MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Saudi-led coalition used Brazilian-made cluster munition rockets in an attack on the northern Yemeni province of Saada in February, wounding at least two civilians, a human rights watchdog said Friday.
"The Saudi-led coalition’s continued use of widely banned cluster munitions in Yemen shows callous disregard for civilian lives… Saudi Arabia, its coalition partners, and Brazil, as a producer, should immediately join the widely endorsed international treaty that bans cluster munitions," Steve Goose, the arms director at Human Rights Watch (HRW) and chair of the Cluster Munition Coalition, was quoted as saying in the HRW statement.
Goose stressed that "Brazil should recognize that cluster munitions are prohibited weapons that should never be manufactured, transferred, or used because of the harm inflicted on civilians." The rights watchdog urged all parties to the conflict to join the Convention on Cluster Munitions, aimed at eradicating the use of cluster munitions.
Yemen's civil war between the internationally recognized Aden-based government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi movement backed by army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh erupted in March 2015. The same month, the Saudi-led coalition of Arab countries started carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request.
Since 2008, the Convention on Cluster Munitions signed by 119 countries prohibits cluster munitions. The United States, Yemen, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia were not among the signatories.
According to the official data, the conflict in Yemen has claimed the lives of some 4,600 civilians, leaving over 8,000 civilians injured.