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Norwegian paper: Finnish personnel carriers in use in Yemeni war

A representative for the Finnish state defence contractor Patria has admitted that the armored modular vehicle pictured in the Norwegian newspaper is a Patria product.

Patrian kuva vg sivulla.
Screenshot from the Verdens Gang website. Image: vg.no

On Thursday, the website of Norway’s biggest circulation newspaper Verdens Gang published a link to a video that the daily said includes images of an armored personnel carrier being used in the war in Yemen. The paper identified the vehicle as an armored modular vehicle (AMV) manufactured by Patria, the Finnish state defence contractor. The source of the video was said to be a news organisation in the United Arab Emirates.

Two years ago, Patria sold 40 AMV 8x6 personnel carriers to the United Arab Emirates. The country is involved in the war against the Houthi rebel movement, a conflict that has inflicted great suffering on civilians.

The Norwegian-based high tech Kongsberg Group owns 49.9 percent of Patria, with the Finnish state the defence firm’s majority owner.

Personnel carriers delivered unarmed

Patria’s president of land systems Mika Kari admitted in an interview with Verdens Gang that the vehicle in the video was a Patria armored carrier. He told the paper that he had heard rumours that a Patria vehicle has been used in the war in Yemen.

On Thursday, Kari told Yle that in 2016, Patria had delivered unarmed personnel carriers to the United Arab Emirates. He added that he had no information about what kind of weapons the customer had installed on the vehicles.

He said that apart from spare parts, Patria had not applied for any export licenses for goods bound for the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia.

According to Norwegian officials there is no evidence to suggest that Norwegian-made weapons have been used in the Yemeni war. However last week, Norway announced that it would suspend the sales of arms and ammunition to the United Arab Emirates, in part because a Norwegian unmanned submarine was alleged to have participated in hostilities.

Human rights organisations said an alliance led by Saudi Arabia has bombed targets such as schools and hospitals and contributed to one of the world’s most intractable humanitarian crises.

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