The Research Centre of Ethno-regional Studies understake an inter-institutional and pluridisciplinary role to play concerned with ethnical and regional issues, and it to publish the results of contemporary research and translations in different series of Working Papers. The publication of this volume was made possible by the Budapest Forum and a grant from OTKA /No. T 029747 és az OTKA No. T T 022600/.
Európai integrációs tanulmányainkat azzal a céllal adjuk ki, hogy segítsék az új tudományos eredmények vitáit és terjedését, dokumentum- illetve fordítás-sorozatunk pedig hiányt pótló tudományos anyagokat próbál elérhetõvé tenni. A publikációk a szerzõk véleményét tartalmazzák, amelyekért maguk a szerzõk vállalnak felelõsséget. E dokumentum több intézmény együttmûködésének eredménye: az egri Társadalomtudományi OTDK, a Budapest Fórum, az MTA PTI Etnoregionális Kutatóközpontja és az MTA Politikai Tudományok Intézete mûködött közre a publikáció elõkészítésében. A tanulmány megjelenését az MTA Politikai Tudományok Intézetének segítsége tette lehetõvé. Kiadásához a Budapest Fórum, valamint az OTKA T 029747 és a T 022600 számú kutatási keret biztosít anyagi hátteret.
© Tamás Csapody - Budapest, 2000.
English translation by Jenõ Demeczky
Directed by Mr. A.Gergely András et Lévai Imre
Kiadni, másolni csak kiadó vagy a szerzõ írásos engedélyével és az MTA Politikai Tudományok Intézetének hozzájárulásával lehet.
All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, in any form (except by reviewers for the public press or the scientific institutions) the prior permission writing from the publishers or the author.
Mots clés: Hungary, arms, army, arms control, landmines, weapons prohibited, military circles, Ottawa Treaty, international policy, international law, NGO, human rights, civil organisation
Tárgyszavak:Magyarország, fegyverek, hadsereg, taposóaknák, biztonságpolitika, Ottawai Egyezmény, nemzetközi politika, nemzetközi jog, antimilitarista mozgalom, emberi jogok, civil szervezetek
ISBN 963 9098 39 1
Institut for Political Science
of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
LANDMINES IN HUNGARY
COUNTRY REPORT FOR LANDMINE MONITOR 2000
MADE ON BEHALF
OF THE INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO BAN LANDMINES (ICBL)
I. MINED AREAS
There are no contiguous mined areas in Hungary, since the mine barrage at the western border of the country has been taken up from 1965 to 1970. However, there are “mine and munitions contaminated areas” in Hungary. “There is no official register” of underground objects. Thus, the above mentioned mine and munitions contaminated areas are qualified as "mined areas" according to the definition of clause 2.(5.) of the Ottawa Treaty (Treaty in the following), ratified by Hungary as well.
Mined areas in Hungary come from three periods and three “sources”.
1. Mined areas coming from the Second World War
There are still mined areas in Hungary, originating from WWII (1944-1945). Both German and Soviet troops deployed various kinds of mines, such as plate mines, jumping mines, log mines, tripwire mines, glass mines, POMZ type fragmentation landmines, concrete mines, surprise mines, and antitank mines. From 1945 to 1986, Hungarian bomb-disposal experts have cleared 70,000 hectares, annihilating more than 13 million pieces of various kinds of mines, bombs, and artillery munitions.
There is only one known area, mined during the Second World War, near village Nagybajom, part of the so-called Margaret-line, extending from the Southwest corner of Lake Balaton to river Dráva. When preparing for the Soviet attack, German and Hungarian troops deployed here a multi-level defense system. Its first line was a 5-7 kilometres deep mined strip, running along Barcs, Nagyatád, Nagybajom, Mesztegnyõ, and Marcali. Nagybajom village is situated roughly midway between the Southwest corner of Lake Balaton, and the current Croatian border, by motor road 61. Three kilometres North to the centre of Nagybajom, a half-plain, half-hilly and woody area of 11,000 hectares belonged to the mined area originally. For the time being, only a part of the woody hills (around 3,000-5,000 hectares) is qualified as mined area, lying in the administrative territory of Nagybajom and Böhönye villages. The plain part of the originally mined area is used as a plough-land nowadays by agricultural cultivation. There is no lumbering in the woody part of the mined area. Since this territory belongs to the Duna-Dráva National Park, (a protected area because of the rare animals living there), forest cultivation is subject to special permission. However, mine accidents were recorded in this area in the 1950s for the last time. Annually one or two antipersonnel or landmines are found in this wood.
Since 1977, 135 landmines have been found in the environs of Marcali, located along the former Margaret-line, around 30 kilometres to the north of Nagybajom (1996: four pieces, 1997: six pieces, 1998: eight pieces, 1999: three pieces). In the past thirty years there were no mine accidents in this area.
