Why. Antivehicle Mines. should also be banned. thomas küchenmeister. Antipersonnel. effects of. Antivehicle Mines. - PDF

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thomas küchenmeister Antipersonnel effects of Antivehicle Mines Information Paper Why Antivehicle Mines should also be banned German Initiative to Ban Landmines Bread for the World Christoffel Mission

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thomas küchenmeister Antipersonnel effects of Antivehicle Mines Information Paper Why Antivehicle Mines should also be banned German Initiative to Ban Landmines Bread for the World Christoffel Mission for the Blind German Justitia et Pax Commission German Committee for Freedom from Hunger German Caritas Social Service Agency of the Evangelical Church in Germany EIRENE International Handicap International Germany Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Kindernothilfe (Help for Children in Need) medico international Misereor OXFAM Germany Pax Christi Solidarity Service International terre des hommes UNICEF Germany Berlin, January 2000 CONTACT: German Initiative to Ban Landmines Website-Project Thomas Küchenmeister C/O BITS Rykestraße Berlin, Germany Telefon: +49 (0) Fax: +49 (0) Homepage: IMPRINT: Cover photo: Sean Sutton / MAG (Booby trap with AT mines and mortar ammunition fuzed by an antipersonnel mine. Found in Angola) Special thanks to Norwegian Peoples Aid, Mines Advisory Group / MAG and Stefan Küchenmeister 2000, German Initiative to Ban Landmines Editor: Misereor, Mozartstr. 9, Aachen, Germany Layout: Misereor Medienproduktion und Vertriebsgesellschaft, Aachen, Germany antipersonnel effects of antivehicle mines introduction A s is generally known, the Ottawa Convention tries to impose a total ban on antipersonnel (AP) mines, yet at the same time denies that anti-tank/anti-vehicle (AT/AV) mines and antihandling devices are, or were, ever part of the problem. Not only do AT/AV-mines cause severe civilian suffering, due to their sensitive fuzes and anti-handling devices (AHD), they often function just like AP mines. Furthermore, the data presented increases the perception, that a lot of existing AT/AV mine types are suspected to violate the CCW- and Ottawa- Treaty. This discussion paper indicates that international law must address these misfittings in order to overcome the worldwide landmine problem. The German Initiative to Ban Landmines takes the position that AT/AV mines also represent a significant burden and danger to civilians in almost all mine affected nations. AT/ AV mines are deliberately used against civilians, just like AP mines. AT/ AV mines pose a considerable threat to the civilian population, and claim many victims. Especially since their explosive force makes their impacts all the more devastating, and usually fatal for several victims. Often AT/AV mines are laid together with AP mines to increase their destructive power yet further. Buildings, railway lines, roads and other infrastructures are often blocked with AT/AV mines. Due to the sensitive fuze technologies of AT/AV mines, which can also cause a mine explosion from an unintentional act, individual people are basically threatened by such mines when they move (either with or without a vehicle!) over/past/close to such a mine. Therefore the German Initiative to Ban Landmines is calling for a world-wide ban on the development, production, export and use of all types of landmines, including all types of AT/AV mines. step 1: ottawa From the German Initiative perspective, the first steps towards a total ban on landmines should be: Following the Ottawa diplomatic history all member states should be asked to reconfirm that AT/AV mine types equipped with, or suppliable with, anti handling devices and/or magnetic (influence) fuzes are banned by the treaty if they can be detonated by an unintentional act. All Ottawa Member States should also be asked to confirm that AT/AV mines, like antipersonnel mines, cause a significant threat to civilians in mine affected nations. An addendum with these confirmations should be attached to the existing treaty. step 2: ccw The CCW protocol 2 prohibits at least the use of mines, booby-traps or other devices which employ a mechanism or device specifically designed to detonate the munition by the presence of commonly available mine detectors as a result of their magnetic or other non-contact influence during normal use in detection operations (Article 3.5.). Article 3.6. prohibits the use of a self-deactivating mine equipped with an anti-handling device that is designed in such a manner that the anti-handling device is capable of functioning after the mine has ceased to be capable of functioning. Among other things the data collected in this discussion paper, increases the perception, that many existing AT/AV mine types equipped with an AHD and/or a magnetic (influence) fuze violate against these two CCW protocol II articles. All CCW and Ottawa member states should be asked to report all existing AT/AV mine stockpiles to the UN General Secretary. Ottawa Member States should provide this information within their article 7 reports. 