‘Maybe Saudi war crimes in Yemen’, Jordanian prince says

This video says about itself:

UN condemns Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen

18 March 2016

The United Nations says air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition are causing “carnage” in Yemen. The UN human rights chief has said the Saudi-led alliance is responsible for the vast majority of civilian deaths in the conflict. He also expressed outrage at one of the deadliest air strikes so far, which took place on a market this week.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Saudi coalition kills most civilians in Yemen

Today, 10:12

The coalition led by Saudi Arabia in Yemen is responsible for twice as many civilian casualties as all other belligerents together. That said the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Jordanian Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, in Geneva.

Zeid expressed severe criticism of the raid by the coalition on a crowded market in northern Yemen, three days ago, in which 119 people died. Staffers of Zeid visited the bloody site and concluded that there were no military targets in the vicinity which might have legitimized an attack.


“Perhaps the members of the coalition have been guilty of international crimes,” said Zeid. He added that the coalition also never makes any effort afterwards to find out whether the attacks were reasonable.

“These terrible mistakes occur with unacceptable regularity,” said Zeid.

His Royal Highness Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein is a Jordanian royal family prince. The Jordanian monarchy are allies of the Saudi monarchy. Maybe if Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein would not have been a prince, then his criticism of Saudi warfare in Yemen might have been even sharper.

More than 80 percent of the Yemeni population is confronting a desperate humanitarian catastrophe as the US-backed Saudi war against Yemen, launched in March 2015 as “Operation Decisive Storm,” enters its second year: here.

18 thoughts on “‘Maybe Saudi war crimes in Yemen’, Jordanian prince says

  1. Saturday 19th March 2016

    posted by Paddy McGuffin in Britain

    HUMAN rights campaigners marched on Downing Street yesterday in protest against Britain’s continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia that may have already been used to commit war crimes.

    Activists from Amnesty International dressed in white boiler suits and carrying five giant dummy missiles drew attention to the government’s refusal to halt exports of British arms to the Saudi regime.

    Since Yemen’s civil war erupted a year ago, thousands of civilians have been killed and injured, many in devastating air strikes conducted by a Saudi-led military coalition.

    Britain is a major supplier of weaponry to the Royal Saudi Air Force, issuing licences for arms exports valued at £2.8 billion between April and September last year.

    Amnesty International said it had documented at least 30 unlawful air strikes, including strikes that deliberately targeted civilian objects.

    Amnesty UK director Kate Allen said: “It looks like our missiles will be needed in the UK’s rush to restock Saudi Arabia’s supply of weaponry for its bombardment of Yemen.

    “It’s absolutely shocking that the UK is still selling billions of pounds worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia even as the civilian casualties have mounted and mounted in Yemen.

    “Ministers need to stop burying their heads in the sand and immediately suspend arms sales for the Saudi war machine.”

    A United Nations report leaked last month also cited evidence of “widespread and systematic” attacks by Saudi forces on Yemeni civilian targets including weddings, schools, mosques and factories.

    And in December a group of leading experts on international law issued a comprehensive legal opinion showing that continued weapons exports to Saudi Arabia breached Britain’s own laws and international laws.

    Now the government’s arms sales are set to be investigated by MPs and challenged in court.

    Ministers have repeatedly claimed that there is “no evidence of deliberate breaches of international humanitarian law” by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

    Writing in the Star today, shadow international development secretary Diane Abbott accused them of trying to “defend the indefensible.”

    The Saudi intervention in Yemen’s civil war must prompt us to ask ourselves searching questions about our arms industry,” she said.

    “When Saudi Arabia or Bahrain buy our arms, they also buy our silence on their human rights abuses. We must now have the moral courage to end this silence.”



  2. Saturday 19th March 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    British-made bombs in Saudi hands are destroying Yemen and crushing our aid efforts, writes DIANE ABBOTT

    THIS month we learned that British sales of arms to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen will be the subject of a full-scale inquiry in Parliament. The government is also facing a High Court challenge to examine whether its actions break British and EU arms export laws.

