The human impact of cluster munitions

Cluster munitions: creating a lost generation in Lebanon?

Lebanon, six months ago: 21-year-old Fayz is sitting in his living room, staring at the leg he cannot use anymore because the nerves have been cut as a result of a cluster submunition explosion. Fayz has undergone several operations and is waiting to receive rehabilitation and psychosocial and educational support.

The human impact of cluster munitions

His case is similar to that of many young people injured in the aftermath of the 2006 conflict with Israel. Except that Fayz was injured while herding sheep in the Western Beka'a valley almost 12 years ago. He has received no assistance to enable him to overcome his trauma or return to school.

Cluster munitions are imprecise weapons, designed to strike a greater surface area than many other conventional weapons by dispersing smaller, but still lethal, submunitions. Scattered on the ground, these submunitions create a large footprint. Within that footprint, they kill and injure both military personnel and civilians. Even in optimal test conditions, up to a quarter of submunitions fail to explode on impact. In real-life situations, failure rates are consistently much higher. [...]