Germany

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 08 August 2016

Summary: State Party Germany was among the first 30 ratifications to trigger the convention’s entry into force on 1 August 2010. A 2009 legislative amendment enforces its implementation of the convention. Germany has participated in all of the convention’s meetings and served as the convention’s first coordinator on stockpile destruction and retention in 2011–2013. Germany regularly promotes universalization of the convention and was a lead sponsor on a UN resolution on the convention in December 2015. It has condemned new use of cluster munitions, including in Syria. Germany has elaborated its views on several important issues relating to interpretation and implementation of the convention.

In its initial transparency report for the convention, provided in 2011, Germany confirmed it never used cluster munitions, but produced, exported, and imported them in the past. Germany completed the destruction of its stockpile of over 573,000 cluster munitions and nearly 63 million submunitions on 25 November 2015. During 2015, it destroyed 7,526 cluster munitions and 4.8 million submunitions. Germany is retaining 570 cluster munitions and 52,801 submunitions for training and research purposes, which is the highest number retained by any State Party.

Policy 

The Federal Republic of Germany signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008 and ratified on 8 July 2009. It was among the first 30 ratifications that triggered the convention’s entry into force on 1 August 2010.

Germany’s War Weapons Control Act was amended in June 2009 to enforce its implementation of the convention’s prohibitions and includes penal sanctions of up to five years imprisonment for violations.[1]

Germany submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report for the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 27 January 2011 and has provided annual updated reports ever since, most recently on 5 April 2016.[2]

Germany participated throughout the Oslo Process that produced the Convention on Cluster Munitions and its position evolved significantly to support an immediate and comprehensive prohibition on cluster munitions.[3]

Germany plays a leading role in the work of the convention. It hosted an international conference on the destruction of cluster munitions in Berlin in June 2009 and served as co-coordinator on stockpile destruction and retention in 2011–2013.

Germany participated in the convention’s First Review Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia in September 2015, where it made several statements. In an address to the high-level segment of the meeting, Germany said the destruction of the final portion of its stockpiled cluster munitions “will be accomplished within the next few weeks.”[4] In November 2015, it announced the completion of stockpile destruction (see Stockpile destruction section below).

Germany has attended every Meeting of States Parties of the convention as well as intersessional meetings in Geneva in 2011–2015.

Promotion of the convention 

Germany has continued to promote universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. At the First Review Conference in September 2015, Germany affirmed the importance of finding ways to illustrate how cluster munitions are “a terrible weapon which causes tremendous human suffering.” Together with Croatia and Handicap International, it hosted a “sitting volleyball” match by delegates and local players during the Review Conference.[5]

Germany was a lead sponsor on and voted in favor of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution on the convention adopted on 7 December 2015, which urges all states outside the convention to “join as soon as possible.”[6] A total of 139 states voted in favor of the non-binding resolution, including many non-signatories.

Germany has condemned new use of cluster munitions, sometimes naming the states where use occurred, particularly Syria.[7] It has also expressed concern at reported use of cluster munitions in “Africa and eastern Europe.”[8]

At the First Review Conference in September 2015, Germany said, “we strongly condemn the reported use of cluster munition and call upon all governments and all actors to refrain from using these weapons.”[9]

Germany has condemned the use of cluster munitions in Syria since October 2012 when Minister of Foreign Affairs Guido Westerwelle condemned the cluster munition attacks “in the strongest terms.”[10] Germany has voted in favor of UNGA resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in December 2015.[11] It has voted in favor of four Human Rights Council resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria.[12]

In September 2015, Germany welcomed the publication of Cluster Munition Monitor 2016, which it financially supported.[13]

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

Interpretive issues 

In 2012 and 2013, Germany elaborated its views on several important issues relating to interpretation and implementation of the convention, including the prohibitions on assistance during joint military operations with states not party that may use cluster munitions, on transit, and investment in cluster munitions production.

During the negotiations of the convention, Germany advocated strongly for provisions on “interoperability” (joint military operations with states not party). In June 2012, the German Federal Foreign Office reaffirmed to the Monitor that prior to the convention’s entry into force “clear orders” were issued for the German armed forces that “forbade German soldiers from using cluster munitions themselves, and from requesting or ordering the use of cluster munitions.” The instructions also “further prohibited the transport of cluster munitions using Bundeswehr [Federal armed forces] vehicles and/or personnel. Ordering or assisting such transport was also banned.”[14] Germany’s implementation legislation prohibits the transit of cluster munitions.[15]

Germany has yet to express clear views on the prohibition on foreign stockpiling of cluster munitions, but United States (US) diplomatic cables made public by Wikileaks in 2011 show that Germany has engaged with the US on the matter of cluster munitions stored by the US in Germany.[16]

