British arms manufacturers are accused of “profiteering from the deaths of innocent children” in a new report by War Child UK.
The London-based charity revealed that “UK arms companies are reaping double the revenues previously estimated from arms sales to Saudi Arabia”. Figures published in the report show that since the war in Yemen began in 2015, major UK arms companies have earned over $6 billion.
The findings in the report, which questions the moral and legal basis of UK arms sale to the Gulf Kingdom accused of committing war crimes in Yemen, will bring added pressure for the UK Defence Minister Michael Fallon who has continuously defended arms exports to Britain’s Middle Eastern ally.
has been earned by UK arms companies since the war in Yemen began in 2015
Britain has been a staunch supporter of the Yemen campaign. The conflict has raged since 2014, when Houthi militias and their allies overran much of the country, including the capital Sana’a.
A coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched a massive air campaign a year later aimed at reversing Houthi gains and returning President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to power.
The war has killed at least 10,000 people, destroyed Yemen’s economy, caused a cholera epidemic and forced millions from their homes amid a looming famine. A UN report blamed the Saudi coalition for 51 per cent of Yemen’s child casualties and placed Riyadh on a blacklist that names and shames groups that “engage in the recruitment and use of children, sexual violence against children, the killing and maiming of children, attacks on schools and/or hospitals and attacks or threats of attacks against protected personnel, and the abduction of children.”
Rob Williams, the CEO of War Child UK, said:
[It is] morally repugnant that the UK government is allowing companies to make killer profits from the deaths of innocent children.
“Thousands of children have died and millions more are at risk,” he added.
“The British Government is shamefully complicit in their suffering and justifies it with promises of economic prosperity, which this report embarrassingly discredits.”