Women, Children Worst Hit By Cluster Bombs '' NGO (Nigeria)
The International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) said in Abuja that research on areas affected by cluster bombs in Africa showed that women and children were mostly affected.
IANSA national coordinator, Ms. Mimidoo Achakpa, who stated this at a roundtable on Cluster Munition, said such bombs contained multiple explosives and were dropped from the air.
"This is what particularly ignites our passion for creating awareness and partnership to ensure that Nigeria and delegation of other countries endorse the Dublin Wellington Declaration.
"We also desire to have strong humanitarian approaches aimed toward halting the proliferation of ammunition and thereby preventing more deaths," she said.
She urged the stakeholders to support the struggle to achieve a comprehensive treaty position with no exemptions, delays and loopholes.
She added that unlike land mines and other indiscriminate weapons, there was no provision in international law that specifically addressed the problems of cluster munition.
Anahita Kar, communications delegate, Red Cross, said cluster bombs were illegal since wars had no rules and regulations.
Kar said that the damage done after the usage of cluster bombs were more devastating, adding that soldiers only had the right to target the military camps.
She expressed concern that such targets were often ignored to the detriment of civilians.
Group Capt. Etim Eno, who represented the Chief of Defence Staff, Lt . Gen. Owoye Azazi, said that when cluster bombs were launched they usually covered large areas.
Azazi said the problem of such bombs was that they could not be controlled over targeted areas because they carried other bombs.
Mr Osaro Odemwingie from Oxfam Nigeria, said that the impact of cluster munition included killing, maiming and traumatising affected communities .
Odemwingie said it always damaged agricultural land and retarded national development.
Mr Yahaya Abubakar, an assistant commissioner of Police, who represented the inspector-general of Police, Mr Mike Okiro, said the legal aspect of the treaty was fundamental to human rights.
Abubakar said that it was better to think of ``how to stop it from happening rather than looking for solutions.'' (NAN)
Von: 8.5.2008, www.leadershipnigeria.com