Germany’s implementation legislation does not explicitly prohibit investment in cluster munition production and in June 2013, the Federal Foreign Office reaffirmed its position, previously expressed to the Monitor that “the Federal Government expects the German private sector including financial institutions to implement their voluntary commitments aimed at disinvesting in business segments related to CM [cluster munitions]. It is following the relevant developments closely.”[17]

Motions submitted to and rejected by the German parliament in 2011 and 2012 called for Germany’s national implementation legislation to be amended to include a comprehensive ban on direct and indirect investment in cluster munition producers.[18]

In a June 2016 report, PAX identified three German financial institutions, Allianz, Siemens and Deutsche Bank, as investing in cluster munition production. Facing Finance and other German NGOs are campaigning to achieve a comprehensive ban on financing cluster munition production.[19]

Use, production, and transfer

Germany has never used cluster munitions according to the Federal Foreign Office.[20] It unilaterally renounced the use of all cluster munitions on 29 May 2008, the day before it adopted the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Dublin.[21]

In the past, German industry actively produced and exported cluster munitions. According to the Federal Foreign Office, Germany stopped production and transfer of cluster munitions in 2005.[22]

In its initial Article 7 report, Germany declared that “all former production capabilities were dismantled prior to 2008.”[23] The last known export was in 2004–2005 when Germany sent M26 rockets with submunitions to Slovakia.[24]

The company Diehl GmbH and numerous subcontractors were involved in the production of M26 rockets for the 227mm multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) as part of the MLRS European Producers Group.[25] Lenkflugkörpersysteme GmbH produced the MW-1 dispenser (that deploys submunitions) for aircraft.[26]

The company Rheinmetall produced several types of 155mm artillery projectiles containing dual-purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) submunitions.[27] These were produced for the German armed forces as well as for export customers including Austria, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Italy (co-production), and Norway.[28]

Germany also imported cluster munitions from the United Kingdom (UK) and the US.

A consortium of Diehl, Gesellschaft für Intelligente Wirksysteme GmbH(GIWS), and Rheinmetall produce the SMArt-155 artillery projectile, a weapon that employs two submunitions but is not considered a cluster munition under the Convention on Cluster Munitions because it meets the five technical criteria set out by negotiators as necessary to avoid the negative effects of cluster munitions.[29] This has been produced for the German armed forces and for export customers Australia, Greece, Switzerland, and the UK.[30] The consortium granted licensed co-production rights to Alliant Techsystems in the US for the SMArt-155, and Alliant has marketed the munitions in the United Arab Emirates.

Stockpiling and destruction 

Germany once possessed a total of 573,700 cluster munitions containing 62,923,641 submunitions, as listed in the following table. It reported the highest number of cluster munition stocks out of the convention’s States Parties.

Cluster munitions stockpiled and destroyed by Germany[31]

Type
(quantity of submunition in each item)

Cluster munitions

Submunitions

M483A1 projectile, each containing 88 M42/M46 submunitions

43,853

 

3,859,064

DM602 projectile, each containing 3 DM1348 submunitions

116,603

7,345,989

DM612 projectile, each containing 63 DM1348 submunitions

69,908

4,404,204

DM632 projectile, each containing 63 DM1385 submunitions

121,251

7,638,813

DM642 projectile, each containing 63 DM1383 submunitions

51,675

3,255,525

DM642A1 projectile, each containing 63 DM1383 submunitions

70,627

4,449,501

DM652 projectile, each containing 49 DM1383 submunitions

9,407

460,943

DM602 projectile (203mm), each containing 120 DM1385A1 submunitions

39,816

4,777,920

BL755 bomb, each containing 147 Mk1 submunitions

13,356

1,963,332

CBU-2CA bomb, each containing 409 BLU-3/B submunitions

20

8,180

MW-1 DM11 dispenser, each containing 668 MUSA submunitions

147

98,196

MW-1 DM12 dispenser, each containing 4,536 KB44 submunitions

98

444,528

MW-1 DM22 dispenser, each containing 200 STABO submunitions

177

35,400

MW-1 DM31 dispenser, each containing 692 MUSA, MUSPA or MIFF submunitions

172

119,024

MW-1 DM32 dispenser, each containing 2,632 K44 or MIFF submunitions

250

658,000

M26 rocket, each containing 644 M77 submunitions

36,342

23,404,248

Individual submunitions

 

1,068

Total

573,700

62,923,935

 

Under Article 3 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Germany was required to destroy all stockpiled cluster munitions under its jurisdiction and control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 August 2018.

Germany completed the destruction of its stockpiled cluster munitions on 25 November 2015, just under three years in advance of the deadline.

