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Yemen: Government denies international law has been breached

In its response, published today, to the House of Lords International Relations Committee report Yemen: giving peace a chance, the Government has denied that it is “narrowly on the wrong side of the law” regarding arms exports to the Saudi-led coalition.

The Committee's report, which was published in February, highlighted the contradiction of both supplying much-needed aid for the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, as well as selling arms to the Saudi-led coalition. The Committee assessed that, given the volume and type of arms being exported to the coalition, it is highly likely that they are the cause of significant civilian casualties in Yemen.

The Committee also questioned the mechanism for the investigation of alleged breaches of international humanitarian law, querying the process of the coalition conducting the initial investigation itself.

Click on the following link to read the Government's response in full.

Chairman of the House of Lords International Relations Committee Lord Howell of Guildford said: “We note the Government's views, but continue to urge ministers to apply the strongest possible criteria when considering arms sales to Saudi Arabia, to prevent UK arms sales resulting in civilian casualties in Yemen.

"We agree with the Government that Yemen is the ‘world's largest humanitarian crisis', and commend the UK's contributions to help provide assistance to the 24 million people that desperately need it. The main concern we expressed in our report remains – that the Government must address the root cause of the suffering: the hostilities themselves.”

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