Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Government ignorance on unexploded cluster munitions incredible - Davey

The Government has no idea how many unexploded British cluster bombs remain from conflicts around the world, the Liberal Democrats have found.

In a Parliamentary answer, Defence Minister Bob Ainsworth admitted that he could not provide an accurate estimate of the number of unexploded British cluster munitions which still have to be cleared following their use in Iraq, Kuwait, Serbia and Kosovo.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Foreign Secretary, Edward Davey said:

"These weapons have a terrible legacy, yet the Government appears to have no idea how many it has used and how many have been made safe.

"It is incredible that the Government cannot even provide an estimate as to the nature of the threat.

"These weapons are a hidden menace, not only to the security of the thousands of civilians who risk death or injury, but increasingly to Britain’s reputation.

"David Miliband must not bow to pressure from the MoD or from the US over its own desire to continue storing cluster munitions on British soil. He must sign Britain up to a full ban on these weapons."
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