Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 628 - Yemen War Mosaic 628

Yemen Press Reader 628: 1. März 2020: Humanitäre Hilfsorganisationen als Gefangene des Krieges – Der Krieg um humanitäre Hilfe – Jemen-Rückblick Jan.-Feb. 2020 – US-Heuchelei über den Jemen ...
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

... Die Rolle von Frauen bei der Friedensarbeit im Jemen – Zwei schlechte Optionen für Patienten – Irans Einfluss auf die Huthis – Unruhe in der Provinz Mahrah – Foltergefängnis der Islah-Partei – Wasserkrise im Jemen – und mehr

March 1, 2020: Humanitarian agencies as prisoners of war – The war over humanitarian aid – Yemen Review Jan.-Feb. 2020 – US hypocrisy on Yemen – The role of women in peacebuilding in Yemen – Two bad options for patients – Iranian influence on the Houthis – Unrest in Mahrah province – Islah Party torture prison – Water crisis in Yemen (in German) – and more

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Kursiv: Siehe Teil 2 / In Italics: Look in part 2:

Klassifizierung / Classification

Für wen das Thema ganz neu ist / Who is new to the subject

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

cp1a Am wichtigsten: Seuchen / Most important: Epidemics

cp1b Am wichtigsten: Kampf um Hodeidah / Most important: Hodeidah battle

cp2 Allgemein / General

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

cp4 Flüchtlinge / Refugees

cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

cp6 Separatisten und Hadi-Regierung im Südjemen / Separatists and Hadi government in Southern Yemen

cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

cp9 USA

cp9a USA-Iran Krise: Spannungen am Golf / US-Iran crisis: Tensions at the Gulf

cp11 Deutschland / Germany

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

cp12a Katar-Krise / Qatar crisis

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms Trade

cp13b Wirtschaft / Economy

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

cp15 Propaganda

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

cp18 Sonstiges / Other

Klassifizierung / Classification




(Kein Stern / No star)

? = Keine Einschatzung / No rating

A = Aktuell / Current news

B = Hintergrund / Background

C = Chronik / Chronicle

D = Details

E = Wirtschaft / Economy

H = Humanitäre Fragen / Humanitarian questions

K = Krieg / War

P = Politik / Politics

pH = Pro-Houthi

pS = Pro-Saudi

T = Terrorismus / Terrorism

Für wen das Thema ganz neu ist / Who is new to the subject

Ältere einführende Artikel u. Überblicke für alle, die mit den Ereignissen im Jemen noch nicht vertraut sind, hier:

Yemen War: Older introductory articles, overviews, for those who are still unfamiliar with the Yemen war here:

Neue Artikel / New articles

(* B H)

Film: Crisis in Yemen

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

(** B H K P)

Humanitarian Agencies as Prisoners of War

The international relief agencies themselves have become prisoners to the war in Yemen, with their efforts having been mutated from helping to address the country’s suffering into prolonging it. The principal belligerents on one side – Saudi Arabia and until recently the United Arab Emirates, heavily backed by the United States and the United Kingdom – are by far also the largest contributors to the humanitarian relief effort. This allows them to say they are saving Yemeni lives on the one hand while taking them with the other, to say they are feeding Yemen while destroying the economy and infrastructure by which the country might feed itself. Were Yemen to fall into widespread famine, the war would become untenable among the ‘international community’, and thus providing relief funds is self-serving for these belligerents, allowing them to continue prosecuting the conflict in search of their desired ends.

Given that the majority of Yemen’s population lives in the north most of this aid has gone to areas controlled by the other side. The armed Houthi movement has so thoroughly corralled United Nations agencies and aid organizations that the relief effort, worth almost US$4 billion in 2019 alone, now forms a critical source of rent and influence for the group’s own war effort. This situation came about as a result of the UN and aid organizations progressively and profoundly surrendering their humanitarian principles to try and secure access to needy populations. In doing so, however, these humanitarian actors have reluctantly been providing hefty subsidies for Houthi operations – which include weaponizing starvation, recruiting child soldiers, planting millions of landmines in civilian areas, sexual violence and mass campaigns of arrest and torture.

Humanitarian workers, speaking to the Sana’a Center, have described how, once international aid enters northern areas, the Houthi authorities essentially dictate to UN agencies and international non-governmental organizations the terms of how it is stored and transported, where and when it is distributed, and to whom. Houthi forces have used their control over access to aid, or the threat of its denial, as a means to recruit soldiers from hungry communities in Yemen, to reward support or punish dissent in northern areas, and for cash income through selling the aid supplies on the market. At times corruption has also taken hold within the aid effort itself, with The Associated Press last year revealing a scheme by a small group of foreign staff to embezzle millions of dollars from the World Health Organization. Meanwhile, UN and INGO attempts to verify aid recipients, monitor distribution and even collect basic data for population needs assessments are made nearly impossible due to Houthi-imposed bureaucratic delays, access restrictions and permit denials.

While the UN regularly publishes numbers regarding how many millions of people in Yemen are facing imminent famine, food insecure or otherwise in humanitarian need, it has been extremely difficult to verify these statistics with on-the-ground surveys. Indeed, evidence suggests that in some locations needs have been inflated to garner more resources, while at the same time other areas remain overlooked and underserved. Put another way, no definitive data actually exists to confirm the often-stated claim that Yemen is “the world’s largest humanitarian crisis”, though it may be the world’s worst humanitarian response.

There is without question immense humanitarian need in Yemen; however, many UN and INGO staff on the ground – the people in the best position to know – have lost confidence that the relief effort, as it is currently being conducted, is helping the situation. At best, it is offering a few Yemenis the brief reprieve humanitarian aid is meant to provide, but in exchange for indefinite suffering through a drawn-out conflict.

Recent international threats to withdraw aid funds from northern areas if the Houthi authorities do not loosen their throttle hold over the relief effort have shown a degree of success – such as getting the Houthis to agree to back down on a proposed 2 percent tax on all humanitarian operations, though indications are that the Houthis are pursuing other avenues to recoup these funds from relief agencies. And even here the response of the humanitarian actors is ethically fraught. It is because the United Nations had been so fearful of losing access that the humanitarian effort became so compromised, and the UN only began to meaningfully confront the Houthis last year after it was forced to by media reports exposing the rampant and systematic theft of food aid.

While the heads of UN agencies were confronted with crushing responsibility and immensely difficult choices during the Yemen conflict, they are also meant to be the standard bearers of humanitarian principles in the world. In this, the UN abdicated its responsibility in Yemen. Into this vacuum, the donors – the largest of whom are active belligerents on one side of this conflict – are now stepping in. This sets a new, dangerous precedent and further erodes the UN’s ability to direct a needs-based relief effort that is autonomous from the objectives – political, economic, military or otherwise – of actors in this war – by Sanaa Center

(** B H K P)

The War Over Aid – The Yemen Review, January/February 2020


The War Over Aid

Houthi Aid Interference Prompts Threats to Cut Funding

Looming Monetary Threats Risk Rapid Inflation as International Aid is Reduced

Developments in Yemen

Frontlines Erupt, Airstrikes and Cross-Border Attacks Resume

Fierce Fighting Between Houthi, Govt Forces in Various Governorates

Deadly Uptick in Air and Missile Strikes During Northern Fighting

Houthis Shoot Down Saudi Warplane in Al-Jawf

Yemeni Defense Minister’s Convoy Strikes Landmine in Marib, 6 Killed

UN Warns Escalation Could Wipe Out All Recent Progress

Military and Security Developments

Saudi Troops and Local Tribes Clash in Al-Mahra, Governor Dismissed

Graphic: Al-Mahra Governorate Conflict, February 2020

The End of AQAP as a Global Threat – Commentary by Gregory Johnsen

Not So Fast: Founder’s Death a Blow to AQAP, but not Fatal – Commentary by Hussam Radman

Political Developments

Hopes Emerge for Long-Awaited Prisoner Exchange

Riyadh Agreement Hangs by a Thread Amid Rising Tension in Southern Yemen

Political Developments in Brief

Humanitarian and Human Rights Developments

Saudi Announces Trials for Air Raids on Hospital, Wedding, School Bus

First ‘Mercy Flights’ Carrying Critically Ill Depart Sana’a Airport

Civilian Casualties Climbing, More than 35,000 newly displaced, Hospitals Hit

Egyptian Fishermen Killed by Sea Mine, 32 Others Freed From Houthi Jails

Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, Yemeni Students Still Stuck in Wuhan

Graphic: Commercial Flights to and from Yemen

International Developments

At the United Nations

Security Council Splits on How Strongly to Rebuke Houthis

UN-Appointed Experts Report on Sanctions Breaches, Arms Investigations

At the UN in Brief

In the United States

US Extends Temporary Protected Status For Yemen, Deportation Risk Remains

Democrat Candidates United In Opposing US Support for Saudi-led Coalition

Developments in the US in Brief

In the Region

Where is Saudi Arabia Headed in Yemen? – Commentary by Thomas Juneau

US Kills Quds Force Leader, Targets Iranian Commander in Yemen

Oman’s Sultan Qaboos Dies After 49 Years of Rule

UAE Withdraws More Troops, Shifts to Background Role via Proxies

Official: Fewer Than 1,000 Sudanese Troops Left in Yemen

In Europe

UK Firm Seeks Arrest of UAE Officials for Suspected War Crimes, Torture in Yemen

Development in Europe In Brief

The War Over Aid

Houthi Aid Interference Prompts Threats to Cut Funding

Mounting disputes between aid agencies and Houthi authorities in Sana’a that have severely impeded the relief effort and a donor rebellion could result in deep cuts to vital humanitarian aid. Large donors along with UN agencies and other international NGOs who met February 13 in Brussels said the situation “has reached a breaking point,” as an investigation by The Associated Press revealed details of the extent of Houthi demands and past UN acquiescence to them.[1]

An aid worker who manages programs in Yemen for an international non-governmental organization (INGO) told the Sana’a Center that UN agencies had ceded too much control to Houthi authorities throughout the conflict; UN food aid delivered to Hudaydah port had been transported by Houthi affiliates and stored in a warehouse belonging to the Houthi-run Education Ministry.[2] Houthi authorities also were granted excessive influence over beneficiary lists and distribution, while the UN lacked staff on the ground to monitor distribution or verify needs, the aid worker said on condition of anonymity due to fear of repercussions.

