Britain’s Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has called on the UK government to end further arms sales to Saudi Arabia and a ceasefire in Yemen.
Corbyn said his party had previously called on the government to suspend its arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and would continue to do so in the next, during an interview with Al-Jazeera on Saturday.
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He said he was totally shocked, by the bombardment that’s taken place in Yemen.
“We have constantly condemned the use of these weapons by Saudi Arabia in Yemen, and called for the suspension of the arms sales to Saudi Arabia to show that we are wanting a peace process in Yemen, not an invasion by Saudi Arabia.” he said
Al Jazeera report:
“I’m totally shocked by the war in Yemen. Totally shocked, by the bombardment that’s taken place, by the killings that have happened, by the cholera outbreak that’s now rife. And the numbers who are affected, the numbers who have already died,” Corbyn said.
More than 1,300 people have died of cholera since late April, in the second outbreak of the infection in less than a year.
In March, the UN’s World Food Programme said that nearly half of Yemen’s 22 provinces were on the verge of famine.
Corbyn said the Labour party had called on the previous British government to suspend its arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and would continue to do so in the next.
“We have already put that resolution to parliament in the last parliament. We’ll continue to do that when there’s a new parliament formed after this general election. Our policy of the Labour Party is unchanged,” he said.
The Labour leader also touched on alleged instances, revealed in two separate investigations last week, of forced disappearances, arbitrary detention, torture and abuse by troops backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Yemen.
“All of those allegations have to be investigated, and the evidence has to come forward,” said Corbyn.
“And arms sales policy has to reflect that we do not believe those countries that commit abuses of human rights or kill civilians with the use of those weapons should continue to receive British arms.”
Last week rights groups and activists called on the UK to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia and its allies, warning that continuing to do so may be a violation of international law.
A statement issued by the Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR) said British manufactured weapons sold to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt were being used to carry out abuses in Yemen and Libya.