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UAE: Qatar responsible for war crimes complaint to ICC

The United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s state foreign minister has reacted angrily to a lawsuit filed by a UK-based NGO with the International Criminal Court (ICC) over Abu Dhabi’s war crimes in Yemen, describing it as a “media” campaign by Qatar amid the diplomatic dispute between the two sides.

According to Press TV, on Monday, the Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR) filed a complaint against the Emirates with the ICC over its “indiscriminate attacks against civilians” in Yemen. The NGO accused the UAE of having used banned cluster bombs and hired mercenaries to execute and torture the Yemenis.

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

The lawsuit drew an angry reaction from Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s State 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 UAE is a key ally of Saudi Arabia in its military campaign on Yemen, which has martyred over 13,000 people since its onset in March 2015.

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 movement and reinstate former Riyadh-friendly regime, but the kingdom has achieved neither of its goals.