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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 50, September 2000

ICRC Calls for Cluster Bomb Moratorium

On September 5, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) called for a worldwide moratorium on the use of cluster bombs. The call accompanied the release of an alarming ICRC study into the aftermath of NATO use of cluster bombs in the Kosovo conflict. According to the study, since the bombing campaign ended in July 1999, cluster bombs which originally failed to explode have killed 50 people and injured 101. In an appeal distributed to diplomatic missions in Geneva, the ICRC argued: "The use of cluster bombs should be suspended until an international agreement on their use and clearance has been achieved." To compound the situation, the ICRC reported that appearance of unexploded cluster bombs - bright yellow with miniature parachutes attached - makes them especially attractive to young children, who have thus far formed the majority of victims.

Note: see last issue for details of a similarly alarming report from the UK Working Group on Landmines.

Report: Red Cross urges cluster bomb halt, Associated Press, September 5.

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.