Cluster Munitions Attacks in Nagorno-Karabakh Deserve Condemnation: Armenia and Azerbaijan Should Commit to Join Ban Treaty

(Geneva, 6 October 2020) – The Cluster Munition Coalition condemns the use of cluster munitions in Nagorno-Karabakh and calls on Armenia and Azerbaijan to join the treaty banning these weapons.

“The evidence showing banned cluster munitions are being used in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is deeply alarming,” said Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) Director Hector Guerra. “To avoid harming more civilians, Armenia and Azerbaijan should commit not to use cluster munitions and take steps to join the Convention on Cluster Munitions without delay.”

According to Amnesty International, Azerbaijani forces appear to have fired cluster munitions rockets in Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh on 3-4 October. It identified them as Israeli-made M095 DPICM cluster munitions. Officials from Azerbaijan have reportedly denied that their forces are using cluster munitions in Nagorno-Karabakh and allege that Armenian forces are using them.

Previously, in 2016, cluster munitions were used in Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia and Azerbaijan claim to not produce or export cluster munitions, however, Azerbaijan inherited a stockpile of the weapon from the Soviet Union and has received transfers from Israel.

Both countries say they cannot accede to the Convention on Cluster Munitions until the Nagorno- Karabakh conflict is resolved.

A total of 123 nations have joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Switzerland will host the convention’s Second Review Conference in Lausanne on 23-27 November. The Cluster Munition Coalition is cooperating closely with States Parties to bring as many new states on board the convention as possible in the run-up to the Second Review Conference.

“Our message is clear: we loudly condemn any use of cluster munitions by anyone, anywhere, and call on Armenia and Azerbaijan, and all states not party, to join the convention immediately to save lives and prevent future tragedies”, said Hector Guerra.

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