The Saudi-led coalition has admitted to using banned Britain-supplied BL-755 cluster munitions in its war against Shia rebels in Yemen, the UK’s defense minister Michael Fallon said on Monday.
In a statement issued on Monday, coalition said that it used ‘the BL-755 cluster munitions sometime between December 2015-January 2016’.
Fallon said Britain had not supplied Saudi Arabia with the cluster munitions since 1989 and that the country signed the convention on cluster munitions in 2008, Arab daily newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reports.
The Convention on Cluster Munitions prohibits all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of cluster bombs. Saudi Arabia, however, is not signed up to the convention.
However, coalition has denied allegations saying it did not violate international laws. “It must be recalled that international law does not ban the use of cluster munitions. Some States have undertaken a commitment to refrain from using cluster munitions by becoming party to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions. Neither the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia nor its Coalition partners are State Parties to the 2008 Convention, and accordingly, the Coalition’s use of cluster munitions does not violate the obligations of these States under international law,” coalition’s statement said.
But as said by Falcon, Saudi has promised to stop using munitions from here on. “Saudi Arabia has now confirmed that it will not further use BL-755 cluster munitions and I welcome that,” he said.