of developing nations which legitimised their proliferation and continued use. However, in terms of justifying their usage, each Army's need was based upon its own requirements in terms of tactical importance. On the whole, from a military point of view, six different types of minefields were utilised in traditional battle or conflict patterns. These were as follows:

(i) Defence Minefields--meant to act as defensive barriers along a front, so as to deny the opposing forces easy access to the border territories. Such fields are generally very long and stretch over large distances. Overcoming such fields is usually not too difficult since the invading troops have to make only a few entry points.

(ii) Tactical Minefields--laid in relevance to other types of obstacles, both natural and militarily planned, and are meant to deny certain channels to the movement of the enemy's armoury. As such, only routes which the defender chooses can be followed by the invading troops, thereby enabling facility of attack by the defender. In any case with modern technical facilities such as satellite reconnaissance these options have become less effective.

(iii) Border Minefields--have come into practice more recently and are used along the borders to deny access to hostile groups trying to infiltrate the area. In spite of their frequent usage their deterrent capacity has been limited. In most conflict situations, there is a great deal of movement of refugees and these mines have caused a large number of casualties among the civilian population.

(iv) Dummy Minefields--are basically used as a means of threatening the enemy. There are no actual mines but the presence of dummy fields provides a kind of deterrent. Usually used in cases where the resources are limited and the enemy can be deceived--in most cases of dummy fields there are a few real mines also implanted alongside so as to confuse the enemy.

(v) Nuisance Minefields--these are usually laid during the withdrawal of the forces and prevent the enemy from giving pursuit. They are not laid according to any elaborate plan but follow some kind of improvised plan and pattern. These are also known to cause civilian hazards because even though they are marked, their identification and de-activation becomes difficult in reality.

(v) Protective Minefields--are those that are used to provide an immediate close protection to a particular defensive position. Militarily these minefields are supposed to have maximum utility and their use in such areas helps to reduce the requirement for troops in that specific area.*8

From a purely military angle the above description of mine usage elucidates that mines are an integral part of a military's weaponry. The cost of producing a mine can be between three and thirty dollars.9 It is, therefore, obvious that when used with discretion the landmine provides one of the cheapest options for defence, especially among developing nations. The alternatives to mines are few--such as ditches, spikes, barbed wire, etc. However, their utility and effectiveness have not been adequately researched.

In the past two decades, the use of landmines has reached crisis proportions and many factors are responsible for this spurt in their use. First, several nations from the developing world have begun to export landmines--thus, increasing both production as well as export of mines. It is now estimated that more than 340 types of anti-personnel landmines have been produced by over 48 countries, of which 29 countries are exporting them.10 (See List 2.) Second, having emerged as weapons of offence, they are now deliberately being aimed against civilian populations in order to "empty territory, destroy food sources, create refugee flows and to simply spread terror."11 Third, the nature of conflict in the recent past has changed to one of low-intensity, long running struggles--this is especially evident in the emergence of conflicts on the basis of ethnic rights and the growth in insurgent movements--that have all contributed to the increase in the demand for weapons which are low cost and also prove to be cost effective. In this context, the demand for landmines as a weapon of choice has risen significantly and it is being widely used in both insurgency and counter-insurgency. Fourth, mine technology over the years has become more sophisticated and advanced--compared to the mines produced earlier which were metal constructed, the mines of recent times have been made from plastic, which makes the task of identifying their location even more difficult. Moreover the weapons have become even more sophisticated with the use of microchips and electronic sensors, thus, increasing the risk potential.12 This sophistication is not limited to the production of mines alone but is in the methods of deployment. With the development of remotely delivered mines--the scatterables--the rapidity with which mines are being delivered has dramatically increased. While earlier they had to be laid by hand, the scatterables are now delivered by air with the use of aircraft, artillery and rockets and so cover a larger area as well as being more randomly scattered. Hence, identification becomes even more hazardous. These factors have greatly contributed to the growth in usage and the accumulation of mines in several regions. This spread has been undeterred and its potential to cause grievous injury to the civilian population is now the key issue. As far as the question of utility is concerned, there exist several uncertainties--in fact, "western military planners still see a need for further investment in advanced landmine systems."13 At the same time, however, military strategists have questioned their wider usage and implications. Till now, most of the efforts to restrict the issue of landmines has focussed on exports and some unilateral decisions were taken by several governments.14 The question of a ban is being addressed and debated in three different platforms and this has been discussed in the next section.

