Landmine Monitor has identified over 3,242 landmine casualties in Myanmar from 1999 through the end of 2011.
When compared to other countries, Myanmar has produced the third highest number of known casualties due to antipersonnel landmines, globally, over the past six years.

Despite this high level of casualties, mine risk education remains inadequate or non-existent in most areas with reported casualties. Medical and rehabilitative assistance to mine survivors and persons with disabilities in Myanmar remains marginal.
In December 2011, Myanmar joined the international Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons, which obligates the government to see to the needs of mine and other disabled people.

At least 47 townships in Chin, Kachin, Kayin (Karen), Kayah (Karenni), Mon, Rakhine, and Shan states, as well as in Bago (Pegu) and Tanintharyi (Tenasserim) divisions suffer from some degree of mine contamination, primarily from antipersonnel mines. Kayin state and eastern Bago division contain the most heavily mine-affected areas. Currently no humanitarian mine clearance programs exist within the country.

Since the publication of its first report in 1999, Landmine Monitor has consistently documented the extensive use of antipersonnel mines by government forces and by non-state armed groups (NSAG) in many areas of Myanmar. However, as of mid-2012, information available to the Monitor indicates a lower level of incidence of new mine use. What use there is occurs in more limited geographic areas. It is unclear whether this is the beginning of a trend resulting from reforms occurring inside the country or other factors.
Myanmar Defense Products Industries, a state industry, continues to produce fragmentation, blast and non-detectable antipersonnel mines.

In February 2011 a former Commander in Chief of the Myanmar Army stated to the ICBL that “Mines must be banned according to both humanitarianism and religion in a civilized world,” while Nobel Peace Laureate, now Member of Parliament, Aung San Suu Kyi called on all combatants to “cease the way of mines” and all groups to “start to ban landmines in their operations without waiting for their opponent to start to do it.”

In September 2011, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar again urged Myanmar to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty. He noted that he continues to receive disturbing reports of landmine use by both the government and non-state armed groups, and subsequent casualties throughout the country, and requested that the government of Myanmar “work with international organizations to develop a comprehensive plan to end the use of landmines and to address their legacy, including the systematic removal of mines and rehabilitation of victims.”

In February 2012, during visits by government delegations from Norway and Luxembourg, President Thein Sein requested assistance for mine clearance. This was the first time that Myanmar requested bilateral assistance for mine action.

In July 2012, Minister of Foreign Affairs U Wunna Maung Lwin told the president of the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty that Myanmar was considering accession to the Mine Ban Treaty as part of its state reforms. The treaty’s Implementation Support Unit also reported that the minister said his government is no longer using landmines and is pursuing a peace pact with non-state armed groups which would include banning the weapon.

Link to Monitor website report in English here

In Burmese language translation here

Categories: ICBLMine Ban