During 2015, Germany destroyed 7,526 cluster munitions and 4,845,750 submunitions, which represented its last remaining stocks except the portion retained for training:

  • 7,524 M26 rockets and 4,845,456 M77 submunitions by 25 November 2015; and
  • Two BL-755 cluster bombs and 294 Mk.1 submunitions by 30 June 2015.[32]

On 25 November 2015, the Federal Foreign Office and Federal Ministry of Defence issued a joint statement announcing that, “the last Bundeswehr cluster bombs were destroyed today.”[33] The Federal Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen said, “the destruction of such a massive amount of munitions is another milestone in our work towards worldwide disarmament” and is a demonstration of Germany’s “capabilities and experience in explosive ordnance disposal.” The Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier pledged that, “the German Government will continue to help other countries destroy their stockpiles and clear their territory of explosive mines and munitions,” stating, “our goal is and remains a worldwide ban on cluster munitions.”[34]

Germany often expressed its intent to complete stockpile destruction by the end of 2015 and provided regular updates on its progress.[35] It held an event on 25 November 2015 to mark the completion of destruction at the specialized ammunition disassembly and recycling company Nammo Buck GmbH in Pinnow, with German parliamentarians, media, and a representative from Handicap International on behalf of the CMC.

Germany destroyed the cluster munition stocks at three locations in Germany: Nammo Buck in Pinnow, Spreewerk Lübben in Lübben, and Muniberka in Dietersdorf. It also shipped cluster munitions to Norway for destruction at Lökken Verk outside Bergen.[36] The Article 7 reports describe the safety and environmental standards observed.[37]

Germany began destroying the BL-755 cluster bombs in 2001, while destruction of DM612 155mm artillery projectiles began in 2007, and destruction of the other types followed in 2009.[38]

In April 2013, Germany reported that it spent a total of €11.8 million on stockpile destruction prior to the entry into force of the convention and allocated another €29.6 million from 1 August 2010 to 2016, making a total expenditure of €41.4 million (US$53.2 million).[39]

Retention

In its April 2016 Article 7 report, Germany declared that it is retaining a total of 570 cluster munitions and 52,801 submunitions for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) training and research purposes, as listed in the following table.[40]

Cluster munitions retained in accordance with Article 3 (as of 31 December 2015)[41]

Type of cluster munition

Quantity of cluster munitions

Type of submunition

Quantity of submunitions

DM 602

194

DM1348

12,222

DM642/DM642A1

195

DM1383

12,285

DM602

181

DM1385A1

21,720

Submunition only

--

MUSA

735

Submunition only

--

KB44

3,010

Submunition only

--

STABO

550

Submunition only

--

MIFF

990

Submunition only

 

MUSPA

750

 

 

BLU-3/B

539

Total

570

 

52,801

 

Germany initially reported in 2012 that it would retain 782 cluster munitions and 71,872 submunitions, so the 2015 total represents a 27% reduction from the original number retained.[42]

Germany progressively reduced the number of cluster munitions retained by using them during EOD training. In 2011–2015, it consumed a total of 212 cluster munitions and 19,071 submunitions in EOD training as follows: 17 cluster munitions and 2,010 submunitions in 2015, 70 cluster munitions and 4,744 submunitions in 2014, 28 cluster munitions and 3,125 submunitions in 2013, 58 cluster munitions and 6,330 submunitions in 2012, and 39 cluster munitions and 2,862 submunitions in 2011.[43]

Despite this reduction, Germany still retains the largest number of submunitions of any State Party. The CMC has expressed concern at the retention of such a high numbers of cluster munitions and asked if Germany’s training program is large enough to require them.

In 2015, Germany reported that it continues to review of the amount of retained submunitions needed for EOD training.[44] In September 2013, Germany reported that “the calculations and plans for retention of selected items are kept under constant review, thus upholding the spirit of this convention. Thus, we can ensure that we retain only the very minimum quantity of cluster munitions necessary for permitted development and training.”[45]

Previously, in September 2012, Germany informed States Parties that it planned to intensify EOD training in light of the increasing dangers faced by German armed forces from improvised explosive devices (IEDs). As a result, it stated there would be “an estimated increase in consumption of individual submunitions of approximately 30% from 2013 onwards.”[46] In June 2012, the Federal Foreign Office provided the Monitor with a list of criteria used by the Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement to determine the number of cluster munitions to be retained for training.[47]



[1]Ausführungsgesetz zu Artikel 26 Abs. 2 des Deutschen Grundgesetzes (Gesetz über die Kontrolle von Kriegswaffen)” (“Act Implementing Article 26(2) of the Basic Law (War Weapons Control Act)”), 20 April 1961, Sections 18(a) and 21. The Act was amended on 6 June 2009 and entered into force on 11 June 2009 after it was published in the 2009 Federal Law Gazette (Bundesgesetzblatt) II-502. See, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Reports, Form A, 27 January 2011, and 30 April 2012. The act also establishes extraterritorial jurisdiction over German citizens violating its law overseas—Section 21 of the Weapons Control Act. See, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Harvard International Human Rights Clinic, “Fulfilling the Ban: Guidelines for Effective National Legislation to Implement the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” June 2010, p. 38.

