5 Days Remaining

Friday 27th
posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain

SHADOW foreign secretary Emily Thornberry demanded an end to the bombing of Yemen as she backed calls for an immediate ceasefire in the Commons yesterday.

The UN estimates 10,000 people have died in the conflict with Saudi Arabia so far with half the population of Yemen believed to be starving.

Britain has sold over £3.3 billion of arms to Saudi Arabia since the bombing of Yemen began in March 2015.

In September 2016 the Commons business and international development committee called for arms sales to be halted pending an inquiry into alleged human rights abuses. However the government rejected the call.

Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood claimed the government backed a ceasefire, but had to deal in “the art of the possible” and said it was protocol for Saudi Arabia to investigate breaches of human rights committed by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

Ms Thornberry said: “Every debate, every month, now every year, we ask the same basic questions and every time the minister — whose name is now, I’m afraid, synonymous with the Yemen conflict — stands there and gives us the same non-answers, and we have had the same today.”

“We need to once again ask this government what it is doing to end the conflict in Yemen?”

The SNP’s Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh demanded the government use a meeting of the UN security council to press for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen, warning that it was “vital” to the lives of millions of Yemeni people.

Campaign Against Arms Trade has lodged a judicial review over the legality of the government’s decision to continue licensing arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The case will be heard from February 7-9 at the High Court.