Saudi war on Yemen with Belgian weapons


This 1 July 2018 video says about itself:

Belgium’s Supreme Administrative Court has suspended eight licenses for export of arms to Saudi Arabia, citing the kingdom’s human rights record.

The court said authorities in Belgium’s French-speaking Wallonia region had failed to examine the kingdom’s human rights record before issuing the permits. The decision affected planned sales to the kingdom by Belgium’s leading weapons manufacturer FN Herstal, which is based in the region.

Also known as FabriqueNationale, the company specializes in making firearms, ranging from pistols to heavy machineguns. Last year, the kingdom bought €153 million ($179 million) worth of arms from the company. Two years earlier, it had bought more than €575 million ($672 million) — 65 percent of Wallonia’s arms exports.

Last September, the European Parliament approved a resolution calling on the European Union to impose an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia as accusations flew against Riyadh of rampant rights violations and arms abuse.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Belgian weapons turn up in Yemen war

The Belgian government has been embarrassed by an international group of investigative journalists. Saudi soldiers fight with Belgian weapons in Yemen, although the Belgian government has always denied that, VRT News writes. …

The bloody war has cost the lives of thousands of people and millions of Yemenis are starving. …

National Guard

Saudi Arabia has been buying weapons for years from the Liège-based arms manufacturer FN Herstal, which is 100 percent owned by the Walloon government. Due to the criticisms of the Saudi action in Yemen, sales to the Saudi army were stopped in 2017, but sales to the Saudi National Guard were not.

According to Prime Minister Willy Borsus, these weapons are “in no way intended to conduct military operations outside of Saudi Arabia,” VRT News writes. The guard supposedly would only be used for border control and protection of the royal family.

Video

The journalists’ research shows that the guard is indeed fighting in Yemen. “Dear followers, we are now live from Yemen to follow the offensive by the National Guard,” says a spokesperson in a video posted by his father on Twitter. In the same video, a member of the guard orders an attack on [Yemeni] Houthis.

The journalists also discovered that Saudi Arabia is deploying Canadian armored vehicles in Yemen, which are equipped with gun turrets of the Walloon CMI Defense. …

The Walloon prime minister Borsus informed VRT News via e-mail that since the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in October 2018 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, no export permits have been issued for Saudi Arabia. Previously issued permits remain valid for two years. This year, Walloon ammunition was also exported to Saudi Arabia, writes VRT Nieuws.

Arms embargo

In November last year, the European Parliament called on member states to stop supplying weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain due to the war in Yemen. France and the United States do so.

Not just Saudi weapons from Wallonia, but also from Flanders.

10 thoughts on “Saudi war on Yemen with Belgian weapons

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