Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 643 - Yemen War Mosaic 643

Yemen Press Reader 643: 18. April 2020: Saudische Luftangriffe im März 2020 – Mark Lowcocks Bericht zur humanitären Lage – Wohin führt der Jemenkrieg? – Die Saudis suchen Weg aus dem Jemenkrieg
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

... Hoffnung auf neue Friedensgespräche schwindet – Untersuchung des Huthi-Angriffs auf Gefängnis in Taiz –Bewegung über die Grenzen und Vertreibung – Ein Besuch in Marib – Waffenschmuggel von Jemen nach Afrika – Coronavirus im Jemen – und mehr

April 18, 2020: Saudi air raids in March 2020 – Mark Lowcock’s report on the humanitarian situation – Where is the Yemen War Heading? – The Saudis seek a way out of the Yemen war – Hopes fade for new peace talks – Investigation of Houthi attack at prison in Taiz – Cross-border movements and displacement – A visit to Marib – Arms trafficking from Yemen to Africa – Coronavirus in Yemen – and more

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

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

Klassifizierung / Classification

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

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

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

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

cp1c Am wichtigsten: Waffenstillstand / Most important: Ceasefire

cp2 Allgemein / General

cp2a Allgemein: Saudische Blockade / General: Saudi blockade

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

cp4 Flüchtlinge / Refugees

cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

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

cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

cp9 USA

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

cp11 Deutschland / Germany

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms Trade

cp13b Wirtschaft / Economy

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

cp15 Propaganda

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

cp18 Sonstiges / Other

Klassifizierung / Classification




(Kein Stern / No star)

? = Keine Einschatzung / No rating

A = Aktuell / Current news

B = Hintergrund / Background

C = Chronik / Chronicle

D = Details

E = Wirtschaft / Economy

H = Humanitäre Fragen / Humanitarian questions

K = Krieg / War

P = Politik / Politics

pH = Pro-Houthi

pS = Pro-Saudi

T = Terrorismus / Terrorism

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

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

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

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

(** B K)


Saudi coalition air raids escalated for the third consecutive month in March rising to 227 bombings, a 46% rise from February and the highest number of air raids in a single month since November 2018.

Although air raids* continued the rising trend seen since January, civilian casualties were relatively low in the month, with 4 deaths and 5 injuries recorded in March in three separate air raids. Two civilians were killed and another 3 injured in the bombing of a civilian vehicle in Al-Jawf on 4 April. An air raid in the capital Sana'a on 30 April left one civilian dead and two more injured when up to six strikes hit the city's Military College where scores of horses kept at the site were also reportedly killed. An air raid on a farm in Al-Hazm killed one civilian on 14 April.

Two ambulances, a school, water wells, two civilian vehicles, and a market place were amongst the targets hit by Saudi-led coalition bombings in March.

Air war escalation continues amid sustained heavy fighting on the ground

Ahead of a unilateral ceasefire declaration by Saudi Arabia on 9 April, air raid numbers in March jumped by 46% month on month, having more than doubled in February from surging numbers in January, bringing to an end a three-month trend of declining bombings in the last quarter of 2019.

In Al-Jawf, 59 bombings were recorded in March, another record monthly high, second only to February 2020 - the worst month for the governorate since the air war began over five years ago. 26% of air raids in the month hit Al-Jawf. Bombings in the governorate of Hajja also intensified, reaching their highest monthly rate since February 2019. The escalating air war in recent months has matched events in the ground conflict where there's been extensive heavy fighting between pro-Houthi and ant-Houthi forces on mulitiple fronts, most notably in Al-Jawf and western Marib.

Air raids in March saw a continuation in the escalation of the Saudi-led coalition air war following on from the more than doubling in number of air raids from January to February. 2020 began with a near fourfold increase in bombings from the record monthly low in December 2019.
Civilian casualty numbers fell from 58 in February to 9 in March.
The highest number of air raids recorded in a single month remains September 2015 at 920, which was also the deadliest month in the air war when at least 756 civilians were killed.
April 2015 saw the highest number of civilian casualties (fatalities and injured) in a single month at 1,745.

In March, 12% of bombings hit civilian targets** 16% hit military targets. In 72% of air raids in March the target could not be identified. Of the 65 air raids where the target could be identified, 57% of bombings hit military sites and 43% non-military civilian sites.

Of the 65 air raids where the target was identified in March 2020

37 hit armed forces, military sites and military targets resulting in 3 civilian casualties.

5 hit residential areas.

2 hit civilian vehicles resulting in 5 civilian casualties.

2 hit ambulances (recorded as other healthcare) in Al-Jawf and Marib.

1 hit a water wells in the Kamaran islands.

1 hit a school in Majzar, Marib.

1 hit Al-Mazraq market place in Harad, Hajja.

(** B H)

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Mark Lowcock, Briefing to the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Yemen, 16 April 2020

More than five years of war have severely degraded Yemen’s health infrastructure, exhausted people’s immune systems and increased acute vulnerabilities. As a result, epidemiologists warn that COVID-19 in Yemen could spread faster, more widely and with deadlier consequences than in many other countries.

We are, in other words, running out of time.

The Humanitarian Coordinator, Lise Grande, described COVID-19 in Yemen as “one of the biggest threats in the past 100 years.”

It is in this context that I would like to update you on five priorities for the humanitarian response: 1) protection of civilians; 2) humanitarian access and delivery; 3) funding for the relief effort; 4) the Yemeni economy and 5) progress towards peace. COVID-19 affects all those issues.

First, protection of civilians.

In the first quarter of this year, civilian casualties have risen every month, with more than 500 people killed or injured. One in every three civilian casualties has been a child. In Al Jawf – where hostilities escalated in mid-January – that rate is now one in two.

Despite calls for a ceasefire, hostilities have persisted in many areas, mainly in Marib, Al Jawf, Al Bayda and Taizz, with deadly consequences for civilians. All parties must take constant care to spare civilians and civilian objects throughout military operations.

Mr. President, the second issue is humanitarian access, which is both a requirement of international humanitarian law and essential if we are to continue assisting millions of people.

We are working with all stakeholders to take precautions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 while maintaining life-saving assistance. These precautions are not slowing down aid operations in a major way.

But it is regrettable that other restrictions imposed on staff and cargo movements – mostly in the north – continue to constrain our ability to maintain the high levels of aid that Yemenis need.

There are problems in Government-held areas as well, including bureaucratic impediments and insecurity. Humanitarian organizations are still waiting for Government officials to approve 43 projects that would assist 2.3 million people. Many of these requests have been pending for months.

Restrictions in northern Yemen are so onerous that humanitarian agencies are being forced to calibrate programmes and delivery to levels where they can manage the risks associated with such a non-permissive environment.

Although Ansar Allah authorities have approved 13 aid projects since early March, agencies still have 92 requests still pending, including 40 that have been waiting for months to get started.

Local officials still arbitrarily refuse missions, and humanitarian staff continue to experience severe movement restrictions in the field, including in the past few days. Staff are subjected to long delays at checkpoints, even when paperwork is in order. In a particularly serious event, which has not yet been resolved, UN international staff in some locations have been prevented from moving from field hubs to Sana’a. This is unacceptable.

And on a separate note, there has been no progress in accessing the SAFER oil tanker.

Last year, humanitarian agencies supported 3,100 health facilities and conducted 17 million medical consultations. We enabled access to clean water and sanitation for more than 11 million people and treated nearly a million acutely malnourished children. Nearly 12 million people received food assistance every month.

These are the kinds of broad-based programmes that are essential to help Yemenis keep healthy and defend themselves against COVID-19.

But Mr. President, we need money to pay for these programmes. That brings me to my third point: funding for the aid operation.

Of the UN’s 41 major programmes, 31 will start closing down in the next few weeks if we can’t secure additional funds. This means we will have to start eliminating many of the activities that may offer Yemenis’ best chance to avoid COVID-19.

UNICEF will have to stop immediate assistance for families displaced by conflict or natural disasters. That means up to 1 million displaced people would not receive critical supplies – including hygiene items that help protect against diseases like cholera and COVID-19.

Nutrition programmes will also be cut, affecting 260,000 severely malnourished children and 2 million more children with moderate malnutrition. These children’s immune systems will be weakened, making them much more vulnerable to COVID-19, cholera and other diseases.

People who do fall sick are likely to find fewer clinics to help them. WHO estimates that 80 per cent of health services provided through the response could stop at the end of April.

This could mean disbanding local health teams that have been essential in detecting and containing past disease outbreaks. We need these teams more than ever – not just to keep on top of COVID-19, but to contain a growing risk that cholera will rebound as the rainy season starts.

The humanitarian community – UN agencies, international NGOs and others – are unanimous in our position that the world’s largest aid operation cannot afford extended cuts during this unprecedented emergency. UN agencies estimate they need more than $900 million to carry them through July.

We understand that all humanitarian funding is provided on a voluntary basis, and many countries are facing economic downturns at home. I want again to thank all our donors for their support.

At the same time, we must all acknowledge the extraordinary threat Yemen is facing. So far, we have received about $800 million in pledges and contributions for the response this year. At this time last year, the equivalent figure was more than three times higher – about $2.6 billion.

