UK approved £283m of arms sales to Saudi after airstrike on Yemen funeral

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The British government approved £283m of arms sales to Saudi Arabia in the six months after a Saudi airstrike on a funeral that killed scores of people and was criticized by the UN, figures reveal.

Following the attack, the UK trade secretary, Liam Fox, delayed signing a set of export licenses and his officials prepared for sales to Saudi Arabia to be suspended. However, documents revealed that the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, advised him that the sales should continue, as he judged there was no clear risk that British weapons would be used for serious breaches of international humanitarian law.

This month, the high court ruled that the government had not breached its own weapons export laws by continuing to approve arms sales to Saudi Arabia, despite mounting allegations of indiscriminate bombing of civilians in Yemen. UK and EU arms sales rules state that export licenses cannot be granted if there is a “clear risk” that the equipment could be used to break international humanitarian law.

Source Credit: The Guardian
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