Amnesty International accused the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday of diverting arms supplied by Western and other states to “unaccountable militias accused of war crimes” in Yemen, Reuters reported.
In a press release, Amnesty said the investigation “has highlighted how the UAE is arming out-of-control militias operating in Yemen with a range of advanced weaponry – much of it sourced from Western countries, including the UK.”
“The proliferation of these fighting forces is a recipe for disaster for Yemeni civilians who have already been killed in their thousands, while millions more are on the brink of famine as a direct result of the war,” the human rights group said.
The statement added that the militants were being armed despite their “atrocious human rights records,” their being unaccountable to any government and the accusations of war crimes and other serious violations facing them.
The UAE government media office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Amnesty statement.
“Meanwhile, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and the Netherlands have announced suspensions in arms transfers to the UAE,” it said.
Western countries have supplied the UAE with at least $3.5 billion worth of arms since March 2015, when Saudi Arabia and the Emirates and a coalition of their other allies, invaded the impoverished country to reinstall its Riyadh-allied former government.
The Amnesty said while knowing about the share of the violations attributed to the UAE, the US, the UK, Germany, France, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey were still selling weapons to Abu Dhabi.
Amnesty called on states to suspend arms sales to the warring parties until there is “no longer a substantial risk” they may be used to breach humanitarian or human rights law.
Amnesty’s report comes on the heels of an on-the-ground CNN investigation, published Monday, which revealed that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — its main partner in the war — have transferred American-made weapons to al Qaeda-linked fighters, hardline Salafi militias, and other groups, in violation of their agreements with the United States. These elements have recently emerged in Hodeidah under the guise of the Giants.
During his maiden state visit, US President Donald Trump went to Saudi Arabia where he signed a massive $110 billion arms deal with the oil-rich kingdom. According to the Department of Defense, the monarchy is breaking the terms of its arms deal with Washington.
The Monday report further suggested that the American president “has lost control over” the royal family, questioning whether it is “responsible enough to be allowed to continue buying the sophisticated arms and fighting hardware”.
The disclosed news on Saudi Arabia and the UAE delivering American arms and weaponry to al-Qaeda and ISIL terrorists is an intelligence ignominy for Washington, President of Yemen’s Revolutionary Committee Mohammed Ali al-Houthi said.
A statement like this exposes the difficult situation the US leadership is facing, in explaining its position on the Saudi war against Yemen, after the CNN report. Al-Houthi explained that “the U.S. is easing the shock,” the American voter will suffer, after the growing rejection of the U.S. involvement in the war against Yemen. Votel is fighting against the CNN report and other reports of more violations by the U.S. to not “improve the chances for the Congress’s draft against the continuation of the coalition against Yemen.” He asked not to forget that this statement can be considered as “an attempt to avoid taking responsibility for legal, humanitarian and moral violations in Yemen.”
Last year, the Associated Press revealed secret prisons, run by UAE, in southern Yemen that shocked the world against the backdrop of torture stories that documented testimonies of survivors.
In March 2015, the US -backed –Saudi-led coalition started a war against Yemen with the declared aim of crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement, who had taken over from the staunch Riyadh ally and fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, while also seeking to secure the Saudi border with its southern neighbor. Three years and over 600,000 dead and injured Yemeni people and prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country, the war has yielded little to that effect.
Save the Children, a charity, has reported that more than 84,700 children under the age of five may have starved to death in Yemen since the Saudi regime and a coalition of its allies launched the brutal war on the already-impoverished nation.
Yemen is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis with more than 22 million people in need and is seeing a spike in needs, fuelled by ongoing conflict, a collapsing economy and diminished social services and livelihoods.
An Oxfam representative stated that the US, UK, and French governments are behind millions of people starving in Yemen because they are “supporting this war”.
“We have 14 million people starving,” Richard Stanforth, Oxfam UK’s regional policy officer for the Middle East, told RT, adding that “British, French, American governments are all behind this, they are all supporting this war”.
Despite the coalition claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.
However, Saudi Arabia relies heavily on the US in its brutal war on Yemen. Washington has deployed a commando force on the Arab kingdom’s border with Yemen to help destroy arms belonging to Yemen’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement. Washington has also provided logistical support and aerial refueling.