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An Anatomy of a Grenade Attack: Conclusion and Recommendations

Conclusion

As the case study and global data indicates, grenade attacks in populated areas have the potential to cause significant loss of civilian life and devastating injuries. The wide area effects of grenades are more confined than those of other explosive weapons such as airstrikes, mortars, and Grad strikes – but they are nonetheless indiscriminate and deadly, disrupting essential services and critical infrastructure. 

“victims of grenade attack – Somalia” by Julian Circo (CC BY-SA 2.0.) 

Recommendations

  • The use of grenades in populated areas should be unilaterally prohibited. This weapon type’s inherent inaccuracy means it cannot discriminate between legitimate and civilian targets, and should not be used in areas where civilians are present.
  • UNIDIR should look to add to its EWIPA indicators to make provisions for the potentially devastating economic and psychological impacts brought about by the use of explosive weapons. There should also be an awareness of how incidents of explosive violence typically require an increase of psychological support to manage greater demand on services. 
  • Further study should be undertaken to explore the ways in which EWIPA indicators can be utilised alongside other matrices pertaining to conflict, security, economic development and state capability in order to better negate the range of variables which affect long-term impacts resulting from the use of explosive violence. 
  • States, international organisations and non-governmental organisations collecting and collating data on attacks on healthcare and education should – where possible – disaggregate their findings to highlight specific explosive weapon types. This will allow for greater research into the patterns of harm brought about by different explosive weapons.  
  • States should become signatories to the proposed political declaration that seeks to address the humanitarian harm arising from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
“Hand Grenade” by The U.S. Army (CC BY 2.0.)