Britain to resume Saudi arms exports despite Yemen war concerns

WION Web Team
London, London, UK (Great Britain) Updated: Jul 08, 2020, 08:05 AM(IST)

Yemen war concerns Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The Court of Appeal last year ruled that Britain broke the law by allowing weapons sales to Saudi Arabia that might have been deployed in the war in Yemen.

Britain will resume weapons sales to Saudi Arabia despite international concerns that some could be used in the war in Yemen.

The Court of Appeal last year ruled that Britain broke the law by allowing weapons sales to Saudi Arabia that might have been deployed in the war in Yemen.

The court concluded that Britain’s government had erred in law in its decision-making processes on arms export licences to Saudi Arabia, after activists said there was evidence the weapons had been used in violation of human rights statutes.

While the court’s decision did not mean Britain had to halt arms exports to Saudi Arabia, it did mean it had to pause the granting of new export licences to sell arms to the kingdom - Britain’s biggest weapons purchaser.

To this end, opposition legislators and campaigners against the arms trade slammed the "morally bankrupt" decision by Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative government.

The Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), which originally brought the legal action and had argued that British weapons were likely to have been used in Yemen in violation of human rights law, condemned the decision.

“This is a disgraceful and morally bankrupt decision. The Saudi-led bombardment of Yemen has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and the government itself admits that UK-made arms have played a central role on the bombing,” it said.

(with inputs from agencies)

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