The Banning of Anti-Personnel Landmines: The Legal Contribution of the International Committee of the Red Cross

By Louis Maresca; Stuart Maslen | Go to book overview

11
OAU Conference on a Landmine-free Africa: The OAU and
the Legacy of Anti-personnel Mines
Johannesburg, South Africa
19–21 May 1997

In some ways, and with hindsight, the Johannesburg meeting may come to be seen as the watershed in the Ottawa process, as African governments sought to take responsibility for tackling the mines crisis in the region. If African participation in the Oslo Diplomatic Conference was both visible and highly effective, this must be put down, in part at least, to the momentum created beginning with the ICBL Conference in Maputo in February, increasing with the ICRC seminar in Harare in April, and culminating with the OAU Conference in Johannesburg. With the exception of one African government, all others were of a single mind, determined to ensure the total prohibition of anti-personnel mines which they saw as essential to stem the continuing proliferation of the weapon. This solidarity helped to ensure that the treaty ultimately adopted was clear and unequivocal.


The Provision of Assistance to Mine Victims
Dr Chris Giannou
Health Operations Division, International Committee of the Red Cross
19 May 1997

Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Chad, Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania … No: this is not a roll-call of the Member States of the Organization of African Unity. Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland … This is a list of regions of the African continent which are or have been polluted to a varying extent by landmines. Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Western Sahara, Zaire, Zambia, Zimbabwe. Many of these mines date back to World War II, others to the struggle for independence and the wars of decolonization, yet others to post-independence conflicts. It would be

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