RIYADH, 19th December, 2016 (WAM)– All members of the Arab Coalition supporting Yemen’s legitimate government are not state parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, CCM, and international law does not ban the use of cluster munitions, the Coalition said in a statement today, and noted that the use of this munition has now been stopped.
Some states have undertaken a commitment to refrain from using cluster munitions by becoming party to Convention on Cluster Munitions, it said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency, SPA. “Neither Saudi Arabia nor its Coalition partners are states parties to the 2008 Convention, and, accordingly, the Coalition’s use of cluster munitions does not violate the obligations of these states under international law.”
Responding to Amnesty International’s claim that the UK-made BL-755 cluster munition was used between December 2015 and January 2016 in the vicinity of Al-Khadhra village in Yemen, the Coalition said, “It must be recalled that international law does not ban the use of cluster munitions.”
“The government of Saudi Arabia confirms that it has decided to stop the use of cluster munitions of the type BL-755 and informed the United Kingdom government of that,” the Coalition said.
“It must be recalled that international law does not ban the use of cluster munitions,” it said.
The Coalition has conducted an inquiry into the use of cluster munitions in Yemen, including through dialogue with the British authorities and others, the statement said. “It has become apparent that there was limited use by the Coalition of the UK-manufactured BL-755 cluster munition in Yemen. This munition was used against legitimate military targets to defend Saudi border, towns and villages against continuous attacks by the Houthi militia that resulted in civilian casualties.”
“In deploying this munition, the Coalition fully observed the international humanitarian law principles. Furthermore, the munition was not deployed in civilian population centers,” the Coalition added.