Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 17 August 2015

Five-Year Review: Signatory Rwanda’s parliament adopted legislation approving ratification of the convention in 2011 and Rwanda’s president signed an executive order approving ratification in December 2014. The last remaining step is for Rwanda to deposit the instrument of ratification. Rwanda participated in one of the convention’s Meetings of States Parties in 2013. In October 2014, Rwanda expressed concern at the use of cluster munitions in eastern Ukraine. Rwanda states that it has never used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions.


The Republic of Rwanda signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008.

As of August 2015, the last remaining step for Rwanda to complete its ratification was the deposit its instrument of ratification with the United Nations in New York.[1]

Rwanda’s Council of Ministers approved ratification of the convention on 11 November 2009.[2] Draft ratification legislation was then introduced in parliament by the Minister of Internal Security. The Chamber of Deputies adopted the ratification legislation on 22 March 2011 and then the Senate adopted the ratification legislation on 25 April 2011. Law 13/2011 was enacted by both houses of parliament on 30 May 2011 and published in the Official Gazette on 9 June 2011.[3] A ratification decree issued by the President Paul Kagame of Rwanda was published in the Official Gazette on 29 December 2014, marking the completion of the domestic approval process to ratify the convention.[4]

Rwanda attended one regional meeting of the Oslo Process (Kampala, Uganda in September 2008) that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions before it signed the convention in Oslo in December 2008.[5]

Rwanda has participated in one meeting of the convention, in September 2012, when it attended the Third Meeting of the States Parties in Oslo, Norway. It has not attended the convention’s intersessional meetings held in Geneva since 2011, but a Rwandan official attended a regional workshop on universalization of the convention in April 2015.[6]

A Rwandan official attended a workshop on the Convention on Cluster Munitions for sub-Saharan African states at the UN in New York on 16 April 2015. Previously, in November 2013, the government’s Rwanda Law Reform Commission in cooperation with the ICRC held a seminar on international humanitarian law attended by a number of government officials, which concluded there is a need to prioritize the country’s ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[7]

In its capacity as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC), Rwanda expressed its concern during a 24 October 2014 debate by the Council on Ukraine at “the use of heavy weaponry and the indiscriminate shelling of densely populated areas, including through the reported use of cluster munitions.” It noted the government of Ukraine’s denial of “the use of illegal munitions” and stated “we hope that a full, thorough and independent investigation will be conducted to shed light on those allegations.”[8] Rwanda also voted for a UNSC resolution on 27 May 2014 that expressed concern at the “indiscriminate” use of cluster munitions in South Sudan.[9]

Rwanda is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Rwanda stated in 2008 that it does not use, produce, transfer, or stockpile cluster munitions.[10]

[1] Email from Rose Kamyanfura, Association of Landmine Survivors and Amputees of Rwanda (ALSAR), 17 August 2015.

[2] Official Gazette of the Parliament of Rwanda, "Minister in charge of Cabinet Affairs, Statement on Cabinet Decisions of 11/11/2009,” 11 November 2009.

[4] Presidential order 171/01 states that the Convention on Cluster Munitions is “herby ratified and becomes fully effective.” It charges the Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, and the Minister of Internal Security with implementation of the order. Official Gazette of the Parliament of Rwanda, 29 December 2014.

[5] Rwanda also attended a regional meeting on the convention in Kampala, Uganda in September 2008 and the Berlin Conference on the Destruction of Cluster Munitions in June 2009. For details on Rwanda’s cluster munition policy and practice through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), p. 147.

[6] Email from Amy Little, Campaign and Advocacy Consultant–Convention on Cluster Munitions, Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), 11 May 2015.

[7] Rwanda Law Reform Commission web post, “Seminar on International Humanitarian Law,” November 2013.

[9] The resolution noted “with serious concern reports of the indiscriminate use of cluster munitions” and called for “all parties to refrain from similar such use in the future.” UNSC, “Security Council, Adopting Resolution 2155 (2014), Extends Mandate of Mission In South Sudan, Bolstering Its Strength to Quell Surging Violence,” SC11414, 27 May 2014.

[10] Statement of Rwanda, Kampala Conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, 30 September 2008. Notes by the CMC.