A complaint in France is aimed at the leaders of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates, in Ankara, Turkey, November 24, 2021.

This is a timely complaint. While Emmanuel Macron travels to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Friday, December 3 and Saudi Arabia on Saturday, lawyer Joseph Breham filed a constitutional complaint against the two crown princes and de facto Rulers of these Gulf States, allies of France. The crimes that Emirati Mohammed Ben Zayed Al Nahyane (nickname “MBZ”) and Saudi Mohammed Ben Salman (nickname “MBS”) are charged with are as serious as they are numerous: “war crimes,” “torture,” “enforcement “. enforced disappearances”, “participation in a criminal conspiracy of a terrorist nature” and “terrorism financing”.

The two leaders are not the only people affected by this complaint. Their respective chiefs of staff and several Yemeni officials are also targeted, as is Hana Al-Rostamani, the CEO of First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) – which itself is described as a legal entity – and jihadist Frenchman Peter Cherif. arrested in Djibouti on December 16, 2018, now detained in France. The common thread that connects all these individuals? The war in Yemen, where Mand Breham surrendered for approximately 20 days in June 2021.

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The blockade, a weapon of war

The lawyer, who accompanied journalists Guillaume Dasquié and Nicolas Jaillard while filming a documentary in rebel territory, originally wanted to investigate the damage caused by French arms sales to the UAE and Saudi Arabia. These two Sunni Gulf powers launched a devastating war in Yemen in March 2015 to reinstate President Mansour Hadi, who had been overthrown by Houthi rebels of the Zaidi (a branch of Shi’ism) obedience. supported by Iran.

The war has stalled. While Saudi Arabia and the Emirates are proceeding essentially through airstrikes, the coalition, whose ground forces are a motley conglomeration of remnants of the Yemeni army, Sudanese auxiliaries and tribal or fundamentalist militias, hesitates in the face of veteran Houthi fighters who have faltered heavily from their mountains, where 60% of the 30 million Yemenis live. The main weapon of the war has become the blockade set up by the Saudi-Emirati coalition. Everything is rationed in the rebel zone: food, medicine, petrol. According to United Nations estimates, the war in Yemen will have claimed 377,000 lives by the end of 2021.

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