So I am urging all donors to pledge generously now

Mr. President, the fourth issue is the economy.

Yemen imports nearly everything. Commercial cargo is still entering the country despite increased scrutiny to reduce the risk of COVID-19. In March, commercial food and fuel imports into Hudaydah and Saleef fell by 9 per cent. That is a matter of concern, but they are within normal fluctuations.

Longer-term economic prospects are more alarming.

The impact of COVID-19 on the global economy will make this more difficult.

and a main point in this headline:

(* B H)

Lack of funds forces UN to close life-saving aid programmes in Yemen

UN relief coordinator says 31 of UN's 41 major programmes will begin closing down in next few weeks if funds are not secured

(** B K P)

Where is the Yemen War Heading?

After five years, the coalition has not accomplished any of its stated goals.

This is partly because the coalition failed to maintain its cohesion.

In 2017, the UAE supported the establishment of the Southern Transitional Council.

Over the past few years, the coalition—in particular the UAE, the biggest enemy of Yemen’s Muslim Brotherhood—has also begun to favor various military groups operating independently of the legitimate government. In addition to its support for the secessionist Southern Transitional Council, the UAE began supporting Brigadier- General Tareq Saleh, who stopped fighting against the coalition and began working with them after the Houthis killed his uncle, former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, on December 4, 2017. Together, they established the National Resistance, a well-trained force largely comprised of former members of the Yemeni Republican Guard and which, while ostensibly loyal to the internationally recognized government of Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, does not have to follow its lead in the battle against the Houthis.

As the withdrawal of Sudan and the UAE has prompted Saudi Arabia to abandon its support for the national army in favor of engagement in talks with the Houthis, the Arab Coalition has lost much ground, leaving more room for local military forces to consolidate control. Within Yemen, there are now four “military provinces,” each de facto controlled by one primary force or group of forces. The national army, operating on behalf of the legitimate government with the support of the Arab Coalition, controls its stronghold of Marib province, most of the southeastern provinces, and parts of the southwestern governorate of Taiz.

The Southern Transitional Council controls the interim capital of Aden and the adjacent governorates, Lahij and Dalea, and shares control with the national army over the governorate of Abyan, east of Aden. The fourth force is Tariq Saleh’s National Resistance, whose influence stretches across western Yemen between Mokha and Hodeidah, the latter of which is shared with the Houthis.

Of these forces, the national army may be in the worst shape. While no exact enlistment figures are available, in April 2019 Yemeni Minster of Defense Mohammed Ali al-Maqdashi conveyed that 70 percent of his force consists of people using fake names and taking their salary without ever seeing battle. Because of this corruption scandal, in May 2019 UAE took back the heavy weapons and patriot missiles they had provided to the national army, leading to further setbacks and losses. In addition, a conflict exists within the national army between divisions who align with the Muslim Brotherhood and those who align with the General People’s Congress, which was headed by former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

While numbers regarding Houthi fighters are equally scarce, their special military units known as the Popular Committees remain effective, at least at launching offensive attacks against Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The Houthis’ strategic shift from defense to offense stems primarily from the duration of the war, which has given them more experience in how to wage an unequal conflict, but also indirect gains made due to coalition-caused citizen fatalities.

By contrast, the UAE-trained and armed forces are reportedly “ ” to those of the legitimate government. Together, these forces total nearly 200,000 fighters split into various regiments that are making decisions independently of the legitimate government’s military command. Under the leadership of the Southern Transitional Council, UAE-trained forces have been dispatched to the southern governorates of Aden, Lahij, Abyan, and Dalea, joining what is known as “the support and backup forces,” together with the Security Belt and Hadrami Elite (“Nukhba”) forces. These forces are security and military formations trained and armed by the UAE. Meanwhile, along the western coast Tariq Saleh leads the National Resistance—also known as the Joint Forces—consisting of the Giants Brigades, the Tihama Resistance, and the Republican Guard Brigades. All of this is in addition to the presence of other Salafi forces aligned with the UAE, such as the Abu al-Abbas Brigades in the southwestern governorate of Taiz.

But the biggest impediment to a political solution remains Saudi Arabia’s fear of the Houthis’ subordination to Tehran, leading it to precondition any political solution on guarantees of peace and security along its southern border.

Moreover, Yemeni citizens no longer trust political resolutions to succeed, even if under the auspices of the UN, after seeing other recent agreements fail to live up to expectations.

Likewise, not a single clause of the November 2019 Riyadh Agreement, which Saudi Arabia brokered between the Hadi government and the Southern Transitional Council, has been implemented yet.

In the continued absence of an agreement, and with coalition forces greatly reduced, Saudi Arabia will change the way it intervenes in Yemen. Local agents, supported by foreign powers, are now organizing and positioning themselves for a war on behalf of their outside patrons more seriously than ever before. This has made clear that regional actors are deliberately creating local proxies to exploit and carry out their agendas and protect their interests in Yemen – by Ammar Al-Ashwal

My remark: „National army“ is not identical to the Hadi government army. As other institutions, the regular army had split in two – and the greater part had (and still does) sided with the Houthis.

(** B K P)

Saudi Arabia eyes the exit in Yemen, but Saudi-Houthi talks alone won’t resolve the conflict

Saudi policies since the September 2019 attacks on its oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais have made clear that the kingdom is looking to secure a face-saving exit strategy from Yemen with an eye to reducing the threats to its territory, limiting Iran’s ability to use the Houthis as cover for its operations, and shifting its focus to evolving internal and external threats. The unprecedented economic ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, sharp decline in global oil prices, and credible security threats to Saudi strategic depth as Riyadh enters the sixth year of war almost on its own are all contributing factors to this shift in policy.

From border to nationwide security

The Saudi-Houthi backchannel talks — which exist thanks to American and British pressure — are largely driven by threat perceptions, albeit to varying degrees due to the power asymmetry between the two sides. Riyadh has pursued direct and indirect talks with the Houthis to mitigate national security threats to its territory.

The Houthis’ development of drone and ballistic missile capabilities has significantly widened the scope and deepened the extent of threats posed to the kingdom.

Between 2015 and 2019, Saudi Arabia’s total expenditure on arms was more than $340 billion, while the amount spent on the Yemen campaign over the past five years is thought to have been at least $265 billion (given reported estimated costs of around $200 million a day). These realities have heightened the sense of vulnerability in the kingdom, changing Saudi Arabia’s priorities and immediate concerns in Yemen.

After Aramco

As a result of rising threats and security issues in the Gulf region, Riyadh reactivated direct, sustained talks with the Houthis in September 2019, according to al-Jaber. T

Following the November meeting and continuous discussions by joint Saudi-Houthi security and political committees, the frequency of coalition air raids declined substantially from 388 in April 2015 to 46 in February 2020

Current stakes

Saudi Arabia’s current concerns are two-fold: protecting its territory in full, including its shared southern border, and finding a way out of the military stalemate in Yemen. To address these issues, the kingdom has four primary demands: first, halting the Houthi drone and ballistic missile program, starting with ending the attacks; second, stopping Houthi hostilities on the southern border; third, cutting off Houthi-Iranian ties; and fourth, resuming intra-Yemeni peace talks.

The first two are immediate and critical for Saudi Arabia’s physical security; the fourth, however, is the way in which Riyadh can achieve a smooth pullout. The third condition is unlikely to materialize but will probably remain a question for the future with regard to Saudi and Gulf security.

The Houthis have two consistently clear conditions for engaging in a serious de-escalation: the withdrawal of the coalition’s remaining forces and the lifting of its blockade of Yemen

Saudi Arabia, as a regional power, cares for its international prestige and will concentrate its efforts on ensuring an internationally face-saving exit strategy from Yemen. This means that the prospects of withdrawing the remaining coalition forces and/or lifting the blockade are to a great extent contingent upon the conclusion of a politically negotiated settlement between the government of Yemen and the Houthis.

From a Saudi viewpoint, halting Houthi missile attacks on Saudi Arabia could be reciprocated by either suspending (at best) or reducing (at worst) Saudi air raids on the Houthis, which could easily be resumed whenever the benefits outweigh the costs. As for the border region, the Houthis have made it clear that the cessation of hostilities in southern Saudi Arabia is tied to their two central demands, in a bid to maintain their leverage and bargain from a position of strength.

Severing the ties between Iran and the Houthis seems ambitious under the current conditions. Iran and the Houthis share more than just common goals, for two primary reasons. First, the Houthis owe much of the success of their insurgency to Iran since the formation of the Faithful Youth (al-Shabab al-Mo’men) in the 1980s, and have received significant strategic support ever since. Second, the Houthis share Iran’s “Shi’a crescent” expansionist ambitions.

Put differently, the coalition’s cease-fire aims to reduce conventional and non-conventional attacks on Saudi Arabia, and has yet to address the issue of conflict resolution in Yemen. In the absence of pressure from air power and with fatal divisions apparent within the coalition-backed forces as Houthi-Saudi talks progress, the cease-fire could end up once again enabling Houthi territorial gains – by Ibrahim Jalal

My comment: Interesting article, even if an anti-Houthi bias can be seen in many details.

(** B K P)

Hope Fades for New Talks in Yemen as Battles Intensify

The Saudis have declared a unilateral ceasefire in Yemen, but hopes are quickly fading as battles continue.

