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Judicial review on UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia 

The High Royal Court of Justice in UK has dismissed the claim brought by the Campaign Against Arms Trade against the UK Secretary of State for International Trade

There are a number of key conclusions made by Lord Justice Burnett and Mr. Justice Haddon-Cave in their judicial review. In summary, the Court held that “…the Open and Closed evidence demonstrated that the Secretary of State was rationally entitled to conclude as follows:

  1. the Coalition were not deliberately targeting civilians;
  2. Saudi processes and procedures have been put in place to secure respect for the principles of International Humanitarian Law;
  3. the Coalition was investigating incidents of controversy, including those involving civilian casualties;
  4. the Saudi authorities has throughout engaged in constructive dialogue with the UK about both its processes and incidents of concern;
  5. Saudi Arabia has been, and remains, genuinely committed to compliance with International Humanitarian Law; and
  6. there was no ‘real risk’ that there might be ‘serious violations’ of International Humanitarian Law (in its various manifestations) such that UK arm sales to Saudi Arabia should be suspended or cancelled”

In its conclusion, the review also notes the Saudis continue to seek to improve their process and increase the professionalism of their Armed Forces. It also states that Saudis have been receptive to high-level military visits from the UK and have shown willingness to learn from UK experience and take on board UK advice.

The full judicial review can be read here. A summary of the judicial review can be read here

  • July 13, 2017

L’Arabie Sauoudite et Le Conflit Au Yémen 

Le Yémen connaît un climat d’agitation politique et d’anarchie depuis des dizaines d’années. Ces dernières années, le soutien voilé de l’Iran à une faction yéménite a exacerbé les divisions existantes et déclenché une crise politique et économique menant à l’expulsion violente du président Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi en 2015. Alors que le Yémen s’est retrouvé au bord de la guerre civile, une coalition internationale dirigée par l’Arabie saoudite et soutenue par les États-Unis est intervenue. Ses objectifs ont été de protéger la population civile des attaques des milices houthistes soutenues par les Iraniens, de rétablir le gouvernement légitime et d’empêcher le Yémen de devenir un refuge pour Al- Qaïda et une base pour l’aventurisme iranien et la subversion dans la région.

  • June 22, 2017


L’Arabie Sa0udite et la Lutte Antiterroriste

La lutte contre le terrorisme exige des politiques appropriées, des efforts gouvernementaux concertés ainsi qu’une coopération internationale. En étroite collaboration avec ses alliés, l’Arabie saoudite traque les extrémistes, coupe les vivres des organisations terroristes et cherche à déconstruire l’idéologie djihadiste sur laquelle ces organisations prospèrent.


  • June 21, 2017

Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir has welcomed Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, Yemen’s president and Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, UN special envoy for Yemen, in Riyadh to discuss key elements of an agreement for a peace roadmap to ensure an orderly political transition to peace in the war-torn country. Mr Ahmed shared with the foreign minister the efforts underway to advance the political process in accordance with the GCC-sponsored initiative and the UN Security Council Resolution 2216.

Speaking in an interview with Arab news, Mohamed A. Qubaty, Yemen’s Minister for Tourism, confirmed that “All issues under the peace roadmap should be dealt with in accordance with these references — GCC peace initiative with its executive mechanism, the National Dialogue outputs and the UN Security Council’s resolutions, including Resolution 2216 and Chapter VII of the UN Charter.” He added that “With the fulfillment of the requirements of these three strategic references, we are ready to accept the roadmap.

In 2015, the UN Security Council demanded that all parties in the embattled country, particularly the Houthis, unconditionally end the violence and refrain from further unilateral actions that threaten the political transition. The Security Council also demanded that the Houthis withdraw from all areas seized during the conflict, relinquish arms seized from military and security institutions and cease all actions falling within the authority of the legitimate government.

Furthermore, under Chapter VII of the charter, the UN body called upon the Houthis to refrain from any provocations or threats to neighbouring states, release all political prisoners and individuals under house arrest or arbitrarily detained, and end the recruitment of children as soldiers.

  • March 13, 2017


In a statement issued today, the Saudi-led Arab Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen restated its commitment to protecting civilians in Yemen and underscored the steps the alliance has taken to avoid causalities in an ongoing war zone. Among those steps, the Coalition has launched an independent assessment team, fostered active partnerships with relief organizations and focused on safeguarding Yemen’s urban centers as part of a concerted effort to protect civilians and uphold international humanitarian law.


The Coalition’s Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) is composed of military members, weapons experts and legal specialists in humanitarian rights. The independent group reviews reports of Coalition activities that are known to have led to civilian casualties, and offers recommendations for ways to avoid future incidents.


