Damning Yemen report calls on UK to come clean over arms exports

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Study questions lack of detail surrounding scale and quantity of weapons sales

A highly critical report has found extensive flaws in the British government’s arms sales strategy.

Based on analysis of the Yemen conflict, the study urges a reduction in weapons exports to conflict zones and states involved in human rights abuses.

Greater regulation of “brass-plate” companies that assist in brokering arms deals while shareholders and directors remain “invisible” to UK authorities.They are often used to conceal corrupt practices including the payment of bribes and fraud.

More transparent investigations into breaches of arms control regulation. The UK has a poor record of prosecution, with complex cases often referred to the Serious Fraud Office for investigation only to be halted subsequently because of undisclosed “national security interests”.

Improved reporting around open arms export licences. At present, open licences only require the seller to tell the government the number of deliveries made and not the quantity or type.

Greater oversight and involvement by DfID in granting arms export licenses, since information passed to the department by aid agencies operating in conflict zones should enable it to assess the impact of UK-supplied weapons more fully. At present, licences are granted by the Department for International Trade and the FCO, with DfID limited to an advisory role.

Related: Yemen: inquiry finds Saudis diverting arms to factions loyal to their cause

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Source: syria
Link : Damning Yemen report calls on UK to come clean over arms exports

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