ICBL Statement on ComplianceMine Ban Treaty Intersessional Work ProgramStanding Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention25 May 2012
Co-chairs, representatives of all the States Parties, we most regrettably feel that we must sound thealarm bells. There are far too many serious compliance concerns piling up. We urge all States Partiesto do their duty and urgently confront compliance issues. Non-compliance directly corresponds to aweakened humanitarian impact of the treaty.Most disturbingly, in an unprecedented situation, we have serious allegations of use of antipersonnelmines by the armed forces of at least three States Parties: Sudan and Yemen recently, plus theongoing investigations and legal proceedings in Turkey.There have been repeated reports in 2011 and 2012 of new mine use in Sudan by both governmentand rebel forces. Based on concerns expressed by UN personnel, and information gathered on theground, including photographs, the allegations are serious and merit careful investigation and findingof facts. Sudan did not respond to our earlier public calls to address these allegations, but justyesterday it replied to a letter of inquiry from the ICBL dated 8 March and indicated that it wouldconduct an investigation. And on Tuesday of this week, following a Human Rights Watch briefing onthe use allegations, the Sudan delegation here stated that Sudan would in fact investigate theallegations.In Yemen,PPM-2 antipersonnel mines were laid at the Ministry of Industry building in Sana’a in2011. These mines caused at least one civilian casualty in 2012 and there is video evidence of clearance activity there in 2012. It cannot be conclusively determined what forces laid the mines, butthe timeline of events points to government forces, and locals have said that it was governmentforces. Yemen has not responded to letters about this incident from the ICBL and Human RightsWatch. It is regrettable that Yemen is not here this week.States Parties will also recall the two separate instances of allegations of use of antipersonnel minesby members of the Turkish Armed Forces in 2009, one of which is still apparently the subject of investigation, and one of which has been before the courts for several years now. States Parties havepatiently waited for news of developments from Turkey, but little has been forthcoming, including,for the case of alleged use of M2A4 antipersonnel mines, details such as when the investigationbegan, if it has concluded, who conducted it, and what specifically was or is being investigated.Moreover, Landmine Monitor reported last year that it appeared new mine-laying had occurred inSouth Sudan, a new State Party, although it was not possible to determine who was responsible or if antipersonnel mines in addition to antivehicle mines had been laid.Compounding the allegations of use by States Parties are increased confirmed instances of use bynon-States Parties, including Syria and Myanmar this year and last year, and Israel and Libya lastyear. The norm being established by the Mine Ban Treaty is under attack. Any use of antipersonnelmines by any actor must be condemned.