Posts Tagged ‘cluster bombs’

The Guardian, By Xan Rice

April 17, 2011

Muammar Gaddafi’s forces mounted a heavy assault on Libyan rebels holding the key town of Ajdabiya on Sunday in a sign that the regime is stepping up efforts to regain territory in the east of the country.

Explosions were heard for several hours in the morning, forcing some of the few remaining families to flee to the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, 90 miles away. (more…)

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November 11, 2010

A 10-year-old girl died and her sister was injured when a leftover cluster munition exploded, an official said Thursday as global delegates met in Laos aiming to speed removal of the bombs.


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By Murray Wardrop
Published: 8:41AM BST 06 Jul 2009

Lord Bingham, who retired last year as a senior law lord, said the aircraft could follow other weapons considered “so cruel as to be beyond the pale of human tolerance” in being consigned to the history books. (more…)

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By PATRICK QUINN – 18 hours ago

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Iraqi government’s failure to grasp the scope of its land mine and bomb problem has derailed efforts to clear what is considered one of the world’s most contaminated countries, two United Nations agencies said Wednesday. (more…)

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By Human Rights Watch

The loss of lives and livelihoods from cluster munitions used by Russia and Georgia during the August 2008 armed conflict reinforces the importance of the new treaty banning the weapon, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The United States, China, Russia, Georgia, and other countries opposed to the ban treaty are meeting in Geneva this week in a last-ditch attempt to conclude a separate, far weaker treaty. The 80-page report, “A Dying Practice: Use of Cluster Munitions by Russia and Georgia in August 2008,” is the first comprehensive report on cluster munition use by Russia and Georgia in their week-long conflict over the separatist enclave of South Ossetia. Human Rights Watch field investigations in August, September, and October 2008 documented dozens of civilian deaths and injuries from the use of cluster munitions, including casualties after the fighting ended. Unexploded submunitions continue to threaten civilians.


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By United Nations Children’s Fund

International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action

GENEVA, 3 April 2009 – Landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) continue to pose an enormous threat to children worldwide, UNICEF noted today in the lead up to the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action on 4 April.

Every day, civilians in dozens of countries around the world are injured and killed by landmines and other lethal leftovers of conflict, years after hostilities of war have ended. In 2007 alone, an estimated 5,426 people were killed or maimed by mines and other explosive devices that have been left behind by armed forces.

Children – particularly boys – are most likely to be harmed and account for over 30 per cent of all victims of landmines and ERW, which they often mistake for toys.

Approximately 60 per cent of ERW casualties in 2007 were children – some 49 per cent were boys, with girls making up around 12 per cent of the victims.

Injuries can include loss of arms and legs, sight or hearing and often cause lifelong disabilities that mean victims require urgent care and long-term support. However, in some countries where these injuries occur, the absence of medical care and rehabilitation capacity means children are unable to attend school and thus their prospects in life are limited.

When parents are killed or maimed by landmines, the lives of children are also severely affected. Childhood without one or both parents may be marred by inadequate nutrition or immunization, lack of protection from exploitation and abuse, or early withdrawal from school to supplement family income.

Uncleared landmines/ERW also interrupt the lives of whole communities. Accessing homes, schools, health and other social services, can become a challenge and when farmlands become mine fields, well-being and livelihoods of families are also damaged.

As of August 2008 – a decade after the Mine Ban Treaty entered into force – over 70 states are still believed to be affected by mines. Over 25 states are contaminated by unexploded cluster bombs and submunitions.

The elimination of landmines and ERW and improved capacities to meet the needs of victims and assist with their reintegration into societies are essential, if children in affected countries are to be able reach their full potential. This requires international and donor assistance to support countries and organizations working to reduce the damage caused by landmines and ERW.


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By Frieda Berrigan, Foreign Policy in Focus

Good news is in short supply. The economy remains bleak. The war in Iraq entered its seventh year last week, and violence reaches new pinnacles in Afghanistan. But there is one bright light amid all this gloom. Real progress is being made to ban cluster munitions. These are canisters of different sizes that release hundreds of bomblets on detonation, scattering deadly devices over an area as large as several football fields.


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