SA cashes in on Yemen civil war


Yemen: Rock Palace - the last residence of the Imam


Worst humanitarian crisis in the world today

A new Open Secrets report, Profiting from Misery: South Africa’s Complicity in War Crimes in Yemen, reveals the South African arms companies that have cashed in on the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), two central parties to the Yemeni conflict.

This in-depth investigative report shows that since the war in Yemen broke out, several South African arms companies, like part state owned enterprise Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) and Hensoldt, joined many global arms companies in profiting from the devastation of war and the resulting misery of Yemenis. (16 million people in Yemen now do not have access to enough food or water.)

Both RDM and Hensoldt are majority owned by companies in Germany where there is a ban on weapons sales to Saudi Arabia. Yet, their South African subsidiaries continue to export, providing a neat conduit for German weapons to continue to fuel the war in Yemen –R8-billion-worth since 2014.

Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) is South Africa’s regulator of the weapons trade. It is legally required to prevent the export of weapons that will contribute to human rights violations or worsen conflicts. The investigation shows that it has failed to do so for many years.

The investigation shows that Saudi and UAE have become the most important clients of SA arms industries, since civil war broke out in Yemen. UN reports indicate that the conduct of these states may amount to war crimes. –

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