1 Bread for the World, Christoffel Mission for the Blind, German Justitia et Pax Commission, German Committee for Freedom from Hunger, German Caritas, Social Service Agency of the Evangelical Church in Germany, EIRENE International, Handicap International Germany, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), Kindernothilfe (Help for Children in Need), medico international, Misereor, OXFAM Germany, Pax Christi, Solidarity Service International, terre des hommes, UNICEF Germany DM-31 (Germany) Anti tank mine equipped with a magnetic fuze and an anti handling device 1 step 3: export moratoria All CCW protocol II and all Ottawa member states should be asked to install an unilateral export moratorium for at least AT/ AV mines with anti handling devices and/or magnetic (influence) fuzes, comparable to the export ban on AP mines already in place in a significant number of states. step 4: effect oriented definitions In the view of the German Initiative to Ban Landmines an effect oriented mine definition has to be installed in existing landmine ban treaties like the Ottawa Convention or CCW protocol II. Effects of munitions, in addition to the design of munitions, should be of primary importance when considering the legality of weapons. At any rate, one member of the German Government (of the Social Democratic Party of Germany), already came out in support of a tighter ban on landmines at the Bad Honnef II meeting of the German Initiative to Ban Landmines. The German Federal Secretary for Economic Cooperation and Development said that the Ottawa Convention, through which mines that target human beings were banned two years ago, could only be a start We should prepare an Ottawa-2 Convention in which other weapons are also condemned, such as anti-vehicle mines. The papers key questions are: Which technological developments and production of landmine systems have taken place in the recent past? Are AT/AV mines (still) an integral component of military strategies? Are AT/AV mines also being (or have they been) used against civilians in crisis regions, and if so on what scale? What makes AT/AVmines a danger to civilians/ personnel? Are AT/ AV mines causing civilian deaths in crisis regions? Which technological developments and production of landmine systems have taken place in the recent past? As the Ottawa Convention was being drawn-up, the fear was often expressed that this Convention would bring in its wake extensive further technological development of non-prohibited mine systems. In retrospect, this fear appears to have been warranted. Some State Parties to the Convention have in many cases already completed integration of AP effects (e.g. anti-handling devices) into their AT/ AV systems, which has also made it significantly easier for those states to support the Ottawa process. From Germany for instance spent a good DM 2.2 billion on modernising (procurement only) the mine equipment of its Federal Armed Forces. Besides Germany also other countries such as the UK, the USA and Australia will all continue to be involved in modernisation and procurement activities over the next few years. During that period, Germany will spend at least DM 745 million on militarily-motivated mine technology. AT-2 (Germany) Anti tank mine with anti handling device. Prohibited by the Italian Law No. 374, 1997, rules for the ban of antipersonnel mines Mazac (France) Sensor fuzed area defence mine 2 The example of Germany (mine-related military expenditure in the next few years):2 System Time frame Costs Non-signatories such as Pakistan, India, Russia and the USA are currently having alternative APM weapons and/ or modern mine systems ( selfhealing minefields ) developed at considerable expense (Defense News, ). With respect to the development of alternative APM weapons, the US Department of Defense is hoping for broad, international participation by mine-producing companies (Defense News, ). This is (in DM, as at 1999) ARGES off-route AT mine (procurement 11,000 units) million procurement conventionally-laid AT mine DM 31 stage 2/3 (including technical conversion and mine-delivery equipment MiVS 85), GPS positioning of DM 31 mine million R&D for technical conversion DM 31 and MiVS million FEAMIS (R&D for fitting remote control to mines, including ARGES AT mine) million FEAMIS systems procurement million R&D simulator for AT directional mine million support to technological development of mine delivery system (Skorpion) ff 2.4 million technological studies of military demining systems ff 2.0 million R&D AAMIS minefield reconnaissance ff 2.6 million R&D mobile mine detection and clearance unit (MMSR) ff 18.6 million procurement mine clearance ladder 80 (1,680 units) million mine protection for armoured infantry fighting vehicle MARDER million mine clearing tank Keiler (procurement 2 lots) million Total million because in South Africa, Sweden, Germany and the UK, research is under way into alternative APM weapons. In addition, a glance at current patent statistics for landmine technology reveals uninterrupted and comprehensive development activity