Ten-Year Review: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) signed the convention in 2009 and its parliament approved ratification in 2013, but the ratification process still has not been completed. The DRC attended the Ninth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in September 2019, its first participation in a meeting of the convention since 2015. It voted in favor of a key United Nations (UN) resolution promoting the convention in December 2019.
In 2011, the DRC reported that it has never used, produced, or transferred cluster munitions, and does not possess a stockpile. Cluster munitions were used in the DRC in the past, but the party or parties responsible has never been conclusively identified.
The DRC signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 18 March 2009.
The current status of the DRC’s ratification efforts is not known. The Senate adopted the ratification legislation on 28 November 2013. In 2015, the DRC stated that the ratification legislation was awaiting review by the Constitutional Court.
The DRC stated in 2014 that its implementation legislation for the Mine Ban Treaty had been amended to incorporate provisions of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. However, the Monitor has never been able to obtain a copy of the law to confirm this.
The DRC provided three voluntary Article 7 transparency reports for the Convention on Cluster Munitions in 2011–2014, but none since then.
The DRC actively participated in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions and strongly supported a comprehensive ban as well as the inclusion of provisions on international cooperation and assistance. Due to inadequate signing authority, the DRC could not sign the convention in Oslo in December 2008, but it signed three months later at the UN in New York.
The DRC has participated in meetings of the convention, most recently the Ninth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in September 2019. This was its first participation in a meeting of the convention since 2015.
In December 2019, the DRC voted in favor of a key UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution that urges states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.” It has voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since it was first introduced in 2015.
The DRC has abstained from Human Rights Council resolutions condemning use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in June 2020.
The DRC has elaborated its views on several important issues relating to the interpretation and implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. In 2012, the government’s national mine action coordinator said that the DRC agreed with the views of the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) that the provisions of the convention forbid transit in, foreign stockpiling of, and investment in the production of cluster munitions, and also forbid assistance with the use of cluster munitions in joint military operations with states not party.
The DRC is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.
Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling
The DRC reports that it has never produced cluster munitions and does not possess a stockpile.
However, the DRC may have received a shipment of Chilean-manufactured cluster munitions from Zimbabwe in or after July 2013. As a signatory, under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the DRC has committed not to take any action that runs contrary to the object and purpose of the convention such as importing or otherwise receiving cluster munitions.
The DRC states that it never used cluster munitions, but “foreign armies” used cluster munitions in the DRC in the past. The DRC’s cluster munition contamination includes BL-755, BLU-63, BLU-55, ShAOB-0.5, and PM1-type submunitions.
In May 2013, the DRC reported that an abandoned stockpile of 1,593 ShAOB-0.5 submunitions was found and destroyed in Goma in 2011.
 See, Convention on Cluster Munitions voluntary Article 7 Report, Form A, June 2014; and statement by Sudi Alimasi Kimputu, Coordinator, Congolese National Center for the Fight Against Mines (Centre Congolais de Lutte Antimines, CCLAM), Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 7 April 2014.
 Statement by Sudi Alimasi Kimputu, CCLAM, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 22 June 2015.
 Ibid., 7 April 2014. This was not declared in the voluntary Article 7 transparency report it submitted in June 2014. See, Convention on Cluster Munitions voluntary Article 7 Report, Form A, June 2014.
 The initial Convention on Cluster Munitions voluntary Article 7 report submitted on 15 May 2011 covers the period from February 2002 to 15 May 2011, while the report provided on 10 April 2012 covers calendar year 2011, and the report provided in June 2014 covers calendar years 2012 and 2013.
 For details on the DRC’s cluster munition policy and practice through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 60–61.
 It did not attend meetings of the convention in 2016–2018. The DRC participated in the convention’s Meetings of States Parties in 2010–2014, the First Review Conference in 2015, and intersessional meetings in 2011–2015, as well as regional workshops on cluster munitions, most recently the Kampala Convention on Cluster Munitions ratification seminar on 29–30 May 2017.
 “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 74/62, 12 December 2019.
 The DRC voted in favor of the Convention on Cluster Munitions resolution in 2015, 2016 and 2018, but was absent from the vote on UNGA Resolution 72/54 in December 2017.
 See, “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” Human Rights Council Resolution 43/28, 22 June 2020.
 Meeting with Sudi Alimasi Kimputu, National Focal Point of the Struggle Against Mines (Point Focal National pour la Lutte Antimines, PFNLAM), in Brussels, 15 April 2012.
 Response to Monitor questionnaire by Capt. Roger Bokwango, Deputy Coordinator, PFNLAM, 30 March 2010; and statement by Nzuzi Manzembi, Director, Directorate of International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 6 March 2009. Notes by the Congolese Campaign to Ban Landmines (CCIM).
 In May 2018, HRW reviewed a copy of an official document including “packing list” addressed to the National Army of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, dated 3 July 2013 and issued on the letterhead of Zimbabwe Defense Industries Ltd. The document lists various weapons including three crates or pallets of cluster bombs, one weighing 350kg and two weighing 150kg each. According to the document, a manual for CB-250K cluster bombs was also provided. It is unclear if complete cluster bombs were provided or components. Chile produced and transferred CB-250K cluster bombs prior signing the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions.
 Statement by Sudi Alimasi Kimputu, CCLAM, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 7 April 2014. See also, statement of the DRC, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 28 June 2011.
 In May 2013, the DRC reported for the first time that BLU-55 type submunitions had been found and destroyed in Katanga and South Kivu provinces. It also reported for the first time that ShAOB-type submunitions were destroyed during clearance operations in Lubumbashi in 2012. It reported that in 2012, 55 submunitions of the type PM1 were destroyed in Bolomba, Équateur province, and a further nine PM1 submunitions destroyed in Lubutu, Maniema province in 2013. The official stated that BL-755 and BLU-55 submunitions had been destroyed in Manono and Kabalo, Katanga province, and in Shabunda, South Kivu province. Statement of the DRC, Lomé Regional Seminar on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Lomé, Togo, 23 May 2013. Notes by Action on Armed Violence (AOAV). See also, statement of the DRC, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, Lao PDR, 11 November 2010. Notes by the CMC; and statement of the DRC, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 28 June 2011.
 Convention on Cluster Munitions voluntary Article 7 Report, Form F, 10 April 2012; statement by Sudi Alimasi Kimputu, PFNLAM, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 18 April 2012. The DRC stated that the submunitions were left in the eastern part of the country by foreign troops invited onto its territory in recent armed conflicts. The stockpile consisted of three bombs containing 531 submunitions each. The armed forces gave the submunitions to mine action NGO Mines Advisory Group (MAG) to destroy.