Germany urged to extend arms export ban on Saudi Arabia
Greenpeace demanded the German government continue an export ban on weapons to Saudi Arabia due to the country's ongoing involvement in the war in Yemen. "It is already a disgrace that an extension of the weapons embargo to Saudi Arabia needs to be discussed at all," Greenpeace's expert for disarmament, Alexander Lurz, told reporters on Monday.
Greenpeace activists turned in a petition of over 10,000 signatures to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy demanding an extension to the ban, which expires at the end of September.
"Since the war erupted in Yemen, 91,000 people have been killed," he stressed.
Lurz also called on the government to stop arms sales to all countries involved in the conflict.
Impoverished Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.
The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.
Polls show that 81% of Germans oppose arms sales to nations involved in the Yemen war.
Last year, Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government imposed restrictions on arms sales to Saudi Arabia due to its role in the conflict.
In March, the government extended its ban until the end of September.