When is an action taken in battle a war crime? Is the answer when it is committed by another country?
Cluster bombs are a type of "explosive weapon which scatters submunitions ("bomblets") over an area" and can cause widespread death and destruction.
Some of the bomblets fail to explode on impact. They can be brightly coloured and look attractive to children. Days, weeks, months or more may pass before they explode on contact.
But there is a treaty in place banning or at least limiting the use of cluster bombs.
And the sale of cluster bombs is illegal.
Wikipedia says "The cluster munitions ban process, also known as the Oslo Process, began in February 2007 in Oslo. At this time, 46 nations issued the "Oslo Declaration", committing themselves to "Conclude by 2008 a legally binding international instrument that prohibits the use and stockpiling of cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians and secure adequate provision of care and rehabilitation to survivors and clearance of contaminated areas"."
The UK signed that treaty in 2008 and it came into force in 2010.
So how come headlines Monday claim "British made cluster bombs used by Saudi-led forces in Yemen, Government research shows."
Why are we even making cluster bombs let alone selling them to other countries?
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon was set to make a statement on the analysis in the House of Commons Monday afternoon but no amount of spin can excuse our actions.
He told the House of Commons the "coalition" of forces confirmed a limited amount of cluster bombs allegedly bought in the 1980s were dropped. The last allegedly dropped months ago.
Fallon told the House that he has been assured the coalition will not use anymore British made cluster bombs but is that just more empty words?
Hypocrites at the very least
Anything to make money?
What other weapons has the UK sold? What countries have we sold weapons to?
We would be the first to cry foul if other countries acted in such a "double dealing" way.
Saudi Arabia has not signed up to the Oslo Declaration. That country has a terrible human rights record yet it is an ally of the UK.
And if we sold them British made cluster bombs we are complicit in mass murder and our leaders are surely war criminals.
Yemen crisis appeal http://www.dec.org.uk/?gclid=CPH2rY32gNECFY8W0woddiIBwA
Op-ed: Thursday former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, 70, convicted of genocide and war crimes in the 1992-95 Bosnian war, was sentenced to 40 years in jail.
He will die in jail. He could be released on compassionate grounds sometime in the future but that is unlikely. He showed no compassion in the Bosnian war but rather a nasty cruel streak.
To mark his sentencing we are reposting one of our archived reports from 2013:
"Tomasica Bosnian war mass grave may be largest."
"An area in the village of Tomasica in north-western Bosnia is being excavated, revealing a mass grave dating back to the Bosnian war. It could be the largest such grave.
Conflict followed the break-up of Yugoslavia. Regions spilt into separate countries and war followed. The Bosnian war of the 90's was brutal.
People from the same towns and villages fought against each other and "ethnic cleansing" resulted in many deaths. Following the war details of atrocities carried out, sometimes villager against villager, caused outrage.
To date sixteen Bosnian Serbs have been found guilty of war crimes in the Tomasica area, where Friday the mass grave holding the remains of 360 people was being excavated.
The grave was reported early in October 2013 but the excavation is now underway. Teams working at the scene face a gruesome job. Bullets found in the grave indicate that some people were shot in situ.
During the Bosnian war non-Serbs in the area were persecuted by troops. Following the war stony silence by locals hid the secret of the mass grave.
A grave holding 360 corpses is shocking but according to BBC News: "Officials believe the remains of some 1,000 Bosniak Muslim and ethnic Croat men, women and children may be found".
Forensic scientists working at the scene now believe that the Tomasica grave could be the largest dating back to the Bosnian war. The mass grave had remained hidden until recently with even eye-witnesses keeping quiet about its existence.
It was, however, common knowledge that Bosnian Serbs had committed atrocities at nearby prison camps. International peace-keepers recorded atrocities and saw the results of violent abuse first hand.
Before the mass grave at Tomasica was excavated Srebrenica had the largest Bosnian mass grave. It held 629 corpses. The Srebrenica massacre of 1995 was widely condemned and recorded.
Around 8,000, mainly Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed in the Srebrenica massacre."
40 years is not long enough for such crimes but Radovan Karadzic will die in jail; he must.
His trial has dragged on so long he will have already served some time in prison.
His time is jail will be less brutal than if we was jailed in his home country but serving a full life sentence for such crimes is at least some justice for his victims.