The First Bomb-disposal and Mine-searcher Battalion of the Hungarian Army have annihilated 54 anti-personnel mines, and 87 antitank mines in Hungary, from the 1st of January 1994, to the 31st of December 1999. These mines were partly Hungarian made and deployed ERA-33 type mines, partly German made and deployed SMI-35 and SMI-44 type jumping mines, and other mines made and deployed by Soviet military forces. Annually 2,500 registrations come to the Battalion on average (1998: 2,627; 1999: 2,302). Registrations related to landmines are less and less. There are no focal points of mine occurrence, they are found evenly scattered throughout the country, 2-4 of them in a given place at most. Bomb-disposal experts usually search for other explosives in 1-2 meters zone of the found mine. Their workload does not allow for more extensive search, and they do not consider it necessary by all means. Found landmines are exploded on the spot, antitank mines are destroyed at the nearest suitable place. The last injury originating from mine accident happened in 1962 at the Battalion. It was non-fatal.
2. Mined areas after the Soviet army
Soviet troops resided in 104 Hungarian settlements, from 1944 to the 19th [29th] of June 1991. Approximately 40,000-70,000 soldiers formed that part of the Soviet Army, using 288 military objects. Technical corps of the Hungarian Army (at Szeged, Szentes, Baja, Ercsi settlements), the First Bomb-disposal and Mine-searcher Battalion of the Hungarian Army, and the State Privatisation Enterprise PLC (Állami Privatizációs és Vagyonkezelõ Rt.) the latter involving civil enterprises, performed demining of fields, barracks, military bases, shooting-ranges and drill grounds previously used by the Soviet Army. Inhabited barracks, taken over from the Soviet Army, were examined for explosives; green areas were combed to 20-centimetre depth. These properties were partly sold then. But shooting-ranges and drill grounds used by the Soviet Army were not examined to full extent. Road networks in shooting-ranges were demined in 2-3 meters width. Foresters and local inhabitants do not dare to enter the woods, surrounding drill grounds, they deem it risky.
Several thousands of mines were found in the grounds previously used by the Soviet Army, but they were less than 10,000. However, 95% of mines found in former Soviet military objects were for training. Their label UCSEBNO means 'for training' in Russian.
Mines of Soviet origin were found in the shooting-ranges, and drill grounds of Kunmadaras, Veszprém, Orgovány, Kecskemét, and Debrecen. Shooting-ranges near Esztergom, Kecskemét and Táborfalva were found to be the most contaminated ones.
One thousand and two hundred Soviet training mines were found in the shooting-range near Táborfalva, formerly used by Soviet troops. In the July of 1998, more than 200 training mines and other missiles were found in a waste steel shipment arriving to the furnace of Diósgyõr Steel-Works. Place of origin of these mines was not published. There are a few demined shooting-ranges in Hungary: the military object in Taszár, formerly used by Soviet and Hungarian troops (since 1996 it is used by American troops); the shooting-ranges in Táborfalva, Veszprém, and Pécsvárad, used by IFOR/SFOR corps, also rented by British, Italian, Danish, Slovenian, Dutch, and Belgian troops.
The First Bomb-disposal and Mine-searcher Battalion of the Hungarian Army, cleaning territories formerly used by the Soviet Army from explosives, found 2,300 antitank mines from the 1st of January 1994, to the 31st of December 1999. Types of these antitank mines were: TM-57, metal, Soviet made; TM-62, plastic, Soviet made; TMK-2, metal, Soviet made. In addition, they took up 35 antipersonnel mines, most of them POMZ-2 type, Soviet made, metal mine. Up to 95% of those 2,335 mines found by The First Bomb-disposal and Mine-searcher Battalion of the Hungarian Army during this period were training mines.
3. Mined areas coming from the war in Yugoslavia
During disintegration of the former Yugoslavia, especially in the periods of the Serbian-Croatian war (1991-1992, 1994-1995), mine barrages were deployed on a 66-kilometer long section of the Hungarian-Yugoslavian border, starting at the stream-in of river Dráva to the Danube. These minefields were created at the Yugoslavian side of the border, by Serbian military corps (Yugoslav People's Army), and para-military troops (Krajinian Serb Republic). The border section, located to the west from the current Yugoslavia-Croatia-Hungary triple border as far as Drávaszabolcs, is full of landmines (PMR-2 type, concrete Yugoslavian made; tripwire PMR-2A type, metal, Yugoslavian made; tripwire OMSZ-2 type), and antitank mines (TMM-1 type, metal, Yugoslavian made; TMPR-6 type, plastic, Yugoslavian made). Presumably in 1995, Serbian soldiers have replaced detonators of the minefields deployed from 1991. It is likely that Serbians and possibly Croatians deployed mines in the order of ten thousands to form contiguous mine blockade. There is not any detailed map of those minefields.
Mines were usually deployed within a few meters to the Hungarian border, some of them stretching into Hungarian territory from a few centimetres to 3 meters depth. In some cases, craters or splinters of mines, exploded on the Yugoslavian side, reached Hungarian land. These events were followed by a thorough search of the area concerned. Border guards and bomb-disposal experts of the Hungarian Army neutralised all mines found in Hungarian ground. Erdõpuszta, Kölked, Udvar, Lippó, Ivándárda, Old, Alsószentmárton, Magyarboly, and Drávaszabolcs are well known settlements having such kind of mine deployment in their outskirts.
