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British NGO files lawsuit with ICC over UAE war crimes in Yemen

The Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR) filed a lawsuit on Monday with the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the United Arab Emirates (UAE)s’ war crimes in Yemen.

The UK-based NGO accused the UAE, a member of Saudi-led coalition that launched a bloody aggression on Yemen in 2015, of conducting “indiscriminate attacks against civilians” and having used banned cluster bombs and hired mercenaries to execute and torture the Yemenis.

Joseph Breham, one of the group’s lawyers said the complaint “targets acts perpetrated on Yemeni territory by the United Arab Emirates, which does not recognize the ICC”.

According to latest tallies, the Saudi-led coalition’s war on Yemeni nation has claimed lives of more than 13,000 people, which is feared to skyrocket as the coalition has imposed an all-out blockade on the Arab country and prevents medicine, footstock, and humanitarian aids from reaching there.

The World Food Program says of a population of 26 million, some 17 million Yemenis do not know where their next meal is coming from and seven million are totally dependent on food aid.

However, the lawsuit drew an angry reaction from Anwar Gargash, the UAE foreign minister, who tweeted on Tuesday that the AOHR “with its address in Qatar has filed a media complaint against the UAE to the International Criminal Court.”

“People with knowledge are aware that this move aims to create noise, which is Qatar’s favorite game,” he added.

The Emirati air force has played a significant part in the aerial assaults against Yemen. Besides deploying its own troops to Yemeni soil, Abu Dhabi has been training the pro-Saudi militants fighting on the ground against the Yemeni army and its allied forces.

The country has also come under scrutiny for running secret prisons in Yemen, where hundreds of inmates suffer mistreatment and torture.

Saudi Arabia and its allies launched the war in a bid to crush the Ansarullah resistance movement and reinstate former Riyadh-friendly regime, but the kingdom has achieved neither of its goals.

The protracted Saudi war, which has been accompanied by a land, naval, and aerial blockade, has also caused a cholera epidemic.

The outbreak which started in April is actually the fastest growing cholera epidemic ever recorded and in mid-July, the number of cases stood at just over 350,000. By November 5th, that had increased drastically to 908,400 with 90 percent of districts across 22 provinces affected. According to aid officials over half of suspected cases are children.

In addition to its participation in the aggression on Yemen, the UAE is also a member of a Saudi-led quartet of Arab countries that has been leading a trade and diplomatic embargo on Qatar since June.

The Saudi-led bloc accused Doha of supporting terrorism and gave it an ultimatum to comply with a list of wide-ranging demands or face consequences.

Doha, however, strongly denied the allegation of supporting terrorism and refused to meet the demands.

Back in October, Qatar’s former deputy prime minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah revealed that the UAE had even planned a military invasion of Qatar with thousands of US-trained mercenaries.

The military action plan was prepared before the Qatar rift, but it was never carried out due to its failure to secure Washington’s support, he said.