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UNMAS helps Côte d'Ivoire destroy cluster munition

Posted: Thursday, 7 March 2013, New York | Author: OROLSI

On 12 March 2012 the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire deposited its ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM). The country became the 69th State Party to the Oslo Convention during the Third Meeting of State Parties (3MSP) held in Oslo, Norway, from 11 to 14 September 2012.

The Convention was adopted in Dublin by 107 states on 30 May 2008 and signed in Oslo on 3 December of the same year. The Convention entered into force on 1 August 2010. Pursuant to article 3, paragraph 2, “Each State Party undertakes to destroy or ensure the destruction of all cluster munitions [..] as soon as possible … to ensure that destruction methods comply with applicable international standards for 
protecting public health and the environment”. 

In this regard, article 4 “Clearance and destruction of cluster munitions remnants and risk education” paragraph 3 makes reference to the International Mine Action Standards (IMAS).

In June 2011, Côte d’Ivoire stated that a “small quantity” of abandoned cluster munitions had been stored in ammunition storage areas at Yamoussoukro, Daloa and Abengourou. The Mine Action Programme (UNMAS) of Côte d’Ivoire in support to the UNOCI mission has provided its technical expertise and logistical support to the Forces Republicaines de Côte d’Ivoire (FRCI) during a one-week destruction operation from 28 January to 6 February 2013.

The operation took place in Lomo North, a military camp managed by French military, part of the Licorne deployment. A total of 68 cluster bombs (10,200 bomblets), type RBK-250 (former Eastern bloc origin), were destroyed.

Despite the need for UNMAS technical advisory assistance, the FRCI displayed once again their leadership by providing the transportation of the abandoned cluster munitions from various storage areas to the demolition site, the 24 hour securitization of the camp and sent a team of 22 explosive experts.

The next urgent deadline for Côte d’Ivoire is the submission by the end of February 2013 of its first transparency report. Over the last month, UNMAS has helped national authorities identify and designate Colonel Assamoua Guiezou, Chief of the Logistic Division of the Etat Major General, as the national focal point for the various aspects relating to the implementation of the Convention including the preparation of the transparency report.

Currently UNMAS supports programmes in Afghanistan, Chad, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, Libya, State of Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Western Sahara (MINURSO).