Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 638 - Yemen War Mosaic 638

Yemen Press Reader 638: 2. April 2020: Fünf Jahre Jemenkrieg – Der UN-Kommissionsbericht und die Resolutionen des UN-Sicherheitsrats zum Jemenkrieg – Die US-Saudi-Allianz hat Jemen zerstört ...
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

... USA kürzen Jemenhilfe trotz Pandemie – Sanaa unter der Herrschaft der Huthis – Huthi-Landminen gefährden Zivilisten – Die saudische Koalition: ein verworrenes Bild – Taiz im Jemenkrieg – Die Provinz Mahrah, Modell zur Konfliktbewältigung – Jemen und der Jihadismus der Salafisten – Gefangenenschicksale – Jemens Wasserkrise – Angst vor Corona-Ausbruch im Jemen – und mehr

April 2, 2020: Five years of Yemen War – The UN Panel report and the UN Security Council resolutions on Yemen – US-Saudi alliance destroyed Yemen – The US cuts aid to Yemen despite pandemic – Sanaa under Houthi rule – Houthi landmines endanger civilians – A muddled picture for the Saudi coalition – Taiz in the Yemen War – Mahrah province, a model for containing conflict – Yemen and Salafi jihadism – Fates of detainees – Yemen’s water crisis – Fear of Corona outbreak in Yemen – and more

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Kursiv: Siehe Teil 2 / In Italics: Look in part 2: https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/jemenkrieg-mosaik-638b-yemen-war-mosaic-638b

Klassifizierung / Classification

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

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

cp1a Am wichtigsten: Coronavirus und Seuchen / Most important: Coronavirus and 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

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

cp11 Deutschland / Germany

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms Trade

cp13b Kulturerbe / Cultural heritage

cp13c 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:

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/jemenkrieg-einfuehrende-artikel-u-ueberblicke

Neue Artikel / New articles

(* B K)

Film by UNDP: Negative Impact of War on Yemen - Testimonials #1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaVe8t1Gdl4

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

(** B H K P)

Five Years Since Decisive Storm – The Yemen Review, March 2020

Contents

Five Years Since Decisive Storm

Commentary: Sana’a From March 2015 to Today: A Study in Authoritarian Oppression

COVID-19 Response Planning

UN, WHO and Yemeni Authorities’ Pandemic Preparations

Local Healthcare System Already in Collapse

Yemeni Public Health Physician Advises on COVID-19 Preparations

Developments in Yemen

Military and Security Developments

Cease-Fire Call to Face Coronavirus Threat Welcomed with Words, Not Actions

Government Troops on the Ropes as Houthis Take Al-Jawf, Push Into Marib

Saudi Intercepts Missiles Fired from Yemen, Renews Airstrikes on Sana’a

Saudi Arabia Offers to Host Houthi-Yemeni Government Peace Talks

Coalition Targets Houthi Attempts to Disrupt Red Sea Shipping

Military and Security Developments in Brief

Commentary: Five Years of Failure: The Dismal Performance of the Hadi Government

Political Developments

Riyadh Agreement Hanging by a Thread After Tit-for-Tat Escalations

Cabinet Squabbles Lead to Resignation of Two Ministers

Houthi Leader Offers Saudi Prisoner Exchange for Palestinians Detained by Riyadh

35 Parliamentarians Sentenced to Death in Absentia by Houthi-run Court

Commentary: Why Economic Factors Remain the Heart of the Yemen Conflict

Commentary: Yemen, Five Years On and Now a Stranger to My Country

Humanitarian and Human Rights Developments

US Cuts Aid to Yemen

UN: 40,000 Newly Displaced by Fighting in Al-Jawf, Marib

Emirates Red Crescent Employees Abducted and Killed Execution-Style in Aden

Child Casualties of War Increasing; Signs of Mental Health Crisis Among Children

Houthis to Release Baha’i Prisoners

Humanitarian and Human Rights in Brief

International Developments

Commentary: Five Years of the UN Security Council Toeing the Saudi Line

Developments at the United Nations in Brief

Commentary: The US in Yemen: Facilitating Disaster, Dodging Culpability

In Europe

Further Arms Embargoes on Saudi Arabia

UK Foreign Secretary Discusses Yemen During First Gulf Visit

Commentary: Love Thy Neighbor: Saudi Arabia Needs Regional Help to End the War

Regional Developments in Brief

Five Years Since Decisive Storm

On March 25, 2015, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates led a coalition of Arab states in a military intervention into the Yemen War. From its base in the northern highlands, the armed Houthi movement and its allies had deposed the internationally recognized Yemeni government in the capital, Sana’a, and pressed a military conquest southward to Aden on the coast of the Arabian Sea. The coalition operation, dubbed ‘Operation Decisive Storm’ was meant to quickly push the Houthis back and restore the Yemeni government to power. Half a decade later, the coalition’s goals seem as distant as ever.

While in those five years the war has been a constant reality, the stakeholders involved and the dynamics at play have been constantly evolving, at times as part of a steady, gradual process, at others moments hitting dramatic – and often violent – inflection points that suddenly changed the rules of the game.

In seeking a deeper assessment of these developments, for the March 2020 edition of The Yemen Review the Sana’a Center asked experts in various Yemen-related fields to reflect on the five years that have passed since the coalition intervention. What has happened in that time? How have events brought us to where we are today? And what might this mean for the future? These commentaries come in addition to our regular insight and analysis of the month’s local, regional and international developments related to Yemen.

The topics cover a wide spectrum: how Houthi rule in Sana’a has been a study in authoritarian oppression; the dismal performance of the Hadi government; why economic factors remain the heart of the conflict; five years of the UN Security Council toeing the Saudi line; how Riyadh needs regional help to exit the Yemen War; Washington’s role in facilitating the conflict while dodging responsibility for the disaster it has become; and what the conflict has meant for Yemeni refugees who, five years on, have become strangers to their own country.

COVID-19 Response Planning

https://sanaacenter.org/publications/the-yemen-review/9518

(** B P)

UN Experts Detail Abuses in Yemen; Security Council Shrugs

From the beginning of the Yemen conflict in 2015, the United Nations Security Council has been quick to condemn the armed Houthi movement. Initially, at least, this made sense. The Houthis are a non-state actor that seized power in a coup. The Yemeni government, led by President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi, is a member of the UN – in bureaucratic parlance a “Member State” – the Houthis are not, and it is always easier for the Security Council to condemn outside actors than member states. The Security Council’s cornerstone resolution on Yemen – 2216 – essentially calls on the Houthis to surrender, asking them to, among other things, end the use of violence, withdraw from Sana’a, hand over all weapons seized from the military, and “cease all actions that are exclusively within the authority of the legitimate Government of Yemen.”[1] Not surprisingly, asking them to simply give up hasn’t worked. Nor have targeted sanctions. In late 2014 and early 2015, the Security Council sanctioned three Houthi officials, including the movement’s leader Abdelmalek al-Houthi, as well as former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his eldest son, Ahmed, both of whom were allied with the Houthis at the time.

Such a one-sided approach has the advantage of bringing the full weight of the international community and the Security Council to bear on a single participant in the hopes of changing or altering their behavior. But this type of front-loaded strategy also has its disadvantages. Namely, if it doesn’t work right away, it is unlikely to work at all. This is exactly the situation the UN Security Council currently finds itself in. Five years of war have made the Houthis stronger, not weaker. They are less susceptible to diplomatic threats and sanctions today than they were five years ago. The Saudi-led coalition’s military campaign, despite years of airstrikes, has been unable to uproot the Houthis from Sana’a. Lopsided Security Council resolutions and an imbalanced sanctions program have, if anything, made the Houthis less willing to negotiate in good faith. From their perspective, they hold territory and are unwilling to give up at the negotiating table what they have won on the battlefield.

Despite all this the UN Security Council’s approach in 2020 is largely the same as it was in 2015. The only thing that has changed is the resolution number the Security Council approves each year. This is not for a lack of knowing. Twice a year, in a confidential and a public report, the Panel of Experts on Yemen provides the Security Council with detailed information about the conflict in Yemen, the targeted sanctions program and the arms embargo. (Full disclosure: I served for two years on this panel from April 2016 – March 2018. Two of my former colleagues continue to serve on the Panel and I know a third member of this year’s Panel.)

This year’s final report was delivered to the Security Council in January and released to the public in February.[2]

This year, the report shrank to 47 pages, likely a reflection of budgetary concerns. Finally, come the annexes. This is where the Panel shows its work. It expects this section to be examined and re-examined by government experts from Moscow and Beijing to London and Washington. The annexes do not have to be translated, and therefore are not governed by word limits. This year the Panel included 35 annexes, totaling 157 pages.

Sanctions and Named Individuals

Just as there is an art to writing Panel reports – the best ones tend to flow as if from a single voice and tell a story of that particular year – so, too, is there an art to reading the reports. The Panel often signals to the Security Council issues and individuals of interest. Most notably, as the Panel is responsible for monitoring the targeted sanctions program in Yemen, it can highlight individuals that meet the designation criteria, which in Yemen is incredibly broad. Anyone involved in or supporting acts that “threaten the peace, security or stability of Yemen” is eligible to be sanctioned.[3] Of course, meeting the designation criteria and being designated for sanctions are two different things.

In 2014 and 2015, when the Yemen war was beginning, the Security Council was in a much different place than it is today. At the time, Russia, which holds a permanent veto in the Security Council and has traditionally opposed the use of targeted sanctions, was on the back foot in the Middle East.

In any case, the Security Council has not enacted any new sanctions on individuals related to the conflict in Yemen since April 2015.

None of this is supposed to affect the Panel’s report. The Panel is mandated to report on the sanctions and identify individuals who meet the designation criteria. This year the Panel used precious space in the executive summary – highlighting its importance – to note three such individuals, one from the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) and two from the Houthis. In the second paragraph of the executive summary, the panel charged that Hani bin Breik, the vice president of the STC, had “initiated” the conflict in Aden when he “used force to remove what little authority the Government of Yemen held in (the city).”[4] The Panel also noted that it had “identified a Houthi network involved in the repression of women … through the use of sexual violence,” headed by Sultan Zabin, the Houthi director of the Criminal Investigation Department in Sana’a.[5] The second Houthi figure mentioned in the executive summary is Saleh Mesfer al-Shaer, a Houthi general who acted “on behalf of Abdelmalek al-Houthi” to divert funds appropriated from Houthi opponents.[6] Such actions would qualify Al-Shaer for sanctions.

In the body of the report, the Panel also named a third Houthi figure who meets the designation criteria. Motlaq Amer al-Marrani, known as Abu Emad, is a person of interest to the Panel for his involvement in the “obstruction of the delivery of humanitarian assistance.”

The Panel is much more careful when it comes to discussing the actions of UN member states. Twice it mentioned Emirati airstrikes on Yemeni government forces in late August 2019, but in neither case does it suggest such actions threatened the peace, security, and stability of Yemen. The UAE, of course, was only in Yemen at the express written invitation of President Hadi, whose forces it bombed in August to prevent them “from entering Aden.”[9] The Panel noted that the UAE bombings “created a military advantage for the Southern Transitional Council, and subsequently, the council regained control of Abyan.”

Indeed, the Panel mentions in a footnote that neither the Government of Yemen nor the UAE has responded to its letters requesting additional information.

Nor does the Panel mention Abu al-Abbas, the kunya of Adil Abduh Fari Uthman al-Dhubhani, the leader of the Abu al-Abbas group, who has been sanctioned by the US, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Inconvenient Truths

Perhaps the key takeaway from the report and the most worrisome indicator for the future of the conflict is the Panel’s assessment that President Hadi’s “already tenuous level of control” was severely diminished in 2019 by the country’s overlapping conflicts.[13] “In contrast,” the Panel says, “the Houthis have continued to consolidate their control, maintain their economy and present a unified military force.”[14] Any peace talks, then, would feature a weak and embattled president fighting for his political survival sitting across the table from an insurgent group that holds his capital and appears to be growing stronger despite the military conflict.

Another Resolution, Another Year of War

Shortly after the Panel submitted its report, the Security Council met to decide on a new resolution for Yemen. (The sanctions program has to be renewed each year in February.) The US and UK, as has frequently been the case in recent years, pushed for language condemning Iran’s transfer of weapons to the Houthis, while Russia and China, as they have often done, pushed back. The threat of a veto carried the day and the final resolution, 2511, included no references to links between the Houthis and Iran.[34] The resolution also included no new sanctions, which both Russia and China have refused to support.

[Conclusion]

This is business as usual for the Security Council, a resolution renewal with no real hope of change. Five years after enacting Resolution 2216 the UN’s approach to Yemen remains as ineffective as ever, with the council increasingly divided and lacking in leverage. The sanctions program does not work, the targeted arms embargo is broken, and the UN special envoy is unable to bring about a peace the participants themselves do not want.

The Panel of Experts report makes clear that Yemen is a broken country, with too many unaccountable armed groups and too much outside influence. It has laid out the challenges facing Yemen and the international community well. But the Security Council has been unable to articulate an adequate response. This is disheartening, if understandable. No one wants to deal with Yemen. Not the United States, which for years has been an essential party to the conflict, and continues to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia. Not Russia, which seems more interested in countering the US than in solving the conflict; and not China, which has largely been hands-off since the fighting began. No country with influence wants to intervene, and no country that wants to intervene diplomatically has influence.

The war in Yemen remains a Security Council problem, and the Security Council can’t agree on a new approach. So it keeps renewing the old approach in the desperate hope that this will be the year that it works. Next year at this time, the UN will likely be putting a new number on another resolution as the war in Yemen rages on – by Gregory Johnsen

https://sanaacenter.org/publications/analysis/9339

and

(** B P)

Five Years of the UN Security Council Toeing the Saudi Line

When the United Nations Security Council took a position on the Yemen war five years ago, it quite naturally supported the interests of some of its member states over the armed Houthi movement which had, after all, swept into Sana’a, chased out the internationally recognized government and marched on Aden. In early 2015, Saudi Arabia was confident it could quickly restore order, having – along with the United Arab Emirates – assembled an Arab military coalition to intervene and secured backing from the United States and Britain. The UN Security Council (UNSC) merely had to provide political and moral cover, which it did in April 2015 in the form of a strongly worded resolution that assumed all would go according to the Saudi plan.

