Four members of the Hayash family who were injured in a cluster munition attack on al-Qufl village in mid-July.

© 2015 Ole Solvang/Human Rights Watch

(ベイルート)— サウジアラビア主導の連合軍が、イエメン北西部ハッジャ州での少なくとも7回の攻撃にクラスター爆弾を使用した模様で、数十人もの死傷者が出ていると、本日ヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチは述べた。これらの攻撃は、今年4月後半から7月中旬にかけて行われた。

Yemen: Cluster Munitions Kill and Wound Civilians

Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces appear to have used cluster munition rockets in at least seven attacks in Yemen’s northwestern Hajja governorate, killing and wounding dozens of civilians.

クラスター爆弾は、シーア派系武装組織フーシに対するものと思われる攻撃の最中のみならず、その後も一般市民を犠牲にする。不発子弾を拾い上げたときに爆発することがあるためだ。連合軍は、一般市民への被害が避けられないクラスター爆弾の使用を即時中止にすべきだ。国連人権理事会は、2014年9月以来のイエメン内戦において、全当事者が犯した重大な武力紛争法違反の疑惑を捜査するため、調査委員会を設置すべきだろう。

ヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチ緊急対応部門の上級調査員ウレ・ソルバンは、「ハッジャ州における一般市民の犠牲は、なぜほとんどの国がクラスター爆弾全面禁止の誓いをたてたのかを如実に語るものだ」と述べる。「これらの兵器は攻撃時に人びとを殺傷するだけでなく、その後長きにわたり、不発子弾が殺傷を繰り返す。」

3月26日以来、アラブ9カ国による連合軍が「アンサール・アッラー」とも呼ばれるフーシ派に対し、軍事作戦を展開している。イエメン北部を基盤とするシーア派武装組織のフーシ派は、イエメンの大部分を掌握し、ハディ大統領は今年その座を追われた。

7月にヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチは7カ所の攻撃現場のうち4カ所を訪問。いずれもハッジャ州のハラズとハイラン地区にある。調査訪問先のすべてで不発子弾あるいはクラスター爆弾ロケットの残骸が発見されている。攻撃を目撃した地元住人たちにも話を聞き、住人たちが撮影した不発子弾を含むクラスター爆弾の残骸の写真も検証。写真では、ヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチが訪問しなかったふたつの現場にあった不発子弾も確認できた。

これら複数の攻撃は人口密集地内または付近で起きており、当該ロケット弾による攻撃そのものが、武力紛争法に抵触する、不法な無差別攻撃だった可能性がある。地元住民は7つの攻撃で犠牲になった3人の子どもを含む13人の氏名を明らかにし、同様に22人の負傷者も特定。また、攻撃後に不発子弾の爆発で負傷した3人も明らかにしている。これら攻撃の死傷者は多めだったと地元住民は話すが、そのほかの被害者の氏名は分からないという。攻撃でフーシ派の戦闘員が死傷したか否かも未知のままだ。

ヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチは、通常は農地および放牧地として使われる野原に散在する不発子弾を発見した。これら不発子弾により、当該地域は使用に値しない危険有害な場所となり、地元農民の生計を脅かし、食糧不安も増すことになった。

An informal camp outside the village of Bani Hassan housing thousands of people internally displaced by the war, most as a result of the ongoing airstrikes in northern Yemen

© 2015 Ole Solvang/Human Rights Watch

残骸の検証を基に、ヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチは7つの攻撃に使われたのが米国製の地上発射型M26クラスター爆弾ロケットであることを特定した。M26は12発のロケット弾を搭載可能なM270多連装ロケットシステム(MLRS)か、6発の搭載が可能なM142高機動ロケット砲システムから発射される。射程距離は10〜32キロだ。

M26ロケット弾は644個のM77二用途向上化従来型弾(DPICM)子弾を内包しており、200×100メートル超の範囲に飛散させる。つまり6発のロケット弾斉射で、1キロ半径内に3864発の子弾の雨を降らせるのである。

M77子弾は、米軍のテストで23%という高い不発率を記録している。これは、不発子弾の位置が特定され安全に除去されるまで、当該地域は深刻な危険にさらされることを意味する。複数の住民がこの兵器の残骸について説明したり、現物を見せてくれた。その中には、子弾が爆発した後によく残っている、独特の白いナイロン製リボンも含まれていた。

証拠は決定的とは言えないものの、いくつかの事実はサウジ主導の連合軍がこれら7回の攻撃を行ったことを示している。連合軍参加国のバーレーン、エジプト、アラブ首長国連邦はM26ロケット弾およびその発射装置を保有しているが、サウジアラビアとイエメンについては、一般公開された十分な情報が存在しない。メディアは、エジプト軍およびアラブ首長国連邦軍がサウジアラビアに派遣された可能性を報じているが、ヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチはこれを確認できていない。

