+   *    +     +     
About Us 
The Issues 
Our Research Products 
Order Publications 
Press Room 
Resources for Monitor Researchers 
Landmine Monitor
Table of Contents
Country Reports


Eritrea has not signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Eritrea did not participate in any of the Oslo Process international conferences to develop the convention in Oslo, Lima, Vienna, and Wellington. It did attend the African regional conference in Livingstone from 31 March to 1 April 2008. There, Eritrea stated that it would support a ban on all weapons that kill and injure indiscriminately.[1] It endorsed the Livingstone Declaration, calling for a comprehensive treaty with a prohibition that should be “total and immediate.”[2]

Eritrea attended as an observer the formal convention negotiations in Dublin in May 2008. Thus, it did join other states in adopting the convention. Eritrea participated in the African regional conference in Kampala, where it stated that as an affected state it understood the problems caused by cluster munitions and supported a prohibition on the weapon.[3] It endorsed the Kampala Action Plan, which declared that states should sign and “take all necessary measures to ratify the convention as soon as possible.”[4] It attended as an observer the signing conference in Oslo in December 2008.

Eritrea has not produced cluster munitions, but it has stockpiled and used them. Eritrea reportedly inherited Chilean-manufactured CB-500 cluster bombs when it achieved independence from Ethiopia.[5] The status and composition of current stocks in not known.

Eritrean and Ethiopian forces both used cluster munitions during their 1998–2000 border war. Eritrean aircraft attacked the Mekele airport in Ethiopia with cluster bombs in 1998.[6]

Ethiopia attacked several areas of Eritrea with cluster munitions. Ethiopian submunition duds have been found in the Asmara airport area, the Badme area, the ports of Assab and Massawa on the Red Sea coast, the Korokon Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Gash-Barka administrative sector, and the Adi Bare IDP camp in Shambiko. The Mine Action Coordination Center of the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE MACC) has identified approximately 30–40 strikes inside Eritrea. UNMEE reports that PTAB 2.5 and BL-755 submunitions have been encountered in Eritrea.[7]

A UN explosive ordnance disposal team in the area of Melhadega in Eritrea identified and destroyed a dud M20G dual purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) submunition of Greek origin in October 2004, but it is not known who used the weapon.[8]

[1] CMC, “Report on the Livingstone Conference on Cluster Munitions, 31 March – 1 April 2008,” www.stopclustermunitions.org.

[2] Livingstone Declaration, Livingstone Conference, 1 April 2008.

[3] CMC, “Report on the Kampala Conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” September 2008, www.stopclustermunitions.org.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Rae McGrath, “Cluster Bombs: The Military Effectiveness and Impact on Civilians of Cluster Munitions,” (London: Landmine Action, 2000), p. 38.

[6] See Handicap International, “Circle of Impact: The Fatal Footprint of Cluster Munitions on People and Communities,” 2007, en.handicapinternational.be, p. 52, citing Eritrea–Ethiopia Claims Commission, Partial Award – Central Front – Ethiopia’s Claim 2 between The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the State of Eritrea, The Hague, 28 April 2004, p. 24.

[7] Mines Action Canada, Actiongrouplandmine.de, and Landmine Action, Explosive remnants of war and mines other than anti-personnel mines: Global Survey 2003-2004 (London: Landmine Action, 2005), pp. 60, 64–65, www.minesactioncanada.org; and Landmine Action, Explosive remnants of war: Unexploded ordnance and post-conflict communities (London: Landmine Action, 2002), pp. 50–53.

[8] UNMEE MACC, “Weekly Update,” Asmara, 4 October 2004, p. 4.