Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 05 September 2023

Summary: 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 General Assembly (UNGA) resolution promoting universalization of the convention in December 2022.

Kenya is not known to have produced or imported cluster munitions, and has not clarified if 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 towards ratification since then apart from undertaking internal consultations on the matter. In 2009 and 2010, Kenya stated that the Office of the Attorney General was preparing the ratification package.

Kenya has not introduced any specific national implementing legislation for the convention.[1]

Kenya participated in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions and worked to achieve a strong convention text, which it joined in adopting in Dublin in May 2008.[2]

Kenya last participated in a formal meeting of the convention in September 2016.[3] It was invited to, but did not attend, the convention’s Tenth Meeting of States Parties held in Geneva in August–September 2022. Kenya has participated in regional workshops on the convention, most recently in Abuja, Nigeria in March 2022.[4]

In December 2022, Kenya voted in favor of the key UNGA resolution that urged states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.”[5] 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 cluster munitions or possesses any stocks.[6]


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 on Cluster Munitions.[7] A United Nations (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] 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.

[2] 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.

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

[4] 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.

[5]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 77/79, 7 December 2022.

[6] 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.

[7] 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 submunitions. See, “Losses shelling forces arrested Gedo and Juba,” Calanka Media, 24 January 2016; and “Kenya launches deadly retaliatory attack,” Somali Memo Media Network, 24 January 2016.