Visit of Saudi Crown Prince

The visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the UK understandably drew attention to the ongoing suffering in Yemen caused by the dreadful conflict there. The humanitarian situation in many parts of the country is extremely dire. Over 10,000 people have been killed since 2014 and several million people are at risk of famine.

There is no military solution to this conflict, and it is vital that a peaceful, negotiated resolution can urgently be secured. It is incredibly disappointing therefore that, despite promises from the government to bring a ceasefire resolution to the UN Security Council in October 2016, there has been no progress on this.

I have shared my deep concern about potential violations of international humanitarian law in Yemen for some time now. I have consistently called for a comprehensive, independent, UN-led investigation into alleged violations of international humanitarian law in Yemen, including air strikes on civilians by the Saudi-led coalition. The government should impose an immediate suspension on any further arms sales for use in the Yemen conflict until such an investigation has concluded. Human rights should be at the heart of our foreign policy and resolving this situation could not be more urgent.

The people of Yemen have suffered so much throughout this ongoing conflict and the government must play its part in bringing it to an end. The government should use its influence to secure a UN resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire and resumption of peace talks in Yemen.