The US will send cluster bombs to Kiev

Unexploded cluster bomb in Kharkov, Ukraine, after a Russian air attack Unexploded cluster bomb in Kharkov, Ukraine, after a Russian air attack Алесь Усцінаў

The decision, taken by the Biden administration, has caused international concern

Since President Biden has announced the sending of cluster bombs to Kiev, the general concern of the international community about an escalation of violence has increased. President Zelensky has reiterated that support for Ukraine from the Western countries is necessary, and Ukraine will only use cluster bombs for defensive purposes. In this new framework, the escalation of violence is increasingly likely since, as already reported by Human Rights Watch, Russia has already used cluster bombs during the conflict.

Cluster munitions, as explained in detail in one of L'Osservatorio's in-depth fact sheets, are weapons that cause indiscriminate effects on populations and risk to become, once the conflict is over, unexploded ordnance (UXO) that would inevitably damage civilian lives. In order to protect civilians from the effects of cluster munitions, in 2007, civil society, joined in the Cluster Munition Coalition, together with a number of UN agencies and other countries led by Norway, initiated the Oslo Process, which endend with the adoption of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in 2008. The Convention prohibits the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of these weapons and requires state parties to destroy stockpiled cluster munitions, clear contaminated areas and assist victims. To date, 123 states have committed to the goals of the Convention, and most states that are not parties to the Convention have never used cluster munitions. However, Israel, Russia, and the United States, known to be the main users and producers of cluster munitions, are neither states parties nor signatories.

During the NATO summit that will be held in Vilnius on 11 - 12 July, this will also be discussed, hoping that the use of these extremely harmful weapons can be prevented.


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