UNICEF: 1.4 Million Children Could Die from Famine in Africa, Yemen

Yemeni child

Local Editor

Nearly 1.4 million children are at imminent risk of death from hunger in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, the UN children’s agency warned.

Yemeni child

In Yemen, with war tearing the country apart for two years, some 462,000 children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition, UNICEF said.

The Saudi-led strikes on Yemen don’t make the situation any better: in January, the UN warned that over 7,000 people had died in the attacks and about two-thirds of the population is in need of humanitarian aid.

At the same time, 450,000 children are malnourished in northeast Nigeria, and the famine early warning group Fews Net expressed concern that some remote areas of the Nigerian state of Borno are already in famine.

Fews Net also warned that should the disaster go on, aid agencies wouldn’t be able to get to the remote area.

In Somalia, the drought saw 185,000 children malnourished, and these numbers look set to skyrocket to 270,000 over the next few months, according to UNICEF.

Some 270,000 children are currently malnourished in South Sudan and a famine has just been declared in the north of the country.

UNICEF urged the world for prompt response, with Executive Director Anthony Lake saying “we can still save many lives.”

“Time is running out for more than a million children,” Lake added. “The severe malnutrition and looming famine are largely man-made. Our common humanity demands faster action. We must not repeat the tragedy of the 2011 famine in the Horn of Africa.”

Source: News Agencies, Edited by Website Team

22-02-2017 | 09:22

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Childhood for Sale: Children of the Syrian Crisis

19-01-2017 | 09:27

It’s 2:00 p.m. on a Thursday, and I’m caught in a massive traffic jam in one of Beirut’s busiest streets. I turn on the radio to keep myself preoccupied while I wait for my turn to pass through one of the security checkpoints.

Childhood for Sale: Children of the Syrian Crisis

The checkpoints had been placed a couple of years ago, after suicide bombers and occasional explosions struck Lebanon a while after the start of the crisis in Syria.

As I tuned into the radio, a boy – not older than 10 years old – knocked on the car window.

“Do you want a CD?” the boy asked. “It costs 2000 L.L. but if you buy 2 CDs, you can have them for 3000 L.L.”

The moment the boy speaks, you’d realize he’s not Lebanese; he uses a North Lebanese dialect but with a Syrian twist.

A long line of cars to the checkpoint was still ahead of mine, so I took the time and had a little tête-à-tête with the boy.

“Shouldn’t you be at school right now?” I asked.

The boy said, “I don’t go to school,” adding that he hasn’t been enrolled in school for a couple of years now since he came to Lebanon.

“My name is Abdullah, by the way,” the boy said.

I was surprised by the young boy’s outgoing personality. It is rare to meet children with such characters – a personality forged and hardened by experience.

Abdullah had met more people than I had in my childhood. Why not? If he roams the streets from dusk to dawn, talking to thousands of people passing by, drivers and passengers, just to sell a couple of CDs.

His family came with some relatives to Lebanon when the war in Syria began.

Abdullah told me that he is the oldest of 5 brothers and sisters, pointing to a 5-year-old boy selling packs of tissue papers at the far end of the street.

The young boy knows Beirut and its streets like none of us ever knew it before.

For him, these streets are the air he breathes; the streets are what keep him and his family alive.

Abdullah said that before they came to Lebanon, his family lived in a farmhouse in their village in Syria. During weekends, he would help in feeding the animals while his father ploughed the farm.

He said he was not that bright at school, but of all subjects, he liked Maths the most.

In his eyes, you’d see the sorrow of an aged man! A boy burdened with the responsibility of an entire family.

Abdullah said he misses his cousin, Yasser.

Both boys strolled the streets of Beirut together; that was then, when Yasser’s family hadn’t left Lebanon yet.

Unlike Abdullah, Yasser was an only child. His parents, Abdullah’s relatives, had fewer mouths to feed. That’s why they were able to save some money and take refuge in Germany two years ago.

The crisis in Syria had torn families apart. It had killed thousands of innocent civilians and displaced hundreds of thousands of others to neighboring countries.

More than 80 per cent of Syria’s child population are now affected by the conflict, which is some 8.4 million children.

Based on a United Nations High Commission for Refugees [UNHCR] estimate, the toll of displaced Syrians is 4,862,778 with more than 2.3 million of them children.

