Amnesty International has called for an immediate ban on the use of cluster munitions by Saudi Arabia in Yemen.
The human rights organisation requested Saudi Arabia to destroy its stockpile and accede to the international Convention on Cluster Munitions after the Middle Eastern nation admitted that it used cluster munitions in Yemen since at least December 2015.
Amnesty International arms control and human rights head James Lynch said: “Amnesty International and others gathered damning evidence of how these weapons were killing and maiming civilians, including children, in farming villages in northern Yemen following their use earlier this year.
“This episode highlights the urgent need for an independent international investigation to look into the mounting evidence of violations of international law in Yemen and ensure accountability.
“The irresponsible and unlawful flow of arms to parties to the Yemen conflict has fuelled civilian suffering. All states must impose a comprehensive embargo on arms transfers that could be used by any of the warring parties.”
Saudi Arabia-led military coalition spokesperson General Ahmed al-Asiri said that the country would stop using UK-manufactured BL-755 cluster bombs.
Banned by more than 100 countries, cluster munitions can be dropped from the air or fired from the ground.
The cluster bombs are designed to break open in mid-air, by releasing the sub-munitions over a wide area in a way that cannot discriminate between civilians and military targets, according to Amnesty.
Image: Some of the scores of UK-manufactured cluster ‘bomblets’ recently gathered in northern Yemen. Photo: © Amnesty International.