• Sunday, Jun 26, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

The deadly legacy of cluster bombs

  • Published at 12:01 am September 2nd, 2016
The deadly legacy of cluster bombs

More than 400 people were killed by cluster bombs in 2015, most of them in conflict-hit Syria, Yemen and Ukraine, according to the Cluster Munition Coalition.

Over the past year seven nations have joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions banning them.

Here are some facts about cluster munitions and efforts to end their use around the world:

Cluster munitions, usually called cluster bombs, were deployed for the first time in 1943 by Soviet and German forces. Since then, over 200 types of these munitions have been developed.

Each bomb’s hollow case can contain up to several hundred bomblets. Designed to be fired from the ground or dropped from aircrafts, cluster munitions open in mid-air and spread the bomblets over a wide area. That makes them inaccurate and likely to harm civilians and soldiers alike. Unexploded bomblets remain on the ground, becoming de-facto landmines.

According to the 2016 Cluster Munitions Monitor report, in 2015 Syrian and Saudi forces used cluster bombs in Syria and Yemen. Russia and the United Arab Emirates denied using them. None of these countries has signed the convention banning cluster munitions.

In 2015, civilians made up 97% of casualties caused by cluster bombs.

Since the 1960s, more than 20,000 cluster bombs casualties have been documented. This is probably a conservative figure, since many deaths caused by these devices have not been recorded or properly documented. It is estimated that, since their first deployment, cluster munitions have killed at least 55,000 people.

Vietnam and Laos are the most contaminated countries, followed by Iraq and Cambodia. At least 24 countries have areas contaminated by cluster munitions.

On May 30, 2008, more than 100 countries adopted the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which banned the use, production, stockpile and transfer of cluster munitions. It also set deadlines for destroying stockpiles and cleaning contaminated areas up.

The Convention has been signed by 119 countries, but the United States, China, Russia, Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, Israel, Greece, Egypt and Iran are among the countries that have not signed the treaty. 

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail