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Yemen statement

Australia must end defence sales to Saudi Arabia to help stop
Yemen war
11 November 2018

Save the Children is calling on the Australian Government to join international efforts seeking to bring an end to the brutal conflict in Yemen.

There are new reports the United States will end the practice of refuelling Saudi Arabia’s military aircraft flying in Yemen. The US military currently re-fuels about 20 per cent of all Saudi aircraft.

The US had previously called for a ceasefire, however, airstrikes in the port city of Hodeidah have only intensified, leaving millions of civilians, including children, at risk of death from starvation and disease, as well as the fighting.

The news comes as Norway announced it will no longer approve new export licenses for military equipment or dual use goods to Saudi-Arabia.

Save the Children is calling on the Australian Government to stop issuing defence export licences to Saudi Arabia and reconsider those that have already been approved. 

“Citizens the world over are demanding their governments end defence sales to the Saudi-led coalition to help end this wretched war,” Save the Children Australia director of Policy and International Programs Mat Tinkler said.

“Australia should use its place on the world stage to end human rights abuses, rather than supplying means to potentially prolong them.

“I think Australians would be horrified to know that we could be contributing to this war in some way.”

Australian Defence officials recently confirmed under questioning in Senate Estimates that 14 defence export licences have been issued in the past two years, including four (4) in 2018. 

“More than 100 children are dying every day in Yemen due to famine and disease caused by this war. Schools and hospitals are being bombed,” Mr Tinkler said.
“Save the Children is calling on the Australian Government to end defence sales to Saudi Arabia immediately.”

In January the Australian Government announced its ambition to become one of the top 10 defence exporters in the world, and remains committed to signing a new MOU with Saudi Arabia. 

For details contact Alex Sampson on 0429 943 027.

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