The new declaration on bombing urban areas is vital – but does it go far enough?

In my experience, the sad truth is that towns and cities are very often the main theatre of violence and bloodshed, writes Bel Trew

Sunday 19 June 2022 14:59
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<p>Even the introduction of precision weapons hasn’t reduced civilian casualties over the years</p>

Even the introduction of precision weapons hasn’t reduced civilian casualties over the years

It has taken nearly three years and the text has been disappointingly watered down but on Friday the UK, the US and a slew of other countries across the world agreed to sign a political declaration that, if implemented properly, will save thousands of civilian lives.

Although not legally binding, the declaration – the first of its kind – commits signatories to avoid using explosive weapons, like aerial bombs, rockets, artillery projectiles and missiles, in urban settings because they have such a devastating impact on local populations.

According to the UN, more than 90 per cent of globally reported civilian casualties each year are the result of the use of explosive weapons in urban areas. Data from the Explosive Weapons Monitor shows that more than 5,000 civilians have been maimed and killed due to this during 2022 alone.

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