While children all over North America are starting the new school year, reuniting with their friends and meeting new ones, children in Yemen are being robbed of their future. According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) “2 million children in Yemen are out of school with few options to return to learning. One in five schools is either damaged, destroyed or being used for shelter or military purposes”.
Children in Yemen and their families are suffering daily under the war that is ravaging their country. In addition to the staggering death toll of the war, now approaching 100,000 people killed, Yemen’s vital infrastructure has been targeted and schools, homes and hospitals have been completely destroyed by the Saudi-led coalition’s bombing campaign. “Around 360,000 children under 5 years old are suffering from severe acute malnutrition and require treatment, with cases of acute watery diarrhoea and suspected cholera soaring in early 2019”, UNICEF reported.
In the midst of this humanitarian crisis, the United Nations announced that some of their aid programs in Yemen are shutting down because of lack of funds. “The UN was forced to suspend most of the country’s vaccination campaigns in May. Procurement of medicines has been stopped and thousands of health workers are no longer receiving financial support. Plans to construct 30 new nutrition centres have been shelved and 14 safe houses and four specialized mental health facilities for women have closed. A treatment plant that purifies the water used to irrigate agricultural fields shut in June.” The main reason for this huge shortfall in funding is that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have failed to pay their promised pledges. According to the UN statement, if “the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, paid in full, the fulfillment figure for pledges made at the Geneva conference would rise to 95 per cent.”
The Saudi-led coalition, which includes the UAE and Kuwait, is not only responsible for creating the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, but they are now putting access to food, aid, water and medications at risk for millions of Yemenis. Saudi Arabia has never cared for the life or the well-being of the Yemeni people as they have been claiming.
What has been achieved?
The Saudi-led coalition, with the full backing of the United States, started the war on Yemen in March 2015 with the pretense of restoring legitimacy and stability to Yemen and to the region.
Saudi generals arrogantly predicted that within a few weeks they would take back control of Sana’a and reinstate to power their puppet Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
As the war on Yemen is in its 5th year today, it is clear that the U.S.-backed Saudi-led coalition hasn’t achieved its goal to eliminate Houthi forces and bring back to power the illegitimate president Hadi. All that the Saudi military intervention has achieved in Yemen is death and destruction. Yemen today is “the world's worst humanitarian crisis”, as the United Nations describes it.
In addition to the daily bombings and killings, Saudi Arabia is imposing a sea, land and air blockade on Yemen. This blockade is causing an extreme shortage of fuel, food and medicine which has worsened the humanitarian crisis. The Saudi-led coalition has been stopping and delaying fuel tankers and ships loaded with life-saving goods from entering Yemen.
Imperialist plan: dividing Yemen
Yemen has been a very expensive war for Saudi Arabia and its coalition and very profitable for imperialist countries, especially the United States. They have sold billions of dollars’ worth of weapons and ammunition to the countries participating in the war. Unfortunately, this criminal war and destruction has devastated what was already the poorest country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The people of Yemen are the latest victim of imperialist aggression and expansion in the MENA region, which started with the new era of war and occupation beginning with attacking and occupying Afghanistan in October 2001.
The fact remains that the imperialist plan to completely take over and control Yemen has been a huge defeat and failure. With hundreds of billions spent bombing and killing the Yemeni people, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have created a vicious cycle of bombing and more bombing with no win. The people of Yemen with their heroic resistance defended themselves and fought back for the sovereignty, self-determination and independence of their country.
Failure to win the war in Yemen has led imperialists to a new plan, more vicious and dangerous than the first one. Now the U.S., France and the UK, the three leading imperialist powers intervening in the Yemen war, have started a new course which is basically to divide Yemen into north and south. This plan will only bring more war and devastation to the people of Yemen.
The U.S. and their allies, including their puppets Saudi Arabia, UAE and their coalition have had some initial success in the south of Yemen by taking over the major city and port of Aden and consolidating their presence in that area. Since they are unable to win against Houthis in the north, imperialists are now shifting to a new plan to consolidate a new lackey government in the south of Yemen and immediately reinforce and accelerate all kinds of sanctions and the blockade of the north.
This plan helps the United States and other colonial powers to completely dominate and control access to the Arabian Sea and a big part of the Red Sea. Furthermore, with imposing severe sanctions and blockade they will try to bring the Houthi government to its knees to accept the imperialist hegemony of the U.S., France and UK over the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa. This is all part of a very important strategic area for imperialists to have a permanent presence in, as one of the world’s most important trade and shipping routes.
In early August, clashes and infighting erupted in Aden between the Saudi-backed forces and the UAE-backed ones over who has control of the city. Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE have spent millions of dollars training and arming different factions and mercenaries in Yemen. This is only creating more chaos in the country and further pushing the agenda of dividing and destabilizing Yemen.
The division between Saudi Arabia and the UAE is a fight between two lap dogs fighting over leftover bones, in this case after dividing Yemen in two, who gets to rule the south. It is a fight between puppets about who will better represent and serve the interests of the U.S. and its imperialist allies in region.
All Foreign Troops Out of Yemen
Dividing Yemen and arming and training different factions and mercenaries will bring more chaos, death and destruction to the country. It will weaken Yemen in favor of serving the agenda of the United States and imperialists in the region.
The Yemeni people have been heroically standing up against the foreign war and intervention in their country. A future of peace and prosperity can’t be achieved in Yemen by imperialist foreign intervention and occupation. The United States and its allies have only a history of destruction, war and occupation to show for, and their plan for Yemen is no different. A solution to the crisis in Yemen needs to be local, involving Yemeni voices without any foreign interference or meddling. This is why our role is important as people living in imperialist countries such as the United States and Canada, to voice our opposition to the Saudi-led war on Yemen and to hold our respective governments accountable for having Yemeni blood on their hands.
U.S., Saudi and UAE Stop the War on Yemen!
End the Blockade of Yemen!
No to a divided Yemen!
Follow Azza Rojbi on Twitter: @Azza_R14
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