A large group of people have gathered in Britain's capital London to mark the second anniversary of Saudi Arabia’s ruthless invasion of Yemen, calling for an end to the deadly war.
The kingdom’s unprovoked war against its impoverished southern neighbor, which began on March 26, 2015, has killed and injured over 30,000 Yemeni civilians, according to official reports.
Over the course of the war, British and American military forces have supported the Saudi war machine through major arms deals. They have also admitted to training Saudi pilots and providing them with intelligence on their targets in Yemen.
On Sunday, groups of protesters met at Marble Arch, near London’s Hyde Park, and condemned the ongoing weapons deals between Saudis and their Western allies.
Carrying signs that read, “End Yemen Siege” and “Hands Off Yemen,” the protesters then marched outside the BBC offices to protest the mainstream media’s way of reporting the conflict.
“The message is the illegal blockade must be lifted to save millions of lives, because according to the UNICEF figures obtained, every 10 minute a child under the age of five is dying in Yemen—approximately 52,000 children per annum-- that is clearly a genocide” Kim Shariff, director of Human Rights for Yemen, told Press TV.
According to the UN, the war and the ongoing air and sea blockade by the Saudi regime has put a third of Yemen’s 22 provinces on the brink of famine, leaving more than half of the country’s population hungry.
Amien Afet, the deputy mayor of Sana’a, said last week that Saudi Arabia has been using all kinds of internationally-banned munitions, including cluster bombs, in its military campaign.
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London has admitted to providing the kingdom with hundreds of cluster bombs over the past years. Additionally, British arms manufacturers like BAE Systems have continued to provide Riyadh with cutting-edge military technology during the war.
The UK High Court is set to review the country’s weapons deals with Saudi Arabia, after activists accused the government of Prime Minister Theresa May of complicity in Riyadh’s war crimes.
“It is a very sad situation for our government in the UK to continue supplying weapons to the regimes that are committing these crimes against Yemen, knowing full well that these crimes are being committed every day,” Shariff said.