The Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, is touring the Middle East over the next few days, with visits to Saudi Arabia, Oman and United Arab Emirates. It is likely that the war in Yemen will be at the top of the agenda. The ongoing bombardment has created the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.
Since the bombing of Yemen began in March 2015, the UK has licensed £4.7 billion worth of arms to the Saudi regime, including:
- £2.7 billion worth of ML10 licenses (Aircraft, helicopters, drones)
- £1.9 billion worth of ML4 licenses (Grenades, bombs, missiles, countermeasures)
In reality the figures could be a great deal higher, with most bombs and missiles being licensed via the opaque and secretive Open Licence system.
Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said:
“The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is the worst in the world. UK-made fighter jets and bombs have played a central role in creating it. Thousands of people have been killed by the bombs, and many more in the catastrophe they have caused.
Jeremy Hunt talks a lot about the need for peace, but his words are hollow. The biggest change that he and his colleagues could make, and the one that would have the greatest impact on the ground, would be to finally stop arming and supporting the Saudi-led coalition.”
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