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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 49, August 2000

UK Group Highlights Cluster Bomb Crisis in Kosovo, Calls for Ban

On August 8, the UK Working Group on Landmines, released a report calling for a worldwide moratorium on the production, use and export of cluster bombs. The report pointed to the humanitarian consequences of the widespread use of such munitions by NATO during the Kosovo conflict as the most recent evidence of the inherently "indiscriminate" nature of the weapons, the use of which, the group argues, is in "clear breach of international humanitarian law." The report claims that a significant minority of the cluster bombs dropped during the conflict - 12% of those dropped by British forces - failed to explode. According to the group's director, Richard Lloyd: "The unexploded bomblets effectively turn into landmines, ready to detonate on contact, causing death and injury to civilians even many years after the war has ended. … As many are brightly coloured, and the size of a drinks can, they are particularly attractive to children…"

Reports: Group urges ban on cluster bombs, Associated Press, August 8; Activists seek cluster bomb ban, Associated press, August 8.

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.

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