U.S. Undoes Cluster Munitions Ban
There is evidence that the Libyan government has deployed both cluster munitions and landmines during recent clashes with rebels and that rebel groups have used landmines in the conflict despite pledges not to do so.
The United Nations received the 30th instrument of ratification for the Convention on Cluster Munitions, setting the treaty to enter into force August 1. Thus far the United States has not supported the accord, but arms experts at the Arms Control Association urged the Obama administration to reconsider its policy on the weapons and move toward joining the treaty.
ACA experts welcome administration decision for thorough review of U.S. landmine policy. Urge the administration to conduct their policy review in a thorough and expeditious manner and in consultation with nongovernmental humanitarian and arms control experts.
President-elect Obama's national security team will have to grapple with a number of issues, including U.S. policy on certain types of conventional munitions that harm civilians. An early decision will be how to respond to the new Convention on Cluster Munitions, which 100 or more world leaders are expected to sign beginning tomorrow in Oslo. (Continue)