In Resolution 2216, the council demanded the Houthis surrender all territory seized, including Sana’a, fully disarm and allow President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government to resume its responsibilities.[75] [76] In essence, it insisted on surrender. That failed, but the same reasons that allowed the UNSC to make clear, forceful demands in 2015 have kept it from trying anything new in the five years since: The most powerful nations on the council hold common political, economic and security interests with Saudi Arabia, giving the state leading one warring side in the conflict a huge say in deciding when and how international diplomatic efforts are advanced to resolve it.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia had the full support of its key allies and arms suppliers, the US, the UK and France — three permanent, veto-wielding UNSC members. Even Russia, whose ability to veto often has historically acted as a counterbalance to US dominance in the council, had enough geostrategic interests that benefited from building on and improving its relations with the kingdom to merely abstain. Beyond Saudi Arabia’s influence with those permanent members, its Security Council clout has been bolstered throughout the war by rotating members of the council who are part of the Saudi-led military coalition.

Every resolution on Yemen in the past five years has been considered by a council overshadowed by Saudi Arabia’s influence and willingness to strategically spend money. The Saudis have in the past two decades purchased political buy-in from the US, UK and France in its regional affairs through intelligence exchanges, joint military training operations, billions of US dollars in arms purchases, oil deals and investments in each country’s economies and media. The US, UK and France are the largest defense suppliers to Saudi Arabia.[77] The United States is Saudi Arabia’s second-largest trading partner, with Riyadh supplying close to a million barrels per day of oil to the American market.[78] The Saudis have also invested billions of dollars in tech companies, the steel industry, hotels and real estate and media organizations.[79]

Saudi Arabia also has a growing economic relationship with China

While Russia has threatened to use its veto power to oppose council resolutions that single out Iran, Moscow’s more traditional ally, or efforts to broaden past resolutions in ways reflecting US foreign policy interests, it has been willing to accept the status quo since 2015. Russia insists both sides in the war be criticized equally in what one diplomat at the UN describes as Moscow’s attempt to “not rock the boat” with Saudi Arabia.[82] While the United Arab Emirates lobbies in various UN forums on the coalition’s behalf and has its own significant economic ties to the five key UNSC powers, UN member states need only look to what Saudi Arabia will accept, aware the Emirates will defer to Riyadh on Yemen issues.

Non-permanent members allied with Saudi Arabia have also shaped the council’s positions. Jordan (2014-2015), Egypt (2016-2017) and Kuwait (2018-2019) – all of which are members of the Saudi-led military coalition — have acted as proxies for Saudi Arabia during their rotations in the council.[83] Each of these countries has advocated for coalition interests within the UNSC, and each has objected to any criticism raised of the coalition’s performance in Yemen, including condemnations of international human rights violations, obstruction of aid and commercial shipments to sea ports as well as the enforced closure of Sana’a International Airport to commercial and civilian traffic.

These coalition members and the permanent members of the UNSC have effectively shut down many impartial initiatives by other rotating members, generally those having minimal relations with Saudi Arabia and that regard human rights as essential components of their countries’ foreign policy. Such countries have proposed texts addressing many Yemeni issues, including a New Zealand attempt in 2016 to circulate points that could be included in a resolution to replace Resolution 2216; this initiative was quashed in a backlash from Saudi-allied council members.

Saudi Arabia also managed to pressure UNSC members who were seen not to be toeing the line. For example, Malaysia was more outspoken about the Arab military coalition intervention in Yemen during the first year of its UNSC rotation. However, pressure from Riyadh ensued, including letters of complaint to the Malaysian foreign minister at the time, leading Malaysia to be far more restrained for the rest of its term.[89] Meanwhile, perhaps the most successful country pushing for independent actions during its UNSC rotation was Sweden, which was able to push for the Stockholm Agreement in 2018, aided by the UN’s special envoy to Yemen and global pressure on Riyadh following the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Notably irrelevant to Security Council decisions on Yemen is the position of the Hadi government. Yemen is considerably less strategically important to the permanent members’ individual regional interests than Saudi Arabia, and the Yemeni government is widely viewed as incompetent and weak.

Since its direct military involvement in the Yemen War, Saudi Arabia generally has been quite effective in ensuring the UNSC views the Yemen file through its interests. This has limited the council’s output to what the five permanent members can agree on that would not upset their individual interests with Riyadh. Combined with a UNSC desire not to “rock the boat,” this has led to a great deal of consensus, but very little movement - by Waleed Alhariri and Nickolas Ask

https://sanaacenter.org/publications/analysis/9603 = https://sanaacenter.org/publications/the-yemen-review/9518

(** B K P)

Yemen Is Shattered And The U.S. Helped The Saudis Break It

Even with a cease-fire on the horizon it may never recover, thanks to the stupefying Western support for the Kingdom.

The ongoing war is merely the latest interference by Saudi Arabia in the tumultuous domestic affairs of the Yemeni people. Yemen has been in crisis since its, or, more accurately, their birth. Ali Abdullah Saleh was the new state’s first president but the Saudis remained heavily involved, paying off tribes and promoting fundamentalist Sunni Wahhabism. The Shiite Houthi movement—as Zaydis they differ theologically from other Shia, such as Iranians—rose in revolt against Saleh, supported by Riyadh. The fighting continued until his overthrow in 2011 amid the Arab Spring. The Arab nationalist party eventually joined with the Houthis to oust his vice president and successor, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, in January 2015.

None of this mattered to the U.S. or even, really, to the Saudis. President Saleh was a pure opportunist while the Houthis were not run by Tehran. Hadi’s ouster was not about Riyadh but reflected endlessly disruptive Yemeni politics. However, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman wanted a puppet in Sanaa and the Obama administration wanted to reassure the Saudis after negotiating the Iran nuclear agreement. Thus, Washington sold planes, supplied munitions, provided intelligence, and until a couple years ago refueled aircraft for the Saudis, directly implicating Americans in five years of conflict and war crimes.

The Houthis are no Western liberals and dislike the U.S., but they also hate al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Islamic State. Indeed, the Saudi attack reduced pressure on America’s enemies in Yemen. While the ousted Hadi regime has cooperated with such groups, the Houthis continue to battle against them.

The Houthis killed Saleh after the allies had a falling out. They have been guilty of indiscriminate use of artillery, among other crimes. Nevertheless, human rights groups figure that two-thirds to three-quarters of the civilian damage and casualties are due to air attacks, and only the “coalition” of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates have planes. These bombings have destroyed Yemen’s social and commercial infrastructure, leading to famine and disease.

Many of these attacks on civilian targets appear to be intentional, aimed at disrupting Yemeni society.

The crimes of the coalition extend to the fight on the ground, as well. For instance, assisting jihadists including AQAP, employing brutal Sudanese militiamen, imprisoning and torturing opponents, and encouraging separatists. The latter has been a highlight of Abu Dhabi’s involvement.

There also is good old-fashioned oppression.

That the Kingdom mistreats Yemenis comes as no surprise. The royals oppress their subjects.

Riyadh and Abu Dhabi want some mix of political control and commercial advantage. Their behavior is not surprising. But what explains Washington’s role in enabling this horrific violence?

For years American presidents acted as supplicants in Riyadh, effectively renting out the U.S. military as a royal bodyguard. However, no outside power now threatens to conquer the Persian Gulf, which no longer has a stranglehold over global oil markets. Moreover, Israel is secure, the region’s dominant military power. While running for office, candidate Trump appeared to understand this, criticizing the monarchy for relying on Washington for protection.

No longer, however. The president focused his entire Mideast policy on Riyadh’s chief enemy, Iran, added more troops to safeguard the royals from any threat, ignored shameful violations of political, civil, and religious liberties, and legitimized the Middle East’s worst dictatorship.

Why his switch to a Saudi-first policy? The royals buy American products, especially weapons, but do so for their own gain. And they do not spend nearly enough to treat American servicemen and women as rent-a-soldiers at the beck and call of Saudi princes.

A worse reason to subordinate U.S. interests to those of the Saudi royals is Iran. Tehran does not threaten America, which could destroy Iran several times over in retaliation for any attack. The Islamic regime remains weak economically and militarily; Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf should be able to deter any aggression. Iran is involved in Yemen because the Saudis foolishly gave Tehran an opportunity to bleed the royals.

Washington should stay out of the Shia-Sunni conflict. If it was in America’s interest to get involved, the U.S. should be bombing Riyadh. The royals have promoted fundamentalist Wahhabism, which treats Jews, Christians, Shiites, and members of other faiths as the enemy, around the world, including in America.

At least the U.S. should stop underwriting the royal regime’s depredations elsewhere in the region, especially in Yemen. President Barack Obama, despite his liberal reputation, made America an accomplice to war crimes. Trump has continued that practice, to all Americans’ shame.

For five years the Saudis have been murdering Yemeni civilians with Washington’s aid. The war also undermines American security. It is time for President Trump to say no more and allow the Saudis to pay the full price of their ruler’s folly – by Doug Bandow

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/saudi-arabia-yemen-us-support/

(** B H P)

US slashes millions in Yemen aid despite pandemic

The Donald Trump administration is set to eliminate the majority of humanitarian assistance to Yemen amid concerns that a looming coronavirus outbreak will further decimate the war-torn country’s public health sector, which already struggles to cater to millions of immunocompromised Yemenis.

The Trump administration argues that the cuts, first reported by the Washington Post, are necessary because of onerous new aid restrictions on international delivery set up by the Houthi rebels, who control most of northern Yemen.

“Interference in aid operations is not acceptable anywhere, but the Houthis’ actions are particularly egregious,” a spokesperson for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) told Al-Monitor.

Still, the steep cut has even drawn out opposition from some humanitarian aid groups that have taken a harder line on Houthi aid obstruction in recent months. They argue that the cuts are particularly irresponsible as the World Health Organization has warned of a coming “explosion” of COVID-19 cases in Yemen.

Lise Grande, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, told Al-Monitor that slashing US assistance would cut off even more Yemenis from lifesaving programs.

“We don’t have a choice,” Grande said. "We’re going to have to reduce and possibly stop the assistance we provide to millions of Yemenis who depend on the generosity of the international community to survive. People here have no one else to turn to and nowhere else to go. It’s heartbreaking. It truly is.”

Some 80% of Yemenis are dependent on foreign assistance, and the United States provided some $700 million in humanitarian aid for Yemen last year.

USAID noted that it would continue funding $12 million in “critical lifesaving activities” while it continues operations in southern Yemen. Additionally, the USAID spokesperson said that the United States is “carefully and continually evaluating the situation on the ground with our partners so they can pivot current relief activities to address changing urgent needs, including COVID-19 preparation and response, if necessary.”

But Aisha Jumaan, an immunologist and the president of the Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation, said that “over 90% of health services are provided by the [Houthi] government in Sanaa,” as most of the Yemeni population lives in the north.

Jumaan estimated that “about 80%” of Yemenis are already immunosuppressed, putting them at high risk of dying should they contract coronavirus. The war between the Iran-backed Houthis and Saudi-led coalition has malnourished half the population on top of a cholera outbreak last year and a severe swine flu outbreak this year. She also noted that 50% of the health system is compromised because of the Saudi-led blockade and the coalition’s bombing of hospitals.

The Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation has only been able to send 500 COVID-19 tests to the key port of Hodeidah so far.

“They don’t have the ability to test,” Jumaan said. “They’ve not been able to upgrade or fix the equipment they have in the hospitals in five years because of the blockade. There are no ventilators.”

The USAID spokesperson emphasized that USAID had “been planning this suspension with our partners for many weeks” and that they would “resume operations as quickly as possible” once the Houthis eased the aid restrictions.

Scott Paul, the humanitarian policy coordinator for Oxfam America, told Al-Monitor that while his organization welcomed donor countries participating in aid negotiations with the Houthis, USAID’s $73 million aid cut goes too far.

“USAID took a much more far-reaching approach to this and basically said we’re not going to send funds to programs even if they can be delivered properly in the north, except for a very narrow set of circumstances,” Paul said. “Now we find ourselves in a really unusual situation where it was unusually problematic humanitarian negotiations from the beginning. Then when you see COVID-19 coming, there’s no sense this has caused a fundamental rethink of this [USAID] strategy.”

As the Trump administration cuts assistance and the Houthis refuse to lift their restrictions, humanitarian groups and antiwar activists are also mired in a tactical debate over whether to lobby Congress on taking another stab at passing a second Yemen war powers resolution to end US support for the Saudi-led coalition — an initiative President Trump vetoed last year – by Bryant Harris

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/03/us-cuts-aid-yemen-coronavirus-houthi-restrictions.html

My comment: The claim that that USAID had “been planning this suspension with our partners for many weeks” is a lie. The US side had pressed and obliged their “partners” to follow suit.

And

(** B H P)

Trump's aid cut is a death sentence for Yemenis facing coronavirus and war

Yemenis are already susceptible to many preventable diseases, but for Trump to cut aid during a pandemic is nothing short of lethal

Ostensibly, the decision was made in an effort to pressure the Houthis to relent on their onerous restrictions on the international humanitarian aid that flows to the areas of Yemen controlled by the rebel group.

Indeed, the United States and its international partners have decried Houthi interference in the delivery of humanitarian aid for some time, and threatened to withhold aid. But, donor countries' plans to suspend aid to Houthi-controlled territory were made before the true scope and extent of the spread of the novel coronavirus, and the disease it causes (COVID—19), was evident.

Despite the fact that they shared criticism of the Houthis' interference in aid delivery, officials from outside aid groups have said that the Houthis recently made some progress addressing donors' concerns. These developments were enough to satisfy some officials who then decided to allow aid to flow for another month.

