AACC Urge Australian Gov’t to End Saudi & Emirati Arms Sales
5 Feb 2021 07:26
Islam Times - Responding to the decision of US President Joe Biden’s administration to temporarily suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates [UAE], a coalition of civil society groups is calling on the Australian Government to follow his lead.
The Australian Arms Control Coalition [AACC] is urging the Australian Government to end the export of military goods to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as long as there is an overriding risk that such weapons will be used to commit or facilitate violations of International Humanitarian Law, International Human Rights Law or other serious crimes against civilians, including children.
Between 23 August 2019 and 26 October 2020, Australia granted 5 permits for the export of military goods to Saudi Arabia, and 9 permits for the export of military goods to the UAE.
The Biden administration has also committed to reviewing the sale of as many as 50 F-35 stealth fighters to the UAE, finalized on the last day of the Trump Administration.
All F-35s have Australian made components, and so it is critical for the Australian Government to also commit to reviewing its own exports, to ensure they will not be used to commit or facilitate violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Yemen.
As has been well documented, there have been alarming levels of civilian casualties in the Yemen conflict over the past six years, a war in which the United Nations said there are “no clean hands”. It is especially incumbent upon the government of Australia to ensure they are not further fueling this violence through defense exports to countries that have committed abuses as part of this conflict.”
All states, including Australia, risk complicity in war crimes if they continue to supply the Saudi-led coalition with arms. The Biden administration is acknowledging the disastrous effects of these continued sales. Other states should not continue to ignore the mounting evidence of alleged violations of international humanitarian law, war crimes and other abuses, collected by Yemenis, the United Nations, and human rights organizations over the past six years.
Nikita White, campaigner at Amnesty International Australia, said:
Story Code: 914437