New territory gains in al-Jawf, Mareb and Sanaa provinces this year have empowered Houthis and weakened the leverage of both the Yemeni government and the Saudi-led coalition. The dynamics of the conflict continue to shift as Houthis prove their capability to maintain drone and missile attacks across the Saudi-Yemeni border and deeper into the government’s enclave in Mareb. The basic equation to restart the peace process has three parties that are unwilling to compromise, while “warlords continue to convince the Saudis that they can still win the war,” according to Khaled al-Yamani, the former Yemeni foreign minister. Then there are the southern secessionists who continue to search for a guaranteed seat at the big table.

Some international observers saw the Saudi ceasefire as a sign of potential capitulation amid growing criticism of their conduct during the war or in response to economic stress. But “Saudi Arabia is far from accepting defeat or terms dictated by Houthis considering the rebels’ alliance with Iran,” says the Mareb-based Yemeni journalist Ali al-Sakani.

Three Perspectives to Consider

There are three issues to consider. First, Saudi Arabia did not appear to have coordinated its decision to announce a ceasefire with Yemen’s President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Furthermore, media reports and a statement from Deputy Minister of Defense Prince Khaled bin Salman of Saudi Arabia focused on prioritizing public safety amid the coronavirus crisis.

In all, Hamed al-Bukhayti, a pro-Houthi writer, sees the abrupt announcement by Saudi Arabia as a move to prioritize its own security at home and in Yemen, while preempting any major damage to the chain of command and vital personnel.

Second, Griffiths presented Houthis and the legitimate government of Yemen with his own initiative on April 10. Again, while his initiative mentioned the importance of addressing the public health crisis, it seems to lack any coordination with the parties. The UN envoy tends to propose new road maps for peace talks following a round of talks with the parties involved, which was not the case this month. Nowhere in his statement did Griffiths address the secessionist Southern Transitional Council (STC), whose allied armed groups continue to engage Houthis in al-Dhale province and pro-Islah party military elements in Shebwa province.

Again, this highlights the limits of both Saudi Arabia’s unilateral announcement and the UN envoy’s proposal.

Third, on April 9, the Houthis published a prepared and unsigned document in the name of the government for national salvation

The document lists a number of demands directed at Saudi Arabia as the leader of the coalition that supports the legitimate government of Yemen. In the document, the Houthis address the air and land blockade and economic constraints, including the lack of salaries for government employees.

For the past two years, the Houthis have insisted that any peace process must begin with direct talks with Saudi Arabia, followed by Yemeni-Yemeni dialogue — meaning the Houthis and the Hadi-led government.

Pressure Grows as Leverage Weakens

International aid organizations continue to warn over deteriorating conditions, adding pressure on donors and Houthi authorities

The pressure on Saudi Arabia grows, not merely as a result of Houthi gains but also as the implementation of the 2019 Riyadh Agreement stalls.

As various elements push for more confrontations between parties, in the north and the south, Saudi leadership comes under tremendous strain. It remains to be seen if this two-week pause allows Saudi officials to regroup and present new initiatives to move on the UN-sponsor peace proposal or increase financial and materiel support for Murad tribes and government troops in al-Baydha and al-Jawf provinces.

Undoubtedly, the UAE will reengage under its own terms and a list of demands for Hadi regarding the role of the Islah party within his government and the military. It is doubtful the UAE would play a major role with troops fighting Houthis in Hodeida, but under the right circumstances, it could play a positive role in reaching out to both the Houthis and Iran to push for the start of UN-sponsored peace talks this year – by Fernando Carvajal

(** B K)

Ansar Allah (Houthi) Attack on Taiz Women’s Prison Kills and Wounds Civilians

Five Women Prisoners, Two Girls, and Policewoman Killed; Two Girls and Seven Others Wounded

The Ansar Allah (Houthi) armed group attacked the Taiz Central Prison Complex on Sunday April 5, killing five women prisoners, two young girls and a policewoman, and wounding nine, including six other women, two girls and a civilian man, Mwatana for Human Rights said.

At about 4:20 p.m. on April 5, at least five mortar shells landed on and near the Central Prison Complex in Taiz governorate, in southwestern Yemen. Two mortar shells hit the Women’s Correctional Facility, located at the south of the Central Prison complex. Another shell landed near the complex’s east, wounding a civilian. Two other mortar shells hit the road leading to the Correctional Facility and behind it.

“This bloody attack by the Ansar Allah (Houthi) group is further evidence of the need for justice and accountability for their violations against civilians throughout the last five years,” Radhya Al-Mutawakel, Mwatana for Human Rights Chairperson said. “These women were waiting to be released and to embrace their families, and instead were met by deadly shells.”

Witnesses told Mwatana that they were unaware of any fighting in the area before they heard the explosions at the Central Prison Complex.

Mwatana visited three hospitals in Taiz on April 6: Al-Thawra Hospital, Al-Buraihi Hospital, and Al-Safwa Hospital. Mwatana obtained figures on those wounded, as well as six death certificates for people killed in the attack, from hospital sources. Mwatana also visited the Central Prison Complex, interviewed three women prisoners, and examined the area surrounding the site of the attack. Mwatana was unable to enter the Women’s Correctional Facility, as it was closed by security personnel, but collected photographic evidence, including of the crater. On April 7, Mwatana visited Al-Buraihi Hospital again to follow up on two women who had been placed in the intensive care unit after the attack. The doctor on duty informed Mwatana the women had died of their injuries.

Mwatana found weapons remnants in the crater made by the first shell and additional fragments that damaged the truck. According to a weapons expert’s analysis, the remnants indicate the attack was either carried out using a mortar or other projectile.

The first shell landed about 200 meters away from the outer fence of the six-building Social Welfare Compound, which houses juveniles, orphans, and those with disabilities. The Social Welfare Compound is about 300 meters away from the Women’s Correctional Facility. According to a document, of which Mwatana has a copy, the head of the National Commission to Investigate Alleged Violations to Human Rights (NCIAVHR), established by President Hadi, demanded on January 26, 2020 that the Taiz Military Axis commander—affiliated with the Hadi government—evacuate four of the six buildings of the Social Welfare Compound, which were being used by 17th-Mechanized Brigade Forces. A source told Mwatana that 17th-Mechanized and 145th Infantry Brigades had stationed military personnel in buildings in the Social Welfare Compound, and used them as an administrative office. By doing so, they unlawfully endangered the Compound. Mwatana was not able to determine if military personnel were present in the Compound at the time of the attack.

International humanitarian law prohibits indiscriminate attacks, including those not directed at a specific military objective or that use weapons that cannot be directed at a specific military objective. Weapons such as mortars, artillery, and rockets, when firing unguided munitions, are fundamentally inaccurate systems. Indiscriminate attacks may constitute war crimes when carried out with criminal intent. Explosive weapons so inaccurate they cannot be directed at military targets without a substantial risk to civilians should not be used in populated areas.

Mwatana for Human Rights calls on the Ansar Allah (Houthi) group to immediately end indiscriminate attacks, cease their use of indiscriminate weapons, and take steps to provide redress to victims of unlawful attacks and hold perpetrators to account. Mwatana also calls on internationally recognized government forces to remove any forces stationed in or near civilian targets, and avoid deploying forces in densely populated areas.

(** B H)

‘Even if they Reopened the Airports’ - Barriers to cross-border movement expose Yemenis to repeated internal displacement

This study -- part of the our Invisible Majority thematic series -- seeks to better understand the relationship between internal displacement and cross-border movement. It explores the emigration environment and migration interface within which aspirations and abilities for cross- border movement are defined, and assesses the return outlook of displaced Yemenis.


Building upon years of instability, the escalation of the war in Yemen in 2015 plunged the country into the worst humanitarian crises of recent times. More than 80 per cent of the population is in need of aid, and millions have been internally displaced. Given the scale of the crisis, comparatively few Yemenis have sought refuge abroad. This study, based on 147 interviews with Yemenis displaced both inside and outside the country, seeks to better understand the relationship between internal displacement and cross-border movement. It explores the emigration environment and migration interface within which aspirations and abilities for crossborder movement are defined, and assesses the return outlook of displaced Yemenis.1 The research arrives at the following key findings.

Emigration environment: Yemen’s social, economic and political context

Yemen is situated at the centre of a mixed migration crossroads. Widespread labour migration to neighbouring Saudi Arabia has been marked by repeated waves of forcible returns. At the same time, Yemen has received large numbers of refugees and migrants from the Horn of Africa, many of whom are seeking to transit onwards to richer oil-producing countries in the region.

Yemen’s latest conflict is a result of longstanding social, economic and political grievances, marked by years of conflict in the north, repression of a southern separatist movement, and decades of stalled development and economic decline. At least 3.65 million people are thought to be living in internal displacement.2 Whole neighbourhoods and even towns have been emptied of their residents as a result of the conflict. Repeated displacement is caused predominantly by shifting frontlines, but also by poverty and evictions. Displaced Yemenis are confronted with high levels of food insecurity, inadequate shelters and limited access to services.

