Belgian State Council suspends weapons sales to Saudi Arabia

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The Council of State in Belgium has decided to suspend four licenses to export weapons from the Wallonia region in the south of the country to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

This came after three Belgian human rights organisations appealed against the decision of the leadership of the Wallonia region last November to re-issue weapons licenses to Saudi Arabia.

In March and August of last year, the Council of State in Belgium issued prior decisions suspending these licenses.

The three organisations said, in a joint statement that “It has become urgent for Wallonia region to realise that its decisions regarding granting licenses to export arms to Saudi Arabia are not justified under international law and the law of the region.”

The statement added that despite the decisions of the Belgian Federal Parliament and the European Parliament regarding human rights violations in Yemen, the Wallonia region has continued to export weapons to the parties involved in the war.

The organidations called on Wallonia to respect its obligations under international law and the law of the region, and to put an end to what they called “willful blindness” towards the actions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the atrocities committed in Yemen.