Amnesty International calls for arms embargo on all warring groups in Yemen

Published February 29th, 2016 - 10:57 GMT
Yemenis look at portraits of Shiite Huthi rebels, reportedly killed in fighting against Saudi-backed Yemeni forces, displayed during an exhibition marking their "Martyrs' Day" on February 27, 2016 in the capital Sanaa. (AFP/Mohammed Huwais)
Yemenis look at portraits of Shiite Huthi rebels, reportedly killed in fighting against Saudi-backed Yemeni forces, displayed during an exhibition marking their "Martyrs' Day" on February 27, 2016 in the capital Sanaa. (AFP/Mohammed Huwais)

Amnesty International on Monday called for an arms embargo on all parties involved in the Yemen conflict, including the Saudi-led coalition and Iran-backed Houthi rebels, AFP reported.

The statement comes ahead of an Arms Trade Treaty meeting in Geneva. The rights watchdog group says it has documented violations of human rights law and possible war crimes committed by both sides since the Saudi intervention in Yemen began last March.

"Amnesty International is urging all states to ensure that no party to the conflict in Yemen is supplied –- either directly or indirectly –- with weapons, munitions, military equipment or technology that would be used in the conflict until they end such serious violations," the group said in a statement.

"The embargo call goes far beyond existing international sanctions on parties to the conflict in Yemen," it added.

A UN Security Council Resolution adopted in April last year imposes an arms embargo solely on Houthi rebels and their allies.

Earlier this month a non-binding European Parliament resolution called on the EU to impose arms embargoes on Saudi Arabia, but not other parties in the conflict.

Amnesty added that it is not seeking a total ban on coalition members acquiring arms for uses outside Yemen, but should be used for the protection of humanitarian aid and peacekeeping operations.

More than 6,100 people have been killed in the conflict since last March, about half of them civilians, and 2.5 million people have been forced to flee their homes.


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