Tuesday, March 30, 2021

MFAT has no conscience

RNZ reports that hot on the heels of approving weapons exports to saudi Arabia, MFAT was also approving weapons exports to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia's partner in committing war crimes in Yemen:

New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) approved export permits for military equipment that was sent to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a key partner in Saudi Arabia's military intervention in Yemen, in 2018 and 2019.

Experts say the information heightens concerns that New Zealand may have contributed to war crimes in Yemen following revelations last month that similar exports were approved for Saudi Arabia. It comes as MFAT reviews its export controls regime to ensure it's fit for purpose.

Since 2015, at least 100,000 people have died in Yemen's civil war, which has also displaced millions and pushed the country to the brink of famine. In February, a UN expert group urged states "who continue to supply arms to review their positions in line with the requirements of international law".

Despite its ongoing review, MFAT has staunchly defended the approval of export permits for weapons sent to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Which really makes you wonder what the fuck is wrong with them. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are engaged in a war and committing war crimes. Any weapons supply prolongs the war and so contributes to the crimes. Banning weapons exports to them ought to be a no-brainer, regardless of whether the exported weapons will be used in that way or not. We're supposed to be a peaceful nation committed to peace and disarmament, for fucks sake; it would be nice if MFAT actually represented that official policy, rather than a money-grubbing, sociopathic domestic weapons industry.