26 August 2015

Rwanda Bans Cluster Bombs

 Rwanda CCM Signing In Oslo 599X350

Signing the Convention in Oslo, Dec. 2008. © Gunnar Mjaugedal/catchlight.no

Rwanda deposited its instrument of ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 25 August 2015 at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York. Congratulations on becoming the 94th State Party!

A signatory of the Convention on Cluster Munitions since 2008, Rwanda is not known to have used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions.

During a UN Security Council debate on Ukraine in October 2014, Rwanda had expressed its concern at “the use of heavy weaponry and the indiscriminate shelling of densely populated areas, including through the reported use of cluster munitions” in Ukraine.

“The Convention on Cluster Munitions not only bans an entire category of inhumane weapons, but it also includes ground-breaking obligations relating to victim assistance. Cluster munition contamination is a global problem, which did not spare the African continent. Like Rwanda, other Sub-Saharan African countries have largely understood and adhered to the humanitarian objectives of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, yet a small number are still outside the Convention and urgently need to join the Convention”, said Mussolini Eugene of the Association of Landmine Survivors and Amputees of Rwanda (ALSAR), a CMC member in Rwanda.

The vast majority of sub-Saharan African states have joined the Convention, but 15 still need to ratify it to become full States Parties. A small number are still outside the Convention: Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Mauritius, South Sudan, Sudan and Zimbabwe.

The Convention will enter into force for Rwanda on 1 February 2016.