Houthi restrictions on visas, travel and supplies create an extremely difficult operating environment, the aid worker said. Securing visas for international humanitarian staff requires permission from the Houthi-run Supreme Council for the Management and Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and International Cooperation (SCMCHA), health ministry and national security; these bodies often are not aligned, and if one rejects the application, the process must begin again. The process takes up to six months, sometimes culminating with a refusal for absurd reasons, while Houthi authorities frequently lose papers, according to the aid worker. Meanwhile, to travel within Yemen, staff must request a travel permit from Houthi authorities a week in advance.

The internationally recognized government requires international humanitarian staff entering any part of Yemen to obtain a visa from their authorities, a process that usually takes 24 hours, but the government refuses visas for Lebanese, Iraqis, Iranians and Syrians. Meanwhile, Houthi authorities refuse visas to anyone who has been to Gaza. Combined, these restrictions limit the pool of staff that the sector can recruit from, the aid worker explained.

Obtaining permission from Houthi authorities to bring in humanitarian supplies can take up to six months, sometimes past the shelf-life of the food or medicine being imported. Houthi authorities insist INGOs use Houthi trucks to transport supplies, creating another stream of income for the Houthis through transport fees. Further, Houthi authorities raised social security deductions on humanitarian staff’s salaries from 15 to 18 percent; organizations that do not pay risk refusals for visas and travel permits, the aid worker said.

To attend training abroad, humanitarian staff must obtain authorization from the Houthis; this requires presenting the training curriculum and attending an interview with Houthi officials who decide whether or not to allow the staff member to attend. A recent restriction imposed by SCMCHA forbids INGO staff from meeting with any Houthi authorities or officials except SCMCHA, according to the aid worker.

UN and INGO officials had said little publicly about details of their dispute and past cooperation and financial arrangements with the Houthi authorities. However, Mark Lowcock, the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, briefed the UN Security Council in open session on the issue February 18, the day before The Associated Press published an investigation into the situation.[3] The AP investigation, based on dozens of documents and interviews with anonymous aid officials who said they feared reprisals for speaking out, found that:

UN agencies have refused to sign agreements to accept the new directives. In his UN Security Council briefing, Lowcock cited issues with both sides in the conflict but described “much more serious problems” in Houthi-controlled areas.[4] He confirmed the 200-plus new directives and said that by the end of 2019, incidents of Houthi disruption of assistance were six times greater than at the start of the year. Lowcock characterized half of the incidents as constraints on movement of staff or supplies and said about a quarter involved trying to influence aid decisions or otherwise interfere in programs. He confirmed Houthi authorities had demanded a 2 percent tax on all aid funding — and noted they had rescinded the demand in February — and that NGOs were asked to sign agreements that were inconsistent with humanitarian principles (see “Houthis Replace Aid Coordination Body; UN Cites ‘Alarming’ Mistreatment,” The Yemen Review, November 2019).[5]

In remarks just ahead of the Brussels meeting, the head of SCMCHA, Abdel Mohsen Tawoos, described threats to cut aid as “extortion” that would not work.[6] As the pressure increased, however, the Houthis made some other concessions.

Houthi authorities failed to approve 40 percent of NGO projects in 2019, which Lowcock compared to the 30 percent of projects stopped because the internationally recognized Yemeni government failed to approve them.

Looming Monetary Threats Risk Rapid Inflation as International Aid is Reduced

The potential for large cuts to relief funding will put downward pressure on the value of the domestic currency, the Yemeni rial (YR), given that foreign aid today constitutes one of the country’s largest sources of foreign currency. These cuts also come to the fore, however, as two other significant threats to the value of the rial have emerged: the US$2 billion deposit Riyadh made in 2018 to the government-controlled central bank in Aden – which the bank has used to subsidize imports of rice, wheat, sugar, milk and cooking oil – is running out;[11] while a Houthi ban on banknotes issued by the Aden central bank[12] has also introduced increased volatility into the currency market – by Sanaa Center

(** B K P)

Hypocrisy Reigns As U.S. Sanctimoniously Seizes Aid To Houthis

Washington sends Saudi Arabia arms that kill Yemenis, then complain when they fight

The U.S. has spent five years helping Saudi Arabia commit war crimes and slaughter civilians in an aggressive war against Yemen. Washington’s subservience to the Saudi royal family, whose regime shares few interests and even fewer values with America, has made the U.S. complicit in tens of thousands of needless deaths.

The Trump administration recently demonstrated a particularly toxic mix of hypocrisy and sanctimony regarding Yemen. The Pentagon complained that naval seizures by American patrols working on behalf of the Saudis had captured blasting caps for improvised explosive devices and components of anti-tank, anti-ship, and anti-aircraft missiles. The latter, called 358s, are known as “loitering” missiles, containing two different motors and avoiding normal defensive measures. An unnamed Pentagon official complained to the New York Times that the 358s could down American helicopters and tilt-wing Ospreys—though why that matters is unclear, since Washington supposedly is not running combat missions in Yemen.

Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, charged: “They are illicitly smuggled for a purpose and that purpose is to spread lethal assistance to the Houthis, to Iranian proxies, there’s not a plausible explanation on how these weapons got on to a vessel in Yemen without the sanction of the Iranian government.”

With no hint of irony, he complained that Tehran had been arming the Houthis since the war’s start—when Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen—and had thereby prolonged the fighting. That is, Iran’s assistance enabled the Yemenis to defend themselves from their much richer and better armed adversary, which was supplied and otherwise aided by the U.S.

For decades, Washington has allowed Saudi Arabia to essentially hire out the American military as royal bodyguard. The Kingdom is an absolute monarchy without even a hint of religious or political liberty

Washington has sold billions of dollars’ worth of aircraft and munitions to Riyadh and the UAE. The Pentagon also provides intelligence assistance to the Saudis in choosing their Yemeni targets, which itself raises serious questions since the royals appear to have intentionally struck civilians. For years, the U.S. military has also refueled Saudi aircraft engaged in bombing Yemen sites, including apartments, hospitals, weddings, funerals, school buses, and commercial sites.

Of course, Riyadh’s culpability and cant are greater than Washington’s. American officials are aiding and abetting murder; Saudi officials are engaging in it. Riyadh announced that it had recently intercepted missile attacks on Saudi cities. Saudi spokesman Turki al-Malki piously complained: “They were launched in a systematic, deliberate manner to target cities and civilians, which is a flagrant defiance of international humanitarian law.” Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, he said, “has become a Houthi militia assembly, installation and launching-hub for ballistic missiles that target the kingdom.”

Unsurprisingly, Malki failed to mention that he represents one of the world’s richest nations, which attacked one of the poorest.

Another perverse result of Washington’s support for Saudi tyranny has been the unintended transfer of U.S. weapons to Islamist radicals, as well as Yemeni Houthis and Iran.

Area specialists emphasize that the Houthis have never been tools of Tehran. Never friends of America either, they turned to Iran for aid because they had no choice. After all, their well-funded enemies enjoyed the patronage of the United States, the world’s most powerful nation. The Obama administration apparently backed the Saudi royals’ aggression as a pay-off, since the latter were upset with the nuclear deal with Iran. Washington hoped to buy the Saudis’ favor by underwriting their brutal war. President Trump tore up the Iran deal but continued the deadly aid, choosing the worst possible policy on both counts.

The Persian Gulf matters much less to America these days: Israel is a regional superpower and the oil markets have diversified.

The administration should end America’s participation in such an unjust, unnecessary war. That would encourage Riyadh to accelerate discussions with the Houthis in search of a diplomatic settlement. But America’s policy also shouldn’t depend on the Saudi position. The shock is not that Iran aided the Yemenis; it’s that Washington is supporting the corrupt, repressive Saudi royals – by Doug Bandow

From the comments:

T: “The Persian Gulf matters much less to America these days: Israel is a regional superpower”

And why should it matter a bit for the America? Whether Israel is superpower or not?
It's pretty simple question, but it's very often come unanswered.

FF: The Trump Administration mewling about the Houthis fighting back is the equivalent of Nazis blaming Poles for not simply giving up and marching in neatly regimented columns to the nearest gas chamber.

(** B H P)

CARPO Brief 14: The Role of Women in Peacebuilding in Yemen

Executive Summary

Throughout five years of war, Yemeni women have engaged in a broad range of activities that contribute to social cohesion and informal peacebuilding in their communities. While they may not always describe their work in such terms, women are already laying foundations for sustainable peace through everyday practices that have the capacity to help transform the landscape of women’s rights in the post-war period. Wider recognition of women’s paid and unpaid work in wartime, and the conditions that enable it, could improve the social cohesion, economic stability, and human security necessary for sustainable peace, consistent with the priorities of UN Resolution 1325. Based on interviews and focus groups conducted in the summer and fall of 2019, this Brief reviews variations in women’s experience of conflict and participation in everyday peacebuilding in different parts of the country, advocates for an entitlement-based approach that recognizes women’s agency, supports women’s diverse aims, and works to leverage their existing contributions in support of sustainable peace.

From Introduction

This Brief focuses on the contributions of Yemeni women to six core areas central to supporting sustainable peace: the economy, society and culture, politics, education, security and justice, and the environment. It is part of ’Research Cooperation on Peacebuilding in Yemen’, a wider project that encourages Yemeni-international research cooperation on peace requirements in Yemen. CARPO is implementing the entire project on behalf of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and by commission of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The greatest challenge facing Yemeni women today is undoubtedly the war’s sustained toll on an already impoverished economy: This was the resounding message voiced across all parts of the country in which research for this paper was conducted. And yet, as our research and similar studies clearly show, economic insecurity is also a core driver of women’s changing social, economic, and even political roles.2 Humanitarian assistance and relief efforts have tapped some of this potential, but largely by approaching wom- en only as conduits of essential services or providers of essential data for needs assess- ment. We see the work of Yemeni women as contributing much more.

Examining the diverse roles that women are playing in their communities across a range of wartime conditions and in rural and urban settings, it is clear, in the words of one activist,

that “the war in Yemen is not something that is simply happening to Yemeni women.”3 Indeed, the vitality of many communities depends on the work, paid and unpaid, that women are doing, much of which contributes to the conditions that support sustainable peace. But this work is not without risk; across the country, women face constraints driven by insecurity and the prevalence of armed actors.

full document:

(** B H K)

Two options for patients: dying on their beds or on the way to Seiyun or Aden

The international humanitarian promises to reopen Sana’a International Airport have resulted in only more deaths.

Besides, there is nothing new in this regard except the waiting agonies of medical patients, some of whom have changed their flights to the graves after they lost hope to fly for medical care outside the country.

Some of these patients are still clinging to the hope of flying through Sana’a airport that has been closed for four years. However, the health status of some stranded patients is horrifically deteriorating.

In November 2019, the Saudi/UAE-led coalition spokesman of announced the re-launch of humanitarian flights to airlift medical patients from and to Sana’a International Airport, and since then, only 24 patients were evacuated.

Last October, one patient who has medical reports eligible for treatment abroad was informed to come to Sana’a so that they are airlifted by the World Health Organization to Cairo in batches. Accordingly, 33 patients and 33 of their companions had already arrived to the airport as a first batch. Yet, the plane changed its route before landing in Sana’a Airport.

Thus, the feet of these patients stumbled at the gate of Sana’a International Airport and returned to one of the capital Sana’a’s hotels with hopes and reassurances, waiting for their flight from day to another until the moment. According to the head of the High Medical Committee in Sana’a, Dr. Mutahar Al-Darwish, the number of cases registered in the medical committee’s records reached 3,000 cases of those who do not have opportunities to be treated in-country due to their difficult health conditions and poor resources. He said that there are 30,000 cases with incurable diseases registered at the health centers and hospitals need treatment abroad. .Dr. Al-Darwish stated that, unfortunately, many of the registered cases died.

He added: “The World Health Organization asked us to review the files of the cases accepted by the out-country hospitals, 600 cases, to know the developments of their diseases. When we reviewed the file, we found significant setbacks and deteriorations to these cases and we found 45 deaths in three months”.

The health deterioration is particularly severe in cases with tumors and liver and kidney failure. For example: “The registered patient with a tumor in a particular organ of their body has become now with a tumor spread in the whole body. And the registered patient with partial loss of kidney functions has become now with acute kidney failure.”

An arduous journey for a patient ends in death

There is no alternative for these patients to travel abroad, other than Sana’a International Airport.

Since the closure of Sana’a Airport, passengers have to first take road trips for long hours to arrive at Aden or Seiyun airports. Then, they take their flights to their destinations abroad.

Given the hardship of traveling overland to the airport in Seiyun, for instance, and the extreme stress of the patient due to the nature and length of the road that travelers take today from Sana’a to Seiyun, it is 24-hour journey by bus from Sana’a to Seiyun. Travelers from Hudaydah (far west) or Saadah (far north) may take one day and a half or two days to reach Seiyun.

It is a long road, most of which lack maintenance, and large parts of it are not asphalt. Along this road, which passes through five governorates (Sana’a, Dhamar, Al-Bayda, Marib, Hadhramaut), and interspersed with mountains, valleys, and deserts, there are approximately 30 security checkpoints from all warring sides, stopping passengers sequentially, and delaying them deliberately.

Due to this tragic situation, doctors advise many cases not to travel by land to avoid severe complications to the patient’s health, some of which may reach the point of death, during the road trip or before the flight departure.

(** B P)

How Iran’s Islamic Revolution Does, and Does Not, Influence Houthi Rule in Northern Yemen

Some Houthi adversaries have gone as far as alleging that the Houthis have converted to Twelver Shiism, seek to remodel Yemen along Iranian Twelver lines and to become themselves a Yemeni version of Lebanon’s Hezbollah.[1]

The available evidence does not bear out these accusations, but instead points to a relationship between Tehran and the Houthis that is far more nuanced. What this relationship is and what it is not, with its domestic, regional and international complexities, can be clarified somewhat by analyzing the ideological and theological underpinnings of both groups, and the power structures that currently govern Sana’a and large parts of northern Yemen. A preliminary reading of the structure of the Houthi regime and an examination of its discourse and imagery shows that the Houthis are in part indebted to the Islamic Republic of Iran for establishing a body of language, symbols of resistance and revolution, as well as an organizational structure to draw on.

The following paper examines this, as well as how the ideology of revolution, with its basis in Shia theological concepts and the realities of the regional order, underpins the connections between the Houthis and Iran. This paper does not, however, examine the extent of direct Iranian involvement in the Yemen War, which is the subject of much dispute. International reports have alleged that Iran is involved in illegally supplying the Houthis with arms, fuel and money.[2] Attempts by various media and political actors to describe the conflict, now in its fifth year, as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran usually overlook the Houthis’ other means of support in Yemen. For instance, on the financial front, the UN Panel of Experts on Yemen estimated the Houthis had access to a minimum of 407 billion Yemeni rials (US$1.62 billion at the fixed rate in 2017, the time of the research) annually from the national economy in areas they control, and that they generate revenues from taxes and customs, telecommunications, blackmail of merchants and fuel trading on the black market.[3] Thus, while the authors acknowledge that an assessment of any direct command-and-control links between Tehran and the Houthis deserves greater research, it is beyond the scope of this article.

Tehran’s Revolutionary Doctrine and the ‘Axis of Resistance’

While “exporting the revolution” was a key doctrine of the clerical regime established in Iran after 1979,[6] the long war with Iraq and the limited appeal of an explicitly Twelver Shia ideology in the majority Sunni Middle East led to a certain amount of pragmatism in Iran’s search for regional allies and proxies. As such, Iranian support for foreign groups is not necessarily tied to direct religious affiliation, but rather rests with wider ideological principles such as anti-imperialism and opposition to Israel, the United States and its allies such as Saudi Arabia.[7]

The Houthi Leadership’s Stance Toward Iranian Ideology

Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi did not conceal his fascination with the Iranian model, and he held Ayatollah Khomeini as a just and righteous leader whose efforts to resist Western influence in the Middle East should be imitated. He suggested that the model of the Iranian Revolution was the best example to follow, arguing: “Look at those who have managed to build a great nation. This can be applied to Iran, which has achieved a huge leap since the Islamic Revolution. Are not those (the Iranians) who secure life and produce men and build nations?”[25] Concerned by what he believed to be the humiliation of the Arabs by their Western enemies, most prominently the US and Israel, Al-Houthi saw in Iran the possibility of leading the Arabs toward “dignity and glory,” given its appeal as a Shia and anti-imperialist revolutionary model.[26]

Nevertheless, Al-Houthi on many occasions explicitly rejected Twelver Shiism, for example mocking the concept of the Mahdi and the doctrine of the Hidden Imam.[27] Instead, he distinguished Zaidis as the “elite” among all Islamic sects, the “true believers,” and claimed that revolution against injustice formed the main principle of Zaidi Islam.[28] His commitment to revolution came from “an absolute commitment to the principle [of] ‘commanding what is just and forbidding what is wrong’” in Zaidi thought,[29] a classical Zaidi political theory following from belief in divine justice.[30] While Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi criticized Twelver doctrine, he justified his admiration for Iran, Khomeini and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in terms of administration and action:

Through the course of the ongoing conflict in Yemen, however, Iranian influences have increasingly been seen in the promotion of many cultural and religious activities that have no clear links to Zaidi history in Yemen. This includes the commemorations of Ashoura (the mourning of the marytrdom of Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Mohammed) and Al-Quds International Day (a yearly event declared by Khomeini to express support for the Palestinian cause and oppose Israel and Zionism).

From this basis, the discourse, imagery and structure of the Houthi regime under the leadership of Abdelmalek al-Houthi, the current leader of the movement and the brother of Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, will be addressed and compared to that of Iran. While still considered a Zaidi religious leader, Abdelmalek al-Houthi’s rhetoric since the Arab uprisings of 2011 and the takeover of Sana’a in 2014 has emphasized nationalism and the Houthi brand of social justice, downplaying the Zaidi revivalist origins of the Houthi movement.[34]

Slogans and Imagery Reflect Shared Revolutionary Themes

Like Iran’s other allies and proxies in the region, the Houthis draw on a body of anti-imperialist, anti-Zionist and Islamist slogans and images which became popularized by Iran’s Islamic Republic. Indeed, the mindset of the Houthi insurgency owes much to “the scream” (al-sarkha): “God is great, death to America, death to Israel, a curse upon the Jews, victory to Islam.”[35] In this slogan, three pillars of the Houthi ideology with similarities to those of the Iranian revolution are apparent: anti-imperialism (through opposition to the US), anti-Zionism (through opposition to Israel) and Islamism.

As a political entity the Houthis dubbed themselves Ansar Allah (Supporters of God), similar to Lebanese Hezbollah (Party of God). An early emblem widely associated with the Houthis and used outside of Yemen by Iranian and Lebanese media, apparently without the group’s objection, shared common elements and features with those of Hezbollah and the seal of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Iran-backed Iraqi paramilitary groups such as Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba and Kataeb Hezbollah also employ similar images in their logos – By Mohammed Almahfali & James Root

(** B P)

Once Saudi Allies, Tribes in Eastern Yemen’s Al-Mahrah Are Now Battling Saudi Forces

Saudi Arabia has long sought control over eastern Yemen for its unfettered access to the Arabian Sea. Now, after decades of exploitation and betrayal by Saudi forces, local tribesmen in the area have run out of patience.

