AUDIO: Sudan, Yemen and the British arms trade

rs21 held a meeting at SOAS on the arms trade and how it relates to Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen, and its impact on the revolutionary movement in Sudan, with David Wearing, Raga Makawi and Nasir M as speakers.

Permanent crisis in the Middle East and North Africa is presented as inevitable, intractable, and rooted in ‘backward’ cultures. The reality is that the British state and other Western powers play a key role in sustaining oppression and bloodshed in the region, including through massive exports of arms to the military machine of Saudi Arabia and other powers such as Israel and Turkey. British arms are currently at the forefront of the Saudi state’s genocidal war in Yemen, and of the brutal repression of Sudanese revolutionaries by the Saudi-backed Transitional Military Council.

In this talk, Nasir M details why the war in Yemen cannot be interpreted as a proxy war or through the prism of ‘sectarianism’, and investigates what Saudi Arabia’s real interests are in Yemen.

Raga Makawi of the Sudanese Workers Alliance for the Restoration of Trade Unions spoke on how the power of the militias relates to the state and to regional politics, and how it impacts on the workers’ revolutionary struggle.

In his talk, David Wearing from Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) argues that the British state is not only complicit in Saudi Arabia’s bombardment of Yemen, but that its ongoing support is key to sustaining the murderous campaign. Last month, CAAT won a massive legal victory by getting British arms exports to Saudi Arabia deemed unlawful. But far more remains to be done in bringing the British-Saudi war machine to a halt.

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