19 May 2008

British military ex-commanders call for action to ban cluster bombs

Former British defence chiefs and military commanders are urging the Government to scrap its stock of cluster bombs because of the danger to civilians worldwide.

As more than 100 countries gather in Dublin today to negotiate a new international treaty aimed at banning cluster munitions, the group of senior retired military figures has written to The Times and to Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, demanding that Britain's Armed Forces “move away from the use of indiscriminate...weapons which pose a threat to civilians and to our troops alike”.

The nine former commanders, including Field Marshal Lord Bramall, ex-Chief of the Defence Staff, General Lord Ramsbotham, a former Adjutant-General, General Sir Rupert Smith, who commanded the 1st Armoured Division in the 1991 Gulf War, and General Sir Michael Rose, a former Director Special Forces, declared: “If we are to be accepted as legitimate users of force then we must demonstrate our determination to employ that force only in the most responsible and accountable way.”

Times Online

Production of Cluster Bombs

The following nations are thought to be cluster bomb producers: Chile, China, France, Germany, Greece, Iraq, Israel, Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, South Africa, Turkey, United States, United Kingdom

More about the bombs on Human Rights Watch and on Handicap International