Yemen: almost 100,000 victims of a war fought also with European weapons

The total number of fatalities in Yemen is reported to be more than 91,000 over the past four and a half years, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED). Since 2015, the Saudi-led coalition and its allies are responsible for over 8,000 of the approximately 11,700 fatalities reported in connection with direct targeting of civilians in Yemen.

ACLED records over 91,600 total reported fatalities from the start of 2015 to the present:
Approximately 17,100 were reported in 2015; 15, 100 in 2016; 16,800 in 2017; 30,800 in 2018; and 11,900 in 2019 thus far
More than 39,700 conflict events have been reported since the start of 2015
Approximately 7,700 in 2015; 8,700 in 2016; 7,900 in 2017; 10,200 in 2018; and 4,900 in 2019 thus far
Overall, 2018 is the war’s deadliest and most violent year on record
ACLED records nearly 4,500 direct civilian targeting events resulting in approximately 11,700 reported civilian fatalities since 2015

Approximately 4,500 reported fatalities in 2015; 2,200 in 2016; 1,900 in 2017; 2,400 in 2018; and 600 in 2019 thus far
2015 is the deadliest year for direct anti-civilian violence on record, with almost twice the number of reported fatalities recorded during 2018, the second-most lethal year
The Saudi-led coalition and its allies remain responsible for the highest number of reported civilian fatalities from direct targeting, with over 8,000 since 2015
Around 67% of all reported civilian fatalities in Yemen over the last four and a half years have been caused by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes
The Houthis and their allies are responsible for over 1,900 reported civilian fatalities from direct targeting

Among the Yemeni population children are the group that is suffering most.

  • 12.3 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance
  • 55 out of 1000 children die before their 5th birthday
  • One in 10 schools have been destroyed or damaged
  • 2 million children are out of school
  • 23% of children are engaged in child labour

(Source: Save the Children)

@ 2019 Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project

A CNN investigation recently found that Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners have transferred American-made weapons to al Qaeda-linked fighters, hardliner Salafi militias, and other factions waging war in Yemen, in violation of their agreements with the United States.

The US Senate voted on 20 June to block the Trump administration from selling U.S.-made weapons to Saudi Arabia and its allies. The reasons for this vote, according to USA Today, are not only anger at the Saudi government for its alleged role in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and its involvement in the war in Yemen, but also what they see as Trump’s strong-arm efforts to sell weapons without seeking congressional say-so.

According to the EU’s reporting on arms exports, EU member states issued at least 607 licences worth over 15.8 billion euros to Saudi Arabia in 2016. The main European exporters of conventional arms to Saudi Arabia include the UK, France, Spain, Italy and Bulgaria. Between 2013 and 2018, Saudi Arabia accounted for nearly half of the UK’s and a third of Belgium’s arms exports, Amnesty International reports.

A growing number of European countries, including Germany, Austria and the Netherlands have decided to stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia. At the end of June, The Guardian reported, British arms sales to Saudi Arabia have been ruled unlawful by the court of appeal in a critical judgment that also accused ministers of ignoring whether airstrikes that killed civilians in Yemen broke humanitarian law.