Breaking: Yemen: UK arms used by Persian Gulf regimes deadlier than COVID-19
A member of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council has slammed Britain’s hypocrisy after it called for ceasefires to enable COVID-19 vaccinations in conflict zones, urging the UK to halt the export of arms that are killing more Yemenis than the coronavirus pandemic.
“We call on Britain to stop sending the virus of weapons to the Persian Gulf countries, which are being used in the aggression against Yemen,” Mohammed Ali al-Houthi tweeted on Wednesday.
“Stop these viruses (weapons), which are deadlier than the coronavirus, because these weapons kill the Yemeni people and equip the aggressors’ allied terrorist groups with modern weapons,” he added.
The remarks came in the wake of reports that UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will chair a UN Security Council meeting in a bid to bring ceasefires in countries such as Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen to enable COVID-19 vaccines to be distributed.
Earlier this month, however, the British government refused to join the US in suspending arms sales to Saudi Arabia for offensive use in war-torn Yemen.
The UK had previously suspended arms sales to Saudi Arabia in response to a court order, but resumed them last year.
It signed off on arms exports worth $1.9 billion to the Riyadh regime between July and September 2020, according to the figures published by the UK’s Department for International Trade on Tuesday.
Anti-arms trade campaigners said the “shocking” figures “illustrate the UK government’s determination to keep supplying arms at any cost.”
“UK-made weapons have played a devastating role in the Saudi-led attacks on Yemen, and the humanitarian crisis they have created, yet the UK government has done everything it can to keep the arms sales flowing,” Sarah Waldron, a spokesperson for the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), said in a statement.
“Now even the US is curbing its arms sales, while the UK government is continuing to fuel the war,” she added. “They must change course now and work to support meaningful peace.”
Also in his tweet, Houthi stressed that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) cannot act without the green light of the United States or its instructions.
“The US is not a lamb or a dove of peace, because it is leading the aggression against Yemen. The US is causing disasters for the Yemeni people. Our people know very well that the US, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the Arab coalition member states are invading our land and sending weapons to kill people,” he said.