UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — On Thursday, the Saudi cargo ship, “Bahri Yanbu,” suspected of carrying weapons destined for war in Yemen, arrived at the French port of Cherbourg at five in the afternoon (16 GMT), according to a photographer at Agence France-Presse.
Prior to its arrival, dozens of demonstrators held banners in Cherbourg against the docking. Some of the signs read “Stop illegal arms sales,” “Illegal arms sales, not in my port,” and “War crimes in Yemen, 230,000 dead.”
In the statement, the 19 organizations condemned the shipment, saying, “For months, Saudi Arabia has been leading an uncompromising war against the Yemeni people, in which atrocities against an unarmed people are committed. We cannot accept that the Cherbourg port will be put in the service of this conflict in the name of the interests of some arms dealers and their clients.”
And another statement signed by the “Socialist Party” and the hard-left party, “Fatherhood France”, “Green-Europe Environmental Party”, “Communist Party” and “General Confederation of Labor”, stated that “France is one of the first five countries that sells weapons the most. All citizens should intervene to prevent this trade, especially when it is directed at suppressing peoples. ”
An appeal has been filed to suspend the shipment temporarily before the Paris Administrative Court, according to the Registry.
“This cargo ship is carrying weapons while it is preparing to ship French weapons. The mere crossing of it represents a flagrant violation of France’s international obligations,” said three organizations that lodged the appeal in a statement.
And protests led by NGOs succeeded in preventing the ship itself from landing in France last May, as it was preparing to transport an arms shipment to Riyadh.
France is heavily criticized for continuing to sell arms to the Saudi government, while the latter continues its five-year military operation in Yemen against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.
This war has killed tens of thousands, most of them civilians, according to human rights organizations. The United Nations has classified the Yemeni war as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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