INTERNATIONAL human rights organisations such as the United Nations Children’s Fund and the British Save the Children fund say that every ten minutes a child dies in Yemen, what’s even worse — he would die from a curable disease. Every 35 seconds yet another child would get infected with cholera in this war-torn country. Child mortality rates accompanied by the cholera epidemic that has reached catastrophic proportions are only a tip of the iceberg of the humanitarian catastrophe that unravels in Yemen as a result of foreign invasion. However, western media and politicians remain deaf, dumb and blind, being more that willing to turn a blind eye to the catastrophe of tragic proportions that we witness in Yemen. As we see a stream of new reports of civilians dying from by the hands of Saudi soldiers equipped with all sorts of US and UK produced weapons, we are forced to admit that Yemen has been transformed in a zone of perpetual genocide.
It’s all started back in March 2015, when Saudi Arabia, while enjoying full support of the United States and Britain, without any sort of approval issued by the UN Security Council unleashed an armed aggression against Yemen, thus acting as boldly and blatantly as only Washington would dare before.
To make this dirty war even worse, Saudi Arabia introduced an economic blockade against Yemen, thus inflicting unspeakable suffering upon the peaceful population of Yemen. That is why, on top of the massive casualties inflicted upon the local population through the use of all sorts of weapons, Riyadh should be held responsible for tens of thousands of civilian deaths caused by malnutrition. However, for the western community the massive civilian death toll is but a side effect of the so-called ‘war on Terror’. Because of the outrageous actions of the so-called international coalition, World Health Organisation has been unable to deliver a total of 500,000 vaccines against cholera to Yemen, although these drugs could have saved the lives of thousands of civilians.
Over the course of war more than 3 million Yemenis left the country, at least 13 thousand civilians were killed according to official reports, while the unofficial death toll is believed to reach than 30,000 people. A total of two million children are unable to attend school, while almost 15 million people are deprived from access to basic medical care and the prescribed drugs some of them urgently need.
Last October alone, 114 people (according to some reports, 140 people) died as a result of an air raid against a funeral procession in Sana’a, while another 600 were injured. However, the Saudi bombardments of markets and refugee camps in Yemen occur almost daily, which means that it’s impossible to track the mounting death toll accurately.
In spite of the repeated statements of UN experts that Saudi Arabia has been violating international law, the so-called ‘democratic’ international community is reluctant put an end to this lawlessness.
As a result of the constant raids carried out by Saudi forces against Yemen, schools, hospitals and other vital civil infrastructure objects lay in ruin. Electricity supply is scarce even in large cities, while drinking water reserves remain extremely limited. With Washington’s silent approval, the so-called Saudi coalition made every effort to ensure that the people of Yemen would not be able to survive the onslaught, mimicking the tactics that the Third Reich would use on the occupied territories, that was latter employed by the United States in Vietnam.
Of the 27 million people living in Yemen, almost 20 million people experience an acute shortage of food, which means they are getting starved to death. However, the voices of democratic human rights defenders on this occasion for some reason are almost inaudible. Western political elites simply do not give state controlled media sources their permission to launch a ‘crusade’ against Saudi Arabia for the continuous violation of human rights in Yemen, as it was done with Libya and Syria, where the pretext of human rights violation was used solely to achieve Washington’s own goals.
As for the assistance that Britain provides to Saudi Arabia in the Yemeni campaign, it is based on the extensive experience of managing this former colony, when the port of Aden was one of the most important trade hubs in the British Empire’s trade network, which covered two-thirds of the planet.
Both the US and UK, along with a number of other members of the North Atlantic Alliance, receive mind boggling profits from participating in the Yemeni military campaign. During the Obama administration, the United States has managed to sell 200 billions worth of weapons, with Saudi Arabia buying more than a half of all weapons sold. Donald Trump continued the affairs of his predecessor, concluding yet another arms deal with Riyadh for a total worth of 110 billion dollars.
It’s been noted time and time again that Amnesty International condemns the United States and Britain for transferring arms to Saudi Arabia to use in its war in Yemen. The rights group said the two countries had together sent more than five billion dollars worth of arms to Riyadh since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015.
British ‘partners in crime’ are not just training Saudi pilots that would then bomb Yemeni towns, they also refuse to investigate ‘Riyadh’s links with extremists”, although pretty much everyone knows about them at this point. The British Supreme Court, which, they say, usually defends “human rights’, was reluctant to review an appeal made by the Campaign Against Arms Trade, which had previously urged the kingdom to suspend the supply of military equipment to Saudi Arabia.
They refuse to recognise war crimes in the US just as well. Just recently, the United States district court for the District of Columbia has unanimously supported the decision of the lower court that ruled that it had no jurisdiction to challenge Washington’s decisions to launch missile strikes against alleged terrorist targets with the use of drones. The trial began in 2015, when the families of the deceased Yemenis filed a lawsuit against the then US president Barack Obama and the US government, accusing them of murdering civilians in cold blood.
One could only wonder what sort of tragedy would finally force the international community to bring the perpetrators of the Yemeni genocide to answer for their crimes? Since we’ve been witnessing a lot of those lately.
New Eastern Outlook, July 23. Martin Berger is a freelance journalist and geopolitical analyst.