No Dutch weapons to belligerent nations in Yemen

18 January 2018

No Dutch weapons to belligerent nations in Yemen

Hundreds of children have died in Yemen during the past year as a result of air raids conducted by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia, while numerous schools, hospitals and mosques have been damaged. SP Member of Parliament Sadet Karabulut is urging Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra to do all he can in the UN Security Council to bring about a cease-fire by all parties in Yemen. The Netherlands is currently in the second of its two-year term as a non-permanent member of the Security Council. “The bombing must stop,” says Karabulut. “The blockade must be lifted so that food aid and medicines can reach the Yemeni people. And we need an arms embargo to be imposed on the countries taking part in the bombing.”

By Sadet Karabulut

The war in Yemen broke out in 2015. Two sides face each other: on one side the coalition led by Saudi Arabia, with the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Egypt, and the support of the US; and on the other the Houthi rebels. “There's an enormous humanitarian disaster unfolding,” says Karabulut. “Tens of thousands of people have already been killed or wounded and millions have had to flee. There's also an immense cholera epidemic and because of the blockade, medicines and clean water can't get through. As a result, an average 130 children a day are dying.”.

Research by Dutcharms has shown that in the past the Netherlands has sold Howitzers to the UAE and that these weapons have been used in Yemen. The last government also took the decision to supply fifteen F-16s to Jordan, while Jordan is bombing Yemen using this sort of aircraft. “We can't monitor whether these weapons are being used in this war,” says Karabulut, “but none of the belligerent states in Yemen should be getting armaments from the Netherlands.”

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