Ireland's Complicity in Deaths of Yemeni Children

Letter by Shannonwatch's Edward Horgan published in Irish Examiner 20 Feb 2019

There is supposed to be ceasefire in Yemen but each day children are still dying, by bombing, gunfire, disease and starvation. According to UN sources at least 85,000 children have died. Like the Syrian conflict there are many internal and external factions involved but the main culprits include Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates supported by armaments supplied by, US, UK, France and Germany. They support the UN recognised Yemeni government that is not supported by the vast majority of Yemeni people. While Iran is accused of supporting the Houthi rebels any such support is small for geographical .and logistic reasons. The UAE is reported to be using mercenaries to carry out assassinations of politicians and Yemeni tribal and religious leaders, while the US has been carrying out assassinations by special forces and drone attacks from a US base called Camp Lemonier in Djibouti. On 4th and 5th of this month an aircraft on contract to the US military was refuelled at Shannon airport on its way to and from the US to Camp Lemonier in Djibouti. In response to written questions by Clare Daly TD, our Minister for Transport confirmed that: "An exemption for the carriage of munitions of war under the Air Navigation (Carriage of Munitions of War, Weapons and Dangerous Goods) Orders, 1973 and 1989, was sought and granted for this flight". Our Minister for Foreign Affairs gave the following Orwellian reply. "Consistent with our stated policy my Department recommends against the carriage of munitions, with exceptions made for unloaded personal weapons or those intended for international crisis management and peace support operations. Regarding the civil aircraft detailed in this instance, my Department was asked for and duly provided its observations in accordance with that policy." The US supported war in Yemen is causing an international crisis rather than managing one, and it most certainly is not a 'peace support operation'. Ireland is thereby complicit in the deaths of innocent Yemeni children. 

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