From Deutsche Welle:

The German government recently approved an arms sale to the United Arab Emirates. The UAE is part of the Saudi-led coalition, supported by the US, in the war in Yemen.

Citing an Economy Ministry document delivered to parliament, both “Der Spiegel” and the “taz” newspaper reported this week that the German government approved the sale to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of 203,448 detonators for 40-mm shells by the Rottweil-based company Junghans Microtec, as well as 126 million euros ($134 million) worth of armor-plating for military vehicles by Dynamit Nobel Defence, located in Burbach, North Rhine-Westphalia.

The ministry was headed by then-SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel until January, when it was taken over by his party colleague Brigitte Zypries, though this week’s reports suggest she has proved no more effective in reining in arms exports than her predecessor. All German arms exports need approval by a security council that includes Angela Merkel and her key ministers, but the Economy Ministry is responsible for administering the sales.

Political opposition in Germany has spoken out against the arms sales saying that it goes against Germany’s arms exports guidelines. While not legally binding, they meant to encourage the government not to sell weapons to other countries that might use them offensively against peaceful demonstrations or countries that have committed human rights abuses.

There is evidence that Saudi Arabia, the leader of the coalition, has used internationally banned cluster bombs in Yemen.

Others argue that Germany’s arms exports are meant to support a long-term security commitment to the UAE and do not represent Germany’s support for a war in Yemen.

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