Yemen needs peace, not more bombs
February 29, 2016

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Control Arms today requested the ATT States Party meeting in Geneva to have an emergency agenda item on the arms sales to Saudi Arabia that are fueling the suffering of civilians in Yemen. This request was declined by the Chair, who said there was not enough time to discuss.

 

Nawal Al Maghafi (pictured above), addressing the ATT plenary on behalf of Control Arms said:

 

“….States must not wait until the Conference of States Parties in August to take action. All States should cease arms transfers to any of the warring parties in Yemen immediately. States Parties have an especial legal obligation to do this. There is irrefutable evidence – from the UN and many other credible sources – of serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law being committed in the conflict in Yemen. Airstrikes by the Saudi-led Coalition have hit civilians and civilian infrastructure across the country. All States should cease arms transfers to any of the warring parties in Yemen immediately. States Parties have an especial legal obligation to do this. There is irrefutable evidence – from the UN and many other credible sources – of serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law being committed in the conflict in Yemen. Airstrikes by the Saudi-led Coalition have hit civilians and civilian infrastructure across the country.”

Control Arms Director Anna Macdonald said:

Today we requested an emergency agenda item for the Extraordinary Meeting of the Conference of States Parties to the ATT, which is meeting in Geneva. We asked for a discussion on ending the abhorrent sale of deadly weapons to Saudi Arabia by some ATT States Parties, which are being used for gross violations of human rights and possible war crimes during aerial and ground attacks in Yemen. This request was rejected. 

 

How can it be that one of the few times this year when governments will gather to discuss the ATT they cannot find time to discuss stopping the sale of drones, bombs, torpedoes, rockets and missiles which are being used against civilians?

 

The catastrophe in Yemen is unending. Dozens of lives were lost at the weekend in the airstrike on the market in Nehm, South Sanaa. What more will it take for States Parties to wake up and do something? States Parties attending today’s meeting must start applying the strict criteria set down in the ATT to all future arms transfers – and that should start with arms sales to Saudi Arabia.”