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Despite ban, Germany sending weapons to countries fighting in Yemen 

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Despite a German ban on weapons sales to parties involved in Yemen’s civil war, a recent government report records sales to three countries fighting with the pro-government coalition there: Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

A report by Economics Minister Peter Altmaier records the approval of: four reconnaissance anti-artillery radar systems for Saudi Arabia; 48 warheads and 91 homing warheads for the UAE; and 385 portable anti-tank weapons for Jordan.

Saudi Arabia has led an international coalition in Yemen since 2015 aimed at ousting the Houthi rebels, who have forced the government out of Sana’a and taken control of large swathes of the country.

Battle lines have stayed largely stable in recent years, but fighting remains pitched. Routinely, missiles go astray, leading to high loss of civilian life and prompting an international outcry. Additionally, the Houthis have begun to fight back by firing missiles not at the Saudi forces, but north, towards Saudi territory.

Concern about the situation in Yemen was such that, when the latest German government formed, it outlawed weapons sales to all groups involved in the war.

The agreement did not specifically name which states were blocked from weapons sales. However, for the first four months after the new government sat, sales to involved countries nearly stopped.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said that the ban on weapons sales agreed in the current government contract still stands. But officials would not say any more about what that meant and which countries Germany sees as involved in the war.

Opposition parties have demanded that the sales be banned again.

“Just a few months ago you declared unequivocally that no more weapons would be delivered to the warring parties in Yemen,” said Green party legislative leader Anton Hofreiter. “Not a half year later, this good decision is being pushed aside.”

Source: dpa

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