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Yemen: Political and Humanitarian Situation

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:30 pm on 5th July 2017.

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Photo of Stephen Doughty Stephen Doughty Labour/Co-operative, Cardiff South and Penarth 4:30 pm, 5th July 2017

There are too many arms in Yemen; I completely agree with that. Indeed, as I have said, all parties to the conflict must bear full responsibility for what is going on. However, we are selling arms to one side in that conflict, which is Saudi Arabia, and we have heard many times in this House of the allegations of Saudi Arabia’s violations of international humanitarian law during its operations in Yemen. Hundreds of attacks have been documented and raised on many occasions in this Chamber and in the main Chamber. The Saudi-led coalition has failed to provide answers about those attacks and the investigations into them. Indeed, we have had hardly any reports of investigations by the Joint Incident Assessment Team and certainly not reports of an independent investigation.

As a result, I and many others have repeatedly called in this House for a suspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia, pending a full independent investigation. That call was repeated in the joint report by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee and the International Development Committee in the last Parliament, and I am delighted to have had strong support from my right hon. Friends the Leader of the Opposition and the shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry, on this matter.