What is clear to the United States' international partners and nongovernmental aid groups is that the state of play is different now. As the entire world faces a once-in-a-generation global pandemic, statecraft and geopolitics must take a backseat to humanitarianism.

Nevertheless, the United States, under the stewardship of President Trump, will again go at it alone, standing as the only international donor to completely end its financial support for the people living under Houthi control.

Ostensibly, the decision was made in an effort to pressure the Houthis to relent on their onerous restrictions on the international humanitarian aid that flows to the areas of Yemen controlled by the rebel group.

Indeed, the United States and its international partners have decried Houthi interference in the delivery of humanitarian aid for some time, and threatened to withhold aid. But, donor countries' plans to suspend aid to Houthi-controlled territory were made before the true scope and extent of the spread of the novel coronavirus, and the disease it causes (COVID—19), was evident.

Despite the fact that they shared criticism of the Houthis' interference in aid delivery, officials from outside aid groups have said that the Houthis recently made some progress addressing donors' concerns. These developments were enough to satisfy some officials who then decided to allow aid to flow for another month.

What is clear to the United States' international partners and nongovernmental aid groups is that the state of play is different now. As the entire world faces a once-in-a-generation global pandemic, statecraft and geopolitics must take a backseat to humanitarianism.

Nevertheless, the United States, under the stewardship of President Trump, will again go at it alone, standing as the only international donor to completely end its financial support for the people living under Houthi control.

Administration officials contend that there are exceptions to their new rule, namely for "critical, lifesaving activities, including treatment of malnutrition as well as water, sanitation and hygiene programmes aimed at keeping people healthy and staving off disease."

But, the administration's policies towards Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen are similar to its policies towards Iran, in that while they appear to carve out meaningful exceptions, they are harmful in practice because they limit the real amount of aid that flows to those that most need it.

The administration's decision to cut off aid to areas under Houthi rule - and only those areas under the group's control - is an extension of a broader set of policies. These are premised on the idea that if Washington penalises its opponents - in Yemen, the Houthis - then those living under the opponents' control will blame the nefarious actors for their struggles, and will then rise up in revolt.

It is the same strategy that has been employed against Iran.

Just as administration officials delight in "naming and shaming" those in the Iranian ruling regime whose corruption harms the economic fortunes for everyone else, US officials told reporters of the New York Times and the Washington Post that their recent decision to cut off aid is, at least in part, meant to place pressure on the Houthi rebels by indicating to the world and to the Yemenis living under their control, that this group alone is responsible for their suffering.

There is hardly sufficient evidence illustrating that such a policy is effective for state actors like those in Iran, let alone nonstate actors who operate with less control over state institutions and the economy. Indeed, when looking at the US strategy towards Iran, observers noted that "the US settled on a policy of making Iran as ungovernable as possible through sanctions and other forms of pressure, hoping that this leads to an uprising that topples the government."

Given that Washington's Arab allies in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi proved that overt war is inadequate for uprooting Houthi control, has the Trump administration instead opted to strangle the millions of Yemenis living under the thumb of the Houthis, in hopes that they will oust the group from control?

Sadly, this approach has all too predictable results. In Iran, for instance, the United States' strategy "make[s] life as miserable as possible for ordinary Iranians while failing to create political change in their country." More broadly, the most likely result of these economic pressure campaigns, when considering that they are operating against the backdrop of a global pandemic, is "wholesale death of innocent people and further discrediting of America's claim to humanitarianism."

The implications for the people of Yemen are even more dire.
Yemen, even before the war or the spread of coronavirus was a despairingly poor country.

The United States, then, must craft a policy that takes into consideration the Houthis' corruption but that gives even greater weight to the fact that the world is facing a crisis unseen in at least a generation.

Instead of cutting aid, the United States should join with other members of the international community to secure an immediate global ceasefire in all conflicts, including Yemen.

The Trump administration, staffed by men who boldly claim to be realists, is delusional if it believes this strategy will achieve any constructive goals. The Houthi rebels in Yemen have proved to be just as malign an actor in some areas under its control as the central government it took up arms against.
But the fact remains that they are, by many measures, among the most organised and capable actors in the country; they govern as much as 70 percent of the Yemeni population; and they will have a say in the country's direction. Trying to politically isolate the Houthis now is foolish and it will be a death sentence for thousands – by Marcus Montgomery

https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/2020/3/31/trumps-yemen-aid-cut-amounts-to-a-death-sentence

(** B P)

Sana’a From March 2015 to Today: A Study in Authoritarian Oppression

Five years following the intervention of the Saudi-led coalition into the conflict in Yemen, the manifestations of destruction and war in the Yemeni capital Sana’a are evident. Intensive bombing by coalition aircraft in 2015, and to a lesser extent, lighter shelling during the subsequent war years damaged governmental and private structures.

The streets of Sana’a since 2015 have gradually turned into an exhibition of images of Houthi fighters killed in the war against the coalition, the internationally recognized government and Saleh. Walls of governmental buildings, schools, hospitals and ministries are adorned with Houthi religious slogans.

Most public services, which were inadequate even before 2015, have almost completely disappeared under Houthi rule. Electricity and water were cut, and educational institutions were paralyzed after the suspension of public sector salaries in September 2016, with few exceptions.

Yemenis affiliated with the Houthis are rewarded with privileges in accessing services, while those who are not face obstacles — even if they do not explicitly oppose the movement.

On the other hand, Houthi affiliates have made large investments in these sectors, providing alternative services at double the price. Importing oil, distributing gas and generating electricity have become sources of obscene wealth for the group’s leaders.

After a halt to construction during the first year of the war, Sana’a has experienced a building boom. An unprecedented number of extremely lavish buildings have been constructed, especially on the outskirts of the city – mostly built by members of the Houthi movement as an outlet for their sudden wealth.

One of the reasons construction has flourished in Sana’a is the influx of displaced people from other regions of Yemen who fled armed clashes and frontlines, which increased demand for housing and, with it, rent prices.

Sana’a Becomes a Prison as Freedoms are Quashed

Popular demonstrations, such an integral part of the 2011 revolution, have vanished from Sana’a; only mobilization by the Houthis is permitted.

Walking through the streets of Sana’a, one invariably sees the latest car models, but struggles to find a recent edition of a book in any library. Books are no longer imported into Yemen, and most bookstore owners have replaced their bookshops with other businesses. Newspapers have almost completely disappeared; instead of the dozens of daily or weekly newspapers that were published in Sana’a prior to the Houthi takeover, there are only about five newspapers today — all of which are affiliated with the Houthis.

There are no longer any political activities in Sana’a, with the exception of limited meetings of the remaining members of the GPC in Sana’a, who are subject to supervision and direction by the Houthis.

Absolute Domination Within State Institutions

Since 2015, the Houthis have gradually consolidated their control over the capital and the state institutions in it. This began when they formed the popular committees and imposed the informal authority of the group’s supervisors (mushrif) over these institutions. They then worked to consolidate their partnership with the GPC to take advantage of its human resources, relationships and popularity. The Houthis stacked civil and military institutions with loyalists in parallel with the expulsion and exclusion of public servants affiliated with parties opposing the group and former president Saleh, such as the Islamist Islah party.

At the same time, because it is extremely difficult to maintain control over all of these public positions, especially those requiring specialized human resources, the group has sought to informally incorporate public sector employees through a systematic plan it calls “cultural courses”. These sessions – exclusively for men – are held according to the status of the person and the nature of his work, in closed and isolated places whose locations are unknown even to those who attend them. Before departing to these courses, all of the person’s belongings, even watches and phones, are confiscated, and they are transported in blacked-out cars to locations where they receive religious lectures from Houthi figures. These “courses” may last for several days or even weeks, during which time participants’ responses are monitored and their loyalty is assessed.

In recent years, especially after breaking with Saleh and the GPC, the group has begun articulating and imposing its religiously-based ideology more forcefully. It has imposed gender segregation in public places, schools, universities and even restaurants, and has begun harassing women on the basis of their clothing. Whenever the group finds that the public does not accept certain restrictions, the Houthis claim the policies are the actions of individuals and temporarily retract them, only to try to implement them again later.

Through the group’s repressive policies, revenues to official institutions have multiplied. Merchants are targets for extortion on any occasion relevant to the group (such as religious holidays like the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday), or according to the whims of Houthi leaders – by Salam Al-Harbi

https://sanaacenter.org/publications/analysis/9588 = https://sanaacenter.org/publications/the-yemen-review/9518

(** B H K)

Shepards northeast of Sana'a face minefields after Houthis push toward Al-Jawf, Marib

Military clashes have died down in most areas of Nihm district; local residents and their livestock now fear landmines

Before fighting erupted a few months ago in the Bani Faraj mountains of Nihm district in eastern Sana'a governorate, Sumayah Naji would spend most of her days herding sheep and collecting firewood. When the fighting died down a few weeks ago, after the Houthis forced government military troops to retreat eastward, Sumayah resumed her daily routine in a wider area thinking she could finally herd sheep across the whole mountain.

One day, while chanting and going about her work, the 35-year-old unwittingly entered a Houthi-planted minefield in the mountainous area and stepped on an explosive device. It detonated, leaving her drenched in blood.

“Her husband heard the sound of a loud explosion and rushed to check on her,” a local resident told Almasdar Online. “He tried to rescue her but another mine exploded under him."

Sumayah and her husband were rushed to a hospital in Yemen’s capital Sana'a. She died hours later, leaving behind three daughters, a son and a disabled husband, whose foot was amputated due to injuries sustained in the explosion.

The Najis are not the only victims of Houthi-planted landmines.

While the fighting has stopped for now in most areas of Nihm, death still threatens the lives of most residents and their livestock there.The Houthi minefields not only include strategic positions where the group used to clash with Yemeni government forces, but also other areas far from the battlefields where mines were planted as a precautionary measure to prevent any advances from the Yemeni army.

Two other residents in Bani Faraj were recently injured by Houthi-planted landmines. One of them escaped with leg and hand injuries, while the other lost his legs.

When eight residents from Wadi Mahally climbed to Jabal Al-Qatab and Kyal Al-Rebah, a mine explosion killed seven and injured one, according to residents from the area.

Residents have also lost their livestock to landmines in many locations they thought were safe. The landmines have made it impossible for people to resume their lives and move around safely. Many locals complain that the Houthis have not cleared the minefields in areas under their control.

“After our areas were liberated from the fighting, we tried to resume grazing, but the mines planted in the mountains and have turned our lives into terror, making every step we take dangerous,” one of the locals said. “Every day we lose some of our people, our livestock. Everyone is afraid of walking around and finds it difficult to graze his sheep, which we are forced to retrieve in the open mountains.”

The Houthi-planted landmines in various areas of Nihm are a long-standing danger to civilians’ lives. In the last month, mine explosions have killed 15 residents and injured nine, most of whom have become disabled.

https://al-masdaronline.net/local/557

(** B K P)

Five Years of Yemen Conflict Yield Muddled Picture for Saudi Coalition

Division and self-interest have largely derailed efforts to restore legitimate governance in Yemen.

As Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen enters a sixth year, the coalition has still not achieved its announced goal: defeating the Houthi rebels and restoring Yemen’s legitimate government. Instead, the Saudi coalition has become fragmented by conflicts of interests among its members, allowing the Houthis to advance on several fronts. But how did a coalition that entered the fight with such advantages come to face so many setbacks? And does it have any hope of succeeding?

CONFLICTING STRATEGIES

The Saudi-led military coalition began with the participation of ten countries. As time passed, Morocco withdrew, Qatar was expelled, and Jordan and Egypt kept their distance. The rift with Qatar worsened the Saudi-UAE relationship with Yemen’s Islah Party, a local faction that aligns ideologically with the Qatari-supported Muslim Brotherhood.

The UAE remains the only key coalition partner, though it has parted ways with Saudi strategy. Despite continued Saudi backing of Hadi’s government, the UAE helped form a separatist entity, the Southern Transitional Council (STC), to be its military arm on the ground.

Further, conflict erupted between coalition proxies

OLD CONFLICTS AND NEW SUSPICIONS

Local divisions among Yemenis have shifted during the coalition’s military intervention, driven in part by a coalition strategy to divide and more easily control the various anti-Houthi groups. The original warring parties—the Houthis and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh on one hand and the coalition-backed government on the other—are no longer the opposing sides. But the coalition’s divided front has been unable to make much headway against the Houthis, a comparatively tight-knit group.

In a separate rift, the UAE refuses to recognize the Hadi government’s national army, alleging that many of its commanders are loyal to the Islah Party. The Saudis have similar concerns. While the UAE pulled support for Hadi’s army, the Saudis continue their support, as the Islah Party remains their only real option for an anti-Houthi group on the ground.

YEMEN’S PARALYZED GOVERNMENT

The Houthi takeover of Sanaa laid bare the weakness of Hadi’s government even before the Saudi-led coalition intervened. Hadi has no strategy for the security challenges his people face. From Saudi Arabia, where he moved in 2015 after leaving Oman, Hadi has given the coalition a blank check to manage the situation, but that process has hollowed out any sense of authority his government once had. Today, most government officials remain in exile and receive lush salaries from the coalition.

A critical shortcoming of the coalition is its attitude toward democracy and even relatively democratic regimes like Yemen’s. The coalition has duplicated the monarchical governance models of its backers when dealing with Yemeni communities, often turning to loyal families and groups to secure its interests and achieve its policies.

SCARCE SIGNS OF PROGRESS

While the UAE has tried to protect its interests in South Yemen by supporting its own local factions and de-escalating tensions with the Houthis, Saudi Arabia has deepened its connections with the Houthis through back-channel ceasefire negotiations. Its goal is an agreement that would secure its borders and protect its territories from Houthi missile attacks – by Ahmed Nagi

https://carnegie-mec.org/2020/03/31/five-years-of-yemen-conflict-yield-muddled-picture-for-saudi-coalition-pub-81406

(** B K P)

Taiz at the Intersection of the Yemen War

Taiz is seen as the gateway to southern Yemen which, throughout the ongoing war, has condemned the city to some of the most significant frontline battles between the internationally recognized Yemeni government, the Saudi- and Emirati-led coalition backing it, and the armed Houthi movement. While Taiz city and governorate are theoretically divided between these two sides, a closer look reveals a situation that is far more complex.

