Dear Secretary General Guterres:
With the widespread press coverage of Russian attacks by weaponized drones against Ukrainian cities, the world is now seeing the suffering and terror that has been experienced by thousands of people across the Middle East, East Asia and Africa since the United States began using these weapons on the first day of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.
We beg you Secretary General Guterres to seize this moment of public clarity, to demand a total halt to the use of weaponized drones in the Ukraine War and globally, where killer drones are being used by a number of nations to hunt and kill, notably of late, in Gaza, Ethiopia, Somali, Syria and Kurdish regions. This is the moment to stop the spreading scourge of slaughter and terror by weaponized drones.
Killer drones are a particularly inhumane type of warfare with high error rates causing the deaths of civilians. Moreover, killer drones seek to desensitize us from war, make war seem “easier” and thereby increase the chances of yet more wars. This is something we must never allow to happen.
As you know, drone warfare is not bringing peace but extending war, for example, in Ethiopia, where drones provided to the Ethiopian central government are extending and expanded attacks against the Tigray people. We are sure that you have seen this comment by Steven Ratner, a member of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia, when the commission released its report in September of this year:
“The Ethiopian military’s increasing use of drones to conduct airstrikes over the last year has changed the conflict landscape. In theory, drones should allow for more precise targeting of military objectives; however, our investigation indicates that their use has exposed civilians to new and heightened risks. Our findings are especially concerning given reports of airstrikes in Tigray since August, which have killed and injured civilians, including children.”
Now, while the conscience of the world is alerted, is the time to call for an international ban on weaponized drones and an immediate halt in their use.
As you may be aware, BanKillerDrones has been conducting a postcard campaign for the last year, urging you to work for an international treaty to ban weaponized drones. See the message below.
Thank you for considering this plea:
Kathy Kelly and Nick Mottern, Co-coordinators, Bank Killer Drones.org
Sample Postcard Below: