Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/14 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/14 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/14 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/14 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/14 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/14 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/14 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/14 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/14 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/14 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 11/11 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/13 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 11/11 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/13 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/13 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/13 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 11/11 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 11/13 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 11/11 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/13 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 11/11 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Middle East

Defence minister denies French arms used in Yemen conflict

media A devastated district in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, earlier this month REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

French Defence Minister Florence Parly on Friday told students that she was "horrified" by the situation in wartorn Yemen. But she said she did not believe weapons sold to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were being used against civilians there.

"I am perfectly aware that in Yemen the situation is disastrous," Parly told students at the prestigious Sciences Po university in Paris. ""I'm as horrified as you."

A coalition led by Saudi Arabia is backing the government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi against Houthi militias and supporters of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The UN has described the situation as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, with more than 10,000 killed - most of them civilians - and eight million people on the brink of famine.

NGOs, notably Amnesty International, have accused France of complicity in war crimes by continuing to sell arms to France Saudi Arabia and the UAE, another coalition member.

But Parly insisted that "To the best of my knowledge, no weapons sold by France are being used against the civilian population."

Hard to monitor arms exports

Saudi Arabia uses French weapons "to defend itself", she said, pointing out that missiles were regularly fired from Yemen towards the kingdom.

But she did concede that it is difficult to monitor the use of arms sold to another country.

"You can't foresee all the dangers so it is important to have a close and healthy dialogue with countries that use these armaments," she said, adding that that is the case with the UAE, where France has an air base and an artillery training base.

"We have the capacity to talk to these countries and we won't fail to do so," she assured her audience.

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.