The Lines Behind the Frontlines

The areas nominally controlled by the Yemeni government are in reality split among several parties. The forces of Tariq Saleh, the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s nephew who is close to the United Arab Emirates, control the city of Mokha and the entire coastal part of the governorate. National army forces affiliated with the Islah party control the city of Taiz. In areas next to them are militias led by Sheikh Hammoud Al-Mekhlafi, who is funded and supported by Oman and Qatar. The 35th Armored Brigade, which is close to the Socialist and Nasserist political parties and enjoys Emirati support, controls Al-Hujariah, a strategic area encompassing the southern and southeastern countryside of the governorate. The UAE also backs the Salafi-leaning Abu Al-Abbas Brigades; once a dominant force in Taiz city, since their defeat by Islah forces in 2019 the Abu Al-Abbas Brigades have been out of the scene and now have only a symbolic presence in Al-Kadha in the west of the governorate.

Frontlines in Taiz city between the Houthis and army forces loyal to Islah have not witnessed substantial changes since the former were pushed back from the southern half of the city in summer 2015, following the intervention by the Saudi-led coalition earlier in the year.

Still, the Houthis maintained their hold north of the city, including the governorate’s three main roads. As a result, the group has imposed a harsh siege on Taiz since the summer of 2015, hindering the movement of people and goods. The only major road left for movement in and out of the city was the one extending south, passing through Al-Turbah toward Aden. Importantly, the Houthis also control the industrial zone north of the city, from which they gain hundreds of millions of rials every year through taxes on factory owners. Content with this state of affairs, the Houthis have implicitly exited the main conflict stage in Taiz, settling into a defensive framework and limiting skirmishes with opponents.

The nature of conflict in Taiz has changed from a war of the Yemeni government versus the Houthis to mainly internal battles among nominal partners in the anti-Houthi coalition. Between the end of 2017 and April 2019, armed conflict frequently erupted in Taiz as different parties aimed to seize control of the city. This battle was won by Islah, which expelled Abu al-Abbas forces following several rounds of fighting. The victory came at a cost, however, as political tension has increased and a crisis of trust has emerged between Islah and other political parties in the city.

Islah Plays Kingpin

Taiz has witnessed widespread security chaos and criminal acts, partly attributed to armed gangs loyal to political and military leaders who in turn appear loyal to Islah. Among the most notorious gangs are the one led by Ghazwan al-Mekhlafi, who is related to Sadeq Sarhan, the commander of Brigade 22 Mika and a supporter of the Vice President Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, and another headed by Ghadr al-Sharaabi, who is a supporter of Abdo Farhan, known as Salem, advisor to the Islahi commander of the Yemeni army’s Taiz military axis. These gangs extort money from shops, seize land and take control of abandoned houses belonging to people who had fled the area.

Islah is the strongest party and the major political and military decision-maker in the governorate.

Abdo Farhan (Salem), who is affiliated with Islah and who is considered the strongest figure in Taiz, has effective military status although officially he’s just an employee in the ministry of education. Salem is one of the most important figures that Islah relies on to keep the army under its control in Taiz.

Qatar and Oman Build Taiz Proxy to Counter UAE, Saudi Arabia

Besides the UAE, Taiz has witnessed increased activity by other regional parties. Qatar, which has been in a bitter dispute with Saudi Arabia since mid-2017, has been most visible in this regard with its backing of popular resistance leader Sheikh Hammoud al-Mekhlafi, with Oman also playing a facilitating role for this support.

These current complications reflect how thorny the situation is in Taiz, and it is unlikely that the precarious political and security situation will improve in the short term. Unless the Houthis — who in 2020 have restarted military offensives on more than one front — renew attacks in Taiz, then the nature of conflict there will remain defined by local competition among the anti-Houthi ranks. This struggle reflects the government’s ongoing crisis of legitimacy amid division among its ostensible allies, in addition to competition among regional powers to influence the conflict – by Maged Al-Madhaji

https://sanaacenter.org/publications/analysis/9450

(** B P)

Eastern Yemen’s Tribal Model for Containing Conflict

Mahra in eastern Yemen has relied on a tribal code of conduct to escape the worst excesses of the country’s civil war. Localized forms of conflict management could help the rest of Yemen too.

SUMMARY

The tribes of Mahra, a part of eastern Yemen that borders Oman, adhere to a code of conduct that has helped the area’s inhabitants mediate disputes and contain conflict at key points in the region’s history. This has ensured a degree of stability for Mahra even in times of war. Today, as the war in Yemen continues, the region is the site of a power struggle between Saudi Arabia and Oman. The Mahri code of conduct has enabled the region to escape the worst excesses of the war and to limit Saudi influence there. Though often overlooked, the Mahri approach could offer lessons in defusing tensions between the warring parties elsewhere in conflict-ridden Yemen.

KEY THEMES

Mahra’s geographic location, particularly the fact that it borders Oman to the east, has shaped its traditions and social mores.

During two insurgencies that engulfed Mahra in the 1960s and 1970s, several Mahri tribal traditions coalesced into a code of conduct, which helped locals broker settlements and contain conflict.

By holding fast to their code of conduct throughout Yemen’s current civil war, the Mahris have averted sustained conflict among themselves despite being divided into pro-Omani and pro-Saudi factions. The code has also helped the tribes limit Saudi Arabia’s ability to impose its will on the region following Riyadh’s major military intervention.

THE MAHRI CODE OF CONDUCT

The Mahri code of conduct rests on five tribal traditions. First, Mahri solidarity is supratribal. Although the tribes of Mahra often engage in disputes among themselves, which can be exploited by outside parties, external actors are granted only so much leeway when operating within the Mahri sphere. If and when an outside player engages in direct aggression against a Mahri tribe or individual, most Mahris, irrespective of tribal affiliation, tend to close ranks against the outsider.

Second, among the Mahris, blood is thicker than water: intratribal divisions cannot justify strife, and violence against other Mahris remains highly taboo. Indeed, although violence between Mahri tribes, while rare, is not unheard of, violence between clans or subgroups of the same tribe is almost inconceivable.6 Paradoxically, then, splits within tribes militate against violence more than divisions among tribes do. This or that clan or faction of a Mahri tribe may ally itself politically with an outside party, but it will remain strongly disinclined to use force on behalf of outsiders.

Third, in Mahri culture, bearing arms does not necessarily mean using them.

MAHRA AND YEMEN’S CURRENT CIVIL WAR

In November 2017, the civil war in Yemen entered a new phase. Until then, Saudi Arabian military forces had focused their energies on the governorates of Sadah, Jawf, and Hadramawt. Now, in their capacity as the leading element of an Arab coalition that included the United Arab Emirates and other countries, they moved into Mahra and quickly seized key facilities. The Saudis sought to counter increased Omani influence in Mahra, particularly given their conviction that Oman was allowing Iran to use both its territory and that of adjoining Mahra to funnel arms to the Houthi rebels. Additionally, the Saudis wanted access to the Arabian Sea, on whose shores they could construct a port and create a shipping route for oil exports that would bypass Iranian navy patrols in the Strait of Hormuz.14

From the start, several Mahri tribes vocally opposed the Saudi intervention. At issue was the blatant nature of the outside interference in Mahra’s affairs as well as the fear that the Saudis sought to encroach on Mahra’s vitally important link to Oman. The relationship between Oman and the Mahris, which took shape during the Dhofar rebellion, had solidified over the ensuing decades; during this period, the Omanis deepened their familiarity with Mahri ways, including the Mahri code of conduct. Following the signing of a border agreement with Yemen in 1992, Oman went so far as to grant citizenship to some Mahris and made it easier for many others to move to Oman.15 Yemen’s civil war has brought the two sides even closer together. Mahra’s economic stability today owes much to its ability to secure fuel and food from Oman; meanwhile Muscat increasingly has coordinated with Mahri tribes on border security as the Yemeni state has disintegrated.

Unwelcome to begin with, the Saudis made the situation even worse for themselves by attempting to impose their ways on the Mahri people – by Ahmed Nagi

https://carnegie-mec.org/2020/03/31/eastern-yemen-s-tribal-model-for-containing-conflict-pub-81403

(** B T)

Counterterrorism Yearbook 2020

Yemen and Salafijihadism, by Elisabeth Kendall, p. 66–69

Yemen’s rugged topography, rampant corruption and persistent conflicts have long made it an attractive hub for militant jihadists, who have been operating there since the 1980s. Today, after nearly five years of internationalised civil war, the conditions for extremism to thrive are better than ever.

Militant jihad in Yemen was given a huge boost in March 2015 when a Saudi-led coalition of Sunni Arab countries intervened militarily to contain the perceived influence of Shia Iran and restore the internationally recognised government toppled by the Houthi rebels. This sectarian framing of Yemen’s war fits perfectly into the jihadists’ own highly polarising narrative of true believers versus deviants, pitting Muslims against other Muslims. For an entire year, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was able to run a protostate out of the eastern coastal capital, Mukalla. Its fighters were ousted in April 2016 by United Arab Emirates (UAE) special forces with help from US allies, but they were dispersed, not killed. Both AQAP and Islamic State (IS) persist in Yemen, despite being weakened over the past two years, especially by relentless drone strikes, special forces operations and their own current internecine fighting. AQAP has proven particularly resilient. There are several reasons for this, all of which suggest that AQAP will remain a force to be reckoned with, despite its leaders currently having gone to ground.

NEW TRAJECTORIES Extremism in Yemen is evolving. Several new trajectories could be identified in 2019.

First, both AQAP and IS may be increasing their links to organised crime as the war economy in Yemen booms. For AQAP, forging unholy alliances is a practical necessity that comes with the shift from being a ruler to being an outlaw in need of weapons, supplies and protection. IS defectors’ testimonies suggest that IS, too, is in league with organised crime networks.8 Disillusioned jihadists complain of their leaders doing deals with drug lords and criminal gangs, arguing over girls and being ignorant of the Quran.9

Second, Yemen’s jihad is becoming increasingly politicised. This occurs in two opposing ways: the genuine instrumentalisation of extremists by political actors and the false attribution of obstructive acts to extremist groups

CONCLUSION

Whether or not a peace deal is struck and kept, the prospects for a resurgence of extremism look worrying. Peace consultations lumber on with half-hearted participation by the main actors. Even if a peace deal is reached, it will leave multiple fractures throughout society. Many of those trying to survive in economically wrecked communities, disillusioned, with their deep-seated grievances unaddressed, have both weapons and battlefield experience. Perversely, therefore, it may be that the risks of conflict contagion, and with it a resurgence of militant jihad, will increase after a peace deal is finally brokered. Experience suggests that extremists will co-opt local anger and reframe it within broader narratives of global jihad.

Worse still, if a peace deal isn’t reached, all the key ingredients are present for Yemen to unravel further: the proliferation of armed militias attached to old north–south fault-lines, foreign proxies building resentment through human rights violations, growing sectarianism, the perilous exploitation of extremist groups by state actors to further (and provide cover for) their own political agendas, an entire generation of dispossessed youth that has known only war, a catastrophic cholera epidemic, over 2 million children out of school, a looming water crisis, millions displaced, and millions more starving. Yemen could be at risk of complete implosion. https://www.aspi.org.au/report/counterterrorism-yearbook-2020

And in full https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/ad-aspi/2020-03/ASPI%20Counterterrorism%20YB2020.pdf

(** B H P)

Do not Forget My Father!

“Mwatana” documents the hard waiting moments of detainees’ families and their concerns of the Coronavirus spread

Muhammad Qahtan, a prominent leader in Islah Party, born in 1958, is one of the most prominent forcibly disappeared politicians in the country. His family appears to be unsure of the seriousness of the warring parties for putting his name firmly on the lists of prisoners’ exchange deals. Fatima appeals to the parties concerned, “do not forget our father, whose hair has turned gray and his body weakened during five years of enforced disappearance.”

Fatima said: “During the past five years, we have only received contradicted information as some say that he is well, some says he has died in an air attack by the coalition, and some say he is ill. We do not know which information is true.” She added, “No one has responded to our pleas and our most basic rights. Our requests to have a written letter from our father were ignored that some people denied his existence originally.”

The Qahtan’s family hopes that he will be part of the prisoners’ and detainees’ swap deal announced by the International Committee of the Red Cross. “We want to see him. We want to hear his voice … We have nothing but supplication and patience. We supplicate to God to free and return him to us with his good health and mind.” Fatima said.

Yahya Al-Dailami… The haji (Pilgrim) who returned from Makkah to the prison

When Yahya Hussein al-Dailami decided to go to perform Hajj (pilgrimage) in Makkah, he was very confident that he would return to his home in Sanaa after completing his Hajj for one of his deceased female relatives. Yet, an ambush was waiting for Haji Yahya at Alfalj checkpoint, 10 km south of Marib city.

On August 9, 2019, the scholar Al-Daylami, along with his flight companion, Haji Fuad Fakher, was arrested when a security checkpoint of the authorities at Marib stopped the international transport bus. Some members of that checkpoint got into the bus calling for these two name and took them to unknown destination.

Ibrahim Al-Dailami (37 years old), the younger brother of the religious scholar Yahya Al-Dailami’s, said, “From that date until now, we do not know where they took him to. We do not know how his health is. He is diabetic, and we do not know whether they allow him to have his medication or not.” Ibrahim added by mentioning the good qualities in his elder brother’s personality, “We do not fear for his psychological condition and morale, he is a man of strong faith and has lived the life of prisons and detention centers before, but his health is all what matters to us. He is diabetic and suffers from Joint Friction and Gout.”

