22 October 2013
"London 11" core group calls on Syria to stop using cluster munitions
The Cluster Munition Coalition welcomes the Communique issued today by the "London 11" Friends of Syria Core Group of countries that states that:"(iii) ‘the Syrian regime must end the siege of urban areas and the indiscriminate attacks against civilians, in particular through air bombardment and the use of ballistic missiles, cluster bombs and explosive barrels;"The Cluster Munition Coalition has repeatedly called on the Syrian government to cease its use of cluster munitions, a weapon banned by 113 nations through the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Syria has not joined this international treaty.The "London 11" communiqué also calls for humanitarian access across Syria and for the urgent creation of "conducive conditions for the return of refugees." The Cluster Munition Coalition urges clearance of areas of Syria contaminated by cluster munition remnants, risk education, and for assistance to be provided to victims of cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war.
Of the eleven nations that comprise the "London 11" Core Group, four have ratified the convention (France, Germany, Italy, UK), while the others remain outside: Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United States. All of the "London 11" Core Group members voted for the 8 May 2013 United Nations General Assembly resolution on Syria that condemned the government’s use of cluster munitions and indiscriminate shelling from tanks and aircraft, and the use of ballistic missiles.
The Cluster Munition Coalition urges all nations that have not yet done so to join the Convention on Cluster Munitions without delay.
- Syrian government use of cluster munitions has been widespread and is ongoing. From July 2012 until June 2013, CMC member Human Rights Watch has identified 152 locations across Syria where at least 204 cluster munitions have been used. This data is incomplete as not all remnants have been recorded by video or other means, so the actual number of cluster munitions used in Syria is likely much higher.
- The Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) is calling for Syrian forces to halt use of this banned weapon immediately, for governments worldwide to continue to condemn use of cluster munitions, and for all countries yet to join the Convention on Cluster Munitions to do so without delay to prevent future atrocities.
- The Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) is an international coalition of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working in around 100 countries to eradicate cluster munitions, prevent further causalities from these weapons and put an end for all time to the suffering they cause.
- The CMC works to change the policy and practice of governments and organisations towards these aims and raise awareness of the problem amongst the public.