Italy unions refuse to load Saudi ship in protest over Yemen war

Genoa (Debriefer)
2019-05-21 | Since 3 Month

اضغط هنا لقراءة الخبر بالعربية

Italian unions refused on Monday to load two electricity generators on a Saudi vessel with weapons on board in a protest against the 4-year war in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has been leading a military coalition in Yemen since 26 March 2015, in support of forces loyal to President Hadi to retake areas controlled by the Iranian-backed Houthi (Ansarullah) group since late 2014.

The many civilian casualties caused by coalition airstrikes on Yemen have raised wide resentment among UN and other groups.

The Italian unions' refusal to load the generators comes as they "will not be complicit in what is happening in Yemen," unions leaders said in a statement.

Officials at the port of Genoa confirmed the generators were blocked on the quay, following the workers' refusal to load them onto the Bahri-Yanbu ship, saying that although they were registered for civilian use, they could be instead directed to the Yemen war effort.

Unions in Genoa had tried to have the load banned from Italy, Reuters reported, but the ship docked just after dawn, met by a handful of protestors who gathered on the quay.

"No to war" read one of their banners.

Port officials said non-critical goods would be loaded on the ship.

The Saudi vessel loaded arms in the Belgian city of Antwerp earlier this month, but was prevented from picking up another consignment of weapons in the French port of Le Havre following protests by humanitarian groups.

The vessel was expected to leave Genoa for Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia, later on Monday, according to Reuters.

Rights campaigners say the weapons contravene a UN treaty because they may be used against civilians in Yemen.

The UN and HR groups accuse the Saudi-led coalition of targeting civilians and committing what could amount to war crimes, charge denied by the coalition.

Some European countries, including Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Finland, have stopped providing the coalition with weapons, but France, Britain,United States and Spain have not taken the same step.

Recently, US, French and British HR groups have called their countries' leaders to halt and suspend arms sales for KSA and UAE war that has left many civilians killed and infrastructure destroyed in Yemen, and triggered what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.


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