09 March 2017
Saudi-led coalition’s recent use of Brazilian-made cluster munitions targets residential areas in Yemen
Brazil urged to renounce cluster munitions
The strikes have been in residential areas of Sa'da city
(c) Amnesty International
On 15 February 2017, the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fired Brazilian-manufactured cluster munitions on three residential areas in Saada City in Yemen, maiming two civilians, according to Amnesty International in a press release published today. This is the third confirmed use of Brazilian-manufactured cluster munitions in Yemen. Yet, the government of Brazil remains silent.
“I strongly condemn the use of cluster munitions in Yemen and urge the Saudi-led coalition to halt the use of any and all cluster munitions,” said Megan Burke, Director of the Cluster Munition Coalition. “I urge the government of Brazil to condemn the use of cluster munitions in Yemen, to renounce the internationally banned weapons and cease all production and transfers, and to join the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions without further delay.”
According to an investigation by Human Rights Watch and research by Amnesty International, several civilians were killed or injured by Brazilian-manufactured cluster munitions in Yemen in 2016. Other investigations have also confirmed the use of US and UK-made cluster bombs in Yemen.
Brazil has been a significant producer and exporter of cluster munitions, and maintains a stockpile of the weapons, according to the Cluster Munition Monitor. ASTROS II, the cluster munitions used in Yemen were manufactured by Avibrás Indústria Aeroespacial SA. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have purchased ASTROS cluster munition rockets from Brazil.
The Saudi- coalition is comprised of Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates.
Today Cluster Munition Coalition sent a letter to Mr. Aloysio Nunes Ferreira, the Foreign Minister of Brazil to express its concern and to urge the country to take action.
119 nations have joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions, of which 100 are States Parties and the remaining 19 are signatories that have yet to ratify. The convention comprehensively prohibits the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions, as well as assistance with any of these banned activities, and require that stockpiled cluster munitions be destroyed within eight years. The convention requires the clearance of areas contaminated by cluster munition remnants within ten years, and assistance to fulfill the rights of victims of cluster munitions. The convention also calls on countries in a position to provide assistance to help others fulfill their obligations.
Click here to read our statement on previous use of Brazilian-made cluster munitions in Yemen.