Letters to UK and US governments to stop involvement in the Yemen conflict via arms deals with Saudi Arabia
Pax Christi International, together with Pax Christi USA and Pax Christi UK, has sent letters to President Obama and Prime Minister May in which we have voiced our concern about the continuing conflict in Yemen between the government—supported by the Saudi-led coalition—and the Houthis, as well as the US and UK involvement with arms exports to Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi arms deals of the UK and US have been serious matters of discussion at last week’s second annual Conference of State Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The treaty, which the US has signed and the UK has ratified, stipulates that arms should not be exported when there is an overriding risk that they would undermine peace and security and facilitate violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.
In the letters to the heads of state, we urge both governments to stop arms deals with and exports to Saudi Arabia and instead contribute to the restoration of peace talks, which have been suspended for the moment, and to deepen their engagement in support of locally- and civilian-led conflict prevention, mitigation, peacebuilding and good governance.
You can find our letter to the President Obama here and to Prime Minister May here; please share them through your networks. Moreover, we would like to call upon our member organisations and partners outside the UK and US to also write letters. Although the US and UK are the biggest suppliers of arms, others countries are selling arms as well.
In a February 2016 report of the Control Arms Coalition, of which Pax Christi International is a member, besides the UK and the US, China, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey are also named as having reported licenses and sales to Saudi Arabia. Except China and Canada, all countries are signatories to the ATT.
 The text of the Treaty is available on this website: https://unoda-web.s3-accelerate.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/English7.pdf
 Control Arms Coalition, ATT monitor, ‘Dealing in double standards: how arms sale to Saudi Arabia are causing human suffering in Yemen, February 2016, online available at: http://controlarms.org/en/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2016/02/ATT-Monitor-Case-Study-2-Saudi-Arabia-FINAL.pdf