Saudi Arabia’s continued efforts to occupy Yemen’s province of al-Mahrah, which lies on the country’s border with Oman, appear only to have emboldened al-Mahrah tribes, who have resorted to using military tactics to drive out Saudi forces from their province. The tribes are fueled by a collective social desire for sovereignty stemming from their long history as an independent region and a local culture that remains wary of foreign forces.

On Wednesday, Saudi troops in Nashton Port in al-Mahrah were subjected to an explosive device targeting a Saudi military convoy in Fujeet District killing multiple troops including members of a local Saudi-funded militia. The attack came after Saudi forces occupied al Shehn port last week.

Since 2017, when Saudi forces once again entered the isolated province, the deep-seated sense of local identity spurred a growing opposition movement. The opposition developed and took the form of festivals and protests near Saudi military sites which included speeches, the reading of poetry and the playing of patriotic music.

In the past year, Mahri tribes have increasingly confronted encroachments on local sovereignty. Several confrontations have led to violence – including the al-Anfaq incident in November 2018, clashes near the Omani border in March 2019, and a shoot out at al-Labib checkpoint in April.

Their military deployment in al-Mahrah has given the Saudis de facto military control over the governorate. Today, Saudi Arabia controls al-Mahrah’s airport and Saudi forces have assumed a role akin to a state security apparatus in the province as air reconnaissance and other operations are launched from a command center at the base, bypassing even its allies. In addition to border crossings and the main seaport, dozens of Saudi bases have been established in Hat District, Lusick in Hawf District, Jawdah in Huswain District, and Darfat in Sayhut District.

Moreover, the militarization of al-Mahrah by Saudi forces has affectedthe province’s social cohesion and identity. Maharis were already divided between opposing the presence of Saudi forces and supporting it. The Saudi have reinforced this division by recruiting from and distributing weapons to certain tribes, changing the social fabric of the area which is likely to lead to open internal conflict.

Despite the fact that local opposition has prevented the construction of several military outposts, Saudi forces have continued to pursue their strategic interests in southern Yemen, including the construction of an oil shipping port in al-Mahrah on the coast of the Arabian Sea. This has resulted in renewed calls for military resistance against the Saudi presence, with opposition leaders declaring their intention to establish local anti-Saudi forces.

Al-Mahrah’s tribes vow resistance

Attacks from Al-Mahrah’s tribes have flared up as recently as last week after Saudi forces began construction on a number of new security checkpoints and military camps in al Shehn District. Last Monday, Saudi forces attempted to storm the town of Shahn. Armed helicopters, ground vehicles, and both Saudi troops and local mercenaries were deployed in the assault which was ultimately repelled. Later, Saudi forces succeeded in occupying the area after resorting to a plan played by the ousted president Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi.

Prior to Monday’s Saudi military incursion, local tribal fighters had withdrawn from Shehn after an agreement between Saudi forces and local tribes was reached following tribal mediation which stipulated that tribal fighters in the town would be replaced by forces loyal to the Saudi-led Coalition. The tribes say they were deceived into withdrawing ahead of the Saudi advance.

The Al-Mahra Peoples’ Sit-in Committee has said that Saudi actions constitute a flagrant violation of Yemeni sovereignty and national identity.

Hadi recently issued a decree appointing Muhammad Ali Yasser, a parliamentarian loyal to the Saudi-led Coalition, to be the governor of Mahrah instead of sitting governor, Ba Kreit. The move is seen as an attempt to implement a new Saudi strategy, according to al-Mahrah residents. Mahris have a unique history of running their own affairs. Saudi Arabia, however, has used “internationally recognized president Hadi ” to force the replacement of uncooperative officials in al-Mahrah and appoint pliant replacements, activists say.

Despite having a Saudi proxy as governor and thousands of Saudi troops and their proxy forces deployed around in and around al-Mahrah, the Saudi military presence in al-Mahrah appears to be increasingly challenged in the face of growing peaceful opposition and increasing military resistance.

Saudis levy punitive measures on al-Mahrah

Saudi forces have also imposed trade restrictions on al-Mahrah. Cargo entering Yemen through al-Mahrah has been confiscated by Saudi officials according to businessmen who spoke to MintPress. Local residents are concerned that the move is part of a broader effort to stifle al-Mahrah economically and push it towards starvation, just like the rest of Yemen – by Ahmed Abdulkareem

(** B P)

I was a prisoner in a Saudi-Coalition torture dungeon. Here is my story.

I was held in a Saudi-Coalition prison facility in Ma'rib city for more than two years with little to no outside communication.

Driving through Ma’rib and reaching the western outskirts of the city, our car was pulled over by armed gangs at a checkpoint named “Al-Falaj”. Masked gangs with kalashnikov rifles blindfolded us, beat us multiple times and took us to an undisclosed location somewhere in Ma’rib city.

We arrived to what looked like a court hall. How delighted we were, despite the circumstances. We thought we were about to go through judicial procedures as with any arrest. Unfortunately, we soon realized the court room was turned into a make-shift prison by our hostage-takers.

We also realized the masked gangs weren’t Yemeni security personnel, but rather rag-tag militias from the sectarian, extremist Islah party, led by notorious warlord Abdulghani Sha’lan.

After five days at the make-shift court prison, we were thus again blindfolded, beaten and taken to the Saleh Institutional Detention Facility – a notorious, dystopian prison located inside Ma’rib city. We were trampled on and beaten with the stocks of their kalashnikov rifles multiple times. I suffered severe bruises all over my face and body.

The Saleh Detention Facility is renowned amongst people as a torture dungeon. Throughout Saleh’s regime, the prison halls were filled up with political dissidents, academics, writers and journalists. Most of them never returned home. They were all tortured to death.

So this was my life now. I was tortured three times a week, followed by a shady interrogation process.

The masked Islah gangs only allowed us to eat very little, unhealthy food. Not enough, to say the least. We were also denied access to water or any fluids at all, and were only allowed to shave and shower once or twice a month.

Amongst the many horrendous methods of torture I witnessed and was subjected to, a few stood out to me. For my book I released a few months ago, I made a few sketches that would visualize what me and the other inmates went through.

(** B H K)

Entwicklungen einer Wasserkrise zur Wasserkatastrophe gefährden Entwicklungen im Jemen

Im September 2019, den Letzen aktuellen Höhepunkt des Krieges, hatten 17.8 Millionen Jemeniten (63% der Bevölkerung) eingeschränkten oder keinen sicheren Zugang zu Trinkwasser(USAID). Zudem zählt der Jemen zu den am wenigsten vorbereiteten und am stärksten betroffenen Ländern des Klimawandels. Es ist offensichtlich, dass der Jemen sich aktuell in einer Wasserkrise befindet, und sollten keine tiefgreifenden Änderungen und Unterstützungsmaßnahmen stattfinden, droht das Land langfristig in ein durch Wassermangelverschärftes Chaos zu versinken. Hauptursachen der Wasserkrise sind v.a. das Missmanagement im landwirtschaftlichen und politischen Sektor, das den Raubbau der knappen Grundwasserspeicher seit Jahren befördert und weder den Anbau wasser-intensiven und berauschenden Droge noch das Bevölkerungswachstum eindämmen. Zweitens führen die klimatischen Veränderungen zu einem Anstieg der Temperaturen, zunehmenden Schwankungen im Niederschlag und einem Anstieg des Meeresspiegels. Der Bürgerkrieg hat letztendlich diese Wasserkrise in eine hydrologische Katastrophe transformiert, indem Wasser zum militärischen Ziel aller beteiligten Parteien wurde und weitreichende hydrologische Infrastrukturen zerstört wurden.

Für eine nachhaltige Verbesserung der Wasserversorgung ist auch das Engagement internationaler Akteure gefragt. So sollte die Bundesregierung in Zusammenarbeit mitregionalen Partnern die aktuellen Annäherungsversuche zwischen Huthis und der Regierung ausschöpfen, um die zukünftige Wasserversorgung des Jemens im Rahmen der UN-Verhandlungen verstärkt zu thematisieren, Wasser als Verhandlungsinstrument zur Stärkung der Zusammenarbeit anwenden, lokale Initiativen finanziell, mit Experten und auf technischer Ebene unterstützen und regionale Partner für den Wiederaufbau der Infrastruktur zusammenbringen.

Der 2004 durch den Aufstand der Huthis ausgelöste jemenitische Bürgerkrieg, hat mitder 2015 saudisch-emiratischen angeführten Intervention einen internationalen Charakterbekommen. Durch diese Intervention sind verstärkt lokale Konfliktdynamiken und die Rolle von Wasser dabei in den Hintergrund geraten. So vermutet die staatliche Zeitung

al-Thawra, dass zwischen 70% und 80% aller ländlichen Konflikte (70% der jemenitischen Bevölkerung leben inländlichen Umständen) im Jemen um Wasser geführt werden – von Alexander Reiffenstuelährden_Entwicklungen_im_Jemen

cp1a Am wichtigsten: Seuchen / Most important: Epidemics

(* A H P)

WHO denies registering cases of coronavirus in Yemen

The World Health Organization on Sunday denied recording new cases of the Coronavirus in Yemen.

"Currently the risk of coronavirus in Yemen is low. There are no identified cases at the moment. However, like other countries, the scale up for preparedness and prevention is ongoing so if a case were confirmed, systems to control and contain would be in place to respond.", the organization said in a tweet at the expense of its office in Yemen, on Twitter

Spokesperson for the healthcare ministry in the salvation government of Ansar Allah Yousuf Al-Hadhiri on Saturday denied emergence of coronavirus cases in provinces controlled by the Houthis, pointing to measures and precautions the ministry has taken to prevent the pandemic despite challenges.

Sputnik news agency quoted Al-Hadhiri as saying the reports about registering a coronavirus case of an international employee were baseless and that the ministry has not registered any case so far.

Earlier on Saturday medical sources told Debriefer a UN employee infected with coronavirus has arrived in Sanaa. The UN employee has met with many officials and staffs of organisations operating in the country, the sources said, adding that the employee was later put under quarantine in the Al-Jomhory Hospital in Sanaa.

