The Guardian reports: There must be “proper investigations” to ensure that Saudi Arabia has not breached international humanitarian law in the war in Yemen, according to Britain’s foreign secretary, who said that shipments of UK-supplied weapons would be halted if the Saudis fell foul of those probes.
Philip Hammond’s comments came as Britain is being urged to halt the supply of weapons to Riyadh in the light of evidence that civilians are being killed in Saudi-led attacks on rebel forces in Yemen.
Amnesty International has warned that “damning evidence of war crimes” highlights the urgent need for an independent investigation of violations and for the suspension of transfer of arms used in the attacks.
Speaking during a visit to the US, Hammond told BBC’s Newsnight on Tuesday that he had discussed the use of the weapons in Yemen when he visited Saudi Arabia recently.
“The Saudis deny that there have been any breaches of international humanitarian law,” he said. “Obviously that denial alone is not enough. We need to see proper investigations. We need to work with the Saudis to establish that international humanitarian law has been complied with. We have an export licensing system that responds if we find that it is not. We will then find that we cannot licence additional shipments of weapons.” [Continue reading…]