Cluster Munitions

Context: The United States has decided to send cluster munitions to Ukraine to help its military push back Russian forces. About Cluster Munition:
  • Cluster munition is a bomb that opens in the air and releases smaller “bomblets” across a wide area.
  • The bomblets are designed to destroy tanks and equipment, as well as troops, hitting multiple targets at the same time.
  • Cluster munitions have had a high dud rate.
    • Dud Rate: It means that thousands of the smaller unexploded bomblets can remain unexploded and can kill and maim people decades later.
  • Range: Strike targets 15 to 20 miles (24 to 32 kilometers) away.
The utilization of cluster munitions presents several critical issues:
  1. Civilian Casualties: These weapons can cause harm to civilians, including children who may not be aware of the dangers associated with unexploded bomblets.
  2. Environmental Impact: Cluster munitions can contaminate land for prolonged periods.
  3. Indiscriminate Nature: These weapons lack precision targeting, making them indiscriminate and increasing the risk of harm to civilians.
Convention on Cluster Munitions: 
  • Adopted in 2008, enforced in 2010
  • It prohibits all use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions.
  • It establishes a framework to support the victim assistance, clearance of contaminated sites, risk reduction education, and stockpile destruction.
  • It has been signed by more than 120 countries. The US, Russia and Ukraine haven’t signed on.
  • Secretary-General of the United Nations is the Depositary of the Convention.
 News Source: Indian Express

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