There is still war in Yemen. But does this disturb the remote-controlled, the war greens and forward defenders, in short the Maasmännchen, Haberbecks and Creakbuilders from the axis of good? Not really. As long as the Saudi mafia only bombs from a distance and blocks a bit, they don’t have to cut heads at folk festivals or cut journalists for music and coffee in Yemen. While the hypocrisy is undisturbed, 56 organizations from development, peace and human rights policy have allied themselves with a few humanitarian aid organizations to fire an open letter.
Dear Chancellor Dr. Merkel,
Dear Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister of Finance Scholz,
Dear Federal Minister of the Interior Seehofer,
Dear Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Maas,
Dear Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Altmaier,
Dear Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection Lambrecht,
Dear Federal Minister of Defence Kramp-Karrenbauer,
Dear Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Dr. Müller,
Dear Federal Minister for Special Tasks Dr. Braun,
we, the signatory organisations, welcome the fact that, under the coalition agreement, the Federal Government no longer wants to export arms to states directly involved in the Yemen war. We also welcome the arms export moratorium imposed on Saudi Arabia, which stopped arms export permits to Saudi Arabia and urged companies not to use existing export licences. These were important first steps.
The moratorium has been extended twice so far and will expire on 30 September 2019. However, despite the coalition agreement, this is limited to Saudi Arabia and provides for exemptions for German component deliveries within the framework of European joint projects. In addition, the coalition agreement already made it possible to grant exemptions for export licences already issued. As a result, arms exports to states of the Saudi-led military coalition continue.
In view of the blatant violations of international humanitarian law and human rights by warring parties in Yemen, the Federal Government must necessarily go beyond what has been done so far. As long as there is a risk that German armaments will also contribute to such violations in Yemen, the moratorium must be converted into a comprehensive and non-temporary arms export ban for the members of the Saudi-led military coalition. to become. This must not allow exceptions for component deliveries under European Community projects and export licences already issued.
More than four years ago, the armed conflict in Yemen escalated and continues to this day. The massive military force combined with a temporary naval, air and land blockade by the military coalition, currently consisting of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Senegal and Sudan, has, according to the United Nations has led to the greatest humanitarian catastrophe of our time.
24 million people, including 12.3 million children, need vital help. Fourteen million are acutely threatened by famine. More than 1.3 million suspected cases of cholera have been recorded since April 2017. Humanitarian organisations are hampered in gaining access to the population in need. The un Secretary-General’s latest report on “Children and Armed Conflict” documents 1,700 children killed or seriously wounded in 2018 as a result of airstrikes and ground combat by various parties to the conflict.
For its recent report, the United Nations Expert Group on Yemen (GEE Yemen) has investigated repeated violations of international humanitarian law and human rights by warring parties, including targeted killings of civilians and civilians. Destruction of civil infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and drinking and sanitation facilities. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are named as responsible, among others. GEE Yemen therefore calls on all states not to export arms if they could be used in the armed conflict in Yemen.
For Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the federal government approved arms exports worth more than two billion euros between 2015 and 2018 alone. In the same period, export licences amounting to three billion euros were issued to other member states of the military coalition. And even in the first half of 2019, the german government still approved exports of around one billion euros to this group of countries, including Saudi Arabia, despite the extended export freeze against the country.
According to reports, warships of German origin are used off the coast of Yemen as well as small arms of German construction and warplanes with German parts in Yemen. There is therefore still a clear risk that German arms will violate human rights and international humanitarian law in Yemen.
Arms export permits to countries of the military coalition in Yemen are thus in blatant contradiction to self-set requirements of the Federal Government as well as national, European and international legal obligations such as the common position of the European Union and the International Arms Trade Treaty.
In its last resolution on the implementation of the EU Common Position, the European Parliament stated accordingly that “exports to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other members of the Saudi-led at least violate criterion 2 (respect for human rights and international humanitarian law in the Common Position of the European Union) and calls for an EU arms embargo on all members of the Saudi-led military coalition in the Yemen.
European partners such as the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Italy have imposed export restrictions on both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In addition, courts in Belgium and the United Kingdom have ruled that certain authorisations for Saudi Arabia have been unlawfully granted.
Germany must follow these developments, lead by example and take further action.
That is why we invite you as members of the Federal Government to:
Impose a comprehensive and non-temporary arms export ban on all members of the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen, as long as they are involved in the armed conflict or there is a risk that German arms contribute to human and international law violations in Yemen. This must not allow exceptions for component deliveries under European Community projects and export licences already issued.
Follow the resolution of the European Parliament and advocate an EU arms embargo against all members of the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen.
National Signatory Organisations and Alliances
Aktionsbündnis “Aktion Aufschrei – Stoppt den Waffenhandel!”
Aktion gegen den Hunger
Aktionsgemeinschaft Dienst für den Frieden
Arbeitskreis Gerechtigkeit, Frieden, Bewahrung der
Schöpfung der Konföderation evangelischer Kirchen in
Ärzte der Welt e.V.
Brot für die Welt
Bund für soziale Verteidigung
CARE Deutschland e.V.
Dachverband der Kritischen Aktionärinnen und Aktionäre
DAHW Deutsche Lepra- und Tuberkulosehilfe e. V
Deutscher Caritasverband e.V.
DFG-VK Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft – Vereinigte Kriegsdienstverweigerer
ECCHR – European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights
forum Ziviler Friedensdienst
Frauen für den Frieden Gießen
Frauennetzwerk für Frieden e.V
Friedensfestival Berlin e.V.
Greenpeace Deutschland e.V.
HelpAge Deutschland e.V.
IALANA Deutschland- Vereinigung für Friedensrecht
Informationsstelle Militarisierung e.V.
IPPNW- Internationale Ärzte für die Verhütung des
Atomkrieges, Ärzte in sozialer Verantwortung e. V.
NRC Flüchtlingshilfe Deutschland
Ohne Rüstung Leben
pax christi – Deutsche Sektion e.V.
Plan International Deutschland e.V.
Pro Ökumene Initiative in Württemberg
Save the Children Deutschland e.V.
Terres des hommes
Werkstatt für Gewaltfreie Aktion
International Signatory Organisations and Alliances
ACAT France – ACTION DES CHRÉTIENS POUR L’ABOLITION DE LA TORTURE
AIDL France – ALLIANCE INTERNATIONALE POUR LA DEFENSE DES DROITS ET DES LIBERTES
Beati i Costruttori di Pace
CAAT- Campaign Against Arms Trade
CIVIC (Center for Civilians in Conflict)
Corruption Watch UK
Handicap International – Humanity and Inclusion
IFOR Austria (Internationaler Versöhnungsbund, österreichischer Zweig)
Noi Siamo Chiesa
PAX (Pax for Peace Netherlands)
Rete Italiana per il Disarmo
Salam For Yemen
Un Ponte Per
Yemen Solidarity Network