[2] The report submitted on 27 January 2011 is for the period from 1 August to 31 December 2010, while calendar years are covered by the subsequent reports provided in April 2012 (for calendar year 2011), April 2013 (calendar year 2012), April 2014 (calendar year 2013), April 2015 (calendar year 2014), and April 2016 (calendar year 2015).

[3] For more details on Germany’s cluster munition policy and practice up to early 2009, see HRW and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 78–84. It has come to light that the United States (US) engaged with Germany during the Oslo Process to communicate its concerns especially with respect to “interoperability” (joint military operations with states not party). In a US Department of State cable dated 13 February 2008 that was released by Wikileaks on 1 September 2011, conventional arms control desk officer Burkhard Ducoffre reportedly informed the US that Germany did not favor doing anything that could limit military cooperation with states not party, whether it be in the context of a UN Chapter VII mission or a NATO operation, and said Germany favored adding an explicit exception to this effect in the draft text of the ban convention. “Germany agrees that Oslo Process text on cluster munitions should not hinder interoperability,” US Department of State cable 08BERLIN173 dated 13 February 2008, released by Wikileaks on 1 September 2011.

[4] Statement of Germany, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Review Conference, Dubrovnik, 7 September 2015.

[5] Ibid.

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

[7] Statement of Germany, Convention on Cluster Munition Fifth Meeting of States Parties, San José, 2 September 2014.

[8] Statement of Germany, Second Preparatory Meetings for the First Review Conference of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Geneva, 24 June 2015. Notes by Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) and HRW.

[9] Statement of Germany, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Review Conference, Dubrovnik, 7 September 2015.

[10] On 18 October 2012, Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said that any use of cluster munitions in Syria would be “a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law” to be condemned “in the strongest terms.” At the convention’s intersessional meetings in April 2013, Germany strongly condemned Syria’s use of cluster munitions, stating, “the use of these indiscriminate weapons cannot be justified.” See, “Westerwelle besorgt wegen Einsatzes von Streubomben in Syrien” (“Westerwelle concerned about use of cluster bombs in Syria”), Die Welt, 18 October 2012. In September 2013, Germany stated “we are deeply concerned about reports that cluster munitions have been used in the conflict in Syria.” Statement of Germany, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 10 September 2013.

[11]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 70/234, 23 December 2015. Germany voted in favor of similar resolutions on 15 May and 18 December 2013, and in 2014.

[13] Statement of Germany, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Review Conference, Dubrovnik, 7 September 2015.

[14] Email from the German Federal Foreign Office, Division 241, 13 June 2012.

[15] Section 18(a) of the War Weapons Control Act states that it is prohibited to “transport [cluster munitions] through or otherwise bring them into or out of a federal territory.” See HRW and Harvard International Human Rights Clinic, “Fulfilling the Ban: Guidelines for Effective National Legislation to Implement the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” June 2010, p. 15.

[16] A US cable dated 2 December 2008 citing a discussion between US officials and Gregor Köbel, Director of the Conventional Arms Control Division of the German Federal Foreign Office, states “Koebel stressed that the US will continue to be able to store and transport CM [Cluster Munitions] in Germany, noting that this should be of ‘no concern whatsoever to our American colleagues.’” “MFA gives reassurances on stockpiling of US cluster munitions in Germany,” US Department of State cable 08BERLIN1609 dated 2 December 2008, released by Wikileaks on 1 September 2011.

[17] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Volker Böhm, Federal Foreign Office, 13 June 2013. In 2012, the Federal Foreign Office informed the Monitor that the “Federal Government expects…German financial institutions to respect the legal obligations under the War Weapons Control Act and to implement their voluntary commitments aimed at disinvesting in the field of [cluster munitions]” and added that it is “following the relevant developments closely.” Email from the German Federal Foreign Office, Division 241, 13 June 2012.

[18] See, Motion presented by the Social Democratic Party, the Left Party, and the Alliance 90/Greens, “Investitionen in Antipersonenminen und Streumunition gesetzlich verbieten und die steuerliche Förderung beenden” (“A legal prohibition on tax incentives and investments in antipersonnel mines and cluster munitions”), German Parliament (Bundestag) 17/7339, 18 October 2011; and Bundestag, Stenographic Report, 168th Meeting, Plenary Proceedings 17/168, 22 March 2012.

[19] PAX, Worldwide investment in Cluster Munitions: a shared responsibility, June 2016 update (Utrecht, June 2016), pp. 21, 23, and 26. The report lists Allianz and Siemens as holding investments in Orbital ATK, with Allianz holding additional investments in Poongsan, and Deutsche Bank holding investments in Hanwha, all companies known to produce cluster munitions. See also PAX, Worldwide investment in Cluster Munitions: a shared responsibility, November 2014 update (Utrecht, November 2014).

[20] Letter from Gregor Köbel, Federal Foreign Office, 5 February 2009.

