No to halt arms exports raises anger

NSM Missile Penguiin Weapons Export KongsbergLive launch with NSM missile from HMS Gnist outside Andøya in Northern-Norway. Photo: Kongsberg Group

The Parliament’s no to halt arms exports raises resentment

It is extremely disappointing that arms exports to all countries participating in the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen is not halted, Save the Children (Redd Barna) and Changemaker says.


– We are quite simply extremely disappointed that the majority in the Foreign Committee have chosen to stand in the way of responsible Norwegian arms exports. They could have halted exports to countries bombing schools and killing children, but they chose to continue the sales to war criminals, says Gunvor Knag Fylkesnes in Save the Children.

On Wednesday, the Foreign and Defense Committee delivered its opinion on the matter. KrF and SV were alone in supporting the proposal for a halt in the export of military equipment to the countries that wage war in Yemen. There was also no majority for a scrutiny of exports that have already taken place.

The parliamentary majority has now placed business before ethics, is the opinion of the two organizations, and they are particularly disappointed that it is only the Christian Democrats (KrF) and Socialist Party (SV) that shows responsibility.

Criticizing Labour

– The same can not be said about Labour, which shows that they are happy to criticize the Government. When it comes to action, it’s more about rhetoric than politics. AP does not agree on any single proposal that can strengthen control of Norwegian military exports, says Changemaker’s chairperson, Tuva Krogh Widskjold.

The Government decided on December 19 last year to suspend all exports of weapons and ammunition to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) because of the country’s warfare in Yemen and a more “vague situation”. Eleven days earlier, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide (Conservatives)  assured the Parliament that there was no cause for concern.

The proposal will be discussed in the Parliament on February 15. Both SV’s Gina Barstad and the two organizations now hope that both Labour and the Centre Party (Sp) change their stance.

– It’s never too late to change opinions. Both the Labour Party and the Centre Party criticize the Government for being too late in halt the sales of weapons and ammunition to the Emirates. Nevertheless, they choose to continue support exporting military equipment to the other countries participating in the coalition. – We hope they change their minds and support SV and KrF when the Parliament is make its final decision in a few weeks, says Widskjold.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today