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Third Letter From Scholars of Yemen on the Saudi War on Yemen

To: American Secretary of State John Kerry
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond
French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayraut

On the occasion of a year of the bombardment and blockade of Yemen, we write for a third time as scholars of Yemen to deplore the actions of the governments you represent, which have served cumulatively to erase fundamental principles of international and international humanitarian law:

1 Drafting the one-sided UNSC 2216 used to legitimize war;

2 Attempting to protect Saudi Arabia and the other Coalition countries against condemnation by the UN Human Rights Council, leaving the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights alone to issue a condemnation of war crimes;

3 Continuing massive arms sales in the face of documented war-crimes by the Coalition;

4 Participating in refuelling warplanes, identifying targets, and facilitating the blockade of vital imports of food and fuel to Yemen.

We are aligned with no party in the internal political divisions of Yemen and deplore human rights violations by all the warring parties. However, we note that the major targets of the Yemen war, the Houthis and the bulk of the former Yemeni army, have over the past years fought Islamic State and Al-Qa’ida which your governments view as terrorist groups and which have targeted Arab as well as European cities – most recently Brussels. Against this background, we renew our call to you to do everything to obtain an immediate and complete ceasefire and the launch of unconditional Yemeni-Yemeni negotiations for the formation of a transition government. And we ask that you offer no cover to the attempts of the Coalition states to extract commercial gains from their war and to avoid, in the name of plans for GCC ‘reconstruction’ of Yemen, legal responsibility for war reparations.

Najwa Adra
Independent Scholar

Geneviève Bédoucha
CNRS, Paris

Isa Blumi
Stockholm University

Laurent Bonnefoy
Sciences Politiques, Paris

François Burgat
IREMAM, Aix-en-Provence

Robert Burrowes
University of Washington

Sheila Carapico
University of Richmond

Steven Caton
Harvard University

Don Conway-Long
Webster University

Rochelle Davis
Georgetown University

Blandine Destremau
CNRS, EHESS, Paris

Paul Dresch
University of Oxford

Ulrike Freitag
Free University of Berlin & Centre for Modern Oriental Studies

McGuire Gibson
University of Chicago

Michael Gilsenan
New York University

Andre Gingrich
Austrian Academy of Sciences

Najam Haider
Barnard College, Columbia University

Mouna Hashem
Independent Scholar

Juliette Honvault
IREMAM, Aix-Marseille Université

Eirik Hovden
Institute for Social Anthropology, Vienna

Lamya Khalidi
CEPAM, CNRS, France

Laurie King
Georgetown University

Thomas Kuehn
Simon Fraser University, Canada

Jean Lambert
CERMOM-INALCO, Paris

Anne Meneley
Trent University, Canada

Brinkley Messick
Columbia University

Flagg Miller
University of California, Davis

Martha Mundy
London School of Economics and Political Science

Michael Perez
University of Washington

Christa Salamandra
Lehman College, CUNY

Jillian Schwedler
Hunter College, CUNY

Gregory Starrett
University of North Carolina

Lucine Taminian
Independent Scholar, Amman

Daniel Varisco
American Institute for Yemeni Studies

Gabriele vom Bruck
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Janet Watson
University of Leeds

Lisa Wedeen
University of Chicago

Shelagh Weir
Independent Scholar

John Willis
University of Colorado

Jessica Winegar
Northwestern University

Stacey Philbrick Yadav
Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Sami Zubaida
Birkbeck College, University of London

 

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