Landmine Monitor 2013 Myanmar/Burma Country Report(includes Cluster Munition Monitor 2013 Myanmar/Burma)

Burmese translation released November 2013

Executive Summary

Landmine Monitor has identified over 3,349 landmine casualties in Myanmar from 1999 through the end of 2012.
When compared to previous years, landmine casualties in Myanmar during 2012 and early 2013 appear to have decreased with the decrease in armed conflict within the country. When compared to other countries, Myanmar has produced the fourth largest number of known casualties due to antipersonnel landmines, globally, over the past seven years.

Despite this high numbers of mine casualties, as of mid-2013, mine risk education remains inadequate or non-existent in most areas with reported casualties.
Access to medical and rehabilitative assistance to mine survivors, and other persons with disabilities, in Myanmar increased significantly during 2012 and early 2013, but remains inadequate.
In January 2012, the rights enshrined in the international Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons, which requires the government provide for the specific needs of mine and other disabled people, became a legal obligation for the government of Myanmar.

The Monitor has identified over 50 townships in Chin, Kachin, Kayin, Kayah, Mon, Rakhine, and Shan states, as well as in Bago and Tanintharyi regions suffering from some degree of mine contamination, primarily from antipersonnel mines. Kayin state and eastern Bago division contain the most heavily mine-affected areas.
As of mid-2013, no humanitarian mine clearance was taking place. Atleast eight humanitarian mine clearance agencies had established a presence within the country, and with the cooperation of the authorities compiled national standards to govern mine clearance.

Since the publication of its first report in 1999, Landmine Monitor has documented use of antipersonnel mines by government forces and by non-state armed groups (NSAG) in many areas of Myanmar. However, as of mid-2013, information available to the Monitor indicates a significantly lower level of incidences of new mine use when compared to previous years.

Myanmar Defense Products Industries, a state industry, has not publicly stated yet that it will halt production of its  fragmentation, blast and non-detectable antipersonnel mines.

In March 2013, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar again urged Myanmar to develop a comprehensive plan to end the use of landmines, establish accurate data on their location and use, ensure their systematic removal, and rehabilitate victims.

In November 2012, Myanmar’s President Thein Sein stated, “Myanmar has not signed Ottawa Convention yet. But, Myanmar always opposes the excessive use of land mines. Meanwhile, I believe that for defence purpose, we need to use landmines in order to safeguard the life and property of people and self-defence .”

Myanmar again abstained from voting on UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 67/32 on 3 December 2012, which called for universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty. It has abstained on similar annual resolutions since 1997.

In May 2013, a high level delegation from the International Campaign to Ban Landmines was accepted into the country for the first time. It met with President’s Minister U Aung Min, with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and with the Myanmar Peace Centre. The delegation urged Myanmar to consider an immediate moratorium on new mine use and production and the commencement of mine action activities in areas of government control. It was clear to the delegation that the government of Myanmar was keenly aware of the need for mine clearance, but the delegation was informed by U Aung Min that clearance was unlikely to proceed until the peace process had reached an irreversible stage.

Categories: ICBLReports