Campaigners to protest against training pilots from Saudi Arabia in Wales

RAF Hawk T-2 ZK032 taxies for take off at RAF Valley. Picture by Craig Sunter (CC 2.0).

Welsh peace and justice groups will be holding a vigil at RAF Valley on Anglesey today to protest against the training of pilots from Saudi Arabia.

The civil war in Yemen and the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi has led to political pressure on the Westminster government to halt the training.

Their presence was uncovered by Plaid Cymru’s Defence Spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards MP in a written parliamentary question to the Minister of State for Defence, Mark Lancaster.

The following groups will meet outside the main gates of RAF Valley to hold a vigil at 5.30pm today:

  • Bangor & Ynys Môn Peace & Justice Group
  • Cymdeithas y Cymod
  • The North Wales Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Conwy County Peace Group
  • CND Cymru
  • Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg

“We are saddened and disappointed to learn that pilots from Saudi Arabia are being trained at RAF Valley”, Anna Jane Evans, spokesperson for Cymdeithas y Cymod, said.

“The Westminster Government is selling weapons of war worth many millions to the oppressive Saudi government, and the contract includes training the pilots in how to use them.

“Let us be perfectly clear this leads directly to the killing of children and innocent people who have nothing to do with the war in Yemen.”

The organisations have called upon the Welsh government to condemn the use of RAF Valley for training pilots from Saudi Arabia.

They also want the government to intervene urgently to persuade the Westminster government to “stop using Welsh land and airspace for the purpose of preparing for the slaughter of the inhabitants of Yemen”.

These Welsh peace movements have also called upon the government in Westminster to cancel the arms and training contract with Saudi Arabia immediately.

Instead, they are urging the government to work towards peace in Yemen through the United Nations.

“How can the Westminster government claim to be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War ­–  the war that was supposed to end all wars – whilst promoting death, suffering and warmongering in Yemen?” said Anna Jane.

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