The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) has welcomed calls by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt for a ceasefire in Yemen.
The UK government on Monday urged the UN Security Council to act over the humanitarian crisis in the country, saying there now "appears to be a window" for a peace deal. This followed a UN report showing Yemen is on the verge of the worst famine anywhere in the world for 100 years.
CAAT point out that since the war in Yemen began in March 2015, the UK has licensed almost £5 billion worth or arms to the Saudi military. The three and a half year bombing campaign has created the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.
UK government statistics show that since the bombing of Yemen began in 2015, the UK has licensed £4.7 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, including: £2.7 billion worth of ML10 licences (Aircraft, helicopters, drones) and £1.9 billion worth of ML4 licences (Grenades, bombs, missiles, countermeasures).
Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said: "The crisis in Yemen is the worst in the world, and it is one that UK arms have been central to creating. No matter how dire the situation has become, Government ministers have done everything they can to maintain arms sales and political ties to the Saudi dictatorship.
The calls for a ceasefire must be welcomed, but the best thing that Jeremy Hunt and his colleagues can do for the people of Yemen is to end the arms sales and the uncritical support they have offered the Saudi regime."
Pope Francis has spoken out against the arms trade on many occasions. "It's an absurd contradiction to speak of peace, to negotiate peace, and at the same time, to promote or allow the arms trade," Pope Francis said in his prayer intentions for June 2017 - distributed by his Worldwide Prayer Network.
Campaign Against the Arms Trade - www.caat.org.uk
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