31 July 2020

Croatia Announces Completion of Cluster Munitions Clearance

Croatia announced today, 31 July,  that the country has completed clearance of its cluster munition contaminated territory, fulfilling its relevant obligations as a State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The announcement comes one day before the ten-year anniversary of the life-saving convention.

“The Cluster Munition Coalition commends Croatia on fulfilling this commitment, not only to the Convention, but to the more than 240 cluster munition victims in Croatia,” said Cluster Munition Coalition Director, Hector Guerra.

Croatia was contaminated with unexploded KB-1 and Mk-1 submunitions during the conflicts in the 1990s following the break-up of Yugoslavia. The Croatian Mine Action Center reported the last cluster munition-related incident more than seven years ago.

The country completed the destruction of its stockpile of 7,235 cluster munitions and 178,318 submunitions, in 2018.

Croatia was among the first 30 countries to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions, triggering its entry into force on 1 August 2010. Since that time, the country has been a strong proponent of the Convention, participating in every meeting of States Parties and hosting the First Review Conference in Dubrovnik in 2015. It has firmly condemned the use of cluster munitions and elaborated its views on certain important issues relating to the convention’s interpretation and implementation.

States Parties to the Convention commit to destroying all stockpiles and clear contaminated territory within ten years of joining, and provide assistance to victims of the weapon, among others.

“This is highly welcome news as we head towards the Convention Review Conference in November”, said Guerra. “Croatia has shown that with national leadership, solid completion plans, adequate funding, an evidence-based approach, States Parties with medium or light contamination should all be able to meet their original 10-year Article 4 clearance deadlines.”

The Cluster Munition Coalition is working in concert with States Parties and the Convention on Cluster Munitions Swiss Presidency, to prepare for the Second Review Conference taking place in Lausanne, Switzerland. At the Conference States Parties will report on progress made at the ten-year mark, towards fulfilling their treaty obligations.