Arms exports: Yemen's war and Germany's contribution

All parties to the conflict use German small arms – although the federal government has decided to stop the export. How can that be?

Arms exports: Yemen's war and Germany's contribution
  • Page 1 — Yemen's war and Germany's contribution
  • Page 2 — "Every weapon prolongs war"
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    Houses are in ruins, airport is like a ruin, walls have bullet holes, and bomb craters interrupt runway. The city of Hudaydah in Yemen has been fought bitterly for weeks. And all warring parties use German weapons.

    The conflict in Yemen escalated three years ago. In March 2015, military offensive of an alliance of Arab States and government forces began to control Huthi forces rebels controlling parts of country, including Hudaydah. More than ten thousand people have already died, eight million Yemenis suffer hunger, 22 million are dependent on humanitarian aid. The war is brutal and confusing, countless soldiers, rebels, mercenaries, tribal warriors and militiamen are partly active on changing sides.

    Research of time shows that fighters of all warring parties are firing with German assault rifles and machine guns in Yemen and in Saudi border area – and that weapons continue to spread uncontrollably. In this way, Huthi forces rebels present ir loot pieces on numerous photos on internet, which y have taken away from hostile groups. On a picture, several rifles lean on a mud. Three old AK-47 are among m, better known as Kalashnikovs, but also two more modern weapons developed in Germany: Rifle 36 (G36) are called standard weapon of Bundeswehr. It was brought to market by Heckler Koch, largest small arms producer in country. In front of rifles are three men, gaunt, bearded, surrounded by camouflage nets. They fight for Huthi forces rebels. The weapons were captured near Saudi border. The photo with "trophies" have put sympathizers of Huthi forces on net, via short news Twitter and Messenger telegram spread.

    Eyewitnesses from Yemen have confirmed time use of G36. "I have seen Huthi forces and regional tribal militants all over Yemen with G36," reports a conflict analyst from country, who fears for his security and wants to remain anonymous. "The Sudanese army has also received G36." Moreover, Saudi armed forces had given many G3 to Yemeni army and to mercenaries fighting for government. His details confirm photos and films on which German weapons can be seen: In addition to G36, G3 assault rifle, which is under licence in Saudi Arabia and Iran, is frequently used.

    Also machine guns MG4 and MG3, all weapons used by Bundeswehr and developed in Germany, can be seen in photos from battle areas. The Machine gun 4 (MG4) is a new weapon, it was introduced in German armed forces only since 2005 and was used in foreign operations in Afghanistan or Mali. Its manufacturer Heckler Koch advertises with enormous firepower: "The great fighting force and range of battle, optimal fire speed and easy handling make it a weapon that is unrivalled." In Yemen, Heckler Koch did not deliver MG4 – but to states that are allied with Yemeni government like Saudi Arabia.

    This article comes from time No. 29/2018. Here you can read entire output.

    The G36 is also produced in Yemen's neighboring country. The Saudi national group MIC produces it in license. G36s that appeared in Yemen should bear stamp of mic. The Saudi government is allowed to equip its own soldiers fighting in Yemen. But y can only give assault rifles to ir allies with approval of German federal government. The cabinet of Angela Merkel did not approve a re-export of weapons. The government in Berlin still does not show great interest in finding out where weapons originate from. She explained: "Concrete findings about current use of small arms or light weapons from German development or production in conflict in Yemen, which go beyond publicly available information, are not available to federal government ."

    With this answer, however, opposition in Bundestag is not satisfied. She criticizes arms deliveries. "This is a shame and clearly shows that re must be an urgent need for an export ban on small arms," says Stefan Lamb, foreign policy spokesman for Left party. "The end use control is obviously not in control of federal government." There are also harsh criticisms of Greens. In later exploratory talks on Jamaica coalition with Union and FDP, Greens had insisted on generally not supplying weapons to all States that are involved in Yemen conflict. In addition to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, this would be a large number of countries, including Kuwait, Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt. "Every word of regret about many civilian casualties in bloody Yemen war is hypocrisy if arms exports continue to go to brutal war alliance," says Agnieszka Brugger, vice-Chair of Greens. Your party and left also demand a complete export stop to Yemen.

    Date Of Update: 17 July 2018, 12:02

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