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An estimated 13,000 people having been killed in the conflict since March 2015, creating a humanitarian disaster.
An estimated 13,000 people having been killed in the conflict since March 2015, creating a humanitarian disaster.

UK Sold £3.6b in Weapons to S. Arabia During Yemen Conflict

The UN says the civil war has created the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis, with the conflict compounded by an economic collapse that has pushed millions to the brink of famine

UK Sold £3.6b in Weapons to S. Arabia During Yemen Conflict

Since the start of the conflict in Yemen in 2015, the UK reportedly sold £3.6b in weapons to Saudi Arabia.
The campaign group Control Arms has produced a report which outlines the extent of arms sales by the UK, France and the US to Riyadh that have continued during a conflict in which an estimated 13,000 people have been killed since March 2015, news outlets reported.
Oxfam is calling on the UK to immediately “stop the arms sales and push for a ceasefire” and has accused ministers of “double standards” because of the government’s official endorsement of the defense systems and equipment international arms fair, taking place at the Excel Centre this week.
Various campaign groups have accused the government of “rolling out the red carpet” to invited delegates from some of the world’s most repressive governments, including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, at DSEI.
In a new report, Control Arms concurs with other groups including Campaign Against the Arms Trade in finding the UK alone has agreed to £3.6 billion worth of arms sales since the Saudi backed coalition began its air strikes in Yemen, with an estimated 13,000 people having been killed in the conflict since March 2015 and creating a humanitarian disaster.
Amnesty International has accused the UK of being in breach of the UN treaty to regulate the international arms trade, effectively ignoring its obligations by continuing to supply arms even where there is a real risk they will cause a serious violation of human rights.
Lynn Maalouf, from Amnesty International’s Beirut office said: “The USA and UK are fuelling serious violations that have caused devastating civilian suffering though multibillion-dollar arms transfers to Saudi Arabia that vastly overshadow their humanitarian efforts.”
“Weapons supplied in the past by states such as the UK and US have helped to precipitate a humanitarian catastrophe. These governments have continued to authorize such arms transfers at the same time as providing aid to alleviate the very crisis they have helped to create. Yemeni civilians continue to pay the price of these brazenly hypocritical arms supplies.”
To the dismay of humanitarian campaigners, the UK High Court ruled in July that the UK government can continue selling arms to Saudi Arabia after Lord Justice Burnett found it had not been established that the Saudi forces were deliberately targeting civilians.

  UN Urges Yemen Inquiry
The United Nations has verified 5,144 civilian deaths in the war in Yemen, mainly from air strikes by a US-backed Saudi coalition, and an international investigation is urgently needed, UN human rights chief Zeid Raad al Hussein said on Monday.
“The minimal efforts made towards accountability over the past year are insufficient to respond to the gravity of the continuing and daily violations involved in this conflict,” Zeid said in a speech to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
“The devastation of Yemen and the horrific suffering of its people will have immense and enduring repercussions across the region.”
It is the third time that he has appealed for an international inquiry into human rights violations in Yemen where a two-year conflict pits the US-backed Saudi forces against Houthi fighters.
Last week Zeid’s office said the 47 countries on the Human Rights Council were not taking their responsibilities seriously, and urged them to probe the “entirely man-made catastrophe”.
The UN says the civil war has created the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis, with the conflict compounded by an economic collapse that has pushed millions to the brink of famine.
The crippling of the health and sanitation systems has enabled cholera to take hold with unprecedented speed, with about 650,000 people infected since late April, five times the global cholera caseload in 2016.
During the three-week UN Human Rights Council session, Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands are expected to propose rival resolutions, inviting the council to continue backing Yemen’s national human rights probe or to set up its own inquiry.
For the past two years, Saudi Arabia has prevailed, but the situation in the country has not improved, and Zeid’s office has said Yemen’s national investigation is not up to the job.
The draft Dutch resolution backs Zeid’s position, a western diplomat said.
“The common assessment is that the situation has deteriorated. The compromise that was put in place last year hasn’t delivered,” the diplomat said. “One of the resolutions will need to be dismissed.”

 

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