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Amnesty urges US, UK to stop arming Saudis in Yemen war



Amnesty International has called on the United States and Britain to halt their arms deliveries to Saudi Arabia, as Riyadh continues its brutal military campaign against Yemen.

The UK-based rights group in a statement on Tuesday urged the US and the UK, the two largest arms suppliers to Riyadh, to halt the “reckless” transfer of “arms for use in the Yemen conflict,” which was leading to a rise in civilian deaths.

According to Amnesty’s International regional deputy director, James Lynch, Saudi Arabis’ foreign allies have been instigating current tensions by “flooding the region with arms” which could be used for serious violations.

Amnesty also criticized Riyadh for “repeatedly” using prohibited cluster munitions in attacks that have “killed and maimed civilians.”

The watchdog said it had recorded at least 32 airstrikes committed by Riyadh in violation of international humanitarian law, since the start of the Saudi campaign in Yemen last March. The Human Rights Watch has also accused Saudi Arabia of committing violations.

A Yemeni child stands outside the family house which was destroyed in a Saudi strike at a slum in the capital Sana’a, on March 12, 2016. ©AFP

Saudi Arabia has not responded to reports of violations.

The Human Rights Watch has also called for an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia, calling on the US, the UK, France and all other nations to suspend the sale of arms to Riyadh until it “not only curtails its unlawful airstrikes in Yemen but also credibly investigates alleged violations.”

Last month, the European Parliament called for a European Union-wide arms embargo against Riyadh.

Yemen has been under military attacks by Saudi Arabia since late March last year. At least 8,400 people, among them 2,236 children, have been killed so far and 16,015 others have sustained injuries.

The regime in Riyadh has come under fire for committing a war crime by dropping cluster bombs on residential areas of Yemen. The Saudi military has not even spared hospitals run by France-based medical charity Doctors Without Borders.

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