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EUROPE / Even the Saudi Arabian government admits it killed 140 people by bombing a funeral, so why is the UK still arming it?
Date of publication at Tlaxcala: 22/10/2016
Translations available: Français 

Even the Saudi Arabian government admits it killed 140 people by bombing a funeral, so why is the UK still arming it?

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT)


  • Saudi-led investigation found that Saudi forces are responsible for funeral bombing that killed at least 140 people.

  • UK has licensed over £3.3 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia since bombing began in March 2015, including fighter jets and bombs.

  • UK government lobbying to sell even more arms to Saudi regime.

This weekend saw the publication of a report by the Saudi-led Joint Incidents Assessment Team, which accepted that the Saudi-led coalition conducting air strikes in Yemen was responsible for the bombing of a funeral that killed 140 people and injured over 500 more.

The bombing comes at a time when the UK's largest arms company, BAE Systems, has reportedly entered talks to sell even more fighter jets to Saudi Arabia. Its efforts are being supported by the UK government.

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said:

The conduct of the Saudi-led bombing campaign has been condemned by the United Nations, the European Parliament, Amnesty International and almost every single NGO that has people on the ground in Yemen. Even the Saudi forces accept that it was their bombs that killed 150 people last week. How many more will die before the UK government takes action?

Since the bombing campaign began last March, the UK has licensed £3.3 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, including:

  • £2.2 billion worth of ML10 licences (Aircraft, helicopters, drones)
  • £1.1 billion worth of ML4 licences (Grenades, bombs, missiles, countermeasures)
  • £430,000 worth of ML6 licences (Armoured vehicles, tanks)

Andrew continued:

On paper UK arms export controls are very clear. The legislation says that if there is a clear risk that UK arms might be used to violate international humanitarian law then exports should not go ahead. How much more serious does the crisis have to get before the UK government finally stops arming one of the most abusive regimes in the world?

UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia are currently subject to a judicial review, following an application by CAAT. The claim calls on the government to suspend all extant licences and stop issuing further arms export licences to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen while it holds a full review into if the exports are compatible with UK and EU legislation. A three day review will take place in front of two judges no later than 01 February 2017.

►For further information please contact Andrew at media[at] or call 020 7281 0297 or 07990 673232.

Courtesy of CAAT
Publication date of original article: 17/10/2016
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Tags: Yemen warSaudi war crimesUK weapons to Saudi ArabiaUK arms exportBAE Systems

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