Migration interface: opportunities for and barriers to movement

A number of factors, including neighbouring countries’ strict border controls, difficulties in obtaining necessary documentation, geography and the prohibitively high cost of travel, have restricted the ability of Yemenis to seek refuge abroad. This does not reflect a lack of aspirations, but rather represents a form of forced immobility. In other cases, the internalisation of obstacles to cross-border movement has resulted in a form of acquiescent immobility, whereby Yemenis rationalise their decision to remain in their country of origin by denying their aspirations for migration.

Restrictive migration policies have limited the modes of migration available to those who seek to travel abroad; as a result, much cross-border movement is irregular.

Many of the refugees interviewed in Europe had first flown to countries with no visa restrictions for Yemenis before continuing their dangerous and costly onward journey to Europe via Spain or Morocco. Interviewees in Djibouti made the 14-hour boat journey across the Gulf of Aden, but have been discouraged by the lack of economic opportunities and harsh conditions in displacement.

Return outlook: prospects for durable solutions

While a majority of internally displaced people (IDPs) said they would like to return to their areas of origin, few refugees intend to return to Yemen. Both groups reported that conflict and violence were the main obstacles to return, with refugees having little to no hope of an end to the war in the near or medium term. The likely drop in remittances resulting from deportations from Saudi Arabia threatens to exacerbate the humanitarian crisis, as does any potential scale-down of humanitarian assistance because of concerns about interference with aid in areas under Ansar Allah control.

and full study

(** B P)

Behind the Front Lines in Yemen’s Marib

Just before major battles in northern Yemen and the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Crisis Group expert Peter Salisbury travelled to Marib, the government’s last stronghold. He found a region coping well with massive displacement but fearing a settlement that would favour the advancing Huthis.

Crisis Group conducted the fieldwork for this Our Journeys piece before the COVID-19 pandemic. Some dynamics examined in this publication may have changed in the meantime.

I was researching a new report on how to end the war, so I needed to talk to as many parties on the ground as possible. Since late 2018, I’ve travelled to the front lines of the war on the west coast, to contested Aden and to Sanaa in the Huthi-controlled northern highlands. Now I wanted to reach Marib, the internationally recognised government’s last major stronghold. Over the course of the war, Marib has become a refuge for internally displaced people and an economic hub. A few weeks after I was there the Huthis launched a major offensive on government positions in the north, capturing the capital of al-Jawf province to Marib’s north before marching toward Marib city and adjacent oil and gas infrastructure.

But I didn’t know about the fighting or the pandemic to come at the time of my trip.

As our car climbed from the desert into the foothills and we entered Marib city, I was struck by how busy this once-sleepy provincial centre has become. What was a town of 30,000 people before the war began in 2015 has grown into a city that local authorities say now houses 1.8 million. The population of the governorate is reckoned to have grown tenfold, from 300,000 people to three million. The International Organization for Migration estimates that 800,000 people fleeing fighting in other parts of the country have come here seeking refuge.

The pace of change, everyone told me, has picked up over the past two years as security has improved and the local economy begun to grow, fuelled by an influx of money from other parts of the country and revenues from the sale of the province’s oil and gas across Yemen. Marib city, once a one-road town with a single restaurant, now has some surprisingly well-appointed hotels, private banks, big supermarkets, four-lane highways, a university, a football stadium and numerous restaurants, including an outpost of the nationally famous Shaibani chain. Authorities announced construction of a new international airport the day after I arrived.

Marib is just half an hour from the front lines, which seems to bolster a distinct sense of municipal pride.

One of the first people I met in Marib was General Mohammed al-Maqdashi, the defence minister in the Yemeni government.

Along with local tribal leaders, Maqdashi helped mount the defence of Marib and, in 2015-2016, pushed the Huthis back toward Sanaa, located 170km to the west.

Lengthy social meetings allow me to build trust, meet people of all points of view and understand more deeply a war that has come to include multi-layered narratives. A wide range of normally divided people can still get together behind closed doors.

One such gathering on this trip included members of the former ruling party, the General People’s Congress; other secular nationalists like Nasserists; affiliates of Islah, a broad umbrella organisation for the Muslim Brotherhood members and conservative, religious and tribal groups; religious-conservative Salafists; and Socialists, too. At other times, I met with groups of tribal leaders and government, military and economic officials.

After more than a decade of fighting, many in the governorate fear that a future political settlement will favour the Huthis, who have emerged as the most powerful military force on the ground. They paint the Huthis as an expansionist power that wants to restore the religious authoritarian rule of the imamate that controlled northern Yemen until the 1960s (the Huthis deny such accusations).

I met representatives from the Association of Mothers of Abductees. This women’s group tracks down and lobbies for the release of civilians it says are arbitrarily detained across Yemen. “We organise protests all over the country”, said Sabah al-Swaidi.

People in the city say migration has a liberalising effect on society, allowing educated women like Sabah to lead an NGO, something that was considered unacceptable here before the war. There are more women than men at the Saba Regional University.

Speaking with local women activists as well as the men with the guns gave me a feeling for the bigger challenges and nuances of what true peacebuilding in a country like Yemen will entail, away from the power politics. Yemenis do not just want the shooting to stop; they want state institutions like the police and the courts to be accountable to ordinary people.

Still, in a little more than a week, I had significant interviews with more than 40 people, I spent days on the road in deserts and mountains, and, despite all the privileges I have as a foreign visitor with guards, I saw the challenges of everyday life. I could hear a signal amid all the noise. I now knew not just what people are saying and what they think, but why they think it. The clear message from Marib was fear that Saudi Arabia was going to strike a deal with the Huthis that didn’t take local interests on the weaker anti-Huthi side into account. I returned even more convinced that any lasting solution will have to include local input.

Yemen has changed profoundly over the course of the decade I have worked there. Now, five years after the Saudi-led intervention escalated a nascent civil war into a protracted regional conflict, fighting in the north has the potential to once again dramatically reshape the country’s political landscape.

If the Huthis prevail in the battle for Marib, they will have in effect won the war for the north, at least for the time being, making international efforts to end the conflict even more difficult. Worse, a fight for Marib could add a new catastrophe to what is already the world’s most serious humanitarian emergency – one that may soon worsen badly if the COVID-19 pandemic hits Yemen hard. It could displace more than a million people, many of whom have already fled fighting in other parts of the country. To learn what my Crisis Group colleagues and I think about the fighting in the north, read our briefing, Preventing a Deadly Showdown in Northern Yemen – by Peter Salisbury (with photos)

(** B E K)

Arms from Yemen will Fuel Conflict in the Horn of Africa

Arms trafficking via the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea has a long history. However, the wars in Yemen and the vast number of arms and materiel provided by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have ushered in a golden age for regional arms traffickers. The flow of weapons and materiel from Yemen to the Horn of Africa has increased over the last three years, as has the quality and variety of smuggled weapons (The East African, September 2019). This comes at a time when the countries that make up the Horn of Africa face growing threats to their stability.

The illicit trade in weapons and materiel between Yemen and the Horn of Africa has rarely been more lucrative. Weapons and materiel of all types are readily available in Yemen’s arms markets (Terrorism Monitor, June 16, 2017). Almost all of these small and medium arms are less expensive in Yemen than in the countries that make up the Horn of Africa: Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti. However, only some of the weapons and materiel trafficked from Yemen remain in the Horn of Africa. Many of the smuggled weapons are sold on via middlemen who move the illicit goods to countries like Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic. The markup on weapons and materiel—especially more specialized equipment such as night vision devices, rangefinders and RPGs—increases exponentially as they move inland. [1]

The price difference between Yemen and the Horn of Africa has set up the kind of arbitrage that is irresistible to smugglers and those who finance them. For example, the Saudi manufactured G3 rifle supplied in large numbers to Saudi backed forces in Yemen can be purchased in a Yemeni arms market for $500. In Somalia, the same rifle will sell for at least three times that amount. In Ethiopia, the rifle will sell for up to six times what it costs to purchase in Yemen. More advanced weapons like later variants of the RPG—widely available in Yemen—are sold for as much as ten times what they cost in Yemen. [2]

At the Bab al-Mandeb strait, only 20 miles of water separate Yemen and Djibouti. Skiffs equipped with powerful outboard engines can cross from Yemen to Eritrea and Djibouti in hours in favorable weather. Larger vessels sailing from Yemen take only days to reach the extensive and thinly populated coasts of Puntland and Somalia. It is these desolate and largely uncontrolled coastlines that make the region ideal for arms traffickers and the illicit networks they operate within.

While the world’s navies patrol the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, these waters are home to some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. They also support large numbers of artisanal and commercial fishermen. Smugglers use shipping traffic and fishing activity as an effective screen for their activities.

While skiffs are used to move illicit goods—including small weapons, materiel, and “custom orders”—to the lightly patrolled coasts of Djibouti and Eritrea, most weapons are smuggled on larger vessels to Somalia. [3] Somalia and the semi-autonomous region of Puntland are the easiest and most cost-effective places to offload cargo – by Michael Horton

My comment: What about the claims of greater Iranian arms supplies to the Houthis? Yemen is full of arms, even after 5 years of war.

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

(** B H K P)

The Pandemic Comes To Yemen

After five years of dire humanitarian crisis, the arrival of COVID promises to make it worse.