The two families of Al-Dailami and Fakher are keenly and eagerly awaiting the news about the rounds of negotiations on the agreement of prisoners and detainees exchange. “We supplicate May Allah (God) free them.” Ibrahim said, “My brother was not a fighter in a battle so as to consider him a captive, but he was kidnapped while on his way to his country with his Ihram cloths in his hands… They do not have humanity nor morals of Muslims!”

Who will wipe the tears of Zakariya’s Mother?

“Please, I am appealing you to help me visit my son and find out the place where he is detained”, this is how the mother of Zakariya Ahmed Qasim appeals the humanitarian organizations and official agencies to help her find out the fate and whereabouts of her son who has been detained since January 2018 in Aden.

She added, describing how her 65-year-old son was taken after Fajr prayer, by masked and armed people, “They took him by force. Since that date, we having heard about him.”

Although the Riyadh agreement between the Southern Transitional Council and the internationally recognized government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi to exchange prisoners and detainees five months ago, prisons and detention centers are still crowded with hundreds people from all parties. Zakariya, who was a social activist in the charitable field, is one of the forcibly disappeared, whose families search for any statements regarding their health and psychological status.

Zakariya’s Mother said that she received assurances from security authorities in Aden earlier this year state that Zakariya was in their possession. However, those authorities denied his existence later. Then, Zakariya’s mother and children entered into a cycle of anxiety and stormy thinking.

Al-Mutawakel.. Three years into the Unknown

On April 27, 2017, while Dr. Mustafa Al Mutawakel was on his way returning from Sayoun following an international participation in a conference in Morocco, loyal soldiers to President Abdrabu Mansour Hadi government boarded the bus, on which he was traveling, in Al-Falj checkpoint in Marib. They took him to an undisclosed location and denied him any visits or communication with his family.

Dr. Mustafa travelled to Morocco to attend the Annual Conference for Investment Institutions, responding to an invitation he received in his capacity as the Chairperson of the General Investment Authority in Sana’a. His family said that he passed through the areas controlled by Hadi government, boarded a plane from Seiyun Airport and returned through the same airport. Then, he confidently traveled by land on a public bus towards Sana’a not imagining that an academic and a civilian person like him would be detained.

On May 15, 2017, his wife, the university professor Dr. Elham Al Mutawakel, travelled to Marib with a legal team to demand her legal right in visiting him. She was accompanied by three members of the Sana’a University Faculty Staff Syndicate, including the Head of the Syndicate, in solidarity with their abducted colleague.

In Marib governorate administration, she was treated as a guilty person, though she was just looking for her husband. “I never imagined that ill treatment by officials in Marib. I was treated as if I am Abdul Malik Al Houthi himself. I was just a panicked wife searching for her life mate” Elham said.

“Coronavirus”.. Additional Concerns

In the first months of the current year 2020, the “Coronavirus”, scientifically known as “Covid-19”, has blown across the world, adding to the fear of families of detainees and enforcedly disappeared people in Yemen that this disease would spread to places where they are detained.

In December 2019, Mwatana released a study on the situation of the detention centers in Yemen. This study showed that the detention centers do not meet the international nor national standards in terms of the spatial environment and the basic services necessary for detention centers. In the event that Coronavirus spreads in the detention centers that do not have the minimum basic safety precautions, the results will be disastrous.

Abdul Karim Al-Iryani (55 years old), an employee in Ministry of Water and Environment, was detained from his workplace in Sana’a and was hiden for 23 days before the Houthi security authorities in Sana’a had announced his detention in the National Security Agency.

Abdul Karim’s oldest daughter, Abrar Al-Iryani, (19 years old), said, commenting on the news of the world spread of coronavirus, “Why are not my father and the fathers of many other girls released?!” “Any of my family members or I may die tomorrow of “coronavirus” or something else. What will happen if you return my father to us so that we live the rest of our days together?” she continued.

Abrar added, “It has been a year and three months since my father was detained. You can imagine how all those days have passed for him and for us; my mother drowns in her tears every day; I am living meaningless life and I lost my sense of hope; days are so heavy for my sisters.”

https://mwatana.org/en/dont-forget-my-dad/

(** B H)

Water Conflict and Cooperation in Yemen

The Middle East is an arid, water-stressed region, but Yemen stands out for the scale of its water problem. Yemen is one of the world’s ten most water-scarce countries. In many of its mountainous areas, the available drinking water, usually drawn from a spring or a cistern, is down to less than one quart per person per day. Its aquifers are being mined at such a rate that groundwater levels have been falling by 10 to 20 feet annually, threatening agriculture and leaving major cities without adequate safe drinking water. Sanaa could be the first capital city in the world to run dry. Even today, many wells have to be drilled to depths of 2,600 to 3,900 feet, extremely deep by world standards. Yemen also differs from several Arabian Peninsula countries in that the government lacks legitimacy and the people strongly resist regulations and laws imposed from the top down. For these reasons, the Ministry of Water and Environment, supported by international donors including Germany through the German Technical Cooperation, have adopted a strategy of decentralized water resource management by encouraging stakeholder and community participation. Provinces, water basins and villages have acted to conserve local supplies of the life-giving liquid, but it is uncertain how long these efforts can stave off disaster.

Race to the Bottom

Agriculture takes the lion’s share of Yemen’s water resources, sucking up almost 90 percent. Until the early 1970s, traditional practices ensured a balance between supply and demand. Then the introduction of deep tube wells led to a drastic expansion of land under cultivation. In the period from 1970 to 2004, the irrigated area increased tenfold, from 37,000 to 407,000 hectares, 40 percent of which was supplied by deep groundwater aquifers. The thousands of Yemenis working abroad often invested their remittances in irrigation. Other incentives to expand farmland came in the form of agricultural and fuel subsidies. Farmers began growing less of the local, drought-resistant varieties of wheat and more water-intensive cash crops such as citrus and bananas.

The emerging cash economy also led to a dramatic increase in the cultivation of qat — the mild stimulant whose leaves are chewed in Yemen. It is estimated that qat production now accounts for 37 percent of all water used in irrigation. In the water-stressed highland basins of Sanaa, Sa‘da, ‘Amran and Dhammar, qat fields now occupy half of the total irrigated area. Groundwater levels in these highlands have fallen so precipitously that only the lucrative returns from qat justify the cost of operating and maintaining a well.

Qat is a major factor in the national economy, with about 15 percent of the population directly or indirectly benefiting from its production, transport and trade. One third of the agricultural gross domestic product and 6 percent of the overall GDP come from the plant, which also composes 10 percent of family expenditures. For these reasons, and because Yemenis enjoy chewing it, qat is a very politically sensitive topic. Even though cultural norms give priority to drinking and other household water needs, the importance of qat and other cash crops to the economy means that cities, in particular, often lose out to agriculture in the competition for resources.

Qat is grown as well in the Sanaa basin, where the capital is located and 10 percent of the Yemeni population lives. A total of 13,500 wells have been inventoried in the basin. The vast majority of them serve farmers, but the water is disappearing. In the mid-1990s, extraction in the catchment area exceeded recharge from rainfall by over 400 percent. Available data give the Sanaa aquifer two decades of life, after which irrigated agriculture in the basin will end.

One third of the 125 wells operated by the state-owned Sanaa Local Corporation for Water Supply and Sanitation for supply of the capital have been drilled down to 2,600 to 3,900 feet. The combined output of all these wells barely meets 35 percent of the growing city’s need. The rest is supplied either by small, privately owned networks or by hundreds of mobile tankers. In recent years, as water quality has deteriorated, privately owned kiosks that use reverse osmosis — a water filtration method — to purify poor-quality groundwater supplies have mushroomed in Sanaa and other towns.

Future supply options include pumping desalinated water from the Red Sea over a distance of 155 miles, over 9,000-foot mountains into the capital, itself located at an altitude of 7,226 feet. The enormous pumping cost would push the price of water up to $10 per cubic meter (roughly 35 cubic feet). Yemen may be willing to pay this price for household demand. For agricultural water, however, the elevated cost is out of the question since the quantity required per capita is at least one hundred times greater. Other options to supply Sanaa from adjacent regions are fraught due to perceived water rights. Islam teaches that water is a gift from God and cannot be owned. Land, however, can. When a person digs or drills a well on his own land, he obtains the right to extract and use as much water as he can draw. The increasing awareness of the country’s water scarcity has resulted in a race to the bottom — every man for himself. Well owners are trying to capture what remains of this valuable resource before the neighbors do.

Top-Down Conservation

Today, there are between 45,000 and 70,000 wells in Yemen, the majority of which are under private control. No one can be certain of the exact number, as almost all were drilled without license.

Only since 2002, when the national water law was promulgated, has it been mandatory to apply for a permit to drill a new well, or even deepen or repair an existing one. Efforts to register wells that were drilled before the legislation came into effect have been unsuccessful. Farmers are suspicious that registration will gradually lead the state to metering how much water they extract. Moreover, they are alarmed at the prospect that extraction rights might eventually be defined by the amount of land they own and historically cultivate. A farmer who has several wells on a small plot of land would have less extensive water rights than one with no wells on a larger plot.

2003 saw the establishment of the Ministry of Water and Environment, which was vested with a mandate to supervise resource management – by Gerhard Lichtenthaeler

https://merip.org/2010/03/water-conflict-and-cooperation-in-yemen/

cp1a Am wichtigsten: Coronavirus und Seuchen / Most important: Coronavirus and epidemics

(* B H)

Infographic: I tried to compare the population pyramid in Yemen and the population pyramid in Italy. The population pyramid in Italy and Europe contains millions of people in high-risk groups, unlike the majority of the people in Yemen, who make up children, youth, and middle-aged people the most. This affects warning, danger, and the need for health care.

https://twitter.com/Abotaleb_H/status/1245487976169209861

(** B H P)

The coronavirus threat to Yemen

The prospect of Covid-19 hitting Yemen is terrifying considering the already ongoing humanitarian catastrophes in the country.

The UN has urged all actors involved in wars to end their hostilities in order to help the world contain Covid-19 (coronavirus).

Yemen is probably the Arab state most vulnerable to coronavirus. Even without the conflict, the Arab region’s poorest country would be far from having adequate resources to cope with Covid-19.

With destroyed infrastructure, a nearly collapsed health care system, widespread malnourishment, two million cholera cases, crowded refugee camps, and more than five years of warfare, one could only imagine how much coronavirus could exacerbate Yemen’s humanitarian crises.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned of “a perfect storm of a disaster should this virus introduce itself” to Yemen.

Unfortunately, the recent escalation of violence in the conflict highlights how the parties have not accepted Secretary-General Guterres’ demand for a “global ceasefire” — at least not for too long.

Although as of writing there have been no documented cases of coronavirus in Yemen, this pandemic could make the country’s humanitarian disasters even more catastrophic should it hit the country.

Nonetheless, it is important to recognise that Covid-19 is also an opportunity for the various actors in Yemen’s conflict to make concessions in a face-saving way in the interest bringing peace to the war-torn country.

Although a ceasefire would not immediately resolve the underlying causes of the Yemeni civil war, it is a necessary first step.

Without a truce that can quickly go into effect, Yemen will be awaiting a looming crisis that threatens to unleash a whole new wave of widespread death and misery across the country five years after the Saudis and Emiratis launched “Operation Decisive Storm”.

Under the pretext of protecting Yemen from Covid-19, the leaders of the various sides fighting in Yemen could prioritise the safety and health of Yemenis above their own political agendas. If ever there were a time for such a shift in priorities, it would be now.

But a danger for Yemen is that the main players might conclude that more is to be gained than lost from continued warfare.

Yemen’s looming Covid-19 crisis is also playing out in relation to the conflict between the country’s UN-recognised administration and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC).

In order to weaken Preident Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi’s government, individuals tied to the STC have been reportedly withholding equipment that the WHO sent to Yemen.

At the same time, in Yemen there is information warfare surrounding Covid-19. For example, certain Houthi figures are accusing the US of being behind this pandemic while using their media outlets to sell a message about the Islamic Republic successfully taking care of the disease despite Washington’s “maximum pressure”.

For Yemenis, humanitarian crises and pandemics are not new. They have been experiencing them throughout the past five years.

Tragically, the health and security of Yemenis have never been priorities for the major political actors involved in the country’s multisided conflict.

The blocking of humanitarian aid for political purposes, bombing of hospitals, and many more egregious acts have resulted in millions of Yemenis paying the price for this nightmarish conflict continuing.

Indeed, it is terrifying to consider how much coronavirus could worsen Yemen’s ongoing catastrophes – by Giorgio Cafiero

https://www.trtworld.com/opinion/the-coronavirus-threat-to-yemen-35029

(** B H)

Yemen’s Civil War Will Make the Coronavirus Even More Dangerous

Few places are as ill-prepared for an outbreak.

There are currently no reported cases in the country, which is very fortunate: The coronavirus’s spread in the country, the most populous in the Arabian Peninsula by far, would be particularly catastrophic.

The country’s medical facilities have been routinely attacked during the war between the country’s Saudi-backed government and Iran-aligned Houthi rebels. According to Yemeni government statistics, there are only 700 ICU beds and 500 ventilators in the country for a population of about 30 million.

Despite that potential disaster scenario, the Trump administration announced on Friday that it is cutting $70 million worth of aid to northern Yemen,

“It’s a very big problem as the U.S. was one of the biggest donors,” says Caroline Seguin, Doctors Without Borders deputy program manager for the Middle East. For example, in northern Yemen, there is now no funding to open a COVID-19 treatment center, she said: “If you don’t have any money to pay doctors’ salaries, it will be very difficult to open any center that treats the coronavirus.”

The official reason for the U.S. cutting is that the Houthis, who control northern Yemen, have been siphoning off food supplies and other aid intended for the Yemeni populace. The move also fits into a strategy employed by the Saudi coalition in its war against the Houthis: limiting the rebels’ resources in order to pressure them into political concessions. Yemeni civilians have suffered as a result, but despite the outcry from human rights groups, the U.S. and U.K. have continued to provide military and logistical support to the Saudi coalition.