According to a UNICEF report, an estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children – had been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, with more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011.

Providing children with learning has been one of the most significant challenges to the conflict in Syria. School attendance rates in the country had hit rock bottom with more than 2.1 million children inside Syria, and 700,000 in neighboring countries, are out-of-school.

It makes you wonder, what kind of a world it would be for Syrians with a large number of its youth growing illiterate?

In his life, days are running into days that are exactly the same. At least until Abdullah goes back to Syria – the Syria which has changed a lot since he had last been there.

The war-torn Syria. The standing-strong Syria. The persevering Syria. The prevailing Syria.

It was my turn to the checkpoint. I didn’t buy the CD. But what I’m sure of is that I’d always meet Abdullah, or many other Abdullahs in the streets of Lebanon.

Al-Ahed News

Stop the Genocide in Yemen

As Yemen continues to be ravaged by war, its people on the verge of mass starvation, social media users are urging the world to take notice and help the Yemenis in their silent plight.

Today beginning of 2017
Saudi airstrikes attacked their home in Marib
Kill 5 people ☝👇

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

Yesterday this old woman lost 5 sons by Saudi air strike
Also
Today old man lost 6 members of his family

Just imagine if it were you, searching for your children after an airstrike

The conflict escalated in March 2015 when a Saudi-led coalition began conducting airstrikes with the assistance of the US and UK on behalf of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who had fled following an uprising of Houthi rebels.

01/01/2017 :
Some of the victims of the US_Saudi massacre.
5 murdered and others wounded.

 

The operation has devastated the country and its people. In August 2016, the UN estimated that more than 10,000 people had died.

Yemen is on the brink of famine as the coalition’s blockade has cut off supplies and led to food prices skyrocketing. Yemen usually imports 90 percent of its food.

 

According to UNICE

F, a child dies in Yemen every 10 minutes. The UN reports more than 2.2 million children are malnourished, with close to half a million suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition, a 200 percent increase on 2014 levels.

Yemenis have seen the effects of airstrikes on hospitals and health clinics, leaving many suffering from preventable illnesses.

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

.@monarelief and .@AKF_Social distributing now food aid for the forth day in Hodeidah to most needy ppl there. @monareliefye

Yemenis have seen the effects of airstrikes on hospitals and health clinics, leaving many suffering from preventable illnesses.

READ MORE: Yemenis ‘slowly starving’ to death as world ‘turns blind eye’ – aid charity

Children have been prevented from attending school, with UNICEF reporting at least 350,000 have had access to education blocked.

At least 350k children in have been unable to go to school as a result of the going conflict. @UNICEF_Yemen

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

The latest massacre in the mass extermination war against , which is still absent from the Western media

The powerful images shared across social media convey the horrifying reality for the people of Yemen, forcing the world to see the devastation and suffering caused by an onslaught of bombings.

Amidst the disturbing tweets are calls for the US and UK to take responsibility for their role in the conflict.

Yemen is proving beyond any doubt the hypocrisy of the west. They remain in support of Saudi despite continual WarCrimes

The good the bad & the ugly in 2016 still steadfast.
UK & USA still supply arms to Saudi. still in UNHRC

Saudi Arabia and its coalition of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan have been accused of war crimes in Yemen, and social media activists are calling on politicians such as UK Prime Minister Theresa May, the US Secretary of State John Kerry and the UN to put an end to the attacks.

Children have been prevented from attending school, with UNICEF reporting at least 350,000 have had access to education blocked.

The powerful images shared across social media convey the horrifying reality for the people of Yemen, forcing the world to see the devastation and suffering caused by an onslaught of bombings.

Amidst the disturbing tweets are calls for the US and UK to take responsibility for their role in the conflict.

Saudi Arabia and its coalition of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan have been accused of war crimes in Yemen, and social media activists are calling on politicians such as UK Prime Minister Theresa May, the US Secretary of State John Kerry and the UN to put an end to the attacks.

The UK and the US have come under fire from human rights organizations for their role in the conflict. The US approved $20 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia in 2015 alone, while the UK has provided training and $4.1 billion in arms during the first year of the conflict.

