This morning the Danish and Finnish governments pledged to end arms sales to Saudi forces. Germany has recently promised to do the same. This follows an intensification of the ongoing bombardment of Yemen and the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
According to Government figures collated by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Germany authorised €254.5 million worth of arms export licenses to Saudi Arabia in 2017, while Denmark licensed €55,000. Norway and Switzerland have made similar pledges.
This is not the first time that the German Government has pledged to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
Despite the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, the UK government has refused to stop arms sales. Government statistics show that since the bombing of Yemen began in 2015, it has licensed £4.7 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, including:
- £2.7 billion worth of ML10 licenses (Aircraft, helicopters, drones)
- £1.9 billion worth of ML4 licenses (Grenades, bombs, missiles, countermeasures)
Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said:
“These arms sales should never have been allowed in the first place. However, if these governments stick to their promises then it could set a major precedent and help the drive for peace in Yemen.
There must also be action from countries like the US and the UK, which have licensed billions of pounds worth of arms to the Saudi regime, including the fighter jets and bombs that are playing a central role in the destruction.
After almost four years of war, the need for a political solution could not be greater. The humanitarian crisis is the worst in the world and Yemen is on the verge of famine. It is time for all governments to push for a ceasefire and to stop prioritising arms sales over the rights and lives of Yemeni people.”
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