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Dumb Boris has blocked an investigation about weapon sales and war crimes in Yemen

MPs yesterday demanded a complete halt on UK arms sales to Saudia Arabia following evidence they were used in atrocities in Yemen.

Boris Johnson

The Mirror reports:
In a stinging series of reports, the MPs also blasted the Foreign Office for blocking inquiries into its dealings with the Saudis.

They said Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had “serious questions to answer” on the UK’s knowledge of the Saudi’s use of weapons, including cluster bombs.

A joint report by International Development Committee and Business, Innovation and Skills Committee said UK-made arms could have been used by Saudis in contravention of International Humanitarian Law.

The committee said that all arms sales should be halted until claims of human rights abuses in Yemen have been fully investigated and there were adequate guarantees that UK-made weapons had not been used in human rights abuses.

A separate report by the Foreign Affairs select committee accused the Foreign Office of trying to block investigations into arms sales to the Saudis.

The committee said the Government was deliberately “preventing public scrutiny” of its practices.

“The Government points to its robust licensing regime as evidence that its arms export practices are responsible.

“However, by failing to provide persuasive evidence to support this statement or to respond to reports of breaches of international humanitarian law, the Government is preventing public scrutiny of its practices.

“It is problematic that, at the very time the Government was in receipt of reports documenting violations of international humanitarian law by the Saudi-led coalition the processing times for those licence applications were speeded up.

“The Government should provide a detailed explanation for those licensing decisions rather than a simple assertion that we have a rigorous licensing regime,” the MPs said.

The MPs said the Government must explain why UK-supplied cluster bombs had been used by the Saudis in Yemen.

“We recommend that the Ministry of Defence carry out its own investigation into the evidence of a UK-supplied cluster bomb found in Yemen,” it said.

Tory MP Chris White said: “The Government can no longer wait and see and must now take urgent action, halting the sale of arms to the Saudi-led coalition until we can be sure that there is no risk of violation.

“We call on the Government to continue the UK’s long-standing commitment to International Humanitarian Law and lead the international community in establishing a strong, independent inquiry. “

Labour MP Stephen Twigg, chair of the International Development Committee, added: “We remain unconvinced that Saudi Arabia is best placed to investigate reports of breaches of humanitarian law – progress so far has been too slow.

“It is important to remember that both sides of the conflict are potentially involved in breaches of humanitarian law and without credible investigations, neither side is being held accountable for their actions.

“The current UN Human Rights Council is an excellent opportunity for the UK Government to make a serious call for an independent UN-led investigation into what has happened.

“Arms trade law is very clear that licences should not be granted where there is a clear risk that they might be used in a serious violation of IHL. It is hard to understand how a reliable licence assessment process would not have concluded that there is a clear risk of misuse of at least some arms exports to Saudi Arabia.”

Israel has also been selling weapons to Saudi London Mayor Boris Johnson declared himself “a Zionist” on morning radio, before distancing himself from Israel’s actions, which he called “disproportionate”. Speaking on LBC, Johnson said: “I am a passionate Zionist. I am a supporter of Israel. I believe in its existence.

Disqus for Ste Matthew Murray


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