Africa: Landmines Actions, 8/30/97

Africa: Landmines Actions, 8/30/97

Africa: Landmines Actions

Date distributed (ymd): 970830

Document reposted by APIC

This posting contains several short documents on actions in connection with the Oslo Conference to negotiate the terms of the international treaty banning anti-personnel landmines. Each focuses on the need to prevent the U.S. from undermining the treaty by inserting loopholes for continued use in Korea and for joint dissemination of anti-personnel and anti-tank mines. President Clinton's decision this month to participate in these negotiations leading up to comprehensive treaty signing in Ottawa in December is the welcome result of ongoing pressure from a host of groups. Ban landmine campaigners, however, stress that that it is critical that the US also drop its efforts to weaken the treaty through inserting loopholes.

The documents below are: (1) a call from the Mozambican Campaign to Ban Landmines for demonstrations against US efforts to weaken the treaty, (2) a press release from the ICBL delegation at the Oslo Conference, and (3) a reminder, from the US Campaign to Ban Landmines, to contact US officials as the Oslo Conference begins. Groups which organized a call-in to the President for the last week of August have extended the action through the first week of September.


Mozambican Campaign Against Landmines

Demonstration at US Embassy in Maputo

On September 9th the Mozambican Campaign Against Landmines (CMCM) will hold a demonstration in front of the American Embassy in Maputo. We are calling on other Campaigns to show solidarity with this action by organising similar events in your countries of origin. We would like to see a wave of such demonstrations throughout the Oslo Conference in order to provide support to our colleagues in Oslo trying to prevent the U.S. from weakening the treaty.

We believe that if the United States participates in the Ottawa process, applying pressure for exceptions for landmine use in Korea and the continued use of so-called "smart mines" throughout the world, the resulting treaty will not be a true ban. We find this unacceptable. While we are all encouraged by the results of the recent Brussels Conference, the CMCM is very worried about the possible weakening or undermining of the integrity of the treaty.

As more and more countries join the process it is becoming increasingly evident that there is a danger of loopholes, exceptions and reservations. We firmly believe that the integrity of the treaty is our principal concern, and that the support of any countries - be it the USA or others - is not worth paying the price of a faulty treaty.

With this in mind, we intend to hold a peaceful demonstration in front of the US Embassy on September 9th of this year. The objective will be to demonstrate our anger at the maintenance of the US position and to support our colleagues in Oslo engaged in day to day negotiations of the treaty.

We are calling on other Campaigns in the ICBL (Interantional Campaign to Ban Landmines) to carry out similar actions either simultaneously or during the same period. A wave of such protests across the countries where the ICBL is located will send a clear signal to the United States that we are not interested in their participation if they do not share our objective of a total ban!

Oslo is the final push before the treaty signing in Ottawa. It is time to take to the streets and show the United States and others where we stand!!!

We look forward to hearing from you,

The Mozambican Campaign Against Landmines (CMCM) Graham Saul, Advocacy Officer Joint Oxfam Advocacy Program in Mozambique Tel/Fax: 258-1-304674 Email: Julio Mapote, CMCM Coordinator Email:


ICBL Press Release, Oslo

NGOs Welcome Oslo Mine Ban Negotiations: Don't Weaken the Treaty!

For Immediate Release - August 29, 1997

For Additional Information Contact: Mary Wareham, International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Mobile Tel: 47-913-49-005 Anne Hege Simonsen, Norwegian Campaign to Ban Landmines, Mobile Tel: 47-913-09-592

At a joint press briefing with Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Jan Egeland today, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) welcomed the negotiations on an international treaty banning antipersonnel landmines beginning next week in Oslo, but cautioned that nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and pro-ban governments such as Norway must be vigilant in opposing possible efforts to weaken the treaty.

Jody Williams, of the US-based Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, and the coordinator of the ICBL, said, "If the international community is to be successful in dealing with the humanitarian crisis caused by antipersonnel mines, this must be a true ban treaty, with no exceptions, no loopholes, and no reservations." The ICBL expects that the negotiations will be completed in three weeks in Oslo, and that a strong treaty will emerge. The campaign has recommended several changes in the existing draft treaty, notably in the provisions on the definition and mines for training purposes, and the addition of language supporting assistance for mine victims.

"Our greatest concern is that the treaty will be weakened or even undermined by various proposals, including some that have already been floated by several governments," said Ms. Williams. These include exceptions for so-called "smart" mines, geographic exceptions, and lengthy delay of the date the treaty enters into force. "We will work closely with pro-ban governments such as Norway to ensure that we have a true ban treaty that takes effect as soon as possible," said Ms. Williams. The ICBL is a coalition of more than 1,000 NGOs in nearly sixty countries.

Norway has invited the ICBL to participate in the negotiations as an observer. Since last October the ICBL has worked in cooperation with a number of governments to develop and promote the ban treaty. "Norway has been a true leader internationally in the effort to eradicate this horrendous and indiscriminate weapon," said Ms. Williams. The ICBL believes this treaty represents the best means of achieving an effective ban rapidly. The large number of nations participating (more than 100,including major former producers, exporters and users) will establish the international norm against any use of antipersonnel mines and will permit the stigmatization of those who refuse to sign now.

In addition to participating in the diplomatic conference, the ICBL will hold an NGO Forum on the future of the ban movement from September 7-10 and will hold numerous public events in Oslo.

# # #

Contacts for International Campaign:

NGO Secretariat

PO Box 8844 Youngstorget 0028 Oslo Norway

tel 47 22 03 77 60 or 47 22 03 77 77

mobile: 47 913 49 005 fax 47 22 20 09 40 or 47 22 20 08 70

email: or


US Campaign to Ban Landmines

These are some actions you can take to ask President Clinton to ban AP mines and negotiate a true ban treaty in Oslo. Tell him we must have a treaty with no exceptions, no loopholes and no reservations.

Call, Fax and Email

(1) President Clinton:

The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton

President of the United States of America

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, D.C. 20500

Tel. +1-202-456-1111, Fax: +1-202-456-2461


(2) Robert Bell, National Security Council

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, D.C. 20500

tel: +1-202-456-9191, fax: +1-202-456-9190

(3) The Honorable Madeline Albright, Secretary of State,

Department of State,

2201 C St NW, Washington DC 20520

fax: 202-647-1533,

Please forward copies to:

US Campaign to Ban Landmines,

2001 S Street,NW Suite 740,

Washington, DC 20009

Ph +202-483-9222 Fax +202-483-9312

Email: or




From: Message-Id: <> Date: Sat, 30 Aug 1997 13:41:46 -0500 Subject: Africa: Landmines Actions

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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