List 2

The Problem List:

Countries Still Producing and Exporting Landmines

* Argentina

* Belarus

* Bosnia-Herzegovina

* Brazil

* Bulgaria

* Burma

* Chile (1)

* China

* Cuba

* Czech Republic

* Egypt

* Finland

* Greece

* Hungary (1)

* India

* Iran

* Iraq

* Israel

* Italy (1)

* Japan

* North Korea

* South Korea

* Pakistan

* Peru

* Poland (1)

* Portugal

* Romania

* Russia

* Serbia

* Singapore

* Spain

* Taiwan

* Turkey

* Ukraine

* UK (1)


* Vietnam

* Zimbabwe

(1) State no current production.

Nations Still Exporting

* Bosnia

* Bulgaria

* Egypt

* Iran

* Iraq

* Serbia

* Singapore

* Zimbabwe

Source: Human Rights Watch Arms Project--April 1996, Internet Edition.

The Debate: To Ban or Not to Ban

In recent times the proliferation of landmines across the globe has become a tragedy of crisis proportions with over 110 million anti-personnel or AP mines being deployed in over 70 countries, mostly the developed nations. The human toll of this utterly indiscriminate spread has resulted in several thousand people being killed or maimed, of whom 90 per cent have been civilians, especially children. The problem of AP mines is not limited only to those who become statistical exactions of its use, but extends beyond the victims to the communities at large since their presence often repudiates the repatriation of refugees to their homes and farmlands. In terms of numbers, there are an average of 500 new victims per week; 100,000 landmines are de-mined every year as compared to the 2 to 5 million that are deployed.15 Keeping the above facts in mind, is there or is there not an urgent need to assess the continual and unceasing usage of landmines? Is a ban on anti-personnel landmines essential?

The humanitarian angle to the landmines issue has compelled the international community to consider the possibility of a ban on the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines--a debate in which the most vocal groups have been non-governmental organisations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Red Crescent, the Vietnam Veterans Foundation of America (VVFA) and the International Conference to Ban Landmines (ICBL), The wider debate is governed by certain accepted norms of international law, of which international humanitarian law and treaty law are considered the sources. The two basic premises of international humanitarian law that can be specifically applied to landmines are:

-- Parties to a conflict must always distinguish between civilians and combatants. Civilians may not be directly attacked and indiscriminate attacks and the use of indiscriminate weapons are prohibited.

-- It is prohibited to use weapons that cause unnecessary suffering. Therefore, the use of weapons whose damaging effects are disproportionate to their military purpose is prohibited.16

The second is treaty law which is applicable only to those countries that are party to a particular treaty.17

The debate to ban landmines is simultaneously being carried out on three different, parallel platforms: the 1980 United Nations Convention on Prohibitions and Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), the Conference on Disarmament (CD) and the Ottawa Process. In the move towards regulating the use of landmines, the first step was the CCW. The 1980 CCW showed a blatant disregard for humanitarian principles on the part of several warring parties; it had inherent weaknesses within its structure which limited the international response to its acceptance. The serious flaws in the 1980 CCW crippled the move towards any consolidated effort to address the landmines issue. In an attempt to overcome these shortcomings, Protocol II entitled "Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices" was adopted which put forward certain significant provisions:

(i) extension of the scope of the Convention to include international as well as internal armed conflicts;

(ii) a prohibition on mines which are not easily detectable with specific technical characteristics prescribed for this purpose;

(iii) establishment of the principle that parties using mines are responsible for their removal;

(iv) the introduction of methods, including positive incentives, to promote universal adherence.18

Other than these main provisions, it also included a prohibition on transfer of non-detectable anti-personnel mines; codes of protection for humanitarian workers; specific requirements for the supervision of serious violations; and annual consultations among parties to the Protocol who would review its work.19