in the field of modern mine technology. Here it is European, and especially German, companies which are still seen to be particularly active. The UK for instance is procuring an area defence mine, for which Rheinmetall has submitted a bid with COBRA. Australia intends to procure the new DASA submunition dispenser TAURUS 350A, and many other countries are procuring rocket launchers (e.g. MARS) or other dispenser weapons (AFDS, DWS 39) with which AT/AV mines can be remote-delivered. Area defence mines are currently also being offered as an optional module in complex surveillance technology systems (Jane s International Defense Review, 01/ 99). Fuzes (e.g. tilt-rod fuzes) are also being offered for retrofit with older AT/AV mines. The key focus of mine modernisation activities is on developing mines/ mine systems that can be remote-delivered, that can be programmed, that utilise new explosives and multiple sensors to generate increased and certain destructive power, and that can be remote-controlled. Furthermore, almost all modern AT/ AV mines possess fuze types or antihandling devices which mean they can be activated by people. As such they are clearly also de facto AP mines. 2 This does not include the costs for increasing the battle effectiveness of the mine launcher Skorpion (150 vehicles), and of the rocket launcher/at-2 rocket-launched mines (154 vehicles). Development phases ( ), procurement (from 2005). Wehrtechnik III/1999, p Are AT/AV mines (still) an integral component of military strategies? Mine warfare still has a future despite the Ottawa Convention. The above-mentioned modernisation and procurement activities speak for themselves. Investment in mine combat continues, despite some precarious reductions in investment expenditure in the arms sector, e.g. in Germany. Mines continue to play a pivotal role in the military strategies of armies. In response to an enquiry made by the German Federal Foreign Office concerning the necessity of AT/AV mines, the German Federal Ministry of Defence explained that in recent years the Federal Armed Forces had become even more dependent on technical resources (e.g. mines) for guaranteeing national and alliance defence interests, due to the reduction in personnel numbers. Abandoning the use of anti-tank mines in defence operations would increase the risk faced by forces on the ground to an unwarranted degree. (Welt am Sonntag, ). Mines are also an elementary component of the equipment of German crisis response forces. Basically speaking it is to be feared that, the further the militarisation of foreign policy proceeds, and the more the conviction that crises can be solved through the use of modern weapons technology gain the upper hand, then the more the use of modern types of weapons will increase. The most recent examples of this were provided by the NATO states (use of AT/AV mines, cluster bombs in Kosovo), Russia (use of AT/AV and AP mines in Chechnya), or India and Pakistan (use of AT/AV and AP mines in the Kashmir war). States such as the USA, China, Pakistan and India still consider the use of mines AP as absolutely essential. The EU member state Finland (which secures its border with Russia), and the NATO members 4 Turkey (use of mines against the Kurds, mining of the buffer zone in Cyprus) and Greece (mining of the border with Turkey, mining of the buffer zone in Cyprus) take a similar stance. Are AT/AV mines also being (or have they been) used against civilians in crisis regions, and if so on what scale? The widespread view that AT/AV mines are not found that often in mined areas (European Security 10/99) is easy to refute. Even the highly incomplete UN/DHA mine database identifies approximately 10 million AT/AV mines laid worldwide, not including e.g. Egyptian minefields, where around 10 million AT/AV mines are presumed to have been in place since the 2 nd World War. AT/AV mines are also used against civilians deliberately, just like AP mines. Often, AT/AV mines are laid together with AP mines to increase their destructive power yet further. Buildings, railway lines, roads and other infrastructures are often blocked with AT/AV mines. The intention is to cut off the food supply to the population, as in Rwanda for instance:...in Rwanda, food distributions in Ruhengeri and western Gitarama prefectures remain suspended after anti-tank mine incident in early September in Ruhengeri... WFP Emergency Report No. 38 of 1998, Date: 25 September 1998). Similar events are occurring in the Angolan civil war, where AT/AV mines fitted with modern light-sensitive fuzes manufactured in Yugoslavia are used to block Helicopter Mine (Austria) paths and roads, which is currently preventing the population there from receiving vital food supplies. The mines also target demining teams, who now feel barely able to clear these extremely dangerous mines. According to expert opinion, clearing AT/ AV mines is basically significantly more dangerous, time-consuming and thus more costly than is the case with AP mines. This alone provides a good argument for voting in favour of extending the ban. Not least, these demining activities indirectly tie-up resources urgently needed to aid victims. In Burundi too, for instance, UNO is expressing concern over the growing threat posed by AT/AV mines: Anti-tank mines are becoming a growing concern on Burundi s major roads. (DHA/ Humanitarian Coordination Unit P.B Bujumbura, Burundi, 1997). Even the military are warning against the growing threat posed by AT/AV mines. 