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When is an action taken in battle a war crime? Is the answer when it is committed by another country?
Cluster bombs are a type of "explosive weapon which scatters submunitions ("bomblets") over an area" and can cause widespread death and destruction.
Some of the bomblets fail to explode on impact. They can be brightly coloured and look attractive to children. Days, weeks, months or more may pass before they explode on contact.
But there is a treaty in place banning or at least limiting the use of cluster bombs.
And the sale of cluster bombs is illegal.
Wikipedia says "The cluster munitions ban process, also known as the Oslo Process, began in February 2007 in Oslo. At this time, 46 nations issued the "Oslo Declaration", committing themselves to "Conclude by 2008 a legally binding international instrument that prohibits the use and stockpiling of cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians and secure adequate provision of care and rehabilitation to survivors and clearance of contaminated areas"."
The UK signed that treaty in 2008 and it came into force in 2010.
So how come headlines Monday claim "British made cluster bombs used by Saudi-led forces in Yemen, Government research shows."
Why are we even making cluster bombs let alone selling them to other countries?
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon was set to make a statement on the analysis in the House of Commons Monday afternoon but no amount of spin can excuse our actions.
He told the House of Commons the "coalition" of forces confirmed a limited amount of cluster bombs allegedly bought in the 1980s were dropped. The last allegedly dropped months ago.
Fallon told the House that he has been assured the coalition will not use anymore British made cluster bombs but is that just more empty words?
Hypocrites at the very least
Anything to make money?
What other weapons has the UK sold? What countries have we sold weapons to?
We would be the first to cry foul if other countries acted in such a "double dealing" way.
Saudi Arabia has not signed up to the Oslo Declaration. That country has a terrible human rights record yet it is an ally of the UK.
And if we sold them British made cluster bombs we are complicit in mass murder and our leaders are surely war criminals.
Yemen crisis appeal http://www.dec.org.uk/?gclid=CPH2rY32gNECFY8W0woddiIBwA
According to the Guardian report "The al-Annad base is where American and European military advisers help Yemen battle the country’s local al-Qaida branch through drone strikes and logistical support."
In the country's capital Sanaa, Friday, at least 137 people were killed when suicide bombers struck. At least four suicide bombers attacked two Mosques during Friday noon prayers. Worshippers at the Mosques were mainly supporters of the Zaidi Shia-led Houthi rebel movement. A branch of Islamic State in Yemen has claimed responsibility for the bombings.
Shia rebels, the Houthis, in Yemen issued a call to arms Saturday to fight forces loyal to President Hadi, who they view as extremists.
Since September when Shia rebels stormed into the capital, Sanaa, Yemen has been following a downward spiral into chaos.
With rebels, al-Qaeda and Islamic State all active and armed in the country Yemen is rapidly collapsing.
Sunday there are reports that Shia, Houthi, rebels have seized parts of Yemen's third largest city Taiz, and that includes the airport.
Yorkshire woman Eileen Kersey is the creator, editor of, and writer at, NEW TEKJournalismUK world news and its associated websites; she has finally come out of the 'writing closet'.
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