Storting Bucks Public Opinion over Yemen

Parliament,Stortinget, 4 partiesParliament,Stortinget.Photo:Norway Today Media

Today, Thursday, 1st March, the Storting will come to a vote upon promoting cessation of supplying auxiliary defense equipment to the countries and powers warring within Yemen.


The Socialist Left Party (SV) restriction proposal has received support from the Christian Democratic Party (KrF) but doesn’t seem to have an overwhelming majority opinion to carry the proposal to fruition within parliament.

A new Norstat poll reveals that 63% of those polled disapprove of Norway’s equipment sales to coalitions fighting within Yemen. 12% approve of the arms sales and 25% (seemingly) hold no opinion.

Norway’s parliament (Storting) appears willing to buck the popular Norstat results against military sales to Yemen as the SV proposal restricting equipment sales to Yemen comes to the Storting floor for final vote without enough support expected to carry the measure.

The Norstat poll was sponsored by the activist organizations Redd
Barna and Changemaker.

Redd Barna’s Gunvor Knag Fylkesnes gave clear position; ‘The war in Yemen is entering its 4th year. Most believe that Norway should stop funding or providing the warring parties with the means to continue. It’s high time that parliament’s elected representatives listened to the people they claim to represent.’

Tuva Krogh Widskjold of Changemaker stated; ‘The SV is taking the responsibility of ensuring that Norwegian war materials don’t fuel humanitarian disasters.’

Up until recently, Norway has supplied weapons, munitions and auxiliary military equipment worth hundreds of millions to various countries within the Saudi-led coalition actions within Yemen.

In late 2017, a military sale supported by Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide (H) to the United Arab Emirates of munitions and equipment from Norway was halted just a fortnight later through government mandate.

A final position was decreed to restrict that pending sale of Norwegian weapons and ammunition to the Emirates but to allow continuance of the auxiliary equipment sales.

Today’s Storting vote attempts to stop those auxiliary equipment exports.

The Socialist Left Party (SV) has previously forwarded proposals in the Storting promoting cessation of supplying defense equipment to the countries warring within Yemen. However, those proposals failed to advance within the Storting after receiving only limited support.

Today’s Storting vote to attempt restriction of military exports to Yemen
only carries minority support and is not expected to advance.

Since 2015, nearly 10 thousand people have died and 50 thousand wounded since Saudi Arabia’s coalition began warring with Yemen’s Houthi militia. Most are civilian causalities. The Saudi coalition has led thousands of aircraft attacks, reducing homes, schools and hospitals to rubble and displacing 3 million people.

The UN and relief agencies fear a massive hunger disaster in the country. Currently, over 22 million people are dependent upon humanitarian aid in the war-torn region and agencies report that of those 22 million, over 8 million people are on the verge of famine.

The Republic of Yemen is an Arab sovereign state within Western Asia, located at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. The Yemeni Civil War began in 2015 between factions claiming to constitute the Yemeni government. Houthi forces loyal to former president Saleh control the capital Sana and are waring with government allies of Abdrabbuh Hadi.


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today