Yemen: two-faced leaders offer aid and arms sales

20 December 2017 marked the 1,000th day of the brutal war on Yemen. The coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has launched millions of pounds worth of advanced weaponry against the Houthi insurgency in the west of the country since the war began in 2015. Despite major military asymmetry, it has failed to make decisive progress. In November 2017, several missiles were launched by the Houthis at the Saudi royal palace in Riyadh. Following this, the coalition launched a total blockade to attempt to starve the Houthis and their allies into submission. The country has been devastated by this war, with the UN calling the situation ‘the world’s worst humanitarian crisis’ and charities and NGOs increasingly speaking out against the coalition’s actions. Despite some empty words condemning the blockade and promising aid, the war continues to have the full support of British and US imperialism. Arms sales, military support, and diplomatic invitations continue to flow to Saudi Arabia, one of British and US imperialism’s primary partners in the war to reshape the Middle East and fight the rising influence of Iran.

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Repression and torture: The British Labour Party and the liberation struggle in South Yemen

british troop yemen

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no 43 – October 1984

The People's Republic of South Yemen is a small Arab nation of 33,600 sq km on the southern coast of the Arabian peninsula, and has a population of two million. It was born 17 years ago on 29 and 30 November 1967, following a bloody four-year guerrilla war. 129 years of British colonial rule was ended after a heroic struggle by the people of Aden and the hinterland of South Yemen against the military might and terror of the British armed forces and a succession of British-imposed schemes and manoeuvres designed to deny the people their right to self-determination. The crucial phase of the armed struggle for independence (1963-1967) took place when the British Labour Party government headed by Harold Wilson was in power. It was under this government that the most sustained repression and torture of Adeni and Yemeni patriots fighting for independence took place.

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Yemen: Britain's lucrative arms trade killing civilians

Destroyed house in the south of Sanaa

Saudi-led airstrikes continues to visit death and destruction on the people of western Yemen with British and US support. Figures revealed on 16 September by the Yemen Data Project showed that one in three airstrikes carried out by the Saudi-led coalition have hit civilian targets. The UN estimates the death toll as more than 10,000, with almost 40% civilians. Despite this, British weapons sales to Saudi Arabia continue. The importance of Britain's alliance with Saudi Arabia is made consistently clear by British government efforts to block arms embargos or full investigations into the war.

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Britain continues to fuel slaughter in Yemen

The bloody role of British imperialism in the Saudi-led war on Yemen continues to be exposed. Figures revealed in April show that the British government has approved arms sales worth £2.8bn to Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the attack in March 2015 - £6.7bn since 2010. This is despite abundant evidence from a UN panel, charities and NGO's of systematic attacks on civilians. In mid April, the Home Office issued guidance to immigration and asylum decision makers that sending Yemeni asylum seekers back to Yemen could be a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights (Guardian, 4 April).

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Britain continues to fuel slaughter in Yemen

For ten months, a Saudi-Arabian-led coalition has been waging war on Yemen with the full support of Britain and other imperialist powers. It has devastated the country to such an extent that 85% of the population are in need of humanitarian aid. More than 10,000 people have been killed, including 630 children – UNICEF estimates that up to ten children are now being killed every day. 1,000 schools have been destroyed, and 130 hospitals bombed. The UN and NGOs report evidence of systematic war-crimes and the Yemeni branch of the Islamic State group (IS) is thriving in the chaos. British bombs are destroying British-funded aid projects. But despite all this, the murderous leaders of British imperialism remain steadfastly behind their oil-rich dictators in the Gulf.

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