The Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has tweeted that he is “saddened” to hear of the deaths of Yemeni civilians in a recent bombing.
What Johnson failed to say in his tweet is that it’s very likely that the bombs used in the attack were manufactured in Britain.
Saddened to hear reports of Yemeni civilians killed in Hajjah and Taiz. Welcome news these incidents are being investigated by Saudi-led Coalition. International humanitarian law compliance essential, and a political solution to end the conflict must be agreed by all parties
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) April 24, 2018
An airstrike from the Saudi-led coalition waging war on Yemen hit a wedding party in the north of the country on 22 April, killing 20 people, mostly women and children. The bride was amongst the dead.
A coalition of countries led by Saudi Arabia started attacking Yemen in 2015. According to the UN, 5,000 people had been killed in the war by September 2017. Eight million are at risk of starvation as a result of the war.
In the first two years of the bombing of Yemen, Britain sold £4.6bn of arms to Saudi Arabia. According to Campaign Against Arms Trade, British Typhoon and Tornado aircraft have been ‘central to the attacks’. Just a few weeks ago, Britain agreed to sell 48 more Typhoons to Saudi Arabia.
In September 2016, a joint report from the House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills and International Development Committees concluded that:
Given that the UK has a long history of defence exports to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners, and considering the evidence we have heard, it seems inevitable that any violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by the coalition have involved arms supplied from the UK.
Given all the evidence, Boris Johnson’s ‘sadness’ for the people of Yemen looks more than a little like crocodile tears. A lot of people weren’t fooled, though:
The Saudi-led coalition, using weapons sold to them by the UK, have already killed over 10,000 civilians in Yemen.. So please don't pretend to be 'sad' now.
— WordsOnLife (@wordsonlife) April 24, 2018
Saddened why?? Because the saudis use weapons that you sold them??
— annie churchill (@annie_c1975) April 24, 2018
Maybe instead of your callous, governmental hearts ‘going out’ to the victims, you should stop the flow of arms going out to the people who killed them, from our country?
— James Silvester (@JamesSilvester1) April 25, 2018
The fact is that by selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, as well as cultivating cosy relationships with Saudi rulers, the British government is facilitating horrific attacks like the wedding bombing.
And now for Boris Johnson to pretend to be “saddened” when his government has blood all over its hands, is the ultimate hypocrisy.
– Sign the petition against arms sales to Saudi Arabia
– Support Campaign Against Arms Trade in their work against the arms trade