Saudi ship leaves Genoa without arms cargo

Banners protesting the arrival of the Bahri Yambu were draped across the port. Photo credit:

GENOA - A Saudi ship intending to carry weapons destined for Riyadh and use in the Yemen Civil War was forced to leave Liguria’s largest port empty handed on Tuesday following heavy protests from port workers and authorities.

 The Bahri Yambu had docked in Genoa’s port in the early hours of Monday morning. It’s arrival, however, was met with wide protests from workers who rebuked the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia and refused to work until the ship left without its cargo.

 “The ship entered the port because it is its right and we, unlike Salvini, know this,” said delegates of the Italian Transport Federation. “However, we will not be complicit [in the transportation of arms] and we hope that our colleagues in ports where the ship will travel to in the following days will act likewise... As we have said before: open ports for humans, closed ports for arms. ”

 Protestors also laid out banners, amongst which one that read “Stop the trafficking of weapons, let’s declare war on war.”

 The efforts of Genoa’s port workers paid off as the Bahir Yambu was forced to leave Italian waters empty handed. The ship is currently on course for Egypt, however it is thought that it may yet detour via Spezia to collect the cargo that it was unable to retrieve in Genoa.

 The strike comes as the latest incident in the Italian government’s controversial relationship with Saudi Arabia. Italy is thought to have sold some 411 million euros worth of arms to the Middle Eastern nation since 2016 which are widely believed to have been used against civilians in Yemen. The 5 Star Movement are attempting to block future arms deals with Saudi Arabia.