In January 2015, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told journalists in London, “We have British officials and American officials and officials from other countries in our command and control center. They know what the target list is and they have a sense of what it is that we are doing and what we are not doing.”

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Bloodshed and War Crimes: Yemen’s Children Deserve Better

Global Research, September 04, 2016
IPS 2 September 2016
young-Yemenis

In Yemen, conflict, violence, and bloodshed are now a daily occurrence. In spite of ongoing human rights violations global media outlets have chosen to take a back seat and remain silent. Why has  the grave severity of Yemen’s rising conflict been kept in the shadows rather than exposed  as a recurrent headline?

If Western media outlets possess the power to shed light on injustice and ultimately aid in the eradication of warfare and conflict, why has Yemen’s crisis not been considered an issue worthy of international attention?

It is time to  question the “strategic” silence.

Is the dark veil drawn over Yemen’s struggle in the face of violent extremist groups a strategic manoeuvring on the West’s part? Does the Occidental world play a hidden role in this conflict? Would international superpowers much rather skim over the truth and dismiss the sheer horror of bombings and casualties as a means of protecting their own “favourable” global position?

Violations against children cease to discontinue in war-torn Yemen. Credit: Rebecca Murray/IPS.

Violations against children cease to discontinue in war-torn Yemen. Credit: Rebecca Murray/IPS.

The sheer gravity of Yemen’s conflict should subsequently ignite  a deafening  global cry for  justice, however, as long as the public are “strategically” kept  in the dark, little change can realistically be implemented.

The stifled cries of Yemen’s  grief-stricken will remain unheard. The unrest which plagues Yemen today was triggered by the Houthi takeover of Sana’a in 2014. This was later followed by the coalition airstrikes  led by Saudi Arabia in March 2015.

Destructive bombing worsened by perilous ground fighting have taken a devastating toll on the civilian population. Particularly in the case of Yemen’s vulnerable children who are continuously subjected to life-threatening human rights violations.

In an so-called  effort to eradicate the threat “Houthi” rebels pose, a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia and militarily supported by the United States and the United Kingdom have waged war against Houthi rebel forces in a bid to”protect” Yemen and its people.

In reality, it appears the atrocity and devastation these unlawful airstrikes have inflicted on the people of Yemen has resulted in exactly the opposite. The Saudi-Led coalition’s definition of  “protection” has  led to nothing short of an  outbreak of chaotic destruction.

Impoverished families have enlisted their children with Houthi or pro-government forces in exchange for the equivalent of 7-15 USD per day.

The outcomes of ruthless warfare have proved detrimental to the future educational, economic and societal development of Yemen.

More than 6,500  people have died and 2.5 million have been displaced. As  one of the world’s poorest countries well before the conflict ensued, Yemen now not only faces the setbacks of poverty-stricken deprivation but the fearful strife of bloodshed  too.

The New York Times has stated that the US has actually been complicit in the carnage of Yemen, having sold over USD 20 billion in weapons over the course of 2015.

Since the beginning of Yemen’s downfall, the United Kingdom has not acted as the innocent bystander it wishes to portray to the public eye, with the sale of close to USD 4 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia.

As the US and the UK continue to sell weapons to the Saudi-led coalition and  ongoing bombings, killings, and corruption ceases to discontinue, Yemen’s Children are left scarred by the threats of exploitation and violence.

UNICEF has verified that more than 900 children were killed and 1,300 injured in 2015 alone, with a rate of 6 children killed or maimed every day since the escalation of hostilities in March 2015.

What’s more, Houthi forces, pro-government forces, and extremist groups continue to engage in the recruitment of child soldiers, who are estimated to make up one-third of the fighters in Yemen.

The UN documented up to 850 cases of child recruitment in 2015, a five-fold increase over 2014. These armed parties have also detained children who upheld suspected loyalty to enemy forces. They relentlessly  abuse their child prisoners and subject them to inhumane conditions whilst in captivity.

According to Human Rights Watch, of the 140 detained by southern armed groups, 25 of the victims were children under the age of 15.

For those who fear the threat of violence or captivity, a clear alternative shines through  the enticing employment prospects of fighting for Houthi Forces.

