cluster munitions


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cluster munitions

or

cluster bombs,

air-dropped or ground-launched weapons that open in mid-air and scatter dozens, hundreds, or thousands of smaller submunitions (or bomblets) over a wide area. Such munitions are effective against targets that do not have fixed locations, such as enemy soldiers or vehicles, and also against precise positions, such as airfields and missile sites. Artillery shells that employ principles similar to cluster munitions have existed for decades.

There are a number of types of submunition-based weapons: antipersonnel, which rely on explosive fragmentation to kill troops and destroy unarmored targets; antitank, which utilize shaped-charge warheads to pierce the armor plate of tanks and armored fighting vehicles; incendiary, which are intended to start fires by employing white phosphorus and napalm bomblets; anti-electrical, which interfere with electric power transmission lines by creating short circuits with carbon fiber or aluminum-coated glass fiber bomblets; mine laying, which like land minesmine,
in warfare, term formerly applied to a system of tunnels dug under an army fortification and ending in a chamber where either explosives were placed to be detonated at a chosen moment or the supports were burned, causing the mine and the wall above it to collapse.
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 do not explode immediately but wait to be triggered by pressure or magnetism; antirunway, which are designed to penetrate concrete before detonating so as to crater and shatter runway surfaces; leaflet dispensing. which drop large quantities of propaganda materials behind enemy lines; and chemical/biological weapons of mass destruction. For humanitarian reasons the last was banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993, and stockpiles amassed by six nations are being destroyed. Antipersonnel mines deployed by mine-laying cluster munitions are banned under the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty (also known as the Ottawa Convention), which prohibits the production, stockpiling, and use of antipersonnel mines.

Because unexploded bomblets scattered by cluster munitions can remain dormant for years after a conflict ends and then be triggered by a noncombatant (often a child), the Cluster Munition Coalition, the International Committee of the Red Cross, United Nations organizations, other organizations, and many nations began negotiations to produce a treaty banning submunition-based weapons in 2007. A treaty outlawing cluster bombs and giving ratifying nations eight years to destroy such weapons, known as the Oslo Convention, was approved by more than 100 nations in May, 2008, and signed in Dec., 2008; the treaty entered into force in Aug., 2010. Among the nations that did not participate in the conference that adopted the draft were the United States, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Syria, and Israel. A proposal, sponsored by the United States and supported by Russia and China, to regulate cluster munitions as part of the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons was rejected in 2011 by other nations that saw the measure as watering down the Oslo Convention.

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Cluster munitions are more like conventional bombs or grenades in their effect, rather than chemical weapons.
An international treaty, the Convention on Cluster Munitions, prohibits the manufacture, distribution, use and stockpiling of cluster bombs.
Blanket elimination of cluster munitions is therefore unacceptable due not only to negative military consequences but also due to potential negative consequences for civilians.
He added: "Fingers crossed we can end the year by withdrawing investments from firms which produce cluster munitions or pressuring companies to withdraw from manufacture.
Saudi Arabia denied it was using cluster munitions earlier in the campaign.
Sudanese officials deny the country has stockpiles of cluster munitions, saying it does not produce the weapon and has never used cluster munitions.
Whether they are launched from the ground or dropped from the air, cluster munitions pose a threat to civilians when they land and for long afterward.
To date, 113 nations have joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions (84 are states parties and 29 still need to ratify).
1) Bill C-6: An Act to Implement the Convention on Cluster Munitions is now awaiting third reading in the House of Commons.
The group warned that the rocket is three times as large as other cluster munitions currently in use by Syrian government forces, and said the weapon would add to the country's civilian death toll.
to view cluster munitions as a military necessity but has instituted a
Noting that Belgium is the first country to adopt a law banning cluster munitions, he also called for the universalization of the International Convention on cluster munition that prohibits the use, transfer and stockpile of cluster ombs, which came into force in 2010 and is currently supported by 111 countries.

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