SHAFAQNA – Yemen those days is instantly hugging the headlines, forcing many to pay closer attention to the litany of injustices and unbearable bloodshed Saudi Arabia continues to impose on this poorest nation of Arabia on account it kneeled not to its imperialism.
Yemen today is not just fighting off an invasion, or a colonial war … Yemen today is fighting for the very life of its people. Yemenis today have taken up arms for they cannot bare seeing another of their fellow fall to the kingdom’s lead – young and old have curled their hands around a gun for they dare not imagine what would befall their loved ones should they not resist the violence spread by Riyadh’s coalition.
A grand criminal, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia moves still among those high circles of power, immune to all, and any criticism; holding its wealth as one would do a shield against the infamies its ruling elite has carried out in the name of control.
If ever infamy and abomination had a face, it would be that of the war Yemen has been made to endure.
For all the violence and destruction, the world has witnessed of late, Yemen I would say suffered most of all … Yemen I would argue, was made to bare more than it should ever had to in the face of our collective silence.
But because Yemen resisted a resolute resistance, because Yemen stood tall and stubborn in its quest for political and institutional emancipation, the world was forced to acknowledge its pain, and testify to its wounds.
Maybe one day soon, justice too will be within grasp …
It was Carrie Chapman, a prominent US rights activist who said: “To the wrongs that need resistance, To the right that needs assistance, To the future in the distance, Give yourselves.”
In between such notions as Justice and Resistance Yemen is carving a way through war, daring imagine that world powers will abandon their own geopolitical ambitions to answer a more noble call. While morals and ethics most definitely occupy but little space at the table of our Grande, shame as it were could still prove a powerful enough incentive.
Blood doesn’t wash as easily as one would think … not even for the likes of Western heads of state.
If bombs have fallen many and destructive since March 2015, their echo has now managed to reach even those most distant ears – making it more difficult for officials to feign ignorance.
Human Rights Watch released a report Sunday providing new indications that Saudi Arabia has fired American-made cluster munitions, banned by international treaty, in civilian areas of Yemen, and said their use may also violate United States law. The report included photographs from Yemen purporting to show unexploded but potentially lethal remnants of American cluster weapons, suggesting that they had failed legally required reliability standards.
Yet another affirmation of Saudi Arabia’s butchery, HRW’s newest report will be difficult to ignore since it puts Washington in a rather tricky judicial position, and could potentially have vast political repercussions.
“Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners, as well as their U.S. supplier, are blatantly disregarding the global standard that says cluster munitions should never be used under any circumstances,” Steve Goose, the arms director at Human Rights Watch, said in the report.
In a Jan. 12 letter to President Obama, Megan Burke, the director of the Cluster Munition Coalition, a disarmament group, urged him to “demand that Saudi-led coalition members stop using cluster munitions,” and said the United States “should investigate its own role in the recent strikes.”
Banned for they pose an aggravated threat to civilian population cluster munitions are subject to a ban (2008). However, major arm suppliers, among which the United States have so far refused to sign.
In 2009 though the US worked to restrict its export through more stringent technological requirements and oversight. Under the law, only cluster munitions with a failure rate of 1 percent or less can be exported, and they can be used only against “clearly defined military targets,” not “where civilians are known to be present.”
It is to this regard HRW report could be most damaging to the US. HRW essentially postulate that one type of American cluster bomb sold to the Saudis, the CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapon, has been used in at least two attacks and has a failure rate exceeding 1 percent.
“The evidence raises serious questions about compliance with U.S. cluster munition policy and export rules,” Mr. Goose said.
“US export law prohibits recipients of cluster munitions from using them in populated areas, as the Saudi coalition has clearly been doing. Second, US export law only allows the transfer of cluster munitions with a failure rate of less than 1 per cent,” added HRW in its report.
Keen to address the rising murmur against its administration, White House’s spokesman John Kirby, fired back to HRW by noting: “We have seen the Human Rights Watch report, and are reviewing it. Obviously we remain deeply concerned by reports of harm to civilians and have encouraged the Saudi-led coalition to investigate reports of civilian harm.”
If for now such political posing will suffice to quiet the rising media storm, time has a way to erode even the strongest edifice – especially when evidences of wrongdoings have become too ghastly to cover up.
“We’ve recorded about 18 different cluster munition attacks over those five governorates since March 2015, and many more attacks involving the use of explosive weapons. When they’re dropped on towns and cities and villages, we see civilian harm from that. Everything has been attacked; schools have been attacked, mosques and places of worship have been attacked, hospitals have been attacked. But frankly, the same thing is happening in Syria right now, with the use of cluster munitions there. And we’ve recorded hundreds of instances of the use of cluster bombs in Syria for the past five years, so Yemen is not alone in what it is experiencing, but we find it unacceptable that it should be subject to the use of a banned weapon such as cluster munitions,” said Mary Wareham, advocacy director of the Arms Division of HRW, in an interview with RT this February.
By Catherine Shakdam – This article appeared first in the American Herald Tribune