13 July 2012

Cameroon ratifies Cluster Bomb Ban

Lea Ekame of the Prime Minister's Office presents a copy of the Cameroon instrument of ratification at the Accra regional conference in Ghana. Photo credit: CMC(London 13 July 2012): Cameroon has become latest country to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), and the third to do so in the last three weeks.Representatives from the capital Yaounde deposited Cameroon’s instrument of ratification at the UN in New York yesterday, making it the 74th State Party to the CCM.On 22 June, Togo became State Party 72 after ratifying the lifesaving ban on cluster bombs, with Hungary following suit to become number 73 on 3 July.Cameroon has been consistently active in treaty meetings since participating in the Oslo Process that created the CCM. Most recently, Cameroon attended the Accra Regional Conference on the Universalisation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Ghana, 28-30 May 2012. During the conference Lea Ekame of the Prime Minister's Office presented a copy of the instrument of ratification and announced it would be deposited in New York imminently.In Accra, Yves Alexandre Choula of the Ministry of External Affairs stated, "My country fully upholds this widely shared vision, of a safer world, free from weapons that kill, mutilate and traumatise civilian populations. Although Cameroon is neither a producer, user or stockpiler, and even less a party involved in cluster munition transfers, this does not mean it is less worried, because it is located in a region of central Africa that falls prey to multiple conflicts, which bring with them the risk of circulation of all sorts of weapons."Cameroon is not affected by cluster munitions. In Accra Choula affirmed that Cameroon ratified the treaty in "active solidarity with other countries in the world" confirming "its refusal to accept any use of weapons of long-term social and human destruction… and most of all by its sympathy for the victims."Cluster Munition Coalition member Camille Gosselin of Handicap International welcomed the news of ratification, "We are delighted that Cameroon deposited its instrument of ratification confirming its longstanding commitment to support the Convention. It proves again the high level of dedication African states have reached to support a global ban on cluster munitions and to put an end to the suffering of too many victims. We hope that Cameroon will continue its vital work to support the universalisation of the Convention in accordance with the Accra Action Plan recently adopted by the region."