Senator Paul Gavan Calls For Arms Embargo on Saudi Arabia
Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan has called on the Irish Government to impose an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia due to the war crimes committed by its forces and its brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi in its consulate in Istanbul.
He also called on Tanaiste Simon Coveney to immediately end the use of Shannon Airport by US Military to provide logistical support for these war crimes in Yemen.
Senator Gavan was speaking on an all-Party motion on the war in Yemen in the Seanad this evening condemning the indiscriminate bombing carried out by Saudi-UAE Coalition and calling for significantly increased international aid.
Senator Gavan said;
“We have all been utterly shocked at the images of the humanitarian crisis and suffering in Yemen.Thousands of people have died in the conflict and 14 million need food assistance and are at risk of famine.
“The UN World Food Programme warned that the country faces a full-blown famine in around six months unless things rapidly change.
"The humanitarian crisis falls completely at the feet of the Saudi regime. We have seen how they have used their military to bomb civilian infrastructure, homes and even school buses. They have also blockaded Hodeidah port, stopping vital supplies.They have carried out these war crimes with impunity.”
Data collected by Al Jazeera and the Yemen Data Project has found that more than 18,000 air raids have been carried out in Yemen since 2015 by the Saudi and UAE led military coalition, and almost one-third of all bombing missions struck non-military sites.
Turning to the topic of Shannon Airport Senator Gavan explained;
“The Irish Governments hands are not clean when it comes to this horrific war.The US provides logistical and weapons support to the Saudis. US contracted military planes leaving Shannon regularly travel to states belonging to that Coalition.
"Hundreds of permits for military munitions of war were approved by our Government last year, with many of these planes heading to these same destinations. The Government can and must end this practice immediately.”
Welcoming the recent breakthrough in the peace talks on Yemen in Sweden, which has led to some localised ceasefires, Senator Gavan called for greater international efforts to ensure a wider and sustainable peace.
“Humanitarian aid must reach the vulnerable populations most in need including an end to all blockages and blockades”