UK urged to stop Saudi arms sales as latest Yemen assault threatens one of worst famines world has seen

As a Saudi-led coalition led a major assault on the vital port of Hodeidah in Yemen over 150 people including civilians, have been killed over the past 24 hours.

The bombardment comes despite warnings that the port city, is Yemen’s vital lifeline to stop perhaps the worst famine that the world has ever seen.

Over 80% of the population rely on this vital port for humanitarian aid, vital food and provisions.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has warned the international community that “Yemen’s survival depends on this city”. 

The total number of children in Yemen at risk of famine has now risen to a shocking 5.2 million. And before this latest assault over two-thirds of Yemen’s population didn’t know where their next meal is coming from.

Now the attack on Hodeidah puts many of them in peril in what the UN has warned will be the worst famine that the world has witnessed in 100 years. The UN estimates that 14 million people in total are at risk of starvation.

Even before this latest Saudi-led attack Save the Children estimated that over 36,000 Yemeni children would starve to death this in 2018.

Stop The War called for an end to arming the Saudi Arabian assault and an urgent cutting of ties with the Gulf state to “avert catastrophe.” The anti-war group called on people to lobby their MP.

The Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has backed calls for a ceasefire in Yemen.

Yet since the war in Yemen began in March 2015, under his Conservative government, the UK has licensed almost £5 billion worth of arms to the Saudi military as its three and a half year bombing campaign has created the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said: “the crisis in Yemen is the worst in the world, and it is one that UK arms have been central to creating.

“No matter how dire the situation has become, Government ministers have done everything they can to maintain arms sales and political ties to the Saudi dictatorship.

The calls for a ceasefire must be welcomed, but the best thing that Jeremy Hunt and his colleagues can do for the people of Yemen is to end the arms sales and the uncritical support they have offered the Saudi regime.”

Campaign Against Arms Trade also have a petition calling for the UK to stop arming Saudi Arabia.

MORE: Government abandons British family in Yemen 

@BenGelblum

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