Anna Stavrianakis is a professor of international relations at the University of Sussex wrote in The Guardian that the British government refuses to track the use of its weapons in a conflict that has targeted civilians and healthcare facilities.
“UK is intimately involved in the war, through the provision of weapons, military training and support, and diplomatic cover for the Saudi-led coalition. Without the support of the UK, and Saudi Arabia’s primary supporter, the US, the war would have to end.”
One key feature of the way the government is handling the arms export controversy has something in common with its response to the coronavirus pandemic a desire not to know.
Anna Stavrianakis added that five years of attacks on hospitals and other healthcare facilities, on schools, markets and other public buildings: attacks in which the Saudi-led coalition is responsible for the highest number of civilian casualties.
Yemen does not – as yet – have any recorded cases of Covid-19 . But add the prospect of a pandemic to its existing public health crisis and you add another stressor to a situation that is already untenable.
The UK government’s arms export policy made headline news in June 2019 when the court of appeal found it to be unlawful because the government had not properly assessed risks associated with weapons sales to Saudi Arabia. Since then, the government has committed to not issuing any new licences for exports to the coalition, but is allowing already-registered companies to continue exporting.
The overall effect is to permit the ongoing supply of weapons to the coalition whilst also claiming to act in the spirit of the law.