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Human Rights Watchdog Urges Saudis to Stop Using Cluster Munitions in Yemen

© REUTERS / Mohamed al-SayaghiA boy looks at the camera as he sits on the wreckage of a house destroyed by a Saudi-led air strike on the outskirts of Sanaa, Yemen, November 13, 2016
A boy looks at the camera as he sits on the wreckage of a house destroyed by a Saudi-led air strike on the outskirts of Sanaa, Yemen, November 13, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Saudi Arabia should abandon its use of all cluster munitions in Yemen and destroy its stockpile as well as to respect the international convention on cluster munitions, a prominent human rights organization said in a statement Monday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — An Arab coalition fighting in Yemen said earlier in the day that it would stop using UK-manufactured cluster munitions and noted that the previous use of cluster bombs had been limited and justified by the need to defend Saudi civilians.

"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," Amnesty International’s Head of Arms Control and Human Rights James Lynch was quoted as saying in the statement.

Britain's MP Tobias Ellwood, Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Oman's Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, and U.N. special envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed pose for a group photo in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 18, 2016. - Sputnik International
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He added that the situation with the cluster bombs use required "an independent international investigation" to examine human rights violations in Yemen.

Yemen has been engulfed in a military conflict between the government headed by Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and Shiite Houthi rebels, who have been supported by army units loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Since March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition including Arab countries has been carrying out airstrikes against Houthi positions at the request of Hadi. The UN Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Saudi Arabian attacks on civilian areas had broken international law, but Riyadh denied the claims.

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