Saudi Arab

The UK flouts ban, sells arms to Saudi Arabia

The UK government believes more than £250,000 worth of radio spares was shipped to troops deployed in the civil war in Yemen. The original order was for almost half a million pounds worth of equipment, but officials stepped in and cancelled it. Another license for £5,000 worth of radar components has been revoked too, because officials concluded it “might be used in the conflict in Yemen.”

At least £5.3 billion worth of arms has been licensed to Saudi Arabia since the war began in 2015. That includes £2.7 billion worth of aircraft, helicopters and drones. And a further £2.5 billion worth of grenades, bombs, missiles and countermeasures.

Despite the ban on selling to Saudi Arabia, the British government formally invited representatives of the Kingdom to London for the 10 day arms fair that ended on the 13th of September. Every day people protested outside this event against the UK’s complicity in armed conflict around the world.

Trade Secretary Liz Truss has apologized, saying this was done “inadvertently” and that a probe will be launched into the illegal licenses. Labour’s Shadow Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner has called on her to resign saying “thousands of people have been killed in this war and it is staggering that the Trade Secretary thinks an apology will get her off the hook.”


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