Arms exports: tornadoes and Eurofighters in the Yemen war

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It has long been suspected that German weapons technology is used in the Yemen war. As announced in a secret meeting, the federal government granted this for the first time.

By Reiko Pinkert and Georg Mascolo, NDR / WDR

For the first time, the federal government has admitted that Eurofighter and Tornado are used in the Yemen war. After the search for NDR. WDR and "Süddeutsche Zeitung" was last week in a secretly classified meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag, which announced that the federal government has its information on the use of fighter aircraft in Yemen.

According to this, Saudi Arabia has used both tornadoes and Eurofighters in the war against the rebels in Yemen. Both fighter planes are developed and built by Germany in collaboration with other countries such as Great Britain and Italy.

The federal government does not comment

The federal government does not want to comment on the trial publicly. We talk about this subject "basically only to the competent and secret committees of the German Bundestag", as a spokesperson tells on request.

Organizations like "Amnesty International" or media research had long emphasized that the Eurofighters and tornadoes were exploding in Yemen. Until then, the federal government had always claimed to have no indication of such operations. In February, Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) pointed out that he had "no knowledge" that German armament technology would be used in Yemen.

The coalition agreement excludes arms exports

The war in Yemen is, according to the United Nations, the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. According to UNICEF, hundreds of schools were destroyed by fighter planes and thousands of children were killed during the war.

When the CDU / CSU and SPD federal government concluded its coalition agreement in March 2018, it committed: "D & # 39; now, we will not authorize exports to countries as long as they are directly involved in the war in Yemen" . Saudi Arabia is leading an alliance of nine states in Yemen, which is supporting the local government against rebel Houthi rebels. The rebels are supported by Iran.

In the war that has been going on for years, there are always bombings by fighter planes. Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led alliance of war crimes and human rights violations in the past. In addition, Amnesty criticizes the United Arab Emirates for delivering Western weapons to militias during the war in Yemen.


The use of German weapons in Yemen is legal

On Thursday of last week, the members of the Economic Committee received a report from the Undersecretary of State to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Oliver Wittke. In the letter that the NDR Wittke explains that shipments of arms to the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia would not violate the so-called end-use clause, even if the weapons had been used outside the country's borders and used for military purposes .

"Stop cuddling with blood sheiks"

Sevim Dagdelen, spokesman for left-wing disarmament, is outraged by the report of the secretary of state: "The federal government is offering carte blanche to the Arab Emirates and to Saudi Arabia to use the German military equipment in their brutal war against the civilian population in Yemen Finish with the blood sheiks on the Gulf. "

Necessary now is an extension of the arms embargo to all the countries of the Yemen war alliance and no softening. Churches and pacifist groups have also harshly criticized arms deliveries to warring factions in Yemen.

Arms arrest extended against Saudi Arabia

Following the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi, the federal government ordered a halt to arms supplies to Saudi Arabia. Two weeks ago, the SPD and the CDU agreed to maintain the arms embargo until the end of September 2019.

However, until now, common European projects such as Tornado and Eurofighter remain excluded from the export stop. Saudi Arabia wants to buy 48 new Eurofighters from Britain, as announced by the Federal Government at the end of 2018.

NDR Info reported on this topic on 9 April 2019 at 18:15.

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