Five-Year Review: Non-signatory Egypt has expressed its support for efforts to protect civilians from cluster munitions, but sees military utility in the weapons and has objected to key provisions of the convention and the process that created it. Egypt has participated in several meetings of the convention, most recently in 2013.
Egypt is a producer, importer, exporter, and possesses stockpiles of cluster munitions. Evidence indicates that Egypt exported or otherwise transferred cluster munition rockets to Syria in the past. Egypt states that it has not used cluster munitions.
The Arab Republic of Egypt has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Egypt has expressed its support for efforts to protect civilians from cluster munitions, but sees military utility in the weapons and has objected to key provisions of the convention and the fast-track process that created it. In its last statement on the matter in September 2011, Egypt informed States Parties that it “supports all efforts aimed at protecting civilians and supporting victims of cluster munitions” but asserted that the convention’s negotiation “outside the framework of the UN will produce a deficient legal system that will be abused to use cluster munitions.” Egypt repeated its long-held concern that the convention “will not hold states which are using cluster munitions responsible for their acts” and “will not hold them to account for clearing contaminated areas.”
When the Convention on Cluster Munitions entered into force on 1 August 2010, Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement expressing the government’s hope that these and other concerns will be addressed at the convention’s First Review Conference in September 2015.
Egypt participated in the Oslo Process that created the convention and engaged in the negotiations in Dublin in May 2008 as an observer but did not attend the Oslo Signing Conference in December 2008. Despite its engagement, in October 2008 Egypt expressed concern with both the “substantive content” of the convention and “the process which led to its conclusion outside the framework of the United Nations.”
Egypt has shown interest in the convention, despite its lack of accession. It participated as an observer in the convention’s Second Meeting of States Parties in Beirut, Lebanon in September 2011 and attended intersessional meetings of the convention in Geneva in 2011 and 2013.
Egypt has voted in favor of UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria, including Resolution 69/189 on 18 December 2014, which expressed “outrage” at the continued use.
Egypt is not party to the Mine Ban Treaty. Egypt signed the Convention on Conventional Weapons in 1981, but has never ratified.
Egypt has stated that it has never used cluster munitions.
Egypt is participating in a Saudi Arabia-led coalition of states that began attacking Ansar Allah (the Houthi) in Yemen on 25 March 2015, in a conflict that was continuing as of 20 July 2015. US-supplied cluster munitions have been used in airstrikes by coalition forces, but the state or states responsible for the use have not been identified. The cluster munition attacks in Yemen have been condemned by a number of states, the president of the convention’s Fifth Meeting of States Parties, the CMC, and others.
Production, transfer, and stockpiling
Egypt is a producer, importer, exporter, and possesses stockpiles of cluster munitions.
Two state-owned Egyptian companies have produced ground-launched cluster munitions:
- SAKR Factory for Developed Industries has produced two types of 122mm surface-to-surface rockets: the SAKR-18 and SAKR-36, containing 72 and 98 dual-purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) submunitions, respectively. Heliopolis Company for Chemical Industries has produced 122mm and 130mm artillery projectiles, which contain 18 and 28 DPICM submunitions, respectively.
Evidence indicates that Egypt exported or otherwise transferred cluster munitions to Syria in the past, most likely before the current conflict. In December 2012, Human Rights Watch and others documented Syrian government use of 122mm cluster munition rockets bearing the markings of the SAKR Factory for Developed Industries.
SAKR Factory for Developed Industries issued a statement in September 2013 denying that it provided SAKR rockets to the Syrian government of President Assad. The government has not commented on the use of Egyptian-made cluster munition rockets in Syria. Evidence indicates that SAKR cluster munition rockets continue to be used in Syria.
Egypt has imported a significant number of cluster munitions, primarily from the United States (US). The US provided at least 760 CBU-87 cluster bombs (each containing 202 BLU-97 submunitions) to Egypt as part of a foreign military sales program in the early 1990s. Lockheed Martin Corporation was awarded a US$36 million contract to produce 485 M26A1 Extended Range Multiple Launch Rocket System rockets for Egypt in November 1991. Between 1970 and 1995, the US also supplied Egypt with 1,300 Rockeye cluster bombs.
