Lebanese civil society to join together in National Day Against Cluster Munitions

November 4th, 2006 | Posted in Solidarity, War and Terror

Beirut –www.samidoun.org– On Saturday November 4, 2006, the National Demining Office, and the National Steering Committees for Mine Risk Education and Victim Assistance will call upon Lebanese civil society to participate and mobilize in a national day against cluster munitions.

This event is intended to send a message to the international community prior to the Review Conference of the COnvention on Certain Conventional Weapons in Geneva, taking place from November 7-17. This message presents an important opportunity for states to seriously review the devastating humanitarian impact attributed to cluster munitions.

The main activities of the National Day against Cluster Munitions in Lebon will include: an extensive photo exhibit, revealing the perilous impact of these weapons in southern Lebanon; a booth and area where specialists will illustrate the stages in constructing prosthetics and artificial limbs, and where he public can also try prosthetics and wheelchairs; a puppet show for children to raise awareness amongst children on the issue of cluster munitions; a musical concert by handicap children; a reproduction of contanimated zone and a display of the different types of cluster munitions, coupled with demining demonstrations; an exhibit of products and crafts made by Lebanese victims of landmines; and thsigning of a petition against the production, trade, stockpiling and use of cluster munitions, in a sign of solidarity with the victims as well as to push the international community ti take action.

A designated press area will provide spokespersons and informations for media throught the day. An information booth will be available to the public alongside the Mine Risk Education (MRE) activities to raise awareness on the extent of the tragedy in Lebanon.

This National Day against cluster munitions has been oragnized with the support of Handicap International, Norwegian People’s Aid and UNICEF. Handicap International and UNIFIC are not responsible nor do necessarily endorse the views expressed at the event or related activities.

Event date: Satudat November 4, 2006
Time: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Place: Martyr’s Square Area (Lebanese Canadian Bank plot, across from the Azzarieh building)


Cluster munitions are designed to be scattered over and saturate large areas. By failing to distinguish between civilian zones and military targets, these weapons violate the spirit of international humanitarian law and the Geneva Convention.

After Laos, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, Lebanon presents the most recent case of the devastating impact of cluster munitions. According to the UN Mine Action Coordination Centre (UNMACC) for South Lebanon, 2.8 cluster munitions were fired Israel into South Lebanon in the last 72 hours of the conflict. These figures do not take into account the tens of thousands of unexploded ordinances and landmines which are still scattered throughout the south, the western Bekaa and across other Lebanese lands.

This intense and random bombardment has littered more than 789 different sites in South Lebanon. Furthermore, 40% of these cluster munitions did not explode on impact and have contaminated civilian and agricultural areas, residential zones, schools and infrastructure, thus hindering long-term economic recovery and putting civilian lives, particularly those of children, at stake. Tis concentration of unexploded submunitions is more severe than that noted in the aftermath of conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo.

Since the ceasefire on August 14, 156 persons (as of October 27,2006) have become victims of cluster munitions, 90% of which were civilians, one third of which are under the age of 18 years. Jan Egeland, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs has called it an “outrage” that Israel dropped cluster munitions in southern Lebanon during the last days of the conflict. Kofi Annan, the United Nations Secretary-General, condemned Israel’s use of cluster munitions and asked it to provide informaton on the locations of these cluster munitions strikes.

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