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03 January 2005

U.S. Bans Use of Nondetectable Landmines

Ban surpasses requirements of both international landmine treaties

The United States will no longer use landmines -- including both anti-personnel and anti-vehicle mines -- that cannot be detected with standard metal detectors commonly used by military and humanitarian deminers, the State Department said January 3.

"The United States action surpasses the detectability requirements of both international landmine treaties: the Amended Mines Protocol to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons to which the United States is a party, and the 'Ottawa Convention' which relates to anti-personnel mines," a department announcement said.

Following is the text of the announcement:

(begin text)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
January 3, 2005

MEDIA NOTE

United States Bans Non-Detectable Landmines

The United States has become the first major military power to terminate its use of any landmines that cannot be located with the standard metal detectors used by military and humanitarian deminers around the world.

"The U.S. landmine policy recognizes that non-detectable landmines pose a particularly insidious threat to humanitarian deminers as well as innocent civilians in a post-conflict environment," remarked Lincoln P. Bloomfield, Jr., the Special Representative of the President and Secretary of State for Mine Action who also serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs. "Our action meets the first major goal in our new policy, which forswears the use by the United States of non-detectable mines now and all persistent mines after 2010."

This prohibition on the use of non-detectable landmines covers both anti-personnel as well as anti-vehicle mines. The United States action surpasses the detectability requirements of both international landmine treaties: the Amended Mines Protocol to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons to which the United States is a party, and the "Ottawa Convention" which relates to anti-personnel mines.

To learn more about United States landmine policy and the U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action Program, visit www.state.gov/t/pm/wra.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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