12 August 2013

Anniversary of Cluster Bomb Strikes in Lebanon Highlights Urgency of Global Ban

On the seventh anniversary of Israeli cluster bomb strikes on Lebanon, the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) remembers those killed and injured during the attacks and in the years since, and urges all governments that have not yet done so to join the Convention on Cluster Munitions without delay.

In July and August 2006, Israel fired cluster munitions containing an estimated 4.6 million submunitions into south Lebanon, with devastating and long lasting consequences for innocent civilians. Nearly 400 casualties have been recorded in Lebanon since then as unexploded submunitions continue to kill and injure civilians. The most recent casualty occurred on 10 August 2013 when an 18-year-old was reportedly killed by an unexploded submunition while working on a farm in South Lebanon.

On-going use of cluster munitions in Syria over the last year will leave a similar deadly legacy and lessons must be learned from previous use in Lebanon and elsewhere.The terrible impact of this large-scale use of cluster munitions helped to create a groundswell of support for urgent humanitarian action, providing the impetus for the Oslo Process leading to the life-saving global ban of the weapon. Since then, "Lebanon has actively championed the Convention and has shown leadership in working very hard to meet its clearance targets," said Habbouba Aoun, CMC campaigner with the Landmines Resource Centre for Lebanon.

Lebanon also held the presidency of the convention’s Second Meeting of States Parties in 2011.As the one-month countdown to the Fourth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention begins, the imperative to eradicate this deplorable weapon is more important than ever. Governments are being urged to attend the meeting and to loudly voice their commitment to the global ban. An official delegation from Lebanon will be attending the meeting.