Additionally, Jane’s Information Group notes that KMG-U dispensers of Soviet-origin are in service for Egypt’s aircraft.
 Statement of Egypt, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 14 September 2011, as per conference interpretation. Since assuming office in June 2014, the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has not made any public statements regarding Egypt’s position on joining the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
 According to the statement, “Egypt did not sign the Convention till now due to a number of shortages in it, on the top of which is excluding several types of cluster munitions especially the munitions with advanced technology from the ban, and also the main countries that produce and use cluster munitions did not join the treaty, as well as the issue that the affected countries are the one [sic]that have to shoulder the main responsibility of clearing its lands of the cluster munitions.” Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt Press Release, “The Official Spokesman welcomes the coming into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, on 1st August, 2010,” 2 August 2010.
 For details on Egypt’s cluster munition policy and practice through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 197–199.
 Egypt’s explanation of vote, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, 30 October 2008.
 “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution A/RES/69/189, 18 December 2014. Egypt voted in favor of similar resolutions on 15 May and 18 December 2013.
 Statement by Ehab Fawzy, Oslo Conference on Cluster Munitions, Oslo, 22 February 2007. Notes by the CMC/Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
 None of the states participating in the Saudi Arabia-led coalition—Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Sudan, and UAE—are party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The operation was initially called “Operation Decisive Storm” and then “Operation Restoring Hope.”
 Costa Rica Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Costa Rica condena el uso de municiones en racimo en Yemen” ("Costa Rica condemns use of cluster munitions in Yemen"), 5 May 2015.
 Leland S. Ness and Anthony G. Williams, eds., Jane’s Ammunition Handbook 2007–2008 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2007), p. 707. France declared that upon entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in 2010, France’s military retained six warheads for 122mm SAKR rockets containing a total of 588 submunitions. France, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form C, 31 January 2011, p. 92.
 Leland S. Ness and Anthony G. Williams, eds., Jane’s Ammunition Handbook 2007–2008 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2007), pp. 582, 589–590.
 HRW, “Syria: Army Using New Type of Cluster Munition,” 14 January 2013. In addition, a number of SAKR rockets were found in Iraq by UN weapons inspectors possibly indicating export activity. The SAKR rockets were the “cargo variant” but had been modified by the Iraqis to deliver chemical weapons. “Sixteenth quarterly report on the activities of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission in accordance with paragraph 12 of Security Council resolution 1284 (1999) S/2004/160,” Annex 1, p. 10.
 See Brown Moses blog, “Evidence of New Grad Launched Cluster Munitions Used in Syria,” 15 December 2012; HRW Press Release, “Syria: Army Using New Type of Cluster Munition,” 14 January 2013; and The Rogue Adventurer blog, “Sakr 122mm Cargo Rockets & Submunitions in Syria,” 15 January 2013. It is not known if the 122mm rockets were the SAKR-18 or SAKR-36 type.
 Officials of then-President Mohamed Morsi did not respond to media queries concerning the use of Egyptian-made cluster munitions in Syria. “Morsi mum on reports that Egyptian cluster bombs used by Syria,” World Tribune, 29 January 2013.
 See for example, “Dael find a surface to surface missile did not explode Egyptian industry,” uploaded to YouTube on 8 November 2014.
 “Dozen + Mideast Nations Bought Weapons since Gulf War,” Aerospace Daily, 10 December 1991; and Barbara Starr, “Apache buy will keep Israeli edge,” Jane’s Defence Weekly, 1 October 1992.
 US Department of Defense, “US Army Aviation & Missile Command Contract Announcement: DAAH01-00-C-0044,” Press Release, 9 November 2001.
 US Defense Security Assistance Agency, Department of Defense, “Cluster Bomb Exports under FMS, FY1970–FY1995,” 5 November 1995, obtained by HRW in a Freedom of Information Act request, 28 November 1995.
 Robert Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, Issue 44 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2004), p. 838.