… Die Bedeutung der Stammesidentität –Leitfaden, wie man über den Iran schreibt – Hören Sie auf, den „Sohn-König“ zu hofieren – Schwere Kämpfe in Marib – und mehr
Feb. 19, 2021: Nearly 40 per cent of Yemen families forced into debt to pay for essentials – Yemen’s food supply chain – The suffering children of Taiz – The importance of tribal identity – A guide how to write about Iran – Stop Indulging ‘The Son King’ – Heavy fighting at Marib – and more
Schwerpunkte / Key aspects
Kursiv: Siehe Teil 2 / In Italics: Look in part 2: https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/jemenkrieg-mosaik-719b-yemen-war-mosaic-719b
Klassifizierung / Classification
Für wen das Thema ganz neu ist / Who is new to the subject
cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important
cp1a Am wichtigsten: Coronavitrus und Seuchen / Most important: Coronavirus and epidemics
cp2 Allgemein / General
cp2a Allgemein: Saudische Blockade / General: Saudi blockade
cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation
cp4 Flüchtlinge / Refugees
cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis
cp6 Separatisten und Hadi-Regierung im Südjemen / Separatists and Hadi government in Southern Yemen
cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks
cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia
cp9a USA-Iran Krise: Spannungen am Golf / US-Iran crisis: Tensions at the Gulf
cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain
cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries
cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade
cp13b Wirtschaft / Economy
cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism
cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids
cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War
cp18 Kampf um Hodeidah / Hodeidah battle
cp19 Sonstiges / Other
Klassifizierung / Classification
(Kein Stern / No star)
? = Keine Einschatzung / No rating
A = Aktuell / Current news
B = Hintergrund / Background
C = Chronik / Chronicle
D = Details
E = Wirtschaft / Economy
H = Humanitäre Fragen / Humanitarian questions
K = Krieg / War
P = Politik / Politics
pH = Pro-Houthi
pS = Pro-Saudi
T = Terrorismus / Terrorism
Für wen das Thema ganz neu ist / Who is new to the subject
Ältere einführende Artikel u. Überblicke für alle, die mit den Ereignissen im Jemen noch nicht vertraut sind, hier:
Yemen War: Older introductory articles, overviews, for those who are still unfamiliar with the Yemen war here:
(* B H)
Ten things you need to know about Yemen right now
Large-scale famine is looming in Yemen, but funding levels are severely low. Tens of thousands of people are starving to death in the world’s worst crisis, but they now also face reductions in desperately needed life-saving aid.
Yemen, in its sixth year of conflict, remains the world’s worst humanitarian crisis
The situation is deteriorating. Recent assessments show that nearly 50,000 people are now in famine-like conditions. The worst hunger is clustered in conflict-affected areas. Almost 21 million people (more than 66 per cent of the population) require humanitarian aid and protection. More than 12 million people are estimated to be in acute need.
Large-scale famine is looming
Sixteen million people in Yemen will go hungry this year. Already, nearly 50,000 people are essentially starving to death, as pockets of famine-like conditions have returned to the country for the first time in two years. Another 5 million vulnerable people are just one step away from famine.
Highest levels of severe acute malnutrition recorded since the conflict escalated
Nearly 2.3 million children under 5 years of age in Yemen are projected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021. Of these children, 400,000 are expected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition and could die if they do not receive urgent treatment. These are among the highest levels of severe acute malnutrition recorded in Yemen since the conflict escalated in 2015 (photos)
(* B H)
Film: Nearly 2.3 million children under the age of five face acute malnutrition in war-torn Yemen, according to the UN
cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important
Marib: Siehe / Look at cp17
(** B H)
Im Jemen verschulden sich immer mehr Familien, um das Nötigste zu bezahlen
Im Jemen steigt die Zahl der Familien, die sich für Lebensmittel und Medikamente verschulden, um über 40 Prozent. Das legt eine nicht-repräsentative Untersuchung unter Laden- und Apothekenbesitzer*innen nahe, die die Nothilfe- und Entwicklungsorganisation Oxfam heute veröffentlicht. Oxfam fordert im Vorfeld der Bekanntgabe des neuen UN-Nothilfeplans für Jemen von den Geberländern die Bereitstellung größerer Finanzmittel, um dem humanitären Bedarf im Land gerecht zu werden.
Seit fast sechs Jahre dauert der Krieg im Jemen schon an, mit verheerenden Folgen für die Zivilbevölkerung. Eine aktuelle Untersuchung von Oxfam zeigt, wie Familien in einer Verschuldungsspirale gefangen sind, angewiesen auf das Wohlwollen von Ladenbesitzern, um das Nötigste zu erwerben. Befragt wurden hierfür 30 Besitzer*innen von Lebensmittelgeschäften und Apotheken in verschiedenen Teilen des Landes, bei denen insgesamt rund 2.200 Kund*innen Schulden haben. Den Ladenbesitzer*innen zufolge ist die Zahl der Familien, die sich für den Kauf von Lebensmitteln verschulden, seit der Eskalation des bewaffneten Konflikts im Jahr 2015 um 62 Prozent gestiegen. Apotheker*innen schätzen, dass die Zahl ihrer Kund*innen, die sich für den Kauf von Medikamenten verschulden, um 44 Prozent zugenommen hat.
Der Umfrage zufolge schreiben in Lebensmittelgeschäften Familien am häufigsten für Grundnahrungsmittel wie Brot, Mehl, Zucker, Reis, Hülsenfrüchte und Speiseöl an. In Apotheken werden typischerweise für Medikamente gegen Diabetes, Bluthochdruck, Fieber oder Durchfall Schulden gemacht. Die befragten Ladenbesitzer*innen erklärten, dass sie ihren Kund*innen erlauben, auf Kredit zu kaufen, weil sie Verständnis für ihre großen Schwierigkeiten haben. Doch viele sagten auch, dass diese zunehmend nicht mehr in der Lage seien, die Schulden zu begleichen und dies auch für die Geschäftsinhaber*innen existenzbedrohend werde.
Viele Menschen sind auf Hilfsgelder angewiesen, um Schulden zu begleichen
Ein weiteres Ergebnis: Die Ladenbesitzer*innen geben ihren Kund*innen nur dann Kredit, wenn sie wissen, dass diese ein monatliches Einkommen haben. Viele Familien können ihre Schulden jedoch nur begleichen, weil sie Transferzahlungen erhalten, unter anderem von Hilfsorganisationen. Doch durch die hohe Inflation ist das Geld, das sie erhalten, jeden Monat weniger wert, was das Verschuldungsproblem weiter verschärft.
Im vergangenen Jahr stellten die Geberländer nur die Hälfte der Hilfsgelder zur Verfügung, die für die humanitäre Krise im Jemen benötigt wurden. I
Denn wenn die Geschäftsinhaber*innen im Jemen ihren Kund*innen keine Kredite mehr gewähren, wird dies Unterernährung und Hunger im Land verschärfen. Oxfam befürchtet außerdem, dass Ladenbesitzer*innen ihre Vorräte nicht mehr auffüllen können, wenn die Kund*innen ihre Schulden nicht begleichen. Dies würde zusätzlich zu einer Verknappung der Lebensmittel führen und die Preise weiter in die Höhe treiben.
Hind Qassem (45) war mit ihrem zehnten Kind schwanger, als ihr Mann durch eine Artilleriegranate getötet wurde und sie gezwungen war, mit ihren Kindern zu fliehen. Zunächst lebten sie unter einer Plastikplane und ernährten sich von Essensresten, die sie von benachbarten Familien erhielten. Drei ihrer Söhne leiden an Sichelzellenanämie und brauchen jeden Monat Bluttransfusionen. Sie sagt: „Jetzt erhalte ich jeden Monat 45.000 YER (ca. 70 US-Dollar), ja, es ist nicht genug, um alle unsere Bedürfnisse zu decken, aber es hilft sehr. Ich bin in der Lage, die Behandlung meiner Kinder zu bezahlen und etwas Mehl und Gemüse für uns zu essen zu kaufen. Die Geschäfte erlauben uns jetzt, Lebensmittel auf Kredit zu kaufen, weil wir die monatliche Unterstützung erhalten.“
Der Lebensmittelladenbesitzer Abdulkareem Salaeh aus Sana’a sagt: „Wir haben keine andere Wahl als Kredite anzubieten, die Leute sind verzweifelt, und wir kämpfen darum, das Geschäft am Laufen zu halten. Während einige in der Lage sind, zu zahlen, können andere das nicht und das ist ein Problem. Wir vergeben Kredite nur an Menschen mit einer verlässlichen Einkommensquelle, wie Angestellte, Geschäftsinhaber, Tagelöhner oder Empfänger von humanitärer Hilfe, sonst machen wir Verlust, was wir uns nicht leisten können. Wir sind kaum in der Lage, die Betriebskosten und die Kosten für die Waren, die wir verkaufen, zu decken. Das ist sehr bedauerlich!“
(** B H)
Nearly 40 per cent of Yemen families forced into debt to pay for essentials – Oxfam
Nearly two out of every five families in Yemen buy food and medicines using debt, according to Oxfam research published today.
Yemeni families are trapped in a cycle of informal debt, living precariously and reliant on good will of shopkeepers as they lurch from one month to the next.
Many told Oxfam they can’t borrow the money they need for essentials unless shopkeepers know they have a monthly income and for many this means the money they receive from humanitarian agencies.
Last year, donors only provided half of the aid money needed for the world’s largest humanitarian crisis and with the 2021 UN humanitarian need budget for Yemen due out imminently, Oxfam is urging the international community to be generous when pledging funds.
The research found that Yemeni shopkeepers estimate that the number of families using debt to buy food has risen by 62 per cent since the conflict in Yemen started in 2015. Pharmacists in Yemen estimate an increase of 44 per cent in debt being used to purchase medicines.
Ibrahim Alwazir who carried out the research for Oxfam in Yemen said: “To struggle this hard to be able to provide food and medicine for one’s family is an avoidable hardship that millions have to overcome on a daily basis. We need peace so no more Yemenis are forced to flee their homes and live in poverty. Peace will allow people to rebuild their lives and businesses, but we need support to help communities to do that. This war has turned my country into the world’s largest humanitarian crisis and it’s only getting worse. We all just want to get back to normal life.”
Some 24.3 million Yemenis, over 53 per cent of the population, currently need humanitarian assistance. This year, 16.2 million Yemenis will rely on food aid to survive, with 17.9 million lacking access to healthcare in a country where only half of health facilities are fully functional. It is estimated that in parts of Yemen one in five children are severely malnourished and will grow up with life-long medical conditions if they do not get more food.
Oxfam, along with other agencies in Yemen, provides support for struggling families in the form of cash transfers which allows people to choose what they buy and helps stimulate local markets.
Many families who are struggling with debt say that they are living permanently in arrears – using their transfer to pay off what they owe and then run up more debt as they wait for their next aid payment. This situation is worsening because high levels of inflation, fueled by the conflict, mean that the value of money is decreasing. In practical terms the same amount of cash buys fewer groceries each month.
Food shop and pharmacy owners both told Oxfam staff that they allow customers to buy items on credit because they sympathize with the harsh difficulties they are facing. Some also said that it makes economic sense for their business and pharmacy owners also said they did not want to feel responsible for someone’s death if they refused credit for medicines.
Grocery store owner Abdulkareem Salaeh from Sana’a said: „We are left with no choice (but to offer credit) people are desperate, and we are struggling to keep the business going. While some are able to pay, others can’t and that’s a problem. We only agree to lend people with a reliable source of income, like employees, business owners, daily wage laborers or those receiving humanitarian aid, else it will be a loss that we can’t afford. We are barely able to cover operational costs and the costs of goods we sell. It’s unfortunate!“
Grocery shop owners have told Oxfam that debt is most often used to buy basic commodities like bread, flour, sugar, rice, legumes and cooking oil. In pharmacies, debt is typically used to buy medicines for diabetes and high blood pressure or for fevers and diarrhea in rural areas.
Concerned business owners told Oxfam that they feel the debt situation is unsustainable as their customers are increasingly unable to pay off all their debt each month and so the rising levels of debt their businesses are carrying mean their future is looking uncertain.
If business owners stop allowing them credit people will be unable to eat, driving higher levels of malnourishment. Oxfam is also worried that if shop owners do not have funds to replenish stock the resulting shortages will drive food prices even higher.
https://www.oxfam.org/en/press-releases/nearly-40-cent-yemen-families-forced-debt-pay-essentials-oxfam = https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/nearly-40-cent-yemen-families-forced-debt-pay-essentials-oxfam-enar
(** B E H K P)
Yemen’s food supply chain
Yemen’s food supply chain has continued to function through five years of conflict, in large part because food importers on all sides have adopted dynamic operational methods in a complex and politicised environment. This has come at a cost, however. Food prices doubled between 2015 and 2019, and continue to rise. The number of employed Yemenis has halved over the same period.1 According to international experts, food security in Yemen continues to deteriorate and two-thirds of Yemenis are in need of food and livelihood support.2 Without sustained and informed external support, the gap between the cost of food and what Yemenis can afford will steadily grow.
This report draws on key informant interviews and a survey of 218 food actors in the south and east of Yemen to examine the following questions:
What are the key cost drivers of food prices?
How are actors along the food supply chain adapting to these pressures?
What can the international community do to relieve pressure on food prices?
Exchange rate instability and challenges accessing credit are the largest cost drivers of food prices (Section 2) according to Yemeni traders and experts. The increase in food prices since 2015 is primarily a result of the drop in the value of the Yemeni riyal. Yemen is uniquely reliant on imports (for 88% of its food supply), making it highly exposed to currency fluctuations. The three main sources of food import financing and currency stability – remittances, the Saudi-funded letters of credit, and foreign aid (which accounts for 20% of wheat imports according to ACAPS estimates) – are all declining. Efforts to address the rise in food prices will likely be meaningless unless a course of action is adopted that results in stabilising the riyal or supporting incomes that keep pace with inflation.
Competition to control import financing by both parties to the conflict also adds to the cost of food. Competing letters of credit systems, divergent monetary policy, and attempts to control fuel supply chains all add to the complexity of food supply chains. Higher operating costs are passed on to consumers as higher prices (Section 3).
The conflict has also increased transport and logistic costs at each stage of the food supply chain
International shipping, insurance, and demurrage costs3 have increased significantly since 2017. The price paid to the international supplier, now comprises half of the final price of wheat flour, up from one-third in 2017. International shipping and insurance costs are up 50% compared to 2017, and demurrage costs can absorb as much as 10% of the final retail price (Section 4)
The destruction of cranes at Al Hodeidah port in August 2015, and the ban on ‘commercial’ containers at the port, has diverted container traffic to Aden. Aden’s container handling capacity is under pressure because of high volumes, but it has continued to handle near record numbers of import containers throughout 2020.4 The goods passing through Aden are subject to double taxation when they are trucked north (Section 2)
Overland transport costs have doubled since 2015. It now takes from six to nine days to transport food from Aden to Sana’a compared to one day prior to the war. Ansar Allah-established inland customs checkpoints sprung up to tax incoming commercial traffic for goods that initially entered the country via a seaport or land border crossing outside Ansar Allah control (Section 2).
Competition to control fuel imports to Al Hodeidah port and the accompanying revenues generated from import taxes and customs led to shortages and price hikes in Ansar Allah-controlled territories in April and September 2019 and in June 2020 (Section 2).
Yemen’s food importers have been largely successful in navigating these challenges, though the conflict has further narrowed what was already a concentrated market (Section 4). Traders have also become reliant on cash, instead of credit, to operate their businesses. This reduces efficiency. By and large, the biggest importers continue to manage relationships with political actors in a way that ensures consistent market share and access, though margins have been squeezed along the supply chain, especially for retailers. Larger importers have been more successful in meeting the competing and conflicting regulations that have been set by the Government of Yemen (GoY) and Ansar Allah.
Domestic agriculture, though an important source of jobs and fresh produce, does not play a large enough role in staple food production to cushion against international shocks (Section 1). Domestic production covers less than 20% of staple food needs. Yemen’s most common cereal crops are sorghum, wheat, millet, maize, and barley. A range of vegetables and fruits, both tropical and temperate, are also cultivated. Coffee and qat are the two 3 Demurrage refers to the charges that an importer pays to a ship owner for its delayed operations of loading/unloading at the port terminal, beyond the free days offered by the shipping line. 4 Discussions with operational actors, November 2020. 5 Ministry of Agriculture in Sana’a. main cash crops. The amount of land cultivated with cereal crops dropped by 50% in conflict-affected governorates such as Saada, Sana’a, and Al Bayda between 2014 and 2018.5 Farmers who can afford to pump water are turning to more lucrative cash crops, like qat.
COVID-19 has not had a major impact on food supply chains, apart from short-term interruptions in Aden in April and May 2020 (Section 5). Food imports appear to have recovered since then. However, future shocks, such as a decision by a major wheat exporter to hoard stocks, or a sharp drop in remittances from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf more broadly, could negatively impact food supplies and purchasing power in the coming year.
The growing gap between food prices and what Yemenis can afford to pay is likely to grow without smart and sustained investments by the international community. To help alleviate pressure on food affordability, donors and policy makers can: […]
None of these measures are easy. But the alternative – additional years of war where Yemenis must adopt increasingly desperate strategies to meet the steadily increasing gap between the cost of living and what they can afford – is worse.
(** B H K)
The suffering children of Taiz
The current nickname for the city of Taiz.
It is one of the most dangerous and tense cities in the catastrophic Yemeni civil war.
Taiz is split between forces loyal to the international recognized government, whom controls two-third of the city, and the Houthis who controls the rest.
But close to the frontline between the two combatting sides, civilian people have their homes. They live on the frontline and risks their lives every day in their own homes. Our Correspondent met people who paid a high price in the war, in a city where no one is safe from snipers, mines and artillery, not even the children.
From the 3.000 meters peak in the mountains surrounding Taiz it looks all so calm. But the wind, bird song and the prayer announcement from the mosques are interrupted every now and then by dull bangs. Explosions from artillery.
It often targets civilian residential areas.
Just before I arrived a football coach and his son was killed when a grenade hit a locker room.
This is the city where no one is safe.
The city where people live at the frontline and where playing children are targets. Hence its new nickname, Sniper City.
I heard about a neighborhood where everyone has been hit by the war – struck by violence themselves, or lost a relative or a loved one.
I went there.
I met ten year old Sheima, she just arrived from school. Her walk is a little bit stiff. It’s her artificial leg, difficult to get used to.
Yemen sometimes is called the forgotten war, in that case, Taiz is the forgotten city.
Once Yemen’s capital of culture with the great universities and the highly educated people.
Now Taiz instead is known as the countries longest running battle field, the deadliest area in the war and the city struck by most air strikes. Here is no rest, no security, no safety. The tension is felt in the air.
At the front area when I meet Sheima, I felt how overwhelming it is.
People flocked around us, standing beside us, some sitting on their old motorcycles, listening to Sheima and her fathers story. And then all of them wanted to tell their story. Their testimony.
Some take of their shirts, trouserlegs are rolled up, they all want to show their scars.
She was injured while buying potatoes. A bullet first hit the old lady selling the potatoes, it went through her soft parts and then hit Hawazi.
She still has fragments from the bullet left in her body, but it’s not the injury that worries Hawazi. It’s the experience. It is so difficult to sleep.
– Yes, I am afraid and I remember. As soon as I hear a shot, or explosions, I get frightened and run. We run to our homes, we are scared of the bullets.
Another little girl, she doesn’t give her name, pushes forward in the crowd. Her eye is disfigured. It´s milky and can no longer see. There is shrapnel in the eye, and in other parts of her head. She´s got difficulties to speak, and her mind works slower than it used to. But most of all, she’s frightened.
– Yes I´m scared. I get so afraid I cry. Often.
It´s worst in the night, she dreams about the war and about her mother. She is no longer with them. And the little girl was there when her mother was killed.
– I was next to her when it happened and every time I hear shooting I think about when my mother was killed.
Everyone here knows each other.
Everyone here have their traumas.
– I’m so upset that the Houthis kill children. It’s the Houthis who target children, it’s the Houthis who is the problem. If it was not for the Houthis, we would be safe, she says.
The Houthi militia is accused for most of the abuses in Taiz.
According to the Yemeni human rights organization Mwatana, the Houthis committed large numbers of artillery attacks against civilian targets, they have planted mines all over the city, and often it is the children who become the victims. And they have targeted civilians.
Mwatana can’t confirm that the rebels intended to shot children but the inhabitants here at the front line say there is no doubt. If you get exposed to the rebels line of fire, you will get shot.
