Yemen: Reports of “cluster bombs”, concerns over alleged “war crimes”… where is the accountability?


Clear photo but who will identify the weapon? (Image via Nasser Arrabyee)

The images are coming through thick and fast on social media of alleged cluster bombs being used on civilian areas of Yemen… so how difficult can it be to check out and identify what is being used with activists on the ground in Yemen… and who is responsible?

Human Rights Watch, a founding member of the Cluster Munition Coalition and contributes to its annual Cluster Munition Monitor report, states,

“cluster munitions pose an immediate threat to civilians during conflict by randomly scattering submunitions or bomblets over a wide area. They continue to pose a threat post-conflict by leaving remnants, including submunitions that fail to explode upon impact becoming de facto landmines. The 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions prohibits the use, production, transfer, and stockpiling of cluster munitions. It also requires destruction of stockpiles, clearance of areas contaminated by remnants, and victim assistance. More than 115 states have joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions and are working to implement its provisions.”


A blind person protests the bombing of his centre (Image via Nasser Arrabyee)

Therefore there is an urgent need to investigate the Saudi and Coalition bombing of Yemen, the nature of the weapons and who is supplying the munitions. It is ESSENTIAL that Yemen’s government “gives more time to review the relationship with UN human rights office” and allows George Abu-Zulof, head of the Yemen office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to carry out his work examining what looks remarkably like a “war crime.” What justification could possible be used for bombing a school/centre for the blind, this is surely an indiscriminate act?

Yahoo reported, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric on Friday who said,

“the U.N. chief expressed deep concern at the “intensification” of airstrikes by the U.S.-supported coalition and warned that the reported use of cluster bombs in populated areas could amount to a war crime”

CYOeplPW8AEAJLlNasser Arrabyee, Yemeni Journalist, Film-maker (Yemen Alaan, meaning Yemen now ) has once again tweeted a series of clear images showing munitions dropped on Yemen.






Who will ensure accountability for alleged war crimes? (Images via Nasser Arrabyee)

Zayed A Al-Mutawakel, International relations student tweeted,

Only weapon Yemeni civilians can use against the airstrikes are their keyboards and 140 characters

Ken Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch posted,

Yemen may not like UN reporting cluster-bomb use but it happened:

Jamila Hanan posted several photos of a bombing and wanted to know

Was there British intelligence behind this precise targeting?

Britain appears to have a very active role in supporting Saudi Arabia.


Luckily my friend made it out from under rubble at 5am when jets rock his house  (Caption on photo) 

I tweeted Alexandra Hiniker who describes herself on Twitter as “mostly Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, disarmament for at UN. Into cluster bomb and landmine bans after time in Lebanon, Laos, Cambodia. Views mine, etc”. I sent my articles on Yemen and asked her “any good at identifying alleged cluster bombs Yemen? Some photos here”? So far no response… well we can live in hope, can’t we…

I also tweeted Jeff Abramson, “international humanitarian disarmament and arms control expert with skills including policy development and advocacy, project management and leadership, research and editing, resource development, and media relations” with some photos of alleged cluster bomb injuries and also of Yemenis protesting the bombing of their school for the blind. Wonder if he will respond?

The organization Stop Killer Robots actually blocked me before on Twitter for asking challenging questions on drone strikes over Yemen and Pakistan so better not build my hopes too much regarding organizations responding to cluster bombs! Some will only go so far and support a “ticking off” rather than criminal charges.

Meanwhile….another day, another cluster bomb and the suffering continues!

Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.


About Carol Anne Grayson

Blogging for Humanity.... Campaigner/researcher global health/human rights/drones/WOT/insurgency Exec Producer of Oscar nominated documentary Incident in New Baghdad, currently filming on drones.
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