Sheffield Green Party welcomes the motion on the “Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen” to be discussed at Council on Wednesday 5th December. This city’s strong Yemeni community has been profoundly affected by a war that has resulted in the death of 85000 children under the age of 5 years.

Alexi Dimond, Sheffield Green Party
Alexi Dimond

The Green Councillors are proposing the council should go further and call for an immediate suspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Kaltum Rivers, Green Councillor for Broomhill and Sharrow Vale Ward, said,

“The UK Government is contributing to a humanitarian crisis in Yemen through its support for the Saudi regime.”

“It’s everyone’s business to safeguard children and it’s certainly our responsibility to question our government in their role of the deaths of Yemeni children.

“This is not a scenario that is new to us; we have seen it in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. In illegal wars like this, children are the most vulnerable and affected. We must stand against this and question why our government is allowing Saudi Arabia to violate the rights of humans and in particular children in Yemen.”

Alexi Dimond, of Sheffield Green Party, added,

“The UK must end its support for the bombing and starvation of Yemen, stop supplying and repairing war planes, stop supplying bombs and ammunition, stop training Saudi pilots.

“As well as the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi regime has executed over 100 people this year”.

Notes

1. The UK was responsible for selling Saudi Arabia $436 million worth of armaments in 2017, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. [Figures at 1990 values]

2. Save the Children states that this has resulted in the death of 85000 children under the age of 5: https://www.savethechildren.org/us/about-us/media-and-news/2018-press-releases/yemen-85000-children-may-have-died-from-starvation

3. Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) states that June-September 2018 saw an estimated 164% increase in civilian deaths, with 500 people killed in just one nine-day period in August.

4. The UK Government’s Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria states that the Government will not grant an export licence if there is a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law

5. In October 2018 the foreign affairs representatives of the Green Party, SNP, Labour party, Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru, wrote to Jeremy Hunt, foreign secretary, calling for a full condemnation of Saudi Arabia’s “reckless and barbaric” behaviour, a suspension of arms sales for use in Yemen pending an investigation of alleged war crimes, a halt to UK military operations in Saudi, details of diplomatic representations made to Riyadh, and support for an independent inquiry into the fate of journalist Jamal Khashoggi: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/oct/21/mps-press-hunt-to-take-action-against-saudis-over-khashoggi-affair

6. Sheffield Green Party’s amendment adds the following to the council motion:

(k) Notes that research shows the UK was responsible for selling Saudi Arabia $436 million worth of armaments in 2017, in a war which Save the Children estimates has resulted in the death of 85000 children under the age of 5.

(l) believes that the Government should not grant an export licence if there is a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law.

(m) Therefore resolves that this Council will write to the International Trade Secretary requesting an immediate suspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

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One thought on “Greens call to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia

  1. Graham Wroe says

    Very pleased to report our amendment was accepted by Labour and passed unanimously, as did the Lib Dem amendment.

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