Thursday, June 03, 2021

An accomplice to war crimes

That's the only way to describe MFAT, who are merrily approving weapons exports to help the United Arab Emirates' ongoing crimes against humanity in Yemen:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade approved the export of weapons systems sent to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) despite officials warning they could be used in Yemen.

Since 2016, at least seven export permits have been approved for military equipment sent by New Zealand companies to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, both of whom are accused of war crimes over their military intervention in Yemen.

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.

As the story makes clear, this is not a matter of ignorance. MFAT knows the weapons will be used in Yemen, which makes their export both a violation of our export control regime. And they know that what is happening in Yemen is a crime against humanity. But they seem willing to ignore both to enrich the immoral weapons industry (and in fact seem to see that, rather than enforcing international law, as their major role).

This is not acceptable, either legally or politically. And MFAT needs to be held to account for it.