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Oxfam condemns sale of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia

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On Friday, May 19, the Trump administration announced its intent to sell nearly $110 billion worth of weapons, including precision-guided munitions, to Saudi Arabia. Scott Paul, Oxfam senior humanitarian policy advisor, made the following statement:

“Yemen is already on the brink of famine with 7 million people facing severe hunger and 18.8 million in need of aid; the sale of precision-guided munitions will only further exacerbate the growing humanitarian crisis. The administration may not directly drop bombs in Yemen, but by providing Saudi Arabia with additional arms, the U.S. government will fuel and legitimize a conflict that, for the sake of the millions in need, must urgently be resolved.  

"All sides of the conflict have demonstrated a shocking disregard for civilian life and welfare. The Saudi-led coalition, using the same kinds of precision-guided munitions that are proposed to be sold, has killed thousands, destroyed schools and hospitals, and damaged critical civilian infrastructure and facilities that Yemenis rely on to survive.

“The Obama administration spent nearly two years offering unconditional support to the Saudi-led coalition while simultaneously calling for an end to the conflict before ultimately suspending this sale. This disjointed and failed policy produced a brutal war and the world’s largest food crisis. Congress should not allow President Trump to repeat this mistake. Instead, Congress should signal its concern for human rights, international humanitarian law and survival of the Yemeni people by blocking this arms sale.”

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