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Last Updated: 12 August 2014

Cluster Munition Ban Policy


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

The exact status of Kenya’s ratification of the convention is not known, but the process was not believed to be under consideration by the national parliament as of June 2014. Kenya has made regular, but vague, statements with respect to its ratification of the convention. In September 2013, it informed States Parties that the ratification “is under consideration.”[1] In May 2012, Kenya informed a regional meeting that the ratification is “ongoing.”[2] In September 2011, Kenya said the ratification process was in the consultation phase.[3] In 2009 and 2010, it stated that the ratification process was being considered by the Attorney General’s office.[4]

In September 2013, Kenya informed States Parties that it promulgated a new constitution in 2010, which “provides that international treaties which Kenya has ratified form part of the national law.” This confirms Kenya’s previous statement, made in September 2012, that specific national implementation legislation for the Convention on Cluster Munitions is unnecessary because, under the constitution, an international treaty automatically becomes part of domestic law when it is ratified.[5]

Kenya participated in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions and worked to achieve a strong convention text during the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008.[6]

Despite the lack of ratification, Kenya has continued to engage in the work of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It has participated in every Meeting of States Parties of the convention, including the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in Lusaka, Zambia in September 2013, where it made a statement during the general exchange of views. Kenya has never attended the convention’s intersessional meetings in Geneva, such as those held in April 2014.

Kenya has not condemned the Syrian government’s use of cluster munitions.

Kenya is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Kenya is not known to have ever used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions. It is reported to possess Grad 122mm surface-to-surface rockets, but it is not known if these include versions with submunition payloads.[7]


[1] Statement of Kenya, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 11 September 2013.

[2] Statement of Kenya, Accra Regional Conference on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Accra, 28 May 2012.

[3] Statement of Kenya, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 14 September 2011.

[4] CMC meeting with the Kenyan delegation, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 9–12 November 2010. Notes by the CMC; CMC meeting with Salim Mohamed Salim, Second Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Kenya to the UN in New York, New York, 14 October 2009. Notes by the CMC.

[5] Statement of Kenya, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 12 September 2012. Notes by the CMC.

[6] For details on Kenya’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. 102–103.

[7] International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2011 (London: Routledge, 2011), p. 429.