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100 nations sign treaty banning cluster bombs, US refuses

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AFP
Wednesday, Dec 03, 2008

Some 100 nations began putting their names Wednesday to a landmark treaty banning cluster bombs, amid calls for major arms producers such as China, Russia and the United States to join them.

Norway — which played a key role in hammering out the worldwide ban on using, producing, transferring and stockpiling of cluster munitions — was the first country to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM).

“The world is a safer place today,” Richard Moyes of the Cluster Munitions Coalition, an umbrella group that comprises some 300 non-governmental organisations, told AFP.

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“This is the biggest humanitarian treaty of the last decade.”

Dropped from warplanes or fired from artillery guns, cluster bombs explode in mid-air to randomly scatter hundreds of bomblets, which can be just eight centimetres (three inches) big.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Many bomblets fail to explode, littering war zones with de facto landmines that can kill and maim long after a conflict ends.

Worldwide, about 100,000 people have been killed or maimed by cluster bombs since 1965, 98 percent of them civilians, says Handicap International, a campaign group.

Full article here

This article was posted: Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 11:56 am





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