Many young boys are  lured in by the promise of safety, security and most significantly, economic prosperity. Economic hardship is, in fact, one of the fundamental pull factors in the process of child soldier recruitment Al Jazeera confirms. A vast number of impoverished families have enlisted their children with Houthi or pro-government forces in exchange for the equivalent of  7-15 USD per day.

“There are many families in several provinces that deliberately send their children to fight for the sake of money, after these families lost their source of income at the beginning of the war.”Amal al-Shami, the head of the Sanaa-based Democracy School, a non-profit organisation to raise awareness in human rights and democracy among children, explained to Al Jazeera.

Khalil, a former construction worker from Taiz has been unable to find secure employment due to the war. In a state of financial desperation,  he urged his 15-year-old son to join the houthi forces.   “I am not a supporter  of the Houthis, but I sent my eldest son to fight with them. They pay him 9.30 USD daily, and this is enough for us.” he stated. The necessity to join rebel forces is further accentuated by the widespread demolition of schools.

In many cases, with the destruction of their sole source of education these children and their families see no other alternative than to engage in the warfare.

In many ways, Yemen has consequently developed into a new breeding ground for child soldiers.

The conflict has become ingrained and inter-generational. You’re seeing the cycle continue. Children are being killed because they are being seen as future fighters. Kids are being brought up to hate.” Anthony Nolan, a UNICEF child protection specialist  emphasised.

UNICEF has released a report stating that children as young as 14 are currently fighting on the front line in Yemen.

Both the Houthis and the government have gone back on anti-violence pledges they have made to end their merciless recruitment of children.

Western media outlets can no longer stand by in idle silence and keep the world ignorant of the devastation occurring in Yemen.

As the lives of  thousands are lost including those of vulnerable children, it is time to draw global attention to their plight.

In spite of ongoing UN-backed peace talks and half of all prisoners released by pro-government and opposing Houthi forces in early June 2016, more action needs be taken, particularly in the case of child soldiers.

The parties to the conflict in Yemen should be placed under international pressure to release captured children and stick by their commitments to not re-enlist child soldiers.

Through widespread awareness-raising by major media outlets  and the open condemnation of brutal war practices, we will not only strive for the eradication  of child soldier recruitment, we will help Yemen’s people restore peace in their war-torn nation.

Traffickers abusing refugee children in French camps: UNICEF

This picture shows refugees standing among shelters at the “New Jungle” camp in the northern French town of Calais on May 27, 2016. ©AFP

Refugee children in notorious French camps have been sexually exploited and forced to commit crimes by traffickers, who promise them passage to the UK, a UNICEF report says.

An excerpt from a research by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) indicates that young refugees in infamous refugee camps in the northern French ports of Calais and Dunkirk, suffer a disturbing range of abuses at the hands of traffickers.

The research is due to be published in full on Thursday.

According to the report, children, most of them from Syria and Libya, told the researchers that human traffickers force them to work tirelessly and commit crimes such as opening lorry doors to enable adults to be smuggled across the Channel to Britain.

A 16-year old Syrian boy, who was stuck in France without his family for seven months, said “the worst part of my journey was being in Calais because most people there were subjected to violence and humiliation.”

“Every day people would try to find ways of leaving. My friends and I tried to get on a train to get away– I saw two friends die under that train,” he was quoted as saying.

Refugees stand in line to receive food from an organization in Calais on May 18, 2016. ©AFP

 

The Calais camp is known as the “Jungle” due to the appalling living conditions of asylum seekers there.

Thousands of refugees are massed in the “Jungle,” some for months, as they try to cross the Channel to reach Britain.

British Home Secretary Theresa May is expected to face questions from lawmakers on Monday to describe the progress made on the government’s promise to fast-track the process of taking in unaccompanied child refugees.

Last month, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to speed up family reunification, but the government has said it could take up to seven months to receive the first children.

Citizens UK, a charity that works to resettle refugees, says only 150 children in Calais have the right to enter Britain because they have families in the country.

It estimates that at the current rate it would take a year for all 150 to be reunited with their families.

French authorities demolished the southern part of the Calais refugee camp on March 10, 2016. © AFP

‘Save kids from French jungle’

Meanwhile, a number of Syrian children recently reunified with their families in Britain have written an open letter, which is also backed by UNICEF, to the UK government, calling on London to take their “friends out of danger.”

