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Denmark suspends arms exports to UAE over Yemen war: Report

Arms export permits have been withdrawn from Danish companies, a move hailed by Amnesty International
Mirage 2000 fighter jet belonging to United Arab Emirates air force (AFP/file photo)

Denmark announced the suspension of arms exports to the United Arab Emirates and the withdrawal of export permits approved by the Danish government, the Copenhagen Post reported on Thursday.

The decision comes as a result of the UAE’s involvement in the conflict in Yemen, according to Denmark's foreign minister, Anders Samuelsen.

Denmark followed Germany last November and suspended future arms exports to Saudi Arabia over the kingdom's role in the war in Yemen and the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

Danish exports of military gear and arms to the UAE in the last five years amounted to more than 210 million kroner ($32m) worth.

According to the Copenhagen Post, Denmark’s foreign ministry has told the national police to withdraw arms export permits for the UAE already issued to Danish weapon companies.

Trine Christensen, the secretary-general of Amnesty International Denmark, said: “Denmark shouldn’t be exporting weapons to a country that is involved in a conflict where violence, abuse and probable war crimes against the civilian population are taking place.”

Denmark's National Confederation for Industry, Dansk Industri (DI), said that while they respect the decision of the government, they contend that withdrawing previously approved permits is a problematic step.

Frank Bill, the head of defence and security policy at DI, told local media: "These are companies that have invested in raw materials, employed people and have contracts with foreign clients that they can no longer adhere to.”

A Saudi-led coalition, which includes the UAE, launched a military campaign in Yemen in 2015 to push back Houthi rebels and restore Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to power.

The country has since been pulled into a dire humanitarian crisis, with as many as 14 million people currently on the verge of famine, the UN has warned.

According to independent researchers, more than 56,000 people have been killed since January 2016, with the war triggering what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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