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UK ‘attentively’ watching Saudi Arabia weapons use

Human rights campaigners protest against arms sale to Saudi Arabia [Campaign Against Arms Trade/Flickr]

The United Kingdom is monitoring Saudi Arabia’s use of weapons in conflict zones, Al-Jazeera has reported.

“The UK has extremely stringent measures in place to ensure that the end use of any and all weapons that the UK sells are appropriate,” said Matthew Rycroft, the UK’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

It is not clear why the comment was made at this time, but it follows the United Nations blacklist of Saudi Arabia for killing 683 children in Yemen, violating the law of war.

In July human rights group Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) filed a legal case in the UK High Court claiming that allowing UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia for its bombing campaign is a violation of the law of war. Despite “overwhelming evidence” of British weapons used in indiscriminate attacks in Yemen the High Court ruled that the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia is lawful.

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Two weeks ago the United Nations approved to deploy “eminent international and regional experts” to report on war crimes committed in the Yemen civil war. More than 5,000 civilians have been killed in the civil war to date.

In August Saudi Arabia conducted an air strike on a residential apartment, killing at least 12 people, including women and children as the building collapsed in Faj Attan, Sanaa. Saudi Arabia claimed it was a “technical error” that led to the strike.

Since March 2015 Saudi Arabia has led a coalition of Arab states to support President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and to neutralise threats from the Houthi armed group. The United Kingdom continue to support Saudi Arabia by selling arms to the Kingdom.

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