Britain continues to fuel slaughter in Yemen

The bloody role of British imperialism in the Saudi-led war on Yemen continues to be exposed. Figures revealed in April show that the British government has approved arms sales worth £2.8bn to Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the attack in March 2015 - £6.7bn since 2010. This is despite abundant evidence from a UN panel, charities and NGO's of systematic attacks on civilians. In mid April, the Home Office issued guidance to immigration and asylum decision makers that sending Yemeni asylum seekers back to Yemen could be a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights (Guardian, 4 April).

Amnesty International has since revealed that British-made BL-755 cluster-bombs, manufactured in the 1970s by Bedfordshire-based arms company Hunting Engineering Ltd, are among those recently used in Yemen. Cluster bombs are designed to break into smaller bombs, which often remain unexploded for years until they are disturbed. They are banned by an international treaty which 100 countries have signed up to - including Britain. The Saudi-led coalition has been using planes made by British arms company BAE Systems to drop these bombs throughout northern Yemen. Goat herders interviewed by Amnesty explained that whole areas were littered with unexploded bombs, forcing locals to attempt to clear them themselves to prevent injury to children or livestock.

Toby Harbertson


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