Last month, the Trump administration had impeccably bad timing in suspending aid shipments to Houthi-controlled parts of the country because of Houthi interference with the delivery of aid. The humanitarian relief organization Oxfam warned that this suspension of aid comes at exactly the wrong time, and it leaves an already terribly weakened Yemen even more vulnerable to the ravages of the pandemic.

The Democratic chairmen of the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees likewise protested USAID’s decision to suspend aid

The suspension of U.S. funding for humanitarian assistance will undermine the life-saving work that is being done by humanitarian organizations. Many clinics that serve the hardest-hit civilians will be forced to close without U.S. funds. After five years of unstinting support for the Saudi coalition’s war, the least that the U.S. can do is to continue funding these essential services to protect civilian lives. USAID has said that there will be exceptions allowed for the most critical operations, but in a country suffering from so many overlapping disasters all humanitarian relief efforts are critically important.

The spread of coronavirus has caught almost every country off guard, but Yemen is at the greatest risk because of the damage that has already been done to the country’s infrastructure and the population by five years of the U.S.-backed Saudi coalition’s bombing, blockade, and economic war.

As horrible as conditions in Yemen already are, this would be an even worse nightmare. “We have been saying since the declaration of the pandemic that the introduction of such a case in Yemen would be catastrophic,” said Altaf Musani, representative of the World Health Organization in Yemen.

Yemen is unusually vulnerable to a rapid spread of coronavirus, according to a new report by two humanitarian relief NGOs

The situation is made more unmanageable by the cut in aid funding. NPR reports

A cessation of hostilities will be important for allowing all sides in the war to focus on slowing the spread of the virus, but Yemen’s population has been so battered by starvation and disease that they will need much greater outside assistance to help them through this latest crisis. Many of the simplest things that we rely on to prevent the spread of the virus, such as frequent hand-washing and basic sanitation, are difficult or impossible in a country where up to 18 million people lack access to clean water and millions are displaced from their homes.

Save the Children’s Xavier Joubert recently listed what Yemen’s hospitals and clinics have at their disposal, noting, “there are 700 intensive care unit beds, including 60 for children, and 500 ventilators for a population of about 30 million.”

As Oxfam’s Scott Paul warned last month, “It will require a sweeping effort – with extraordinary international support – to limit its damage.” The people of Yemen are suffering from so many other outbreaks of disease that it makes it harder to know how widespread the coronavirus outbreak already is.

At a time when so many other countries are struggling with their own public health crises, Yemen’s multiple disasters are even more likely to be overlooked than before, but this is the time when international support for Yemen’s civilian population is more important than ever. That it has taken a global pandemic to force the warring parties to see reason is deplorable, when Yemen has been in dire need of peace for years. There were many opportunities to bring this war to a close, and the people of Yemen will suffer even more from the latest outbreak because those opportunities were squandered.

The best and easiest thing in the near term that the U.S. can do is restore all funding for humanitarian assistance, and our government should bring pressure to bear on the Saudi coalition to ease the restrictions that have been strangling Yemen for years. Our government’s support for this war helped to cast the people of Yemen into the abyss, and we must do whatever we can to help them stave off this latest calamity – by Daniel Larison

(* B H)

Coronavirus: Yemen facing 'catastrophe' amid humanitarian crisis, experts warn

An outbreak of the virus could infect 93 per cent of the country's population and cause more deaths than five years of conflict

Doctors in Yemen have been dreading an outbreak of coronavirus, which the United Nations says could infect up to 93 per cent of the population.

The country has already become the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe since the Arab coalition intervened in the civil war to push the Iranian-backed Houthis from Sana’a, the capital. It is estimated that half of all medical centres have been destroyed.

Doctors in Yemen have spoken of their fears over the virus. “There isn't any equipment, not even personal protective equipment for doctors and healthcare workers,” Dr Abdulaziz Qassem told Reuters at the Joumhuriya Hospital in the city of Taiz. “Doctors don't have any protective clothing and we will be the first line of defence in front of corona cases.”

The World Health Organisation has said it has major concerns about how Yemen’s hospitals will cope.

"Ventilation is going to be a huge challenge,” said Michael Ryan, a WHO emergency expert. “It's going to be a major, major challenge, and not just the ventilators but more the technicians to run those ventilators."

The WHO is now urgently providing medical supplies, testing kits, ventilators and training to Yemen's health services.

Xavier Joubert, director of Save the Children in Yemen told the BBC: "This is a moment we all feared because Yemen is critically under-equipped to face this virus.”

(A H P)

COVID-19 update: Yemen opens 27 quarantine centers in preparation for coronavirus fight

The new quarantine centers are located in the governorates of Al-Mahra, Hadhramout, Abyan, Lahj, Marib, Taiz, Shabwa, Al-Dhale and Aden, while COVID-19 testing labs have been opened in Aden, Taiz and Mukalla city

My remark: This only refers to the aereas under anti-Houthi forces’ control.

(A H P)

589 Migranten verlassen Quarantänezentren in Sanaa

589 Menschen verließen am Donnerstag nach Ablauf der Vorsorgezeit die Quarantänezentren im Gouvernement Sanaa, um sicherzustellen, dass sie nicht mit dem Corona-Virus infiziert waren.

(A H P)

Al-Shabahi confirms quarry’s readiness in Aden with seven respirators

Dr. Salem Al-Shabahi confirmed the quarry’s readiness to host those infected with the Coronavirus according to the available capabilities, as he said that there is a quarry for “positive” cases and refreshment in which there are 22 beds, including 7 beds with ventilators.

Dr. Al-Shabahi said about the work mechanism: we have a half kilometer away a reception hall and a sorting room for about 70 beds, the suspect will be examined for infection and if the results are positive, he will be taken to the quarry in the recovery, and there are 7 respirators with volunteers team of doctors and nurses on duty.

Al-Shabhi said: The capabilities are very limited, and the World Health Organization promised us support, and we are still waiting.

(A H)

Details of first case of #Corona virus in #Hadramout

The sources said that the director of Al-Shehr Port is the first case in Hadramout to be registered with the Corona virus.

The sources added that the confirmed case of Al-Shehr port got the Corona virus after contact with a number of foreign ship owners and crews, in which he is now under health care in quarantine.

Sources added that the suspected cases of workers in the port of Al-Shehr are currently being quarantined, as the health investigation committees restrict families, suspects and contacts, take health measures, examine them, and inform them about awareness programs to deal with the disease and prevent it.


(A H)

Monitoring 120 cases of contacts with #Corona infected in #Al-Shehr

The Emergency committee to tackle the Corona virus announced that 120 suspected cases were identified among people with HIV infection in Al-Shehr district of Hadramout governorate.

The district recorded, on Friday, the first confirmed infection with the corona virus

(A H)

Film: Turning a wedding hall into a quarantine center

The coronavirus pandemic in Yemen revealed the fragility if the collapsing health system in general in the country as a result of the war that has been going on for years, where the Yemeni government was forced to convert a wedding hall in the Directorate of Al-Briqa in Aden governorate into a special center for quarantine and isolation in addition to the main quarantine center of Al-Amal Hospital, despite the lack of possibilities and the lack of medical equipment and ambulances, but the hall was equipped with 31 beds and an integrated medical staff.

(* B H)

Film: Yemen: Displaced people at higher risk of COVID-19 in camps

The first confirmed infection in Yemen was announced last week. =

(* B H)

Jemen: Das Coronavirus rückt näher

Im Jemen wurde offiziell erst eine Corona-Infektion registriert. Eine Ausbreitung hätte verheerende Folgen für das arme Land. Kriegsbedingt liegt das Gesundheitssystem am Boden.

"Der Jemen war bis kürzlich eines der letzten Länder weltweit, das keine Corona-Infektion verzeichnete", sagt Claire Ha-Duong, Projektleiterin von Ärzte ohne Grenzen im Jemen, im Gespräch mit der DW. Doch wieviel sagt dies über die Realität aus? "Wir führen dies auf die mangelhafte Testfähigkeit des Landes zurück. Vermutlich ist das Virus aber bereits seit einiger Zeit im Lande, ohne dass es allerdings entdeckt wurde." Die Ausbreitung von Covid-19 könnte im Jemen katastrophale Auswirkungen haben, fürchtet sie. "Da es weder persönliche Schutzausrüstungen noch angemessene Kontrollen gibt, ist es dem Land unmöglich, sich auf die Epidemie vorzubereiten."

Die Voraussetzungen, das Virus zu bekämpfen seien eingeschränkt, bestätigt auch Yusef Al-Hadri, Sprecher des Gesundheitsministeriums der mit den Houthis verbundenen Gegenregierung in Sanaa. Der Krieg und die Blockade des Landes verhinderten, dass medizinische Ausrüstung in ausreichender Menge ins Land komme. Es gebe derzeit rund 3000 Test-Kits, so Al-Hadri im DW-Interview. "Davon haben wir bislang einige hundert verwendet."

Die Geräte befänden sich zu gleichen Mengen in Sanaa und in Aden, dem Sitz der international anerkannten Regierung. "Getestet haben wir vor allem aus dem Ausland einreisende Personen sowie solche, bei denen ein begründeter Infektionsverdacht bestand." Trotz aller Mängel, so der Ministeriumssprecher in Sanaa, seien Ministerien, Industrie und Handel sowie die Krankenhäuser auf den Ausbruch der Pandemie so gut wie eben möglich vorbereitet.

