U.S. Cluster Bomb Shipment to Ukraine
The recent announcement by the Biden Administration to ship cluster bombs to Ukraine for use in their war with Russia is a violation of the international Convention on Cluster Munitions (2008), signed by more than 120 countries, but not the U.S., Russia, or Ukraine. The use of cluster bombs is a moral outrage.
The many “bomblets” released from every cluster bomb are designed to detonate on hitting the ground where anyone in the area is very likely to be killed or seriously injured. Just as bad, many bomblets fail to detonate immediately and lay on the ground where they will eventually be touched or picked up, resulting in an explosion. Up to 40% of bomblets have failed to explode in some recent conflicts, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross. As a result, cluster bombs, like landmines, pose a risk to civilians long after their use. Unexploded ordinance from cluster bombs can kill and maim people years or even decades after the munitions were fired.
The Guardian report states: “human rights groups say that the use of cluster bombs in populated areas is a violation of international humanitarian law because they cause indiscriminate destruction. Sixty percent of cluster bomb casualties are people injured while undertaking everyday activities, according to Reuters. One third of all recorded cluster munitions casualties are children.”
Human rights organizations have been raising concerns about reported Russian use of cluster bombs. Increasing the use of these weapons of war on either side is the opposite way to peace.
The Peace Education Center calls on our members of Congress to join us in demanding that President Biden and his administration rescind the shipment of cluster bombs to Ukraine and to abide by the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Please urge your representatives to support the amendment introduced yesterday by Rep. Omar and Rep. Jacobs to prohibit US sale or transfer of cluster bombs to Ukraine It is long past time for the U.S. to join civilized nations in signing on to the Convention of Cluster Munitions which prohibits their production, distribution and use. To do otherwise is to further slow the progress towards a lasting peace.
Want a quick way to show your support? Sign this petition by Massachusetts Peace Action which will be sent to your senators and representative.
Or better yet, call them and let them know your thoughts!
- Sen. Gary Peters 1-202-224-6221
- Sen. Debbie Stabenow 1-202-224-4822
- Rep. Elissa Slotkin 1-202-225-4872