The children, who described themselves as the lucky ones, wrote that they will never forget the “horrific months” they spent in northern France or the friends they have left behind.

UNICEF’s UK deputy executive director, Lily Caprani, also criticized the UK government for “moving far too slowly” in bringing unaccompanied children to the country.

“I’ve met some of the unaccompanied children in Calais and have seen the terrible conditions they are living in,” said Caprani.

“By taking immediate action for these children, the government can take a crucial first step to show it is serious about its recent commitments to refugee children,” the UNICEF official added.

Help Refugees, another UK charity for refugees, said in April that 129 unaccompanied people had gone missing from the “Jungle” shortly after French police demolished the southern part of the camp in March.

Police forcibly evicted thousands of people from the site using tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon.

Currently, there are around 4,946 at the Calais refugee camp, around 500 of whom are children.

Reports said in March that more than three quarters of refugees and asylum seekers living in the Calais refugee camp had been subject to mistreatment at the hands of French police.

The Children of Syria

Global Research, March 21, 2016
A civil defense member carries an injured baby who was pulled out from under debris in Syria. | Photo: Reuters This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address: "http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Report-Finds-US-Airstrikes-Did-Kill-6-Children-in-Syria-20151127-0002.html". If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. www.teleSURtv.net/english

There is no other species, no other biological being on this planet that for no necessity at all destroys its own species for sheer greed and power.

Hardly anybody talks about and shows the horrendous situation in Syria on the ground, how this US instigated war affects the people, the individuals – and in particular the children. No future. Three million of them (UNICEF) do not go to school; they are malnourished, many sick, many die – miserable deaths, in unsanitary refugee camps; uncounted children are orphans at young age – have to fend for themselves, are being abused, exploited, mistreated, physically and mentally.

What a future? What a life. – Add to these 3 million from Syria alone the uncounted children from Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Palestine, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan – and the list goes on. All of these children were made homeless and refugees and many also orphans through wars and armed conflicts started by the US and its western ‘allies’.

Syrian Refugees, Sept 2015

Be sure always to remember, who is behind these conflicts; who could stop the misery anytime and who has the power to bring peace to humanity rather than constant war and mass killings to satisfy their greed – greed for dominance, greed for resources.

According to the UNHCR about 60 million people worldwide are on the move as refugees. This figure in reality is probably at least 70 million. It also masks another reality – one of abject poverty and misery, caused by a US-led world elite living in superb luxury and comfort, killing for more wealth and more power. The number of children can only be estimated. It is fair to guess that at least 1/3 of all refugees are children and adolescents, some 25 million. Again, most of these worldwide refugees are the result of US aggressions or conflicts initiated by Washington and carried out by US / NATO armed forces, or by America’s vassals and proxies, i.e. the war in Yemen nominally fought by the Saudis and other Gulf states, but with full backing and arms supplied by the US / NATO.

Young girls and adolescent women are often ending up in the sex-trade. Many of the boys and girls are abused as slaves or at best cheap, hardly-paid labor, working at least 12-hour days and of course – no chance of going to school – a missed opportunity to get a basic education. – What will they do in the future? – Those who may one day be ‘free’ from seeking shelter as refugees, free from slavery and able to enter a ‘normal’ work life?

The number of refugees is increasing with every bombing run by the US and NATO; by drone assassinations, yes, personally approved by Obama, the self-appointed leader of the world who goes around the globe preaching human rights, the biggest human rights abuser in recent history. US drones have killed tens of thousands in the last 15 years. To that you may add the hundreds, perhaps thousands killed by UK and French drones. At least 90% of those killed are civilians, many of them, maybe as many as half, are children or adolescents.

Many children survive as orphans. Especially when the trigger-happy drone-trained operators in Houston, Dallas, Las Vegas or elsewhere on the US territory, or the US Air Force base in Ramstein, Germany, Djibouti, direct their joysticks towards a wedding or funeral celebration in Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan – you name it. They have a particular liking for these mass family gatherings. The ‘bug splats’ – military slang for people killed by remote control – are the most numerous, the most fun, the bloodiest ‘bang for the buck’, for these inhuman monsters, trained to kill in places tens of thousands of kilometers away from their comfort zone – and ordered to do so by the Assassin-in-chief, Obama; he who proudly says that he approves each killing personally. How does the man – if he still deserves the term – sleep at night?

