13 March 2012

Côte d’Ivoire ratifies cluster bomb ban

Cluster bombs, indiscriminate weaponsThe Republic of Côte d’Ivoire became the 69th State Party to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions after depositing its instrument of ratification on 12 March, 2012.Côte d’Ivoire is contaminated with explosive remnants of war, including cluster munition remnants. In June 2011, Côte d’Ivoire stated that a "small quantity" of abandoned cluster munitions had been found in ammunition storage areas at Yamoussoukro and San Pedro under the control of the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire. It is not known whether contamination also includes unexploded submunitions."As a country that has some contamination of cluster munition remnants, Côte d’Ivoire’s ratification of the treaty to ban cluster bombs is a significant step in getting others on board the ban," said Amy Little, Cluster Munition Coalition Campaign Manager.Côte d’Ivoire participated in several meetings of the Oslo Process that created the convention, including the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008. It signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 4 December 2008 when it opened for signature in Oslo.Côte d’Ivoire has never used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions.The Convention on Cluster Munitions 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 111 countries have joined the treaty, which entered into force as binding international law on 1 August 2010.Cote d’Ivoire will formally become a State Party on 1 September 2012 after the waiting period mandated by the treaty.