In spite of the revision and the adoption of Protocol II, certain ambiguities continue to plague the CCW and challenge the effectiveness of its proposals. First, the definition which is used to describe a mine uses the terminology "primarily designed to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person..." This does not include the case of dual purpose mines which are anti-tank but also come under the anti-personnel category. Second, it does not take into consideration the smart mines which have a self-destructing capacity and the scatterables. Third, imposing the responsibility of mine clearance on users is a next to impossible task. Fourth, monitoring in terms of mapping and location is difficult to implement. Fifth, there are no provisions for verification. Sixth, the provisions on the question of transfer are weak and can be easily eluded. Seventh, the absence of restrictions on the anti-tank/anti-vehicle mines continues to pose a threat. Eighth, the provisions include a "transition period" of nine years before the final implementation, thereby allowing for use till that time, which would automatically increase the toll of casualties.20 Even in recognising the question of internal conflicts (countries including India, China and Mexico dropped the opposition to the inclusion of internal conflicts), there is scope for incertitude since the governments concerned are allowed to define "internal conflicts."21

The revised Protocol II fails to address certain key issues--while producers will be affected, the proportion of disadvantage will not be evenly distributed. China, Russia and Pakistan--the largest producers of dumb minesówill lose out more than the advanced countries of the West which produce smart mines. Hence, the Russian government's argument for a 15-year grace period prior to elimination. These are the loopholes within the CCW provisions and any effective step towards a ban must first overcome these issues before a more accurate move can be implemented.

Conference on Disarmament

The second parallel platform in which the issue is being addressed is the Conference on Disarmament (CD) under the United Nations auspices in Geneva. The move to include the landmines issue under the banner of the CD was implemented only after months of wrangling. The proposal to set up an ad hoc committee within the CD met with opposition from two quarters--those who backed the Ottawa Process and the other group that preferred the landmines issue to be dealt with under the CCW. By June 1997, the idea of setting up an ad hoc committee to address the issue was dropped, after which the United States, as well as others, continued to press for the appointment of a Special Coordinator as a first step to getting landmines addressed by the CD.22 The first proposal put forward by Chile, Poland and Finland in March 1997 was superceded by the Australian proposal that was tabled in May. The Australian proposal met with brief opposition from Syria which demanded that the G-21 call for a nuclear disarmament committee should also be simultaneously decided upon. Eventually the Australian proposal was accepted as follows:

"Without prejudice to, and within the context of, its urgent ongoing efforts to establish a Programme of Work for its 1997 session, and to set up mechanisms, as appropriate for other agenda items of the Conference, and in order to facilitate these efforts, the Conference on Disarmament decides to:

"(i) to appoint a Special Coordinator to conduct consultations on a possible mandate on the question of anti-personnel landmines under agenda item 6;

"(ii) a Special Coordinator shall take into consideration all relevant proposals and views, present and future;

"(iii) the Special Coordinator shall present an early report to the Conference on Disarmament."23

The acceptance of the proposal culminated in the appointment of Ambassador John Campbell of Austria as the Special Coordinator to consult with delegations on the issue of landmines.

This approach by the CD received a favourable response but the question of a total ban was not the focus of its procedures. China and Russia, the major producers of mines, welcomed the move of the CD but supported the idea of a complete prohibition only through a series of agreed time stages enacted within the framework of the CD. China for its part agreed to a phased approach towards a total ban on the anti-personnel landmines (APL) and reiterated the view that priority should be given to de-mining and civilian assistance rather than to an all out ban. Turkey and Cuba too accepted the Chinese and Russian positions--Cuba emphasised the importance of landmines for legitimate defence purposes and called for more international endeavours to relieve the human suffering. India also accepts the need to address the issue of the indiscriminate usage of landmines but believes that a phased ban is required. Several African nations also supported the CD focus on landmines. The US stand and its willingness to remain open to a discussion on the issue within the CD stems from its refusal to involve itself in the Ottawa Process--crucial to which is the question of the presence of 37,000 US troops stationed along the 38th parallel of the Korean Peninsula and the use of landmines in protecting them. The response to the CD and the likelihood of it becoming an important mechanism for further discussion on the issue of anti-personnel landmines is quite strong considering that the entire US initiative on the matter seems to centre on the premise of it being discussed in the CD. With the US decision to remain out of the Ottawa Process, the CD may probably become the next most important platform for consultations on anti-personnel landmines.

