After much foot-tapping, the Convention on Cluster Munitions, a global treaty forbidding the use, production and stockpiling of cluster bombs, has finally gone into effect. Cluster bombs have maimed or killed tens of thousands of civilians, many of them children.

The United States — which refuses to sign the treaty — used cluster bombs in the Vietnam War to disrupt enemy lines, but an estimated 30 percent of explosives did not detonate on impact, leaving live munitions on the ground that experts believe kill 300 people a year. –JCL

Al-Jazeera English:

A global treaty banning cluster munitions has gone into force.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions, which became binding international law on Sunday, prohibits the use, production and stockpiling of the weapon, which is blamed for killing and maiming tens of thousands of civilians.

Thomas Nash, from the Cluster Munition Coalition, a network of 200 civil society organisations, hailed the ban.

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