However, we have got information some member states of the Saudi-led coalition intends to build quarantine centres in cities they are controlling in order to send coronavirus patients in these countries to them. Recently reports suggested the UAE was planning to send coronavirus patients to quarantine centres in Aden.

Al-Hadhiri warned the coalition states doing that would spread the pandemic across Yemen whose healthcare system is facing huge challenges amid war.

Spread of the pandemic in areas controlled by the Sanaa government will not only represent a disaster in Yemen and the region but to the whole world, he said.

Earlier today, health minister in the salvation government Taha Al-Mutawakil held the UAE responsible for possible emergence of coronavirus in Yemen as this gulf state is said to have planned to transfer coronavirus patients to Yemen.

and also

My comment: Where could they know this from? For the greatest part of Yemenis, there is no or just very little healthcare.

(A H P)

Houthi Gov't denies reports of coronavirus case in Sanaa

Spokesperson for the healthcare ministry in the salvation government of Ansar Allah Yousuf Al-Hadhiri on Saturday denied emergence of coronavirus cases in provinces controlled by the Houthis, pointing to measures and precautions the ministry has taken to prevent the pandemic despite challenges.

(A H P)

Yemen: 1st case of coronavirus infection appears in Sanaa

Yemeni medical sources said that a case of coronavirus appeared in Sana'a today, Saturday.

(A H P)

Aden Gouverneur [der Regierung in Sanaa] warnt vor VAE Versuchen Coronavirus nach Aden zu transferieren

Der Gouverneur von Aden, Tariq Sallam, warnte vor den kriminellen Versuchen der VAE, Aden in einen Sumpf von Epidemien und Krankheiten zu verwandeln, der gegen die Moral und die Werte des Menschen verstößt.

Der Gouverneur Salam erklärte in einer Erklärung gegenüber der jemenitischen Nachrichtenagentur (Saba), dass das, was die VAE versuchen, in Aden eine Quarantäne für diejenigen einzurichten, die im Verdacht stehen, das Corona-Virus zu haben, ein Kriegsverbrechen ist, da sie versuchen, das Virus in den Jemen zu übertragen.

Er wies darauf hin, dass die VAE versuchen, diejenigen unter Quarantäne zu stellen, die im Verdacht standen, mit Emiratis aus China in Aden infiziert zu sein, was das Ausmaß des Verbrechens widerspiegelt, das dieser Staat gegen den Jemen und seine Bevölkerung begangen hat.

Mein Kommentar: Das bleibt unverständlich. Hier wird mal wieder das Virus für andere Zwecke missbraucht.

(A H P)

[Sanaa gov.] Yemeni Ministry of Health accuses invaders of trying to spread epidemic diseases

Minister Taha al-Mutawakkil speaks out on fears of corona virus in Yemen

The Ministry of Health and Population in the National Salvation Government has revealed the health situation in Yemen.

The Ministry, in a statement, held the UAE fully responsible for the emergence of any suspected cases or infections of the corona virus as a result of the transfer of suspected cases from the UAE to Yemen.

“The UAE has killed the Yemeni people directly through its warplanes, and today it is trying to kill them by transmitting epidemics and diseases,” Dr. Taha al-Mutawakkil, Minister of Health said.

My comment: This is odd; it’s a misuse of the epidemics as a means for political propaganda.

(* A B H P)

Corona Epidemic Hold The Breaths In Yemen

Corona epidemic that has spread in most of the world enhanced the concerns among Yemenis not because they have never experienced a pandemic before rather, they are tired of the deteriorating health situation due to the war and the siege and the ongoing epidemics that claimed many lives.

In the historic city of Tarim in Hadramawt valley, east of Yemen it was reported that one person was infected with Corona virus at that time, this ancient city and its inhabitants did not sleep. This forced the local authorities in this governorate, which has one of two airports, and the Saudi- coalition allows crossing through it, to Yemeni lands on almost weekly flights and as it is subject to Saudi forces or acting factions on their behalf, to calm down the city by talking about measures at Sayun airport to reduce the outbreak.

The same scene is repeated in Aden, south of Yemen where the doctors and the Emirates that rule the city through the transitional council that loyal to it prevented from using the major hospital in the city, known as the “AlSadaqah Hospital”, as a quarantine center, to transfer the affected people to the hospital.

Over the past weeks of the announcing the epidemic in countries such as China, the coalition-backed Hadi government took no action, but rather allowed nearly 100 Yemeni students who fled China to enter without examination or quarantine. Even the measures that it was took on the reality of popular pressure did not rise to the level of confronting the epidemic. This is admitted by the director of Aden International Airport, Abdul Raqeeb Al-Omari, who spoke in a television interview saying that the procedures in the airport are not enough to detain an injured person for a few hours. Although the epidemic has finally reached countries bordering Yemen, such as the Sultanate of Oman, which announced the discovery of the first case, Saudi Arabia, not to mention the UAE, which recorded more than 9 cases. In addition, operating flights between Aden and Abu Dhabi and other tourist activities with Socotra Island.

(A H P)

Yemen takes preventive measures against Coronavirus

Undersecretary of the [Hadi gov.] Health Ministry for Primary Healthcare, Ali Al-Waleedi said that Yemen until now remains free of the coronavirus.

Al-Waleedi made this statement during an awareness workshop organized by the ministry in Aden to educate media professionals and health educators on the virus prevention.

He said that the health authority has coordinated with management of the Aden airport and Al-Rayyan Airport to check incoming passengers to prevent the virus spread to Yemen.

He refuted news on setting up a health quarantine at the government-run Friendship Hospital in Yemen to receive foreign corona cases.


(A H P)

[Hadi gov.] Health Ministry says Yemen remains free of Coronavirus

Deputy Minister of Health for Primary Healthcare, Ali Al-Waleedi reiterated that Yemen has so far been free of coronavirus.

My comment: How stupid is this? Actually, nobody can know – the greater part of Yemenis even has little or no access to medical help.

(* A H P)

Protests hinder Yemen’s efforts to combat coronavirus

As workers in Yemen’s major port Aden began preparing a coronavirus quarantine facility at Al-Sadaqa Hospital, rumors swirled around the city claiming that if patients were locked inside the hospital, the disease would quickly spread through neighboring areas.

Amid complaints about the city’s poor health facilities, hospital staff and fearful residents began protesting. People living nearby besieged the hospital, while health workers inside staged a sit-in, refusing to work unless the Health Ministry canceled plans to build the isolation room.

“They threatened to kill me,” Dr. Wafaa Dahbali, Al-Sadaqa Hospital manager, told Arab News.

The hospital’s administration was forced to ask the Health Ministry to move the facility to another location, she said.

“Now we cannot even bring in basic protective items such as masks or gloves since workers will think we still plan to build the quarantine room,” she added.

(* B H)

Coronavirus in Entwicklungsländern: Sorge um die Seuchen-Hotspots

Im Auftrag des US-Verteidigungsministeriums haben Forscher aufgelistet, welche Länder am stärksten gefährdet sind durch große Ausbrüche.

Ganz oben stehen Afghanistan, Jemen, Haiti und etliche afrikanische Staaten.

Spätestens als Afghanistan diese Woche seinen ersten Covid-19-Fall vermeldete, ist eingetreten, was die Weltgesundheitsorganisation WHO von Anfang an besonders fürchtete. "Unsere größte Sorge ist, dass Covid-19 auf Länder mit schwächeren Gesundheitssystemen übergreift", hatte WHO-Chef Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus schon zu Beginn der Epidemie gesagt. All das, was wohlhabende Länder jetzt unternehmen - Kontakte von Erkrankten aufspüren, Verdachtsfälle schnell testen, Schutzausrüstungen aufstocken, Behandlungskapazitäten stärken -, ist in vielen dieser Ländern kaum denkbar. Selbst die simplen Präventionsmaßnahmen wie häufiges Händewaschen und das Meiden von engem Kontakt zu potenziell Erkrankten sind in vielen Regionen illusorisch: Wie soll das gehen, wenn Wasser knapp und Seife gar nicht vorhanden ist, wenn Menschen in Slums in extremer Enge leben?

(B H)

Film: WHO efforts in the fight against cholera in Yemen

cp1b Am wichtigsten: Kampf um Hodeidah / Most important: Hodeidah battle

(A K pH)

Armee schießt ein Spionageflugzeug der Aggressionstruppen in Hodeidah ab

(A K pH)

Army shoots down spy aircraft in Hodeidah

(A K pH)

155 Verstöße der Aggressionstruppen in Hodeidah in den letzten 24 Stunden

(A K pH)

Aggression coalition commits 155 violations in Hodeidah

and also

(A K pH)

US-Saudi Aggression’s Daily Update for Saturday, February 29th, 2020

My remark: Compare for Feb. 28. It seems injuring a citizen had been mentioned twice.

(A K pS)

Houthis continue to shell residential areas in Hodeidah

(A K pH)

Verstöße in Hodeidah dauern an

(A K pH)

US-Saudi Aggression’s Daily Update for Friday, February 28th, 2020

In Hodeidah, a citizen was injured by US-Saudi artillery shelling on the besieged city of Addurayhimi […]

(A K pH)

202 Verstöße der Aggressionstruppen in Hodeidah in den letzten 24 Stunden

(A K pH)

202 Violations of Stockholm Agreement by US-Saudi Mercenaries in 24 Hours

(B K pH)

Film (in Arabic): Human tragedy in Yemen’s besieged Duraihemi district

(A K P)

Pro-gov't Yemeni exchange prisoners with Houthis in Hodeidah: official

A prisoner swap between pro-government Yemeni forces and Houthi militia took place on Thursday in the country's Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, a military official told Xinhua.

