Profiting from Misery

South Africa’s Complicity in War Crimes in Yemen

Since the war in Yemen broke out in 2014, South African and global arms companies have cashed in on the sale of weapons to central parties to this conflict and humanitarian disaster. These firms have profited from the devastation of war and the resulting misery of Yemenis.

On the 3rd of March 2021, Open Secrets published, Profiting from Misery: South Africa’s Complicity in War Crimes in Yemen. This report shows that Rheinmetall Denel Munitions (RDM) and other South African companies have regularly supplied Saudi Arabia and the UAE led coalition (a party to the conflict in Yemen) with weapons before and since the civil war started in Yemen. This is confirmed by National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) reports as well as the companies’ own statements on these countries being an important and lucrative market. RDM have even set up a munitions factory in Saudi Arabia that produces, amongst other weapons, mortar munitions. The evidence of these countries’ commission of human rights abuses in Yemen, discussed at length in this report, is sufficient to show that weapons exports from South Africa should have been prohibited by the NCACC.

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