Amnesty International has slammed the Saudi regime and its allies for dropping cluster bombs on residential areas in Yemen despite the global outcry against the use of such internationally-banned weapons by the Riyadh-led coalition.
In a Thursday statement, the UK-based rights group said the Brazilian-manufactured munitions were used by the Saudi-led coalition in a February 15 attack on three residential districts and agricultural land in the northern province of Sa’ada, wounding two people.
The report also said that the coalition fired cluster munitions in October 2015 and May 2016.
The coalition “absurdly justifies its use of cluster munitions by claiming it is in line with international law, despite concrete evidence of the human cost to civilians caught up in the conflict,” said Lynn Maalouf, research director at Amnesty’s Beirut regional office.
“Cluster munitions are inherently indiscriminate weapons that inflict unimaginable harm on civilian lives,” she said.
Amnesty called on Brazil “to join the Convention on Cluster Munitions and urged Saudi Arabia and coalition members to put an end to all use of cluster munitions.”
The weapons can contain dozens of smaller bomblets, dispersing over vast areas, often killing and maiming civilians long after they are dropped.
Multiple rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have on various occasions reported the use of cluster bombs by Riyadh’s military in Yemen.