Hungarian authorities either prohibited local residents from doing agricultural work, or strongly advised them to be cautious to a greater extent. Hungarian border guard patrols are allowed to approach these sections of the border to one thousand meters. According to the competent authority of the Hungarian Border Guard, they have installed one hundred warning boards in the Hungarian area facing the mined border line, and “strongly advised local inhabitants to take the ‘State Border' and 'Caution! Landmine!' boards seriously, and do not approach dangerous ground”. Through the good offices of the Management of Duna-Dráva National Park, I had the opportunity to walk all over two mine-contaminated fields personally.
Some 3 kilometres of the borderline was walked all over at the first site between sections 0.25-0.16 from Lanka-channel, along river Dráva, situated to the South of Alsószentmárton and Old. This part of the Hungarian-Croatian border is of the so-called wet-dry type, full of woods, bushes and moss. Collaterally with the border, a few meters to it, ribbons the dam for Dráva, which serves as a road as well. Both sides of the dam belong to Hungary, but on the border side there is no mowing or bush cleaning, because of the landmines. Location, types, and number of landmines in that slip is unknown. At a certain location (0.16 section) the border and the dam drift apart from each other, and a footpath runs further, near the border. About 8 meters to the path, on the Croatian side of the border, I saw a concentric impact, tripwire splinter mine (metal, POMZ type), fixed above the ground level. The metal spike and the stripwire could be seen without any doubt. This 5-6 kilometres long section probably hides a great amount of landmines. There were three white boundary-stones in the section I walked over, approximately one meter tall, fixed on the top of small mounds, having the legend “MNK” (Hungarian People's Republic). There were three other boards of one meter width installed within this section, 1.5 meters above the ground, saying: “State Border” “Danger of Explosion”. (There was not any board near the splinter mine I observed.) There are no patrols on the Croatian side of the border, because of the landmines.
On the second site I patrolled some 9 kilometres of the borderline partly on foot, partly by car. It is to the direction of Mohács, Kölked, and Erdõfû, on the right bank of river Danube at Macskaluk and Vizslak, and another section of the border parting from Danube. The mined area in this section lies in an 80 to 100 meters distance from the dam, following the line of the border and river Danube. It is on the former Yugoslavian, now Croatian side of the border. Both sides of the dam are in Hungary, but the side facing Croatia has not been mowed since 1991, because of the landmines. The cart-road in Croatia, following the line of the dam, lies in former East Croatia, which was controlled temporarily by UN administration (UNTAES). This road was used by UN troops at that time. Probably the UN troops had installed the single observable board on the Croatian side, which was turned over, therefore can not be read. I presume this yellow board is a warning for landmines. On the Hungarian side there are three “MNK”, and three “Danger of Explosion” boards. There are two big boards in Croatia, warning for “Mines” in a 500 to 1000 meters distance to the border at that point, where the borderline turns sharply to the West, and the dam runs further on Croatian territory. Although these boards are hardly readable even using field glasses, they are probably conforming to international standards, warning for landmines in three languages. The border section leaving the line of river Danube, continues in an almost impenetrable thick forest in a wet area, full of streams and ponds, along the former technical barrier, registered from 1950 to 1965 as a minefield. There are no explosion or landmine warning boards on either side of this six kilometre long border section in visual distance. (There are border stones.) There is no border guard on the Croatian side.
The First Bomb-disposal and Mine-searcher Battalion of the Hungarian Army destroyed six landmines (type: PMR-2), and six antitank mines (types: TMM-1 and TMPR-6) in this border section from the 1st of January 1994, to the 31st of December 1999.
From 1991 to March 2000, two mine accidents became known on the Hungarian side of this 66 kilometer long border section. On the above mentioned first borderline, a young pregnant women, resident of Alsószentmárton, belonging to the rom ethnic minority, step on a landmine when she was gathering snails, according to her statement on Hungarian territory, and lost her left leg in the spring of 1993. She claimed two million HUF (app. 8,000 USD) compensation from settlement Old, responsible for the area, because of the “lack of border signs”. However, she lost the damage suit.
Despite the accident, the young women gave birth to a healthy baby. For the time being, she suffers great pains, living in miserable circumstances with thirteen other persons at her mother's house in Alsószentmárton. She got a new artificial leg in 1995.
The other mine accident happened in the July of 1995. A young man of Veszprém, aged 18, in spite of repeated warnings of the local population, following the unused railway from Magyarbóly to Pélmonostor (Beli Manastir), strayed to the other side of the border near Kislippó. He stepped on a tripwire antipersonnel mine at a 53 meter distance from the border, in Croatia. He was taken to the hospital of Mohács, where splinters were removed from both of his legs. His injury healed up within eight days.
The University Hospital for Traumatology of the Medical University of Pécs (POTE), treated three victims of mine accidents from 1991 to April 2000. Two persons were from Bosnia-Herzegovina, the third person was from Croatia.