爆撃現場はサウジアラビアとイエメンの国境から4〜19キロの間に位置し、サウジアラビアで活動する部隊の攻撃範囲内である。国境から20キロにある村のイエメン人は、国境方向からロケット弾が飛んでくるのが見えたと話した。

ロケット弾はフーシ派支配地域の少なくとも3カ所を攻撃した。これらの地域はフーシ派の軍隊が基地、またはサウジ領土への攻撃拠点として使っていたため、連合軍の標的になったと思われる。あるサウジ記者は、ソーシャルメディア上でサウジアラビアに隣接するジザン州で彼自身が撮ったとする1枚の写真を共有。攻撃目標に達しなかったM77子弾を内包するM26ロケット弾が写っている。しかし、ロケット弾の推進装置の一部が欠落していることから、発射したものの不発だったことが推測される。当該ロケット弾の標的を、発見位置のみから結論づけることはできない。

Remnant from an M26 cluster munition rocket found near Bani Kaladah village, northern Yemen, after an attack in April or May 2015.

© 2015 Private

ヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチは8月18日、当該攻撃の責任の所在を明らかにすることをサウジ当局に書面で求めたが、まだ回答は得ていない。

地元のイエメン人住民はヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチに、イエメン北部の他の場所でもクラスター爆弾による同様の攻撃があったと聞いた、と話すが、進行中の戦闘のためこれらの報告について調査はできていない。7月2日にソーシャルメディア上で共有されたある写真には、サーダ州レザ地区にて撮影との注があり、子どもが不発のM77子弾を2個持っている様子が写っている。この写真は、M26クラスター爆弾がそこでも使用された可能性を示唆している。

ヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチはこれまでにも、連合軍によるとみられる空爆で今年使用された、ほか3種類のクラスター爆弾を特定している。米国製のCBU-105型センサー信管兵器・ロケット弾、ZP−39二用途向上化従来型弾(DPICM)子弾、そしてBLU-97子弾を内包するCBU-87型クラスター爆弾だ。米国防総省幹部は匿名で、「米国は、サウジアラビアがイエメンでクラスター爆弾を使用したことを把握している」と述べたようだと、USニュース&ワールド・レポート誌は報じている。

イエメン、サウジアラビア、またはそのほかの連合軍参加国のいずれも、クラスター爆弾を全面禁止する国際条約に加盟していない。計94カ国がクラスター爆弾に関する条約に加盟しており、ほか23カ国は署名したものの、まだ批准していない。ヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチはクラスター兵器連合(CMC)の共同設立団体で、かつ代表を務めている。

前出のソルバン上級調査員は、「クラスター爆弾により、イエメン内戦での一般市民に対する甚大な被害は拡大する一方だ」と指摘する。「アラブ連合軍は速やかにこれら兵器の使用を停止し、全面禁止条約に加盟すべきだ。」

 
Al-Qufl Village, Haradh District
On the morning of July 14 or 15, members of the Hayash family were taking their cows and sheep to graze in fields surrounding the village of al-Qufl when they witnessed a cluster munition attack. Al-Qufl is about 13 kilometers northeast of Haradh, a town in the governorate of the same name, and just 4 kilometers from Yemen’s border with Saudi Arabia. Aziz Hadi Matir Hayash, 15, told Human Rights Watch: “We were still close to the house when the rocket exploded in the air and … [sub]munitions fell out of it. Two landed near our house while others spread all over the village. One exploded and the other is still there.”

The submunition that exploded near the Hayash family’s house fatally wounded Hayash’s brother, Khaled Matir Hadi Hayash, 18, in the neck, and wounded Aziz Hayash and three of his cousins. Human Rights Watch met Hayash and his three cousins in a hospital in Hajja City on July 24, where they were being treated for their injuries. The attack also killed 30 sheep as well as their cows, Hayash said.

Aziz Hayash’s cousin Saria Muhammad Hayash, 24, said that the unexploded submunition was the size of a small medicine bottle with a white ribbon attached to it, a description consistent with the M77 DPICM submunition. He said he had seen perhaps 10 such unexploded submunitions in the area.

A resident from a neighboring village said that five people had died in an attack on al-Qufl village. He may have been referring to the same cluster munition attack because he mentioned that members of the Matir family, a name also used by the Hayash family, were among the victims, but he could not recall the date.

