05 August 2011

Senegal ratifies cluster bomb ban

A representative from Senegal signs the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Oslo, December 2008. Photo credit: Gunnar Mjaugedal The Republic of Senegal ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 August 2011, becoming the 60th State Party."We commend Senegal’s commitment to comprehensively banning cluster munitions and helping to put an end to the devastating impact of these weapons," said Boubine Toure, Senegalese member of the Cluster Munition Coalition. "Our hope now is that Senegal helps to promote the Convention among the other African states that still need to ratify or accede to the Convention, and to do so urgently." In Africa overall, there are 17 States Parties, 22 countries that have signed but not yet ratified and 15 countries that have not yet joined the Convention.The 2008 Convention comprehensively bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions, sets strict deadlines for clearance of contaminated areas and destruction of stockpiles of the weapon, and includes ground-breaking provisions for assistance to victims and affected communities. A total of 109 countries have joined the treaty, which entered into force as binding international law one year ago on 1 August 2010. The Convention’s Second Meeting of States Parties is scheduled to take place from 12-16 September 2011 in Beirut, Lebanon, a country which has significant cluster bomb contamination.Senegal participated in the Oslo Process that established the Convention and sought a comprehensive and immediate ban during the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008. Senegal participated in the Convention’s First Meeting of States Parties in Vientiane, Lao PDR in November 2010.Senegal has stated that it has not used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions, and has no areas contaminated by cluster munition remnants.Senegal will formally become a State Party on 1 February 2012.