To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Democracy and Human Rights in the Gulf, entitled The cost of repression, published on 6 July 2021, what assessment the Government has made of the implications for its policies of the findings of that report that the Royal Saudi Air Force and the Joint Incident Assessment Team, beneficiaries of the Gulf Strategy Fund (GSF), have been accused of perpetrating illegal drone strikes against civilians in Yemen and conducting inadequate investigations into potential war crimes in Yemen; and if the Government will suspend GSF programmes pending an independent inquiry into their human rights implications.
22 September 2021
All training and assistance to both the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) and the Joint Incident Assessment Team (JIAT) - as well as any programmes funded by the Gulf Strategy Fund (GSF) - are subject to an Overseas Security Justice and Assistance Assessment (OSJA). These OSJAs consider human rights concerns about the institution/unit that will receive the assistance, are refreshed on a yearly basis, and are endorsed by Ministers.
GSF funded assistance to the Royal Saudi Land Forces is intended to support Saudi Arabia's efforts to protect their national security while improving their compliance with international humanitarian law.