FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Yemen: the Ravaging of a Country

Recent indiscriminate air attacks by Saudi Arabia on civilians in Harez (northwest of Yemen) have resulted in 33 civilian deaths and 67 people with serious injuries. Those numbers add up to what is increasingly becoming a national tragedy, as coalition forces continue their attacks on Houthi fighters. Cities on the northern border with Saudi Arabia are becoming emptied of inhabitants, whose displacement is saturating the villages further south.

Since the war began, more than 3,000 people have been killed and 14,300 have been wounded, plunging Yemen into a humanitarian crisis of great proportion. The limited success of the brutal air campaign against Yemeni rebels reminds one of the verses of the famous Yemeni poet Al-Baradouni, “They come with iron and fire, but they are weaker than straw”.

Saudi Arabia has been the leading member of the coalition fighting Houthi rebels.

The coalition it leads has been accused by Human Rights Watch of using cluster munitions supplied by the U.S. Although this kind of munitions is not banned by the U.S., Yemen or Saudi Arabia, its use is banned by 116 countries throughout the world. They are considered imprecise weapons that pose a long-term danger to civilians because of the unexploded remnants they leave behind.

“International humanitarian law is clear that belligerents must take all possible steps to prevent or minimize civilian casualties. But the cases we have analysed point to a pattern of attacks destroying civilian homes and resulting in scores of civilian deaths and injuries. There is no indication that the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition has done anything to prevent and redress such violations,” stated on July 2 Donatella Rovera, Senior Crisis Response Advisor to Amnesty International.

Amnesty International findings were confirmed by Human Rights Watch, which had documented a series of unlawful air strikes on residential houses, markets, a school and a petrol station in Sa’ada. “The coalition’s aerial bombing of Sa’ada killed dozen of civilians, devastating entire families. These attacks appear to be serious laws-of-war violations that need to be properly investigated,” declared last week Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa Director at Human Rights Watch.

“This war is tearing the social texture in a way that makes it impossible to repair. The double aggression we are under from the outside and the inside is creating cracks. I can see my loved ones watching in pain knowing that things will never be the same even if this war ends, if it ever does. We have survived so many wars. We have been stripped of jobs, security and basic services before; however, this time we are being stripped of home,” Jamal, a Yemeni sociologist, declared to The Guardian.

What Yemenis desperately need now is for the fighting parties to allow the entry of humanitarian supplies and avoid targeting civilians and medical and paramedical personnel. “We have nothing to do with the conflict and who is right or wrong, but every wounded person deserves to get medical care,” said Hisham Abdulaziz, a doctor who treated dozens of wounded people by an air strike in a refugee camp.

According to the U.N., more than 80 percent of Yemen’s 25 million people need some form of humanitarian aid. “It’s more than one million people displaced, 3,000 killed, shortage of fuel, basic public services –health, water, sanitation—that are collapsing, one city after another they are collapsing.” said Antoine Grand, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Yemen, at a U.N. briefing in Geneva.

Increasingly, it is becoming evident that the conflict in Yemen should be solved by Yemenis themselves, without any outside interference. As stated by a  group of Yemeni scholars, residents and nationals of the UK and the U.S., “Rather than contributing to the destruction of the country, the USA and UK should support a UN Security Council resolution demanding and immediate, unconditional ceasefire and use of their diplomatic influence to strengthen the sovereignty and self-government of Yemen. As specialists we are more than aware of the internal divisions within Yemeni society, but we consider that it is for the Yemenis themselves to be allowed to negotiate a political settlement.”

 

 

 

More articles by:

Dr. Cesar Chelala is a co-winner of the 1979 Overseas Press Club of America award for the article “Missing or Disappeared in Argentina: The Desperate Search for Thousands of Abducted Victims.”

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
August 26, 2019
David Stansfield
The Chosen One
Taylor Cabatu
Plan B
Elliot Sperber
The Amazon or Amazon
Weekend Edition
August 23, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Notes on Inauthenticity in a Creeping Fascist Nuthouse
Andrew Levine
Recession Now, Please
Rob Urie
Mr. Trump Goes to Kensington
Jeffrey St. Clair
Deep Time and the Green River, Floating
Robert Hunziker
Earth 4C Hotter
Kenneth Good
Congo’s Patrice Lumumba: The Winds of Reaction in Africa
Pete Dolack
The Realism and Unrealism of the Green New Deals
David Rosen
The White-Nationalist Great Fear
Kenn Orphan
The War on Indigenous People is a War on the Biosphere Itself
L. Michael Hager
What Netanyahu’s Travel Ban Has Revealed
Ramzy Baroud
Jewish Settlers Rule the Roost in Israel, But at What Price?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Is Environmental Protection Possible?
Josue De Luna Navarro
What It’s Like to Grow Up Hunted
Ralph Nader
They Don’t Make Republicans Like the Great Paul Findley Anymore!
Gary Olson
Whither the Resistance to our Capitalist Overlords?
Dean Baker
On Those Downward Jobs Revisions
Rev. William Alberts
Beware of the Gun-Lover-in-Chief
Helder F. do Vale
Brazil: From Global Leader to U.S. Lapdog
Laura Finley
Educators Actually Do “Work” in the Summer
Jim Goodman
Farmers Need a Bill of Rights
Tom Clifford
What China’s Leadership is Really Worried About: Rising Debt
Daphne Wysham
Saving the Planet Means Fighting Bipartisan Corruption
Tierra Curry
Amazon Fires Put the Planet at Risk
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir: Decentralize Power and Revive Regional Political Institutions
John W. Whitehead
American Apocalypse
George Wuerthner
How Agriculture and Ranching Subvert the Re-Wilding of America
Daniel Murphy
Capital in the 21st Century
Jessicah Pierre
400 Years After Slavery’s Start, No More Band-Aids
Kim C. Domenico
Finding the Comrades: Maintaining Precarious Sanity In Insane Times
Gary Leupp
“Based on the Fact She Won’t Sell Me Greenland, I’m Staying Home”
John Kendall Hawkins
The Chicago 8 Trial, Revisited
Rivera Sun
Tapping into People Power
Ted Rall
As Long as Enemies of the State Keep Dying Before Trial, No One Should Trust the State
Jesse Jackson
The Significance of the “1619 Project”
Thomas Knapp
“Nuance” in Politics and Public Policy? No Thanks
Christopher Brauchli
Trump and Endangered Species, Wildlife and Human
Mel Gurtov
China’s Hong Kong Nightmare, and the US Response
Ron Forthofer
Sick of Being a Guinea Pig
Nicky Reid
Why I Stopped Being White (and You Should Too)
Jill Richardson
As the School Year Starts, I’m Grateful for the ADA
Seth Sandronsky
Rethinking the GDR
Adolf Alzuphar
Tears / Ayizan Velekete
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail