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The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria has not signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It is also not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW). It participated in some of the CCW discussions on cluster munitions in 2007, but not in 2008.

Algeria attended some of the Oslo Process meetings, including the international treaty preparatory conferences in Vienna in December 2007 and Wellington in February 2008, as well as the regional conference in Livingstone in March/April 2008.

At the Vienna conference, Algeria said that “effective action must be taken urgently to protect, through a legally binding instrument, civilians from these evil weapons and assist the victims of these weapons.” However, it expressed its preference for work in the CCW and called for a universal instrument on cluster munitions with the support of the major users and producers of the weapon. It said that “we should endeavour to negotiate and conclude an international instrument that would adequately address the very serious and legitimate humanitarian concerns without ignoring the security requirements.”[1] At the Wellington conference, Algeria referred to its support for the Mine Ban Treaty (to which it belongs) and stated it was happy to see a similar process unfolding on cluster munitions. Algeria said it fully supported a legally binding instrument on cluster munitions, but noted that it could not ignore discussions happening in the CCW. It expressed concern that some states in the Oslo Process were seeking to weaken the draft convention text to preserve certain munitions that those states perceived as reliable and accurate, and called for participants to find a compromise that would not undermine the convention. It dismissed the issue of interoperability as “a fiction more than anything else.”[2]

Algeria endorsed the Wellington Declaration at the end the conference, thereby indicating its intention to participate in the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008 on the basis of the Wellington draft text. However, Algeria did not attend the Dublin negotiations and did not sign the convention in Oslo.

Algeria is not believed to have used or produced cluster munitions, but is thought to have cluster munition stockpiles. Jane’s Information Group notes that KMG-U dispensers that deploy submunitions are in service for Algerian Air Force aircraft.[3] A media source reported that in 1999 Russia supplied Smerch 300mm surface-to-surface rockets to Algeria, but it is not known if these included versions with submunition payloads.[4]

[1] Statement of Algeria, Vienna Conference on Cluster Munitions, 5 December 2007. Notes by CMC/WILPF.

[2] Statement of Algeria, Session on Definitions, Wellington Conference on Cluster Munitions, 19 February 2008. Notes by CMC.

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

[4] “Russian Plant Supplies Multiple Rocket Launchers to Algeria,” Interfax News Agency, 17 August 1999.