“To extend the moratorium on the export of weapons used in the conflict against Yemen” is the request made in a new statement by the German branch of international Catholic Christian peace movement Pax Christi, along with thirty other organisations for peace and the development of human rights, among which, Oxfam, Save the Children and Terres des Hommes.
Pax Christi Germany and the diverse organisations working for non-violence warn that the “moratorium on arms exports to Saudi Arabia ends on March 31”.
For this reason, the more than thirty German and international organisations “call for a total ban on arms exports to all countries belonging to the military coalition led by this country in the war against Yemen”.
Addressing the German National Security Council, the signatories request “a total, binding and indefinite ban” on the export of arms to the Arab coalition, given the “danger that German military equipment may contribute to the violation of human rights and international law in Yemen”.
Millions of people suffer from the armed conflict
Pax Christi and its fellow pro-human rights organisations also call for “the extension of the ban to export licenses already granted”, and for the German government to align with the European Parliament to support “an arms embargo against the entire military coalition in Yemen, led by Saudi Arabia”.
“We speak with one voice, because human rights and international humanitarian law are trampled underfoot every day in this country”, Pax Christi Germany and the other signatories plead.
Continuing, they denounce that price of this conflict “is paid by millions of children, women and men whose livelihoods have been destroyed: 24 million people depend on humanitarian aid”.
Not forgetting that a large part of the Yemeni population – including two million children under the age of 5 and one million pregnant women – suffers from hunger and malnutrition.
The Pope’s appeal for peace
In this sense, the words of Pope Francis at the Angelus of February 3, 2019 resonate more than ever.
“With great concern I am following the humanitarian crisis in Yemen”, said the Holy Father just over a year ago.
“The population is exhausted by the long conflict and a great many children are suffering from hunger, but it is not possible to gain access to the food stores.
“Brothers and sisters, the cry of these children and their parents rises before God.
“I appeal to the parties concerned and to the international community to promote without delay the observance of the Agreements reached, to ensure the distribution of food and to work for the good of the population”.
(Source: Vatican News; translation/adaptation: Novena)