1 April 2022News

We need to work for peace in Ukraine – and  recognise our greater moral responsibility for peace in Yemen

Noam Chomsky once wrote that some things were almost painful to have to say, they were so obvious. One example is that we have more responsibility for things that we can affect than for things that we have little or no influence over.

In Britain, we can help relieve the suffering of Ukrainians, but we have little influence over the Russian state which is raining destruction on Ukraine.

Whatever influence we have, we should try to use. Bruce Kent gave us a fine example of that…

1 April 2022Feature

A comparison of the wars in Ukraine and Yemen - and the west's response

Boris Johnson told the Conservative spring conference in Blackpool that the Ukraine war was ‘a moment of choice... a choice between freedom and oppression’, where victory for Russia would be ‘a green light for autocrats everywhere.’ (19 March)

He had already given that green light to the autocrats by backing the Saudi war in Yemen wholeheartedly, ever since he became foreign secretary in 2016.

Saudi Arabia’s record on democracy, freedom and human rights is even worse than that…

1 February 2022News

5 million on edge of famine as civilian casualties increase 60%

More than 70 people were killed in an airstrike by a Saudi-led coalition on a prison in a Houthi-held city, Saada, in northern Yemen on 21 January.

Observers believe violence has increased since Saudi Arabia used bribes and threats to shut down the UN’s ‘Group of Eminent Experts in Yemen’ in October. The human rights panel was investigating war crimes in Yemen.

At least five million people in Yemen are on the edge of famine. Food prices increased by 30 – 70 percent in 2021, as…

1 August 2021Comment

Britain has sold £20bn of arms to Saudi Arabia since 2015

Yemen continues to suffer the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN, with half the population going hungry and hundreds of thousands of people on the brink of famine. 

A dramatic fall in the value of Yemen’s currency, the riyal, has only worsened the situation, while peace negotiations drag on without an end in sight.

Britain’s response to Yemen’s suffering has been to worsen the crisis, not just by supporting but by joining in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.…

21 January 2021Blog

The Biden administration must act swiftly to prevent a Trump-administration 'death sentence' for thousands of Yemenis, argues Kathy Kelly

In 1565, Pieter Bruegel the Elder created The Massacre of the Innocents, a provocative masterpiece of religious art. The painting reworks a biblical narrative about King Herod’s order to slaughter all newborn boys in Bethlehem for…

1 December 2019News

More licences granted for military equipment to Saudi-led coalition

On 26 September, the secretary of state for international trade, Liz Truss, told parliament that the government breached a court of appeal ruling by granting further licences for military equipment to the Saudi-led coalition for use in Yemen.

This followed revelations the previous week that the government had breached the ruling on at least two occasions.

We are always being told how rigorous and robust arms export controls supposedly are, but this shows that nothing…

1 August 2019News in Brief

On 10 July, street art collective Protest Stencil withdrew from a Science Museum exhibition after finding that the top sponsor of the ‘Top Secret’ event was the arms manufacturer Raytheon.

Protest Stencil protested against the ‘artwashing’ of an arms company ‘whose missile fragments are found at massacre sites in Yemen’.

The Saudi-led coalition has used Raytheon’s Paveway II bombs against civilians in Yemen.

Paveway II fragments were found after attacks on: a water…

1 August 2019News

Walk throws spotlight on London arms dealers

Blue plaque at BAE Systems office, London.Photo: London Caat

With DSEI looming large on the horizon, London Campaign Against Arms Trade took an interested group of people around some of the weapons producers that are likely to exhibit at the East London arms fair in September.

On 6 July, visits were paid to the London offices of BAE Systems, Boeing, G4S, Lockheed Martin and Rolls Royce, as well as Buckingham Palace (due to the support the royals have provided in securing arms deals…

1 June 2019Comment

Ameen Nemer reports from this year's BAE Systems AGM

I attended the BAE Systems AGM because I wanted to provide a voice for Arabian people. The absolute monarch does not represent the people in Arabia. The house of Saud tries to kidnap our voices. BAE has fallen for the propaganda and presents the regime as a liberating force. I attended so that I could tell the board and shareholders about what is really happening to my people and land.

I am sure the BAE AGM will be happy not to have that voice which reminds them of the dirty job they…

1 February 2019News in Brief

As PN went to press, there was still a flicker of hope that the partial ceasefire would be strengthened in and around the Yemeni port of Hodeidah, which handles 70 percent of Yemen’s imports.

The war in Yemen moved towards a ceasefire in December, in part because Saudi Arabia came under pressure from the US government, which itself was under pressure from US senators.

It wasn’t enough that the US and Britain had become two of the most important supporters and…

1 February 2019News in Brief

In an unusual step, BAE Systems, Britain’s largest military manufacturer, criticised one of its biggest customers on 26 January.

Roger Carr, BAE chair, told Sky News: ‘Two issues damaged the position of Saudi Arabia in the eyes of the world – the Khashoggi affair is one of them and also the war in Yemen.’

In relation to Jamal Khashoggi, ‘[p]oliticians didn’t believe the way that was done and handled was appropriate or acceptable and that’s exactly right’, said Carr (…

1 February 2019Feature

Connecting war in West Asia with war preparation in East Asia

Kathy Kelly and 10 other Voices for Creative Nonviolence (VCNV) activists were arrested on 2 January for blocking the entrance to the US mission to the United Nations in New York city. This was part of a two-week ‘Fast for Yemen’ in New York and Washington DC organised by VCNV. A British participant in the liquids-only fast in New York was VCNV UK co-ordinator Maya Evans, a Labour councillor from Hastings, England.Photo: Felton Davis

4 December: Several days ago, I joined an unusual…

1 December 2018News

Britain finally calls for ceasefire (but British arms sales continue)

After fleeing Hodeidah, Ameen Hamanah and his family now live in Aden, renting a house with financial support from UNHCR. Photo: UNOCHA/Matteo Minasi

Extremely late in the day, in mid-November, Britain finally put forward a draft UN resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in and around the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah, and setting out a possible peace process. This was over two weeks after the US started calling for a ceasefire in Yemen.

As Labour shadow foreign…

1 October 2018News

Famine risk from British-backed attack on Yemeni port

This summer, Abdullah, 13, Abdulaziz, 12, and Maria, 5, fled from Saudi airstrikes on their neighbourhood in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah. Their mother and father, who didn’t wish to publish their own names, are destitute and searching for work in Sana’a, 90 miles from the coast. Photo: Becky Bakr Abdulla/Norwegian Relief Council.

‘This war risks killing an entire generation of Yemen’s children’, said Carolyn Miles, the president of Save the Children, on 18 September. As she spoke,…

1 August 2018News in Brief

The war in Yemen is poised to tip over into complete disaster if Saudi-led and British-supported coalition forces continue their push to invade and occupy the crucial Yemeni port of Hodeidah.

At the time of writing, there is an official ‘pause’ in this offensive as the UN tries peace negotiations. Even so, coalition artillery fire and airstrikes continue. Over 120,000 out of 600,000 residents have fled the city since the Saudi-led assault began on 13 June.