According to the military source who asked to remain anonymous, "two pro-government soldiers were set free in exchange for the release of three Houthi rebels from the jail manned by the government forces in Hodeidah."

and also


(A K pH)

US-Saudi Aggression Commits 174 Violations of the Truce in 24 Hours

(A K pS)

4 Houthi snipers were killed during their breach of the UN armistice in Al-Jah

(A K pH)

US-Saudi Aggression’s Daily Update for Thursday, February 27th, 2020

(A K pH)

2 Kinder wurden durch den Beschuss der Aggressionstruppen im Gouvernement Hodeidah verwundet

Photos: =

(A K pH)

Photos: Al-Hodeidah: 12-year-old child Mohammed Abdo Siddiq Ata was injured in cases from the artillery of aggression in the Suwaiq area, and the child, Maryam Ahmed Abdullah, was seriously wounded after the forces of aggression bombed the mountainous area in the district of Al-Tahita =

(A K pH)

Five Yemeni citizens injured by Saudi-mercenaries shelling in Hodeidah =

and also

(A K pH)

Child Injured Due to Artillery Shelling of Saudi-mercenaries in Hodeidah

(A K pS)

Hodeidah: Houthis continue shelling people's homes in Hays

(A K pH)

Neue Verstöße der Aggressionstruppen in Hodeidah

cp2 Allgemein / General

(* A K P)

Interactive Map of Yemen War

(* A K)





(* B K P)

Peace On Knife’s Edge as Yemen Conflict Re-Escalates

Building up since late January, the conflict has been intensifying with each passing day with close to a hundred fighters from both sides killed in just the last two weeks. This death toll included an attack on Yemeni defence minister which took the lives of his six guards, which came just a day after battle near the port of Hodeidah that killed 18.

Since the attack on Aramco’s oil facility at Abqaiq — which Houthis claimed responsibility for but the Kingdom blamed on Iran — Saudi Arabia had gone a little under the radar, toning down its aggression by a notch or two. But of late, things seem to have changed as the conflict in Yemen escalates and airstrikes resumed.

Much of Saudi Arabia’s aggression is thanks to the confidence boost Saudis received after the US increased its military presence both in the Kingdom and around the region after taking out Iranian General Qasem Solemani. And that certainly looked like the case too when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Saudi Arabia on Feb 21 and discussed the rise in conflict in Yemen with his hosts, including the king, crown prince and the deputy defense minister.

(B K P)

Yemen’s Grim Fifth Anniversary

In their rabid hatred of the blessed land and people of Yemen, and in their desperate attempt to destroy the Ansarullah liberation movement and the National Salvation Government that had freed Yemen from imperialism during the September 21 Revolution of 2014-2015, the invaders have not let up on their cruelty. Continuous bombing raids on residential areas, a near total blockade of most of the country and the Saudi deployment of mercenary and terrorist gangs like al-Qaeda have taken a high toll on the Yemeni people.

While the authorities in Riyadh had vowed to overthrow the Yemeni revolutionary government in a matter of weeks, five years later the invaders have got nowhere near achieving any of their objectives. =

My remark: A pro-Houthi viewpoint.

(* B K P)

Yemeni Human Rights Coalition Documents Thousands of Houthi Violations in 2019

Yemeni Coalition to Monitor Human Rights Violations, known as Rasd Coalition, has revealed in its latest report thousands of violations carried out by Houthi militias in the country during 2019.

These violations ranged from killing, abducting, detaining, bombing, mine planting and torturing in prisons.

Head of Rasd’s Documentation and Monitoring Unit Riyad al-Dabai told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Saudi-led Coalition stressed the necessity of the immediate cessation of ground attacks against civilians. These include indiscriminate shelling, use of snipers and all other forms of attacks.

Dabai also called on Houthis to stop planting all forms of mines and submit maps of minefields to the National Demining Committee and the teams working in this field.

“Women and children must be protected from all forms of abuse and exploitation,” he stressed.

Dabai stressed that they shall not be recruited, and those recruited shall be released, noting that all forms of mobilization in schools, places of worship and the media shall be halted.

The official highlighted the importance of releasing all those detained in an arbitrary manner, revealing the fate of all forcibly disappeared people in areas controlled by the group, closing private prisons and allowing the judiciary to exercise its constitutional and legal role on prisons.

In regards to Taiz city which has been besieged for nearly five years now, Dabai called for ending the siege and allowing humanitarian organizations to move without restrictions in all Yemeni governorates.

My remark: RASD mainly focuses on Houthi violations.

My remark:

(* B K P)

Extremism fuels Yemen’s woes, says UN rights expert

Despite the bleak picture, Kamel Jendoubi, chairman of the Group of Independent Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen, acknowledged the existence of positive changes.

Kamel Jendoubi, chairman of the Group of Independent Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen created by the UN Human Rights Council, said that, every time Yemen gets pulled further into a conflict that has caused one of the greatest human tragedies that humanity has known, there is the Iran-backed Islah party, the Yemeni arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, at the heart of that conflict.

In previous UN reports, Jendoubi mentioned ethnic and sectarian cleansing practised by the Houthis or by Islah in more than one place in Yemen and on more than one occasion.

What the third report brought was an “accurate updating of the previous violations, in addition to focusing on the issue of famine as an instrument of war and the disastrous situation Yemenis are suffering today,” Jendoubi said.

Despite the bleak picture, he acknowledged the existence of positive changes. He noticed, for example, that, after publication of the first two reports, “a decrease in the number of random and uncontrolled detention centres, especially in the areas under the control of the internationally recognised legitimate authority.” Human rights violations, such as torture and rape, were committed in those centres.

Another result of the previous reports was the liberation of many prisoners who had been arrested and detained arbitrarily and illegally.

“We are very aware of the issue of religious extremism and religious groups and their internal rivalries, which are fuelling the conflict and the war in Yemen. We have pointed to the issue of ethnic cleansing practised by the Houthis, for example, or by the Islah party in more than one place in Yemen and on more than one occasion,” Jendoubi concluded.

My comment: From an Egypt news site. It seems strange that the focus is put on Houthis and Islah Party (Muslim Brotherhood) here. It’s odd to claim that Islah should be “Iran-backed”. Islah is fighting against the Houthis which in Western and anti-Houthi news generally are labeled as “Iran-backed”. All this sounds like parroting southern separatist propaganda. And more, when “ethnic cleansing” is mentioned. Against which ethnic group of the population Houthis and Islah committed anything of this? It’s the southern separatists who hunted and ousted people just because of being northerners. – Jendoubi is a serious person (, how such an interview could be possible?

(* B K P)

IOLDCs: Houthis, Islah use children in war

The Secretary-General of the United Nations has included the Houthi militia, the Government forces and Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula for the second time in the annual "list of shame" for gross violations of children during the armed conflict. However, the methods of the Islah party and Al-Qaida and the Houthis militias have evolved from indoctrinating school students, brainwashing and obliging them to be devoted by the spirit of hostility, violence, hatred and love for fighting. They have convinced them about their duty to fight against Israel and the United States of America, as the shortest route to paradise.
This phenomenon began with Al-Qaeda and Ansar al-Sharia, and has since become one practised by ISIS and Al-Houthi Militia. The Houthi senior leader admitted to the Associated Press that the Houthis have recruited 18,000 child soldiers to their army since 2014.
Likewise, the Islah party (the Muslim Brotherhood) also practices child recruitment in Yemen, using the camps of the Yemeni government forces currently under the power of the Islah Party which dominates the decision-making in the Yemeni government.

My remark: From a pro-separatist news site, blaming the enemies of the separatists.

(* B P)

Escalation in Failed Military Interventions: Saudi and Emirati Quagmires in Yemen


External interventions are an enduring feature of international relationships. While the causes for interventions have been at the heart of studies on interventions, the dynamics of termination versus escalation have received little attention. This article poses the question: why do intervenors persist in failed military interventions despite diminishing prospects of victory? Whereas some scholars adhered to rational choice approaches, others focused on cognitive and emotional psychology to explain seemingly puzzling decisions at the origin of war continuation. This article builds on the emerging literature on status in IR to unravel the escalation of commitment to a failed war. It argues that when leaders engage their own status and that of their countries to an eventual success in a military intervention, persistence in the war becomes the only solution to salvage their status. Through this lens, this article presents an explanation for Saudi and Emirati escalations in what was planned as a brief operation in Yemen since 2015. Understanding the dynamics of persisting in failed wars has clear implications for the development of international relations theory, the conduct of regional powers in military interventions, and the practice of conflict resolution in the Middle East and beyond. (full access paywalled)

(A P)

Swedish FM visits Yemen to push Stockholm Agreement application

Iran cannot have role in Yemen: Saudi minister

The Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs arrived Thursday in the Yemeni southern port city of Aden to meet with representatives from Yemeni rivals for application of Stockholm Agreement they reached in December 2018.
The importance of Stockholm Agreement is in its application, but not its signature, Ann Lindy said Wednesday at a joint press conference with the Saudi Minister for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubair.
The visit to Yemen reflects the Swedish government keenness to see the pact implemented, she told reporters.
The Saudi minister urged the Yemeni parties to apply the Stockholm deal in full

(B P)

Abdulsalam: US Systematically Destroyed Yemeni State

Head of the National Delegation, Mohammed Abdulsalam, affirmed, Friday, that the United States has systematically destroyed the Yemeni state, to lose its strength and constituents.

"It is a systematic destruction carried out by the US to the Yemeni state by losing its foundations of its strength, and this was by the help of the traitors inside," Abdulsalam said in a tweet.

"After the the Yemeni people restored the state in the September 21 revolution, the US came with aggression and siege to prevent the Republic of Yemen from possessing a force that stands in the face of the greedy,” he confirmed.

and also

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Sicherheitsquelle für Saba: US steht hinter der Zerstörung der jemenitischen Luftverteidigung

Eine offizielle Sicherheitsquelle gab an, dass amerikanische Beamte während der Herrschaft des Verräters Ali Abdullah Saleh mehrere Jahre lang versucht hätten, die jemenitische Regierung unter Druck zu setzen, um Luftverteidigungsraketen unter dem Vorwand ihrer Angst zu zerstören, dass Al-Qaida sie erwerben und für Angriffe auf zivile Flughäfen einsetzen könnte.