“The truth is that even if the fighting were to stop, a COVID-19 outbreak would be catastrophic for millions of very poor, very hungry, and vulnerable people in Yemen, but if it does not stop, it will be far worse,” said Peter Salisbury, Yemen senior analyst at International Crisis Group.

Additionally, it’s unclear if the country’s beleaguered health system would be able to keep track of COVID-19 even if it had arrived. COVID-19 isn’t the only health crisis Yemen faces.

“It would be very lucky to have no cases in Yemen, for sure,” said Seguin.

According to the World Health Organization, it has distributed about 1,000 COVID-19 testing kits to medical facilities across Yemen. So far, only suspected cases who have symptoms and a history of exposure are being tested. “It’s nowhere nearly enough where you could test every suspected case that walks into a hospital,” said Christine Cool, WHO spokesperson in Yemen. Because Yemen hasn’t announced any cases yet, it’s not considered a priority country for receiving more coronavirus-related supplies from WHO.

Still, at the time of a pandemic, Yemen’s isolation may have turned into a strange blessing. Even before COVID-19, Yemen was relatively cut off.

While the Saudi blockade on Houthi territory has led to humanitarian catastrophe, it may have had the unintended consequences of helping keep the coronavirus at bay. Now the Houthis are enforcing a quarantine for any Yemeni entering their territory from government-controlled Yemen, even if the person is just returning home. The conditions of the quarantine are reportedly grim.

Even in the rest of the country, nominally under control of Yemen’s internationally recognized government, there were few international commercial flights a day from neighboring countries on the national carrier, Yemenia, and only into two cities, Aden and Seiyoun. These flights were suspended in mid-March, though it is certainly possible that Yemenis traveling home from Cairo, for example, could have brought COVID-19 into the country. by Laura Kasinof

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/04/yemens-civil-war-could-create-a-coronavirus-catastrophe.html

(** B H P)

Yemen and COVID-19: What Needs to be Done

The arrival of the coronavirus, a pandemic which has shocked the world’s largest economies, will be catastrophic. The weak health system, poor water and sanitation infrastructure, and social norms that encourage close contact and social gatherings — such as qat chews — are among the factors that would make the spread of this virus explosive in Yemen.

During the war, Yemen has reported the highest number of suspected cholera cases in recent history, with more than 2.3 million suspected cases reported since 2017.[7] Working in Yemen in 2019, I witnessed an overstretched health system struggling to cope with high demand for essential health services and suffering from a shortage of ICU beds and ventilators. External aid plays a vital role saving lives and protecting our health system from total collapse.

Moreover, more than 7 million Yemenis are in need of treatment or services for malnutrition, according to UNICEF, including 2 million children under five and 1 million pregnant and lactating mothers who need urgent treatment for acute malnutrition.[8] Acute malnutrition lowers immunity if left untreated, potentially worsening the impact of the coronavirus among these communities.[9]

Furthermore, the WHO recommends frequent handwashing using proper techniques to prevent the infection. In reality, many areas in Yemen lack clean water resources so achieving this will be very challenging. Yemenis’ lack of access to safe water and basic sanitation already contributed to the rapid spread of cholera in the country.[10] On top of this, about 55 percent of the budget required for water, hygiene and sanitation within Yemen’s humanitarian response plan is yet to receive funding.[11]

The fragmentation of Yemen is a huge challenge and will have a severe impact on preparedness, containment and mitigation measures.[12] Pandemics demand a harmonized response, the rule of law and strict regulations. In Yemen, the response to the epidemic is likely to differ depending on who is in control of each area.

Current Initiatives

In February, the Yemen Health Cluster, a coordination platform for humanitarian health activities led by the WHO, initiated COVID-19 preparedness and response activities in collaboration with the Yemeni Ministry of Health in Sana’a and Aden. Locations for isolating potential patients were identified and being prepared in hospitals, mostly near airports. Screening testing kits were sent to some central laboratories in Sana’a, Aden and Mukalla, and additional kits arrived in Aden on March 24, the WHO confirmed.[14]

What Should Be Done?

Time is a great asset. With no confirmed infections in Yemen so far, there is more time for better preparedness and preventative measures against COVID-19. Considering and learning from the experiences of affected countries will significantly reduce the impact of the pandemic in Yemen. In tandem with WHO’s eight pillars[17] of public health preparedness and response to address COVID-19, the following measures should be taken:

The Way Forward

The situation of Yemen is dire: Every sector is fragile. Everyone has the responsibility to stop transmission and prevent virus spread. Yemen’s healthcare system, represented by the Ministry of Health regardless of whose authority its offices function under, should lead the response in close coordination with all other sectors, UN agencies, international donors, civil society actors and communities. It is critical to prioritize interventions to protect our health workers (based on lessons learned from Italy and China), older people, impoverished families, malnourished children and mothers, and disabled people. Most importantly, projects and activities to sustain essential services in health should not be interrupted. COVID-19 is a public health emergency; let us be better prepared – by Dr. Sameh Al-Awlaqi

https://sanaacenter.org/publications/analysis/9435

(* B H K P)

End the War Before the Pandemic

The Sana’a Center Editorial

‘Operation Decisive Storm’ was a moniker meant to convey a sense of speed but instead became a synonym for hubris and failure.

Meanwhile, the United States, which has backed and armed the coalition’s intervention from the start, reduced the humanitarian aid it provides Yemen. It would be easy to conclude there is no end in sight for the conflict today and that half a decade of war will only beget half a decade more. It may be more productive, however, to peer into the darkest of all things – a pandemic that threatens to be especially cruel to an impoverished, war-weakened and malnourished society – and recognize the only choice is to stop fighting each other in order to confront a greater, shared threat.

Despite some attempts to prepare for the virus’ near-inevitable spread in Yemen, the country’s already rudimentary healthcare capacities have been fragmented and eviscerated by the war, meaning many Yemenis will be left without medical recourse in the face of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That the coronavirus will have a terrible impact in Yemen seems beyond question – how catastrophic it will be is not foretold, however, with the difference being whether there is a coordinated and cohesive nationwide effort among local, regional and international stakeholders to fight the disease.

Simply put, the worst-case scenario is in no one’s interest, and cooperation between the warring sides is the only option to avoid such. Both the Houthis and the anti-Houthi coalition acknowledged this, at least tacitly, in announcing near the end of March that they would heed a United Nations call for a nationwide cease-fire to focus on combating the coronavirus. That hostilities continued to rage on numerous fronts at month’s end revealed that public commitments to a cease-fire are fleeting.

The United Nations – through the special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths – must put in place a meaningful framework to use this window of opportunity before it is lost completely to the country’s rapidly developing circumstances. The clearest and most realistically achievable step to gain momentum for deescalation is to start with a prisoner exchange. Today.

Importantly, the need for a collective response to confront a shared threat comes as Riyadh is also looking for a means to exit the costly quagmire Yemen has become.

https://sanaacenter.org/publications/the-yemen-review/9536

(* B H)

‘People don’t realise what is coming’: How a coronavirus crisis would unfold in war-torn Syria, Yemen or Libya

YEMEN: ‘If we get a single case it will become an epidemic immediately’

No coronavirus cases have yet been recorded because the country has been all but sealed off due to a Saudi-enforced land, air and sea blockade.

But doctors and medical charities told The Independent it is just a matter of time, with the country having no capacity to respond.

The five-year war has spawned the largest humanitarian crisis in terms of numbers.

An estimated 80 per cent of the population – or 24 million people – require some form of humanitarian assistance to survive. Two-thirds of the country are one step away from famine.

Adding to the woes is the worst outbreak of cholera in modern history, which has left the population incredibly vulnerable to a coronavirus outbreak.

Oxfam reported last week that there are 50 suspected cholera cases emerging every hour, compounded by the fact that around 17 million people – more than half the population – have no access to clean water.

In those conditions, coronavirus could rage through the country, where only half the medical facilities are still functioning.

A recent report by the Yemen Data Project found that over the last five years, Saudi-led coalition aircraft have bombed medical facilities including hospitals and clinics 83 times, killing 95 civilians and injuring a further 116.

“The prospects are very bleak – Yemenis are far more vulnerable than any other population in the region,” said PHR’s Koteiche.

PHR together with the group Mwatana for Human Rights put out a report detailing the destruction to Yemen’s healthcare system.

Medics on the ground told The Independent they did not have the medical supplies to treat those with malnutrition, cholera or war wounds – let alone Covid-19.

“We have no additional equipment like protective gear, no available items like ventilators,” said Ashwaq Muharram, a doctor who has been fighting famine for the last few years in besieged Hodeidah.

“We have no place for isolation, quarantine. People can barely afford to eat as it stands. Whole swathes of areas do not have access to clean water.

“If we get a single case of Covid-19 here, it will become an epidemic immediately.” – by Bel Trew

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/coronavirus-syria-yemen-libya-cases-update-death-toll-doctors-a9440486.html

(* B H)

Save the Children: Intensivbetten und Beatmungsgeräte fehlen

Krisengebiete im Nahen Osten nicht auf COVID-19 vorbereitet: Intensivbetten und Beatmungsgeräte in Nordsyrien,im Gazastreifen und im Jemen fehlen – 15 Millionen Kinder gefährdet

Mehr als 15 Millionen Kinder und ihre Familien in den Krisengebieten des Nahen Ostens können bei einer Ausbreitung der COVID-19-Pandemie nicht auf lebensrettende Maßnahmen zählen: In Nordsyrien, im Gazastreifen und im Jemen gibt es insgesamt weniger als 730 Beatmungsgeräte und 950 Betten auf Intensivstationen, warnt Save the Children. Die Kinderrechtsorganisation fordert, dass dringend die Lieferung von Hilfsgütern und medizinischer Ausrüstung in diese schwer zugänglichen Gebiete sichergestellt werden muss.

„Dort, wo es so gut wie keine medizinische Versorgung gibt, ist Prävention entscheidend. Aber Maßnahmen wie soziale Distanzierung sind in Konfliktländern praktisch unmöglich“, betont Jeremy Stoner, Regionaldirektor von Save the Children für den Nahen Osten.

Die Kliniken in diesen Konfliktregionen sind schon für normale Zeiten unzureichend ausgestattet.

Im Jemen, wo nur noch die Hälfte der Krankenhäuser voll funktionsfähig ist, existieren für das ganze Land 700 Intensivbetten, davon 60 für Kinder, und 500 Beatmungsgeräte.

Um die Ausbreitung von COVID-19 zu verlangsamen, müssten humanitäre Organisationen uneingeschränkten Zugang zu den Menschen in Not haben, jedoch wird genau dies durch die Konfliktsituation erschwert. Händewaschen und Abstandhalten sind schwierig bis unmöglich.

Save the Children fordert alle Verantwortlichen auf, das Recht der Kinder auf Gesundheit zu garantieren und die Versorgung der Menschen im Gazastreifen, in Nordsyrien und im Jemen zu ermöglichen. Humanitäre und medizinische Hilfsgüter müssen ungehindert die Grenzen passieren können.

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/intensivbetten-und-beatmungsgeraete-fehlen

(* B H)

Save the Children: More than 15 million children and their families in Yemen, Syria and Gaza set to face COVID-19 with fewer than 1,700 ventilators and beds

In Yemen, where only half of the hospitals are still fully functional, there are 700 ICU beds, including 60 for children, and 500 ventilators.

The continued support of humanitarian organisations to people in need is vital to slow the spread of coronavirus in this critical phase, but access to children and their families is often hampered by conflict, movement restrictions and other challenges. Preventive measures such as social distancing and hand washing are difficult if not impossible in overcrowded areas like Gaza and displacement camps in Northern Syria. Water sources are unreliable across all three locations, and shortages can occur daily. In Gaza, 96 percent of the available water is unsuitable for human consumption.

In Yemen, Moneer*, 17, from Taiz said: ‘I have heard about Corona. People in my family said that it was very dangerous and we wouldn’t survive it if it came to Yemen. Every day, my mother walks for 15 minutes to the well to fill the container with water and then walks back for another 15 minutes. The water doesn’t look clean, but it is the nearest source for us. We use it for cooking, drinking, and washing. We try to use as little as possible so we don’t have to go fetch it again.’

Jeremy Stoner, Save the Children's Regional Director, said: ‘In places where medical care is scarcely available, prevention is critical. Yet measures like social distancing are hugely challenging in countries in conflict

Many children in Gaza, Syria, and Yemen suffer from pre-existing health concerns caused by childhoods consumed with war. They will be malnourished, injured, or will not have been properly vaccinated. The same is true for their parents, many of whom have little or no family support and cannot afford to become ill.

https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/more-15-million-children-and-their-families-yemen-syria-and-gaza-set-face-covid-19

(* B H)

Save the Children: More than 15 million children and their families in Yemen, Syria and Gaza set to face COVID-19 with fewer than 1,700 ventilators and beds

and also https://www.politicshome.com/news/article/more-than15-million-children-and-their-families-in-yemen-syria-and-gaza-set-to-face-covid19-with-fewer-than-1700-ventilators-and-beds

(* B H)

Child Protection COVID- 19 Guidance -Yemen

Introduction

Infectious diseases like COVID-19 can disrupt the environments in which children grow and develop. Yemen is a country already touched by different possible risk for children, COVID-19 can represent an additional risk.
Disruptions to families, friendships, daily routines and the wider community can have negative consequences for children’s wellbeing, development and protection. All this in Yemen can aggravated by ongoing conflict, displacement. In addition, measures used to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 ( social distances, quarantine and isolation) can expose children to protection risks. Home-based, facility-based and zonal-based quarantine and isolation measures can all negatively impact children and their families.

