It is now six years since Saudi-led forces launched their first attacks on Yemen.
Six years of homes being destroyed. Six years of lives being torn apart. Six years of conflict have caused devastation in Yemen and it is six years that shames the UK.
In that time attacks by the Saudi-led coalition are estimated to have killed at least 8,759 civilians and they have created the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.
In November 2018, Save the Children estimated that 85,000 children may have died of starvation since the start of the war. The UN has warned that Yemen now faces the worst famine the world has seen in decades. The need for peace is more pressing than ever.
The UK government is complicit in this crisis.
The attacks on Yemen have been made possible by weapons supplied by the UK government and sustained by its ongoing military support.
Since the bombing of Yemen began in March 2015, the value of UK arms sales to the Saudi-led coalition amounts to at least £18 billion. A political solution is desperately needed to bring this horrific conflict to an end.
It’s time to take a stand against the war on Yemen and end UK arms sales that are prolonging this deadly conflict.
Cause for hope
CAAT supporters and many others have been campaigning for an end to UK arms sales for use in the war on Yemen for years. But there’s now momentum to push for change like never before.
US President Joe Biden recently announced the US will freeze arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE and end “all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen.” This is a huge opportunity to pressure the UK to do the same. The United States is not the only country to have limited arms sales. Thanks to the efforts of our allies in Italy, the government there also revoked export licences for bombs and missiles to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The UK is growing increasingly isolated on the global stage.
There was an outcry earlier this month when the UK government announced plans to slash aid to Yemen despite warnings of the worst famine in decades. Boris Johnson was criticised by members of his own party when he mocked Labour leader Keir Starmer for raising the issue in the House of Commons.
In October, CAAT launched a new legal challenge to the government’s decision to resume licensing arms sales for use in the conflict.
We were honoured to received a nomination for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize – alongside our partners Mwatana for Human Rights – a nomination intended to draw attention to the suffering of the Yemeni people and CAAT’s ongoing legal challenge.
Momentum for change
This June the UK will hold the G7 Summit in Cornwall. This will represent US President Biden’s first visit to the UK and is an opportunity to renew and strengthen calls for the UK to follow the US lead and end its support for the war.
The UK is on the wrong side of history and the government must play a role in ending this deadly conflict. In the lead up to the UK hosting the G7 summit in June, let’s pile on the pressure and force Boris Johnson to act.
Please support CAAT’s Open Letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The UK is on the wrong side of history and must now help end the deadly conflict in Yemen.
You can also
- Donate to support CAAT’s work, including helping to fund campaigning in support of our ongoing court case against UK government arms sales.
- Write to your MP to add to the pressure on the UK government to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in the war in Yemen.
- Find out more about CAAT and Mwatana’s Nobel Peace Prize nomination and what it means for our campaigning.
- Join the online vigil on Friday 26 March organised by the London CAAT group to mark six years of the war on Yemen