UK bans new arms sales licenses to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Bahrain and Kuwait

 

 

The British government announced on Tuesday that it is banning all new arms sales licenses to the Saudi Arabian-led military coalition fighting in the Yemen war following its defeat in a lengthy court battle.

The prohibition covers Saudi Arabia as well as the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain and Kuwait, and covers any weapons or military equipment that could be used in the war.

The government is seeking to appeal against the court order.

 “While we do this, we will not grant any new licenses for exports to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners (UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Egypt) which might be used in the conflict in Yemen,” the department for international trade said in a statement on its website.

Existing licenses are not currently covered by the ban, although the Court of Appeal in London last week ordered the government to look at the decision-making processes that allowed them to be granted.

The court ruled that the decision-making process over the granting of licenses was unlawful – although not the decision itself – after hearing evidence that from early 2016 the government had started ignoring past coalition operations when deciding whether British arms may be used in breach of international humanitarian law.

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