Human Rights


Exchange on Yemen

The new Head of the EU Delegation in Yemen, Hans Grundberg, addressed the questions of the EU Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) in a closed session today. I have taken over the questions on behalf of the Green Group. This was an important meeting, as the EU is a key actor in mobilising humanitarian aid in Yemen. At the same time, European states are not uninvolved in the terrible fighting on the ground, as they are still supplying weapons to warring actors such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Just last Sunday, Saudi Arabia bombed a prison camp, killing 130 prisoners. Saudi Arabia allegedly thought the attacked building was a rebel arms depot and released it for firing. This act is in line with a large number of war crimes which the EU has criticised for years.

What is more, we cannot rule out with certainty that war crimes and atrocities such as those committed on Sunday were also committed by European arms. Only recently, the NGO Disclose reported on the use of French weapons in the war in Yemen.

This work by journalists and activists is important. But actually, it is the task of the EU to get an overview of which European weapons are used in such wars and how. That is why I asked delegation leader Grundberg what he thinks about monitoring the use of European weapons in Yemen by the EU delegation. I think that the delegation has a duty to inform Parliament as best it can about the use of these weapons. And to work to ensure that the arms embargo that Parliament has decided to impose on the Member States is effectively enforced. We will keep at it!

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