Summary: Non-signatory Eritrea says it supports the convention’s humanitarian objectives, but it has not taken any steps to join it. Eritrea has participated as an observer in several meetings of the convention, but not since 2015. It voted in favor of a key UN resolution on the convention in December 2017.
Eritrea has not produced cluster munitions and denies stockpiling them, but it used cluster munitions during the 1998–2000 war with Ethiopia.
The State of Eritrea has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Eritrea has expressed support for the convention’s humanitarian provisions and an interest in accession but has not taken any steps to join. In 2010, Eritrea told States Parties that it supports the convention and sees benefits in joining. In 2008, Eritrea said that as a contaminated state, it understands the problems caused by cluster munitions, and therefore supports their prohibition.
Eritrea did not participate in the international meetings of the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions but attended the two African regional meetings, where it supported a comprehensive ban.
Eritrea has participated as an observer in all except three of the convention’s Meetings of States Parties and attended the First Review Conference in 2015. It has participated in regional workshops on the convention, most recently in Lomé, Togo in May 2013, as well as an intersessional meeting on the convention in 2012.
In December 2017, Eritrea voted in favor of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution that urges states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.” It also voted in favor of the first UNGA resolution on the convention in 2015.
Eritrea is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.
Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling
Eritrean and Ethiopian forces both used cluster munitions during their 1998–2000 war.
Eritrean aircraft attacked the Mekele airport in Ethiopia with cluster bombs in 1998. In 2009, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission in The Hague awarded Ethiopia US$2.5 million “in respect of deaths and injuries, medical expenses, and property damage resulting from the dropping of cluster bombs in the vicinity of the Ayder School in Mekele.”
Although Ethiopia has denied it, there is ample evidence that it attacked several parts of Eritrea with cluster munitions during the war.
In May 2013, Eritrea stated that it does not use or stockpile cluster munitions or function as a transfer country.
In October 2010, an Eritrean official said the country has not produced cluster munitions and has no stocks.
Eritrea reportedly inheritedChilean-manufactured CB-500 cluster bombs when it achieved independence from Ethiopia in 1991. It also possesses Grad 122mm surface-to-surface rockets, but it is not known if these include versions with submunition payloads.
 In May 2013, a representative said the government had held preliminary discussions about accession to the convention, but the process had not progressed due to other priorities. Statement of Eritrea, Lomé Regional Seminar on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Lomé, Togo, 23 May 2013. In 2012, a government official said that a committee had been established to study the ban convention and provide recommendations on accession. CMC meeting with Ghebremedhin-Mehari Tesfamichael, Finance and Administrative Officer, Eritrean Mission to the UN in Geneva, Geneva, 18 April 2012. Notes by the CMC.
 CMC meeting with Elsa Haile, Director, Department of International and Regional Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, New York, 20 October 2010. Notes by the CMC; and statement of Eritrea, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 9 November 2010. Notes by the CMC.
 CMC, “Report on the Kampala Conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” September 2008.
 For details on Eritrea’s policyand 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), p. 199.
 Eritrea was invited to, but did not attend the convention’s Fourth Meeting of States Parties in 2013, Sixth Meeting of States Parties in 2016 ,or Seventh Meeting of States Parties in 2017.
 “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 72/54, 4 December 2017.
 “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 70/54, 7 December 2015.
 The UN Mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia’s Mine Action Coordination Center (UNMEE MACC) reported that in 2007, unexploded PTAB 2.5 and BL755 submunitions were found in Eritrea. See, UNMEE MACC, “Annual Report 2008,” undated draft, p. 1, provided by email from Anthony Blythen, Programme Officer, UN Mine Action Service, 7 April 2009. Additionally, a UN team in the area of Melhadega in Eritrea identified and destroyed an unexploded M20G DPICM-type submunition of Greek origin in October 2004, but it is not known who used the weapon. See, UNMEE MACC, “Weekly Update,” Asmara, 4 October 2004, p. 4.
 Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, “Partial Award—Central Front—Ethiopia’s Claim 2 between The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the State of Eritrea,” The Hague, 28 April 2004, p. 24.
 Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, “Ethiopia’s Damages Claims Between The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia And The State of Eritrea,” The Hague, 17 August 2009.
 Statement of Eritrea, Lomé Regional Seminar on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Lomé, Togo, 23 May 2013. In an interview with the Monitor, the representative repeated that Eritrea does not produce, export, use, or stockpile cluster munitions, but is affected by cluster munition remnants from the war with Ethiopia. Interview with Filmon Mihretab Kifle, Director for Regional Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Lomé, 22 May 2013.
 CMC meeting with Elsa Haile, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, New York, 20 October 2010. Notes by the CMC.
 Rae McGrath, Cluster Bombs: The Military Effectiveness and Impact on Civilians of Cluster Munitions (London: Landmine Action, August 2000), p. 38.
 International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2011 (London: Routledge, 2011), p. 423.