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Arms Trade: Saudi Arabia

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 92731, tabled on 21 September 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the definition of what constitutes a pattern of incidents, used by his Department in its evaluation of allegations of violations of international humanitarian law caused by fixed-wing aircraft in Yemen, differs from the definition used for that purpose by the United Nations Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen in its report of 9 September 2020; and if he will make a statement.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

5 October 2020

The UK supports the work of the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts of Yemen and takes account of its reporting as part of the export licencing process. The Group's report of 9 September 2020 does not clearly define its interpretation of a pattern of incidents with regard to allegations of violations of international humanitarian law involving fixed-wing aircraft in Yemen. The UK's revised methodology does not adopt a prescriptive approach in considering whether there are indications of patterns of non-compliance but considers, for example, whether there are similarities in the factual nature of incidents, the reasons/explanations for the incidents and the timescale in which they have occurred.