Anti-war activists force Saudi ‘weapons’ ship to reroute again

An infamous Saudi cargo ship suspected of carrying weapons to be used in the war in Yemen has been forced to alter its route more than once, after facing protests by anti-war activists in several European ports. The Bahri Yanbu was previously accused of loading weapons destined for the UAE which were loaded whilst it made an unscheduled stop at Santander in northern Spain last year.

Last month the Bahri Yanbu crossed the wars and was scheduled to dock in five European ports starting in Bremerhaven, Germany on 30 January. However activists with Amnesty International’s support went to court and successfully blocked the vessel from docking. Ahead of its next stop in Antwerp in Belgium, three Belgian NGOs launched a preliminary injunction against the government demanding that Belgian freezes its arms trade to Saudi.

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Nevertheless, about 100 protestors turned out against the ship’s docking holding signs that read “War crimes in Yemen” and “Made in France”.

Although the next destination was Genoa, Italy, the ship has made another detour and is now on route to the port of Bilbao, Spain. Last year dockworkers in Genova went on strike in protest and refused the same ship entry. It will likely meet protests in the Spanish port as the Bahri Abha did in December of last year.

The on-going war in Yemen is now in its fifth year has claimed more than 100,000 lives and has left more than 17 million people on the brink of famine, with the UN calling it the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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