Signatory Uganda has not taken any steps to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions and abstained from voting on a key United Nations (UN) resolution promoting the convention in December 2021. Uganda has participated in meetings of the convention, most recently in May 2022.
Uganda states that it has not used, produced, or stockpiled cluster munitions, but there is evidence that cluster munitions were used in Uganda in the past.
The Republic of Uganda signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008.
The status of Uganda’s ratification of the convention is not known. In the past, officials have committed to complete ratification. Yet Uganda’s Cabinet still has not submitted the ratification request to parliament for approval.
Uganda participated extensively in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions and hosted a regional meeting on cluster munitions in Kampala in September 2008.
Uganda has participated in formal meetings of the convention, most recently the Eighth Meeting of States Parties in September 2018. It also attended the convention’s intersessional meetings in May 2022.
In December 2021, Uganda abstained from the vote on a key United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution urging states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.” Since 2015, Uganda has abstained from the vote on the annual resolution promoting the convention, with the exception of 2019, when it voted in favor.
Uganda is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).
Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling
Uganda has stated several times that it does not stockpile cluster munitions and has never used, produced, or transferred them. At the convention’s First Review Conference in 2015, Uganda stated that it “does not use, produce, stockpile or transfer cluster munitions and does not intend to do so.” In May 2017, a senior official told a workshop that Uganda had never manufactured, acquired, transferred, or used cluster munitions.
The Monitor will continue to list Uganda as a stockpiler of cluster munitions until it provides an Article 7 transparency report to formally clarify the status of any stocks.
Mine action teams in northern Uganda, near the then-Sudan border, have cleared remnants of RBK-250-275 AO-1SCh cluster bombs that were used in past fighting between the Ugandan military and a non-state armed group (NSAG), the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). On several occasions, Uganda has denied that its armed forces ever used the air-dropped cluster munitions and claimed that the LRA was responsible.
Uganda has denied using cluster bombs in South Sudan in early 2014, when it was providing air support to the government of South Sudan in an operation against opposition forces. Remnants of at least eight RBK-250-275 cluster bombs and AO-1SCh submunitions were found near a road south of Bor, in an area that was not previously known to be contaminated. In September 2014, Uganda denied that its armed forces possessed cluster bombs and stated that it had not used the weapon in South Sudan.
 In May 2017, Uganda’s Minister of State for Defense and Veterans Affairs, Col. Charles Okello Engola, reiterated the government’s commitment to ratify the convention. See, “Final Report on Convention on Cluster Munitions Ratification Seminar,” Kampala, 29–30 May 2017. See also, statement of Uganda, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Review Conference, Dubrovnik, 9 September 2015; statement of Uganda, Accra Regional Conference on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Accra, 28 May 2012; statement of Uganda, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 13 September 2011; and statement of Uganda, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 9 November 2010.
 Convention on Cluster Munitions Coordination Committee Meeting, Geneva, 28 April 2016. Notes by the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC). In February 2014, a Ugandan diplomat told the CMC that the ratification process requires Cabinet approval before it can be referred to parliament for adoption. Interview with Matata Twaha, Second Secretary, Permanent Mission of Uganda to the UN in Geneva, Geneva, 20 February 2014.
 This marked Uganda’s first participation in a meeting of the convention since 2015. Uganda participated in the convention’s First Review Conference in 2015, Meetings of States Parties in 2010–2014 and 2018, and intersessional meetings in 2011–2015. It did not attend the Second Review Conference held in November 2020 and September 2021.
 “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 76/47, 6 December 2021.
 “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 74/62, 12 December 2019.
 In April 2012, a government official informed the intersessional meetings of the convention that “Uganda has never manufactured, acquired, stockpiled, transferred or used cluster munitions.” Statement of Uganda, Convention on Cluster Munitions intersessional meetings, Geneva, 18 April 2012. In September 2011, Uganda stated that it has never used, produced, transferred, or acquired cluster munitions. Statement of Uganda, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 13 September 2011. In June 2009, a senior official said that Uganda does not possess any stockpiled cluster munitions. Presentation by Maj.-Gen. J. F. Oketta, Office of the Prime Minister, Berlin Conference on the Destruction of Cluster Munitions, 25 June 2009, slides 2 and 22.
 Col. Charles Engola Okello, Minister of State for Defense and Veterans Affairs, “Final Report on Convention on Cluster Munitions Ratification Seminar,” Kampala, 29–30 May 2017.
 Information and photographs provided to Human Rights Watch (HRW) by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). See also, statement by Amb. Cissy Taliwaku, Deputy Head of Mission, Permanent Mission of Uganda to the UN in Geneva, to the Belgrade Conference for States Affected by Cluster Munitions, 4 October 2007. Notes by the CMC.
 Uganda Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 2 April 2008 to 2 April 2009), Form J. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database. See also, “Landmine survivors welcome ban on cluster bombs,” The New Humanitarian, 4 June 2008; Paul Amoru, “Cluster bombs conference on,” Daily Monitor, 29 September 2008; and interview with Maj.-Gen. J. F. Oketta, Office of the Prime Minister of Uganda, in Berlin, 25 June 2009.
 In February 2014, evidence emerged showing that in the period since mid-December 2013, cluster munitions were used outside of Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, during the conflict between the opposition forces loyal to South Sudan’s former Vice President Riek Machar and Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) government forces, with air support for the SPLA provided by Uganda. HRW press release, “South Sudan: Investigate New Cluster Bomb Use,” 15 February 2014.
 The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) report noted, “UNMAS [United Nations Mine Action Service] found physical evidence of the use of cluster munitions in the Malek area of Bor county, approximately 16 kilometres south of Bor along the Juba-Bor Road.” UNMISS, “Conflict in South Sudan: A Human Rights Report,” 8 May 2014.