TEHRAN (defapress)- A YouGov poll showed on Monday that seventy-five percent of French people want President Emmanuel Macron to suspend arms’ exports to countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, involved in the Yemeni war.
News ID: 69393
Publish Date: 26March 2018 - 13:25
The poll showed that 88 percent of respondents believed their country should stop arms exports to all countries where there is a risk they could be used against civilian populations and specifically 75 percent for those operating in Yemen.
Seven in 10 people said the government should stop exporting weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
“On the occasion of the third anniversary of Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, it is high time for the [French] government to hear this message,” Eoin Dubsky, campaign manager for the SumOfUs NGO, which commissioned the survey, said, adding that “Emmanuel Macron, who presents himself to the world as a humanist President, must pass from words to deeds.”
France is the world’s third-biggest arms exporter and counts Saudi Arabia and the UAE among its biggest purchasers. Paris has sold Caesar artillery guns and ammunition, sniper rifles and armored vehicles to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.
The poll showed that 69 percent of people wanted to see a strengthening of the role of the French parliament in controlling arms sales.
Pressure has been mounting on Paris to scale back military support for the two Persian Gulf Arab states over concerns that French weapons are being used in the offensive, which marks its third year on Monday.
Two human rights groups have also given the government of French President two months to end its arms exports to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which are involved in a devastating three-year-old conflict in Yemen, or face legal proceedings.
Legal non-governmental organization Droit Solidarite and Aser, which specializes in armament issues, argue that Paris is breaking international law by providing weapons for the Saudi-led aggression against war-ravaged Yemen and subsequently committing war crimes in the country.
Aser and Droit Solidarite will take their case to France’s highest legal authority, known as the Conseil d’Etat, in case the Paris government fails to meet their deadline.
Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 15,700 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.
Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.
According to several reports, the Saudi-led air campaign against Yemen has driven the impoverished country towards humanitarian disaster, as Saudi Arabia's deadly campaign prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country.
Yemen is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis with more than 22 million people in need and is seeing a spike in needs, fuelled by ongoing conflict, a collapsing economy and diminished social services and livelihoods.
A UN panel has compiled a detailed report of civilian casualties caused by the Saudi military and its allies during their war against Yemen, saying the Riyadh-led coalition has used precision-guided munitions in its raids on civilian targets.