Cameroon

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 03 August 2017

Summary: State Party Cameroon ratified the convention on 12 July 2012. It voted in favor of a key UN resolution on the convention in December 2016. Cameroon has attended almost every meeting of the convention and has elaborated its views on important issues relating to the interpretation and implementation of the convention.

Cameroon provided an initial transparency report for the convention in August 2014, confirming that it has not used or produced cluster munitions. It has reported a stockpile of six cluster munitions and 906 submunitions that must be destroyed by January 2021.

Policy

The Republic of Cameroon signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 15 December 2009, ratified on 12 July 2012, and the convention entered into force for the country on 1 January 2013.

Cameroon has reported various sections of its Penal Code as well as relevant decrees and existing laws under national implementation measures applicable to the convention.[1] It is considering enacting specific legislative measures in addition to the 2011 ratification law.[2] In September 2016, a representative from Cameroon’s Ministry of Defense told the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) that a bill aiming to provide domestic application of the Mine Ban Treaty and other disarmament instruments was due to be considered during the next parliamentary session.[3]

Cameroon provided an initial Article 7 transparency report in August 2014, and submitted an updated report in April 2015.[4] The reports do not appear to have been uploaded to the UN website until 2016.[5]

Cameroon participated in the Oslo Process and joined in the consensus adoption of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Dublin in May 2008, but was unable to sign the convention in Oslo in December 2008 due to difficulties in securing authorization.[6] It signed the convention at the UN in New York in December 2009.

Cameroon has participated in every Meeting of States Parties of the convention, including the Sixth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in September 2016. It attended the convention’s First Review Conference in 2015 and intersessional meetings in 2013–2014. Cameroon has also participated in regional workshops on the convention, most recently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in August 2016.[7]

Cameroon voted in favor of a key UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution promoting implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in December 2016.[8]

Cameroon has voted in favor of UNGA resolutions expressing outrage at the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in December 2016.[9]

Cameroon has elaborated its views on certain important issues relating to the interpretation and implementation of the convention. In 2011, the Ministry for External Relations stated, “Cameroon has never produced, used, or stockpiled let alone served as a platform for the transit or transfer of cluster munitions. It therefore approves a) the prohibition on the transfer of cluster munitions; b) the prohibition on the assistance in joint military operations; c) the prohibition on foreign stockpile of cluster munitions; d) the prohibition on investments in cluster munitions.”[10]

Cameroon is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

In August 2014, Cameroon reported a stockpile of six BLG-66 Belouga cluster bombs containing a total of 906 “grenades,” a term sometimes used to describe explosive submunitions.[11] It is unclear when Cameroon acquired these cluster munitions, which were produced in France. The lot number it reported suggests the cluster munitions were produced in 1983.[12]

Cameroon has stated on several occasions that it has not used or produced cluster munitions.[13]

Under Article 3 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Cameroon must destroy all its stockpiled cluster munitions as soon as possible, but not later than 1 January 2021.



[1] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form A, August 2014.

[2] Cameroon’s ratification legislation, Law 2011/003, was adopted on 6 March 2011 and signed into law by President Paul Biya on 6 May 2011.

[3] ICBL-CMC meeting with Col. Floribert Njako, Diplomatic Adviser, Ministry of Defense, Cameroon delegation to the Sixth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 6 September 2016.

[4] As of 30 June 2017, Cameroon has not provided the updated report that was due by 30 April 2017.

[5] An internet archiving service shows that the UN database of Convention on Cluster Munitions transparency reports did not have any reports for Cameroon until August 2016.

[6] For details on Cameroon’s cluster munition policy and practice through early 2010, see ICBL, Cluster Munition Monitor 2010 (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2010), pp. 126–127.

[7]The Addis Ababa Commitment on Universalization and Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” Africa Regional Workshop on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, 5 August 2016.

[8]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 71/45, 5 December 2016. Cameroon voted in favor of a similar UNGA resolution on the convention in 2015. “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 70/54, 7 December 2015.

[9]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 71/203, 19 December 2016. Cameroon voted in favor of similar resolutions in 2013–2015.

[10] Original text in French: “Le Cameroun, n’est producteur, ni utilisation, ni stockeur encore moins une plate-forme de transit et de transfert des armes à sous-munitions. Il approuve par conséquent a) l’interdiction de transfert des sous-munitions; b) l’interdiction d’assistance en opérations militaires conjointes; c) l’interdiction de stocker des armes à sous-munitions étrangères; d) l’interdiction d’investir dans les armes à sous-munitions.” “Cameroon and the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” statement provided to Handicap International in email from Dr. Yves Alexandre Chouala, Ministry of External Relations, 12 May 2011.

[12] Each bomb contains 152 submunitions in external pockets. Cameroon reported a total of 906 submunitions rather than 912 submunitions.

[13] Statement of Cameroon, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 15 September 2011; statement of Cameroon, Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions, Closing Plenary, 30 May 2008. Notes by Landmine Action; and statement of Cameroon, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 10 November 2010. Notes by the CMC.