02/12/2020

Twenty-nine arms control and human rights organizations demand U.S. Congress to halt U.S.–UAE arms deal

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Twenty-nine arms control and human rights organizations, including Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies and Mwatana Organization for Human Rights, objected to the recent arms deal between the U.S. and United Arab Emirates (UAE) estimated at $23 billion and demanded that Congress prevent the sale.

The Trump administration formally notified Congress of the deal, which includes the sale of drones, missiles, and 50 advanced F-35 jet fighters.

Three US senators proposed legislation to halt the sale. U.S. law allows for Senators to force votes on major transfers of arms.

The primary concern of the Senators who introduced the legislation — Bob Menendez (D), Chris Murphy (R), and Paul (R) — is that such a large sale of advanced weaponry could alter the balance of power in the Middle East and be used to harm civilians in the ongoing Yemeni civil war, considered one of the worst ongoing humanitarian disasters in the world.

When the deal was announced, Amnesty International warned that the weapons would be used for “attacks that violate international humanitarian law and kill, as well as injure, thousands of Yemeni civilians.”