The director general of the Yemen Executive Mine Action Center (YEMAC) has said the Saudi Arabia-led coalition has dropped some 3,179 cluster bombs on Yemen since it began attacking the defenseless Yemeni people in 2015.
More than 1,000 civilians, mostly women and children, were victims of the bombings, he said. Most of them were at work on agricultural land during the attacks, Ali Sofra said, Iraq’s al-Maaloma news agency reported Sunday.
Saudi Arabia, along with its allies including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has been waging an unequal war against Yemen since March 2015 with the aim of restoring Yemen’s president al-Hadi, who resigned and fled the country, to power.
As early as June 2020, Yemen’s Ministry of Human Rights warned that cluster bombs posed a serious risk to the lives of civilians, especially women and children, if they came into close contact with them.
The ministry added that the Saudi Arabia-led coalition also used thousands of cluster bombs in attacks on residential areas. Many civilians were killed or injured in the process, it said.
“According to accurate statistics from the center, eight types of cluster bombs were used in Yemen, manufactured by the U.S., the U.K. and Brazil,” Sofra said.
The cluster bombings hit nine provinces, namely Sa’da, Hajjah, the capital Sana’a, al-Hudaidah, al-Jawf, Amran, Mahwit, Dhamar and Ta’izz, according to Sofra.
Acting Human Rights Minister Ali Al-Dailami said on Sunday that the UN is hindering cooperation to complete the outlawing of the internationally banned cluster bombs.
The cluster bombs used in the war against Yemen are part of the internationally outlawed weapons, Yemen’s YPA news agency reported, citing Al-Dailami.
He also pointed out that members of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition had deliberately purchased illegal weapons from unknown sources to avoid legal obligations.
In a tweet early Monday, Sofra criticized international human rights organizations for avoiding talking about the fact that cluster bombs are being used against Yemen.
“Victims of cluster bombs in Yemen are not mentioned in their annual human rights and humanitarian reports,” he complained.
The new U.S. administration announced Wednesday that it would review arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that were authorized by former President Donald Trump.
The U.S. announcement was welcomed by Amnesty International, which called on European countries to follow suit and end arms exports to the two countries involved in the bloody war against Yemen.
“President [Joe] Biden’s decision to freeze arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE is a welcome relief in an otherwise shameful chapter in history. Nearly six years of conflict in Yemen, fueled by irresponsible arms transfers, have left 14 million Yemenis in dire need of humanitarian assistance,” said Philippe Nassif, Middle East and North Africa coordinator at Amnesty International USA last Thursday.
by Basit Abbasi – CCTV