31 October 2020
Cluster Munition Coalition Condemns Reported Use of the Weapon by Armenia and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh
(Geneva, 31 October 2020) – The Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) condemns reported use of cluster munitions by Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and calls on both parties to join the treaty banning these weapons.
“We are deeply concerned by reports showing use and/or supply of banned cluster munitions by Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict”, said CMC Director Hector Guerra, following publication of a new report by member Human Rights Watch (HRW). “The use of banned cluster munitions and their civilian death toll is unacceptable. We condemn use of the weapon in Nagorno-Karabakh by both Armenia and Azerbaijan”, he added. A previous report by HRW on 23 October, confirmed use of cluster munitions in the conflict by Azerbaijan.
It is unclear whether the cluster munitions were used by Armenian forces directly, or if Armenian forces supplied the weapon to forces in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Cluster bomb attacks by both parties have been used in civilian populated areas, including in the vicinity of a hospital, schools and the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross, in clear violation of international humanitarian law which requires armed forces to distinguish between combatants and civilians.
Both countries say they cannot accede to the Convention on Cluster Munitions until the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is resolved.
“We urge Armenia and Azerbaijan to end all use immediately, and to mark and clear all contamination to prevent future casualties. We call on the international community to strongly condemn this use and urge both countries to join the Cluster Munitions Ban Convention”, said CMC Policy and Government Liaison Manager, Kasia Derlicka-Rosenbauer.
A total of 123 nations have joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The Cluster Munition Coalition is cooperating closely with States Parties to bring as many new states as possible on board the convention.
On 23 November, CMC’s flagship report, the Cluster Munition Monitor will be launched, providing a global overview of the international norm banning cluster munitions and progress towards eliminating the weapon, providing life-saving risk education, and assisting survivors.
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- CMC Webpage - http://stopclustermunitions.org
- Convention on Cluster Munitions - https://www.clusterconvention.org
- Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor Twitter - twitter.com/MineMonitor
- Armenia Country Profile
- Azerbaijan Country Profile
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