Die Quelle erklärte der jemenitischen Nachrichtenagentur (Saba), dass sich eine Delegation aus den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika kam in den Jemen zusammensetzt aus: dem Leiter des Amtes für Waffenentfernung im US-Außenministerium Dennis Hadrick und dem Verbindungsbeamten Santo Politzi sowie dem technischen Experten im Büro Nils Talbot und dem Beamten für auswärtige Angelegenheiten des Amtes im Außenministerium Laurie Freeman.

Die Delegation ging mit dem Militärattache in die Washingtoner Botschaft in Sanaa, um sich mit den damaligen Beamten des Verteidigungsministeriums zu treffen, um sie unter Druck zu setzen, die Raketen zu übergeben, um sich auf den Prozess ihrer Zerstörung vorzubereiten

Das Verteidigungsministerium lehnte jedoch ab.

"Der Verräter Ammar Muhammad Abdullah Saleh übernahm auf Geheiß seines verräterischen Onkels Ali Abdullah Saleh auf Veranlassung seines verräterischen Onkels Ali Abdullah Saleh die Verantwortung, die Beamten des Verteidigungsministeriums zu überreden, die Raketen mit Hilfe der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika durch das Amt für die Beseitigung von Waffen im Austausch für die erhaltenen Privilegien zurückzuziehen und zu zerstören."

Die Sicherheitsquelle gab an, dass die amerikanische Delegation seit August 2004 mit dem Sammeln und Deaktivieren der Raketen begann, und die amerikanische Delegation stimmte zu, die Verhandlungen über die Nationale Sicherheitsagentur fortzusetzen, da sich das Verteidigungsministerium zu diesem Zeitpunkt weigerte, diese Verhandlungen zu führen.

Film: (ohne nähere Erklärungen)

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US behind annihilation of Yemeni air defense missiles during Saleh's reign: Report

A Yemeni security source says the United States destroyed the country’s air defense missiles during the reign of slain Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, over allegations that the weapons would fall into al-Qaeda hands in case the then Yemeni administration was toppled.

The unnamed source told Yemen’s official Saba news agency on Thursday that an American delegation consisting of Program Manager in the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) with the Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Dennis F. Hadrick, liaison officer Santo Polizzi, technical expert Niels Talbot, Deputy Director of Programs in the Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism at the US Department of State, Laurie Freeman, and the military attaché at the US embassy in Sana’a held meetings with Yemeni Ministry of Defense officials at the time to pressure them to hand over the missiles in preparation for their complete destruction. Their demands were initially turned down though.

The source added that Brigadier Ammar Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, a nephew of President Saleh and then deputy director of the National Security Bureau, was then tasked with persuading Yemeni military officials to agree with the surrender and annihilation of the air defense missiles in exchange for hefty sums of money.

The Yemeni security source highlighted that the American delegation began collecting and disabling the missiles in August 2004, and it agreed to continue negotiations through the National Security Agency since the Yemeni Ministry of Defense refused to deal with such talks at the time.

and also

Film: (without further explanation


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Video shows US intentionally destroyed Yemen’s air defenses before Saudi war began

A new video released by the Houthi Ansarullah movement shows the US destroyed Yemen’s air defenses well before 2015, when Saudi Arabia initiated its deadly war against the impoverished country.

The footage shows US officials working with military members from the former government of president Ali Abdullah Saleh to destroy stockpiles of handheld anti-aircraft systems.

The video has been provided by a high-ranking Ansarullah official to a number of Arab media outlets, including MintPress.

The video supports earlier remarks by a Yemeni security source, who revealed that the United States had destroyed the country’s air defense missiles during the reign of the slain Yemeni president over allegations that the weapons would fall into al-Qaeda hand

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Yemen’s desperate civil war fuelled by imperialism and regional powers. Only unified, revolutionary movement of working class and poor can end the turmoil.

Yemen, bordered by Saudi Arabia and Oman, is the poorest of countries in the Arab world and has been ravaged by a continuing bloody civil war.

Conditions are barbaric, leading Unicef to report: “No place in Yemen is safe for children”, with at least one child dying every ten minutes.

Malnutrition is at an all-time high, with almost two million children acutely malnourished.

Figures published in 2018 by the United Nations (UN) highlight that at least 6,660 civilians have been killed, and that alongside the fighting a partial blockade has left 22 million in need of humanitarian aid.

All this has created the conditions for an outbreak of cholera, which has affected 1.1 million people.

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Film: Yemen's Deadly Ghost Ship

A few miles off the coast of Saudi Arabia and Yemen is a disaster waiting to happen.


Seven fishermen missing near Yemeni coast

Fear of abduction or murder by Saudi forces

A fishing boat with 7 Yemeni fishermen from the Al-Khokha directorate disappeared during a fishing trip in the Red Sea.

Fishermen said that a boat carrying seven fishermen in the city of Al-Khokha had entered a fishing trip from Al-Mokha, and had been lost since the beginning of the week.

Locals have expressed its fear that the fishermen might have been arrested or killed by the coalition forces that are known for harassing fishermen in Yemeni waters.

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

Siehe / Look at cp1

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Saudi aid chief rejects halting aid deliveries to Houthi areas in Yemen

The head of Saudi Arabia’s flagship aid agency has rejected the idea of halting aid to Yemen to bring Houthi rebels into line.

In February, the Associated Press revealed the Iran-backed rebels were blocking half of the UN’s aid deliveries to the war-torn country in an effort to force the UN to give them more control over foreign assistance.

In response, the US last week threatened to suspend aid to Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen unless the rebels stopped obstructing aid operations.

But Dr Abdullah Al Rabeeah, adviser to the Saudi royal court and supervisor general of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief fund (KSRelief) told The National that halting aid was not a solution to the problem.

“We still believe that the Houthis are going to hinder aid and we condemn what they do, but at the same time we're saying that yes they should be penalised but not the people of Yemen,” he said.

“We should put pressure them on them but we should not do it to the extent to harm poor children, woman or people at risk.”

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Children in Taiz tell @EshraqAlmaqtari they now have to travel hours to go to school. Their old school was closed bcz Houthi snipers "shot everyone there" in words of this little girl. "This school is shabby but it is not too dangerous for us like the other school was" girl adds.

referring to film

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Yemen Friends und INSAN e.V. Hilfsaktion February 2020

Video von unserer Verteilung von Essenspaketen und Winterdecken für hilfsbedürftige und geflüchtete Familien im Jemen.

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Feature: Children first victims when famine knocks Yemen's doors

Emaciated child Mohammed Hassan threw a frightened look towards the door after a doctor entered to examine his skinny body in a hospital bed in the rebel-held Sanaa, where five years of war has pushed millions in Yemen to the doorstep of famine.

Mohammed, aged fifteen and weighs only 14kg, lives with his family in a tent in a remote village east of the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, near a frontline where fighting between the Iran-backed Houthi rebels and the Saudi-backed government forces has impeded the entry of humanitarian aid for months.

"Mohammad was admitted to Al-Sabeen hospital from As-Sukhnah district in eastern Hodeidah. He suffers acute malnutrition for long time because of the dire circumstances in the embattled areas," doctor Mousa Debis told Xinhua.

Mohammed said a good man gave his father money that helped transferred him to the hospital.

"My father works as a woodcutter and had no enough money to take me to the hospital for treatment until a good man helped us," he said.

The father, Hassan, blames the war for the worsening condition of his extremely malnourished son, complaining that he is unable to secure daily basic food needed for his nine-member family.

"My children and I are hungry... our daily meal is dry bread and sometimes we do not get it. The war and blockade have devastated our life. We live now in a tenet with very little food," he lamented.

Hassan's family was one of thousands of Yemeni families which become unable to secure one meal a day or rent a house as food prices are rising and value of the country's currency is falling because of the civil war.

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The General Chairman for Marine Fisheries said that more than 45K fishermen are suffering as a result of the war and the estimated losses of the fish sector are more than 25 billion dollars. Fishermen haven't had safe sea trips as a result of attacks and shelling.

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Yemen Key Message Update: February 2020

Food security conditions expected to deteriorate alongside further reductions in purchasing power

In the coming months, macroeconomic conditions are expected to continue to worsen in Yemen due to severe currency shortages in the absence of additional fiscal intervention, further increasing food prices and restricting access to income. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are widespread in the presence of large-scale humanitarian food assistance. In 2020, it is anticipated that over 17 million people will be in need of monthly humanitarian food assistance. A risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) persists and would be possible if conflict significantly disrupts port operations – thereby limiting the country’s capacity to import food – or otherwise restricts food supply to particular areas for a prolonged period of time.

Continued depreciation and disrupted food imports are expected to increase food prices across the country. According to WFP, the national average exchange rate rose 3.7 percent over the previous month to reach 611 YER/USD in January 2020, the highest levels observed since late 2018. According to UNVIM reporting, monthly food import levels through the Red Sea Ports have been declining since October 2020. Meanwhile, in northern areas, access to income is expected to further reduce due to the cessation of salary payments and further disruptions to business and remittance payments resulting from the ban on new bank notes.

Increased conflict has been reported in Sana’a, Ma’rib, Al Jawf, and Ta’izz

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Nearly 200 cattle die of infection from UN-supplied livestock in Taiz

About 200 cattle have died in Taiz governorate in southwest Yemen after being infected with a viral plague from livestock supplied by the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), according to a medical official in the local authority.

Locals in Hayfan said the livestock were distributed in December by the UN body and the project was funded by the Japanese government, as part of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi’s government initiative to support families affected by food insecurity.

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Film: Wesam Qaid on the World Bank's role in Yemen

Wesam Qaid, Deputy Managing Director for the Social Fund for Development in Yemen, talks about the World Bank's support to the Fund and the possibilities ahead.

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After five years of conflict, I saw glimmers of hope being made invisible in Yemen

After five years of conflict, Yemen today sees glimmers of hope for its people that are all but made invisible by the smoking fires of continued fighting — and by an international community that is blind to, or complicit in, its peoples suffering.