26 % of all US American soldiers who died during Operation Restore Hope (Somalia) were the victims of AT/AV mines. Whereas the rate of vehicle loss due to AT/AV mines in the US Army during the 2 nd World War was still only 23 %, this figure rose to 56 % during the Korean War, and finally reached 70 % in the Viet Nam war (Wilhelm Schneck, Countermine Systems Directorate, Ft. Belvoir, VA 1995). A further indicator of this trend can be seen in the increased investment activity by many armies in improving mine protection for their vehicles. As indicated above, Germany for instance is intending to spend some DM 144 million on improved mine protection for the MARDER tank. This can only be considered a response to the threat posed by AT/AV mines, since AP mines are hardly likely to pose any threat to this model of tank. The decision to procure fully-protected transport vehicles, which had been specially developed for deployment in Kosovo, also seems to have been similarly motivated. This because the vehicle is supposedly armoured such that not even anti-tank mines or anti-tank grenades can damage it (Handelsblatt, Sunday, 31 October 1999). Experience shows that 90 % of all injuries suffered by the victims of war in today s crisis regions are caused by small arms, which also include landmines. The planned accession to NATO by Eastern European states (which in some cases has already taken place) raises the probability of an increase in exports of small arms of this kind. The standardisation of weapons systems in these countries which is associated with accession will render many of the older types of weapons in the arsenals of the Eastern European states simply obsolete. This, in turn, could encourage those states to become active on black markets, thus generating an increase in exports to conflict regions. With respect to AP mines, of the new NATO members only Hungary and the Czech Republic have ratified the Ottawa Convention. To date, Poland has only signed. The same applies to Romania. At a recent British arms fair, a Romanian company was even still offering AP mines for sale. Of the other potential candidates for accession, for instance the Baltic states, so far only Lithuania has signed the Convention. All these Eastern European states are known to possess in some cases considerable mine production capacities, or to have large stockpiles of mines in their army depots. M 15 (USA) Anti-tank mine with anti handling device, used in Angola, Cambodia, Cyprus, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Somalia HPD Anti-tank Mine (France) Anti-tank mine with magnetic fuze and anti handling device 5 What makes AT/AV mines a danger to civilians/personnel? Activation of an AP mine usually requires direct contact with its fuze. An AT/AV mine can be activated in the same way, although in many cases there is a considerably more complex range of possible ways to detonate them. If for instance a person steps on an AP mine without touching its pressure-activated fuze, the mine usually does not explode. However, if this happens with a pressureactivated AT/AV mine which is also fitted with an anti-handling device or a tilt-rod, the mine will explode, resulting in the certain death of the victim. Besides this AT/AV mines are unable to (reliably) distinguish between military and civilian vehicles. This applies to all AT/AV mines, regardless of whether they are activated by pressure-sensitive fuzes, pull-activated fuzes, tilt-rod fuzes or by sensors, even though this is often disputed by the mine-producing industry and the military. The German COBRA mine for instance, fitted with seismic and acoustic sensors, is designed to...reliably identify and not combat light commercial and utility vehicles (German Federal Minister of Finance, 1995). However, no explanation is provided of how the mine reacts to heavy vehicles including civilian buses or the like. Military trade journals at least are warning against the existing risks of this sophisticated development (COBRA), especially when rocket-delivered (Soldat und Technik, 1996). When AT/AV mines are fitted with an anti-handling (anti-lift, anti-disturbance) device, the potential risk to civilians is even higher (see below). Merely approaching such mines, standing close to them or touching them gently can cause them to explode, which means certain death for the victim. Antihandling devices are, after all, designed to make the separate deployment of AP mines superfluous, and prevent an AT/AV mine from being cleared. Without a doubt, this means that AT/AV mines possess characteristics of AP mines, by virtue of DM-11 (Germany) Anti tank mine, used in Somalia. The mine is fuz
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