Stop The Bombs

9 February 2017, 11:24 UTC | Yemen
© Amnesty International

Right now, today and everyday in Yemen, innocent families are being torn apart by war. Bombs, fighter jets and combat helicopters made in the UK and the US are being used to kill civilians and blow up civilian homes, schools and hospitals in Yemen. The deliberate targeting of civilian sites is a war crime.

Amnesty is working in Yemen to document the devastating impact of the war on civilians, the human rights abuses and violations against innocent men, women and children. 

Where is Yemen?

Yemen is the highest risk location the crisis response team works in, due to relentless airstrikes. With a population of 28 million – and 40 million pieces of arms – it is the second most armed society in the world, after the US.

Rasha Mohamed, an international investigator, is exposing the truth and horror of illegal cluster bombings in Yemen. Rasha risks her own life to slip across borders into war zones that others are fleeing from, documenting unexploded bombs, negotiating with armed groups and meticulously collecting or photographing evidence – often in all its horror – so that she can later tell innocent people’s stories to the world. 

She told us about one man, Sameer whose home was destroyed in an airstrike;

"I stood next to Sameer an hour after an airstrike had destroyed his house, killing his eight-year-old son Sami and burying two children alive. He sat, speechless, in front of the rubble of his house in his undergarments, his face smeared with blood and dust. I felt utterly helpless at my inability to do anything to help pull the two children out from under the ruins of their house.

"Whilst their father sobbed in the background and the house crumbled, planes circled above, almost tauntingly triumphant. These poor innocent children. The lifeless bodies of six year old Hamoodj and 14-year-old Sheikha were eventually dug out from under the rubble 15 hours later."


Rasha Mohamed's plea

What is the conflict about? 

The current conflict is mainly between the government of President Abd Abbu Mansour Hadi and the northern Yemen Zaidi Shia group the Huthis. When the Huthis took control of the capital city Sana’a in September 2014, President Hadi fled to Saudi Arabia and asked its government to support him.

Saudi Arabia formed a coalition with a number of neighbouring countries to intervene in Yemen’s conflict on behalf of Hadi’s ousted government, and began a devastating bombing campaign in March 2015. The UK and the US is helping the coalition with logistical support and the supply of arms, including banned cluster munitions.

Our goal is to block the flow of weapons to Saudi Arabia, so we must continue the pressure on the UK and US governments. With your support, we have made fantastic strides to lobby our government and other members of the United Nations Security Council to call out Saudi Arabia, which they did, but there is still much work to do.

We are committed to ending the horror of illegal cluster bombings in Yemen, but we need your urgent help to stop the bombs.

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