Most of the mines “extending over the border” are located in the territory belonging to the Management of Duna-Dráva National Park. On the 17th of December 1999, Hungary entered into an agreement with Croatia to establish a joint nature reserve within three years, including Kopácsi-rét (Kopacki Rit Special Zoological Park and Nature Reserve). One of the obstacles to establish the joint nature conservation area, and achieve watery rehabilitation of Kopácsi-rét, having a protected area of 17,000 hectares, is the fact that around 200,000 landmines were deployed in the flood area wood of Kopácsi-rét. Mine clearance has to be carried out by the Croatian party, but in order to found the joint nature reserve, Hungary and Croatia submitted a common application to the international environment protection competition, Global Environmental Facility (GEF). Announcement of the results of this competition is to be expected in May 2000.
II. PRODUCTION, EXPORT, AND DESTRUCTION OF LANDMINES
Hungarian Mechanical Works (Magyar Mechanikai Mûvek, MMM) has had exclusive competence in mine production since 1936. It has had the sole title for mine destruction as well since 1995. Its predecessor, the Arms Factory was established as a war factory. Its territory now extends to 32 hectares. Since its foundation, the factory has performed twin tasks. Its primary task was “research”, “development”, and “production” of “artillery ammunition, technical explosives, and other explosives” for the prevailing Hungarian Army. Its secondary task was to “meet all demands of explosives for the prevailing mining industry”.
It is located near Törökbálint, about 15 kilometres from Budapest, in one and a half-kilometre distance from several highways, on Tétényi-plateau. MMM produced antipersonnel mines of Hungarian design: ÉRA-33, impregnated paper, from ?-1949, ? pieces [antitank version of this type was also produced]; EKA-62, ?, 1962-1967, some 5,000-10,000 pieces; M-49, wood, 1950-?, some 1,200,000 pieces; M-62, plastic, 1962-1970/1972, around 400 ,000-1,000,000 pieces; GYATA-64, plastic, 1964-1974, some 400,000 pieces; and also made landmines according to a Soviet license: POMZ-1, wood; POMZ-2, metal, 1947-1953, some 60,000-120,000 pieces in all. Antitank mines of Hungarian design were also manufactured there: LÕTAK, impregnated linen, ?1943-1945, some 20,000-40,000 pieces; M-43, impregnated paper, 1943-1945, some 100,000-200,000 pieces; FAHAK, wood, 1949-1953, some 30,000-40,000 pieces; UKA-63, metal, 1963-1974, about 400,000 pieces. Mines were produced partly for the defense of the South and West border of Hungary (technical barriers: 1949-1965), partly for the Hungarian Army (1943-1974). MMM also provided renewal services for the Hungarian Army from 1960 to 1996.
Before 1990, Hungary had exported mines M-62, GYATA-64, and UKA-63. Also, prior to 1990, Hungary had imported MON-50, MON-100, and MON-200 type Soviet made, directional fragmentation anti-personnel metal mines, and TM-62P3 type, Bulgarian made, antitank plastic mines, some 30,000-50,000 pieces in all). Since 1990, Hungary has not been involved any export or import activity related to mines.
Mine export was decided (as well as any other kind of arms export) by the Ministry of Defense, and managed by Technology Foreign Trade Enterprise. Before 1990, Hungarian Mechanical Works (Magyar Mechanikai Mûvek, MMM) had no export licence, but since that, it has been entitled to pursue export activities independently. When exporting mines, Hungary usually stipulated that exported mines should have not been reexported to third countries. That is, mines were exported by end user certificate. It is known that Hungarian made antipersonnel mines were shipped to Angola, Lebanon (GYATA-64), and Cambodia (M-62). Hungarian made antitank mines were exported to Namibia and Eritrea (UKA-63). Hungary exported GYATA-64 type antipersonnel mines and UKA-63 type antitank mines to Yemen, and unknown type of mines to South Africa. It is known that Hungary exported the above mentioned mines, but it is unknown if these mines were shipped directly to the receiving countries, or through a third country that bought the mines by end user certificate, then reexported them. These mines might be exported without end user certificate as well. There are no available data concerning export quantities or further target countries. Taking into consideration Hungary's mine manufacturing capacity, and the fact that approximately 25,000,000 mines were deployed in the above mentioned countries during the past decades, I estimate the amount of Hungarian mine export in the order of several hundred thousands.
In “the past few decades” MMM has accomplished renewal of twenty to thirty million mines for the Hungarian Army. After their renewal (from 1964 to 1996 or 1998), mines of various guarantee periods (20/10/5 years) were returned to ammunition stores of Hungarian troops.
2. MMM was transformed to Mechanical Works Special PLC (Mechanikai Mûvek Speciális Rt.) on the 1st of January 1998. It is technically ready to mass-produce new types of mines. Development of a medium size, plastic, self-destructive type antitank mine, named HAK-1, equipped with electric detonator, was started in Hungary, in the early 1990s, and was finished by 1996. Production technology was developed for this mine, it was tested at the troops, and passed all tests for mass production.
