Riyadh- The Coalition Forces Supporting Legitimacy in Yemen affirmed that the coalition countries are not members to the Convention on cluster munitions, revealing that the Coalition conducted a limited
usage of cluster munitions within legitimate targets.
In a statement issued on Monday, the Coalition said, “In response to allegations by Amnesty International that the BL-755 cluster munitions was used between December 2015-January 2016 in the vicinity of Al Khadra in Yemen, the Coalition Forces Supporting Legitimacy in Yemen, would like to make the following clarification:
“First, it must be recalled that international law does not ban the use of cluster munitions. Some States have undertaken a commitment to refrain from using cluster munitions by becoming party to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions. Neither the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia nor its Coalition partners are State Parties to the 2008 Convention, and accordingly, the Coalition’s use of cluster munitions does not violate the obligations of these States under international law.”
The statement added that the Coalition has conducted an inquiry into the use of cluster munitions in Yemen, including through dialogue with the British authorities and others. “It has become apparent that there was limited use by the Coalition of the UK-manufactured BL-755 cluster munitions in Yemen. This munitions was used against legitimate military targets to defend Saudi towns and villages against continuous attacks by Houthi militia, which resulted in Saudi civilian casualties.”
The Coalition stressed that it is fully aware of the importance of abiding by the international humanitarian law when deploying these cluster munitions and therefore they were not used in civilian
Finally, the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has confirmed that it decided to cease usage of the UK-manufactured BL-755 cluster munitions and has informed the UK Government about this.