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Riksdag approves cluster bomb ban treaty

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Riksdag approves cluster bomb ban treaty
08:26 CET+01:00
Swedish lawmakers voted Thursday in favour of ratifying a treaty that bans the use of cluster bombs, the UN Convention on Cluster Munitions.

"Parliament voted in favour of the government's proposal that Sweden shall adhere to the Convention on Cluster Munitions," parliament said in a statement.

Sweden signed the treaty in November 2008, several months after the convention was adopted at a conference in Dublin earlier in the year.

Sweden's initial delay in signing up to the treaty prompted criticism from peace advocates, who accused that the government of Fredrik Reinfeldt of foot dragging on an important disarmament matter.

Some 109 countries have signed the convention, which entered into force in 2010, and which requires signatories to stop the use, production and transfer of the deadly weapons.

Cluster munitions split open before impact and scatter multiple – often hundreds – of submunitions, or bomblets, usually the size of a tennis ball, over a wide area.

Many of them fail to explode and can lie hidden for years, killing and maiming civilians, including children, in explosions, even decades after the conflict is over.

China, Israel, Russia and the United States are among countries that have not signed the convention.

Those powers are thought to hoard and manufacture the bulk of the munitions, although the data is secret.

AFP/The Local

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