Germany’s decision to extend its ban on arms sales to Saudi Arabia has put the spotlight on other EU countries.
Gillian Brien, the People Before Profit candidate for Dublin for the European parliament, has called on the Irish government to ensure that dual use equipment does not reach Saudi Arabia.
In 2016 a government report on the Control under the Control of Exports Act 2008 indicated that six licenses were granted for equipment whose final destination was Saudi Arabia.
In the Dail, it was stated that no licenses were granted for arms exports to Saudi Arabia but this is somewhat economical with the truth. The reality is that Ireland is producing dual use equipment which can be used in Saudi Arabia’s deadly war in Yemen.
The UN says at least 7,025 civilians have been killed and 11,140 injured in the fighting since March 2015, with 65% of the deaths attributed to Saudi-led coalition air strikes.
Ireland can no longer avoid taking measures if there is not to be blood on our hands.
After the German extension of a ban on arms sales, Ireland should announce that it will no longer issue any more licenses for military equipment that will make has Saudi Arabia as its final destination.