French activists stop Saudi arms shipment bound for Yemen

by | May 11, 2019

The Bahri-Yanbu, a Saudi Arabian cargo ship was scheduled to pick up a load of weapons bound for Yemen at a northern French port.  The ship departed France without the weapons a day after a rights group tried to block the cargo on humanitarian grounds.  French rights group ACAT argued in a legal challenge on Thursday that the consignment contravened a U.N. treaty because the arms might be used against civilians in Yemen.  French president Macron defended the arms sales to Saudi.  Macron said on Thursday Riyadh, which he called a key ally in the fight against terrorism, had assured him the weapons the ship was to load were not to be used against civilians.  The move by ACAT came after online investigative site Disclose published leaked military intelligence showing weapons sold by France to Saudi Arabia, including tanks and laser-guided missile systems, were being used against civilians in Yemen.

“France is one of Saudi Arabia’s main arms’ suppliers, but has also faced increasing domestic pressure to review that trade relationship as the human cost of Yemen’s war has risen. ACAT had argued that the transfer contravened the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty, which says one country cannot authorize the transfer of weapons if it knows at the time that those weapons could be used to commit war crimes or target civilians.”

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About Steven Woskow

Steve Woskow is an entrepreneur and was President of Agtech Products, Inc., a research and development company specializing in animal agriculture. He has a Ph.D. in Nutrition and Food Science from Iowa State University. He is retired and lives with his family in Northern Nevada.

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