Yemen: Why the Silence?

2015-09-22 18:03

According to news reports the so called Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, has ordered massive pay-outs to the families of those killed and injured in the recent crane crash tragedy.

Taking the above excellent and kind gesture as a precedent one wonders if the Saudi Monarch will also pay compensation to the victims of the Saudi - led killings and destruction in Yemen?

Ruthless and indiscriminate military strikes has created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis which the United Nations (UN) has described as “maximum humanitarian alert”.

The Saudi-led attacks in Yemen have created catastrophic conditions in the country and destruction which can only compare to the devastation of years of civil war in Syria and Afghanistan.

To quote the head of the international Red Cross, Peter Maurer who witnessed the destruction first hand: “Yemen after five months looks like Syria after five years”.

According to the latest UN figures offered to the Security Council, four out of five people or 21 million need urgent humanitarian aid, as more than 1.5 million people have been displaced and over 1,900 people have been killed since March.

Moreover, ancient settlements, centuries-old heritage sites and historic memories, described as the ‘jewels’ of Islamic culture in Sanaa, are being irreparably ruined and destroyed by the bombings.

So far, this war has not achieved any of its stated objectives and it’s time to bring the warring parties to the negotiating table.

Before the current conflict, Yemen was already the poorest country in the Middle East. By escalating the violence it is making an already dire humanitarian situation much worse. The conflict must stop in order to save lives.

To quote Donatella Rovera, Amnesty’s senior crisis adviser: “All the parties to this conflict have displayed a ruthless and wanton disregard for the safety of civilians.”

It is critical that global leaders push for an immediate and permanent ceasefire and do all they can for the people in Yemen.

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