Ottawa Process

The third and final platform which is dealing with the issue of landmines is being conducted by the International Strategy Conference, "Towards a Ban on Anti-Personnel Mines," commonly known as the Ottawa Process. Canada took a leading initiative and invited several participants to a preliminary conference that would work towards global prohibition on such mines. In October 1996, 50 governments, the ICRC, inter-governmental agencies and international non-governmental organisations met at Ottawa to discuss a ban on the production, stockpiling, transfer and use of landmines. This Conference adopted a politically binding declaration by consensus and also drafted an Action Plan that was to address the various steps taken in pursuit of a total ban.24

In its Final Declaration, the Ottawa Conference "agreed to enhance the cooperation and coordination of efforts on the basis of some concerns and goals with respect to antipersonnel mines." Some of the basic elements of this were:

(i) the earliest possible conclusion of a legally binding international agreement to ban anti-personnel mines;

(ii) progressive reductions in new deployment of anti-personnel mines with the objective of halting all new deployments;

(iii) support for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 51 calling all member states, inter alia, to implement national moratoria, bans or other restrictions, particularly on operational use and transfer of anti-personnel mines at the earliest possible date;

(iv) regional and sub-regional activities in support of a global ban;

(v) a follow-on conference hosted by Belgium in June 1997 to review the progress towards achieving a ban.25 The Action Plan includes reference to regional initiatives taken in more than ten specific area across Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America.26

These initial efforts taken at Ottawa were followed up at the Brussels Conference on Anti-Personnel Landmines in June 1997. This meeting was attended by 115 states of which 86 signed the final declaration and reiterated the crucial decisions that were taken at the earlier Ottawa Conference. Recalling the UNGA Resolution 51/45S, it urged for the vigorous pursuit of "an effective, legally binding international agreement to ban the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of antipersonnel landmines." The Conference also highlighted that the essential elements of such an agreement should also include:

(i) a comprehensive ban on the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel landmines;

(ii) destruction of stockpiles and removal of anti-personnel mines,

(iii) international cooperation and assistance in the field of mine clearance in the affected countries.27

The Conference also acknowledged the commendable work done by the Government of Austria in preparing the text of the draft agreement. This Conference was to be followed by the Oslo Diplomatic Conference hosted by the Government of Norway which would negotiate the agreement before its final implementation at Ottawa in December 1997.

The last step before the countdown to the Ottawa Conference was the Oslo Diplomatic Conference held at Oslo in September 1997. At the outset, it welcomed the UNGA Resolution and also the efforts of the revised Protocol II of the CCW. This meeting was crucial in that it discussed the Draft of the Agreement and has been accepted by almost a hundred states. It recognised that a total ban was important in order to end the suffering and casualties caused by anti-personnel mines; believed that it was essential to coordinate efforts in such a manner as to ensure the total prohibition; and also use the ban as an important confidence building measure.

With the culmination of these meetings, the road to the Ottawa Treaty calling for a ban on landmines seems to be well laid. However, the effectiveness of the treaty will be difficult to assess--especially since the major producers of landmines such as China and Russia will remain out of the process; so too will the United States. In understanding this dilemma, it is important to be cognisant of the indispensability of landmines--especially in the case of developing countries which have long land borders, uncertain security environments and lack the advanced technical weapons systems as enjoyed by the West. In such a case, the landmine becomes the first line of defence for most nations--an indispensible, legitimate and conventional means of national defence. By prioritising the humanitarian angle, the move towards a ban has primarily dealt with the indiscriminate and totally irresponsible usage of mines. Where, then, is the standing for countries that have used it responsibly? Here it does not take into consideration the broader security implications for the developing countries. Even if the Ottawa Process succeeds in pushing through a ban on the APL, it will merely be accepted by those countries that accede to the treaty. Not having a legal mechanism by which it can enforce its will, the treaty will remain only a moral and political example for those who do not join a comprehensive ban at this stage. Moreover, how will it effectively deal with the problem of production, stockpiling, transfer and use by those who are not party to the treaty? As long as these questions remain unanswered, there will be difficulty in negotiating an effective deal on the issue of anti-personnel mines.



1. "Hidden Killers: The Global Problem with Uncleared Landmines--A Report on International Demining" (Political-Military Affairs Bureau Office of International Security Operations, US Department of State, Washington D.C., 1993), p. 3.

