Image of UK soldiers [Mashleymorgan/Flickr]
The Arab Organisation for Human Rights in Britain (AOHR) has called on the UK government to stop exporting arms to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) because of its role in fuelling armed conflicts in the Middle East.
The organisation said the British government granted 509 arms licenses to the UAE worth £182 million ($233.3 million) in 2016 including defensive and offensive weapons with most of these weapons being transported to conflict zones in Yemen and Libya.
The organisation warned that the UAE government does not abide by the last user condition stipulated in the arms licenses which is documented in UN and international reports and therefore it is imperative for the UK government stops the export of arms to Abu Dhabi and investigate the fate of arms deals which were concluded previously.
The UAE not only provided the parties to the conflict with weapons, AOHR explained, but carried out military operations in the field like the continued bombing against the Darna region in Libya in cooperation with Egypt which resulted in civilian deaths and the destruction of many civilian facilities.
Using the pretext of fighting terrorism, the UAE and its allies are committing gross violations of the rules of international humanitarian law, AOHR added.
It went on to express deep concern that the UAE is expanding its military activity in Africa, where it has built military bases in Eritrea and Somalia.