Veterans Call for Halt to Illegal Cluster Bomb Shipments

5/12/2015

HRW:  Saudi Arabia Dropping U.S. Cluster Bombs on Yemen

Veterans For Peace is calling on the Obama administration to discontinue the delivery of illegal cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia.  Human Rights Watch provided convincing evidence this week that Saudi Arabia is dropping U.S. made cluster bombs in its aerial campaign against neighboring Yemen.

In 2008, 116 countries signed the Convention on Cluster Bombs, agreeing not to manufacture or use cluster bombs.  Cluster bombs contain many small bomblets that disperse over a wide area, killing and maiming civilians, including many children. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia did not sign the Cluster Bomb Treaty.

“Why is our government supporting Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign in Yemen?” asked Barry Ladendorf, national president of Veterans For Peace.  “Why are we supplying Saudi Arabia with weapons so reprehensible they have been rejected by the international community?”

Because many of these bomblets fail to explode on contact with the ground they remain a hazard, especially to children, for many years, as we have seen in Vietnam and Laos, where cluster bombs dropped by the U.S. over 40 years ago continue to kill and maim hundreds of civilians annually.  Members of Veterans For Peace are working with Project Renew to remove and reduce the risks of unexploded ordnance in Vietnam.

“It’s high time that the U.S. signed on to the Convention on Cluster Bombs,” said Veterans For Peace president Barry Ladendorf. “The American people do not want to be responsible for killing children around the world for decades to come.”

Costa Rica, a signatory to the Convention on Cluster Bombs, has also condemned Saudi Arabia’s dropping U.S. made cluster bombs on Yemen.

Responding to the Human Rights Watch Report, a Defense Department official said, "We take all accounts of civilian deaths due to the ongoing hostilities in Yemen very seriously. We are looking carefully into the details surrounding this HRW report."

Veterans For Peace is urging its members and supporters to call on the Obama administration to immediately stop delivery of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, and to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions. 

For further information on how to get involved in the movement to end cluster bombs, contact the Cluster Munition Coalition.

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