Conflict Opinion

Yemen: Where Blood Is More Available Than Drinking Water

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We no longer understand what is going on around us: assassinations, bombings, shelling, killings, kidnapping, poverty, and death. This is all that is currently available in the Yemeni land and nothing else. Corruption is still as bad as ever and the black market is benefiting a certain group of individuals who are no longer trying to hide what they are doing. Exploiting the dire need of people as if to say: what can you do about it?

Vulnerable people are the most affected by the war. They are humiliated, starved and displaced. Before, they were stable with dignity. Now they are abandoned by everyone. No one pays attention to their pains: not President Hadi and the government of Bahah (which has lost connection with people), nor the criminal, former President Salah and Houthis rebels on the ground authority in the capital city of Sana’a.

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Only innocent people pay the price for a war they did not want: it has been forced on them and they have lost their homes and their families. Their homeland has become so unsafe that they cannot even find a small area of refuge. We have a government that does not know what it means for hundreds and thousands of people to die in horrific massacres while the government practices its usual suspicious stillness. Our politicians are willing to cross the bodies of martyrs on their way to shake hands with the murderers. Men choose their own destinies and our grandchildren will read in history books about the current politicians of Yemen and how they let down the innocents in Taiz city when they needed them most…

Journalist Jamela died, the Governor of Aden, General Jaafar Mohamed Saad, was murdered and there are many people falling daily and silently and we do not know anything of why and how they died. Blood is becoming more frequently available than drinking water. Thousands of tragedies as well as wretched and painful stories. People are dreaming of a small house, a roof over their heads, clean food not stained with blood and a little water regardless of whether pure or contaminated.

People in some areas where the Houthis’ militia are trying to impose their control, did not carry weapons out of joy and pride but were forced to do so to face invaders coming from caves after the formal army disbanded into militias, as is the case in Taiz city for example. They carried the weapons, not to show off, but as a last resort and as duty in light of extraordinarily difficult circumstances. To avoid this culture of humiliation, subjugation, and subordination that is practiced by the Houthis using the criminal methods of former President Salah.

Houthi followers rally against Saudi-led air strikes in Sanaa
Saleh and Houthis’ criminal militia are besieging my city and killing women and children. Denying them water, medicine, food, and even oxygen tanks, trying to convince us that the enemy is the other party. In Taiz alone, hardly a day goes by without a collective massacre of civilians. According to statistics, the number of dead and wounded civilians moves up every day without a clear end point.

Former President Salah’s dissident forces and the Houthis militia have committed horrific crimes and serious human rights violations against the city of Taiz and its people, especially targeting of civilian neighbourhoods, markets, hospitals and health facilities,; as well as the continuation of the blockade and collective punishment. The world must stop these practices and seriously punish the perpetrators. Those crimes have no statute of limitations as they are in violation of the rules of international humanitarian law and all human rights conventions. We do not find any condemnation, and it is shocking to witness the Arab and international communities’ silence toward the suffering of Yemen’s civilian population, especially when children and women are killed, harassed and starved.

The continuation of the blockade imposed on the civilian population and systematic bombing against civilian neighbourhoods on top of the poor health and nutritional situation in Taiz city that is leading to a disaster that will be difficult to correct and its harm will reach all unless there are serious steps on the ground to save the city and its inhabitants through the lifting of the blockade and stop the ongoing killings of the civilian population.

A malnourished child is seen at a therapeutic feeding centre at al-Sabyeen hospital in Sanaa April 15, 2013. REUTERS/Mohammed al-Sayaghi

A malnourished child is seen at a therapeutic feeding centre at al-Sabyeen hospital in Sanaa April 15, 2013. REUTERS/Mohammed al-Sayaghi

 

The international media, when covering the events in Yemen, describes the situation as ‘disorderly’ and ‘a conflict between two parties’, and neglect the main factor which is causing the suffering of people: the aggression of Salah and Houthis militias against the civilians. There is a severe blackout on most of the Yemen’s news channels, particularly in the city of Taiz, while rebels continue their aggression against innocent residents for more than a year, causing increased suffering of civilians.

They keep doing what they are doing knowing that whatever they do, there will be a settlement deal and they will still get paid and gain money and control, in spite of the victims and in confidence that there will be no accountability. Meanwhile, innocent blood continues to be spilled, with no action from the international communities. A catastrophe is unfolding and we are forced to be part of it.

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