Dennoch sorgt die Nachricht der ersten Corona-Infektion für Unruhe. Vielen wird möglicherweise erst jetzt richtig klar, dass das Fehlen einer größeren Anzahl offiziell registrierter Infektionen keineswegs automatisch Sicherheit bedeutet.

Doch nun könnte auch der Jemen am Anfang einer Pandemie stehen. Es dürfte schwierig werden, das Virus in dem Land zu bekämpfen, warnte kürzlich Lise Grande, UN-Koordinatorin für humanitäre Einsätze im Jemen. Eine Pandemie im ärmsten Land der arabischen Halbinsel könne noch ernstere Auswirkungen haben als in anderen Ländern.

Zwar leisten ausländische Organisationen Hilfe, doch die ist längst nicht ausreichend.ückt-näher/a-53142766

(* B H)

As first COVID-19 case detected, Yemen braces for fresh humanitarian disaster

After the first case of COVID-19 was detected in Yemen, authorities and humanitarian aid organizations fear that the war-torn country will not be able to withstand yet another humanitarian disaster.

The first official case of COVID-19 in Yemen was reported on Monday. When a 60-year-old port worker in the eastern province of Hadramout tested positive, the information rapidly spread around the country and triggered panic in the capital Sanaa.

Lisa Grande, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, has warned that the country will struggle to fight a pandemic that could have even more serious consequences than in other countries.

Already devastated by civil war, malnutrition, cholera and other diseases, Yemen does not have the resources to withstand a highly-contagious virus that has even some of the world's richest countries struggling.

Yet the World Food Program, the food assistance branch of the UN, has been forced to cut its aid by 50% because it simply does not have enough funds

"Until recently, Yemen was one of the last countries in the world with no detected cases of the coronavirus," Claire Ha-Duong, Doctors Without Borders head of mission in Yemen, told DW. "This can be attributed to the lack of testing capacity in the country. The virus has probably been in Yemen for some time already but was not detected."

"It is impossible for the country to prepare itself for the epidemic as it does not have personal protective equipment nor the appropriate tests," she added.

Youssef al-Hadri, a spokesman for the Houthi-affiliated Yemeni Health Ministry in Sanaa, confirmed this, telling DW that the war and sanctions had led to a shortage of medical equipment. He said that there were currently only 3,000 test kits in the country, in equal numbers in Sanaa and Aden. "We've already used several hundred," he said.

(* B H P)

Trump's Cut to WHO Funding Is Another Nightmare for Yemen

Astute, sustained diplomacy by its neighbors and the world’s big powers could at least mitigate the civil carnage that the pandemic threatens to compound. At a minimum, the U.S. needs to reverse its cruel and potentially disastrous decisions to cut off not just funding for the World Health Organization but also much of its direct aid to Yemen.

It is hard to imagine a country less prepared for a pandemic — or more vulnerable to one. By the reckoning of the the UNHCR, 80% of Yemen’s population are “in need.” More than 3.65 million Yemenis are classified as “displaced.”

The country’s heath system was never adequate and has been battered by war:

Only a herculean humanitarian effort will prevent the coronavirus from killing more Yemenis than cholera. Relief agencies are already warning of the “nightmare” to come

So the U.S. could not have chosen a worse moment to cut tens of millions of dollars in health-care aid to Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen, blaming the rebels for diverting food and medical supplies. More damaging still is the Trump administration’s decision to halt payments to the World Health Organization, which has been readying Yemeni hospitals for the virus’s onslaught. In both cases, civilians will bear the immediate brunt of a political crossfire that they did nothing to cause.

Yemen can’t wait: The worst of worst-case scenarios is already here. =

(* B H)

Yemen's war-scarred hospitals gear up to combat coronavirus threat

In a hospital in the Yemeni city of Taiz, medics scarred by five years of war are marshalling scant resources to face a new enemy.

The coronavirus epidemic has yet to make clear inroads in Yemen, with the little testing that has been done uncovering just one confirmed case. But aid groups fear that could be a harbinger of a catastrophic outbreak among an acutely malnourished population.

“Even now, before corona arrives ... you would fail to find a ventilator,” said Abdulaziz Qassem, part of the coronavirus team at the city’s Joumhuriya hospital. “We doctors don’t have any protective clothing and we will be the first line of defence.”

Yemen’s third largest city has just four ventilators to treat victims of the respiratory disease, and Joumhuriya’s deputy director Khalil al-Saeed said its makeshift coronavirus wing has no beds and no functioning bathrooms.

It is one of 37 Yemeni hospitals that the World Health Organization (WHO) and local authorities are rushing to upgrade, in response to a war that has destroyed health, water and sanitation systems and left millions weakened by poverty and disease.

“We will all struggle to provide adequate levels of supportive care to people should the disease take off,” the WHO’s emergencies expert Mike Ryan said on Monday.

(B H)

UNDP Yemen COVID-19 Response Outline

In line with UNDP’s global COVID-19 response, UNDP Yemen is prepared to work closely with our implementing partners to roll out a two-fold country response: (1) Rapid adjustments to our existing programming by supporting ongoing health responses through activities that strengthen the first line of defense and flatten the curve; and, (2) A standalone response that focuses upon mitigation of COVID’s socio-economic impact by focusing on scaling-up social protection and safeguarding the economy.

(A H)

Health of Yemen’s only coronavirus case improves =

(A H P)

Yemeni gov't to return its citizens stranded abroad

The Yemeni internationally recognized government affirmed, on Wednesday evening, to return the Yemenis stranded abroad and provide quarantines to accommodate them for 14 days in a number of governorates.

The Deputy Prime Minister of Yemen, Chairman of the National Committee to Combat the novel Epidemic of Coronavirus, Dr. Salem Al-Khanbashi, instructed the governors of the governorates to prepare suitable quarantine places for returnees from abroad.

(A H)

The Public Health Office in #Mahra #Yemen is struggling to get protective equipment for #Covid19. Luckily, locals in @MahraYouth were thinking ahead. Today they joined forces with local gov to distribute 10,000 medical gloves & 1,500 masks. Local volunteers are busy sewing more! (photos)

(A H P)

Yemen: Saudi Arabia allocated $25m to combat coronavirus outbreak

Yemeni Prime Minister Moeen Abdul Malik said on Monday that Saudi Arabia has allocated $25 million to confront the coronavirus in Yemen and provided $5 million in humanitarian support to the war-torn country.

My comment: Well, it’s the cost of 3 hours and of 45 minutes relatively warfare against Yemen (since 5 years, day and night)

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

(A K pS)

The government liaison officer in UN-led RCC Mohammed al-Solaihi, who was shot by a Houthi sniper near City Max in Hodeidah, DIED, according to @eidah31 . This is horrendous!!


(* A K)

Conflict' Parties in Yemen response to inte'l peace initiatives by igniting battles in Hodeidah

Again, several combat fronts in the Al-Hodeidah governorate, west of Yemen, witnessed violent confrontations between the joint forces of the Yemeni internationally recognized government and the Ansar Allah group (Houthis) on Friday.

(A K pH)

US-Saudi Aggression’s Daily Update for Friday, April 17th, 2020

(A K pH)

Aggressionskräfte verstärken Verstöße in Hodeidah

(A K pH)

82 Verstöße der Aggressionstruppen in Hodeidah innerhalb von 24 Stunden

(A K pH)

Saudi-led aggression commits 82 breaches in Hodeidah

(A K pH)

US-Saudi Aggression’s Daily Update for Thursday, April 16th, 2020

(A K pH)

Mehrere Zivilisten verletzt bei einem Luftangriff auf ein Haus in Hodeidah

Eine Reihe von Zivilisten wurden heute bei einem Luftangriff der amerikanisch-saudischen Luftwaffe auf das Haus eines Bürgers im Distrikt Al-Marueah im Gouvernement Hodeidah verwundet.

Eine Sicherheitsquelle teilte der jemenitischen Nachrichtenagentur (Saba) mit, dass eine Luftwaffe einen Luftangriff auf das Haus von Deer al-Sharae'i im Gebiet Al-Qateea des Distrikts Al-Marueah östlich von Hodeidah angeflogen habe, was zu Verletzungen, einschließlich Frauen, geführt habe.

(A K)

Houthis: Civilians injured due to coalition air strikes on western Yemen

The air strikes by the Saudi-led Arab coalition warplanes on Thursday caused civilian casualties in Hodeidah Governorate, western Yemen, according to the Houthi-run Al Masirah TV.

Al-Masirah reported that the coalition' warplanes launched "an air strike on the house of a citizen in Deer Al-Sherae'i in the Al-Qateea area of the Al-Maraweah District, east of Al-Hodeidah, causing injuries, including women."


(A K pH)

Hodeidah Branch of CHA condemns targeting of house of citizen

The Branch of the Supreme Council for the Management and Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and International Cooperation in Hodeidah condemned the attack by the aggression coalition of a citizen's house in Deir al-Sharaie in al-Qadiea al-Marawea district, causing injury to a number of citizens, including women.

(A K pS)

Video: Another victim of Houthi laid-mine in al-Khokha

A man was badly injured on Thursday, by a blast of a Houthi laid-mine in al-Khokha district, in the south of Hodeidah governorate.


(B K pH)

Joint Coordination Committee Calls on United Nations to Assume Responsibility to Stop Violating Stockholm Agreement

Member of the Joint Coordination Committee, Major General Mohammad al-Qadri, called on the United Nations to assume its responsibility towards the Yemeni people and put pressure on the forces of aggression to stop violating the Stockholm agreement and lift the siege.

and also

(A K pH)

US-Saudi Aggression’s Daily Update for Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

(A K pH)

80 Verstöße der Aggressionstruppen in Hodeidah

(A K pH)

Andauernde Verstöße in Hodeidah

(A K pS)

Houthis continue violating ceasefire in Hodeidah

cp1c Am wichtigsten: Waffenstillstand / Most important: Ceasefire

(* B K P)

Cease-fire ... a new lie for aggression alliance

Hours after the coalition's ceasefire announcement before two weeks, the army spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Sarie said in a statement that the coalition is clearly continuing to escalate through infiltration attempts, attacks and air strikes.

Sarie confirmed that the armed forces would take appropriate measures to defend the Yemeni people and deter the dangerous escalation of Saudi-led aggression coalition against Yemen.

The enemy's attacks during the last days amounted to more than 42 offensive operations and infiltration attempts distributed into the provinces of Marib, Jawf, Bayda and Taiz and the border fronts, he added.

During the same period, the aggression coalition airstrikes amounted to 230 air strikes, which were distributed in the provinces of Sanaa, Amran, Jawf, Marib, Bayda, Saada, and Hodeidah, according to the spokesman.

Brigadier-General Sarie affirmed in a statement that the armed forces would not be restricted before the military escalation by the enemy.

Armed Forces spokesman, Yahya Sare'e, said that the US-Saudi aggression launched more than 12 military creeps and more than 100 raids during the 72 hours Since a ceasefire was announced. Sare’e noted that the aggression launched seven air strikes, which were distributed in separate areas of Marib and Al-Jawf provinces.

"Whenever the enemy spoke about peace, it was accompanied by an escalation targeting civilian areas," The Minister of Information, Dhaifallah Al-Shami.

Al-Shami, said that the aggression raids launched every day on a number of governorates are a dangerous escalation, but not out of the ordinary, and it reveals aggression's desire is not to stop the aggression.

The aggression didn’t stop ... and until this moment there are tens of continuous air strikes,” Ansar Allh spokesman Mohamed Abdelsalam said to some news channels some five hours after the truce began.

“We consider the ceasefire a political and media manoeuver” to bolster the image of the coalition in this critical moment when the world is facing the coronavirus pandemic, he added.

"We are willing to freeze and stop military operations on all fronts to reach a just and honourable peace if they really want peace for the Yemeni people," Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, head of Supreme Revolutionary Committee, said in a statement on Twitter.

For his part, Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a senior political bureau member said before the ceasefire began wanted a complete cessation of the war and the lifting of the siege once and for all".

"If any ceasefire does not include the removal of the siege on Yemen, that would be the continuation of the Saudi war," he said.

"The aggression's [coalition] move to announce a ceasefire was just another ploy," he added.

Al-Bukhaiti that shortly after the ceasefire announcement the coalition warplanes struck several positions in Saada, Amran and Bayda provinces.

My remark: From the Houthi side.

(A K P)

Houthis: Coalition' claim about ceasefire clear maneuver

Spokesman for the Ansar Allah group (Houthis) and the head of its negotiating delegation, Mohammed Abdulsalam, said on Thursday, that the field facts confirm that the coalition's initiative to stop the cease-fire is only an clear maneuver.

Abdulsalam tweeted today: "The coalition of aggression launched more than 35 offensive operations and more than 250 raids, including 12 on Sanaa, the capital and the province."

He added: "The facts on the ground with the continuation of the siege demonstrate in practice that the claim of the cease-fire is nothing but an clear and exposed maneuver."

and also

cp2 Allgemein / General

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Interactive Map of Yemen War

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Salvation Government: US-Saudi Aggression Moving toward Military Escalate, Seeks to Cloud Public Opinion Expressing Concern for Peace

The spokesman of the National Salvation Government, Minister of Information Dhaifallah Al-Shami, explained on Friday that all the aggression wanted is to escalate militarily and it seeks to mislead the international and Yemeni public opinion by claiming concern for peace.

Al-Shami said in a call with Almasirah channel that "the UN envoy intervenes to form a cover for the media of the aggression forces," adding that "the statements of the UN envoy are very close to the statements of the spokesman of the US-Saudi aggression coalition, and there is no longer a difference between the content of the two sides' speech."

He pointed out that the military escalation of the aggression since the announcement of the alleged cease-fire is the largest since the period before this announcement, saying, "We understand that procrastination and evasiveness are not conducive to any solutions, and the initiative of the national delegation is the correct solution to the crisis."

(* B K P)

Hope for Yemen? Plus, three quick takes on the IMF’s outlook for Iran, Lebanon and Egypt

Last week we asked whether Iran would get behind Griffiths' effort. While Griffiths made no mention of Iran in his prepared remarks to the Security Council on Thursday, Gutteres spoke to Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif twice last week about Yemen (and Afghanistan). According to the Iranian readout of the call, Zarif “expressed support” for the cease-fire as “a prelude for the launch of political process to resolve the crisis.”

Unlike in Libya and Syria, Russia has not been a party to the Yemen war. Moscow voted for the Security Council resolution and pledged “to continue to provide support to UN efforts.” Moscow and Tehran have been talking about Yemen. Zarif spoke with Russian Foreign Sergey Lavrov on the same day he spoke with Guterres. A Russian readout of the call said they “touched upon the prospects of stepping up settlement efforts in Yemen in the context of the UN’s latest proposals.”

We explained here why Yemen, the poorest Arab country, with a country of 28 million people, almost half under 15 years old, is too big to fail. It is among the highest of the high-risk states in the region because of the war, COVID-19 and a risk of collapse even before the present conflict.

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The War in Yemen is a Crime Against Humanity and Islam

The question is why a country so deeply religious and proud of being the birth place of Islam, where Sharia is the law of the land, a country which has assumed the leadership role of Sunni Muslims worldwide, waited five years to declare a ceasefire in an effort to end the world’s worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.

Sadly, it is clear that the Saudis are much more concerned with everything except the teachings of the Quran.

Surah 4:93 warns us “…whoever kills a believer intentionally – his recompense is Hell, wherein he will abide eternally, and Allah has become angry with him and has cursed him and has prepared for him a great punishment.” Ignoring a core tenet of the Quran is not merely blasphemy but is an outright defiance of religion itself, which the Saudis have flagrantly violated and use as a tool to cover their crimes against humanity.

Instead of taking the lead and mitigating all civil wars in Muslim-majority countries (including Afghanistan, Turkey, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, Syria, Libya and Yemen, which represent 61% of all civil wars currently taking place globally) and stop the killing of Muslims by Muslims, Saudi Arabia was leading the foray. It has wantonly and persistently waged a merciless war in conjunction with the US and Britain, who in particular are providing the killing machines that allow the Saudis to slaughter tens of thousands of Yemeni civilians.

Moreover, rather than facilitating the delivery of food and medicine to the multitude of beleaguered Yemenis who are on the verge of dying from starvation and decease, the Saudis violated another Quranic instruction to aid those who are in need (Surah 9:60, “…for the poor and for the needy”)

For the Saudis however, the coronavirus pandemic was a blessing in disguise, as it gave the government the excuse to declare a unilateral ceasefire and create the condition where all parties to the conflict, including the Houthis, who developed their own peace plan, could agree on a ceasefire, without losing face.

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2020 in Yemen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Coronavirus succeeds in freeing Yemeni prisoners of war where politics failed

The risk of a widespread Covid-19 outbreak has prompted Hadi's government and the Houthis to release hundreds of detainees, and could prompt a ceasefire

For months, Yemen's warring parties have struggled to agree to an exchange of prisoners, which many see as a crucial step towards peace. This month, coronavirus succeeded where negotiations failed, as rivals freed detainees in an attempt to suppress any potential outbreaks.

On 2 April, the internationally recognised government, which is backed by a Saudi-led coalition, released more than 470 prisoners, and nearly a week later the Houthi movement, which controls vast areas of the south and the capital Sanaa, followed suit.

Judge Nabil Nasser al-Azzani, attorney-general of the Houthi administration, said on Sunday that a total of 2,361 prisoners had been released since 15 March, in the context of precautionary measures to confront the coronavirus, according to the Houthi-run Saba News Agency.

The criteria for release included having served three-quarters of a sentence and good conduct, he added.

The exchange of war prisoners has taken centre stage in negotiations between the warring parties in Yemen since the the UN-brokered Stockholm agreement in December 2018.

The agreement had three main components, one of which was an executive mechanism on activating the prisoner exchange agreement.

Some prisoners have been released as part of the agreement since November, though not nearly in the numbers that both sides desire.

