Bishop Kenney joins faith leaders in call for ban on cluster bombs


 The new auxiliary bishop of Birmingham, the Right Reverend William Kenney, has joined other faith leaders to urge the Government to support an international treaty banning cluster munitions, warheads that scatter scores of smaller bombs. As European affairs spokesman for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, Bishop Kenney has called on the UK Government to show: "a clear commitment to the protection of civilians during conflict. Such action would be welcomed by people of all faiths as an act of peace." The full text of the letter follows below: We call on the government to support the negotiation of an international treaty prohibiting cluster munitions. The civilian harm caused by these weapons both during and after conflict has been documented over a long period and continues to grow. These weapons cause death and injury to civilians during attacks and for years afterwards because of the lethal contamination that they cause; they impede post-conflict rebuilding and rehabilitation and absorb precious humanitarian funds that could be spent on other pressing needs. This week in Geneva the UK has a chance to step forward and demonstrate a clear commitment to the protection of civilians during conflict. Such action would be welcomed by people of all faiths as an act of peace. Rt Rev Dr David Stancliffe Bishop of Salisbury Rt Rev Colin Bennetts Bishop of Coventry Indarjit Singh Chairman, Network of Sikh Organisations Dudley Coates vice-president, Methodists Conference Rev Jonathan Edwards general secretary, Baptist Union of GB Rabbi Margaret Jacobi, Rabbi Rachel Benjamin joint-chairs, Liberal Judaism Rabbinic Conference Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari secretary general, Muslim Council of Britain Julia Neuberger, Rt Rev William Kenney auxiliary bishop of Birmingham and European affairs spokesman, Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales Sheik Adbul Hakim Murad religious scholar, Cambridge University

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