A child leans on the wreckage of car after the Saudi-led coalition carried out airstrikes in Sana’a, Yemen [Image: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images].


It is beyond credibility that the Conservative Government can claim to have taken no part in breaches of humanitarian law by Saudi Arabia in its war with Yemen, while increasing grants for arms sales to Saudi Arabia from £9 million to £1 billion over two three-month periods.

The £10 million increase in aid to Yemen, in this context, seems to be a sop for ministers’ consciences.

Not only that, but the UK government’s interference in calls for an independent inquiry indicates the Tories have something to hide. This is the government that is always telling benefit claimants that, if they have nothing to fear, they have nothing to hide, yet it seems once again that Tories think they can make one rule for everyone else and another for themselves.

Perhaps the rest of us should try following their example, and see how far we get.

An all-party group of MPs has called for an immediate suspension of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia and an international independent inquiry into the kingdom’s military campaign in Yemen.

The call from the international development select committee follows evidence from aid agencies to MPs warning that Saudi [Arabia was] involved in indiscriminate bombing of its neighbour.

The UK government has supplied export licences for close to £3bn worth of arms to Saudi in the last year, the committee said, and has also been accused of being involved in the conduct and administration of the Saudi campaign in Yemen.

In [its] letter to the international development secretary, Justine Greening, it urged the UK to withdraw opposition to an independent international inquiry into alleged abuses of humanitarian law in Yemen.

A leaked UN report last week found Saudi Arabia involved in breaches of humanitarian law, and in response the Saudis set up an internal inquiry, a move welcomed by the Foreign Office.

The committee said it was astonished to hear the extent to which the government had watered down calls for an independent inquiry proposed by the Netherlands last September at the UN.

Source: MPs call for immediate halt of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia | World news | The Guardian

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