23 March 2016
Stop cluster munition use in Yemen
For the past year the Saudi-led coalition has been using US-supplied cluster bombs in Yemen
This week marks one year since the Saudi–led coalition began using cluster munitions in populated areas in Yemen. The coalition is comprised of Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates.
Today, at a News Conference on Yemen (Yemen: Embargo Arms to Saudi Arabia) held by Human Rights Watch at the UN in New York, Ms. Megan Burke, Director of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines-Cluster Munition Coalition, strongly condemned the use of cluster munitions in Yemen and urged the Saudi–led coalition to immediately halt the use. Ms. Burke also called on the UN Security Council to express its concern and request an investigation into this use in Yemen as it has done for cluster munition use in South Sudan and Sudan.
Ms. Megan Burke, ICBL-CMC Director talks about use of cluster bombs in Yemen at HRW News Conference. UN, New York, 23 March 2016 @HRW
On the 8th of January, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his deep concern about the use of cluster munitions in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, stating that “The use of cluster munitions in populated areas may amount to a war crime due to their indiscriminate nature.”
Members of the coalition such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco and United Arab Emirates are known to have stockpiled cluster munitions used in Yemen. United States and Brazil have supplied cluster munitions to coalition members.
As a result of repeated cluster munition use, thus far it has been confirmed that 13 people have been killed and 31 people injured in Yemen, of which only one casualty was confirmed to be a fighter/military.
Cluster munitions have been banned by 118 countries precisely because of their indiscriminate nature and their disproportionate impact on civilians. In December 2015, 139 countries, through a UN resolution, expressed their strong concern about the use of cluster munitions in different parts of the world and urged all states outside of the Convention to join as soon as possible.
The Netherlands, President of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, expressed concern over the use of cluster munitions in Yemen and called on all countries in the coalition and the Yemeni government to react to these allegations in a concrete, open and transparent way.
All States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions and others should publicly condemn the use of the internationally banned cluster munitions in Yemen and help to prevent further tragedies caused by these indiscriminate weapons.
Timeline of cluster munitions use in Yemen