Amnesty International organization had published a statement accusing the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Wednesday of “transferring arms to factions accused of war crimes” in Yemen.
“The UAE forces are getting weapons in billions of dollars from Western countries and other countries to transfer them to factions in Yemen that are not accountable and are known to have committed war crimes,” it said.
It explained that the UAE has become a major conduit for the supply of armoured vehicles, mortar systems, rifles, pistols and machine guns, which are illegally diverted to unaccountable militias, accused of war crimes and other grave violations.
At the same time, according to the organization, a new risk emerges that Yemen is rapidly becoming a safe haven for the largely unaccountable UAE-backed militias.
“The United States of America, Britain, France, and other European countries are rightly criticized for supplying weapons to Coalition forces,” said Patrick Wilkin, a researcher with the arms control and Human Rights program at Amnesty International.
Iran is involved in sending weapons to the Houthis, he said.
It said that since the outbreak of the conflict in Yemen in March 2015, “Western countries have supplied weapons to the UAE with at least 3.5 billion US dollars.”
According to the organization, the UAE trains and finances armed groups receiving these dubious arms deals–including the Giants ‘ militias, the security belt, and the elite forces–but these groups are not accountable to any government.
It noted that some of these factions “are accused of committing crimes during the military campaign against the city of Hodeidah, and are involved in cases of torture in a secret prison network supported by the UAE in southern Yemen.”