In Parliament, I questioned Liz Truss, the Minister for International Trade, over the illegal sale of arms to Saudi Arabia. She has admitted that the UK Government has breached, for a third time, a court order banning the sale of weapons that could be used in violations of international law in Yemen.
These breaches are part of systemic failings and it’s shocking that there are no sanctions available for companies which supply arms to conflicts where human rights are breached.
The people of Yemen have suffered so much throughout this conflict and resolving it could not be more urgent. Over 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict since 2015 and the humanitarian situation in many parts of the country is extremely dire. The UN estimates that 80% of the population – 24 million people – require some form of humanitarian or protection assistance, including 14.3 million who are in acute need.
A political settlement is absolutely vital for the peace, security and stability of Yemen and the health and well-being of the Yemeni people. The UK Government must now live up to its international commitments and start taking a much more proactive role in seeking a peaceful solution to the conflict.