By Ewa Strzelecka and Marina de Regt – This June will be remembered as a month of celebrating Yemeni studies and dialogue in the Netherlands. The so-called forgotten war of Yemen became a war to…
On the outskirts of the old city of Sanaa.
By Marina de Regt. “Marina, if I die, will you then forgive me for all the trouble that I caused you?” my Yemeni friend Amina wrote me ten days ago. I have known Amina since…
BY MARINA DE REGT “Marina, how are you? I am worried about you, how is the situation with Corona?” a Yemeni friend asked me last week via Whatsapp. It was not the first time that…
By Helen Lackner. The Geneva ‘consultations’ on 6 September between the two Yemeni warring parties failed to happen. According to the media, it was because the Huthis failed to show. In reality their demand was not unreasonable: guarantees of safe travel to and from Geneva in a neutral (Omani) plane and without ‘inspection’ from their opponent, the Saudi-led coalition. Observers and Yemenis are flooded with statements about the good internationally recognised Hadi government seeking peace and the evil ‘Iranian-backed’ Huthis wanting to continue fighting. However events point elsewhere, suggesting that the coalition’s asserted commitment to a political solution is little more than a smokescreen for continuing a war whose main impact is the immeasurable suffering of millions of Yemenis. These include the renewed military offensive against Hodeida, which is the gateway for the majority of food desperately needed by the population. A secondary, and less advertised factor, is the continued enrichment of war lords on all sides, arms dealers and corrupt government officials, whose profits would drop should there be peace.
“Hodeidah is empty, Marina, there is no one there anymore”, says Noura to me this morning, in a short telephone conversation that is repeatedly interrupted because of the bad connection. Noura moved to Sana’a a week ago, fleeing the horrendous violence that has exploded in the city of Hodeidah since Thursday 14 June, the day before the start of Eid Al-Fitr. On that day the Saudi Led Coalition, mainly consisting of mercenaries and ground troops of the United Arab Emirates army, soldiers of the Yemeni National Army and Hiraak al-Tihama started the long planned attack on Hodeidah, Yemen’s main port on the Red Sea. In the past six months the United Nations and many humanitarian organizations have asked the Saudi-Led Coalition not to attack Hodeidah because 90 per cent of Yemen’s import, including most humanitarian aid goes through its port, but their calls have been to no avail. An attack on Hodeidah does not only lead to hundreds of thousands of displaced people who will flee the city, but also to a dramatic increase of famine and death in the country as a whole. Why is the international community unable or unwilling to prevent this from happening? And why do we hear so little about this humanitarian disaster in the Western media?