Malus Village, Haradh District

Unexploded M77 DPICM submunition hanging from a tree near Malus village, northern Yemen, after a cluster munition attack on June 7, 2015.

© 2015 Private

Just before midnight on June 7, cluster munitions were used in an attack on the village of Malus in the al-Fag directorate of Haradh District, local residents told Human Rights Watch. Malus is 30 kilometers east of the town of Haradh and 5 kilometers south of Yemen’s border with Saudi Arabia.

Human Rights Watch interviewed 11 people from Malus, including five who were injured in the attack, in a camp for displaced people in Hayran District. The Malus residents provided the names of seven local people, including three children, who were killed in the attack, and another 17 who were wounded.

Muhammad al-Marzuqi, 30, who sells qat (a leaf widely consumed in Yemen as a stimulant) in Malus, said that he looked out the window after hearing explosions in the village:

I saw a bomb exploding in the air and pouring out many smaller bombs. Then an explosion threw me on the floor. I lost consciousness and somebody transferred me to the hospital with burns and wounds on the heels of the feet and fragmentation wounds on the left side of my body.

The attack also wounded two of his children. Ismail, 13, showed Human Rights Watch a scar on his inner, upper left thigh that had resulted from surgery to remove fragments. Saria, 9, showed a scar on her right knee, which was still stiff from the injury.

Muhammad Rabi said his 13-year-old son was fatally wounded in the attack: “I took him to the hospital, but he died as soon as we arrived. I stayed with him till the morning, then buried him in Hayran. I didn’t even take him back home. Residents of the village all fled. You can’t find anyone there now.”

Human Rights Watch also interviewed Fatima Ibrahim al-Marzuqi, whose legs were injured in the attack. Despite several operations, she still could not walk. Her brother Yahya Ibrahim al-Marzuqi, 22, who was also wounded in the attack, has been carrying her.

Fatima Ibrahim al-Marzuqi is being carried by her brother because she is not able to walk due to her injuries sustained during a cluster munition attack on Malus village on June 7.

© 2015 Ole Solvang/Human Rights Watch

Muhammad Swaid al-Marzuqi, about 70, said:

I was sleeping a few meters from my son’s grocery shop when I heard the explosions. I got up and saw the shop was burning, and then I saw burning fires and smoke in many locations in the village and understood that the whole village had been attacked.

The villagers said that at least two submunitions failed to explode; one was found on a road and another hanging from a tree branch. One villager provided photographs that he said he had taken in and near the village. The photographs show an unexploded M77 DPICM submunition hanging from a tree and the remnants of several M26 rockets. At an ad hoc camp for displaced people in Beni Hassan, a Malus resident showed Human Rights Watch a piece of a white ribbon from an M77 DPICM submunition that he had found in the village after the attack.

Dughayj Village, Hayran District
Cluster munition rockets were used in an attack on the village of Dughayj in the Hayran district, 20 kilometers from Yemen’s border with Saudi Arabia, in late June or early July, local residents told Human Rights Watch.

Adel Hassan, 15, a Dughayj resident, told Human Rights Watch researchers who visited the village on July 27 that the attack took place at about 1 p.m. “less than a month” earlier. He said the attack killed about 10 people, all civilians, and wounded 30 others. He named five of the dead, including three women, but said he could not identify other victims, most of whom had come to Dughayj after being displaced from other areas by the conflict.

An unexploded M77 DPICM submunition found in Dughayj village, northern Yemen, after a cluster munition attack in June or July 2015.

© 2015 Ole Solvang/Human Rights Watch

Hassan said that he saw 10 unexploded submunitions after the attack and that his cousin had destroyed others. Local residents said that Houthi forces had removed unexploded submunitions from the village. Nevertheless, during a visit to the village on July 27, Human Rights Watch found an unexploded M77 DPICM submunition.

Other local residents confirmed the attack and a resident of the neighboring Haradh District said that a villager from Dughayj had brought him an unexploded submunition after the attack.

Al-Hazan Village, Haradh District
Cluster munition rockets hit agricultural land near the village of al-Hazan in the Hayran district, 20 kilometers from the Saudi-Yemeni border, in late May or early June.

An unexploded M77 DPICM submunition found in July 2015 in a field near al-Hazan village, northern Yemen.

© 2015 Ole Solvang/Human Rights Watch

One villager said that on the night of the attack he saw flashes from rockets that appeared to have come from the direction of Yemen’s border with Saudi Arabia. Shortly thereafter, he saw multiple flashes in the air above the village, followed by dozens of explosions, “like the sound when you dump a load of rocks from a truck.”

