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Amnesty: States Must Stop Selling Arms to Saudi for Use in Yemen War

27 February 2016 16:25



Amnesty International called on states who are selling arms to Saudi Arabia to stop doing so because Riyadh has been using such weapons in its aggression on Yemen.

Campaigners are today calling on governments due to attend the latest round of discussions on the implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in Geneva on 29 February to set their hypocrisy aside and stop selling billions of dollars worth of deadly weapons to Saudi Arabia being used to attack Yemeni civilians,” Amnesty said on its website.

In a new report released on Friday, the Control Arms Coalition names France, Germany, Italy, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK, and the US as having reported licenses and sales to Saudi Arabia worth more than $25bn in 2015 including drones, bombs, torpedoes, rockets and missiles.

“These are the types of arms currently being used by Saudi Arabia and its allies for gross violations of human rights and possible war crimes during aerial and ground attacks in Yemen,” the NGO said.

All the arms exporting countries identified in the report are States Parties or signatories to the ATT, which has the aim of “reducing human suffering” through new global rules for the arms trade, which forbid arms transfers that would be used for war crimes or risk being used for serious violations of international law.

Governments are attending the Extraordinary Meeting of the Conference of States Parties to the ATT in Geneva on Monday to discuss how implementation of the ATT will be funded and other logistical details regarding the Treaty’s official Secretariat.

“These countries are arming and aiding a campaign that’s bombing, killing and starving civilians,” said Yemeni researcher Nawal al-Maghafi, who has witnessed the aftermath of recent airstrikes in Yemen and will be attending Monday’s meeting.

“I have witnessed the reality Yemenis are having to endure – watching bodies pulled from underneath the rubble in Sana’a or seeing body parts strewn across the site of a water-plant hit by an airstrike in Hajjah or attending a wedding party only to see it turn into a funeral.

“Yemen needs a peaceful, negotiated settlement. Its people need humanitarian assistance, not more bombs. But instead these countries are helping to escalate this war, aiding a cruel regime that knows it is bombing civilians. This is criminal – literally. And these governments must be held responsible for it.”

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