There is a clear line of lush trees and shrubs between the government controlled areas of Taiz and the part controlled by the Houthis. The vegetation has spread in the no man’s land, where no human longer can enter.
On each side of the front lives ordinary families.
I can’t help wondering how it is to live here. On the front, always exposed to danger.
Life here in Taiz is a struggle.
All roads in and out except one is controlled by the Houthis, the city is more or less under siege.
Patients who live on the wrong side of the city are forced to take detours for hours and hours just for a treatment at the hospital. A journey that only would take a couple of minutes if it wasn’t for the front.
Everywhere in Taiz people carry their traumas. The war is constantly present here in the longest and bloodiest battle in Yemen. The people are the targets, the victims and the involuntary pawns in a war, long and ugly, that nobody seems how to end – by Johan-Mathias Sommarström
Film by Orla Guerin: https://twitter.com/OrlaGuerin/status/1361701955547103239
(** B P)
Why Do we Keep Misunderstanding Yemen: The importance of tribal identity
Walking through Yemen is like walking through history. The international community should recognise Yemen’s unique hybrid-sovereignty and the pivotal role that tribes play as autonomous units in collaborating with central government to maintain state stability.
Over the decade I spent working in tribal areas of Yemen and across the Horn of Africa, I achieved far more through an honour-based approach than a myriad of legal contracts ever could . Sitting in diwan to negotiate while sharing coffee or chewing qat, and giving my words upon shaking hands have often resulted in fewer difficulties with local communities.
However, the politicisation of the tribes during the second half of the 20th century through a system of patronage has added another level of complexity to Yemen society. Yemen is no longer simply tribal and religious, but also politic. A triptych that would see Yemen come to be known for its violence, conflicts and terrorism, rather than as a living historical treasure of human cooperation.
Peace is not a word that I would use to describe Yemeni society. Yemen has always been about balanced opposition between various actors, a ‘mizan’ or ‘equilibrium’ that is delicately maintained between competing powers . As such, peace in its traditional sense does not exist, with the tribes instead respecting a controlled, mediated and balanced opposition or “status quo”. This legacy of tribal behaviour and customary laws has allowed Yemeni to defend their lands and their communities. Since the 19th century, the interference of foreign powers (whom Yemeni have both collaborated with and opposed) has forced Yemen’s governments to integrate and adopt a Western political narrative to legitimate its position in the international system. A narrative, as discussed with many Yemeni since 2013, that is not entirely representative or perceived legitimate. Either because of opposed political ideology or, for many I discussed with, disrespectful and inconsiderate to Yemen identity .
Based on these elements, the idea that the current war in Yemen can only end through political process and agreement cannot be sustained. Furthermore, the promotion of a solely political approach to ending the war denies the complexities of cultural identities and powers. The current Yemen conflict is an example of the influence of the Western powers, where various international actors are focused on achieving “peace” through negotiations and political representatives. Such Western approaches cannot and should not be the only path to support Yemeni. It demonstrates a lack of understanding or consideration toward Yemeni identities, societies and powers. While political actors in Yemen must naturally be involved in negotiations for a truce and the cessation of hostilities, a solely political approach will not reconstruct Yemeni society nor the state. It is important to consider that Yemen, throughout its history, has maintained a hybrid-sovereignty, where tribal and state sovereignties coexist and mutually benefit one another.
Engaging and respecting the sovereignty and authority of local tribes and their Shaykhs is necessary for the economic development needed to de-escalate the war. Yemeni hybrid-sovereignty needs to be recognised and exercised.
Because it is the historical structure of Yemen, it seems to be important to recognise legitimate tribal authority’s vital role in supporting law, regulating behaviour and spurring economic development. Throughout history, no matter the regime, tribes and their customary law have endured. A tribal perspective and approach must be considered alongside a political approach if there is ever to be a cessation of hostilities in Yemen. The ability to view the war in Yemen through a tribal perspective rather than a solely political or religious approaches allows for creative solutions in conflict solving mechanisms. Furthermore, it allows the creation of a form of sovereignty adapted to Yemen rather than the sovereignty imported from a historical European experience – by Eric Jeunot
My comment: Interesting piece, but somewhat spoiled by anti-Houthi bias.
(** B P)
HOW TO WRITE ABOUT IRAN: A GUIDE FOR JOURNALISTS, ANALYSTS, AND POLICYMAKERS
Whether you are working from your DC office or your home in LA or New York, here’s all you need to know to become an expert on Iran.
- Always refer to Iran as the “Islamic Republic” and its government as “the regime” or, better yet, “the Mullahs.”
- Never refer to Iran’s foreign policy. The correct terminology is its “behavior.” When U.S. officials say Iran “must change its behavior” and “behave like a normal country,” write those quotes down word for word. Everyone knows that Iran is a delinquent kid that always instigates trouble and must be disciplined.
- Omit that Iran has a population of 80 million with half a dozen ethnicities, languages, and religions. Why complicate when you can do simple? Just write “Iranians” or “the Iranians.” They are all the same and consequently think alike – when they get to think, that is.
- To illustrate your article, pick a photo of brown, bearded men screaming with fists punching the air. An image of brown, bearded men setting a U.S. flag on fire with fists punching the air is also on point. A photo of brown, bearded men sitting crossed-legged on the floor of a mosque harboring their habitual anger just before they explode into raised fists punching the air is perfectly fine too.
- If your article is about Iran-U.S. relations and even if it is not, include a photo of a woman in a head-to-toe black chador walking past the famous anti-U.S. mural in Tehran. (Note: that go-to mural in downtown Tehran of the Statue of Liberty with a skull face set against the American flag has been painted over, but it can easily be found in online image archives.) Always include a picture of a woman in a black chador walking down the street so it’s clear that this is Iran where women are oppressed, voiceless, and invisible.
- For a business story, choose a photo of long queues at the gas station and a brown man filling his tank to show Iran is a dysfunctional country with a dysfunctional economy. Or one of Tehran’s busy Haft-e-Tir square to show Iran has roundabouts and shops while still being dysfunctional and chaotic. Remember the random woman walking by in a black chador? Make sure there is one somewhere in the photo.
- Go off the beaten track for book titles. Hidden Iran or Uncovering Iran are great choices. For an exotic touch, opt for Behind the Veil or Lifting the Veil. Consider Furious Turbans if you are discussing Iran’s regime, meaning the Mullahs. If it’s about Iranians revolting against the regime Rage Against the Veil is most appropriate. Insert words like “Revolutionary,” “Danger,” “Allah,” “Jihad,” “Atomic,” and “Terrorist” in titles and headlines as they capture the essence of Iran.
- If you travel to Iran, refer to yourself not as being “in” Iran but “inside” Iran. Be transparent about the risks you are taking to spend as many as five consecutive days in the Iranian capital. Start your dispatch with the queasy feeling that you — a white man — have upon landing in Tehran.
- When inside Iran, write about meeting key sources to shed light on the . […]
- Unlike the U.S., which wants the best for all the people in the world, Iran wants the worst for the entire universe itself included. To explain this, always cite comments from the Mullahs, the Revolutionary Guards, the Basij militiamen, all known as the hardliners. Avoid using terms like moderate, centrist, or reformist since all politicians in Iran are wolves, even if some occasionally appear dressed as sheep.
- Every time Iranians protest, underline that they are fighting to topple the regime and immediately predict that a revolution is underway. Remember to marvel at the fact that some of the protesters are female.
- Always put Iranian women in the spotlight, but only if they are dropping their veil. Iran has no female lawyers or activists, and women can’t care less about inheritance, marriage, and divorce laws or discrimination in the job market. Regularly remind your audience that Iranian women only ever have one goal: uncovering their hair.
- Remember Iranians don’t aspire to get a job, build a career, invest in a house, buy a car, raise kids or go on holidays. Make it clear that they are not affected one bit by the collapse of their national currency amid U.S. sanctions. Always mention that Iranians want democracy and freedom by any means possible, including having their nation bombed to salvation.
- As an Iran commentator, write confidently and on behalf of all Iranians, even if you have never been to Iran nor speak Persian. You are a bona fide Iran expert if you are white, male, and have an assistant who can tweet in Persian on your behalf.
- As an Iran expert, make sure to comment in black-and-white terms and stay on message when presented with contradictory facts. Always take straightforward, brazen stances because nuances only lead to questions and create unnecessary confusion for readers.
- Underline at every occasion possible how much you care about the well-being of Iranians and that devising a strict sanctions program to pulverize all sectors of their economy is undeniably for their own good. You know better than them, after all.
- Always insist that Iranians are partial to anyone who strangles their economy and bombs their country while citing verses of Persian poetry. After all, this is the day they have been dreaming of for decades: to be brought under the mothering wing of America as they laugh and brandish red roses in the air to the chants of “Freedom! Democracy! Equality! Poetry!” – by Ladane Nasseri
Comment: The sad thing is that the majority of articles in North American media about Iran follow these steps very closely.
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Stop Indulging ‘The Son King’
The embarrassing celebrations of the crown prince in the U.S. in particular should be a cautionary tale for the future.
The Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has engaged in several years of intensifying domestic repression and destructive recklessness abroad. In order to bolster his international standing and consolidate his power, he has also presented himself as a champion of social and economic reform.
Thanks in part to credulous Western admirers, the crown prince was for a time able to crack down brutally on domestic critics and potential rivals without alienating foreign businesses and governments. But his increasingly repressive de facto rule has spurred many Saudi citizens to flee into exile, where the growing diaspora speaks out against him and the abuses of the Saudi government. Thus, the crown prince’s repressive tactics have ultimately come back to bite him with his international supporters, and now Saudi Arabia finds itself more vulnerable to outside pressure and criticism than it has been for many years.
Madawi Al-Rasheed’s The Son King: Reform and Repression in Saudi Arabia is an excellent new account of these recent developments. Al-Rasheed recounts the experience of many members of this diaspora and places their opposition to the Saudi regime in the context of the history of the ruling family and the country. The book is an important witness to the crown prince’s thuggish abuses, and it provides a window into Saudi society and the diverse group of Saudi exiles that has spread out around the world to escape this government. Her account is also a scathing indictment of the Saudi regime under its current leadership, and she doesn’t hold back from offering withering criticism of the crown prince’s demagogic new nationalism and his use of sectarianism to promote the war on Yemen.
As more Saudis go into exile, the Saudi regime has become more intent on tracking, harassing, and attacking its own citizens abroad. The most famous example of this was the grisly murder of Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in October 2018
Like many other hybrid and authoritarian regimes around the world, the Saudi regime has been tightening its grip on political dissent and activism in the last decade. The regime has also promoted a new Saudi nationalism to mask the country’s religious and tribal divisions and to remake the country’s identity as it sees fit. Promoting nationalist sentiment has proved useful as a pretext for cracking down on dissent, and it is also used to bolster the crown prince’s domestic standing. In the context of Mohammed bin Salman’s destructive foreign policy, it has functioned as a means of rallying popular support behind attacking Yemen.
Al-Rasheed discusses the new Saudi nationalism at great length. She questions whether it can even really be called nationalism, because it is driven by the crown prince’s need to shore up his position:
The trend that many media reporters and analysts are referring to as a new Saudi nationalism may not be nationalism after all. What we are witnessing in Saudi Arabia is the systematic and aggressive efforts of a prince who was elevated to the highest position in the state, with no history of experience in government and at the expense of other more senior princes, to consolidate his power. A true nationalist movement would require more than rhetoric, thuggery, murder and readily available treason charges against critics.
Al-Rasheed draws a picture of a fairly brittle nationalist veneer, which the crown prince is using to conceal the internal problems of the country. She notes that the crown prince’s nationalist project is so anchored in the Najd region that it may lead to more instability, by provoking the creation of “counter-regional nationalisms” from other parts of the country. It is an open question whether the new nationalism will have staying power over the longer term, or if it will succumb to challenges from older claims of religious and tribal identity.
As Al-Rasheed shows, the Saudi regime also uses explicit sectarian appeals to justify the war in Yemen. She observes that the government still uses Wahhabism when it finds it convenient:
Today, the Wahhabi tradition exists in a contentious relationship with power. It is neither abandoned completely nor wholeheartedly endorsed. It is still invoked in specific contexts, for example the 2015 war on Yemen, in which Saudi-Wahhabi rhetoric resurfaced as a tool to demonize Zaydi Yemenis, or to mobilize Saudis against Shia activism and their alleged Iranian backers.
While Mohammed bin Salman played the moderate for Tom Friedman and feigned ignorance about what Wahhabism is in interviews with Western media, his government deliberately employs Wahhabist rhetoric as part of its wartime propaganda. With very few exceptions, the Saudi government’s use of sectarianism in selling the war has gone largely unnoticed in the West, just as the Saudi coalition’s war crimes in Yemen went unnoticed for such a long time. That is, until they became impossible to ignore.
Many in Western media, governments, and businesses uncritically embraced Mohammed bin Salman for years and helped to whitewash and cover up his power grabs and abuses of power. The crown prince’s apologists not only accepted that he was the visionary reformer that he claimed to be, but they refused to pay attention to the significant and growing body of evidence that contradicted this.
The credulity and indulgence of Western audiences were important assets for the crown prince as he set out to consolidate power, and he was able to rely on prominent pundits and politicians to make excuses for him to the rest of the world.
The fact that the Saudi government’s behavior at home and in the region was becoming objectively worse didn’t concern his Western fans, who had already bought into the model of the autocratic reformer. As Al-Rasheed puts it:
The so-called reforms of Muhammad bin Salman were accompanied by one of the worst and most brutal waves of domestic repression and by an erratic regional policy. His apologists in the West were driven by profit, the prospect of free access to the country and the prince, or by real financial rewards.
The embarrassing celebrations of the crown prince in the U.S. in particular should be a cautionary tale for the future. When there is a broad consensus among pundits and politicians that a foreign leader is a great “reformer” who will liberalize his country, we should be very wary of joining in the applause. Instead, we should look closely at the record of what that leader actually does. It is almost always the case that the feted would-be “reformer” is telling Western investors and analysts what they want to hear in exchange for glowing reviews of the new leadership. American observers seem particularly susceptible to falling for this trick, and that may help explain why our government so often throws its support behind the wrong people.
The U.S.-Saudi relationship is not the main topic of Al-Rasheed’s book, but our reassessment of the relationship should be informed by her analysis. If Mohammed bin Salman is likely to be king of Saudi Arabia for many decades to come, the U.S. needs to limit its exposure to his repressive and reckless behavior by reducing support for the Saudi government. The U.S. should be distancing itself as much as possible from this brittle regime before it embroils us in any more conflicts or implicates us in any more crimes – by Daniel Larison
cp1a Am wichtigsten: Coronavirus und Seuchen / Most important: Coronavirus and epidemics
3 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 1 recovery in Hadramout
Three new cases of COVID-19 reported in Hadramout
cp2 Allgemein / General
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Interactive Map of Yemen War
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Yemen War Map Updates
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Audio: Nasser Arrabyee on the Continued Suffering and Devastation in Yemen
Nasser Arrabyee discusses the heavy fighting going on outside of Ma’rib, the last stronghold of the Saudi-backed government in Yemen. The Houthi “rebels” are closing in on the city, says Arrabyee, and may capture it within a few days—doing so could give them the bargaining chip they need to finally negotiate an end to Saudi aggression against their country and their people. Arrabyee hails the recent announcement of an end to American support for Saudi “offensive operations” as very good news, but insists that the suffering will not end until the Saudi blockade is abolished. Most of the deaths in Yemen have not been due to direct fighting, but instead to starvation and easily-preventable illnesses like cholera. Hundreds of thousands of civilians, at least, have died from these factors—many of them children—and hundreds of thousands more are at risk for as long as the blockade continues.
Saudi ambassador attacks Houthi „coward“ combating acts
The Houthi recent military escalation and attacks on the Yemeni northeastern governorate of Marib are „terrorist coward acts,“ the Saudi ambassador to Yemen tweeted on Wednesday.
My comment: by a Saudi ambassador, this just is ridiculous.
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[Sanaa gov.] Supreme Council for Humanitarian Affairs: US-Saudi Mercenaries Use Civilians as Human Shields in MarIb
The Supreme Council for Humanitarian Affairs confirmed, Thursday, that the US-Saudi mercenaries are trying to use civilians as a pressure card in front of the international community and organizations with the aim of stopping the progress of the Army and Popular Committees.
The Supreme Council expressed its deep regret at the insistence of the Islah party and the coalition of aggression militias to use civilians as human shields in Mareb.
It held the coalition of aggression and its mercenaries responsible for harming civilians as a result of using human shields.
It called on the international community and human rights organizations to intervene to put an end to the practices of the US-Saudi aggression to spare civilians and displaced people the battles and not to entrench themselves behind them.
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Political Office of Ansarullah: Developments in Marib Faces International Cover to Make US-Saudi Aggression, Siege Continue
The Political office of Ansarullah considered, Thursday, the international positions regarding the developments in Marib as an international cover for the continuation of the US-Saudi aggression and siege.
The Political office confirmed in a statement that these international positions support the takfiri groups that are militarily involved with the invaders and occupiers.
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[Sanaa gov.] Minister of Interior Stresses on Protecting Citizens in Liberated Areas of Marib
The Minister of Interior, Major General Abdulkarim Al-Houthi directed, Thursday, to redouble security efforts in the liberated areas in the Marib governorate.
In a meeting with Interior Ministry leaders, he stressed on securing citizens, protecting their lives, preserving their property, spreading tranquility in the liberated areas, and confronting the plots of the aggression and its mercenaries.
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Yemeni group demands popular support amid decisive battle in Ma’rib against Saudi forces
A Yemeni group has called on people from all walks of life in the country to throw their weight behind the ongoing battle in the strategic central province of Ma’rib as Yemeni army and allied fighters from Popular Committees are pushing to drive out Saudi-led coalition forces and their mercenaries.
Houthi: Ma’rib battle is defense against incessant Saudi aggression, siege
A member of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council called the battle to liberate Ma’rib an act of defense against the relentless aggression of the Saudi-led coalition and its mercenaries, which began with an onslaught on Sana’a back in March 2015.
“Ever since they failed to overrun Nihm city east of Sana’a [in February 2017], their assaults have intensified and battles raged on, and now [the United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen Martin] Griffiths wants to stop the fighting and terms the latest development an attack on Mar’ib,” Mohammed Ali al-Houthi noted in a post published on his Twitter page.
He added, “The UN envoy knows that aggressors dismissed the seven-point Yemen peace plan [brokered by the United Nation during talks in the Omani capital Muscat back in October 2015] on the grounds that the Saudi-led coalition and its mercenaries were advancing in the battle for the capture of Sana’a.
“They did not agree to the cessation of airstrikes and removal of siege in exchange for us to stop our attacks.”
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Euro-Med Monitor And 33 [anti-Houthi] Yemeni Orgs Send An Urgent Appeal To EU On Marib Attack Risks
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor and 33 other Yemeni human rights organizations have sent an urgent letter to the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, calling for an urgent intervention to stop the dangerous humanitarian repercussions in Marib city northern Yemen, as result of the Houthi attack.
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Film: Yemen Policy under Biden: Opportunities and Challenges
Speakers at this webinar will provide an update on the situation in the country and its humanitarian conditions, analyze the framework and outlook for the ongoing peace talks, examine the impact and implications of US policy shifts under President Biden, and assess the prospects for ending the war in Yemen.
Speakers Abdulwahab Alkebsi, Managing Director for Programs, Center for International Private Enterprise; Nadwa Al-Dawsari, Non-Resident Scholar, Middle East Institute; Sama’a Al-Hamdani, Yemen Analyst and Media Commentator, Founder and Executive Director, Yemen Cultural Institute; Nabeel Khoury, Senior Nonresident Fellow, Atlantic Council, Former DCM, US Embassy in Sana’a (2004-2007); Summer Nasser Chief Executive Officer, Yemen Aid; Khalil E. Jahshan – Moderator Executive Director, Arab Center Washington DC
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Yemeni Humanitarian Crisis Demands Urgent Attention From Peace-Loving Countries And Organisations
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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Although the Houthis‘ offensive against Marib is alarming, military action clearly has not worked Saudi has to stop bombing so the Houthis can’t say they are fighting against a foreign foe.
referring to film (in Arabic): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-YS2MfVcoI
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Film: Can a Diplomatic Reset Change the Path of War in Yemen?
The result of their years of fighting has created the planet’s worst humanitarian disaster, with millions of Yemeni civilians deprived of safety, shelter and food. But last week, US President Joe Biden reset Washington’s role in Yemen, reversing a Trump era policy and blocking all further sales of US weapons to Saudi Arabia. He also removed the Houthis from the list of Designated Terrorist Organizations. But with Houthi rebels now advancing on the city of Marib, how far will any US efforts go to de-escalate the war?
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Audio: Jemen: haben die USA Einfluss auf die Kriegstreiber?
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Film: Biden’s Arms Sales Review: What’s Needed Next
Congressional and civil society leaders in examine how stopping arms transfers to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates could promote security in Yemen, and what else is needed to end the humanitarian crisis there. The panel will also tackle questions typically raised about other countries providing weapons to the region in the event of a reduction in U.S. transfers and the impact of arms sales on U.S. jobs and the economy.
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Film: Elisabeth Kendall in interview: War in Yemen: „I don’t think we can hope for peace negotiations soon“
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Children of Yemen
Yet, it is imperative that the world act. It is imperative that small children not be made to suffer for the follies of adults and leaders who determine what kind of lives they are to lead or what kind of deaths there are to face. Of course, Saudi Arabia and also Iran should take the lead in putting a stop to the war. Since this seems unlikely, other countries must pressurise them to act and to save Yemen.
The best way to influence people within the country is by offering them support rather than by killing them. Pakistan too must persuade other countries to do the same in the hope that better sense will prevail and countries will not allow the kind of agony they are seeing in Yemen to continue any longer.
Iran has role in resolving Yemen conflict, US special envoy says
Iran has an opportunity to help resolve the conflict in Yemen, said U.S. special envoy for Yemen Timothy Lenderking on Tuesday while calling for the Islamic Republic to “put its best foot forward” amid the Biden administration’s renewed push for diplomacy.
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Tawakkol Karman: Ending the Yemen War Requires U.S. Action
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakkol Karman says that the time has come to pressure Saudi Arabia and the UAE to withdraw from Yemen so that the country can resume to the peace process and restore a Yemeni state.
I think that the new administration might also reactivate the role of the UN to defend a serious and tangible solution to ending the war. I see a U.S.-led international mobilization to pressure warlords, their Saudi and Emirati leaders in the coalition, as well as the Houthi militias Sanaa’ to reach a solution – that is one of the most important steps to ending the war in Yemen. Now everyone knows what ambitions Saudi Arabi and the UAE have in Yemen: the continuation of the war so that the coalition can, through the blockade, destruction, and tutelage, remain in control in the situation. This, in and of itself, strengthens the Houthi’s position thanks to public and clandestine support from Iran. Saudi Arabia and Iran are controlling the war in Yemen to the extent that it aligns with their interests, which clearly do not include a limit to Yemen’s suffering or any consideration for Yemenis who might one day want to return home. On the note of destructive Saudi and Emirati policies, the coalition is overseeing another coup in Aden and in several governorates which they claim are liberated from Houthi control have been handed over to coalition-aligned militias, and are legitimizing their violence. The coalition has also prevented the president and the internationally recognized government from carrying out their objectives inside Yemen.
The end of the war for us means the return of Yemen and the unified federal Yemeni state. Just as we reject war, we refuse to accept a phony peace that legitimizes Saudi and Emirati hegemony or a Houthi coup. Neither represent peace, but rather a continuation war. The counterrevolutionaries, operating alongside Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, oppose these same ideals. After this Saudi war against our people, the agreed upon road map will be the complete transfer of power, a referendum on a new constitution, and the implementation of elections – by Tawakkol Karman
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Battle for Yemen’s Marib, explained
The Iran-backed Houthi assault on Marib not only threatens the UN-backed government’s last line of defense but also risks a dire humanitarian crisis.
In Yemen’s six-year-old war, Marib has been a refuge to hundreds of thousands of Yemenis fleeing the violence. The city is now under intense assault by Iran-backed Houthis – civilians in the city face a humanitarian catastrophe as the rebels intensify their assault.
The city is vital to both parties since it’s one of the few in Yemen with oil and gas production. The Houthis have been eyeing the area since they seized Sanaa in 2014 and overthrew the UN-recognised government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi the following year.
As the last line of defense for the government, around 80 percent of the population of the Marib governorate is made up of Sunnis, who are loyal to Saudi Arabia and the government.
Urging Houthis to de-escalate, the UN warns that it could put two million civilians at risk in the country, which the UN defines as the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.
More recently, Houthis have been targeting government-controlled displaced camps located in the east of Marib. Two of the four camps have now been completely evacuated.
According to the UN’s International Organisation for Migration (IOM), fighting has displaced 106,449 people in the country.
However, reacting to the assault almost a week after the decision to lift the designation on Houthis, the US called the rebels to cease operations if serious about a negotiated political solution.
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UN: Houthi attack on Marib may displace hundreds of thousands
The potential for a Houthi offensive poses a major test for the Biden administration.
Hundreds of thousands of people could be forced to flee their homes if Yemen’s Houthi rebels advance on the city of Marib, the United Nations’ top humanitarian aid official warned Tuesday.
The oil-rich city remains a sanctuary for some 2 million people in the country’s six-year civil war, but the northern Yemeni rebels are now threatening to assault the enclave.
An attack on the city would have “unimaginable humanitarian consequences,” said Martin Lowcock, the United Nations‘ under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator.
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Yemen: a war with no military solution … and perhaps no political solution either
Intensification of the conflict came after the Biden administration announced that the US will end support for the Saudis‘ military campaign in Yemen and is seeking to re-energise the stalled peace process.
As a consequence of that, the Houthis appear to be trying to strengthen their hand ahead of any moves towards a ceasefire. Marib province has oil and gas resources – which the Houthis don’t have – and capturing it would give them some economic leverage.
The Biden administration sees no military solution to the conflict but there’s no sign of a viable political solution either.
Yemen currently has two rival governments – an internationally recognised but largely ineffectual one in the south, and the unrecognised Houthi one in the north. For most practical purposes Yemen is now divided into two states, in line with the military dispositions.
Formalising that division as part of a peace settlement would amount to acceptance of the Houthis‘ seizure of territory by force, and the UN Security Council has previously expressed its „strong commitment“ to Yemen’s unity and territorial integrity (Resolution 2511).
Avoiding partition would require the Houthis to give up control of Sana’a and work with other political elements in a unified state, but at present there is no obvious reason why they would agree to that (see previous article).
One of those who doubt that Yemen can be reconstituted as a single country is Gregory Johnsen, a former member of the UN’s Panel of Experts. In a Twitter thread last week he predicted the internal conflict will get worse rather than better, at least initially:
„Once the Saudis start heading for the exits the coalition, which has already partially unravelled, will collapse. Different armed groups will scramble to sieze and hold as much territory as their guys with guns allow.
„The result will be a patchwork of warlords and armed groups who hold sway in different parts of the country. No one group will be strong enough to control all of Yemen and force the other armed groups to submit.
„Nor should anyone be under the impression that Yemen will return to the pre-1990 North and South division. There are simply too many different groups pursuing too many different agendas for a nice neat division.
„When Yemen breaks apart it will break into several different pieces. I count at least seven, although the reality will likely be far messier.“
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Now the hard part: Bad blood, proxy fighting, and factional jockeying in Yemen
However, it is important to note that while these moves are clearly positive developments in U.S. policy on Yemen, they do not mean that the six-year-old war will end overnight. Since its eruption in 2014, the Yemeni conflict has only become more complicated in various ways.
For one, the ongoing Yemeni conflict is no longer solely between the official government and the Ansar Allah movement, more commonly known as the Houthis.
The bad blood below the surface of the Yemeni conflict goes a long way back.
Today, not only have the geopolitics changed significantly since the 1960s, but they have also become far more complex. Even if the Saudis are willing to end their campaign in Yemen, they are unlikely to admit their defeat. Frankly, it is the Saudis who placed themselves in this deadlock. When they intervened in 2015, they assumed that they would crush the Houthis swiftly and easily. However, the facts on the ground proved them wrong.
The internal conflicts in Yemen must also be considered, including the conflict between the Yemeni government and the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council, or STC.
Time for alternative to UNSCR 2216?
Since its eruption, the tide of the war has significantly changed in favour of the Houthis. This raises the question of whether the Biden administration will seek to implement UNSCR 2216. The resolution was passed in April 2015 and officially recognizes Hadi as Yemen’s President while also demanding the Houthis to take several actions, including returning Sana’a, Yemen’s capital, to government control, ceasing to use the country as a base for attacking neighboring countries, and relinquishing control of all of their heavy weapons.
Yemen expert Helen Lackner told me:
“2216 is completely out of date and unable to address the current situation. Among useful initiatives of the Biden administration would be bringing to the UNSC a resolution which recognises the actual situation on the ground, namely the fact that the Houthis control 70 percent of the country’s population and have established an effective administration in the areas they rule. In addition, the Hadi government is not the only representative of the anti-Houthi movement; there are others, a range of southern separatists [not only the STC], Tareq Saleh’s forces, and many local regional powers. All these need to be included if they want the UNSC resolution to be a useful tool that can enable the U.N. to take a useful role in trying to solve the Yemeni crisis.”
Thus, while the Biden administration appears to be serious about ending the war in Yemen, Lenderking’s mission is not going to be an easy one.
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Confidential documents: Saudi Arabia-UAE buy international positions to support war on Yemen
Confidential documents reveal that Saudi Arabia and the UAE have spent millions of dollars on experts and research institutions to legalize their war on Yemen.
Documents published by the ” Hayrout” website show how Saudi Arabia and the UAE used scientists and experts to justify the war in Yemen and counter any rhetoric calling for an end to the war or seeking to uncover crimes resulting from the war and its dramatic consequences.
One of the documents showed a budget of $20 million for just one year, provided by the UAE to the Middle East Institute through the UAE realtor in the United States of America, Yusuf al-Otaiba, which has led the Institute over the past years to vigorously defend the war against Yemenis.
The documents also confirmed the involvement of the former US ambassador to Yemen, Gerald Feierstein during Aafsh regime, who is currently director of Gulf affairs in Middle East cuisine.
cp2a Saudische Blockade / Saudi blockade
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The US-led coalition is still detaining 14 oil ships till this moment although all ships had obtained UN entry permits! The detention period of the 1st ships reached 10 months leading to this US-made fuel crisis in #Yemen! (list of ships)
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Films: Only in Yemen, and due to the US blockade on #Yemen, ambulances need to be urgently rescued with fuel!
Tweets campaign to start tonight to reveal US role in holding oil ships
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This is just one of the US battleships taking part in the blockade on #Yemen & detention of oil ships! Are those battleships still in the Red Sea as an implementation of Biden’s peace calls or his decision to stop supporting war?
cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation
Siehe / Look at cp1
Film (English/German): Solar and wind powered desalination plants in Yemen
Solar- und windbetriebene Entsalzungsanlagen im Jemen
Durch die Klimakrise wird Wasserknappheit zu einem immer größeren Problem im Jemen. Das verbliebene Grundwasser ist häufig mit Salz verunreinigt. Oxfam hat innovative Entsalzungsanlagen gebaut, die per Solar- und Windenergie betrieben werden und die Menschen nun mit Trinkwasser versorgen
Photo: This is „Jana“ … A Yemeni child suffers from cancer and can’t get even the basic medical attention she badly needs
2020 YHF and CERF funding to Yemen (15 February 2020)
Thanks Allah & then to generosity of our donor, We distributed food baskets to 50 of the poorest families in Hodieddah, families of patients with kidney failure & blood fractures.
Also, On our way back to Sana’a, we distributed food packages to 10 poorest families, who are experiencing a heartbreaking tragedy. Your support will help us to get back to them, with food baskets for a larger group of these families. Plz #donate via link http://Chuffed.org/project/food-at/food-and-medicine-for-yemen… (photos)
@monarelief’s team was able to reach out yesterday 50 families with food aid baskets delivered in Sana’a governorate. This activity was funded by our partners in Poland @SzkolydlaPokoju. Thanks Polish people for your generosity & help since 2018 (photos)
cp4 Flüchtlinge / Refugees
Film: Best friends with big dreams in Yemen
Aisha and Na’aem are best friends living in Yemen’s Sahdad camp. They dream of one day supporting families like their own who have been forced to flee. At the International Rescue Committee, we’re proud to support girls like Aisha and Na’aem and their families with health services alongside EU Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid, so they can stay healthy and continue to pursue their dreams.
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IOM Yemen | Displacement in Marib | Flash Update | 17 February 2021
Since January 2020, fighting in Marib, Al Jawf and Sana’a governorates has led to mass displacement, forcing an estimated 16,201 families (113,407 people) to flee, mostly towards Marib city and surrounding districts. More than a year since the first wave of displacement, the situation has once again escalated with renewed fighting across parts of western, northern and southern Marib.
IOM and partners estimate that people in Sirwah district have been the most affected, and close to 1,000 households (HHs) have been confirmed as displaced from or within the district since 08 February 2021. The numbers are likely higher, and IOM displacement tracking and rapid response teams are in the process of tracking and registering new arrivals. People are fleeing areas where hostilities have spiked – particularly Dhanah Al Hayal, Dhanah Al Sawabin and Al Zour which host numerous displacement sites – moving mainly to Al Rawdah in Sirwah (676 HH), and some to Marib city (214 HH), as well as Marib Al Wadi (39 HH). Many were already living in displacement sites and are now being forced to move for the second or even third time. Four sites in Al Mustashfa, Dhanah Al Hayal,
Dhanah Al Sawabin and Al Zour have been almost emptied, as internally displaced persons (IDPs) sought safety further east, following at least three of those sites having been directly impacted by the fighting. Members of the surrounding host community in those areas have also become displaced.
Newly displaced people are facing very dire circumstances. IOM estimates that 40 per cent of the IDPs arriving in Marib city are settling in already crowded displacement sites. In the last year, 19 new sites were established to accommodate new arrivals. With this new wave of displacement, humanitarian gaps are widening, and local capacities are becoming stretched even further. IOM estimates that 60,000 litres of daily water and 527 water tanks are needed for displaced people arriving in Al Rawdah, Sirwah. Shelter, non-food items (NFIs) and protection needs are also estimated to be widespread. IOM has deployed teams to assess the needs and civilian impact of this escalation.
Should fighting continue, 385,000 people are estimated to move further into eastern Marib; already, Marib city is at capacity, receiving over 70 per cent of all people who were displaced in 2020.
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Houthi escalation in Marib displaces 1180 families, increases suffering
The Houthi militia’s escalating war in Marib has forcibly displaced 1180 fugitive families in the eastern Yemen province and the bordering areas of Sana’a in nine days, relevant sources said.
The Executive Unit for IDPs in Marib said 89% of these families were settled in Sorwah area in Marib and the rest were Marib’s Raghwan district and the bordering Sana’a district of Bani Dhabyan had to leave their camps under the increasing threats.
The Unit confirmed that Houthis had directly shelled IDP camps in Sorwah forcing people to displacement again
(A H K)
Photo: In Marib there are the largest camps for the displaced, and with the return of the fighting, there are many affected families who no longer find the basic necessities of life, and unfortunately there is a terrifying silence from everyone. Hundreds of families, most of them women and children, are sleeping in the open without food. Stories of the displaced have a graying head …
(A H K)
The #Houthi militias‘ offensive in #Marib is an imminent threat not only to the peace process but most importantly to more than 2 million #IDPs in Yemen. This community fled the brutality of the rebels to have a life, which is why Marib alone hosts 60% of #IDPs across Yemen
My comment: by an anti-Houthi propagandist; they obviously play the refugees card now. But obviously, fighting endangers those refugees.
Yemen: UNHCR Operational Update, 18 February 2021
Ongoing clashes in Marib governorate continue to force vulnerable Yemenis to flee their homes. During the reporting period, residents of Marib governorate experienced a significant increase in clashes between parties to the conflict. Over 100 military casualties have been reported on both sides, and many civilians are fleeing hostilities and clashes to seek shelter in other areas.
As per the latest data, during the month of January, more than 4,300 individuals (over 730 families) were forcibly displaced across the country.
As the conflict and deteriorating economic situation continue to hinder the protection environment for thousands of vulnerable displaced families in Yemen, UNHCR is reinforcing its cash assistance programme to target the most vulnerable displaced populations accross the country.
Beginning 14 February, UNHCR plans to provide cash assistance to more than 280,000 displaced Yemenis (some 48,000 families) and members of the host community in the month ahead. This assistance will allow families to meet their most urgent and essential needs, including food, shelter, and health services.
(A H K P)
[Hadi gov.] Trade Unions call for saving civilians and IDPs in Marib
(A H K pS)
#Marib is literally the last destination for almost 2 million displaced persons in over 136 camps. Those civilians fled #Houthis controlled areas to escape torture and other violations. These escalations must be stopped immediately and civilians must be protected (photos)
(A H K pS)
Houthis continue their attacks on Marib, they violate all rules by getting their armored vehicles of their fighters into the IDPs camps, which leaves the IDPs with no choice but to flee again to avoid a worst situation (photos)
cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis
Houthis suffer identity crisis after removal from US terrorism list
Senior leaders of the Houthi militants in Yemen are seeking to quell a morale crisis within the group’s ranks, after a decision by the US government to remove its terrorism designation sparked widespread disappointment and a sense of failure among loyal cadres.
“If everything we did so far isn’t terrorism, then what is terrorism?” he asked in a speech. “What are we? A gathering of jobless young men? Mercenaries? An archery club? We did not get into war or ally with Iran or help destroy the country just so we can be a political party with a military wing.”
“I don’t know what we did to Biden to treat us this unfairly,” he added.
He said the group may consider publishing its own videos showing the recruitment of child soldiers or violence against civilians in order to gain notoriety like other terror groups, such as ISIS.
“Is this our reward for not killing Americans or foreigners?” he asked. “I have followed in Hezbollah’s footsteps, down to the little facial expressions and movements of Hassan Nasrallah. How come they get to be terrorists and we do not?”
“Is our whole slogan, our raison d’etre, of ‘Death to America’ not good enough?” he added.
(A K P)
Film: Houthis holding intensive meetings these days w/ tribes undr their control asking them 2urge relatives who r n Marib fighting with gov forces 2withdraw frm fronts& return home. „2day Americans show up in Marib,so it’s a shame our brthrs fight w/ them“, says Houthi leader Qatinah
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‘The Smell of Death’: a report on appalling crimes and violations committed in Houthi-run Al Saleh Detention
Abductees Mothers’ Association, a Civil Society Organization based in Yemen, has revealed an appalling report spotlighting numerous documented violations committed against civilian abductees in Al Saleh Detention in Taiz province.
The report, entitled ‘The Smell of Death’, said about 7 abductees have died. Some of them died inside Al Saleh Detention due to being subject to torture, while others died days after being released with deteriorating health conditions.
“As many as 956 abductees have been held in Al Saleh Detention, 60 of them are children,” the report indicated, noting that 714 abductees have been subject to physical torture, while 860 endured beating and mistreatment.
The Association reiterated that it documented testimonies “with audio and videos” of released abductees whom the militia had physically tortured to get forced confessions out of them, as well as coercing them to sign statements on charges they did not commit.
The report showed testimonies of many released abductees and some relatives to those who died while in Al Saleh Detention, located in Al Howban area, west of Taiz province.
One mother said: “When I went to receive the dead body of my son, they took me to a court and made me sign on papers I had no clue what was written on them, for I am an illiterate woman. Then I went to get his body and saw signs of torture around his eyes and blood on his mouth.”
Nishwan Moqbel Saeed Saif, a car washer who was abducted by Houthis, recounted how he was abducted and tortured by Houthis.
“I was detained by the Houthi group for about a year and eight months. They detained me while I was heading to work,” 30-year-old Nishwan said.
He added that he was taken to Al Saleh Detention where he was locked in solitary confinement. According to Nishwan, he was accused of being an informer, an accusation proved to be baseless.
“During integration sessions, they blindfolded me and tortured me with electric shocks. They pulled out my fingernails and hit my body with a sharp tool. They tortured all over my body, even the private parts. It was so brutal that my testicles were swollen, so was my entire body,” the released abductee said.
(* B P)
Accused of spying for Israel, Yemeni Bahai opens up on Houthi abuse and life in exile
Nadim Sakkaf is one of 24 Yemeni Bahais accused of espionage in the latest case to silence a community
He is one of 24 Yemeni-Bahais accused of „espionage“ by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
It is a claim that rights groups and governments say is an orchestrated persecution of the religious minority, using fictitious allegations and inhumane detentions.
The Houthis are accusing the men, women and one minor who make up the list of 24 defendants of using their religious worship as a “guise” for malignant activities.
Mr Sakkaf and others who have been sent to Houthi jails say that intimidatory tactics such as throwing them in cells with ISIS and Al Qaeda members are regularly used.
The Houthi-run National Security Bureau’s charge sheet for the 24, seen by The National, accuses them of “operating for the Israelis as one cell“.
It is an accusation that the Bahais say has long been levelled against their community because the religion’s highest governing body, the Universal House of Justice, has long been based in Haifa, which is in present-day Israel.
Mr Sakkaf said he was repeatedly detained by the Houthis.
In 2016, they raided a workshop on social development and rounded up those taking part, among them his wife and sister-in-law.
“They called me and my brother to come so they could ‚ask us a few questions‘,“ Mr Sakkaf said.
„We knew there was a big possibility of us getting arrested too, but we went anyway, and sure enough, we were detained.”
Houthi interrogators accused him of being a spy for the British government because of his work. He was held after questioning.
„There were 42 of us in one cell, including eight or nine al Qaeda members,“ Mr Sakkaf said.
“They threatened us in prison and mentioned that if we were released they would come after us.”
While most of the people arrested in the 2016 raid were released within a few hours or days, he languished for months in a Houthi prison.
“Interrogation of the detainees was mainly about the allegations of the source of funding of Bahai activities from Israel and the proselytisation of youth at the event,” the office said.
It said the National Security extorted $14,000 from the families of Mr Sakkaf and his brother.
Months after his release, the Houthis went after his family home and the NGO’s offices, raiding and looting them, he says.
While Mr Sakkaf and his family are now safe in Europe, the trial against him and 23 others, including his wife, continues.
Al-Houthi: Biden’s Call to End War on Yemen Aims to Portray US As ‘Dove of Peace’
Member of the Supreme Political Council Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi mocked on Wednesday the statements of US President Joe Biden regarding his call to stop the war in Yemen and the media noise that accompanied it.
Al-Houthi considered Biden’s call to be insincere and not true, rather, to portray the US as a dove of peace.
Seventy recently freed Yemeni prisoners of war get married in mass ceremony
The Social Care Department of the Ministry of Defence, in cooperation with the Public Telecommunications Corporation, has organised its first collective wedding for 70 liberated prisoners of the army and the Popular Committees in the presence of Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a member of the Supreme Political Council.
At the wedding ceremony, al-Houthi congratulated the grooms, noting that the “homeland is in joy for the liberation of the prisoners and their safe homecoming.
He praised the steadfastness of the released prisoners and the exploits they made while defending the homeland on various fronts, as well as resisting the torture techniques used against them in the enemy’s prisons.
My comment: Marriages without women are really fascinating (I would prefer to get married to a woman, anyway).
Yemen: UK Arms Used by Persian Gulf Regimes Deadlier Than COVID-19
A member of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council slammed Britain’s hypocrisy after it called for ceasefires to enable COVID-19 vaccinations in conflict zones, urging the UK to halt the export of arms that are killing more Yemenis than the coronavirus pandemic.
“We call on Britain to stop sending the virus of weapons to the Persian Gulf countries, which are being used in the aggression against Yemen,” Mohammed Ali al-Houthi tweeted on Wednesday, presstv reported.
“Stop these viruses (weapons), which are deadlier than the coronavirus, because these weapons kill the Yemeni people and equip the aggressors’ allied terrorist groups with modern weapons,” he added.
Head of the National Reconciliation Committee: Islah Party Seized Marib 6 Years Ago to Plunder Its Oil and Gas
The head of the National Reconciliation Committee, Yousef Al-Faishi, said Wednesday, that the Islah Party seized Marib 6 years ago to plunder its oil and gas, which is the property of all Yemenis.
Al-Faishi confirmed that the mercenaries these days are desperate for stopping the battle in Marib.
Commenting on the appointment of a special US envoy to Yemen, he wondered, „Since when did they begin to care about Yemen, human rights, and they were the ones who killed children and women for 6 years?“
He pointed out that „the most heinous massacres were in during the American Democratic Party, and war was declared against us during their rule.“
He said, „The Americans have reversed their decision because they discovered that it is against the whole Yemeni people.“
(A K P)
11 deceived soldiers, officers join national army
My remark: = defectors from anti-Houthi forces.
cp6 Südjemen und Hadi-Regierung / Southern Yemen and Hadi-government
Yemeni FM calls UNSC to end Houthi escalation in Marib
The Yemeni Foreign Minister on Wednesday called on the UN Security Council to take measures putting an end to the Houthi escalation in the northeastern governorate of Marib, as the Iranian-backed group fires ballistic missiles at residential areas and attacks Saudi lands with drones and missiles.
„What the Houthi militia does is clear message that it’s not concerned of peace,“ FM Ahmed Bin Mubarak told the Russian ambassador to Yemen, Vladimir Dedushkin, at meeting in Riyadh.
This „requires maximum pressures to be exerted on the group to stop its aggressions and positively deal with peace efforts,“ he added, according to the Riyadh-based Saba.
Festival in the #Marib’s park an hour ago, but it is hell in the battlefronts around (film, photos)
Yemeni politician: UAE control of Yemeni islands and ports is security threat to entire region
A continued UAE control of Yemeni ports and islands would be a security threat to the entire region, southern Yemeni politician politician Ali Hussein al-Bujairi has stated.
In a message, al-Bujairi said that “the control over Yemeni ports, islands and airports by the UAE (…)is a step of conspiracy against some Gulf countries.”
cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks
(* A P)
UN-Gesandter: Angriff der Huthi-Rebellen auf Marib „muss enden“
Der UN-Gesandte für den Jemen, Martin Griffiths, hat die Huthi-Rebellen dazu aufgerufen, ihren Angriff auf die Stadt Marib im Norden des Landes zu stoppen. Der Angriff müsse „enden“, sagte Griffiths am Donnerstag bei einer Videokonferenz des UN-Sicherheitsrats. Durch den Angriff auf Marib seien „Millionen Zivilisten in Gefahr“. Der Versuch, Geländegewinne zu erzielen, gefährde die Aussicht auf einen Friedensprozess.
Damit den Verhandlungen über die Zukunft des Landes wieder Raum gegeben werde, müssten die Konfliktparteien „sofort einem Waffenstillstand zustimmen“, forderte der UN-Gesandte. Es sei nicht möglich, die Konfliktparteien von außen zu einem Frieden zu zwingen.
(* A P)
Political Will, Inclusive Dialogue Key to Ending Conflict in Yemen, Special Envoy Tells Security Council
While fresh violence and a worsening humanitarian situation continues to unfold in Yemen, international efforts to work towards peace are finding fragile inroads, briefers told the Security Council during a videoconference meeting today.
Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, said the situation has taken a sharp escalatory turn with Ansar Allah’s most recent offensive on Marib Governorate. Reiterating repeated calls that the attack on Marib must stop, he said it puts millions of civilians at risk, especially with the fighting reaching camps for internally displaced persons. Indeed, the quest for territorial gain by force threatens the prospects of the peace process at a time of worsening conditions, looming famine, fuel shortages and other grave challenges. Although the situation on the ground is deteriorating, an encouraging report reflects a renewed international momentum behind finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Welcoming the United States renewed focus on this conflict, he said international support is indispensable, and offers a new opportunity to reopen space for a negotiated solution.
“There is a negotiated way out of this conflict, but, in any negotiation, the parties need to know where they are going; they need to clearly see the end‑state,” he said, highlighting elements of a mutually acceptable end to the war and a path towards peace. This includes peaceful political participation, accountable governance, equal citizenship and economic justice. The only way to realize these aspirations of the people is through a genuinely inclusive, Yemeni‑led political process under United Nations auspices and supported by the international community. Through such a political process, Yemenis could negotiate an agreement to end the conflict and bring about sustainable peace. Such a time-bound agreement should ensure a complete end to the use of violence for political gain and culminating with national elections. During the period of transition, Yemen’s unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity must be respected. The Yemeni people will need guarantees for equal citizenship under the law, including for women and girls, and of humanitarian relief, reconstruction, transitional justice and economic recovery.
None of these elements of an agreement are new, he said, stressing that, to seize this chance to revitalize the political process, the parties should immediately agree to a ceasefire and agree to economic and humanitarian measures, at a minimum to include ensuring the unhindered flow of commodities through Hudaydah ports, with port revenues put towards civil servant salaries and opening Sana’a airport to commercial traffic. These measures should maximize humanitarian objectives, while providing appropriate security guarantees in line with Security Council resolutions. Now is decision time, he said, noting that the ceasefire, Hudaydah ports and Sana’a airport have long been under negotiation, and mechanisms can be agreed upon. What is needed is political will to end the conflict. An agreement on these issues would offer Yemenis a break from relentless cycles of violence, facilitate movement of people and goods and could create a conducive environment for the parties move to the real issue at hand — inclusive talks to end the war. The political process would need to resume promptly. A nationwide ceasefire will not be sustainable if it is not tied to progress on the political track.
Emphasizing what is at stake, he said the military situation is extremely tense, with civilians bearing the brunt of the hostilities in addition to shocking violations of international humanitarian law, worrying spikes of violence and hostilities continue in Hudaydah and Taïz Governorates and alarming cross-border attacks. However, the negotiating table can produce win-win results, he said, recalling that the parties successfully negotiated a large-scale release of prisoners and detainees in 2020. F
Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, outlined a five-point action plan to avoid famine in Yemen, describing measures related to protection of civilians, humanitarian access, funding for the aid operation, support for the economy and progress towards peace. “Yemen is speeding towards the worst famine the world has seen in decades,” he warned, noting that data released last week confirm, yet again, that time is running out. Malnutrition rates are at record highs. About 400,000 children under the age of five are severely malnourished across the country. “These are the children with distended bellies, emaciated limbs and blank stares — starving to death,” he said, adding that, across Yemen, more than 16 million people are going hungry, including 5 million who are just one step away from famine. Welcoming the 12 February decision of the United States to reverse its designation of Ansar Allah as a foreign terrorist organization under its domestic law, Mr. Lowcock underscored Washington, D.C.’s, intention to prioritize diplomacy to end the war in Yemen and deal with the humanitarian crisis.
