Analysis Finds Banned UK Cluster Bombs Used By Saudi Arabia In Yemen
A British government analysis has indicated that British-made cluster bombs have been used by Saudi Arabia-led forces in the war in Yemen.
The defence secretary, Michael Fallon, is among ministers to have been made aware of the analysis, sources told The Guardian.
The Government said it takes the allegations “very seriously” and has raised them with the Saudi-led coalition.
The analysis comes after the prime minister of Yemen’s rebel Houthi government accused the UK of “war crimes” for supplying arms.
Because of their extraordinary risk to civilians, cluster bombs were banned in 2010 in an international treaty signed by Britain.
The UK’s signature on the Convention on Cluster Munitions also means it must be committed to preventing the banned weapon’s use by other nations.
Amnesty International has documented multiple examples of cluster bomb use in the war in Yemen, and blames the Saudi-led coalition for their deployment.
The Houthi Prime Minister, Abdel-Aziz bin Habtoor, said last week that the British government was profiting from the humanitarian crisis by selling munitions.
He told Sky News: “They have sold cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia.
“They know the Saudis are going to drop them on Yemen… in Saadah and in Sanaa and other provinces.
“I don’t think they are guilty of war crimes, I believe so. They are participating in the bombing of Yemen people.”
The British defence ministry declined to comment on the latest claims but a government spokesman said: “The government takes such allegations very seriously.
“We have analysed the case carefully using all available information, considering all possibilities, and raised the issue with the Saudi-led coalition.”
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