The Yemeni popular movement Ansarullah accuses the French president of “ignoring Saudi crimes” in Yemen by defending the sale of arms to Riyadh.
“The French president’s defense of continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia is blatant hypocrisy. (The French) are ignoring crimes against the Yemeni people,” lamented Ansarullah spokesman Muhamad Abdel Salam on Friday.
The head of the Yemeni movement has condemned the statements made on Thursday by the French leader, Emmanuel Macron, who defended the export of weapons to the regime of Al Saud indicating that French weapons “were not used against civilians” in the war that develops Riyadh and its Arab allies against Yemen since 2015.
Abdel Salam has urged Macron to take into account the precarious humanitarian situation in Yemen and to stop sending weapons to the Saudis.
Last Wednesday, the French Minister of Defence, Florence Parly, confirmed the arrival of a Saudi ship off the coast of France to take a cargo of arms, pointing out that the movement is part of “a commercial contract approved several years ago”, but she avoided specifying the content of the cargo, arguing that it was not her responsibility.
A document leaked in April by the French intelligence services showed that the Saudis are using Leclerc tanks, projectiles, Mirage 2000-9 fighter planes, Cobra radars, Aravis armoured vehicles, Cougar and Dauphin helicopters, Makkah frigates, a Bayunnah missile launcher corvette or Caesar cannons in their controversial war against Yemen.
According to the TIV indicator developed by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), France is the fifth largest arms exporter to Saudi Arabia, after the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany.
Several human rights organizations have accused Paris of being complicit in war crimes against civilians in Yemen committed by the coalition led by Riyadh, a conflict that has been going on for four years, and that if it is not stopped now, the death toll will reach 233,000 by the end of 2019, according to the United Nations (UN).
“The Saudi regime is one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world and has caused a terrible humanitarian crisis in Yemen. The destruction would not have been possible without the complicity and support of governments that traffic arms,” lamented Andrew Smith, spokesman for the oenegé Campaign against the Arms Trade.
In April, the Armed Conflict Location and Events Data (Acled) project, a non-profit organization researching victims in Yemen, announced that the number of deaths in the Saudi-led war has already exceeded 70,000, more than 10,000 of them recorded in the last five months.
The illegal war that Riyadh launched with the as yet unachieved goal of restoring to power former Yemeni fugitive Abdu Rabu Mansur Hadi has also sunk the Yemeni economy, devastating much of the infrastructure in this country, where hospitals, schools and factories have been totally or partially destroyed, as well as leaving 10 million civilians on the brink of famine.