ALERT – Cluster Munition Monitor 2016: alarming escalation in use of cluster munitions in Yemen and Syria | September 2, 2016

Published today, the Cluster Munition Monitor 2016 reveals the intensive and repeated use of cluster munitions in Syria and Yemen: 76 attacks have been officially recorded in Syria since September 2015 and 19 in Yemen since March 2015. To coincide with the Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which takes place […]

Published today, the Cluster Munition Monitor 2016 reveals the intensive and repeated use of cluster munitions in Syria and Yemen: 76 attacks have been officially recorded in Syria since September 2015 and 19 in Yemen since March 2015.

To coincide with the Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which takes place in Geneva, Switzerland from 5 to 7 September 2016, Handicap International is calling on States to comply with international law and to put pressure on belligerent parties to end the use of this barbaric weapon.

Read the report here.

In 2015, most new victims of cluster munitions were recorded in Syria and Yemen.

The Cluster Munition Monitor 2016 reviews every country in the world with respect to the Convention on Cluster Munitions which bans the use, production, trade and stockpiling of cluster munitions during the period from January 2015 to July 2016. It reveals a rise in the use of cluster munitions in Syria: 76 attacks involving cluster munitions were recorded between September 2015 and July 2016. Syria has already been badly affected by these weapons, with 10 of the country’s 14 governorates hit by 360 attacks using cluster munitions since July 2012. This figure is probably lower than actual use. There are near daily reports of new cluster munition attacks in Syria, according to the Monitor’s researchers.

In Yemen, since the Saudi-led coalition against Ansar Allah (The Houthis) began military operations on 25 March 2015, cluster munitions have been used in at least 19 attacks between April 2015 and February 2016. As in Syria, a large number of the attacks in Yemen were in populated areas, such as markets, schools and hospitals. This use led the United States to suspend their sales of cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia last May.

The conflicts in Yemen and Syria are among the most hazardous in the world for civilians. Handicap International is alarmed by the widespread and uncontrolled use of these banned weapons in these countries: the use of banned weapons is totally unacceptable. States Parties must firmly and systematically condemn all new uses of these weapons.

Ending the use of cluster munitions.

Handicap International is calling on belligerent parties – States and non-State armed groups – to immediately end the use of cluster munitions. It is also calling on States to put pressure on their allies who use cluster munitions to end this practice. Lastly, Handicap International is calling on all States to enforce the Convention on Cluster Munitions by immediately ending the sale or transfer of these weapons.

Around the world, 24 States and three territories were contaminated by cluster munition remnants worldwide. The renewed use of cluster munitions in Sudan and Ukraine until early 2015, and in Syria and Yemen until 2016, has increased contamination, endangering the lives of thousands of people for years to come. Handicap International is calling on States to support risk education, weapons clearance and victim assistance programmes that are absolutely necessary for these countries and territories.

A total of five States and one territory were affected by the use of cluster munitions between January 2015 and July 2016: in addition to Syria and Yemen, the use of cluster munitions was once again reported in Ukraine, Sudan and Libya in early 2015. According to reliable but as yet unconfirmed reports, cluster munitions also appear to have been used in Nagorny Karabakh, a disputed territory between Armenia and Azerbaijan, in April 2016. In 2015, 97% of victims of cluster munitions were civilians. A total of 36% of civilian victims were children.

 

See the video : “Yemen: Cluster Munitions Kill and Wound Civilians”, a video explaining the use of cluster munitions in Yemen, produced by Human Rights Watch – 26 August 2015.

 


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