Day 6

Arming Saudi Arabia & Yemen's forgotten war

The UN says 30 people a day are being killed in Yemen's civil war. As the US this week announced a $1.29 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, Donatella Rovera of Amnesty International explains to Brent why she believes the Saudi-led air attacks in Yemen amount to war crimes.
The remains of a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital in the Saada province of Yemen, bombed by the Saudi-led coalition in early October 2015. Photo courtesy of Miriam Czech/MSF (Photo courtesy of Miriam Czech/MSF)

On Tuesday, the US announced a new multi-billion dollar arms deal with the country, as details of Canada's $15 billion light armoured vehicles deal remain secret. Amnesty International is calling for the US and UK to stop selling bombs to the Saudis. Donatella Rovera is Amnesty International's senior crisis response adviser for Yemen. She tells Brent why she believes the Saudi-led air attacks in Yemen amount to war crimes. Her report on Yemen details Amnesty's allegations that the Saudi-led coalition have used cluster bombs in contravention of humanitarian agreements. The Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders have also reported that the coalition has bombed hospitals in Yemen.

Of Canada's deal to sell light armoured vehicles to the Saudis, Hilary Homes of Amnesty Canada says, "In the case of the Canadian sales, our big question is how are these vehicles being used. For the US and UK sales, we know that three types of the bombs that the US proposes to sell have been used in air strikes in Yemen that violated humanitarian laws. Civilians died in those airstrikes." Amnesty is calling for Canada's human rights assessment of Saudi Arabia to be made public. 

 "The kind of attacks carried out by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, day in, day out, since March 26 until now, with terrible loss of civilian life indicates a level of negligence, a level of not caring about human life, that points to the commission of war crimes," Amnesty's Donatella Rovera told Day 6.