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Netherlands to ban export of weapons to Saudi Arabia

Netherlands to ban export of weapons to Saudi Arabia

AMSTERDAM: Netherlands Dutch parliament has already voted against the exportation of armaments to Saudi Arabia as a form of protest for the humanitarian violations committed by the kingdom.

The latest development makes the Netherlands the first EU nation to carry out the European Parliament motion in February that calls for a bloc-wide arms embargo against Saudi.  The bill, which was voted through on Tuesday by Dutch MPs, has mentioned UN figures suggesting nearly 6,000 people, half of which are civilians, have been killed from the day the Saudi-led troops joined the conflict in Yemen, The Guardian reported.

The Netherlands Dutch bill also indicated the execution of 47 people, mostly political rebels, who were ordered by the Saudi judiciary on January 2.

According to Reuters, the bill urges the government to enact a severe weapons embargo that will include dual-use exports that may be used for human rights violation. The vote will add to the increasing demands on Britain, being one of the chief suppliers of arms  to Riyadh, to reconsider its position.

Campaign Against Arms Trade spokesperson Andrew Smith said in a report that the Dutch parliament has provided a great precedent, and that it is time for the rest of the arms-dealing countries to do the same. He further stated that the decision should be permanent as well, citing Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, including governments such as the UK to stop supporting it.

Moreover, Smith also mentioned the desperate humanitarian situation in Yemen that has lasted for nearly a year now  due to the bombardments.

Based on the updated figures of Campaign Against Arms Trade, the UK has already sold weapons worth over AU$12.58 billion to the Saudi government under the leadership of David Cameron, and AU$5.26 billion worth of  deals since the start of  the Yemen bombings.

Netherlands data were not available for comparison. Nonetheless, Germany’s export reached to nearly AU$262.90 million for the first six months of 2015. France, on the other hand, is the major European supplier of weapons to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Jakarta Globe reported.