20 March 2008

On 17 March, Burundi completed the destruction of its antipersonnel mine stockpile, just two weeks ahead of its 1 April deadline under Article 4 of the Mine Ban Treaty. The final destruction ceremony took place at the Permanent Destruction Center of the National Defense Force (FDN) in Mudubugu in the province of Bubanza.

The ceremony was attended by the President of the Republic of Burundi, the Minister of Public Security, the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary General, as well as representatives from the international community including Ambassadors, representatives of UN agencies, and ICBL members Handicap International Belgium and Mines Advisory Group (MAG).

In this final ceremony, a total of 664 antipersonnel mines – 591 POMZ-2M and 73 TS 50 mines – were destroyed.

Burundi is retaining four mines (2 POMZ-2M and 2 TS 50) for mine clearance training purposes under Article 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty. The Burundi Army and the Burundi Mine Action Coordination Center (BURMACC) were assisted in this destruction by the UNDP and MAG. Of the mines destroyed, 12 POMZ-2M mines were originally part of the stockpile of the Conseil National pour la Défense de la Démocratie-Forcespour la Défense de la Démocratie (CNDD-FDD), the former armed opposition.

The CNDD-FDD pledged to destroy this stockpile as a signatory of the Deed of Commitment in 2003, but in the end, their stocks were merged with those of the government they joined, and all stocks were destroyed together.