Representatives from nine southern and central African countries held a seminar over the ban on cluster munitions in Lusaka, Zambia.

Africa map
Africa map

The two-day seminar that ends on Thursday, is to promote adherence to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) amongst members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the sharing of practices for passing domestic legislation to implement the provisions, according to information from the organizers.
“This purpose of this gathering of SADC States is to ensure that we honor our responsibility to transform our binding international commitment to the CCM into enforceable domestic legislation,” the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) quoted Harry Kalaba, Zambia’s minister for foreign Affairs, as saying.
“African States have been at the forefront of the movement to strengthen this area of international humanitarian law,” Kalaba was quoted.
“Making sure that as many States as possible in southern Africa join the treaty and take measures necessary to penalize the use of cluster munitions, and to destroy their stocks of these weapons, is an important step forward in realizing the treaty’s objectives, ” said Louis Maresca, a senior legal adviser with ICRC.
The CCM prohibits the use, development, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions. It requires countries to destroy their stockpiles of these weapons and to clear unexploded sub-munitions on their territory.
It also establishes a framework for providing assistance to individual victims and their families and to the communities affected.
The seminar is hosted jointly by the Zambian government and ICRC. Delegates from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe are in attendance.
A cluster munition is a form of air-dropped or ground-launched explosive weapon that releases or ejects sub-munitions. Enditem

-Xinhua

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