COVID-19 can quickly change the context in which children live. Quarantine measures such as school closures and restrictions on movements disrupt children's routine and social support while also placing new stressors on parents and caregivers who may have to find new childcare options or forgo work. Stigma and discrimination related to COVID-19 may make children more vulnerable to violence and psychosocial distress, especially among those groups which are already very vulnerable such migrants and Muhamasheen. Disease control measures that do not consider the gender-specific needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls may also increase their protection risks and lead to negative coping mechanisms. Children and families who are already vulnerable due to socio-economic exclusion or those who live in overcrowded settings are particularly at risk.

https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/child-protection-covid-19-guidance-yemen-enar

(* B H)

Film: War-torn Yemen ‘not equipped’ for potential coronavirus outbreak

Five years into the civil war between a Saudi-led coalition and Iran-backed Houthi rebels – a period that included a devastating cholera epidemic – more than half of Yemen’s health facilities are not functioning, and some doctors and nurses have fled the country. Tamuna Sabadze of the International Rescue Committee describes Yemen's situation on FRANCE 24’s Middle East Matters programme.

https://www.france24.com/en/video/20200401-covid-19-pandemic-a-new-challenge-for-war-torn-yemen = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YrK2rzpIzo

(* B H)

Coronavirus: Nun droht ein Massensterben in Syrien und Jemen

Syrien, Libyen und Jemen sind von Bürgerkriegen ruiniert. Millionen Menschen sind schlecht versorgt. Nun drohen die Länder zu den schlimmsten Corona-Regionen zu werden.

„Es wird ein Massensterben geben, wenn die Pandemie Teile von Syrien und den Jemen erreicht“, erklärte Jan Egeland, Generalsekretär des Norwegischen Flüchtlingsrats. Das „International Rescue Committee“ (IRC) in New York warnte, das durch neun Jahre Bürgerkrieg ruinierte Syrien könnte weltweit zur schlimmsten Corona-Region werden.

Corona-Alptraum droht auch im Jemen. Schon jetzt leidet das Land nach fünf Jahren Bürgerkrieg an der größten Choleraepidemie der Gegenwart. 2,3 Millionen Menschen haben sich angesteckt, jeden Tag kommen nach Angaben der Nothilfeorganisation Oxfam 1200 neue Erkrankungen hinzu. Die Hälfte der Bevölkerung ist unterernährt oder hungert. 17 Millionen Jemeniten haben kein sauberes Wasser, Hospitäler werden regelmäßig attackiert. „Als Arzt bist du in diesem Krankenhaus jederzeit in Gefahr“, berichtete ein Mitarbeiter der Al-Thawra-Klinik in Taif. „Die meisten Kollegen sind nach den vielen Angriffen weggeblieben. Wir haben nur noch einen Orthopäden und zwei Chirurgen übrig.“

http://check24-news.de/coronavirus-nun-droht-ein-massensterben-in-syrien-und-jemen/

(* B H P)

UN, WHO and Yemeni Authorities’ Pandemic Preparations

At the end of March, Yemen was the last country in the region with no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, but experts warned that the arrival of the pandemic in Yemen would devastate the war-ravaged country. Confirmed cases worldwide had surpassed 800,000, with more than 40,000 deaths, as of March 31, straining even advanced healthcare systems and economies.[1]

The United Nations has developed a plan to help the World Health Organization and Yemeni authorities manage preparedness and response for the coronavirus in Yemen, the WHO has said. Thousands of tests to detect the coronavirus have been sent to all governorates of Yemen and more than 330 rapid response units deployed across the country are able to test patients with symptoms of COVID-19 who may have been in contact with the virus.[2] These tests are being processed at two central laboratories in Sana’a and Aden.

https://sanaacenter.org/publications/the-yemen-review/9518

(A H P)

Yemeni students, including COVID-19-infected, allowed entry to Aden

While it has not arrived in Yemen, according to WHO and official statements, the novel coronavirus seems to be given an entry visa to the war-torn country in the few coming days.
"The United Arab Emirates wants to airlift 16 of the Yemeni students, who were previously evacuated from Wuhan, to the interim capital of Aden," a source close to the Arab coalition told Debriefer on Wednesday.
"The coalition's evacuation unit has approved the UAE airlift of the Yemeni students to Aden, despite the fact that some of them are infected with coronavirus," the source added on the condition of anonymity.
Early last month, the UAE tried to fly some COVID-19-infected people to quarantine facilities inside Aden, according to media sources in the Yemeni southern port city.
Aden witnessed, following the Emirati attempt, public protests against the establishment of a quarantine amidst populated areas.

https://debriefer.net/en/news-16131.html

(A H P)

Öffentliche Dienst kündigt Verlängerung der Arbeitssuspension weitere 15 Tage für 80٪ der Beschäftigten an

Das Ministerium [der Sanaa-Reg.] für öffentlichen Dienst und Versicherung gab heute die Ausweitung der Arbeitssuspension für 80 Prozent der Staatsbediensteten in verschiedenen Sektoren und Verwaltungseinheiten für weitere 15 Tage mit Ausnahme der Sektoren Gesundheit, Sicherheit und Dienstleistungen bekannt.

https://www.saba.ye/de/news3092822.htm

(A H P)

Das Parlament [in Sanaa] protestiert gegen die Erlaubnis von Flügen in den Jemen

Das Parlament hat am Mittwoch seinen Protest gegen die Erlaubnis verschiedener Flüge zu jemenitischen Flughäfen zum Ausdruck gebracht, obwohl alle Flüge in den meisten Ländern der Welt ausgesetzt wurden, was im Widerspruch zu den weltweiten Tendenzen zur Bekämpfung der Corona-Virus-Pandemie steht.

https://www.saba.ye/de/news3092803.htm

(A H P)

[Sanaa] Parliament protests against allowing flights to Yemen

The Parliament on Wednesday expressed its protest against allowing various flights to Yemeni airports, despite the suspension of all flights in most countries of the world, in contradiction with the world’s tendencies to confront the Corona virus pandemic.

https://www.saba.ye/en/news3092772.htm

(A H P)

#Yemen has locked its borders last month to prevent #COVID19 outbreak. But today, 60 Yemeni soldiers arrived in Aden coming from KSA (an area where hundreds of cases of COVID19 were reported). Utterly irresponsible!

https://twitter.com/Ndawsari/status/1245316193952714753

(A H P)

Houthi' Interior ministry calls on citizens to report people returning from abroad

The Ministry of Interior in the Ansar Allah (Houthi) Salvation Government called on citizens this evening, Tuesday, to report the whereabouts of any of the returnees from abroad or from the governorates under the control of the Yemeni legitimate government and coalition forces, to put him in quarantine to ensure that he did not infected with coronavirus.

The ministry said in a brief statement that it will never allow entry to people from outside the country or from governorates administered by the Yemeni government and the coalition, in order to protect citizens from the Corona epidemic.

https://debriefer.net/en/news-16100.html

My comment: This looks like misuse of Coronavirus for installing restrictions.

(B H P)

Coronavirus consumes Yemenis food, oil decline threatens Saudi: Paper

The novel coronavirus devours the Yemenis' food, the New Arab (or Al-Araby Al-Jadeed) paper said Tuesday, as the goods supply is about to deplete and oil decline threatens Saudi Arabia.
"While no COVID-19 infection has been recorded so far in the country, Yemen – which has been racked by a grinding war for more than five years – is facing the consequences of a virus affecting the global economy amid a recorded decline in oil prices," the paper sees.

However, the paper thinks, the world's economic changes caused by COVID-19, rapid decline in oil prices and the stalled application of the Riyadh deal may lead Saudis to reconsider their deposit-renewal promises to help the Yemeni government meet its fiscal obligations, including food imports.
The war-torn country's food stock risks depletion following the currently halted importation amid the country's depreciated currency and risks of famine.

https://debriefer.net/en/news-16104.html

(A H P)

Yemeni Hadhramout sees partial curfew following COVID-19

https://debriefer.net/en/news-16106.html

https://www.alsahwa-yemen.net/en/p-38759

(A H P)

264 people leave 2 quarantine centers in Saada

About 264 people left on Tuesday two quarantine centers in Saada and Sahar districts of Saada province, after they were subjected to quarantine for 14 days, as part of the precautionary measures for confronting Corona virus.

During his supervision of the departure of 144 people from the quarantine center in Saada district, the province's governor Mohammed Awadh indicated that the people who left the quarantine center had been taken from the crossings at the border districts and they had received health care, food, shelter, and all the services during the quarantine period.

https://www.saba.ye/en/news3092697.htm

(A H)

Seuchenbekämpfung Komitee in der Hauptstadt erhält 30 Betten für Quarantänezentren

https://www.saba.ye/de/news3092715.htm

(A H P)

YJS demands release of all abducted journalists over Corona spread risks

The Yemeni journalists Syndicate (YJS) renewed on Tuesday its demand for release of all detained journalists in the Houthis-run-prisons and in government-held prisons to prevent the corona spread.

https://www.alsahwa-yemen.net/en/p-38775

(A H P)

Yemeni activists launch media campaign to free prisoners amid fears of COVID-19 spread

The three-day campaign aims to pressure all parties to Yemen's conflict to release all detainees and initiate humanitarian initiatives under the hashtag #SaveYemeniPrisoners

Yemeni activists have launched a massive social media campaign on Tuesday to release all prisoners and detainees from Yemeni prisons as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the world, affecting more than 200 countries globally.

The three-day campaign aims to pressure all parties to the conflict in Yemen to act urgently and release all detainees as well as to initiate important humanitarian initiatives under the hashtag #SaveYemeniPrisoners.

The #SaveYemeniPrisoners campaign aims to pressure those in power to release detainees held under dire conditions in Yemeni prisons lacking in essential health and sanitary facilities, which threatens not only detainees’ lives but also those of residents beyond prison walls, Latifa Jamel, the campaign coordinator said.

https://al-masdaronline.net/national/561

and also https://debriefer.net/en/news-16126.html

(* A H P)

Association of Mothers of Abductees in Aden demands release of detainees amid COVID-19 fears

The mothers' association called for the release of 38 forcibly disappeared detainees whose fate is unknown and 52 detainees in Aden's Bir Ahmed prison

Amid fears that coronavirus will reach Yemen, the Association of Mothers of Abductees held a vigil in front of the Saudi-led coalition headquarters in the interim capital on Monday to demand the release of their sons who were forcibly disappeared and arbitrarily detained.

In a statement, the association expressed grave concern about the situation of 38 forcibly disappeared detainees whose fate is unknown and 52 detainees in Bir Ahmed prison.

The association held Yemen's Interior Ministry and the Public Prosecutor's Office responsible for the prisoners’ safety and health and called on UAE-backed military forces, international and local human rights organizations to release the forcibly detained who have gone missing for years.

https://al-masdaronline.net/national/562

Statement: https://www.facebook.com/505200403000985/posts/1324680311052986/?d=n

Film: https://twitter.com/MichaelARPage/status/1245412180817850370

And

(* A H P)

(The Abducted's Mothers Association documented "173" abducted and detained patients suffering from chronic diseases, including"57"abducted in Amanat Al Asimah,"45" from Al Hudaydah Governorate,"23" from Hajjah Governorate

"21" from Taiz Governorate, and "10”is from Ibb governorate,“10”is from Aden governorate,“5”is from Dhamar governorate, and“2”is from Marib governorate, and they are the weakest category in the face of the Covid virus-19)

https://twitter.com/abducteesmother/status/1245037907532025856

(B H P)

Film: Fears that prisons will become foci of Corona's spread

https://twitter.com/Mediaproye/status/1245056253111472135

(* A H P)

Int`l experts urge release inmates in Yemen to avert nationwide coronavirus outbreak

An international panel of human rights experts called today for the immediate release of political prisoners and detainees in war-ravaged Yemen to help avert a nationwide outbreak of COVID-19.

In a statement, the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen, said prisoners and detainees in Yemen are particularly vulnerable – and at high risk of death - if the novel coronavirus emerges in overcrowded prisons and other detention facilities.

Conditions in such places are “appalling,” it said, adding that the health system in Yemen is on the brink of collapse and that prisoners must cope with a lack of adequate food and minimum standards of hygiene that contravene standards set by international law.

“The Group of Experts urges all parties to the conflict in Yemen to immediately release all detainees and political prisoners being held in political, security and military detention facilities, official and secret alike, in order to prevent and mitigate the risks of COVID-19 contagion in the whole of Yemen, in line with their obligations under international law,” the panel said.

The Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen is chaired by Kamel Jendoubi of Tunisia and also includes Melissa Parke of Australia and Ardi Imseis of Canada.

https://debriefer.net/en/news-16086.html

(* B H)

Die Kette des Kollapses fängt bei den Schwächsten an

Während die hoch entwickelten Staaten in großer Genauigkeit die Fieberkurve in ihren eigenen Gesellschaften messen und mit gewaltigen Rettungsplänen die Volkswirtschaften vor dem Kollaps bewahren wollen, geraten jene Staaten aus dem Blick, die in Vor-Corona-Zeiten die Schlagzeilen beherrschten: die Länder in den Kriegszonen, Hungergebieten, die Unruheherde und Bürgerkriegsschauplätze. Es ist gut möglich, dass sich die eigentliche Corona-Apokalypse genau dort abspielen wird, wo nun niemand hinschaut.

Eine Katastrophe mit Ansage, die von den Umständen begünstigt wird: Schwache oder gar kriegszerstörte Staaten wie Jemen haben kaum eine Möglichkeit, den Verlauf der Pandemie zu messen, geschweige denn ihre Gesellschaften zu schützen.

Hygiene und Gesundheitsfürsorge sind in Krisenländern schon längst Triebfeder der alltäglichen Katastrophe. Dazu kommen große Teile der Bevölkerung, die geschwächt und damit besonders ansteckungsgefährdet sind - sei es durch Hunger, Vertreibung, fehlenden Zugang zu Wasser oder durch Krieg.

https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/coronavirus-armut-hunger-europa-1.4860964

(* B H)

Conflict zones must address coronavirus: Red Cross

Head of International Committee of Red Cross warns of devastation unless urgent humanitarian action taken in war zones

Citing conflict-riven countries such as Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Afghanistan, the Red Cross warned Monday that it will be nearly impossible to fight COVID-19 in these countries without an immediate response by states and humanitarian organizations.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in a statement by its Geneva headquarters that COVID-19 has overwhelmed advanced health care systems.