Among the instituted mechanisms, the Coalition said that it has adopted—and has been following—the policy to issue repeated warnings to Houthi militias and Ali Abdullah Saleh forces so that they can evacuate cities prior to a Coalition air strike. The Coalition also has heightened its emphasis on safeguarding critical infrastructure and, as a result, civilian lives in Yemen’s urban centers.


The Coalition said that it works alongside United Nations agencies and the International Committee of the Red Cross as part of a collaborative approach to minimize the possibility of harm to civilians, medical personnel, journalists and relief organizations.


The Coalition cited an August 2016 United Nations report that accused Houthi militias and coup forces of consistently violating the Geneva Convention by using civilians as human shields. Moreover, the Coalition stated that rebel forces use child soldiers and use revenge killings and illegal detentions to terrorize Yemen’s population.

  • February 15, 2017

It was on 19 November 2016 that the command of the Saudi-led Arab alliance in Yemen gave its support to a 48-hour UN-backed ceasefire. The hope was that this respite from the bloodshed would allow for the delivery of sorely needed humanitarian aid across the country. It was also very clear that cessation of hostilities could be extended if the Iran-allied Houthi militia abided by the terms of truce. Importantly, this included allowing the entry of aid to the besieged areas of the war-torn country, particularly Taiz City, Yemen’s third largest city. What was formally the country’s vibrant cultural capital is now almost completely surrounded by the Houthis and their allies. The suffering of the city’s inhabitants is immeasurable.

Ultimately, the aim of the ceasefire was to bring about a permanent and lasting end to the conflict through the reopening of diplomatic channels. Alas, the Pacification Committee of the Yemeni army recorded in excess of 70 breaches of the truce by Houthi forces  its allies in Taiz province, only moments after the ceasefire came into effect. These infringements included shelling with heavy and medium weapons and sniping that wounded two civilians. Militia fired artillery and mortar shells at people’s homes in Al-Salow District and bombed the Al-Tabadud Valley area. Mortar rounds and rockets rained down indiscriminately across the different areas of Taiz City. In total, the ceasefire was broken 563 times in Yemen and 163 times on the Saudi border, a coalition official confirmed.

Beyond the flagrant contravention of the ceasefire terms, Houthi forces have frequently launched missiles into Saudi Arabian territory. On one occasion, the Houthis even went as far as to target the Holy City of Makkah, the holiest site of the Muslim world. When such atrocities are regularly attempted by the Houthis, there can be no foundation of trust on which to base a ceasefire. Saudi Arabia necessarily reserves the right to act with the utmost caution in brokering such ceasefires with the Houthis, bearing in mind that the protection of our own citizens must be our priority.

In a latest development, Houthis and General People’s Congress have unilaterally announced the formation of a new government that had legitimacy or support from the internationally recognised Yemeni government. These actions have been condemned by the UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh, who said, the move “represents a new and concerning obstacle to the peace process and does not serve the interests of the people of Yemen in these difficult times.” Equally, the Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed bin Dagher said that Houthis and their allies are “certainly aware that they are undermining U.N. peace efforts when announcing a new government.”

We join Mr Ould Cheikh in his plea to the Houthis and the General People’s Congress to “re-think their approach & demonstrate their commitment to the peace process with concrete actions,” rather than illegitimate and damaging posturing. To end the conflict there must be a withdrawal from occupied cities, and a handing over arms to make way for a much-needed political process and reconstruction of the country.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia expresses its growing concern about Iran, its increasingly aggressive approach in the region and interference in the internal affairs of Arab states. These regrettable actions have, in turn, led to a climate of tension and instability in the Middle East.

The chaos and instability at hand in Yemen is the direct result of Iran’s blatant intrusion in internal Yemeni affairs. It seems that Tehran is aiming to undermine Yemen’s security and stability, stoke sectarian divisions and thwart international efforts seeking to achieve a peaceful settlement of the Yemeni crisis in accordance with the UN Security Council’s Decision 2216 (2015).

It is regrettable that the regime in Iran continues to support the Houthi rebels by providing them with arms, missiles (Iranian made Zelzal-3) and military expertise (IRGC-Hezbollah), all of which contribute to the worrying regional instability and protract the misery of the Yemeni people. The rebel attacks on Saudi Arabia’s borders and the firing of missiles on its cities could not have been carried out without the express support and encouragement of the Iranian regime whose actions have only emboldened the rebels who now threaten regional and international security.

On 27 October, the command of the coalition forces supporting the legitimate government in Yemen announced that a ballistic missile fired on Makkah had been  launched by Iranian-backed Houthi militia. Fortunately, Saudi air defence was able to intercept the missile about 65 km from the holy city.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia therefore reaffirms its right to safeguard its sovereignty and security, and calls on the international community to assume its responsibility to condemn the conduct of the Iranian regime, and in particular its interference in its internal affairs.

  • November 9, 2016