Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The General and the Colonel: Killers by Clusters

Cluster munitions are large weapons which are deployed from the air and from the ground and release dozens or hundreds of smaller submunitions.  

Many of these submunitions fail to detonate on impact and become de facto antipersonnel mines killing and maiming people long after the conflict has ended. These duds are more lethal than antipersonnel mines; incidents involving submunition duds are much more likely to cause death than injury.

Air-dropped or ground-launched, they cause major humanitarian problems and risks to civilians. For example, their widespread dispersal means they cannot distinguish between military targets and civilians so the humanitarian impact can be extreme, especially when the weapon is used in or near populated areas.

They have killed and injured thousands of civilians during the last 40 years and continue to do so today. They cause widespread harm on impact and yet remain dangerous, killing and injuring civilians long after a conflict has ended. One third of all recorded cluster munitions casualties are children and 60% of cluster bomb casualties are injured while undertaking their
That is why there is the Convention on Cluster Munitions which bans the use, production, stockpiling, and transfer of cluster munitions, requires states to destroy stockpiles, clear contaminated land, and assist victims and affected communities.

There have only been two countries which have used cluster munitions since the Convention on Cluster Munitions entered into force on August 1, 2010. Yes, you guessed it: Thailand and Libya.  Countries run by two of the worst military despots in the world today, General Prayuth Chan-Ocha and Colonel Moamar Khadafi.  Both of these men have no problems at all invading their weaker neighbors for more territory (Cambodia and Chad) or even using their military to massacre their own people.


Humanity would be better off if these two were out of power and in prison where they belong.

This reminds me.  I have endorsed boycotts in the past such as the one against Mama Instant Noodles.  Now I formally endorse the boycott of General Prayuth’s new Thai Military breakfast cereal.

1 comment:

  1. human civilisation regresses as a result of such unelected people being allowed into positions of power

    democracy is not perfect but it does provide the electoral mechanism for the people to remove such individuals from power