Indian Army using Cluster Bombs against Civilians in Kashmir Line of Control

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Indian Army uses cluster ammunition along LOC deliberately targeting Civilian population. This is violation of Geneva Convention and international humanitarian law. Indian Army on night 30th / 31st July targeted innocent citizens including women and children in Neelum Valley through Artillery using cluster ammunition.

As a Result 2 civilians including a 4 year old boy martyred while 11 got critically injured. Because of severe impact on non combatants, use of cluster ammunition is prohibited under Convention on Cluster Ammunition. This blatant Indian aggression against all international norms exposes true character of Indian Army and their moral standing.

It’s time for international community to take notice of this Indian blatant violation of international laws on use of cluster ammunition targeting innocent citizens.

Ever since cluster munitions were first used in the 1940s, civilians have paid dearly for their unreliability and inaccuracy. These weapons, delivered in massive numbers over vast areas, have killed and injured thousands of civilians in war-torn countries, particularly in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

For many years, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has expressed its deep concern about cluster munitions. In 2000, it called on States to stop using them and to urgently negotiate a legally binding instrument to address the wide- spread human suffering caused by these weapons.

In view of the suffering endured by civilians for decades each time cluster munitions were used, and the lack of an adequate response to this in other fora, Norway launched the“Oslo Process” in February 2007. The process aimed at creating an international treaty to prohibit cluster munitions that cause “unacceptable suffering” to civilians. The process was open to all States committed to urgently adopting such a treaty. After global follow-up conferences in Lima, Vienna and Wellington, and regional meetings in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, the Convention on Cluster Munitions was adopted on 30 May 2008 by a Diplomatic Conference in Dublin in which more than 100 States participated.
The ICRC warmly welcomes the adoption of this historic agreement prohibiting the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions.

The participating States have confirmed that cluster munitions, which have caused so much loss in past 6 Convention on Cluster Munitions Convention on Cluster Munitions 7 decades, are not only morally repugnant, but are now considered illegal. This achievement demonstrates that the world has been moved by the suffering of the victims of cluster munitions and that the international community is capable of taking effective action to prevent further suffering.

The new international rules will have a major impact on the procedures and stockpiles involved in the Oslo Process. When implemented, the Convention will prevent tremendous human suffering by ensuring that tens of millions of cluster submunitions are never used and are destroyed. It will provide direct benefits for communities through increased efforts to clear areas contaminated by cluster munitions, thus saving lives and returning lands to agriculture and other productive use.

It will also benefit victims of cluster munitions through increased commitment to medical care, physical and socio-economic rehabilitation and other support.

I am also confident that the Convention will result in cluster munitions being stigmatized and that its impact will extend far beyond the participating States and the mere words it contains. In time, the Convention will also have a positive influence on the policies and practices of non-party States and armed groups.

By adopting this Convention, States have put in place the final plank in the international legal structure addressing the effects of weapons that “don’t stop killing.” With the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War, and the Convention on Cluster Munitions, we now have the tools to prevent or remedy the often tragic consequences for civilians of all explosive munitions used in armed conflict.

We have also established a broader norm that those who engage in armed conflict can no longer walk away from the long-term consequences of the weapons they use, leaving local communities to carry the burden.

While the Convention on Cluster Munitions is a momentous step forward, much more time and energy and far more resources will be needed to implement the new rules. States must ratify the Convention, and all governments, armed forces and armed groups – in particular those that possess and stockpile cluster munitions – must implement it.

The ICRC has produced a range of promotional material, including this booklet containing the full text of the Convention, to further the understanding, rapid ratification and faithful implementation of this important instrument of international humanitarian law. ICRC delegations around the world and National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies will strive to ensure that the promises of the Convention become realities on the ground in the shortest possible time.

When the ICRC called again for urgent international action on cluster munitions in October 2007, I reminded States that “opportunities to prevent untold human suffering do not occur often.” The Convention we now have represents just such an opportunity. The ICRC urges all States to seize it.