"Selling weapons to Saudi Arabia to bomb Yemen is against international law"

UN reports on the war in Yemen demonstrate that Saudi Arabia is engaged in attacks on civilians in that country. In this context, France must stop selling arms to the Saudis and respect its international commitments, asks, in a tribune to the "World", a collective of specialists in international law.

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Tribune. Recently, the justice of some states (UK, Belgium, France and Canada) has been appealed on the legality of arms transfers to the coalition of countries led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. This war, which affects a population of 27 million, has resulted in war crimes committed by all parties to the conflict.

Reports from UN experts and independent field researchers show that coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have repeatedly participated in air and ground attacks, including are mainly civilians. The war between the coalition supposedly intended to support the "Yemeni government" against the "Houthi insurgents", is the source, according to the report of the Armed Conflict Rental & Event Data Project of more than 90,000 deaths since 2015. Save the Children denounced the indirect death of more than 85,000 children under 5 for the same period. The UN Security Council of 17 June 2019 declared that the war plunged more than 24 million people, 80% of the population, into a request for humanitarian assistance.

Obligations imposed by international law

Despite repeated requests from the UN Security Council since 14 April 2015, the parties to the conflict have not fulfilled their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law (IHL) and international law. International Human Rights Act (IHRL). Further violations occurred on 29 July 2019 during the bombing of a market in northern Yemen at Al-Thabet in the province of Saada. The death toll is 14, including two children, and 27 wounded.

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It is not only attacks whose victims are civilians: the blockade imposed on Yemen by the coalition leads to a famine which affects especially the civil population whereas the IHL forbids "The use of famine against civilians as a method of war", as the UN Group of Experts aptly pointed out. The recent information disseminated by the Disclose investigation site on the activity of French warships in the blockade confirms the importance of France's involvement.


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