A cluster bomb InternationalIndiaAfricaUkraine is already covered in mines and pieces of unexploded ordnance, and the use of dangerous arms with unforeseen consequences, such as smaller bombs within cluster munitions that don’t necessarily explode immediately, would only endanger the civilian population, the Danish humanitarian organization has warned. The US decision to supply Kiev with cluster munitions have triggered harsh criticism from the Danish Refugee Council, a humanitarian organization that among others helps with clearing mines and unexploded munitions across the globe.
"It is deeply problematic. They throw a lot of small bombs and many of them don't explode. It can be extremely dangerous for a civilian population," Richard MacCormac, the head of demining efforts at the Danish Refugee Council, told Danish media.
The Danish Refugee Council didn’t mince its words when it called the planned transfer of cluster bombs a breach of international humanitarian law, citing the protection of the civilians.
"It is a weapon that causes unacceptable damage to civilians. And since that is not allowed according to international law, we will consider it illegal," Richard MacCormac said.
According to MacCormac, the current extent of contamination with mines, unused arms and unexploded ammunition in Ukraine remains unknown. According to Ukraine itself, over 180,000 square kilometers of the country are contaminated with mines and weapons, which is 4 times more than the territory of Denmark (bar Greenland and other remote parts of the Danish realm).
What Are Cluster Munitions and Why They Are Dangerous
A cluster bomb is made up of numerous small bombs, and when dropped from an airplane or fired by a piece of artillery, it releases all the small bombs whilst in the air.This gives the explosion a huge spread, which may deal considerable damage to enemy infantry or tanks.MilitaryKiev’s Promise Not to Use Cluster Bombs Against Civilians is Meaningless: Here’s Why8 July, 19:20 GMTThe problem is that far from all the smaller bombs necessarily explode. This leaves a bunch of uncounted for bombs over a large area that can go off at any time, potentially harming civilians, be it a child trying to pick up an object or a tractor running over them.The US has previously used cluster munitions in Iraq, Vietnam and Afghanistan, wreaking havoc on civilians without accepting any responsibility. This time, Washington’s provision of Ukraine with similar arms sparked condemnation from its own allies such as Canada, the UK, Spain and Germany – yet to no avail, since the decision was made following a «unanimous» recommendation from Biden’s advisers.Kiev has already been condemned by the United Nations for lavishly using banned arms with potentially horrendous effects on the civilians, such as air-dropped Lepestok anti-personnel mines.