[21] Email from Jörg-Alexander Albrecht, Desk Officer, Conventional Arms Control, Federal Foreign Office, 30 April 2010.

[22] Letter from Gregor Köbel, Federal Foreign Office, 5 February 2009.

[23] Germany did not list the production facilities or indicate measures taken to convert or decommission them. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form E, 27 January 2011.

[24] In 2004, Germany transferred 270 M26 rockets and transferred another 132 in 2005. Submission of Germany, UN Register of Conventional Arms, Report for Calendar Year 2004, 26 May 2005; and Report for Calendar Year 2005, 1 June 2006.

[25] The MLRS program was known as the Mittleres Artillerieraketenwerfersystem(MARS). Leland S. Ness and Anthony G. Williams, eds., Jane’s Ammunition Handbook 2007–2008 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2007), p. 716. The 110mm Light Artillery Rocket System was in service with the German army from 1969 until the mid-1980s, and a submunition warhead was developed for this weapon but was apparently not placed into production. Terry J. Gander, ed., Jane’s Ammunition Handbook 1997–1998 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 1997), p. 533.

[26] Robert Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, Issue 44 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2004), pp. 360–361. RTG Euromunition GmbH acted as the exporter for the MW-1. According to the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), after 1996 production of MW-1 was undertaken by Daimler-Benz-Aerospace (DASA). Email from Thomas Küchenmeister, Director, Actiongroup Landmine.de, 24 April 2009.

[27] These DPICM submunitions included non-self-destructing (DM1348) and self-destructing (DM1383) variants designed in Germany, as well as a self-destructing type designed in Israel (M85, also known as DM1385 when contained in German-produced projectiles).

[28] In June 2007, Rheinmetall stated that its involvement in cluster munition production had ended: “Cluster ammunition and/or subammunitions [sic] for such ordnance, bombs and cluster bombs do not belong to those goods which are developed, produced or assembled by Rheinmetall nor any of our subsidiaries.” Letter from Rheinmetall to Norges Bank (acting on behalf of the Council on Ethics for the Government Pension Fund-Global), 5 June 2007, unofficial translation by the Norwegian Ministry of Finance, cited in Norwegian Ministry of Finance, “Tilrådning - Ny vurdering av selskapet Rheinmetall AG” (“Recommendation - New assessment of the company Rheinmetall AG”), 5 September 2007.

[29] Article 2.2(c) of the Convention on Cluster Munitions excludes munitions with submunitions if they have less than 10 submunitions and each submunition weighs more than four kilograms, can detect and engage a single target object, and is equipped with electronic self-destruction and self-deactivation features.

[30] Rheinmetall DeTec AG Press Release, “SMArt 155—Proven Reliability and Accuracy,” June 2005; and letter from Peter Hooton, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 27 April 2010. In October 2007, it was reported that Australia “has finalised the acquisition of SMArt 155 artillery rounds worth AUD14 million (US$ 12.3 million) for its 36 M198 155mm towed howitzers.” Jane’s Defence Weekly, 4 October 2007.

[31] Germany originally declared a stockpile of 43,146 M26 rockets in its initial Article 7 report. However, Germany reduced this figured by 6,804 rockets in its report for the year of 2011. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, April 2012.

[32] Germany reported 1,254 pods rather than the number of individual rockets (six per pod) which was 7,524. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, 5 April 2016.

[33] Federal Foreign Office and Federal Ministry of Defence press release, “Germany fulfils Oslo Convention obligations ahead of time - 50,000 tonnes of cluster munitions destroyed,” 25 November 2015.

[34] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, 5 April 2016.

[36] In April 2015, Germany reported that 787 cluster munitions of two types and 40,723 explosive submunitions were transferred to Norway and destroyed in 2014. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Forms B and C, 20 April 2015.

[37] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Reports, Form B, 5 April 2016; 20 April 2015; 30 April 2014; April 2013; 30 April 2012; and 27 January 2011.

[38] Response of the Federal Government to questions by Agnes Malczak, Dr. Gerhard Shick, Marie Luise Beck, other parliament members (Bundestagsabgeordnete), and the Alliance 90/Greens parliamentary group, “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” 17/2972, 5 October 2010.

[39] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form I, April 2013. Average exchange rate for 2012: €1=US$1.2859. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2013.

[40] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form C, 5 April 2016.

[41] Ibid.

[42] Ibid., 30 April 2012; and 5 April 2016.

[43] Ibid., 5 April 2016; 20 April 2015; 30 April 2014; April 2013; 30 April 2012; and 27 January 2011.

[44] Ibid., 20 April 2015.

[45] Statement of Germany, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 11 September 2013.

