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Country Reports


The Republic of Burundi signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Oslo on 3 December 2008. In March 2009, the Director of Legal Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the ratification process was underway.[1]

Burundi has stated that is has never used cluster munitions.[2] It is not believed to have produced, transferred, or stockpiled them.

Burundi did not attend the initial Oslo Process meeting in February 2007, but participated in the subsequent international treaty preparatory conferences in Lima and Vienna. Burundi did not attend the Wellington conference in February 2008, but adopted the Wellington Declaration on 14 April 2008, indicating its intention to be a full participant in the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008.[3] It also attended the regional conferences in Livingstone in March/April 2008 and Kampala in September 2008.

At the Lima conference, Burundi called for a “complete ban of any kind of cluster munitions that causes unacceptable damage.” Burundi also stated it placed importance on provisions for victim assistance and implementation assistance.[4] Burundi endorsed the Livingstone Declaration, calling for a comprehensive treaty with a prohibition that should be “total and immediate.”[5] During the Dublin negotiations, Burundi opposed efforts to weaken the draft treaty text, including the notion of a transition period that would allow the continued use of cluster munitions.[6] In September 2008, Burundi endorsed the Kampala Action Plan, which declared that states should sign and “take all necessary measures to ratify the convention as soon as possible.”[7]

On 12 November 2008, CMC campaigners and parliamentarians from Burundi held a press conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs publicly announced that Burundi would sign the convention in Oslo in December, and a member of parliament announced that Burundi would begin work to ratify the convention quickly.[8] A day later, the NGO Association de Prise en Charges des Orphelins de Guerre (APECOG) organized a workshop for government ministers in Bujumbura on the ratification process.[9]

At the Oslo Signing Conference in December 2008, Burundi stated it would do its utmost to ensure its rapid ratification of the convention. Burundi emphasized the need to address the root causes of conflict and saw the convention as illustrative of political commitment to take preventative action.[10]

Burundi is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), but has attended the CCW sessions on cluster munitions in recent years as an observer.

[1] Email from Georges Ntidendereza, APECOG (a Burundian NGO and CMC member), to Marion Libertucci, Advocacy Officer, Handicap International (HI), 16 March 2009.

[2] Statement of Burundi, Kamapala Regional Conference on Cluster Munitions, 30 September 2008. Notes by CMC.

[3] List of countries subscribing to the Declaration of the Wellington Conference on Cluster Munitions, 23 May 2008, www.mfat.govt.nz.

[4] Statement of Burundi, Session on Transparency and Compliance, Lima Conference on Cluster Munitions, 25 May 2007. Unofficial transcription by WILPF.

[5] Livingstone Declaration, Livingstone Conference on Cluster Munitions, 1 April 2008.

[6] Statement of Burundi, Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, 23 May 2008. Notes by Landmine Action.

[7] CMC, “Report on the Kampala Conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” 30 September 2008; and Kampala Action Plan, Kampala Conference, 30 September 2008.

[8] CMC, “Report on the Global Week of Action to Ban Cluster Bombs, 28 October – 2 November 2008,” www.stopclustermunitions.org. Participants included APECOG, HI, and Senator Emilion Emilien Hakizimana.

[9] Government representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense attended along with representatives from UNDP, civil society organizations, and the media. CMC, “Report on the Global Week of Action to Ban Cluster Bombs, 28 October – 2 November 2008,” www.stopclustermunitions.org.

[10] Statement by Amb. Domitille Barancira, Representative of Burundi to Germany, Convention on Cluster Munitions Signing Conference, Oslo, 3 December 2008. Notes by Landmine Action.