This post was last updated on September 12th, 2019 at 01:43 pm
Midst pleas to restore humanity and stop civilian killing in Yemen, a large shipment of Australian-built weapons recently left Sydney’s airport. As per the proofs obtained by the Guardian, a secret photograph revealed that the end users as Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In the same photographs, it is also easily identifiable that the pallets are destined for Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior and General Department of Arms and Explosives. Besides, listing Alliance Techsystems Operations (ATK) as the seller, a US based firm which sells weaponry manufactured by an Australian company, Electro Optics System (EoS).
On the other hand, the weapons systems shipped to the UAE armed forces’ joint logistics are also commanded from Sydney’s international airport and supplied by EOS.
Yemen has experienced torrid times since beginning of the war in 2015, yet numerous countries have sidelined the situation over substantial gains from the Gulf nations. The war has not only torn apart the pace of normal life, but also plunged economy into chaos; skyrocketing inflation.
The high prices have left a major void in the nation, which the warring parties have exposed for their gain. The Saudi-led coalition has been continuously named for raging atrocities, bombing civilians and pushing millions to the brink of famine. As per the figures released in June, the conflict has already engulfed 100,000 lives.
Annihilation and carnage are a regular site for the Yemenis, yet the EOS chief executive Ben Greene in an interview with Defense Technology Review in 2018 said that the RWS was a “game changer” which “meets and overmatches current threats”.
“This innovative technology for the first time allows 30mm cannon systems to be deployed with unprecedented accuracy on light vehicles, significantly enhancing lethality and protection without compromising mobility, and at low cost,” he added.
Though the idea of cutting-edge technology is not a complete separatist to the argument, but why are the ammunitions used in civilian killing, needs to be addressed.
In the present scenario, the supply of S400 remote weapons, which allow small canons, guns or missile launchers to be mounted on military and light vehicles to be operated remotely; isn’t it unusual that the number of civilian causalities is following an upward trajectory.
After the reports emerged of EOS’ link to Yemen Conflict, Australia’s superannuation peak body parted ways with the company. The government commenced its sell-off in early March and concluded it last month.
In a letter to NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge, the chair of IFM Investors & Industry Super Australia, Greg Combet said: “IFM invests across a range of asset classes and industry sectors and recognize that our investments are potentially exposed to a range of environmental, social and governance risks factors.”
“To ensure these issues are considered prior to investing, IFM Investors has a robust approach to integrating ESG into our investment decision making process,” he added.
However, the explanation is as vague as Britain’s, because even Australia doesn’t know much about how their weapons are actually used by the Gulf monarchies. Australia’s Green leaders, Richard di natale, speaking on the same lines said that the nation continues to profit from sales, while maintaining silence over use of weaponry.
As a fact, Australian defense officials have authority over approval of exports by Australian companies, with only ministers in power to reverse the decision. The defense ministry can, however, still cancel permits or reach out to foreign government if the arms are not used in a certain way. Such applications are reviewed on the basis of international obligations, human rights, national security, regional security, and foreign policy.
Nonetheless, the recently circulated images have still raised a moral obligation towards keeping a watch on activities of both Saudi and the UAE. Consequently, even if Australian government maintains no more ties with EOC, it would still be naive to state that Saudi-led coalition would bar from raging the unprecedented war against humanity, any time soon.