[46] In addition, “Some types of submunitions, previously designated for training will not now be used for this purpose and will be instead destroyed, resulting in a further decrease in the numbers retained.” According to the presentation, “the complete stock of retained cluster munitions will be used up even earlier than 2020 as well as approximately 50% of the retained submunitions.” It stated that the quantity of the munitions retained based on EOD personnel training needs over a 10-year period means “on average…that two to four items of live munitions are expended during the course for each participant.” Presentation and statement of Germany, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 13 September 2012.

[47] Email from the German Federal Foreign Office, Division 241, 13 June 2012. See also, statement of Germany, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 11 September 2013.


Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 11 October 2012

The Federal Republic of Germany signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 23 July 1998, becoming a State Party on 1 March 1999. Germany produced, imported, and exported mines. Production was renounced in April 1996, and a 1994 export moratorium was made permanent in 1996. Legislation to enforce the antipersonnel mine prohibition domestically entered into force on 9 July 1998. In April 2012, Germany submitted its 14th Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report.

Germany destroyed its stockpile of 1.7 million antipersonnel mines in December 1997. Germany initially retained 3,000 mines for training and development purposes, which was reduced to 2,130 mines by the end of 2011.[1] On 3 March 2011, 22,716 antipersonnel mines were transferred from Turkey to a company in Germany in order to be destroyed.[2]

In 2011 and 2012, Germany served as co-chair of the Standing Committee on stockpile destruction. Germany served as co-rapporteur of the Standing Committee on Technologies for Mine Action (1999–2000) and as co-rapporteur and then co-chair of the Standing Committees on Mine Clearance (2000–2002) and General Status and Operation of the Convention (2006–2008).

Germany attended the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in November–December 2011 and the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva in May 2012. At both meetings, Germany made a number of statements including on stockpile destruction and retention, the treaty’s implementation support unit, cooperation and assistance, and on its progress to clear unexploded ordnance, including antipersonnel mines, from a former military training base at Wittstock.

Germany is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war.

 



[1] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, April 2012. Germany reported consuming 71 antipersonnel mines in 2011 for training and research purposes.

[2] Statement of Germany, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee Meeting on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 20 June 2011.


Mine Action

Last updated: 08 July 2018

 

Treaty status

Convention on Cluster Munitions

State Party. Article 4 deadline: 1 August 2020
Unclear whether on track to meet deadline

Mine action management

National mine action management actors

Clearance is the responsibility of the federal government authority in charge of real estate, Bundesanstalt für Immobilienaufgaben (BImA), which owns the Wittstock fomer training range, the area contaminated by cluster munition remnants

Mine action strategic plan

No

Operators in 2017

National government. By the end of 2017, 40–45 deminers per month

Extent of contamination as of end 2017

Landmines

No mine contamination

Cluster munition remnants

Approximately 11km2, all at a former Soviet military training area at Wittstock, Brandenburg

ERW

The former military training area at Wittstock is also contaminated with various kinds of explosive ordnance

Land release in 2017

Cluster munition remnants

0.5km2 cleared
513 submunitions destroyed

ERW

2,395 ERW destroyed during cluster munition clearance

Progress

Cluster munition remnants

In 2017, Germany commenced clearance, five years after it first reported cluster munition contamination. However, it has not stated when it expects the clearance to be completed. Although it intends to meet its August 2020 clearance deadline, there are several factors that may lead to unplanned delays

Note: ERW = explosive remnants of war.

Contamination

As of December 2017, the Federal Republic of Germany had approximately 11km2of area suspected to contain cluster munition remnants at a former Soviet military training area at Wittstock, Brandenburg, in the former East Germany.[1] This is unchanged from the contamination reported for 2016,[2] despite clearance of 470,000m2 in 2017.[3] The Soviet-era ShOAB-0.5 submunitions contaminating Wittstock result from testing of the weapon in 1952–1993.[4] The area is heavily contaminated with various kinds of explosive ordnance, and “especially ordnance with considerable explosive power,” as well as scrap metal.[5] The area is completely perimeter-marked with warning signs, and an official directive (effective 1 July 2011) has been issued by the responsible regulatory and supervisor authority, constraining access to the area.[6]

In its initial Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 transparency report, submitted in January 2011, Germany declared having no areas confirmed or suspected to contain cluster munition remnants.[7] In June 2011, however, at a Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee meeting, Germany declared that the area at Wittstock was suspected to contain cluster munition remnants.[8] Germany repeated the information at the Convention on Cluster Munitions intersessional meetings a week later, noting that the remnants were “principally found within the confines of a target range” located at the south of the training area.[9]

From 2011 to early 2014, suspected cluster munition contamination was reported to total 4km2.[10] In August 2014, however, Germany reported that the total suspected hazardous area (SHA) was actually 11km2.[11] The greatly increased estimate was ascribed to discovery of submunitions during non-technical survey across a wider area than previously reported.[12]

