Activist runs against cluster bombs (South Africa)


According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, South Africa has not yet started preparations for the December meeting on cluster bombs.


(08.08.2008)

The meeting is the result of a process that was started in Norway by 46 countries, including South Africa, where the Oslo declaration was adopted.

A Johannesburg man began a marathon run from Pretoria to Cape Town on Thursday to raise awareness of a treaty to ban the use of cluster bombs.

Kennedy Mabasa, a 37-year-old executive committee member of the Ceasefire Campaign, an organisation based in Johannesburg, began his run at Pretoria's Union Buildings at 6.30 am.

"I began running from the Union Buildings at 6.30. I am now in Orange Grove, waiting for water before starting up again," he told Sapa.

He said he decided to run in an effort to ensure that South Africa signed the cluster bomb ban treaty in December.

Cluster munitions are small bombs or bomblets in containers. They can be fired from the air or the ground. The intention is to make them explode on impact across a large area.

Mabasa was planning to head off to the Ceasefire Campaign offices where he would call it a day.

"The plan for tomorrow [is to] start at the Carlton Centre in Johannesburg at 5am," he said.

He would pass through the North West and the Free State and then on to Cape Town, where he anticipated he would arrive on August 27.

"The idea is to see the portfolio committee and foreign affairs in Parliament," he said.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, South Africa has not yet started preparations for the December meeting on cluster bombs.

The meeting is the result of a process that was started in Norway by 46 countries, including South Africa, where the Oslo declaration was adopted.

The declaration commits its signatories to work towards the banning of cluster bombs that cause harm to civilians.

Von: 07.08.2008, www.iol.co.za

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