YouGov Poll: 75% of French People do not want Weapons Sold to Saudi Arabia

Published March 27th, 2018 - 08:27 GMT
France President Emmanuel Macron (AFP/FILE)
France President Emmanuel Macron (AFP/FILE)


A majority of French respondents to a poll denounced their country's involvement in Yemen

The rejection of their country's partnership with Saudi mirrors the U.K. and U.S.
Nonetheless, all countries are continuing their partnership with Saudi
For Yemenis on the ground, this means their battle to survive will continue silently 

 

A poll released today by YouGov, a U.K-based analytics firm, show a vast majority of French citizens oppose their country’s ongoing arms support for Saudi’s war in Yemen.

France’s discontent with their role in furthering the humanitarian crisis in Yemen follows a larger trend where countries’ leaders insist on continuing their support for Saudi despite a lack of popular support.

The poll showed that 88 percent of French people believe their countries should not export arms to conflicts where weapons could be used against civilians, and a further 75 percent believed specifically that France should end its arms export to Saudi in the wake of its disastrous intervention in Yemen.

Opinion polls in the U.K. and the U.S. tell a similar story. A poll commissioned by the U.K.-based Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) showed that only six percent of U.K. citizens support the country’s arms partnerships with Saudi. Seventy percent said that the U.K. should stop exporting arms to Saudi and the UAE, the two countries leading a war in Yemen that has killed over 13,000 and displaced over three million.

A November 2017 J. Wallin Opinion Research poll to gauge U.S. support for its country’s support of wars also revealed widespread discontent with their country’s partnership with Saudi.

 

A graphic illustration of popular discontent over supportung Saudi's war in Yemen (Rami Khoury/Al Bawaba)

 

63.9 percent said that military aid given to countries like Saudi, who are engaged in widespread human rights abuses both domestically and abroad. Moreover, a majority said that they would be less likely to vote for their congressmen if he or she did not act to stop the U.S.’ involvement in Yemen, which has helped Saudis target civilians.

U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) tried and failed to pass legislation ending the U.S.’ involvement in Yemen. Rejected by a 55-44 margin, the vote laid bare the U.S.’ stance on its nearly unequivocal support for Saudi regardless of casualties and costs.

Both France and the U.K. continue to support Saudi Arabia in its intervention in Yemen, which has been described as the worst humanitarian crisis currently happening. Since 2015, Saudi has encircled the country and effectively cut it off from the rest of the world by blockading its air and naval ports.

Saudi initially targeted the country’s agricultural and water infrastructure, destroying its ability to sustain itself, then moved to block its ports to prevent imports. In a move sold to stop the smuggle of weapons to Houthi rebels, access to food, water, aid and fuel was withheld.

As a result, the vast majority of Yemeni civilians are in need of humanitarian assistance, with million suffering from malnutrition and much of the country on the brink of famine.

The war has reached a stalemate between Saudi-backed forces and Iranian-backed militias, meaning civilians inside the country must wait in desperate conditions for a war, with no end in sight, to be resolved.'


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