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Egypt has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. Speaking at the UN, an Egyptian representative stated that the treaty "did not take into consideration the legitimate right of States for self-defense, including the use of landmines in certain conditions."

Egypt has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. Speaking
at the UN, an Egyptian representative stated that the
treaty "did not take into consideration the legitimate
right of States for self-defense, including the use of
landmines in certain conditions."91 Egypt has objected
to the treaty because it does not provide a legally
binding obligation on states to remove mines they laid
in other states. Egypt also believes that AP mines
play an important role in self-defense, protection of
borders, defense from terrorist attacks, and in
deterring drug smuggling. Egypt states that
alternatives to landmines must be in place before
consideration of a ban; moreover, it believes that at
present alternatives are restricted to those states
with advanced military capabilities, thus creating an
imbalance in the security requirements of states.92

Egypt was one of twenty countries to abstain on the
vote on UN General Assembly Resolution 54/54B calling
for the universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty on 1
December 1999. It had abstained on similar resolutions
in 1997 and 1998. Egypt's opposition to the Mine Ban
Treaty surfaced again when it blocked pro-treaty
wording contained in the final declaration of the
Africa-Europe Summit held in Cairo, 3-4 April 2000.
Egypt insisted on the removal of a recommendation for
states to join the Mine Ban Treaty and introduced
weaker language urging efforts within the framework of
the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), though
it is not a state party.93 A German official told
Landmine Monitor, "Germany, like other EU member
states, regrets very much the Egyptian stance of
denying any form of open dialogue on the subject."94

The Egypt's anti-Mine Ban Treaty position continued at
the Arab Regional Seminar on Landmines held at the
Arab League Headquarters in Cairo 9-11 April 2000.
Egypt was successful in insuring that the conference
recommendations did not include mention of the Mine
Ban Treaty but did include endorsement of the
Conference on Disarmament (CD) as the appropriate
forum to negotiate a comprehensive approach to the
landmine problem. Members of the ICBL attending this
conference were concerned that the views of pro-treaty
mine-affected Arab countries like Yemen and regional
NGOs in attendance were not recognized in the
concluding statement. In a press report of this event,
an unnamed Egyptian Foreign Ministry official stated
that government had played no part in organizing the

Egypt did not participate as an observer in the First
Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in
Maputo in May 1999. Egypt attended one of the ban
treaty intersessional meetings on Technologies for
Mine Action in May 2000 in Geneva.

Despite repeated requests, however, there is no
official written policy statement by Egypt declaring
that AP mine production and export has ceased.

At the IDEX99 defense fair in the United Arab
Emirates, a marketing brochure from the state-run
Heliopolis Company for Chemical Industries listed
several types of mines for sale, including T/78 and
T/79 antipersonnel mines. The T/78 and T/79 plastic
blast mines were offered in boxes of 100 and 60
respectively.102 While marketing brochures are not
evidence of new production or continued transfer,
advertising mines at an international defense fair
would appear to represent intention to export the

Egypt is assumed to have a large stockpile of
antipersonnel mines, but details are not available. An
Egyptian official stated that any such information was
classified for reasons of military security.103

The UK government has provided some assistance to
Egypt for mine clearance. In 1996, the Department for
International Development (DFID) provided $850,000 for
the purchase of mine clearance equipment and in 1998 a
further $166,000 was provided.126 The UK has also,
upon the request of the Egyptian government, provided
all available maps and historical records, as well as
technical documents on mine clearance and military
doctrine to help identify the location and nature of
UK deployed mines.127 Royal Engineer experts from the
Ministry of Defense have conducted visits in 1981,
1984 and 1994 to offer technical advice and
assistance. All relevant historical records were also
made available to the UNMAS mission and the UK Army
Historical Branch is currently in the process of
putting all relevant information onto CD-ROM.128 The
UK government admits that historical records on this
issue are extremely patchy.

When asked whether the UK would give substantial new
funds to mine clearance efforts in the future, the
view expressed was that it was unlikely that the UK
would wish to provide additional financial assistance
on the basis of an Egyptian estimate for the removal
of mines. That said, however, it was felt that funds
could be available for mine awareness and victim
assistance, but that Egypt had not presented any
proposals in this area.129

The German government has similarly provided maps and
historical records, initially in 1982. In 1998,
Germany sent mine experts to Egypt for technical
assistance and donated 110 Foerter Minex 2 mine
detectors, with an estimated value of $411,000.130 In
1994, Italy provided training for twenty Egyptian

Egypt has received $1.432 million in U.S. demining
assistance to date. Egypt requested U.S. assistance to
supplement its national demining efforts in 1997 and
was accepted into the U.S. program on 2 September
1998. The U.S. government body that makes demining
policy has limited the amount of U.S. funds available
to Egypt in light of the $1.3 billion in military aid
Egypt receives from the U.S. each year. There is an
apparent reluctance on the part of the Egyptians to
support its own demining effort with this form of

Egypt does not appear to have developed an integrated
humanitarian mine action strategy. Observers have
noted that Egypt has not benefited from the recent
experiences of the mine clearance community, which has
stressed the need to develop mine clearance as a
comprehensive strategy involving clearance, mine
awareness and victim assistance. A symptom of this may
be manifest in Egypt's perception that expensive high
technology detection equipment will greatly assist
mine clearance operations in the Western Desert and

In February 2000, the Army Engineering Corps announced
that its demining operations would be stopped because
of insufficient funds.141 Up to 1981, the Egyptian
government reports that 11 million mines and UXO were
cleared. Between then and 1999, an additional 1.2
million were cleared, 800,000 in the west and 400,000
in the east.142 Clearance efforts have suffered from
financial constraints and have resulted in periodic
suspensions of activity. For example, the Army did not
demine between 1991-1998.143