Production of this mine, registered in the “official product list” of Mechanical Works Special PLC (Mechanikai Mûvek Speciális Rt.), hasnot been started only because of financial difficulties. The Hungarian Army intends to order 100,000 pieces of HAK-1 in 2000. NATO has also tested HAK-1.
MWS PLC is able to manufacture further types of mines, according to its “official technical information sheets”. The “comulative mine for destroying armoured carriers” is started using mechanical primer. It has not been named yet. To the contrary of the comulative mine and the HAK-1 mine, the “underwater comulative mine (VKA)” having also “official technical information sheet” is in production. In the past years, “a few hundred pieces” of VKA were produced and exported upon individual orders, for non-military purposes. (VKA mines were imported by Norway and Sweden to destroy their obsolete oil wells on the North Sea).
Besides the above mentioned types, MWS PLC is able to manufacture a CLAYMORE type directional fragmentation mine, developed by the Hungarian Institute for Military Technology, similar to MON-50. This one has not got “technical information sheet”, and has not been named yet. Development was stopped in the midst of the 1990s, but will be restarted in 2000.
All the above mentioned mines of MWS PLC are exportable products of high technical level.
3. MWS (MM Speciális Rt.) destroyed 356,884 GYATA-64 type mines (full stock of the Hungarian Army),around 15,000 POMZ-2 type mines (full stock of the Hungarian Army), and some 100,000 UKA-63 type mines from August 1996 to 30 June 1999. The latter is half of the amount (200,000 pieces) to be destroyed by the Hungarian Army. MWS (MM Speciális Rt.) assumed to destroy the remaining 100,000 pieces by March 2001. I have observed disassembly of UKA-63 type mines in person, at the site.
4. MWS PLC (MM Speciális Rt.) has formed island-like working areas within its 32 hectares territory. There are three basic units (Alloy, Press, and Assembly plant and store) protected by armed guards, secured by mounds. Dismantling of mines takes place in the Assembly plant.
A special production line of Hungarian development is used to dismantle mines. It is capable to process 200 kilogram of mines in an eight-hour shift. There is a stand-by machine in case of failure of the production line. Dismantling takes place in three steps behind concrete protecting walls. In the first step workers take out the percussion cap manually, and remove all further elements of detonator. In the second phase a revolving recessing tool cuts round the metal cylinder of the body of the mine (just like a can), and takes it into pieces, but does not touch explosive. This operation is carried out “behind shelter”. In the third step the workers “take a survey” of the result, and check it. In this way three mines are dismantled simultaneously. Workers have to account for each and every mine. (This special line is capable to destroy 1,000,000 mines a year).
Usually six to ten persons are employed for mine disassembly, they are all civilian employees. Half of the mine dismantling staff are man above eighteen, all of them saw service, the other half are women.
All semi-skilled workers in the disassembly department have clear character reference. Half of them, belong to the rom ethnic minority. The company is not allowed to employ mentally or physically handicapped persons, and they really do not employ them.
Workers can be employed only on medical opinion. This “very strict medical control” has to be repeated quarterly.
Average wage for these semi-skilled workers is less than 50% of the average wage in chemical industry, which can be considered as a base for comparison. It is around the minimal wage in Hungary, that is a gross income of 200-300 HUF/hour (one USD/hour). Workers performing similar activities at Swedish or German partner companies of MWS PLC, earn around fourteen or ten times more. Taking advantage of legitimate overtime limit, dismantling workers perform one and a half shift to achieve a gross income of 30,000 to 40,000 HUF (120 to 160 USD) in a month. (In case of illicit overtime work they could achieve a net income of 30,000 to 40,000 HUF (120 to 160 USD) in a month). It has happened that MWS PLC, being in embarrassed circumstances, has paid only a part of their monthly payment, and the withholded part (around 20%) has been paid only some months later, in a lump.
Although formerly there were accidents arising from explosion at the plant, mine dismantling has been performed without any casualties so far.
“All pieces of GYATA-64 and UKA-63 type mines are destroyed”, except the detonator, which is to be destroyed by explosion. Detonator parts are sliced first, and exploded afterwards in the order of thousands, within the territory of MWS. POMZ-2 type mines were shipped from stores, being in advance dismantled. Mine explosives (gunpowder, trinitrotoluene, and cyclo-trimethylene-trinitro-amin) are used in mine digging, steel plates are sent to furnaces. Other parts of mines, such as non-decaying or slowly decaying plastic covers are utilised for highway construction or destroyed in combustion furnaces.
MWS produces two types of explosive charges from mine explosives, both of them have “technical information sheet”. Explosive charges MM-BOOSTER-200,-250,-400,-500, used in mine digging, are shipped with one to three years of guarantee, and can not be converted to arms again. MWS has exported mine-digging explosives to Norwegian Dyno Nobel, Swedish Nitro Nobel, and German Dinamit Nobel firms since 13 years. KKT-A, named “small size hollow load” is manufactured by MWS to destroy explosives. It is used by Hungarian SFOR and KFOR troops for mine annihilation.
