Amnesty International accused the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday of diverting arms supplied by Western and other states to “unaccountable militias accused of war crimes” in Yemen.
“Emirati forces receive billions of dollars’ worth of arms from Western states and others, only to syphon them off to militias in Yemen that answer to no-one and are known to be committing war crimes,” Amnesty said in a statement.
“The proliferation of these fighting forces is a recipe for disaster for Yemeni civilians who have already been killed in their thousands, while millions more are on the brink of famine as a direct result of the war,” the human rights group said.
The UAE government media office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Amnesty statement.
The UAE has trained and armed thousands of Yemeni fighters, mostly in southern provinces and western coastal areas.
Many Western nations provide weapons and intelligence to the Saudi-led coalition, which has been since March 2015 waging a brutal war on Yemen.
Amnesty called on states to suspend arms sales to the warring parties until there is “no longer a substantial risk” they may be used to breach humanitarian or human rights law.