A U.K. Parliamentary committee has called for an end to the country’s arms trade with Saudi Arabia, warning that the Gulf kingdom may be committing war crimes in Yemen with British weapons.
The Committee of Arms Export Controls stated in a draft report leaked to the BBC Wednesday that it “seems inevitable” Saudi Arabia’s violations of armed conflict law would be done with arms from the U.K.
“The weight of evidence of violations of international humanitarian law by the Saudi-led coalition is now so great, that it is very difficult to continue to support Saudi Arabia,” the statement continues.
The United Nations has accused the Saudi-led, U.S.-supported coalition of bombing schools, hospitals, and other public venues in Yemen that did not appear to be military targets. In June, the global body added the coalition to its “list of shame” of states and armed groups who violate children’s rights during war—then removed it after pressure from the Saudi government.
With the U.N. Human Rights Council set to meet in Geneva later this month, organizations like Save the Children are calling on Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to support a resolution that would launch an investigation into the overall military intervention in Yemen.
“This is a concrete opportunity finally to get to the bottom of alleged violations by all parties to the conflict, including the Saudi-led coalition, which investigations carried out by Saudi Arabia itself cannot deliver,” the group’s spokesperson Kirsty McNeill told the BBC. “Children must always be protected in war, and now the U.K. government has a unique opportunity to remind the world that war can and must have limits.”
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