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Irish Government must take action on suspected war crimes in Yemen - Seán Crowe TD

25 January, 2017 - by Seán Crowe TD


Sinn Féin’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Seán Crowe TD, has called on the Irish Government to take action over suspected war crimes in Yemen by the Saudi Arabian led coalition.

Crowe raised the issue with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, in the wake of revelations that the Saudi military used British made cluster bombs.

Speaking during Parliamentary Questions on Foreign Affairs in Dáil, Deputy Crowe said:

“The Saudi Arabian led military campaign has been brutal and highly illegal.

“Thousands of Yemeni civilians have already been killed and injured by the Saudi coalition’s reckless and indiscriminate bombing of homes, hospitals, schools and factories. The bombing has also triggered a humanitarian crisis.

“Britain is one of the largest suppliers of arms to Saudi Arabia and in December 2016 the British Defence Secretary was forced to tell the House of Commons that British-made cluster bombs had been dropped by Saudi Arabia in Yemen.

“The Convention on Cluster Munitions, which was adopted on 30 May 2008 in Dublin and signed by 120 countries, bans the use of cluster bombs and commits all signatories to work to prevent their use by anyone else.

“Cluster bombs pose a significant and indiscriminate risk to civilians because they contain dozens of bomblets that can explode years after they are dropped, becoming de facto landmines.

“They pose a particular danger and risk to children, who can be attracted by their toy-like appearance and their bright and unusual colours.

“I called on the Minister to raise this issue with his British and Saudi counterpart, and to tell them that Ireland and its people are totally opposed to their actions in Yemen and the use of cluster bombs.

“Countries need to immediately suspend all further weapons sales to Saudi Arabia. This is especially true for the US, France and Britain, who are the leading suppliers of weapons to the repressive Saudi monarchy who control the Saudi military, and are carrying out these appalling atrocities in Yemen.”

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