Citizens International Chairman S. M Mohamed Idris urged the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia unless it lifts the blockade of Yemen, which has produced a humanitarian disaster there
This statement is in line with the growing dismal condition in Yemen as described by various sources.
New York Times, on its 21st of November edition, has reported that a prolonged closure of key ports in Yemen “risks an unprecedented deterioration in food security”. This has been sourced directly from Famine Early Warnings System (FEWS), which is an American agency responsible for monitoring famine situation around the world.
UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported the Yemen conflict has left 18.8 million or 69% of the population to be in need of some kind of humanitarian assistance. About 3.3 million children and pregnant or breastfeeding women are acutely malnourished, including 462,000 children under five who face acute malnutrition. That represents a 57% increase since late 2015 and threatens the lives and life-long prospects of those affected. Similarly, the World Food Programme has classified seven of Yemen’s 22 provinces as being at “emergency” level – one step below famine on the five-point Integrated Food Security Phase Classification scale. Ten provinces are at “crisis” level.
There is no doubt the humanitarian crisis in Yemen is largely caused by the two-year senseless conflict.
In the process, thousands of bombs have been dropped; many have hit and killed civilians. According to research, out of about 8,600 of those attacks, 3,577 hit military sites, and 1,510 struck residential areas, school buildings, hospitals and other civilian sites. While another assessment from the United Nations described at least 10,000 Yemenis have been killed in the violence and 40,000 more have been injured.
With such a backdrop of bloodbath and extensive sufferings, we believe the situation in Yemen can’t be ignored nor taken lightly. There is an urgent need to search into our conscience on this increasingly grave matter and take effective action to stop it.
On numerous occasion, Citizens International have written to the UN Sec Gen and other UN-affiliated agencies stressing that, despite the well-touted “complex faction war” in Yemen, it is undeniable that Saudi Arabia has been the main antagonist in not only compounding the bloody conflict but also been playing an active role in blocking humanitarian assistance to Yemen. To put it bluntly, Saudi Arabia has been playing a dirty game in the region at whatever cost it takes to secure its geopolitical interest.
This can’t be tolerated. Hence the United Nations Secretary-General must be quick in recognising this reality and based on this fact, take appropriate action against Saudi Arabia to stop its genocidal war against Yemen.