Protest at ‘direct links’ between Anglesey airbase and Yemen bombing campaign
Protestors have gathered at RAF Valley on Anglesey to draw attention to the “direct links” with BAE Systems and the export of weapons to Saudi Arabia which are then used to bomb Yemen.
Activists said that they were engaging in a two-month campaign to inform Welsh citizens of the war that “starts on our doorstep and with the supply of UK weapons and systems for the war in Yemen”.
According to the research carried out by the Campaign against the Arms Trade, Wales has numerous sites that produce weapons and systems used in the bombing of Yemen.
These include BAE Systems at RAF Valley and in Glascoed, Usk, Raytheon based in Broughton, FAUN Trackway in Llangefni and Airbus in Coedkernew, Newport.
Valley is used to train Saudi Arabian pilots, despite the war in Yemen, they said.
According to Awel Irene, Cymdeithas y Cymod’s co-ordinator, “Our goal in the Peace Movement is for Wales to be a Nation of Peace where there is a shift away from militarism to an economy driven by renewable energy and a culture built on non-violent values.
“We do not believe that there is room for Wales to have a role in creating weapons control systems that attack the innocent people of Yemen.”
The United Nations estimated in October that 500,000 children are at risk of starvation in Yemen as the civil war in the nation threatens to escalate.
In the southern city of Hodeida, dozens of children show up at a clinic every month, some of them showing signs of starvation, struggling to breathe and covered with sores.
Hunger has long threatened the lives of hundreds of thousands of Yemen’s children. Joyce Msuya, UN assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said that in Hodeida, which has a population of roughly three million, al-Thawra Hospital receives 2,500 patients daily, including “super-malnourished” children. She visited the facility this month.
Around 2.2 million Yemeni children under the age of five are hungry. More than half a million are severely malnourished. Some 1.3 million pregnant or breastfeeding women had severe malnutrition this year, the United Nations says.
“This is one of the saddest visits I’ve ever done in my professional life,” Ms Msuya said in a video released by the UN.
“There are immense needs. Half of Yemeni hospitals are not functioning, or they are completely destroyed by the war. We need more support to save lives in Yemen, children, women and men.”
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