Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 14 August 2022


Signatory Kenya has pledged to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but has not taken any steps to do so. It participated in a regional workshop on the convention in March 2022. Kenya voted in favor of a key United Nations (UN) resolution promoting universalization of the convention in December 2021.

Kenya is not known to have produced or imported cluster munitions, and has not indicated whether it possesses any stocks. Kenya has denied an allegation that its air force used cluster munitions in 2016.


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

Kenya had expressed it intent to ratify the convention several times up until 2013, but does not appear to have taken any steps since then to ratify, besides undertaking internal consultations on the matter.[1] In 2009 and 2010, Kenya stated that the office of the attorney general was preparing the ratification package.[2]

Kenya has not introduced any specific national implementing legislation for the convention.[3]

Kenya participated in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions, and worked to achieve a strong convention text during the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008.[4]

Kenya last participated in a formal meeting of the convention in September 2016.[5] It was invited to, but did not attend, the convention’s Second Review Conference held in November 2020 and September 2021. Kenya has participated in regional workshops on the convention, most recently in Abuja, Nigeria in March 2022.[6]

In December 2021, Kenya voted in favor of the key United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution that urged states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.”[7] Kenya has voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since it was first introduced in 2015.

Kenya is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).

Production, transfer, and stockpiling

Kenya is not known to have ever produced cluster munitions. Kenya has not indicated whether it has imported or stockpiled cluster munitions.[8]


There is no evidence to indicate that Kenya has used cluster munitions in recent years.

However, in May 2016, Kenya denied an allegation that it used air-delivered cluster munitions in neighboring Somalia, a State Party to the convention.[9] A UN investigation found that Kenyan forces conducted airstrikes in Somalia’s Gedo region on 15–23 January 2016, but could not confirm whether Kenya used cluster munitions during the attacks. Based on available evidence, the Monitor also could not conclusively determine whether Kenya used cluster munitions during this incident.

[1] Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) meeting with Kenneth Okoki Dindi, Director of Prosecution, Kenyan Defense Forces, Geneva, 6 September 2016; statement of Kenya, Convention on Cluster Munitions Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 11 September 2013; statement of Kenya, Accra Regional Conference on the Universalization of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Accra, 28 May 2012; and statement of Kenya, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 14 September 2011.

[2] CMC meeting with the Kenyan delegation, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 9–12 November 2010. Notes by the CMC; and CMC meeting with Salim Mohamed Salim, Second Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Kenya to the UN in New York, 14 October 2009. Notes by the CMC.

[3] In 2012, Kenya said the 2010 constitution “provides that international treaties which Kenya has ratified form part of the national law.” Statement of Kenya, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 12 September 2012. Notes by the CMC.

[4] For details on Kenya’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions 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. 102–103.

[5] Previously, Kenya attended Meetings of States Parties in 2011–2016, the First Review Conference in 2015, and regional workshops on the convention.

[6] Convention on Cluster Munitions Implementation Support Unit (ISU), Report on the African Regional Convention on Cluster Munitions Universalization Workshop in Abuja, Nigeria, 23–24 March 2022.

[7]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 76/47, 6 December 2021.

[8] Kenya is reported to possess Grad 122mm surface-to-surface rockets, but it is not known if these include versions with submunition payloads. International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), The Military Balance 2011 (London: Routledge, 2011), p. 429.

[9] Security Council, “Report of the Secretary-General on Somalia (S/2016/430),” 9 May 2016, p. 10, para. 51. Somali media reported that cluster munitions were used in the Gedo region of Somalia in January 2016 and published photographs reportedly taken at the site of the attack that showed dead livestock and the remnants of United Kingdom (UK)-made BL755 cluster bombs and their submunitions. See, “Losses shelling forces arrested Gedo and Juba,” Calanka Media, 24 January 2016 (no longer available online); and “Kenya launches deadly retaliatory attack,” Somali Memo Media Network, 24 January 2016.