[Human Rights Watch/Basset al-Sharafi]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2023
Media Contact: Melissa Garriga | [email protected]
CODEPINK Condemns Biden’s Decision to Send Cluster Bombs to Ukraine
The White House announced today that they plan on sending internationally-banned cluster bombs to Ukraine in a desperate bid to shore up a slow counter-offensive against Russian troops. Instead of supporting a ceasefire and peace talks, the Pentagon is pushing to send weapons declared illegal under the UN Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Cluster munitions are shells that contain hundreds to thousands of smaller bomblets dropped from the air to litter areas the size of football fields. These shiny bomblets often do not explode, leaving them to injure, or kill civilians and friendly forces during, and long after, a conflict. Many of the civilian victims of cluster munitions are children who mistake the shiny objects for a possible toy.
The United States, Ukraine, and Russia are some of the remaining countries not signed on to a Convention on Cluster Munitions established in 2008. Over 120 nations have signed the treaty that prohibits nation states from developing, producing, acquiring, using, transferring, or stockpiling cluster munitions.
The United States Congress has put in place restrictions on transferring cluster munitions that would impact this announced transfer, however President Biden intends on using a waiver that allows him to bypass these restrictions.
“When the United States was secretly waging war on Laos, the U.S. covered the country in cluster bombs that never detonated and were still killing civilians decades later.” Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK’s Co-Founder and author of War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict continued, “Has the U.S. not learned its lesson? Sending these munitions to Ukraine will only prolong the conflict and kill more innocent people.”
We must not assign Ukrainians to the same fate–a landscape of unexploded US bombs jeopardizing the safety of children and civilians for years to come.