According to a report on CNN, the US will be held responsible along with other countries over what it has been known to be the worst humanitarian crisis since world war II, in 100 years, if it does not halt its military support for the coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the heads of five major humanitarian organizations have warned.
Five recognized humanitarian organizations, the leaders of the International Rescue Committee, Oxfam America, CARE US, Save the Children USA and the Norwegian Refugee Council USA issued a stark joint statement, urging the US government to act in order to save thousands of lives in Yemen that are in great danger.
“The stakes in Yemen are shocking and must be stated clearly: 14 million people are at risk of starving to death in Yemen if the parties to the conflict and their supporters do not change course immediately,” their statement says.
The charities emphasized the need of the warring parties to immediately halt hostilities, reopen all Yemeni sea and land ports, permit aid workers and aid to enter so it can reach those in need and stabilize the economy by increasing the value 0f the exchange rate of the Yemeni Riyal to the American dollar, in addition to the resumption of salaries payment.
“Starvation must not be used as a weapon of war against Yemeni civilians,” the statement said.
If the aforesaid points are not achieved, countless Yemenis are unlikely to live through the winter, the humanitarian leaders warn.
“If the government of Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Ansar Allah, and other parties to the conflict fail to take these steps, and if the United States does not use all levers of pressure to compel them to do so, responsibility for the deaths of many more Yemeni civilians will lie not only with the parties to the conflict, but with the United States as well,” the statement says.
A survey commissioned by one of the charities, the International Rescue Committee or IRC, found that 75 percent of Americans surveyed oppose U.S. weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
For nearly four years, the Saudi-led coalition, backed by the US and the UK, has been waging a military campaign on the impoverished state, where it has achieved none of its objectives, but killed and wounded thousands of civilians and brought the country to the edge of famine, according to the UN.
According to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, more than 56,000 Yemeni civilians have been killed during the Saudi war, in which most of the deaths were resulted by coalition aerial raids bought from the US. The airstrikes have targeted weddings, funerals, hospitals, schools and a school bus filled with children.
A few days ago, the British-based humanitarian organization Save the Children, said that it is believed that more than 85,000 children under the age of five have lost their lives due to starvation.
The US secretary of defense, James Mattis declared that it was time for the hostilities to end in Yemen and that the warring parties must set on a table to start peace talks, giving the participants in the conflict until next month to start the negotiations within Sweden, under the auspices of the UN.
Griffiths told the U.N. Security Council last week that Yemen’s warring sides had given “firm assurances” they were committed to attending peace talks he hopes to convene in Sweden in December.
However, until this very day, Sunday, the coalition has not shown any sign of peace; Instead, it has been the opposite, where it has been escalating its bombardment and offensives throughout the impoverished state. In the northern Yemeni province of Saada, Saudi-led warplanes conducted a minimum of 20 aerial raids that were subjected to the bordering regions of the province, while intensifying its rocket fire and artillery attacks in the same regions.
Also in the coastal province of Hodeidah, the coalition has waged tens of airstrikes on the villages that are close distanced to the city, while its mercenaries on ground bombarded with artillery shells and mortars residential areas in the province.
Such actions caused by the coalition could interrupt the peace progress and lead the already humanitarian condition in the country to worsen.
United Nation special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffith, had visited the port in Hodeidah a few days ago, where he said that the UN wants to help supervise Yemen’s vital Hodeidah port to protect it from “potential destruction”
“We discussed … how the United Nations can take a leading role in operating the port, we have to do this quickly through discussions with all the parties,” U.N. envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, said after his meetings.
“We think that by playing this role we would help preserve a lifeline to the people in Yemen,” he said, according to an Arabic translation of his remarks which was supplied to local reporters.
The Ansar Allah movement (Houthis) stressed their willingness of handing over the port to a third party, such as the UN, so it can be prevented from any destruction.
However, the opposing side has rejected the UN decision and said that Houthis must be kicked out from Hodeidah. This brutal tone and the continuing offensives in most of the fronts in the country has given analysts and observers the idea that the Saudi-led coalition doesn’t want to achieve peace in Yemen and it is willing to keep continuing, despite the fact that this will result in a lasting war that risks the lives of millions and bringing the country to famine.