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Gabon has acknowledged the harm caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas (EWIPA), is not involved in the negotiations for a political declaration but has welcomed the process.


During the May 2011 UN Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, Gabon expressed concern about the increasing use of explosive munitions in heavily populated areas.[1]

As a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Gabon aligned with World Humanitarian Summit Core Commitments to ‘Uphold the Norms that Safeguard Humanity’ in May 2016, including the commitment “to promote and enhance the protection of civilians and civilian objects, especially in the conduct of hostilities, for instance by working to prevent civilian harm resulting from the use of wide-area explosive weapons in populated areas, and by sparing civilian infrastructure from military use in the conduct of military operations.”[2]

At the UN Security Council Open Debate War in Cities: Protection of Civilians in Urban Settings on 25 January 2022, Gabon argued that while there are no specific rules of international humanitarian law (IHL) for urban areas, and the use of EWIPA is not expressely prohibited, one can question the legality of such use in light of the main rules of IHL. It argued, there is “no doubt that the use of EWIPA can hardly be reconciled with respect for IHL.” Gabon also supported the call on all parties to armed conflict to avoid the use of EWIPA and welcomed the development of a political declaration on this subject.[3]


[1] UN Security Council (2011). ‘UN Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict Meeting Transcript’.

[2] Agenda for Humanity. ‘Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)’.

[3] Ray Acheson, Reaching Critical Will (2022). ‘UN Security Council Debates War in Cities and the Protection of Civilians’.

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