Gambia commits to non-use of landmines

Gambia commits to non-use of landmines

The Gambia has signaled it will commit to not use one of the most lethal bombs being used by the military and fighters in Africa, indicating it is ready to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

The country’s Ministry of Defense made the recommendation to the Commander-in-Chief, President Adama Barrow, who is also the Minister of Defense of the tiny West African state.

“Cluster munitions are designed to destroy runways or electric power transmission lines, disperse chemical or biological weapons, or to scatter land mines. The Gambia is among the 108 countries that have signed the treaty, which came into force in 2010,” said Amie Bojang-Sissoho.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions is a humanitarian imperative-driven legal instrument which prohibits all use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions.

It establishes a framework for cooperation and assistance to ensure adequate assistance to survivors and their communities, clearance of contaminated areas, risk reduction education and destruction of stockpiles.

In March, Gambia’s Army began the destruction of dangerous explosive piled by the military to be in compliance with the Ottawa Convention in Palodi. The exercise has been happening 12 miles southeast of the northern border town of Farafenni.

By ratifying or acceding to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Gambia commits to never use, produce, stockpile or transfer cluster munitions.

Furthermore, it is committing to destroy existing stockpiles in eight years; clear contaminated land in ten years; assist victims; provide technical, material and financial assistance to other States Parties; undertake transparency measures; adopt national implementation measures; and promote universal adherence to the Convention.

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