21 June 2019 - 21:58
News ID: 445530
A
n a legal challenge brought by anti-arms trade campaigners, three of the UK’s top judges concluded that it was “irrational and unlawful” of the government to allow arms sales to Saudi Arabia without making proper checks.

RNA - The UK Court of Appeal has ruled that the British government has “made no attempt” to assess whether Riyadh had breached international humanitarian law in the Yemen war, Yemeni News reported.

However, the judges stated that their ruling does not mean that UK arms export licences to Saudi Arabia have to be suspended immediately.

The ruling was passed down by three senior judges after they accepted the legal challenge from the Campaign Against Arms Trade group, which has accused the government of licensing arms sales when it was clear their sales could breach international law.

According to Campaign Against Arms Trade, around £4.7bln worth of arms exports to Saudi Arabia have been licensed by the government since the Saudi-led intervention began in 2015 with record sales taking place before 2018.

According to Fars News Agancy, Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government of former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Ansarullah movement.

Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures. Weddings, funerals, schools and hospitals, as well as water and electricity plants, have been targeted, killing and wounding hundreds of thousands.

According to a December 2018 report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.

Save the Children, a charity, has reported that more than 84,700 children under the age of five may have starved to death in Yemen since the Saudi regime and a coalition of its allies launched the brutal war on the already-impoverished nation.

France, the United States, the Uinted Kingdom and some other Western countries have faced criticisms over arms sales to the Saudi Arabia and the UAE, whose aggression against Yemen has affected 28 million people and caused what the United Nations calls “one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world". According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.

A UN panel has compiled a detailed report of civilian casualties caused by the Saudi military and its allies during their war against Yemen, saying the Riyadh-led coalition has used precision-guided munitions in its raids on civilian targets.

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Tags: Yemen Saudi UK
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