The use of cluster munitions in Syria - FDFA Statement

Bern, 24.10.2012 - Switzerland condemns the use of cluster munitions by Syrian government forces in the strongest possible terms.

According to the latest reports by Human Rights Watch, the most recent of which was published on 23 October 2012, Syrian governmental forces have been using cluster bombs against a number of towns and villages in five governorates in the country for several weeks. Switzerland condemns in the strongest possible terms the use of these weapons which are having serious and long-lasting humanitarian consequences for the civilian population in the current crisis. Switzerland calls on the Syrian authorities to stop the use of cluster munitions immediately.
Switzerland is extremely concerned about the many allegations of serious violations of international humanitarian law (IHL), and appeals to all parties in the conflict to ensure full compliance with their obligations. It is a matter of urgency that acts of violence and violations of IHL cease, and that humanitarian actors can gain access to the civilian population, which is exposed to the full impact of this prolonged armed conflict.
Switzerland has been committed to efforts to restrict or ban the use of weapons with serious humanitarian effects for several years. On 17 July 2012, the Federal Council ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) which establishes as a principle the complete ban on the use of cluster munitions.

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs