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Citizen Voices War & Conflict

Yemeni Humanitarian Crisis Demands Urgent Attention From Peace-Loving Countries And Organisations

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The present picture of Yemen is severely depressing – mass casualties, severe food insecurity, increasing malnourishment, hovering famine and exodus of civilians are extremely rampant. The very mention of the country makes a plethora of miseries to come before one’s eyes.

Yemen has witnessed a dilapidated security landscape ever since the Arab Spring of 2011, which shocked the entire region. The critical juncture created by the Arab Spring shattered major parts of Africa and the Middle East, including Yemen. To date, the scars that episode left on the political landscape of the country continue to haunt it dramatically.

During the Arab Spring uprisings, in the wake of widespread protests in Tunisia, a wave of angry mobs rose against the Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Selah. He was finally ousted from office in 2012, after a 22-year long rule. The abrupt political transition brought forward a vacuum within the system which destabilised the entire country. The law-and-order situations deteriorated further when Houthi rebels seized Sana’a, the Yemeni capital, in 2014. Moreover, the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen the following year added further troubles to the failing security landscape of the country.

Today, it seems there is no end to the miseries the country is passing through. For instance, the basic health system of the country is buckling under a growing number of diseases, such as cholera. Cholera alone accounted for nearly 35,512 cases from 2016 to 2020. The greatest number of cases have been found in children. Meanwhile, the United Nations repeatedly warns about the great humanitarian crisis which is at the country’s doorsteps. Considering the latest report of the World Health Organisation (WHO), approximately 84 percent of the total population needs humanitarian protection. The same report also suggests that around 10 million are considered “one step away from famine”. An astounding two million children are victims of malnourishment and food insecurity. The dire circumstances of the country bring up an important question: who should be blamed for the nightmarish tragedy unfolding in Yemen?

A number of security strategists believe that the country is being used as a ground by regional powers to maintain their political hegemony over the country. The clashes between the Houthi rebels – formerly known as Ansar Allah – and Saudi-led forces have led to horrible destruction. Given the indiscriminate attacks of Saudi-led forces on civilians, one aspect is obvious – that war in Yemen is beyond simply political interests.

Moreover, the military aid by Washington to the coalition forces through back door channels can also not be overlooked. According to some analysts, the coalition forces have received military aid from Washington for many years; but it reached a new height during the Trump administration. In contrast, the newly settled regime of Joe bidden in Washington may not remain as close to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen as his predecessor’s.

Peace and stability are things of the bygone past for the ill-fated people of Yemen. For an ordinary Yemeni citizen, there is nothing but a horizon of misery, conflict and killing. International peace-loving countries and organisations must turn their attention towards the impending crisis in Yemen. An active role by the UN can be pivotal in rescuing the people of Yemen from the grave situation they are trapped in. Undoubtedly, the people of Yemen deserve the right to life.

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Naya Daur