Amnesty International: Slovakia must ratify convention banning cluster ammunitions

Amnesty International Slovakia (AIS) on Tuesday, May 7 called on the Slovak government to join the Convention on Cluster Munitions which bans the use, production and storage of cluster bombs. The convention was approved five years ago. While most countries have joined it, Slovakia is one of the last four EU countries that has stopped producing cluster bombs but still has not ratified the convention banning them. The other three are Romania, Greece and Poland.

Amnesty International Slovakia (AIS) on Tuesday, May 7 called on the Slovak government to join the Convention on Cluster Munitions which bans the use, production and storage of cluster bombs. The convention was approved five years ago. While most countries have joined it, Slovakia is one of the last four EU countries that has stopped producing cluster bombs but still has not ratified the convention banning them. The other three are Romania, Greece and Poland.

"We can see a display of the bombs' lack of humaneness in the ongoing conflict in Syria," said AIS spokesperson Jana Vargovčíková, adding that there is obviously little political will in Slovakia to join the convention. The main reason for the ban on cluster ammunitions is their indiscriminate effects and the threat posed by munitions that remain live decades after the conflicts in question have ended.

"Cluster munitions remain part of the Slovak military's armaments despite these characteristics. According to experts, they aren't suitable for use in today's military, while defending a country's own population with them would obviously be unreasonable," said Vargovčíková, as quoted by the TASR newswire. Graphic artist Oto Hudec, as part of an AIS event in Hodžovo Square in Bratislava, set up a kiosk in which he portrayed the issue of cluster bombs, likening them to popcorn. "Popcorn is a slang expression used by American soldiers for cluster bombs," said Vargovčíková. The kiosk also featured a computer-generated view of what Hodžovo Square might look like if it were hit by a cluster bomb.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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