The crisis in Yemen is devastating and entirely man-made. My SNP colleagues and I are in agreement as to the steps the UK Government must now take as a matter of urgency, in particular with regard to permanently ending the blockade on Yemen as a matter of urgency. Indeed, SNP Members of Parliament have made repeated calls on these points in the House of Commons on numerous occasions during debate on the political and humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
Furthermore, we have repeatedly called on the UK Government to press on this issue at the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union as well as follow the example of other European countries and end their sale of arms to Saudi Arabia which is exacerbating the humanitarian situation in Yemen. There remains concerning evidence that UK made cluster bombs have been used in Yemen, a breach of international treaty obligations on cluster munitions.
As my SNP colleague Chris Law stated last month, the change in tone from the new International Development Secretary – that the use of starvation by the Saudi regime as a weapon in its UK-backed war in Yemen is a breach of international humanitarian law – is welcome, and should serve as a wake-up call before it is too late. However she must now follow up this rhetoric with meaningful action and pressure her colleagues in government to take action in bringing this conflict to an end.
Aid agencies have repeatedly warned that Yemen is ‘at the point of no return’ – if the UK government does not act in a conflict it has an active role in, then it will mark yet another stain on the UK’s record internationally.