The Oxfam team I joined in Yemen — majority Yemeni — are intensely capable and committed to the peaceful future of their own people. Courageous, too — in my two decades of humanitarian work never have I seen a determination of those Yemeni women of Oxfam and our partners who drive our operations in remote offices and extreme conditions, constantly under pressure from the authorities and often from their own communities.

Their leadership reflects how Oxfam’s humanitarianism is evolving to be far more rooted as part of local communities and organizations — not over them. This is the new humanitarian agenda — one that is led locally — and that rightly has changed Oxfam.

Our humanitarian action today includes our alliances with amazing women’s organizations that are not only delivering much needed humanitarian assistance on the frontlines where many other agencies simply cannot reach, while also pushing for their right to be heard in peace negotiations.

I spoke with women involved in water programs located in near-impossible geographies — programs that are cherished and maintained by the communities who get to drink and use the clean water they provide. Others are helping to build houses as part of cash-for-work schemes, so they can pay for food and medicines.

Our response prioritizes gender justice: supporting women, across the region, to fight the deep patriarchal norms that would otherwise seek to diminish their voices and paralyze their actions.

The world’s worst crisis is also one in which it is endlessly and increasingly difficult to save and rebuild lives. Authorities and other groups with power — and often guns — are known to harass women aid workers, question indispensable expenses, delay the approval of visas, block roads and demand kickbacks, and paralyze the process of signing of agreements for life-saving programs.

In the space of a week in Yemen I counted more than a hundred checkpoints that I passed through. I know our teams can at times spend hours stuck in them. How can that be amid such intense suffering?

We call for funding to save lives. The United Nations are seeking a minimum of $4.2 billion — and yet still it is not met. That some rich governments are considering cutting off funding to Yemen is unacceptable, and indeed frightening from the perspective of an internally displaced person (IDP) camp in a place like Al-Malikah. People taking decisions on whether to continue their support must consider the size of the needs and the growing vulnerability.

If rich governments are to turn their backs on anything, it must not be aid, but on the arms trade — their arms trade — that continues to thrive in the region and fuel this conflict.

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Reaching the unreachable

RDP is a Yemeni national non-profit and non-governmental organization aiming to mitigate the suffering of communities affected by disasters and wars and increase social responsibility to contribute effectively and positively on the development process.

Al-Qaweem road is located in Al-Hareeb district of Marib Governorate. For years, the vulnerable in this district keep suffering from a huge lack of medical care, shortage of clean water and livelihood activities such as rehabilitation of community assets and infrastructure. Truth be told, one cannot cover their living expenses since prices are just doubled. It costs people a lot of money to get food or drugs because of the difficulty of transporting stuff through this long jagged road.

In fact, the poor access to simple services, especially health care made a large number of patients greatly suffer from severe pain as they cannot afford to be taken to health facilities outside the district. Unfortunately, a few pregnant women had a miscarriage while driving on this bumpy road, trying to go to the city hospital.

Even though the situation continues to deepen in Marib Governorate, Hareeb district in particular, RDP in partnership with UNICEF has been supporting crisis-affected places

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To be clear, 80% of #Yemen's population live in "Houthi areas" and most will starve to death if aid is suspended. In a country where trade is not an option (due to the illegal, 5-year blockade and war by Saudi/UAE/US), this is beyond terrifying.

cp4 Flüchtlinge / Refugees

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UNFPA Yemen Response: Monthly Situation Report #01 January 2020

The conflict in has been characterized by cycles of displacement and return. As many as 4 million people have been displaced and remain displaced since the start of the conflict. Over 2.5 million people were displaced in 2015 and 2016, at the start of the conflict, and another 327,924 were displaced in 2017. Over 730,000 people were displaced in 2018. In 2019, displacement was more localized, with households staying closer to their usual place of residence and placing a burden on smaller population centres within the same governorate.

In 2019, almost half of the families displaced were living in informal settlements, whereas in 2018 the largest proportion of displaced families stayed in rented accommodation or with host families.

Following a 10-month lull in hostilities, fighting broke out in mid-January on several frontlines, including Nihm District in Sana’a Governorate, Sirwah District in Marib Governorate, and Al Maton in Al Jawf following a series of attacks on military sites resulting in heavy casualties.

By end January , 3,825 families had been displaced across Sana′a, Marib and Al Jawf governorates. Those displaced are in critical need of shelter and non-food items, health assistance and protection services.

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Understanding the Mass Migration of Ethiopians into Yemen, with Adam Coogle

According to a Feb 2020 report from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), about 150,000 people traveled from Ethiopia into Yemen through the Red Sea in 2019, making it the busiest maritime migration route in the world—more busy than the ongoing migration from northern Africa into Europe via the Mediterranean Sea, which continues to dominate media coverage of migration.

And though the migration route has been traveled extensively since 2014, the numbers of migrants using it has spiked in 2018 and 2019, even as the war in Yemen escalates.

It is also one of the deadliest routes.

Ethiopians must pay human traffickers in Djibouti or Somalia who ferry them in rickety boats through rough waters to the war-torn country of Yemen. From there, they are often immediately imprisoned in ‘torture camps’ until they pay more money to a new set of smugglers. They are then taken through Yemen, which has been deemed the site of the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe according to the UN, into Saudi Arabia.

If they survive getting caught in the crossfires of the war and the Saudi border guards, who use lethal force as a first resort, Ethiopians are then subject to yet more human trafficking detention camps, before undertaking exploitative, precarious work inside Saudi Arabia, whose policy it is to hunt them down and deport them en masse.

On the magnitude of human suffering, it is one of the most newsworthy stories unfolding today, but it is rarely covered.

Al Bawaba spoke with Adam Coogle, a Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch, who authored a report on this migration route and interviewed a dozen Ethiopian migrants on their experiences having survived through it.

In his talk with Al Bawaba, he pieces together the perilous journey Ethiopians are making into Yemen and Saudi Arabia every day, and breaks down why it isn’t receiving sustained attention from the media.

“People who have almost no assets, just very limited resources. They sell whatever they even have to get that person free so they don’t get killed. It’s just tragic. That person comes back with nothing; nothing to show for it,” Coogle adds.

"It’s an untold story of human misery that has many facets.”

In brainstorming ways to alleviate the suffering involved in the migration, Coogle thinks “The best thing would be safe migration routes to the Gulf.”

“If there were safe and legal ways for the Ethiopians to get there,” that were widely accessible, Ethiopians stand better chances surviving what has been a perilous journey, he posits.

Another recommendation Coogle provides is for Ethiopia to conduct a nationwide awareness campaign alerting potential emigrants to the dangers that await them in the migration route, including the possibility of getting caught in an ongoing war in Yemen – by Ty Joplin (with interview in audio)

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Witnessing the Hell a Migrant Can Face

If you just look at the numbers, Ethiopia is doing great. But, not for people in the rural districts, where agrarian distress remains a fact of life. Of those who use the Eastern Route to migrate, over 90 percent come from Ethiopia, and most of them from the rural districts of Amhara, Oromia, and Tigray. The World Food Program and the Ethiopian government’s data shows us that these districts face terrible food insecurity and that there is a high level of food energy deficiency per adult in rural Ethiopia, with Amhara and Tigray leading the way. There has been barely any exit from the long-term crisis of agriculture in Ethiopia, whose lands are now increasingly threatened by corporations from India and Saudi Arabia and by shifts in the climate.

Neoliberal policies have enabled Ethiopia to grow quickly, but this growth has not been pro-people, certainly not the people of the rural districts of Amhara, Oromia, and Tigray, from where the main migration has been taking place.


Djibouti, at the tip of the Horn of Africa, within sight of Yemen, is one of the smallest countries in the world. But it is located at a strategic vantage, at the entrance of the Red Sea.

Despite the presence of these forces in such a small country, there is no effective way to prevent the migration of thousands of Ethiopians through Djibouti to Yemen. Neither the ports nor the waters are barriers to this human exodus.


It is into this cauldron that the Ethiopian migrants come. Crossing the Red Sea is not easy, since the boats are insufficient and overcrowded; migrants who make it to Yemen report that they have seen people leap off the boats to certain death because of the terrible situation that they face. In March 2017, a UAE-Saudi helicopter fired at a boat carrying Somali migrants—killing at least 42 people; there are additional reports of this kind of activity along the Yemeni shoreline.

In Yemen, the migrants are held in detention camps, where they are abused by human traffickers and by other gangsters. Migrants in these camps, including in Aden, face extortion—if they cannot pay the guards, they are beaten, raped, and held indefinitely. When the spotlight is shone on any one of these camps, it closes and another opens elsewhere.

Saudi Arabia

If the migrants somehow make it to Saudi Arabia, the terror continues. =

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Yemen: UNHCR Operational Update, 27 February 2020

The first distribution of cash assistance for IDP families has begun in northern Yemen to address basic needs such as rent and protection services. A total of 24,903 families (90 per cent) out the initial 27,639 targeted have collected their cash after receiving an SMS notification

On 23 February, the 40th boat departed as part of the Assisted Spontaneous Return (ASR) programme, carrying 134 Somali returnees. =

Fortsetzung / Sequel: cp5 – cp18

Vorige / Previous:

Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 1-627 / Yemen War Mosaic 1-627: oder / or

Der saudische Luftkrieg im Bild / Saudi aerial war images:

(18 +, Nichts für Sensible!) / (18 +; Graphic!)

Liste aller Luftangriffe / and list of all air raids:

Untersuchung ausgewählter Luftangriffe durch Bellingcat / Bellingcat investigations of selected air raids:

Untersuchungen von Angriffen, hunderte von Filmen / Investigations of attacks, hundreds of films:

19:18 01.03.2020
Dieser Beitrag gibt die Meinung des Autors wieder, nicht notwendigerweise die der Redaktion des Freitag.
Geschrieben von

Dietrich Klose

Vielfältig interessiert am aktuellen Geschehen, zur Zeit besonders: Ukraine, Russland, Jemen, Rolle der USA, Neoliberalismus, Ausbeutung der 3. Welt
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Dietrich Klose