Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 02 August 2018

Summary: State Party Botswana ratified the convention on 27 June 2011. It voted in favor of a key United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution on the convention in December 2017.

Botswana reports that it has never used or produced cluster munitions. It is preparing to destroy its stockpile of 510 cluster munitions and 14,400 submunitions well in advance of the 1 December 2019 deadline.


The Republic of Botswana signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008, ratified on 27 June 2011, and the convention entered into force for the country on 1 December 2011.

In May 2018, Botswana reported that it “is in the process of making a draft law in order to start the domestication process of the convention.”[1] In September 2017, Botswana told States Parties that its Cabinet hadprovided the National Assembly with a memorandum on national implementation measures as part of a process to move forward on implementing legislation to enforce the convention’s provisions.[2] Since 2012, Botswana has reported various consultations and other measures aimed at preparing implementing legislation for the convention.[3]

Botswana submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report for the Convention on Cluster Munitions in August 2012 and has provided updates since then, most recently in May 2018.[4]

Botswana participated in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions and sought a comprehensive and immediate ban during the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008.[5]

Botswana has participated in three annual meetings of the convention, most recently the Seventh Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in September 2017.[6] It has attended regional workshops on cluster munitions, most recently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in August 2016.[7]

Since 2015, Botswana has voted in favor of every UNGA resolution promoting implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, most recently in December 2017.[8]

Botswana has also voted in favor of UNGA resolutions expressing outrage at the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in December 2017.[9] It voted in favor of a Human Rights Council (HRC) resolution condemning cluster munition use in Syria in March 2017.[10]

Botswana has not elaborated its views on certain important issues relating to the convention’s interpretation and implementation, such as the prohibition on transit, the prohibition on assistance during joint military operations with states not party that may use cluster munitions, the prohibition on foreign stockpiling of cluster munitions, the prohibition on investment in production of cluster munitions, and the need for retention of cluster munitions for training and development purposes.

Botswana is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, and transfer

Botswana declared in its initial transparency report submitted in August 2012 that it has “never produced cluster munitions” and has no production facilities.[11] The report also confirms that Botswana has never used cluster munitions.[12]

Stockpile destruction

Botswana has declared a stockpile of 510 cluster munitions of two types and 14,400 submunitions:

  • 500 M971 mortar projectiles, each containing 24 submunitions, totaling 12,000; and
  • 10 CBU-250K air-dropped bombs, each containing 240 submunitions, totaling 2,400.[13]

Under Article 3 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Botswana is required to destroy all its stockpiled cluster munitions as soon as possible, but not later than 1 December 2019.

In May 2018, the Botswana Defence Forces andNorwegian People’s Aid (NPA) prepared a detailed plan to destroy the stockpiled cluster munitions before the end of 2018.[14] Botswana is working with technical advisors from NPA to develop the cluster munition destruction process. In October 2017, NPA and Fenix Insight, a UK-based explosive ordinance disposal consultant, inspected the stockpiled cluster munitions and undertook a feasibility assessment for destroying the cluster munitions.

Botswana reports that it is not retaining any cluster munitions for research and training purposes.[15]

[2] Statement of Botswana, Convention on Cluster Munitions Seventh Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 4 September 2017.

[3] Previously, in 2017, Botswana reported that it “started the process of taking legal and administrative measures to domesticate this convention.” See, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form A, 30 April 2017. In 2012, Botswana reported holding consultations on the matter of implementation legislation for the convention. See, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form A, 31 August 2012.

[4] The initial report covered the period to 29 May 2012, while the most recent report available covers calendar year 2017.

[5] For details on Botswana’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 45–46.

[6] Botswana also attended the convention’s Meetings of States Parties in 2010 and 2016

[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. Botswana also participated in a regional workshop in Lusaka, Zambia in June 2015.

[8] “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 72/54, 4 December 2017. Botswana voted in favor of similar resolutions in 2015 and 2016.

[9] “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 72/191, 19 December 2017. Botswana voted in favor of similar resolutions in 2013–2016.

[10] “The human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic,” HRC Resolution 34/26, 24 March 2017.

[11] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Forms D and E, 31 August 2012. It has repeated this status in subsequent Article 7 reports.

[12] According to the report, “Botswana has never fired any of the cluster munitions.” Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form F, 31 August 2012.

[13] Previously, the Monitor reported that the 120mm mortar projectiles each contained 21 submunitions for a total of 10,500 submunitions. The total increased to 12,000 following clarification that each projectile contains 24 submunitions.

[14] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, 7 May 2018; and email from Hans Risser, Head of Operations, Department for Humanitarian Disarmament, NPA, 30 July 2018.