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Friday, August 29, 2008

Cluster Bombs put children and civilians lives at risk in Georgia

I received a press release from Dani at Survivor Corp. yesterday (a link to the release is at the bottom of this post). It details Russia's use of cluster bombs in it's recent military action against Georgia.

Cluster bombs, along with their close cousins, land mines, have been responsible for horrific injuries to children and non-combatants in current and former conflict zones around the world.

In May this year 107 countries signed a treaty in Ireland, agreeing to cease production and use of cluster bombs in armed conflict. Several countries have avoided signing the treaty and are downplaying the dangers of the bombs to the civilian population in conflict zones. Most notable among those refusing to sign are the governments of the USA, Australia and Russia.

As an Australian I am appalled at the Australian governments stance on these weapons and the lame excuses they are offering for refusing to sign the treaty.

Australia is a signatory. I made a mistake! See this post for more information (updated 1 Sept 2008).
I would encourage all readers to follow the links included in this post to get a better understanding of the problems these weapons are causing around the world. Working in former conflict zones I have seen the results similar weapons, such as landmines and other unexploded ballistics, have on the unsuspecting civilian population. Even years after conflict has ceased, these weapons still pose a significant risk to life and limb.

As citizens of the world I think it is imperative we speak out against, and raise awareness of, actions that put the lives and standard of living of the vulnerable at risk. The more people who are aware of the situation in Georgia, and are aware of the significant number of Western governments condoning Russia's action through their own refusal to support the ban on these weapons, the more likely it is we will see a change in the way things happen.

People! Write to your politicians about this. Tell people you meet about this. Raise awareness of the fact that our your government (if you are an American or a Russian) wants to freely use similar weaponry in a similar way in other parts of the world.

The first link here is to Survivor Corps' media release. I'd encourage other bloggers to post the release or a report on Russia's unacceptable actions in invading a sovereign territory and use of cluster bombs. The remaining links are to related news articles.

Please drop him an email or send him a letter telling him how abhorrent it is telling how glad you are that a modern, western nation like Australia would refuse agree to sign a treaty banning the use of cluster bombs. The more people who speak out against this the more likely they are to change their approach to this issue.
I'd also encourage you to contact your local Federal members, this is an important issue of global responsibility taking and accountability.

Thanks Dani for bringing this issue to the fore!

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