The submunitions fell in farming land belonging to three villages, which have a combined population of about 3,000.

The attack injured one man, who had been displaced from another village by the war, in his chest and back, the villagers said. Unexploded submunitions in the fields subsequently detonated after being disturbed and injured three farmers in separate incidents: a 17-year-old was injured in his abdomen, a 70-year-old man in his legs and hand, and a 31-year-old man in his leg.

A farmer showed Human Rights Watch the fields where the submunitions landed, where dozens of small craters remained visible in the soft soil. Human Rights Watch found three unexploded M77 DPICM submunitions, as well as pieces of the white stabilization ribbons from submunitions that had exploded. One submunition was almost completely buried in the sand with only part of the ribbon visible. Another was on a path between two fields with a rope tied to the white ribbon, apparently by someone trying detonate it by yanking on the ribbon.

The presence of unexploded submunitions in the fields is having a negative effect on farmers’ livelihoods, locals said. “We can’t work the fields anymore because of the submunitions,” said Ali Muhammad Gahshor, 52.

Some villagers said that Houthi forces were using a nearby house at the time of the attack and might have been its target.

Bani Kaladah Village, Haradh District
Cluster munition rockets were used in attacks near the village of Bani Kaladah in Haradh District, 5 kilometers west of Haradh and 7 kilometers from the Saudi-Yemeni border, in late April or early May.

Remnant from an M26 cluster munition rocket found near Bani Kaladah village, northern Yemen, after an attack in April or May 2015.

© 2015 Private

One villager said that his brother found 12 unexploded submunitions near their family home when he returned to the village on May 13. The submunitions had landed in the fields, affecting at least 10 farms, the villager said.

The villager sent Human Rights Watch photographs that he said a friend had taken in fields near his house. The photographs showed remnants of at least one M26 rocket and one unexploded M77 DPICM submunition.

On July 27, Human Rights Watch went to see the villager’s house where the 12 submunitions were said to have been found but the house had been reduced to rubble, apparently from one or more bombs, making it unsafe to search for unexploded submunitions. Human Rights Watch found the remnants of an M26 rocket about a kilometer north of the house. One local resident said that Houthi forces had cleared the area of unexploded submunitions after the attack.

A resident said that Houthi forces were using local roads, abandoned houses, and farmland to launch attacks against Saudi forces, and had told residents to vacate the area on April 5. The local council had also signed an agreement with the Houthis declaring the area a military zone, he said, although some civilians remained in the village.

Haradh Town, Haradh District
Cluster munition rockets were used in an attack on the outskirts of Haradh, a town 11 kilometers from the Saudi-Yemeni border, on July 25, Houthi fighters and a local medical worker told Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch found cluster munition remnants at the site two days after the attack.

A medical worker at Haradh’s hospital said that cluster munitions were used in an attack on the western part of town on July 25 and showed Human Rights Watch photographs of two unexploded M77 DPICM submunitions that she said were found in the impact area. The medical worker said the submunitions fell over a large area around the road leading to the port town of Midi.

Inspecting the site on July 27, Human Rights Watch found that some submunitions appeared to have hit close to a Houthi-run military checkpoint. A Houthi fighter patrolling the road in the area at the time of the attack told Human Rights Watch that the cluster munition attack occurred at about 5 p.m. on July 25:

I heard a massive explosion in the air and I saw a red flash followed by a series of explosions on the ground. Many submunitions fell on houses, but they were empty because most Harad residents had already left.

The Houthi fighter showed Human Rights Watch a bucket containing five unexploded M77 DPICM submunitions that he said had been collected from around the checkpoint.

Al-Fajj Village, Haradh District
A local resident said that cluster munition rockets hit his father’s farm in al-Fajj village about a month before Human Rights Watch spoke to him in an area for displaced people in Hayran district on July 25. Al-Fajj is 5 kilometers northeast of Haradh and 10 kilometers south of Yemen’s border with Saudi Arabia.

Unexploded M77 DPICM submunition found near al-Fajj village, northern Yemen, after a cluster munition attack in June or July 2015.

© 2015 Private

The cluster munition rocket attack killed at least one woman and wounded her husband, he said.

The resident said that he saw unexploded submunitions at his father’s farm as well as at other farms and in the mountains nearby. He said that the submunitions had white ribbons attached to them and that their bottom was hollow with a reddish color, a description consistent with M77 DPICM submunitions. He said that he destroyed one submunition by throwing it against a wall, causing it to explode.

An acquaintance shared two photographs that he said were taken in al-Fajj that Human Rights Watch identified as unexploded M77 DPICM submunitions.