Program Management

In early October 2011, ownership of the Wittstock former training range was transferred from the military to the federal government authority in charge of real estate, Bundesanstalt für Immobilienaufgaben (BImA). Beginning in 2012, BImA implemented a risk education program in collaboration with local authorities based on a “danger prevention plan.” The plan was described as a “crucial prerequisite” for further technical survey of the area.[13] Activities included marking the perimeter and preventing civilian access to the area.[14]

Once safely released, the site is due to remain part of a “nature protection area” in the Kyritz-Ruppiner-Heide, managed by BImA as part of the Europa NATURA 2000 site, under the European Union (EU) Habitats Directive.[15]

Strategic planning

Germany has not yet developed a national plan to complete clearance of all cluster munition remnants; nor has it set specific milestones for the release of areas confirmed or suspected to contain cluster munition remnants. It has explained that their decision is due to the high level of contamination at the site, which includes different types of ERW, and the varying spatial distribution of contamination, due to overlapping contamination from multiple weapon types, encountered during clearance efforts in 2017.[16]

Operators

Clearance capacity during the first months of 2017 comprised some 20 deminers, which later increased to a monthly average of 40–45.[17] As of July 2018, three private companies were being tasked to conduct operations at the site.[18] Germany was hoping to further increase clearance capacity to around 150 deminers in 2018, but may not be able to achieve this.[19] There are reportedly staff shortages for deminers in companies and in the market in general in Germany, in particular for the specially licensed team leaders required by German law.[20]

Land Release

In 2017, Germany conducted clearance, for the first time, of cluster munition-contaminated area at Wittstock. It reported total clearance of 470,000m2.

Survey in 2017

No cluster munition-contaminated area was released by survey in 2017.

Clearance in 2017

Clearance efforts at Wittstock began in March 2017, following completion of preparation of a fire protection system the same month, during which 2km2 of heathland was burnt.[21] Germany cleared 470,000m2, between March and December 2017, during which 513 submunitions were destroyed (329 shOAB-0.5; 33 AO-1SCh; 1 AO-1 SC; 61 ZAB 2.5M; 87 PTAB 2.5M; and 2 PTAB 10-5), along with 2,395 items of other unexploded ordinance (UXO).[22] Magnetometers were used for pre-clearance of large ferrous items, and metal detectors for cluster munition remnant detection.[23]

Article 4 Compliance

Under Article 4 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Germany is required to destroy all cluster munition remnants in areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 August 2020. It is unclear whether Germany is on track to meet this deadline.

In the last five years, Germany has conducted clearance in only one year, 2017, clearing less than 0.5km2 of cluster munition remnant-contaminated area (see table below).

Clearance capacity in 2017 increased from 20 personnel at the start of clearance in early 2017, to a monthly average of 40–45, and could potentially be increased to up to as many as 150 in 2018.[24] However, staffing shortages in Germany may pose challenges to achieving this.[25]

Furthermore, in addition to possible staffing shortfalls, Germany foresees other potential obstacles that could impact its ability to meet its Article 4 deadline, including the very high level of cluster munition and UXO contamination; the very different spatial distribution of the contamination; higher levels of contamination than expected; restrictions due to legal requirements (fire protection and nature conservation); reduced burning of heathland due to unfavorable meteorological conditions; and shortage of destruction capacities at the responsible state authorities.[26]

Germany reported that it intends to meet its Article 4 deadline, but that these factors could lead to unplanned delays.[27] Given the tight timetable, such delays could prevent Germany from meeting its Article 4 deadline of 1 August 2020.

 

 

The Monitor acknowledges the contributions of the Mine Action Review (www.mineactionreview.org), which has conducted the primary mine action research in 2018 and shared all its country-level landmine reports (from“Clearing the Mines 2018”) and country-level cluster munition reports (from “Clearing Cluster Munition Remnants 2018”) with the Monitor. The Monitor is responsible for the findings presented online and in its print publications.



[1] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for 2017), Form F; and email from official from the Desk for Conventional Arms Control, German Federal Foreign Office, 7 May 2018.

[2] Email from official from the Desk for Conventional Arms Control, German Federal Foreign Office, 19 April 2017; and Convention On Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for 2016), Form F.

[3] Email from official from the Desk for Conventional Arms Control, German Federal Foreign Office, 7 May 2018.

[4] Convention On Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for 2016), Form F; and statement of Germany, High-Level Segment, Convention On Cluster Munitions First Review Conference, Dubrovnik, 7 September 2015.

[5] Statement of Germany, Convention On Cluster Munitions First Review Conference, Dubrovnik, 7 September 2015.

[6] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form G, 4 April 2012; and Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form F (2014), 20 April 2015.

[7] Convention On Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for 2010), Form F.

[8] Statement of Germany, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings (Standing Committee on Mine Action), Geneva, 21 June 2011.

[9] Statement of Germany, Convention On Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings (Clearance and Risk Reduction Session), Geneva, 28 June 2011.

[10] Ibid.; and statement of Germany, Convention On Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 13 September 2012; Convention On Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for 2012), Form F; and Convention On Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for 2013), Form F.

