Australia urged to halt arms exports to UAE and Saudi Arabia
Oxfam have called on the Australian authorities to stop arms exports to the UAE and Saudi Arabia over their involvement in “human rights violations and even war crimes in the conflict in Yemen.”
This follows a recent investigation published by ABC, documenting evidence of the UAE Armed Forces using an Australian-made weapons system in Yemen. The findings were based on photos sent to ABC anonymously showing the weapons systems awaiting export to the UAE at Sydney airport.
“The findings of the ABC investigation on Australia’s arms sales, published today, is yet more evidence of the real and present risk that arms sold by Australia to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia could be used in Yemen in ways that could breach the rules of war and prolong the conflict, Oxfam Australia’s Advocacy and Campaigns Manager Conor Costello said.
In recent years, the UAE Military has been the subject of credible allegations of war crimes in Yemen, having been accused of indiscriminate air raids of public places, such as hospitals, schools, and markets.
“Shocking numbers of civilians continue to be killed as a result of the devastating war in Yemen.
“In light of this, Australia must immediately halt arms sales to countries involved in the conflict in Yemen, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. And, as the suffering of Yemeni civilians continues to increase, Australia needs to provide further humanitarian aid for the response.”
This comes at a time when Western states are increasingly apprehensive about weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE in light of the growing humanitarian crisis in Yemen.