During my visit to MWS PLC, there was no mine dismantling activity. Workshop number IV., consisting of several buildings on an extended area, guarded by armed men, sheltered by high mounds, is in a poor shape. Workers dismantling UKA-63 mines, and river bombs carry out their tasks without using eye-guard, ear-plug, or helmet, in filthy overalls, in the breezy workshop. I had the opportunity to observe the industrial products, manufactured from mine explosives in another building of the same workshop.
5. Territory of MWS PLC (MM Speciális Rt.) in Törökbálint is listed as one of the 24 most contaminated areas in Hungary, according to the Ministry of Environment and Regional Development, because of stockpiling hazardous refuse and migrating sewage of heavy metal content into the soil for decades. Restitute operations cost 9.6 million HUF (38,400 USD) in 1996-1997, and has been continued since then.
Full reconstruction work to eliminate pollution of the environment will sum up to 80-90 million HUF (320,000 to 360,000 USD). This is to be carried out by the Hungarian State, managed by State Privatisation Enterprise PLC (Állami Privatizációs Vállalat Rt.) According to the deputy director-general of ÁPV Rt. air pollution “is not significant”, it is below the Hungarian norm. Concerning pollution possibly caused by them, “there are no compulsory or recommended explosive limit norms in Hungary”, and “similar norms effective in the EU are not known in Hungary”. “When leaving the area they have to make a statement that using sensitive detectors, explosive materials are not present”, and “they apply correct internal norms”. There is a compulsory, official environmental test every three years, performed by subcontractors to the Ministry of Environment.
When environmental reconstruction will have been finished, MW Industrial Park PLC (MM Ipari Park Rt.) will be established on the 32 hectares area. MWS PLC (MM Speciális Rt.) will be removed to a 12 hectares field in Etyek settlement, 10 kilometres to the West from Törökbálint, to a military object possessed by the Hungarian Army, named “Tüzelõállás (Firing position)”. It will continue its current operation “behind shelter“. MWS PLC wish to keep its dual profile in the future.
III. MINES IN POSSESSION OF THE HUNGARIAN ARMY
1. In August 1995, before starting to destroy landmines, Hungary had the following antipersonnel mines: GYATA-64 type (splinter or landmine), Hungarian made; POMZ-2 type (circular), Soviet and Hungarian made; CLAYMORE-like (MON-50, MON-100, MON-200) (similar to USA M18A1), Soviet made, directed splinter mines. M-49 and M-62 type Hungarian made antipersonnel mines, are no longer active weapons. They were withdrawn at the end of the 1960s.
In November 1996, the Hungarian Army possessed 375,306 anti-personnel mines in all.According to the official Article 7 report, submitted to the UN, Hungary destroyed 356,884 pieces of GYATA-64 type anti-personnel landmines, that is, all mines of this type Hungary had possessed. Hungary destroyed also some 15,000 POMZ-2 type mines of the remaining 19,306 pieces of its anti-personnel mines. Hungary retained 2,000 GYATA-64 anti-personnel mines for training purposes for mine searching, bomb-disposal, and anti-terrorist corps. Hungary “has possessed a few hundred” MON-50 type mines, and has not destroyed them. Therefore, Hungary holds possession of 1,422 pieces of anti-personnel mines. a few hundred type MON-50 mines, and around one thousand MON-100 and MON-200 type mines.
Till the date of ratification of the Treaty (March 1999), it was unambiguous that Hungary would destroy each and every piece of all three types of antipersonnel mines: GYATA-64, POMZ-2, and MON-50. Hungary has not destroyed any MON-50 type mines so far, there is no any destruction operation in process, and there are no plans to destroy these landmines. Hungary probably gave up destroying this kind of landmine, because of a new interpretation of the concept of antipersonnel mines. In professional, Hungarian, military circles, MON-50 type mines are no longer classified as antipersonnel mines to be destroyed according to the Treaty.
Besides the above mentioned mines Hungary has UKA-63 type, Hungarian made antitank mines (some 200,000 pieces), and TM-62P3 type mines of unknown quantity, made in Bulgaria according to Soviet licence.
Despite my written applications, the Hungarian Ministry of Defense definitely kept aloof from communicating any data on this subject.
IV. MINES IN HUNGARIAN FOREIGN POLICY
1. Hungary's Foreign Affairs Minister announced at the Budapest Regional Conference on Anti-personnel Landmines (26-28 March 1998) "Agenda '98", consisting six items to ban and to destroy landmines, and to lessen damages caused by landmines. According to the program, Hungary in addition to destroy its antipersonnel landmine stocks by the 31st of December 2000, would establish a physio- and psycho-therapeutic institution, developed by Hungarian researchers, to help landmine victims to recover. "Agenda '98" announced a common German-Hungarian demining initiative in the Eastern-Slavonia region of Croatia, also supported by Norway, with regard to the Hungarian minority living there.
