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Deutsche Bank funded firm selling cluster bombs to Libya

The Local · 18 May 2011, 16:08

Published: 18 May 2011 15:59 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 May 2011 16:08 GMT+02:00

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United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a statement on 20 April 2011 that the Libyan government forces may have committed war crimes by using heavy weapons and cluster munitions against civilians there.

The German bank granted Spanish company Instalaza a more than €3.1 million loan according to information from non-governmental organisation Urgewald, as reported in the weekly Die Zeit on Wednesday.

Cluster bombs are a controversial munition due to the fact they present a huge danger to civilians. Designed to kill enemy personnel and disable equipment, they are a collection of small bomblets scattered over a wide area. But these often remain unexploded until someone steps on them or picks one up.

According to the Cluster Munition Coalition, a pressure group pushing for a global ban, 60 percent of cluster bomb casualties are injured while undertaking their normal activities. A third of all recorded cluster bomb casualties are children, the group says.

More than 100 countries signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions at the end of 2008 – it became binding international law for those who signed at the start of August 2010. The convention bans not only the use but also the support of manufacture of cluster bombs.

A spokesman for Deutsche Bank told Die Zeit he could not comment on specific customer relationships, but denied the bank financed the sale of controversial munitions.

"Deutsche Bank does no business directly connected to certain types of weapons like personnel landmines, cluster bombs or ABC weapons," he said.

The paper said the Deutsche Bank loan was made in 2007 and reported that other German companies have continued to invest in cluster bomb manufacturers since then. More than a dozen insurers offer Germans taking part in the so-called Riester pension scheme can put their money in funds which have invested in cluster bomb makers.

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These include Deutscher Ring, Basler, Condor, Stuttgarter, Volkswohlbund and WWK. The paper noted that because the Riester contracts are co-funded by the German government, it should be assumed that public money is also finding its way into the coffers of cluster bomb manufacturers.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:27 May 18, 2011 by lwexcel
Ummmmm Germany is the 3rd largest weapons producer in the world. Anyone that believes that the banks in this country do not play a large role in the international arms trade is living in the clouds!
16:53 May 18, 2011 by jmclewis
Deutsche Bank, now involved in bombs and home derivatives with Goldmansachs in the USA. These to Corporations need to be fined, the executives prosecuted and the companies broke up they are bad monopoly's when they fail it will hurt allot of people.
00:52 May 19, 2011 by Frenemy
How infantile.

"The convention bans not only the use but also the support of manufacture of cluster bombs."

Well, thats pretty damn broad. I suppose the ore-mining industry is "supporting the manufacture" of everything from bullets to nuclear weapons.

"A third of all recorded cluster bomb casualties are children"

Yep. You could probably say the same thing about most 7.62mm ammunition in Africa...
02:32 May 19, 2011 by ron1amr
But in a separate press conference, the defence secretary was more cautious.

"On the cluster munitions, we don't have any verification of anyone using them," Mr Gates said.

Its a bit like invading Iraq. We know you have weapons of mass destruction. We sold them to you. Saddam Hussein was called a tyrant. What do thy call Muammar Qaddafi?

Why can't America and the allied forces leave other Countries which hold rich resources alone? Just look at the geological position of Libya. Ideal for shipments. But the money spent on warfare does this not take from the long term financial gain?

War crimes? Vietnam tried to sue America for war crimes and the use of chemicals used on the people. America said in lay man terms you need to sue the companies that manufactured the chemicals. To this date they have not got far in succeeding.

In my opinion every Country have a history of atrocities. We should not venture into oil rich middle east Countries but instead use clean technologies. That way we wont need to be flooded by illegal boat people or refugees from a war torn Country.
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