Many of these drone ‘pilots’ work from mobile air-conditioned trailers outside large cities in the US, but also from Africa, Afghanistan or the United Arab Emirates. There are at least 60 drone bases around the world, most of them controlled by the CIA and their proxies. Their number may be flexible with a tendency to grow. They are often operating from simple airstrips, easy to set up and easy to dismantle. They are clad in a shroud of secrecy, therefore difficult to monitor. This is modern American warfare, by robot, removed from emotions. Killing is a mere statistic, a measure accounted for on a spreadsheet. Almost nobody talks about this atrocious way of combat that is easily and painlessly replicated everywhere and endlessly.

How can a future Syria be built without an educated population? There will be a generation gap, for several generations – if ever – before the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region can recuperate its economy, its social and physical infrastructure – its sheer living of normal lives. Syria, Libya and Iraq were the most progressive countries in MENA: free education and health care; a first-class social safety net and physical infrastructure that functioned; a deep and profound history of humanity, the cradle of our western civilization. No more. The very ‘western civilization’ has destroyed it all. Bombed into oblivion. They were and Syria still is socialist by definition – a red flag and no-go for the western neoliberal fascist way of thinking and economic model.

Most of these people have done no harm, are no terrorists, especially the children, they were happy to go to school, to play with their friends, to have a home and caring family and daily food on the table. Now everything is lost. No home. Street children, begging, eating from the gutters, sick, torn and filthy clothing, cold, no shelter – no health care – no care at all. Washington and Washington directed stooges have taken away their future, have plunged them into misery, those that have survived and are roaming the globe as ‘refugees’. What a western sanitized term out of the handbook on statistics – when these poor souls are more often than not at the edge of survival, expulsed from one country to another, beaten, threatened with guns, sometimes killed, hovering between a life of despair and death from starvation, disease or sheer neglect.

Because the greed-driven neoliberal western colonialists – the same Europeans and some of them have become North Americans in the 18th, 19th and 20th century – who have ravaged and raped and exploited the world for centuries, these same people – can they still be called people? – are now decimating and destroying what’s left of our globe, for full spectrum dominance.

Killing is the new normal. Desolation and misery of living beings is of no importance. Interference without limitation, that is what the west does best, literally best. They have perfected an evil science: how to create a chaos of suffering and misery efficiently, with the least effort, at least cost – bombs, drones – poison gas, spent uranium, GMOs, and finally – the atom bomb – eradicating all. By chaos you divide and conquer.

Paradise going up in flames, taking evil humanity with it – safe for a few indigenous people, who have lived all their lives and are still living close and with nature. They may become the founders of a new humanity.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, CounterPunch, TeleSur, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

British MPs Urge Immediate Halt of the Kingdom’s Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

Local EditorAn all-party group of British MPs called for immediate suspension of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia and an international independent inquiry into the kingdom’s military campaign in Yemen.

British MPs Urge Immediate Halt of the Kingdom's Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

The call from the international development select committee followed evidence from aid agencies to MPs warning that Saudi Arabia was involved in indiscriminate bombing of its neighbor, Yemen.

Under the war on Yemen, the UK is reaping what it has sown over decades in the arms trade with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.

Relatively, the committee reported that the British government supplied export licenses for close to £3bn worth of arms to Saudi Arabia in the last year, and has also been accused of being involved in the conduct and administration of the Saudi aggression against Yemen.

In the same context, a leaked UN report last week said Saudi Arabia was involved in breaches of humanitarian law.

For that reason, Amnesty International UK’s arms control director, Oliver Sprague, said: “It’s shocking that the UK continued to sell billions of pounds’ worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia even as the civilian casualties mounted in Yemen.”

In addition, Andrew Smith of the Campaign Against Arms Trade stated: “The humanitarian situation is getting worse and the UK government has been complicit in it. We agree that arms sales need to stop, but they should never have been allowed in the first place.”

The committee further mentioned that it heard reliable evidence from humanitarian organizations including the head of UNICEF Yemen that the Saudi-led coalition was involved in actions that risked civilian deaths and breached humanitarian law.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

04-02-2016 | 10:41

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