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Swedies Collide over Ban on Cluster Bombs

Published torsdag 24 april 2008 kl 12.17

The Swedish Center-Right government and the parliament are split over the question of what an international ban on cluster bombs should look like - and if Sweden should also ban a modernized variation of its own controversial weapon.

In a month’s time, 150 nations are to meet in the Irish capital of Dublin to agree on an international ban on these weapons. 

Some Swedish politicians argue that the new weapon Bomb Capsule 90 is not as dangerously  destructive as older weapons - containing a number of smaller bombs  spread over large areas, sometimes failing to explode - lying on the ground for years, detonated by civilians - long after the fighting has ended.

Other Swedes, including the liberals of the ruling coalition government insist that Sweden can not work for a major ban in Dublin if it wants to keep  Bomb Capsule 90.

The opposition Social Democrats have swung from favoring the 90 to now willingly sacrifice the weapon in hopes of getting as wide an international ban as possible - to make sure that tomorrow’s children, farmers and other civilians don’t trigger Swedish or other cluster bomb explosives lying in wait in the countryside.

Sweden earlier argued that it needed such weapons as the 90 - to safe
guard the vast forest areas of the north impossible to defend with human troops in this nation of only 9 million.

But reports revealed that the 90 was not only aimed at the quiet and empty Swedish woods - but also for the lucrative foreign market as well

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