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Country Reports


The Republic of Senegal signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Oslo on 3 December 2008. While Senegal committed to begin its process of ratification at that time, as of mid-March 2009 no concrete steps towards ratification had been confirmed.[1]

Senegal is not believed to have used, produced, stockpiled, or transferred cluster munitions.

Although Senegal was not present at the initial Oslo Process conference in February 2007, it participated in the other three international conferences to develop the convention text in Lima, Vienna, and Wellington, as well as the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008. It also attended the African regional conferences in Livingstone in March/April 2008 and Kampala in September 2008.

At the Lima conference, Senegal stated that after the use of cluster munitions in Lebanon in 2006, it was convinced of the necessity of negotiating a legally-binding instrument to prohibit cluster munitions. Senegal stated that the prohibition should be a “total ban.”[2] At the Vienna conference, Senegal reiterated its support for a “complete ban” and stated that there should be no exceptions for cluster munitions with self-destruct mechanisms.[3]

At the Wellington conference, Senegal was firmly opposed to any exception for certain types of cluster munitions based on the number of submunitions or the inclusion of technical mechanisms to reduce failure rates. Senegal argued that such exceptions would seriously undermine the effectiveness of the future convention, noting that technical solutions “have not proven themselves…in the field of operations [and] even models which have a reputation for sophistication have recorded high failure rates.”[4] Senegal also expressed concern about proposals that would allow continued use of cluster munitions based on a transition period and for the purpose of military “interoperability” (joint military operations with states not party).[5]

During the Dublin negotiations, Senegal maintained its positions calling for a categorical ban on cluster munitions and firmly against any transition period.[6] Senegal stated that if provisions on interoperability were introduced, they must not weaken the treaty.[7] At the end of the negotiations, Senegal joined the consensus adoption of the convention, and noted that it fully supported the text, negotiated in a “great spirit of compromise.”[8]

During the Kampala regional conference in September 2008, Senegal publicly announced it would sign the convention in Oslo. 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.”[9]

At the Signing conference in Oslo in December, Senegal lauded the humanitarian achievement of the convention. It stated that Senegal would begin its procedure of ratification without delay and fight for the convention’s early ratification and effective implementation.[10]

Senegal is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), but has not ratified Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War. It has participated in the CCW work on cluster munitions in recent years, but has made few interventions. At a CCW session in November 2008, Senegal was one of 26 states that issued a joint statement expressing their opposition to the weak draft text on a possible CCW protocol on cluster munitions, indicating it was an unacceptable step back from the standards set by the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[11]

[1] Email from Boubine Touré, CMC Senegal, 18 March 2009.

[2] Statement of Senegal, Session on Definition and Scope, Lima Conference on Cluster Munitions, 24 May 2007. Notes by CMC/WILPF.

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

[4] Statement by Col. Maissa Niang, Director of Studies, Control, and Legislation, Ministry of Armed Forces, Discussions on Article 2, Wellington Conference on Cluster Munitions, 19 February 2008.

[5] Statement by Col. Maissa Niang, Ministry of Armed Forces, Discussions on Article 2, Wellington Conference, 19 February 2008. While Senegal noted the importance it placed on its participation in peacekeeping operations under the banner of the UN, the African Union, and sub-regional West Africa, Senegal stated that “for the purpose of a strong treaty totally banning cluster munitions, it would be willing to explore all possibilities under its national legislation and peacekeeping agreements, in order to maintain compliance with the provisions of the treaty and its engagement in military peacekeeping operations.” Translation by Landmine Action.

[6] Statement of Senegal, Committee of the Whole, Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, 23 May 2008. Notes by Landmine Action; and Statement of Senegal, Committee of the Whole on Article 2, Dublin Diplomatic Conference, 26 May 2008. Notes by Landmine Action.

[7] Statement of Senegal, Informal Discussions on Interoperability, Dublin Diplomatic Conference, 20 May 2008. Notes by Landmine Action.

[8] Statement of Senegal, Committee of the Whole, Dublin Diplomatic Conference, 28 May 2008. Notes by Landmine Action.

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

[10] Statement by Amb. Babacar Carlos Mbaye, Permanent Mission of Senegal to the UN in Geneva, Convention on Cluster Munitions Signing Conference, Oslo, 4 December 2008.

[11] Statement delivered by Costa Rica on behalf of Austria, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, Croatia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Holy See, Honduras, Indonesia, Ireland, Lebanon, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, Uruguay, and Venezuela, Fifth 2008 Session of the CCW Group of Governmental Experts on Cluster Munitions, Geneva, 5 November 2008.