US: End Military Support to Saudi/UAE-Led Coalition in Yemen

Senate Should Pass Joint Resolution 7, Critical Step Toward Ending Risk of US Complicity in Unlawful Coalition Attacks

(Sana’a, Yemen, March 13, 2019): Yemen-based Mwatana for Human Rights, US-based University Network for Human Rights, and PAX urge the US Senate to pass Senate Joint Resolution 7, which seeks to end the involvement of US armed forces in the Saudi/UAE-led Coalition’s military campaign against the Houthis in Yemen. The Senate is set to vote on the resolution today.

Last week, Mwatana, the University Network, and PAX released “Day of Judgment”: The Role of the US and Europe in Civilian Death, Destruction, and Trauma in Yemen, a 128-page report that presents the most comprehensive evidence to date of the Coalition’s use of US weapons in apparently unlawful attacks on civilians and civilian objects. The report found that twenty-seven apparently unlawful Coalition attacks documented by Mwatana between April 2015 and April 2018 killed at least 203 civilians and injured at least 749. Twenty-five of these attacks likely involved weapons produced in the United States.

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“Yemenis know the US through the weapons that have repeatedly damaged their homes, destroyed their livelihoods, and killed their loved ones in Saudi/UAE-led Coalition attacks. The Senate should immediately withdraw US support to the Coalition military campaign and begin the push towards peace,” said Radhya al-Mutawakel, Chairperson of Mwatana for Human Rights. Al-Mutawakel testified to Congress in conjunction with the report release regarding Mwatana’s findings on human rights abuses in Yemen.

The US has provided the Saudi/UAE-led Coalition with intelligence, logistical support, targeting assistance, and training since March 2015. Congress has never authorized the introduction of US forces into hostilities against the Houthis in Yemen, as required by the US Constitution. Today, the Senate has an opportunity to take a critical step towards ending the risk of US complicity in unlawful Coalition attacks, the human rights organizations said.

The US also continues to sell Saudi Arabia and the UAE weapons for use in Yemen, despite years of credible reporting on Coalition abuses and in blatant contravention of US arms trade law and international law. The US should immediately end arms transfers to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and other Coalition countries for use in Yemen, the human rights organizations added.

The conflict continues to exact an unacceptable toll on Yemeni civilians. In 2018, Mwatana documented continued Coalition airstrikes on civilians, as well as violations by the Houthi armed group, including laying landmines, shelling civilians, and arbitrarily detaining scores of people. According to ACLED, a group that studies conflicts, the four-year-long conflict in Yemen has killed more than 60,000 people and, according to the UN, helped push nearly half the population to the brink of famine.

“The Senate should pass Joint Resolution 7 and withdraw US armed forces from the conflict in Yemen. The US should also end arms transfers to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and other Coalition countries for use in Yemen if it seeks to avoid complicity in continued civilian deaths and destruction of homes, schools, medical facilities, and businesses,” said Ruhan Nagra, Executive Director of the University Network for Human Rights.

Contacts:

Ruhan Nagra, University Network for Human Rights, Middletown CT (English, Punjabi, Hindi)

Tel: (314) 435-2377

E-mail: ruhan@humanrightsnetwork.org

Radhya Al-Mutawakel, Mwatana for Human Rights, Washington, D.C., (English, Arabic)
Tel: +967 774166666
E-mail: ralmutawakel@mwatana.org

Osamah Alfakih, Mwatana for Human Rights, Sana’a (English, Arabic)

Tel: +967 775546904

E-mail: oalfakih@mwatana.org

Ali Jameel, Mwatana for Human Rights, Sana’a (English, Arabic)

Tel: +967 772844655

E-mail: ajameel@mwatana.org  

Mwatana for Human Rights (mwatana.org) is an independent Yemeni organization that advocates for human rights through the documentation of violations, provision of legal support to victims, lobbying, awareness raising, and capacity building. In recognition of its courageous human rights documentation and advocacy, Mwatana received the Roger N. Baldwin Medal of Liberty and the Hrant Dink Award in 2018. Mwatana’s work on human rights issues in Yemen has been cited in leading television, radio, print, and online sources around the world.

The University Network for Human Rights (humanrightsnetwork.org) facilitates supervised undergraduate engagement in the practice of human rights at colleges and universities in the United States and across the globe. The University Network partners with advocacy organizations and communities affected or threatened by abusive state, corporate, or private conduct to advance human rights at home and abroad; trains undergraduate students in interdisciplinary human rights protection and advocacy; and collaborates with academics and human rights practitioners in other parts of the world to foster the creation of practical, interdisciplinary programs in human rights.

PAX (paxforpeace.nl) is a Dutch peace organization that works with committed citizens and partners to protect civilians in conflict, end armed violence, and build peace. PAX operates independently of political interests.

Ruhan Nagra