Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 11 July 2017

Summary: Non-signatory Algeria has not elaborated its view on accession to the convention. It participated in a meeting of the convention for the first time in 2015, where it expressed firm opposition to cluster munitions. Algeria also voted in favor of a key UN resolution on the convention in December 2016 after abstaining on a previous resolution one year before. Algeria is not known to have used, produced, or exported cluster munitions, but it is reported to stockpile them.


The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria has not yet acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Algeria last provided its views on cluster munitions in September 2015, when it participated as an observer in the convention’s First Review Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia. During the high-level segment, Algeria told States Parties that the convention “provides a useful international norm to the global regime on disarmament.”[1] Algeria did not directly address the question of when it will accede to the convention, but described “ongoing efforts for the stabilization of our neighboring countries.” In 2009, an Algerian official told the Monitor that the government was not prepared to sign the convention “at the present time” after conducting a study on it that considered the country’s internal situation, its long borders, and the positions of neighboring countries.[2]

In December 2016, Algeria voted in favor of a key UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution, which urges states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.”[3] It had abstained from the vote on the first UNGA resolution on the convention in December 2015.[4] Algeria did not make a statement to explain why it changed its position to support the non-binding resolution in 2016.

Algeria participated in several meetings of the Oslo Process, but did not attend the Dublin negotiations in May 2008 or the Oslo signing conference in December of that year.[5] At the Vienna conference in December 2007, Algeria described cluster munitions as “evil weapons” requiring urgent action through “a legally binding instrument.”[6]

In 2011, Wikileaks released a United States (US) Department of State cable that showed US officials met with Algeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in February 2008 and urged Algeria not to support any measures “that would interfere with cooperation efforts aimed at non-state parties.”[7]

Before it participated in the convention’s First Review Conference, Algeria attended one international meeting on cluster munitions, in Santiago, Chile, in June 2010. Algeria was invited to, but did not attend the convention’s Sixth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in September 2016.

Algeria is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty.

Algeria is a State Party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW). It has not proposed any work on cluster munitions at the CCW since an effort to conclude a new CCW protocol on cluster munitions failed in 2011, effectively ending the CCW’s deliberations on the topic and leaving the Convention on Cluster Munitions as the sole international instrument dedicated to ending the suffering caused by cluster munitions.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Algeria is not known to have used, produced, or exported cluster munitions.

Algeria is reported to stockpile cluster munitions. In 2004, Jane’s Information Group noted that KMG-U dispensers that deploy submunitions were in service for aircraft of the Algerian air force.[8] Also according to Jane’s, Algeria possesses Grad 122mm, Uragan 220mm, and Smerch 300mm surface-to-surface rockets, but it is not known if these include versions with submunition payloads.[9]

[1] Statement of Algeria, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Review Conference, Dubrovnik, 9 September 2015.

[2] Interview with Hamza Khelif, Deputy Director of Disarmament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mine Ban Treaty Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 4 December 2009. Of its neighbors, Mali and Tunisia have ratified the convention and are implementing it, while Libya has not joined.

[3]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 71/45, 5 December 2016.

[4]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 70/54, 7 December 2015.

[5] Algeria attended the international treaty preparatory conferences in Vienna in December 2007 and Wellington in February 2008, as well as a regional conference in Livingstone, Zambia, in March/April 2008. For details on Algeria’s cluster munition policy and practice up to early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), p. 185.

[6] Statement of Algeria, Vienna Conference on Cluster Munitions, 5 December 2007. Notes by the CMC/Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).

[7]Oslo Process and Banning Cluster Munitions,” US Department of State cable dated 19 February 2008, released by Wikileaks on 1 September 2011.

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

[9] Colin King, ed., Jane’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal, CD-edition, 14 December 2007 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2008).