2. Two years have passed since, and activities announced in "Agenda '98" took the following shape. Hungary offered 3,000 USD for the Slovenian demining program in 1999, and made a contribution of 810 USD to the funds created by signatories to the Treaty. The latter is a non-official membership fee for organising landmine conferences. Offering of the membership fee is to be expected in 2000, but contribution to demining programs is uncertain. The common German-Hungarian initiative has not been realised, and Hungary has not received any financial aid from Norway. Ten to forty Hungarian, professional mine searchers (ex-service men and civilians) work in Croatia unofficially, employed by foreign, profit oriented, private companies, such as the German UBB.
3. Hungary would like to establish a “regional destroying centre” at an appropriate military object of long standing, having well consolidated infrastructure, in the eastern part of the country, at Nyírtelek village, located some 10 kilometres to Nyíregyháza. MWS PLC (MM Speciális Rt.) does not undertake destroying picked up mines. Hungary's Foreign Affairs Ministry finances this project, taking advantage of Canadian credit. A profit oriented Hungarian firm, owned by the Ministry of Defense has already got the right to destroy mines in an environment-friendly way, utilising plasma-burning technology, developed in the USA. The glass-like end product would be used in highway and embankment construction.
Ukraine has already voted for destroying its landmines at this relatively close (60 kilometres to the border) Hungarian site. If Hungary succeeds in signing a contract with Canada, landmine annihilation could be started from that time onward in eight to nine months. Amount of Ukrainian landmine stocks is estimated at 10,000,000 pieces, it could be destroyed in two years. Later on landmines originating from Belarus and the Yugoslavian region could be destroyed there, but the plant would be able to burn other kinds of hazardous refuse as well.
4. The complex physio- and psychotherapeutic programme to help landmine victims to recover was developed by dr. Árpád Baráth, psychiatrist, university associate professor, UNICEF consultant, and Croatian citizen, living in Pécs since 1995. According to the overview presented at the Budapest Regional Conference there would be started a twelve weeks long, “exemplary complex rehabilitation” “program of international co-operation” for a group of thirty persons at the hospital of Szigetvár, some thirty kilometres to the Southern border.
The project would be implemented using the 100,000 USD support of the Canadian Government, and a similar amount of Hungarian State apport, in the form of buildings. The project is managed in Hungary by the "Children for Children Foundation", but it has not succeeded in winning any Hungarian Ministry to support it, therefore nothing has happened till the July 1999. Then the Canadian party ordered a revision to the project, which is to be completed by spring 2000. Results of this revision are not known as of 29 May 2000. The Canadian Embassy at Budapest, and the Foundation are willing to realise the project, which could be implemented perhaps under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth and Sport.
5. Hungary became a member of NATO on the 12th of March 1999. Since then, Hungary is subject to the unspoken tension between NATO members, signatories to the Ottawa Treaty, and the others, in the question of landmines. Hungary took part in some conferences on landmines, for example: demining, München, 2-4 March 1999. At the same time Hungary cancelled without any apparent reason its participation at the NATO mine conference, held in London, early 2000.
V. HUNGARIAN SOLDIERS' DEMINING ACTIVITIES ABROAD (IFOR, SFOR, KFOR)
1. Following the Dayton Agreement, Hungary has stationed a 417 strong IFOR/SFOR troop in Croatia, at settlement Okucani, between Bosanska Gradiska and Pakrac, some 80 kilometres to the south from the Hungarian border. The Hungarian technical contingent performs road-making and bridge-building activities. IFOR/SFOR military forces perform demining only in order to fulfil their urgent military tasks. Hungarian troops take over previously combed, and double-checked, demined working areas by confirmed protocols. Even though, the sapper troop of the Hungarian technical contingent goes through all working areas, then provides day and night custody for it. In case of tardiness of the Serbian party, Hungarian sappers have to search for and take up mines themselves. Hungarian troops have a special Hungarian made instrument, developed for mine deactivation, and eleven German made manual mine searcher devices, type: VALLON ML 1614. Hungarian experts are able to pick up and deactivate mines. One of the best bomb-disposal experts of Hungary is also member of the contingent.
2. Hungary has stationed a 350 strong KFOR troop in Kosovo at Pristina-Kosovo Polje since summer 1999. This troop performs guarding and protecting tasks for NATO-centre and Golas-hill. There is also a mine searcher, bomb-disposal team in this contingent. So far, they have demined only the road to the KFOR telecommunications centre, protected by them.
VI. FURTHER INFORMATION
1. Education and training of officers and non-commissioned officers at Bólyai János Military College of Technology Department of Zrínyi Miklós University of National Defence (Zrínyi Miklós Nemzetvédelmi Egyetem Bolyai János Katonai Mûszaki Fõiskolai Kar) follows relevant directions of the Treaty.
2. Troop training complies with NATO norms. Conscripts are trained to deploy and take up antipersonnel and antitank mines as well.
3. Now and again, the American air base of Taszár in southwest Hungary, temporarily receives American soldiers who step on mine in Bosnia.
