Feb 28, 2021 08:52 UTC
  • Oxfam calls on Britain to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia after Khashoggi murder report

International charity organization Oxfam has called on Britain to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia after a US intelligence report laid blame for the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the feet of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS).

“At a time that the US seems to be evaluating its relationship with Saudi Arabia, we would urge the UK government to do the same and stop its arms sales to Saudi Arabia which are fueling the conflict in Yemen,” Mushin Siddiquey, Oxfam's Yemen Director, said. 

"Over 12,000 civilian lives have been lost since the start of the war, with atrocities on all sides. We need an immediate ceasefire to ensure no more innocent Yemenis are killed and that humanitarian agencies have safe access to deliver the support they need.”

Tobias Ellwood, Chair of the UK Defense Select Committee, echoed Siddiquey's calls, and said Britain should follow Washington's decision after the publication of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) report, which concluded that the Saudi crown prince had approved the operation that resulted in the death of Khashoggi at the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate in October 2018.

“The CIA report is unambiguous in its conclusions, and this will be inevitably be an embarrassment and shame to the wider country,” Ellwood told British daily the Guardian. 

He also called on Saudi Arabia's royal family to respond “to the loss in international confidence and trust of the crown prince" and the "wider cultural atmosphere that allowed such decision making to go unchallenged.”

Last week, Oxfam rebuked the British government for allowing the export of air-to-air refueling equipment to Saudi Arabia, warning that the gear could prolong the Yemen war as it would be used to help the Saudi air force conduct indiscriminate bombing attacks in the Arab country.

The charity organization said the technology was licensed to the Riyadh regime last summer when arms restrictions were lifted, and London approved an additional £1.4 billion ($1.96 billion) sale of other weapons, the Guardian reported on February 22.

Britain is the second-largest arms seller to Saudi Arabia after the United States, and has reportedly licensed the sale of £4.7 billion ($6.5 billion) of weapons to the Riyadh-regime since the start of the Yemen war in March 2015. 

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