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Amnesty Denounces Western Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia, Allies in Yemen War
Local Editor

Amnesty International on Friday denounced Western arms sales to Saudi Arabia and its allies waging a bloody war on Yemen, saying such traffic made a "mockery" of a global arms trade treaty.

Yemeni child amidst destrction

More than 10,000 people had been martyred in Yemen since March 2015 when Saudi Arabia and other Arab states launched a military campaign against Yemen.

"There is extensive evidence that irresponsible arms flows to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition have resulted in enormous harm to Yemeni civilians," Lynn Maalouf, Director of Research for the Middle East at Amnesty International, said in a statement.

"But this has not deterred the USA, the UK and other states, including France, Spain and Italy, from continuing transfers of billions of dollars' worth of such arms. As well as devastating civilian lives, this makes a mockery of the global Arms Trade Treaty."

The organization said it had documented 36 coalition air strikes since 2015 that appeared to have violated international law, adding that some may amount to war crimes. The documented attacks had martyred 513 civilians, including at least 157 children, and wounded 379 others, according to Amnesty.

Saudi Arabia and its allies had repeatedly denied allegations of war crimes.

Amnesty said that as the conflict enters its fourth year it shows no real signs of abating and that all sides were impeding the delivery of humanitarian aid to at least 22.2 million people in need of assistance and more than one million suffering from suspected cases of cholera.

The rights group said that despite the loosening of a blockade on Yemeni ports imposed by the Saudi-led coalition, it continues to impose restrictions on aid and commercial imports of essential goods.

Two rights groups in France said on Friday they would take legal action against the French government unless it halts sales of weapons to Saudi Arabia and its ally the United Arab Emirates within two months.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman [MBS] discussed the Yemen conflict with President Donald Trump this week during a visit to the United States.

US War Secretary Jim Mattis told MBS on Thursday that there was an urgent need to end the war.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

24-03-2018 | 12:57


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