Please copy, modify and send the letter below to your MP – and if you get a reply, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org
It is of great concern to me, as I’m sure it must be to you, that the humanitarian crisis and war in the Yemen continues. This is the worst humanitarian disaster in the world today, with 80% of the population suffering from lack of food, water, medicine or shelter. It’s heart-breaking to hear of the famine and other horrors facing Yemeni people. According to UNICEF, the lives of 12 million children are at risk.
There can be no doubt that Saudi Arabia’s support for the war since 2015 has contributed to, and significantly intensified, the situation. More than 20,000 attacks by Saudi Arabian planes have been recorded. Saudi Arabia purchases the majority of its planes and weapons from the USA and the UK.
According to James Cleverly, Foreign Office minister, 40% of the UK’s weapons sales between 2010 and 2019 went to Saudi Arabia. These are the same weapons that are then used to devastate the lives of Yemen’s inhabitants, mostly through air attacks. In 2019, the Court of Appeal ruled that selling arms to Saudi Arabia is illegal; however in 2020 the government rejected the judgement, arguing that possible breaches of international humanitarian law were viewed as “isolated incidents”.
From an answer to a parliamentary question, we know that the UK also provides training to Saudi Arabia’s armed forces. Here in Wales, Saudi Arabian pilots have received training at the Valley RAF base in Anglesey. It’s frightening to consider that some of the pilots who are receiving flight training above our heads here in North Wales are likely to then be dropping bombs on innocent people in the Yemen.
It was very encouraging to hear President Biden’s commitment to stop the USA’s support for the conflict and to prohibit the export of (some) weapons, as well as to allow more humanitarian aid. Britain’s ministers are refusing to follow his example, and I appeal to you to overturn this decision.
Please will you help the people of Yemen by supporting Early Day Motion 1399 and let me know whether you have done so.
(Name, address and postcode)