“Warfare has not stopped because of the virus, and victims of conflict still need and deserve assistance,” said the Red Cross, noting that many of the places where it works lack even basic health care infrastructure, let alone intensive care capacity.

“Our fear is that unless urgent action is taken to curb the spread of the virus, it will devastate some of the world’s most vulnerable communities,” said Peter Maurer, the head of the ICRC.

The Red Cross said plans to prevent and respond to the virus must urgently move forward “before it gains a foothold in conflict zones”.

If that is not done, it will be nearly impossible to fight COVID-19 in such countries unless a concerted response by states and humanitarian organizations is launched immediately.

The ICRC noted that the novel coronavirus represents a significant threat to life in countries with strong health systems.

“But the threat is even greater in places where health systems have been ravaged by war, where people uprooted by conflict live in close proximity, and where life-saving resources like clean water, soap, and medicine are in short supply,” it said.

“The ICRC fears the worst for people in prisons and displacement camps around the world. Health systems in conflict zones in places such as Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, northeast Nigeria, and Afghanistan are simply not prepared to handle a flood of COVID-19 cases without a surge in support,” said the statement.

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/latest-on-coronavirus-outbreak/conflict-zones-must-address-coronavirus-red-cross/1785152

and also https://al-masdaronline.net/national/570

(* B H)

Amid government dysfunction, youth play critical role in coronavirus prevention efforts

Youth groups like "Taiz Against Corona" are playing an important role in raising awareness and mobilizing public support to prevent the spread of COVID-19

However, governmental efforts to address the coronavirus threat suffer from a near complete absence of coordination between the parties fighting in the country’s protracted war. Moreover, as has long been the case in Yemen, local authorities lack the capacity to effectively enforce measures announced by the central government.

For example, in response to the pandemic Yemen’s Ministry of Endowments and Guidance banned prayer in mosques and public gatherings for Friday prayer. However, this didn’t stop hundreds of worshippers in the central Yemeni governorate of Taiz from gathering last Friday to pray in the courtyard of one of Taiz city’s historic mosques. The local ministry official responsible for enforcing the measure was reprimanded, but the incident – which sparked debate online – made it clear that putting measures into effect on the ground requires greater public understanding and acceptance.

In this regard, Yemeni youth activists have been playing a key role in mobilizing public support for preventative measures to address coronavirus, and acting as a bridge between the local authority and the general public. One of the youth-led initiatives that recently emerged in Taiz, which has long been one of the epicenters of the conflict, is a campaign called “Taiz Against Corona.” Since launching a Facebook group in mid-March, the initiative has quickly amassed over 8,000 members online.

“All of them have the responsibility to respond against coronavirus,” Maha Awn, a young activist in Taiz who co-founded the initiative, said of her youth peers. “Taiz, the city that was considered Yemen's cultural capital, is facing an extreme crisis,” she told Almasdar Online.

According to Maha, the team behind the Taiz Against Corona campaign is working on raising awareness in society about health measures to prevent the spread of disease, mobilizing public support, coordinating efforts with the local authority and local health office and networking between the various youth groups and NGOs in Taiz.

https://al-masdaronline.net/national/556

(* B H)

Health officials in Yemen urge truce to fight virus

Yemeni health officials have urged warring factions to honor their commitment to an immediate truce to enable the country’s health workers to prepare for the coronavirus in Yemen.
Officials warned that the disease will infect millions of Yemenis and kill thousands as the conflict is hampering the country’s ability to fight the pandemic.

“War must stop for us to catch our breath and face the pandemic,” Dr. Wafaa Dahbali, manager of Al-Sadaqa Hospital in Aden, told Arab News.
Dr. Wafaa said that her hospital was struggling with an influx of thousands of people
who had fled their homes in contested areas in Hodeida, Taiz, Lahj amid a severe shortage of staff and funds. When the war stops, Dr. Wafaa said, displaced people would return home, which would ease pressure on health facilities. “The war has set the stage for the spread of diseases and plagues that we have never seen before,” he said.
Inside Houthi-controlled territories, health officials echoed the same concerns about the ability of the health system to fight the pandemic. Dr. Fuad Edris, the director of the provincial office of the Ministry of Health in the central province of Baydha, called for the establishment of a joint emergency command room for handling the virus.
“We are in support of stopping the war or any peace initiative,” Edris told Arab News. “There should be at least one command room. The heath sector should remain neutral,” he said, warning that weaker security measures at the country’s sea, land and air posts would allow coronavirus-infected people to enter the country.
Dr. Riyadh Al-Jariri, head of the Health Ministry’s Hadramout office, told Arab News that Houthis had asked local drug agencies to keep their stock of ventilators in Sanaa. “If there is no war, there would be a fair distribution of medical equipment,” Al-Jariri said.

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1650196/middle-east

(A H P)

Salvation Government: Calls on all Media to Warn from Using Materials Dropped by US-Saudi Aggression

Spokesman of the Salvation Government, the Minister of Information, Dhaifullah Al-Shami, called on all audio-visual media, and activists, to continue efforts to raise awareness of precautionary measures to confront the coronavirus, and to warn civilians against dealing or using masks and any objects dropped down by the US-Saudi aggression warplanes.

He pointed out that the US-Saudi aggression had caused the worst humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen and it is surprising that today it dropped masks in the capital’s secretariat and a number of governorates at the time that it did not record any cases of coronavirus infection in Yemen.

He put the responsibility of spreading the epidemic in Yemen on the US-Saudi aggression, through these materials that are dropped by the aggression planes or others

https://english.almasirah.net/details.php?es_id=12028

and also https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200331-houthi-government-in-sanaa-warns-that-masks-airdropped-by-saudis-are-infected-with-covid-19/

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202004011078793435-yemens-houthi-militia-accuse-saudi-led-coalition-of-weaponizing-coronavirus---report/

and

(A H P)

[Sanaa gov.] Attorney General Directs Investigation into Dropped Masks by US-Saudi Aggression

The Attorney General, Judge Nabil Nasser Al-Azani, directed an investigation into the dropped materials of coalition aircraft Monday, including suspicious masks and other materials in some neighborhoods of the capital, Hodeidah and Al-Mahwit, suspected of containing the coronavirus.

Judge Al-Azani stressed that the competent authorities have to deal with those materials that constitute a threat to the safety of citizens and take the necessary measures to protect society from their danger, pointing out that the aggression's dropping of these materials indicates a criminal act targeting the Yemeni people, as Yemen is still free from the coronavirus.

https://english.almasirah.net/details.php?es_id=12035

(A H P)

[Hadi] Govt panel extends closure of entry ports for two weeks over covid-19 fears

http://en.26sepnews.net/2020/03/30/govt-panel-extends-closure-of-entry-ports-for-two-weeks-over-covid-19-fears/

(A H P)

36 Migranten verlassen die Quarantänezentren in Saada

36 Expatriates verließen nach Abschluss der Quarantänezeit und Vorsichtsmaßnahmen zur Bekämpfung des Corona-Virus die Quarantänezentren im Gouvernement Saada.

Der Gouverneur [der Sanaa-Regierung] von Saada, Mohammed Jaber Awad, lobte das Engagement der Ankömmlinge für die Vorsichtsmaßnahmen und betonte, dass die lokale Behörde die Vorsichts- und Präventionsmaßnahmen zur Bekämpfung dieses Virus weiter verstärken werde.

https://www.saba.ye/de/news3092593.htm

(B H)

Government of Japan and WHO strengthen emergency response to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in Yemen

It is the continuous support and contributions of partners like the Government of Japan that allow the World Health Organization (WHO) to serve the people of Yemen in the best way possible.

The generous funding from the Government of Japan ensures that more than 7 million Yemenis will have increased access to essential health care, and at the same time, ensure urgent treatment is given to patients suffering from communicable diseases.

Another priority addressed through these funds is infectious disease prevention and control by building capacity of national staff to prepare for and respond to epidemic-prone diseases through field epidemiology training, making the rapid detection and response to epidemics a reality.

“Thanks to the Government of Japan, WHO can buy life-saving medicine for immediate distribution to treat diphtheria and dengue. WHO will also be able to build the capacity of doctors and nurses, to manage dengue cases, increasing the cure rate,” says Altaf Musani, WHO Representative in Yemen.

http://www.emro.who.int/yem/yemen-news/government-of-japan-and-who-strengthen-emergency-response-to-meet-the-needs-of-the-most-vulnerable-in-yemen.html?format=html

(A H)

Child dies in Rayma due to lack of rabies medication

https://www.saba.ye/en/news3092728.htm

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

(A K pS)

Houthis launch rocket attacks on residential areas in Hodeidah

http://en.adenpress.news/news/19741

(A K pS)

Film: Houthi militias bomb the city of Altheta and cause severe damage to the homes of citizens

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmOk9XgQKdw

(A K pH)

Film: Al-Hudaydah # Aggression - violates Sweden's agreement A new air aggression on vital areas in Al Hudaydah, and a flagrant violation of the Swedish agreement

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6M2bF9pkMcQ

(A K pS)

Film: Aerial documentation of the operation targeting the joint forces of Houthi infiltrators and reveals militia losses in Hodeidah

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKtwHJmxOyQ

(A K pH)

Operationen der Verbindungsoffiziere: 4248 Verstöße der Aggressionstruppen in Hodeidah im März

https://www.saba.ye/de/news3092839.htm

(A K pH)

Aggression forces commit over 4000 violations of ceasefire in Hodeidah during March

https://www.saba.ye/en/news3092844.htm

(A K pH)

50 Verstöße der Aggressionstruppen in Hodeidah in den letzten 24 Stunden

https://www.saba.ye/de/news3092840.htm

(A K pH)

US-Saudi Aggression Violates Stockholm Agreement, in Hodeidah, 50 times past 24 Hours

https://english.almasirah.net/details.php?es_id=12075

(A K pH)

In Hodeidah, US-Saudi aggression committed 108 violates, including 15 attacks on Kilo-16 watch post, warplane flight in Al-Fazah, 85 missiles and shells and 60 violates with several gunshots.

https://english.almasirah.net/details.php?es_id=12051

(A K pS)

Film: New casualties among the Houthi militia in Hodeidah

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uy6Xs6ztTGg

(A K pS)

Houthi ammo depot destroyed in Hodeidah

http://en.adenpress.news/news/19734

(A K pH)

108 Verstöße der Aggressionstruppen in Hodeidah

https://www.saba.ye/de/news3092720.htm

(A K pH)

Aggression forces commit 108 violations of ceasefire agreement

https://www.saba.ye/en/news3092718.htm

(A K pH)

[Sanaa gov.] Hodeidah Governor Calls U.N. Mission to Fulfill its Duty

Hodeidah Governor Mohammad Qahim condemned the US-Saudi forces escalation in Hodeidah and its continuous violations of the truce agreement, calling the international mission overseeing the implementation of the Stockholm agreement to fulfill its duty towards these violations.

In a statement to Almasirah, Qahim asked: After the raids today and the US-Saudi aggression violates in Hodeidah, will the UN mission dare to condemn this violate of Hodeidah agreement?

https://english.almasirah.net/details.php?es_id=12030

(A K pH)

Aggressionstruppen begehen mehr Verbrechen und Verstöße

https://www.saba.ye/de/news3092655.htm

(A K pH)

US-Saudi Aggression’s Daily Update for Monday, March 30th, 2020

https://english.almasirah.net/details.php?es_id=12026

(A K pH)

Der Quelle zufolge starteten die Kampfflugzeuge drei Luftangriffe auf die Stadt Al-Mansri im aktuellen Distrikt, vier Luftangriffe im Nordwesten der Stadt Al-Shaab und zwei Luftangriffe auf die Quarantäne in Al-Salif sowie zwei Luftangriffe im Norden des Gebiets Al-Jah im Distrikt Beit Al-Faqih.

Die Kampfflugzeuge der Aggression haben drei Luftangriffe auf Wasserbrunnen auf der Insel Kamran und einen Überfall auf die Kommunikationstürme auf der Insel Kamran angeflogen

https://www.saba.ye/de/news3092655.htm

(A K pH)

Wasser und Umwelt Ministerium verurteilt die Bombardierung der Kampfflugzeuge der Aggression auf Wasserbrunnen auf der Insel Kamran

Das Ministerium für Wasser und Umwelt verurteilte die Bombardierung von Trinkwasserbrunnen auf der Insel Kamran im Gouvernement Al Hodeidah durch Kampfflugzeugen der saudi-amerikanischen Aggression.

Das Ministerium erklärte in einer Erklärung der jemenitischen Nachrichtenagentur (Saba), dass dieser Beschuss von Wasserbrunnen auf der Insel Kamran ist der dritte, da die Wasserbrunnen bereits Ende 2018 und 2016 bombardiert wurde.

https://www.saba.ye/de/news3092654.htm

(A K pS)

WATCH: Houthis target people's homes in al-Mandhar, Hodeidah

http://en.adenpress.news/news/19736

Film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyeaMXriGec

(A K pH)

66 Verstöße der Aggressionskräfte in Hodeidah

https://www.saba.ye/de/news3092590.htm

Fortsetzung / Sequel: cp2 – cp18

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/jemenkrieg-mosaik-638b-yemen-war-mosaic-638b

Vorige / Previous:

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/jemenkrieg-mosaik-637-yemen-war-mosaic-637/

Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 1-637 / Yemen War Mosaic 1-637:

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose oder / or http://poorworld.net/YemenWar.htm

Der saudische Luftkrieg im Bild / Saudi aerial war images:

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

http://poorworld.net/YemenWar.htm

http://yemenwarcrimes.blogspot.de/

http://www.yemenwar.info/

Liste aller Luftangriffe / and list of all air raids:

http://yemendataproject.org/data/

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

https://yemen.bellingcat.com/

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

https://yemeniarchive.org/en

11:06 02.04.2020
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
Schreiber 0 Leser 22
Dietrich Klose

Kommentare