Campaigners call for stop of arms sale to Saudi
Calls have stepped up on the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) member states to stop selling deadly weapons to Saudi Arabia as the kingdom is using foreign arms to target civilians in Yemen.
The Control Arms Coalition said in a report on Friday that 11 countries, all of them state parties or signatories to the ATT, have reported sale of arms in 2015 to Riyadh, in a clear violation of their obligations under the UN treaty.
The report said governments of France, Germany, Italy, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK, and the US have sold various licenses and weapons to Saudi Arabia, including drones, bombs, torpedoes, rockets and missiles.
It said the military items are the types of arms currently being used by Saudi Arabia against Yemen in an aerial and ground operation that has seen numerous cases of gross violations of human rights and possible war crimes. The ATT forbids arms transfers that would be used for war crimes or risk being used for serious violations of international law.
The Friday report called on governments due to attend a February 29 meeting of the Conference of States Parties to the ATT to set hypocrisy aside and stop selling deadly weapons to Saudi Arabia.
The participants at the meeting in Geneva are to discuss financial mechanisms for the implementation of the arms treaty and other logistical details related to its official secretariat.
For nearly one year, Saudi Arabia has been carrying out aerial and ground attacks in Yemen in a bid to topple the Ansarullah movement and restore power to fugitive president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.
More than 8,300 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been displaced in the assault which lacks any mandate from international organizations.