Posts tagged cluster bombs
Posts tagged cluster bombs
CISR Director Dr. Ken Rutherford and students from St. Francis Catholic Central School, Morgantown, W.Va., at the Mine Ban Treaty event in Washington, D.C. on February 19.
The students are part of the West Virginia Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Bombs, under the direction of their teacher and long-time friend, Nora Sheets.
Six million square meters of land can again be used for farming, infrastructure and housing in Lebanon now that DanChurchAid’s landmine clearance teams have removed the dangerous remnants of war.
Lebanon has been devastated by conflicts and war for much of recent history, and it is still beset by the remains that are left behind when the battles cease.
DanChurchAid has helped the Lebanese authorities to clear up and to make the land safe since 2007.
The year before, a conflict broke out once more with Israel which resulted in large parts of southern Lebanon being bombed with cluster bombs. The result was thousands of unexploded cluster bombs in back gardens, on fields and roads. Other parts of the country have problems with land mines from the civil war that devastated Lebanon from 1975 to 1990.
OTTAWA — Canada is planning to answer a plea by the tiny South Asian country of Laos and restart funding to help it cope with its infestation of deadly cluster bombs, The Canadian Press has learned.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is to announce a $1-million contribution, to be managed through a United Nations agency, during a trip to Laos on Tuesday.
Canada cut its funding to the international effort to help clear cluster munitions from Laos in 2012, after contributing more than $2 million between 1996 and 2011.
Ottawa urged to ratify cluster munitions treaty
A poster for Handicap International’s “Fashion Victim” campaign. The group says some countries continue to use landmines and cluster bombs, which leave many innocent victims in their wake. (CNW Group/Handicap International)
They have been called “weapons of mass destruction in slow motion” and have killed or maimed hundreds of thousands over the past century.
Today, landmine accidents claim about 12 lives per day in over 80 countries and territories around the world. There are an estimated 250,000 to 300,000 landmine survivors globally—most of whom are innocent civilians who have lost limbs or suffer permanent disability from their injuries.
Anti-landmine group Handicap International Canada aims to change these grim statistics with its new “Fashion Victim” campaign, which raises awareness of the ongoing use of landmines and cluster bombs and the many innocent victims they leave in their wake.
The victims have been children playing outdoors, pedestrians walking down the street, workers pressing olive oil, and even families in their homes. While the world has been focused on whether the Syrian government has used chemical weapons, the Syrian government’s extensive use of cluster bombs has done devastating harm to civilians over the past year.
The town of Talbiseh, near Homs, has been repeatedly attacked with cluster bombs. After witnessing one cluster bomb strike a local inhabitant told Human Rights Watch, “I heard people screaming. I ran toward them and found out that one of the streets where the bomblets dispersed had people in it at the time. When I reached the house, I saw heavily wounded children inside. After helping out the injured we found three people killed in one of the nearby houses. They were from the same family.”
Dropped from aircraft or fired from the ground, cluster munitions break open in mid-air to disperse dozens and sometimes hundreds of small bomblets, also called submunitions. Concern over civilian casualties in Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere from cluster munition attacks and their remnants led these and other countries to comprehensively ban these weapons in 2008. Yet Syria is not among the 112 nations that have signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
More than 40 countries have outlawed cluster bombs due to their long-term impacts on civilians [AFP]
Arms control advocates are decrying a new US Department of Defence announcement that it will be building and selling 1,300 cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, worth some $641m.
The munitions at the heart of the sale are technically legal under recently strengthened US regulations aimed at reducing impact on civilian safety, but activists contend that battlefield evidence suggests the weapons actually exceed those regulations.
Opponents say the move runs counter to a strengthening push to outlaw the use of cluster bombs around the world while also contradicting recent votes by both the US and Saudi governments critical of the use of these munitions.
Lynn Bradach began campaigning against cluster munitions following the death of her eldest son Travis, a United States Marine, killed 2 July 2003, by a cluster submunition while clearing unexploded ordnance in Iraq. On the 10th anniversary of losing Travis, Lynn talks to the CMC about her work campaigning against this indiscriminate weapon so that other families don’t suffer the same loss.
1. Tell us about your work on cluster munitions. How did you first get involved?
After losing Travis I was one of the ‘Gold Star’ mothers who spoke out against the US invasion of Iraq, through the US based organisation ‘Gold Star Families for Peace’ (GSFP) . Initially, I believed that Travis had been killed by a landmine so I joined a campaign called ‘Adopt-A-Minefield’ and volunteered raising funds and awareness to help with the universal landmine issue. It was through this work that the US campaign against cluster munitions found me (by this time I’d learned Travis had been killed while clearing unexploded US cluster munitions in Iraq, and not by a landmine as I initially believed) and asked if I was willing to publicly speak out against the use of cluster bombs.
2. Were you aware of cluster munitions before Travis’ accident?
I had no knowledge of the weapon before the loss of Travis—that is why I took it for granted that he had been killed by a landmine.
A short video from The Cluster Project that raises awareness of cluster munitions in Vietnam from a farmer-survivor perspective
Cluster submunitions in trash heap by side of road. #syria. #thecommute
An RBK 250-275 cluster munitions dispenser that the Syrian Air Force did not manage to use. From Taftanaz Air Base, which was overrun by opposition fighters in January. By the author. Earlier this year.