2. "Basic Facts About the Problem of Mines," Mines Advisory Group (MAG), in Mathew George Chunakara ed., Landmines: Deadly Weapons, Invisible Enemy (Hong Kong: CCA-WCC Indochina Programme 1996) p.3.

3. "Characteristics and Definitions of Mines," in Anti-Personnel Mines: An Overview (Geneva: ICRC, 1996), p. 3.

4. These initial distinctions between the anti-tank and anti-personnel mines were made with a view to separate the two categories. However, anti-tank mines can also be modified to detonate under pressure from about 7 kg. Moreover, there are a large number of dual purpose mines which are actuated by vehicles as well as personnel and this ambiguity further increases the hazards in their usage. Ibid.

5. For details, see, Gino Strada, "The Horror of Landmines," Scientific American, vol. 274, no. 5, May 1996, pp. 40-45. See also, n. 3, p. 3; Landmines: A Deadly Legacy (The Arms Right Project of Human Rights Watch and Physicians for Human Rights, US, 1993), pp. 18-21.

6. Anti-Personnel Mines: An Overview, n. 3.

7. Landmines: A Deadly Legacy, n. 5, p. 16.

8. "Military Utility of Anti-Personnel Landmines" Paper presented by Maj. Gen. D. Banerjee, Co-Director, Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS), New Delhi at a Seminar on "Landmines and the International Community," (JNU/NCCI), ISIL, New Delhi, August 13, 1997.

9. Landmines: Deadly Weapons, Invisible Enemy, n. 2, p. 31.

10. Earlier research carried out by agencies such as the US Army's Countermine Systems Directorate and the Cogressional Research Service did not get the adequate information. Research today has identified around 360 anti-personnel landmine types, produced by countries (this also includes some 100 mines and 20 countries that have not been catalogued so far) and about 36 of these are known to have exported mines even if they are not doing so presently. For details, see Charles Heyman, "Advance of Intelligent Battlefields: The Current World Market for Antipersonnel Mines," Jane's Defence '97, (UK, 1996), p. 50.

11. Landmines: A Deadly Legacy, n. 5, p. 9.

12. Ibid., p. 10.

13. Jane's Defence '97, n. 9, p. 52.

14. In November 1992, the US placed a one-year moratorium on the export of APL which was later extended through 1996. The European Parliament in 1992 called on the member states to declare a five-year export moratorium on APL. In addition to this, twelve countries that were major exporters have announced export moratoria--Argentina, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland and the USA. The United Kingdom in 1994 announced a partial ban on landmines which excluded smart mines and scatterables. The most decisive step came from Italy in June 1995, when the government banned both production and exports. For details, see Ibid., p. 52.

15. "Canada and the Global Landmines Crisis" (Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ottawa, October 1, 1996, Internet Edition), p. 1.

16. Anti-Personnel Mines: An Overview, n. 3, p. 18.

17. Ibid.

18. UNIDIR Newsletter, no. 28/29, December 1994/May 1995 (Geneva, UNIDIR, UN: May 1995), p. 7.

19. Anti-Personnel Mines: An Overview, n. 3, p. 19. See also Cornelio Sommaruga, "Landmines: From Global Negotiations to National and Regional Initiatives," Disarmament, vol. 19, no. 2, 1996, pp. 18-29.

20. Ibid., pp. 19-20.

21. Jim Wurst, "Inching Towards a Ban," The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, vol. 52, no. 2, March/April 1996, p. 11.

22. "Progress at Geneva UN Conference on Disarmament," Extracted from Geneva Update Disarmament Diplomacy 16, Conference on Disarmament, Content on Antipersonnel Mines, July 7, 1997, Internet Edition, p. 1.

23. Anti-Personnel Mines: An Overview, n. 3, p. 21.

24. "Text of the Declaration of the Ottawa Conference," World Court Project, Abolition 2000, Landmines Project, Internet Edition.

25. For details, see "Chairman's Agenda for Action on Antipersonnel (AP) Mines," World Court Project, Abolition 2000, Landmines Project, Internet Edition.

26. "Final Declaration of the Brussels Conference on Anti-personnel Landmines," Internet Edition.

27. For details, see Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, Internet Edition.