Upon the above detailed information, I found that the official report Hungary submitted to the UN on the 1st of October 1999, and resubmitted without any modification by the 30th of April 2000, is unsubstantiated in the following points:
1. Hungary did not mention “all stockpiled anti-personnel mines owned or possessed by it, or under its jurisdiction or control, to include a breakdown of the type, quantity and, if possible, lot numbers of each type of anti-personnel mine stockpiled” (Treaty Article 7 1.b).Hungary did not announce being in possession of MON-50, MON-100, and MON-200 type landmines, therefore did not submit any figures for them.
2. Hungary did not mention “the location of all mined areas that contain, or are suspected to contain, anti-personnel mines under its jurisdiction or control, to include as much detail as possible regarding the type and quantity of each type of anti-personnel mine in each mined area and when they were emplaced” (Treaty Article 7 1.c). Hungary did not report that there are anti-personnel mines in the Nagybajom area, and in some South border sections, also did not report that former Soviet military bases are suspected to be contaminated by anti-personnel mines. Therefore, Hungary did not submit any details on them.
3. Hungary did not submit the correct number of mines “retained or transferred for the development of and training in mine detection, mine clearance or mine destruction techniques” (Treaty Article 7 1.d). The Hungarian Army retained around 2,000 anti-personnel mines (type: GYATA-64) for purposes according to the Treaty, but this amount is some 500 more than the submitted figure.
4. Hungary submitted incomplete data on “the status of programs for the destruction of anti-personnel mines”. Hungary did not mention “details of the methods which will be used in destruction”, “the location of all destruction sites”, and “the applicable safety and environmental standards to be observed”. Hungary's report on the environmental standards applicable to destruction of anti-personnel mines (destruction is implemented according to “industrial standards”), is not correct, since there are no such legal standards in Hungary. (Treaty Article 7 1.f), and Article 4).
The Treaty allows Hungary to eliminate its mined areas by the 27th of March 2008, but Hungary does not mention its mined areas, and does not report any plans to eliminate its mined areas, therefore Hungary does not comply with the Treaty. (Treaty Article 7 1.f, and Article 5).
5. Hungary did not mention “the types and quantities of all anti-personnel mines destroyed after the entry into force of this Convention for that State Party”, as did not mention destruction of type POMZ-2 anti-personnel mines in any form. (Treaty Article 7 1.g, and Article 4) Hungary did not report its mined areas even here, in this relation. (Treaty Article 7 1.g, and Article 5).
6. Hungary submitted incomplete data on “the technical characteristics of each type of anti-personnel mine produced, to the extent known, and those currently owned or possessed by” (Treaty Article 7 1.h, and Article 4). Hungary complies with the prescriptions of the Treaty concerning GYATA-64 type anti-personnel mines alone. However, Hungary did not submit technical data on the following mines: POMZ-2, Hungarian made according to Soviet license; M-62, Hungarian made, is no longer active weapon; MON-50, MON-100, MON-200, anti-personnel mines, possessed by Hungary.
7. Hungary did not mention “the measures taken to provide an immediate and effective warning to the population”, that is, Hungary did not mention its obligation to ensure that “all anti-personnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control are perimeter-marked”, “monitored”, and “protected by fencing or other means”, to ensure “the effective exclusion of civilians” until “all anti-personnel mines contained therein have been destroyed”. (Treaty Article 7 1.i, and Article 5). Effective warning in mined areas either has not happened, or there is much room for improvement in it, therefore Hungary does not comply with the Treaty.
II. I found that the official report Hungary submitted to the UN on the 1st of October 1999, and resubmitted without any modification by the 30th of April 2000 is well-founded in the following points:
1. Hungary submitted complete and correct data on possession, quantity, technical features, and destruction of GYATA-64 type anti-personnel mines.
2. MON-50, MON-100, and MON-200, anti-personnel landmines, active weapons in Hungary, are all equipped with electric percussion cap and cable, there is no tripwire attached to them, and can be detonated only by remote control. When detonating, these mines “will incapacitate, injure or kill one or more persons”, therefore they are anti-personnel mines, but do not explode “by the presence, proximity or contact of a person”. (Treaty Article 2 Definitions 1).
Therefore, these anti-personnel mines are not subject to the Treaty, and Hungary does not have to destroy them. Nevertheless, as it was stated before, Hungary has to submit information on possession and technical data of these mines.
3. 1. Hungary fulfilled its obligation to modify the penal code (Btk.) according to the Treaty.Section 160/A. of the penal code (Btk.), pertaining to “applying weapons prohibited by international treaty”, and section 264/C. of the penal code (Btk.), pertaining to “abuse with weapons prohibited by international treaty”, are correct implementations of obligatory national measures involved in the Treaty. (Treaty Article 7 1.a, and Article 9).
3. 2. Hungary's official report mentions a former (1993) modification of the penal code in order to comply with the Treaty. These former extensions of the penal code are section 261/A. pertaining to “violation of international law”, and section 286. pertaining to “confiscation”, are proper implementations of obligatory national measures involved in the Treaty.
Budapest, 31 May 2000.