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Last Updated: 17 August 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 Second Meeting of States Parties in Beirut, Lebanon in September 2011

Key developments

Ratification process underway


The Republic of Angola signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008.

In May 2012, Angola participated in the Accra Regional Conference on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, where it confirmed that the ratification “will be done soon.”[1] In September 2011, Angola informed States Parties “we are now finalising the preparation of all documents” for ratification to be submitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Council of Ministers for consideration and then referred to the National Assembly for approval.[2] Previously, in June 2011, an official informed the Monitor that the ratification process was being reviewed and discussed by relevant ministries and other stakeholders.[3]

Angola participated extensively in the Oslo Process and, while it did not attend the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008, Angola signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Oslo in December 2008. [4]Angola has continued to actively engage in the work of the convention. It attended the convention’s Second Meeting of States Parties in Beirut, Lebanon in September 2011, where it provided an update on ratification. Angola participated in intersessional meetings of the convention in April 2012, but did not make any statements.

Angola attended the Accra Regional Conference on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in May 2012 and 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.

Angola is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty.

Convention on Conventional Weapons

Angola is not a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), but participated in the CCW Fourth Review Conference in November 2011 as an observer. Angola did not comment on the chair’s draft text of the proposed CCW protocol on cluster munitions, but on the final day of the conference, Angola joined a group of 50 countries in endorsing a joint statement declaring that the chair’s draft text does not fully address fundamental concerns and is unacceptable from a humanitarian standpoint, and therefore does not command consensus.[5]

The Review Conference ended without agreement on a draft protocol, thus marking the conclusion of the CCW’s work on cluster munitions.

Production, transfer, use, and stockpiling

Angola is not known to have produced or exported cluster munitions.

Cluster munitions have been used in the past in Angola, but it is unclear when or by whom. An Inter-sectoral Commission on Demining and Humanitarian Assistance (Comissão Nacional Intersectorial de Desminagem e Assistência Humanitária, CNIDAH) official who had seen cluster munitions remnants in Huambo province near Caala and Bailundo, probably from the heavy fighting during 1998–1999, said he believed that the Angolan Armed Forces used cluster munitions because only they used aircraft during this conflict, not the rebel UNITA forces.[6]

The government has not yet provided any details on stockpile destruction and it has not made an official determination and public announcement that all stocks have been identified and destroyed.

In June 2010, a CNIDAH official told the CMC that Angola had destroyed its stockpile of cluster munitions between 2003 and 2010 in a joint initiative of the government and HALO Trust, and that the Armed Forces no longer held any stocks.[7] In addition, HALO’s Weapons and Ammunition Disposal teams, which operate in all 18 provinces destroying police, army, navy, and air force weapons caches, found and destroyed 51 abandoned explosive submunitions in military warehouses.[8] The location of these warehouses has not been reported. As of May 2011, HALO has reported the destruction of 7,267 submunitions (likely from cluster bombs numbering in the hundreds) and 506 submunition dispensers between 2006 and 2011.[9] According to HALO almost all the munitions it has destroyed were in serviceable condition.[10]

In the past, Jane’s Information Group noted that KMG-U dispensers that deploy submunitions were in service for Angolan aircraft.[11] Deminers operating in Angola have documented the presence of casings of RBK 250/275 cluster bombs among abandoned ammunition.[12] It is likely the KMG-Us and RBKs were of Soviet origin.

Angola is also reported to possess BM-21 Grad and RM-70 122mm surface-to-surface rocket launchers, but it is not known if these include ammunition with submunition payloads.[13]


[1] Statement of Angola, Accra Regional Conference on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, 28 May 2012, http://www.clusterconvention.org/files/2012/06/Session-II_Statement-Angola1.pdf.

[2] Statement of Angola, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 14 September 2011, http://www.clusterconvention.org/files/2011/09/statement_angola_updated_final1.pdf.

[3] Interview with Adriano Francisco Gonçalves, Senior Mine Action Officer, Inter-sectoral Commission on Demining and Humanitarian Assistance (Comissão Nacional Intersectorial de Desminagem e Assistência Humanitária, CNIDAH), Geneva, 27 June 2011.

[4] Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), p. 29.


[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] Interview with Jorge Repouso Leonel Maria, Liaison Officer, CNIDAH, Huambo, 21 April 2010.

[7] CMC meetings with Maria Madalena Neto, Victim Assistance Coordinator, CNIDAH, International Conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Santiago, 7–9 June 2010. Notes by the CMC/Human Rights Watch. Neto later confirmed this statement, noting that the Air Force headed up a task force responsible for the program. Email from Neto, CNIDAH, 13 August 2010.

[8] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Helen Tirebuck, Programme Manager, HALO, 15 March 2011.

[9] HALO, “Angola: Weapons and Ammunition Disposal (WAD),” May 2011, www.halotrust.org.

[10] Email from Richard Boulter, Weapons and Ammunition Disposal Desk Officer, HALO, 13 August 2010. See also, HALO, “Angola: Weapons and Ammunition Disposal (WAD).”

[11] Robert Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, Issue 44 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2004), p. 835.

[12] Landmine Action, “Note on Cluster Munitions in Angola,” 10 February 2004.

[13] International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2011 (London: Routledge, 2011), p. 410.