He went on to stress the importance of protecting civilians, expressing concern about fighting in Marib, which had been relatively safe until recently. Since 2015, about 1 million people have fled to the area to get away from the war in other areas. Shelling now threatens to send hundreds of thousands of people again running for their lives at a time when everyone should be doing everything possible to stop famine. International humanitarian law requires all parties to take constant care to spare civilians and civilian objects throughout military operations. Delivering aid in Yemen is still much harder than it should be. In the country’s south, challenges mainly include delays in signing project agreements or releasing equipment. These challenges limit agencies’ efforts to expand their operations in the south. In the north, the problems remain more severe. Ansar Allah authorities regularly delay routine processes, attempt to interfere with aid delivery and harass aid agencies and staff. This is unacceptable, he said. In 2020, aid agencies helped more than 10 million people a month, working in every one of Yemen’s 333 districts. That is no small feat. On the Safer tanker issue, Ansar Allah authorities recently announced plans to “review” their approval for the long-planned mission and advised the United Nations to pause some preparations. They have now dropped this review. It is now difficult to say when exactly the mission might go.
In 2020, the aid operation received $1.9 billion, or about half of what was needed, he said. That forced cuts of many programmes that millions of people need. The United Nations response plan in 2021 will need about $4 billion, which is on par with what was asked for in 2019.
In the ensuing discussion, Council members shared grave concerns about the blanket of humanitarian suffering affecting much of Yemen’s population, imminent famine, starvation and chronic violence. Many called on the Security Council to shoulder its responsibility to act and for stakeholders to work towards a ceasefire. Several speakers commended the United States for revoking its designation of Ansar Allah as a terrorist organization. Several delegates called on Yemeni authorities to work towards ensuring safe aid deliveries and support, opening ports and airports and granting a United Nations team access to the Safer oil tanker to avoid a possible environmental disaster. Many reiterated that a political solution is the only way to end the conflict and suffering. [all delegates’ statements. incöluding Yemen’s Hadi government, telling what it always tells: Blame to the Houthis]
and a somewhat shorter UN report: https://www.un.org/press/en/2021/sc14439.doc.htm
Griffiths’ briefing in full: https://osesgy.unmissions.org/briefing-united-nations-security-council
Griffiths’ main points: https://twitter.com/OSE_Yemen/status/1362421362934099968
Comment: UN Envoy to Yemen says Ansarullah’s offensive on Marib „must stop.“ As an oberserver, this message should be sent to the Saudi-led coalition to stop the war on Yemen so political negotiations can resume. It’s not UN’s mention to say 1 party should stop attacking the other. PERIOD
(* A P)
Ensure Accountability for Yemen at the UN Security Council
We, the undersigned organizations, are writing to make an urgent appeal to you as members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to begin paving the way towards justice for Yemen. The UNSC should immediately pursue concrete steps to advance a holistic and credible accountability and redress strategy for Yemen by implementing the UN Human Rights Council Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen’s (GEE) recommendations to bring perpetrators of international crimes to justice and protect victims’ right to a remedy (including reparations), and by implementing the UNSC Sanctions Committee Panel of Experts on Yemen’s (POE) recommendations to address the impunity driving the deterioration of the country’s conflict and humanitarian situation.
In their latest report, the GEE underscored that the international community can and should do more to bridge what it described as “the acute accountability gap” in Yemen. In addition to referring Yemen to the ICC and expanding the list of persons subject to UNSC sanctions, the GEE recommended the establishment of an independent investigative body for Yemen similar to the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism assisting the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for the most serious crimes under international law committed in Syria since 2011. The GEE also recommended third countries to collaborate and undertake universal jurisdiction prosecutions where appropriate. In the longer term, the GEE encouraged “further dialogue about the creation of a special tribunal, such as a hybrid tribunal to prosecute cases of those most responsible.” The GEE reiterated the importance of victims’ right to remedy, including reparations, and called for human rights to be “at the heart of any future peace negotiations” so that no steps are taken to undermine respect for human rights and accountability, such as “granting blanket amnesties.”
The latest POE report stated that “continuous and widespread human rights and international humanitarian law violations, with impunity” is one of three factors contributing to the catastrophe in Yemen
My comment: Keep in mind that a great part of the main perpetrators is outside Yemen, starting with Barack Obama, not ending with Boris Johnson.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed David Gressly of the United States as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in #Yemen, with the host Government’s approval. Mr. Gressly will also serve as Humanitarian Coordinator.
Mr. Gressly brings to the role more than 40 years of international experience in peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and development, including a wealth of humanitarian leadership and extensive political and security knowledge in complex emergencies and conflict situations. At the United Nations, he held several leadership positions, including, most recently, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Protection and Operations with the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia
Siehe / Look at cp1
(** B P)
Saudi Arabia: Further Textbook Reforms Needed
Disparaging References to Shia, Sufi Practices Remain Despite Progress
Saudi Arabia has taken important steps to purge its school religion textbooks of hateful and intolerant language, but the current texts maintain language that disparages practices associated with religious minorities, Human Rights Watch said today.
A comprehensive Human Rights Watch review of Education Ministry-produced textbooks for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years found that some practices associated with the Shia and Sufi Islamic traditions remain stigmatized as un-Islamic and prohibited. The curriculum, entitled Monotheism (Tawhid), is a mandatory subject for the primary, middle, and secondary education levels. Human Rights Watch did not review additional religion texts dealing with Islamic law, Islamic culture, Islamic commentary, or Qur’an recitation.
“Saudi Arabia’s glacial progress on textbook reform appears to have finally picked up steam in recent years,” said Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “But as long as the texts continue to disparage religious beliefs and practices of minority groups, including those of fellow Saudi citizens, it will contribute to the culture of discrimination that these groups face.”
These textbooks were cross-checked between the different websites to ensure their authenticity. Only the first semester of the 2020-2021 curriculum was available online at the time of the review. The 2019-2020 curriculum was used in reviewing the second semester textbooks.
Between 2017 and 2020, the Education Ministry made numerous changes to the texts in response to years of criticism by US authorities, including a draft law circulated in the US Congress that would require the secretary of state to report annually to Congress about whether Saudi Arabia had removed “intolerant” content from its textbooks.
These changes, however, have been mostly limited to how other religions or groups are presented in the textbooks, including eliminating hateful reference to Christians, Jews, and LGBT people, as well as removing violent and anti-Semitic language. IMPACT-se, an Israeli organization monitors cultural tolerance in schools globally, also reviewed the newest available editions of the texts and noted that even though some problematic references remain, the removal of many examples is “a significant improvement and an encouraging development, understood as representing a step toward moderation.”
More explicit references that targeted Shia Islam have been minimized, but much of the implicit language remains. For example, the textbooks continue to label some practices and traditions associated with Shia and Sufi Islam as evidence of polytheism (shirk), which is penalized by cancellation of a person’s good deeds, God’s rejection of their repentance, and eternal damnation, the fourth-grade (age 9) second semester book says. The new textbooks now refer to those who perform these practices explicitly as polytheists (mushreekin), instead of the former label of unbelievers (kuffar). That term is now used explicitly in the textbooks for non-believers.
Practices that qualify as polytheism (shirk) include visiting graves of prominent religious figures, and the act of intercession (tawassul), by which Shia and Sufis supplicate to God via intermediaries. The text condemns “supplication,” a thinly veiled reference to the Shia practice of intercession (tawassul), including supplication to “the righteous,” “the dead,” or at “graves” and “shrines.” For example, the fourth grade second semester book cites several examples of polytheism (shirk), the first of which is supplication to the dead (see figure below).
The textbooks label certain practices as “illicit innovations” (bida’), which the authors consider a form of polytheism (shirk). These include performing a pilgrimage or kneeling to anyone other than God, andbuilding mosques and shrines on top of graves clear examples of Shia/Sufi practices. The second semester of the seventh-grade (age 12) textbook includes an entire lesson on why visiting graves is considered polytheism (shirk) and says that a curse will fall upon those who treat graves like mosques (see graphic below).
The practice of wailing over the dead is labelled in the textbooks as a form of blasphemy in the first semester sixth-grade textbook. Wailing is closely associated with Shia flagellation and mourning rituals around the commemoration of the martyrdom of Hussein known as Ashoura during the first month of the Islamic calendar.
The religion textbooks also continue to identify themselves with Sunni Islam (Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jam’a). In 2017, Human Rights Watch noted a reference in the first textbook of the secondary level curriculum (age 15) that contended that Sunni Islam has received the “best” of that afforded to the nation of the prophet Mohammad, because “they represent the true Islam, both in theory and practice.” This statement is still included in the latest reviewed version of the texts (see figure below).
Moreover, the texts warn against the “exaggeration” (al-ghulu fi) with regards to members of the prophet’s family, which would be considered a form of polytheism (shirk). This is a direct reference to the Shia belief that the prophet’s cousin and son-in-law, Ali, and his grandsons Hassan and Hussein are sacred.
A Saudi lawyer from the Shia-majority Eastern Province told Human Rights Watch that all Muslims in Saudi Arabia, regardless of their denomination, are required to use this curriculum even if they find it personally offensive. Any signs of protest lead to a reduction of the student’s grades. Additionally, the lawyer said that the propagation of the idea that Shia and Sufi Muslims are polytheists (mushreekin) could make them vulnerable to harassment or even violence.
“Saudi Arabia has made progress but it is not time to declare victory on textbook reform”, Page said. “As long as disparaging references to religious minorities remain in the text it will continue to stoke controversy and condemnation.”
Saudi Arabia arrests female scholar for teaching Qur’an at home
The authorities in Saudi Arabia have arrested well-known scholar Aisha Al-Muhajiri, reportedly because she has continued to preach and teach the Qur’an at her home in the holy city of Makkah. The 65 year old was said to have been arrested by „20 members of the Saudi intelligence service.“
According to Prisoners of Conscience, which reports on the Saudi government’s arrest and repression of activists and public figures, two other women were arrested alongside Al-Muhajiri. „One of the two women is 80 years old, while the family of the other woman refused to reveal any information about her,“ the group said.
Following their arrests, it was reported that anyone who asks about the detentions or charges also face arrest, including Al-Muhajiri’s own children. „We confirm that the sons of the preacher Aisha Al-Muhajiri were threatened with detention when they asked about her after she was arrested,“ said Prisoners of Conscience. The authorities are reported to have said, „We will arrest anyone asking about her.“
Fortsetzung / Sequel: cp9 – cp19
Vorige / Previous:
Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 1-718 / Yemen War Mosaic 1-718:
Der saudische Luftkrieg im Bild / Saudi aerial war images:
(18 +, Nichts für Sensible!) / (18 +; Graphic!)
Liste aller Luftangriffe / and list of all air raids:
Untersuchung ausgewählter Luftangriffe durch Bellingcat / Bellingcat investigations of selected air raids:
Untersuchungen von Angriffen, hunderte von Filmen / Investigations of attacks, hundreds of films: