n African Security Review - Armed non-state actors in Africa and the ban on anti-personnel landmines : feature

Volume 13, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1024-6029
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A truly universal ban on anti-personnel mines cannot be realized without engagement of armed non-state actors and armed groups operating outside state control, including rebels and national liberation movements. Events after 9/11 have complicated engagement with organizations that can be classified as 'terrorists'. Yet, the use of anti-personnel landmines itself can be viewed as an act of terrorism and African leaders have, on various occasions, classified the use of landmines and the presence of unexploded ordnance as engendering insecurity and a serious impediment to development. The success of a total ban ultimately depends upon ensuring that armed non-state actors act in accordance with international humanitarian law. The Geneva Call Deed of Commitment for Adherence to a Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Mines and for Cooperation in Mine Action (DoC) might be described as an alternative instrument to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention and can serve an important and impartial channel of communication with non-state actors. Already 18 armed groups in Africa have signed the Geneva Call DoC.

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