Last Updated: 31 July 2012

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Commitment to the Convention on Cluster Munitions

Convention on Cluster Munitions status


Participation in Convention on Cluster Munitions meetings

Attended regional meeting in Accra, Ghana in May 2012

Key developments

Actively considering accession


The Republic of Zimbabwe has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

In May 2012, a government representative stated Zimbabwe’s intent to “work diligently towards accelerating the conclusion of consultations with relevant stakeholders on the country’s accession to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.”[1] Previously, in November 2010, a government representative said that Zimbabwe was following the progress of the convention with interest, but did not elaborate on the government’s position on joining it.[2]

Zimbabwe participated in two regional meetings held during the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions and expressed its support for a comprehensive ban without exceptions.[3] Since 2008, Zimbabwe has continued to engage in the work of the convention. Zimbabwe attended a regional conference on cluster munitions in Pretoria, South Africa in March 2010. It participated as an observer in the convention’s First Meeting of States Parties in Vientiane, Lao PDR in November 2010, but did not make any statements. Zimbabwe did not attend any meetings of the ban convention in 2011.

Zimbabwe attended the Accra Regional Conference on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Ghana in May 2012, where it endorsed the Accra Universalization Action Plan, which among other actions, encourages states not party to the convention to “take all necessary steps” to ratify by the convention's Third Meeting of States Parties in September 2012.[4]

Zimbabwe is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty.

Zimbabwe has not joined the Convention on Conventional Weapons. Zimbabwe did not attend the CCW’s Fourth Review Conference in November 2011, but it provided written authorization endorsing a joint statement by a group of 50 countries issued on the final day of negotiations declaring that there was no consensus on the draft protocol text and that it was not acceptable from a humanitarian standpoint.[5] The Review Conference concluded without agreeing on a protocol, thus marking the end of the CCW’s work on cluster munitions.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

In March 2010, an official told the CMC that Zimbabwe still possessed cluster munitions left over from the former Rhodesia’s arsenal.[6] Jane’s Information Group has reported that the Alpha bomblet developed for the South African CB-470 cluster bomb was produced in Rhodesia and that “Zimbabwe may have quantities of the Alpha bomblet.”[7] Additionally, Zimbabwe possesses RM-70 122mm surface-to-surface rocket systems, but it is not known if these include versions with submunition payloads.[8]

Zimbabwe is not known to have produced or exported cluster munitions since its independence. It is unclear if Zimbabwe has ever used cluster munitions.[9]


[1] Statement of Zimbabwe, Accra Regional Conference on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Accra, May 2012.

[2] CMC meeting with Mucheka Chameso, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Zimbabwe to the UN in Geneva, Vientiane, November 2010. Previously, in March 2010, Zimbabwe stated that “discussions are underway on the matter” of joining the convention , see Statement of Zimbabwe, Africa Regional Conference on the Universalization and Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Pretoria, 25 March 2010. Notes by Action on Armed Violence.

[3] For details on Zimbabwe’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 262–263.

[4] “The Accra Universalization Action Plan,” Accra Regional Conference on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, 29 May 2012, http://www.clusterconvention.org/files/2012/05/Accra-Action-Plan_English-version.pdf.

[5] Joint Statement read by Costa Rica, on behalf of Afghanistan, Angola, Austria, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Holy See, Honduras, Iceland, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Senegal, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe. CCW Fourth Review Conference, Geneva, 25 November 2011. List confirmed in email from Bantan Nugroho, Head of the CCW Implementation Support Unit, UN Department for Disarmament Affairs, 1 June 2012.

[6] CMC meeting with Chameso, Permanent Mission of Zimbabwe to the UN in Geneva, Africa Regional Conference on the Universalization and Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Pretoria, 25–26 March 2010. Notes by the CMC.

[7] Robert Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, Issue 44 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2004), p. 440.

[8] International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2011 (London: Routledge, 2011), p. 449.

[9] Zimbabwe has not made a statement regarding possible past use. One source has said Zimbabwean and/or Congolese aircraft dropped cluster bombs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1998. Tom Cooper, Air Combat Information Group website, www.acig.org.