    The British government has licensed £6.7 billion of arms to Saudi Arabia since David Cameron took office, including £2.8bn since the bombing of Yemen began in March 2015. There have been strong claims, including by a UN panel, that the Saudi bombing campaign has included repeated breaches of human rights laws.

    The cross-party committee conducting the inquiry is also likely to look at the role of the Department for International Development (DfID) in sanctioning arms sales. It has emerged that DfID was not consulted on the arms sales to Saudi Arabia, even though it has a major aid programme in Yemen.

    Additionally, DfID itself is due to report before Easter on the broader aid implications of the government running an aid programme in Yemen while its arms sales help fuel civil war in that same country.

    On the Labour side of the House of Commons, we are in no doubt that Britain’s arms trade with Saudi Arabia is undermining the humanitarian efforts of DfID, which gave £106 million in aid to Yemen in the past year.

    In the first three months of this conflict, we approved £1.7bn worth of arms licences to Saudi Arabia — £400m more than the total global aid given to Yemen over the same period.

    The results of the Saudi war on Yemen have been, in the words of the UN’s Yemen envoy Johannes van der Klauwe, “a humanitarian catastrophe.” Currently 60 per cent its population of 14.4m are going hungry. In December, Save the Children assessed that the conflict had put 1.8 million children out of school and damaged 1,000 schools beyond use.

    As Labour’s shadow international development secretary, I and my colleagues have been arguing for some time that inquiries into this issue were necessary. The government’s response has been far from satisfactory.

    For example, at recent international development questions in Parliament, Development Minister Desmond Swayne rejected the position of Save the Children, Unicef, Oxfam and Saferworld that British arms sales to Saudi Arabia — £3bn in the first six months of the war alone — undermine Britain’s development efforts in Yemen.

    “There is no evidence that I have that that is the case,” Swayne said. “I reject it.”

    He is not the only minister scrambling to defend the indefensible. Last month, Philip Hammond responded to a question by my colleague Hilary Benn on whether British troops on the ground monitoring the bombing campaign had reported “potential breaches of international humanitarian law.” Hammond said that the troops had not reported any “deliberate” war crimes, implying reports of accidental war crimes had been passed to him.

    Even worse, in an answer to my parliamentary question, Hammond’s deputy Tobias Ellwood demonstrated he believes that that Saudi Arabia is not at risk of breaking international humanitarian law. Perhaps he has not read the UN’s report, which said Saudi Arabia’s coalition had done just that 119 times.

    It’s time the government remembered the cardinal rule of development — do no harm — and recognises that conflict exacerbates existing humanitarian crises. That’s basic common sense, backed up by hard evidence and harder experience.

    And while the government regularly claims that Britain has “one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world,” this has been shown to be manifestly untrue by the Saudi war on Yemen. If the UN, rights groups and the international media are reporting Saudi Arabian war crimes in Yemen, why has Britain denied only eight out of well over 100 Saudi requests for our arms?

    The Saudi intervention in Yemen’s civil war must prompt us to ask ourselves searching questions about our arms industry. When Saudi Arabia or Bahrain buy our arms, they also buy our silence on their human rights abuses. We must now have the moral courage to end this silence.

    Diane Abbott is Labour’s shadow international development secretary.



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  4. Saudi Arabia is a human rights nightmare, but after they bombed schools and hospitals in Yemen, calls rose in Europe for an arms embargo. When EU politicians started to waver under the pressure of powerful Saudi lobbyists, 740,000 Avaazers weighed in, flooding members of parliament with messages and calls. And we won — for the first time in history, a Western parliament voted to ban arms sales to Saudi Arabia! Now the pressure is on for governments to follow the European lead.

    “We’ve received calls from Scotland to France to Yemen calling for action, Avaaz played a major role to bring this message to the European Parliament.”
    – Alyn Smith, Member of European Parliament


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