[11] Email from official from the Desk for Conventional Arms Control, German Federal Foreign Office, 4 August 2014.

[12] Statement of Germany, Convention On Cluster Munitions First Review Conference, Dubrovnik, 7 September 2015.

[13] Statement of Germany, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings (Standing Committee on Mine Action), Geneva, 23 May 2012.

[14] Convention On Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for 2011), Form G.

[15] Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 15 April 2013, p. 7; and Convention On Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for 2015), Form F.

[16] Emails from official from the Desk for Conventional Arms Control, German Federal Foreign Office, 7 May and 12 July 2018.

[17] Email from official from the Desk for Conventional Arms Control, German Federal Foreign Office, 7 May 2018.

[18] Ibid., 12 July 2018.

[19] Ibid., 7 May 2018.

[20] Ibid., 12 July 2018.

[21] Ibid., 19 April and 13 June 2017; and Convention On Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for 2016), Form F.

[22] Convention On Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for 2017), Form F; and email from official from the Desk for Conventional Arms Control, German Federal Foreign Office, 7 May 2018.

[23] Convention On Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for 2017), Form F.

[24] Email from official from the Desk for Conventional Arms Control, German Federal Foreign Office, 7 May 2018; and Convention On Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for 2017), Form F.

[25] Email from official from the Desk for Conventional Arms Control, German Federal Foreign Office, 7 May 2018.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Ibid.


Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 23 September 2019

In 2018, the Federal Republic of Germany provided nearly €36 million (US$42.5 million)[1] in mine action funding to 11 countries and one other area, half its 2017 level when it contributed €74.7 million ($84.4 million).

The largest contribution went to Iraq (€13.7 million/$16.2 million) for clearance, risk education, victim assistance, and capacity-building activities, which represents more than one-third (38%) of Germany’s total contribution for the year.

Afghanistan also received substantial funds with €7 million ($8 million) for clearance and victim assistance projects, while three additional countries (Syria, Somalia and South Sudan) received more than $2 million each.

In 2015, Germany explained it was seeking to reduce the number of countries benefiting from its assistance[2] in order to be able to strengthen its support for mine action projects in 10 partner countries.[3]

Contributions by recipient: 2018[4]

Recipient

Sector

Amount (€)

Amount (US$)

Iraq

Various

13,714,756

16,206,727

Afghanistan

Clearance and victim assistance

7,000,000

8,271,900

Syria

Clearance and capacity-building

2,414,640

2,853,380

Somalia

Clearance

2,250,000

2,658,825

South Sudan

Clearance and victim assistance

2,000,000

2,363,400

Ukraine

Clearance and risk education

1,865,335

2,204,266

Cambodia

Clearance

1,500,000

1,772,550

Colombia

Various

1,205,522

1,424,565

Yemen

Clearance

1,000,000

1,181,700

Western Sahara

Clearance and capacity-building

975,200

1,152,394

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Clearance and victim assistance

828,970

979,594

Global (GICHD)

Capacity-building

576,522

681,276

Myanmar

Victim assistance

400,000

472,680

Global (ICBL-CMC)

Advocacy

250,000

295,425

Total

 

35,980,945

42,518,682

Note: GICHD = Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining; ICBL-CMC = International Campaign to Ban Landmines–Cluster Munition Coalition.

From 2014–2018, Germany contributed more than €170 million ($197 million) to mine action, more than two-fifths of which was provided in 2017 alone. In comparison, in the previous five-year period from 2009–2013, its support totaled €86.7 million ($1116.6 million).

Until 2013, Germany consistently contributed approximately €17 million ($23 million) each year in support to mine action. In 2014, Germany’s funding totaled some €13 million ($17.5 million), which represented its lowest level since 2007 when it provided €13.4 million ($18.4 million). In 2016 and 2017, Germany significantly increased its mine action funding, reaching a peak of nearly €75 million ($84.4 million). In 2018, Germany’s support to mine action decreased by 50% but still remained above the 2016 level.

Summary of contributions: 2014–2018[5]

Year

Amount (€)

Amount (US$)

% change from previous year (US$)

2018

35,980,945

42,518,682

-50

2017

74,683,257

84,399,549

+126

2016

33,682,119

37,292,841

+145

2015

13,706,155

15,208,351

-13

2014

13,183,431

17,530,008

-21

Total

171,235,907

196,949,431

 

 


[1] Average exchange rate for 2018: €1=US$1.1817. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 2 January 2019.

[2] According to the Monitor, between 2011 and 2015, Germany provided support to a total of 36 countries and areas.

[3] The 10 partners identified by Germany were: Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan, and Western Sahara. Statement of Germany, 18th International Meeting of Mine Action National Programme Directors and UN Advisors, Geneva, 19 February 2015.

[4] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, 4 April 2019.

[5] See previous Monitor reports.