Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 04 September 2020

Ten-Year Review: Non-signatory Algeria views the convention banning cluster munitions favorably but has not taken any steps to accede to it. Algeria participated in one meeting of the convention, in 2015, where it expressed firm opposition to cluster munitions. It has voted in favor of key annual United Nations (UN) resolutions promoting the convention, most recently in December 2019.

Algeria is not known to have used, produced, or exported cluster munitions, but it is reported to possess a stockpile.


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

Algeria regards the treaty banning cluster munitions favorably, but has not taken any steps to join the convention. In 2015, it told States Parties that the convention “provides a useful international norm to the global regime on disarmament.”[1]

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 later that year.[2] At the Vienna conference in December 2007, Algeria described cluster munitions as “evil weapons” requiring urgent action through “a legally binding instrument.”[3]

According to a United States (US) Department of State cable released by Wikileaks in 2011, US officials met with Algeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in February 2008 and urged Algeria to not help create a convention “that would interfere with cooperation efforts aimed at non-state parties.”[4]

Over the past decade, Algerian officials have raised national security concerns in response to requests to join the convention as well as the need for neighboring countries to join.[5] Algeria’s direct neighbors Mali and Tunisia are States Parties to the convention, while Libya is not. In March 2019, an Algerian official told the Monitor that the government’s position on joining the convention has not changed.[6]

Algeria participated as an observer in the convention’s First Review Conference in 2015 and attended an international meeting of the convention in 2010. This marks its only participation to date in the work of the convention. Algeria was invited to, but did not attend, the convention’s Ninth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in September 2019.

Nonetheless, Algeria voted in favor of a key UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution in December 2019, which urges states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.”[7] Algeria has voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since 2016, after abstaining from the vote in 2015, when the resolution was first introduced.

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

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

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

Algeria has imported cluster munitions and possesses a stockpile. Jane’s Information Group reported in 2004 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 surface-launched Grad 122mm, Uragan 220mm, and Smerch 300mm 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] 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.

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

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

[5] Previously, in 2009, an Algerian official told the Monitor that the government has undertaken a study to consider the convention and factors such as the country’s internal situation, its long borders, and the positions of neighboring countries. The government reviewing the study and concluded that Algeria was not in a position to sign the convention at that time. Interview with Hamza Khelif, Deputy Director of Disarmament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mine Ban Treaty Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 4 December 2009.

[6] Interview with Col. Abdellah Hafsi, Ministry of National Defense, Geneva, 26 March 2019.

[7]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 74/62, 12 December 2019.

[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).