The use of globally-banned cluster bombs by the US military during their 20-year occupation of Afghanistan continues to have devastating consequences for Afghan civilians. Unexploded bomblets from these bombs pose a major life-threatening risk to local communities.
According to the Afghan Ministry of Martyrs and Disable Affairs, there are currently 195,000 registered maimed individuals in Afghanistan, with the majority being victims of cluster bomb and drone strikes during the US-led military occupation.
Despite over 1,500 cluster bombs being dropped across Afghanistan in the first three years of the invasion, the unexploded ordnances from these munitions still cause fatalities and injuries years and even decades later.
The US, advocating for human rights, has refused to sign the convention banning the use of cluster munitions, ignoring the long-term risks they pose to civilian lives even after conflicts conclude.
The ministry’s Chief of Staff, Qari Shah Mohamd, pointed out that many cases of disabilities, including among the Mujahideen fighters resisting the US-led invasion, are a result of air strikes involving cluster bombs and drone attacks.
The report highlighted the stories of civilian victims, such as Suleiman, who was struck by a cluster bomblet while playing in his childhood, leaving him disabled since then. Another victim, Asadullah, lost his arm in a similar incident, enduring mental trauma even after completing his education.
Despite the enormous trauma inflicted on the Afghan people, US President Joe Biden recently approved supplying Ukraine with cluster bombs for use against Russians.