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.…

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.


1 August 2018News

British government acted 'irrationally and unlawfully' in allowing arms exports for use in Yemen

CAAT supporters celebrate, Court of Appeal, London, 20 June. Photo: Darren Johnson

The public and press benches were absolutely full on the morning of 20 June, when the court of appeal in London ruled that the British government had acted ‘irrationally and unlawfully’ in allowing UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen.

The ruling means that the government must not allow future sales to the Saudi-led forces that are at war in Yemen, and that it must review existing…

1 June 2018News in Brief

The ‘vast majority’ of the civilians who’ve been killed and injured in the Yemen war since March 2015, ‘were as a result of airstrikes carried out by the Saudi-led coalition’, according to Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesperson for the UN high commissioner for human rights, speaking in Geneva on 11 May. That’s 10,185 Saudi-caused casualties out of 16,432.

Since the Saudi war on Yemen began, Britain has licensed £4.6bn worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, according to the Campaign Against…

29 April 2018Blog entry

A Yemen-related nonviolent direct action near Birmingham.

On 9 April, the People's Weapons Inspectors visited a Roxel factory which builds propulsion systems for missiles. Their aim was to carry out a 'people's weapons inspection', to find out whether parts built at this factory (near Kidderminster in Worcestershire) might be used by the Saudi military in the war in Yemen.

The inspectors believed that the factory was manufacturing components for Brimstone missiles that are due to be exported to Saudi…

1 April 2018News in Brief

500 protesters gathered opposite Downing Street on 7 March to protest against the visit of Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, the architect of the Saudi-led war on Yemen.

While in the UK, the prince agreed with British prime minister Theresa May to aim for £65bn of mutual trade and investment. This included a Saudi decision in principle to buy 48 Eurofighter Typhoon jets from BAE Systems in a deal worth over £10bn.

In the US, senators (both Republican and Democrat…