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Houthi-Saudi relations: The impossible price of separation from Iran's axis

On April 8, the Houthis released a proposal that appeared to name their price for shifting away from Iran toward the Saudi axis. It's unclear if any side can afford it

Most of the conditions and steps set out in the Houthi proposal task the Saudi-led coalition with their implementation. The proposal deals with only two parties to the conflict: the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis. The third signatory to the document would be the UN, which is assigned an intermediary position and the coordinator of its implementation.

The proposed agreement – which for the first time refers to the Houthis as the legitimate representatives of the Republic of Yemen in Sana’a rather than as Ansar Allah – appears to name the rebels’ price for shifting away from Iran toward the Saudi axis.

Historical models for Houthi-Saudi relations

One model that could form the basis of the relationship between the Houthis and KSA is that which emerged from the Saudi-Yemeni war of 1934 between Imam Yahya of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen and King Ibn Saud. That war led to the military defeat of the imam and negotiations that resulted in the signing of the Treaty of Taif the same year. Following a similar path would mean Saudi recognition of the Houthis as the legitimate rulers of Sana’a and Yemen’s north. It would also mean Saudi Arabia accepting defeat in its war in Yemen, which is not an easy outcome at any level.

Yet unlike the 1934 war, which was defined as a conflict between two states, the kingdom today is fighting the Houthis on behalf of the internationally recognized government.

While the Saudis are backing the government, there does not appear to be an ideological objection that prohibits it from aligning with the Houthis.

The Saudis have never really had a firm and committed relationship with any Yemeni group or leadership.

So the Saudis could find themselves recognizing the legitimacy of the Houthis just as Riyadh was forced to recognize a moderate version of the republican regime at the end of the 1960s.

If we look at the war as defined by the Houthis in their own media – as a war waged by the Saudi state against the Yemeni state, which the Houthis say they are defending – the Houthis are the losing partly due to the extent of their losses compared to the relatively minimal damage to Saudi Arabia as a state.

If we look at it from the perspective provided by Saudi-led coalition media and the Yemeni parties loyal to it – as a Saudi war inside Yemen (not against Yemen) to support the internationally recognized government against rebels hostile to the kingdom – Saudi Arabia is also a losing party. The Saudi war inside Yemen has not proceeded in a way that satisfies the hopes and expectations of those who appealed to the kingdom and took refuge in it.

The successes of the rebels thus far are also the successes of Iran. If the Saudis were to shift the Houthis’ loyalties away from Iran, it would be a loss for its rival. Can the Houthis separate themselves from Iran?

The Houthis’ other geo-cultural engagements – for example,with Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon – follow from its alliance with and commitment to the model and ideology of the Iranian revolution. It is unclear how the group’s place in regional power dynamics would be shifted if it strikes a deal with Saudi Arabia – by Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed

My comment: This article overestimates the importance of the Houthi-Iran relationship.

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Saudi Arabia looks for an exit to the war in Yemen

But after years of fighting, the Houthi rebels have the upper hand

The reason for the ceasefire, said a Saudi official, was “to alleviate the suffering of the brotherly Yemeni people and maintain their health and safety”. Two days later Yemen, the region’s poorest country, announced its first confirmed case of covid-19.

Cynics doubt that compassion is truly motivating Saudi Arabia, a majority Sunni nation. For years its bombs have hit hospitals, houses and schools in Yemen—often, it seemed, on purpose. Rather, the war is turning and the Saudis are losing heart.

The Saudi intervention began as a vanity project for Muhammad bin Salman, the crown prince, who sought to flex his muscles in the face of rival Iran. But the Houthis stood tough and Shia Iran, sensing an opportunity, increased its support for the rebels.

But the Houthis sense Prince Muhammad’s desperation and want a better deal. They rejected the ceasefire, while putting forward their own peace plan. It demands that Saudi Arabia lift its air and sea blockade of Yemen, pay reparations for the damage it has caused (as well as ten years of government salaries) and recognise the Houthis as the legitimate government. If the Saudis do not agree, the Houthis promise “a major escalation inside the kingdom”. Analysts think they are planning a ground assault on Najran, a city in southern Saudi Arabia with a largely Shia population (albeit of a different strain from that of the Houthis).

The Houthis are already pushing deeper into the Yemeni provinces on the border with Saudi Arabia.

Mr Hadi has had to move some of his ragtag army from the north to deal with separatists and jihadists in the south. That leaves Marib largely in the hands of Sunni tribes that support Islah, an Islamist movement.

Hanging over all of this is the threat of covid-19.

and mostly repeating this report is

(B P)

Saudi Arabia seeks peace in Yemen: Analysts

The Saudi-led coalition backing the Yemeni legitimate government is in urgent need for way out of the 5-year war, analysts say, as the Houthi group is negotiating from a strong position.
Experts say that pressure on Saudis to reduce civilian casualties in air strikes, a drawdown by their coalition partner the United Arab Emirates in mid-2019, together with rifts within the government camp, have weakened the coalition and strengthened the rebels' resolve, according to AFP report.
"Saudi Arabia may want out of the Yemen war and is certainly prepared to pay for a lot of reconstruction, but they are not likely to sign an agreement that calls for their total capitulation," said a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
"Saudi Arabia increasingly wants to end the war in Yemen," Elana DeLozier added. "Their priorities are shifting, and the war in Yemen is expensive and militarily unwinnable."

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‘Legitimacy’ Protecting Yemen’s President Complicates Process of Replacing Him

Finding an acceptable process to install a new transitional leader is hard; finding a person with the requisite legitimacy to play that role may be harder still.

With Yemeni President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s health and popularity in constant question, the succession issue in Yemen remains a source of intense, whispered speculation. Names of potential successors ebb and flow with the changing political dynamics, but the more critical conversation is about the legal process. There are two basic scenarios to explore: If a president were removed due to unpopularity, how would that occur? If a president were to exit suddenly from the scene, what is the process for selecting his replacement?

A critical element to the succession question lies in the concept of legitimacy, which has been central to the coalition’s raison d’etre for war. In 2015, when the war began in Yemen, Hadi quickly became the symbol of “the legitimacy”—the term used to refer to the internationally recognized government of Yemen. The Saudi-led coalition regularly asserts that its intervention in Yemen is entirely at the request of the internationally recognized Yemeni government. This legitimacy argument is critical for the Saudis, who want to avoid any impression they are a colonizing power. As a result, they have remained steadfast behind this justification, even when Hadi has defied their preferences and as his popularity has declined among both Yemenis and the coalition partners.

Such unwavering support for the recognized government may provide a pretext for the coalition’s role in the eyes of international law, but it has also boxed in negotiators, who are constrained by this need to protect the concept of legitimacy manifested in Hadi. Negotiators, even before the war, have long sought a transitional presidential council. In 2016, when talks between the warring parties looked promising, the Houthis were adamant that Hadi had to go because he had come to symbolize the war. Many involved in negotiations agreed.

Some believe the coalition may at some point be able to convince the president to replace the vice president or appoint a second vice president, thus opening up the option of a council presidency again and avoiding a situation wherein Ali Mohsen becomes president, even temporarily.

Another commonly cited scenario suggests interested parties may try to develop alternative, “legitimate” Yemeni power centers.

In an ideal scenario, the next Yemeni leader would possess legitimacy, popularity with the Yemeni people across the political spectrum and a commitment to peace. Such a figure would also be sensitive to southern demands and northern grievances. Finding a process to install a new legitimate president is hard; finding a person who fits the bill may be harder still – by Elana DeLozier

My comment: Any new president only will be “legitimate” if – by the means of a peace process – all Yemeni parties in the conflict had agreed on him.

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[Sanaa gov.] Ministry of Interior Spokesman: 631 Billion Riyals, Total Losses Due to US-Saudi Aggression Targeting of Ministry’s Facilities, Infrastructure

The spokesman of the Ministry of Interior, Brigadier Abdul-Khaleq Al-Ajri, confirmed today, Wednesday, that the Ministry of Interior's infrastructure was destroyed due to the direct targeting by the US-Saudi aggression and it has mounted to more than 631 billion Riyals.

He pointed out that crimes have decreased significantly during the five years of the US-Saudi aggression in the areas under the control of the Political Council in Sana'a. "The percentage of bombings and assassinations has decreased during the past five years, by 98%," the Interior Ministry spokesman said.

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Yemen's war rages under shadow of looming virus threat

Yemen's war shows no signs of abating, one week after the Saudi-led military coalition declared a unilateral truce due to the coronavirus threat looming over the impoverished nation.

Despite Saudi Arabia's announcement of a halt in military activities from April 9, fighting on the ground and coalition air strikes continue.

"We don't have a ceasefire agreement that all of the major players have signed up to yet," Peter Salisbury, an analyst at the International Crisis Group, told AFP.

The rebels are negotiating from a strong position after recent military gains

"Saudi Arabia may want out of the Yemen war and is certainly prepared to pay for a lot of reconstruction, but they are not likely to sign an agreement that calls for their total capitulation," said Elana DeLozier, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

"The coronavirus threat provided a face-saving way to announce a ceasefire without seeming to give in to the Huthis," DeLozier said.

"We in Yemen don't want an announcement of a ceasefire, we want an actual ceasefire on the ground," Abdulhaq al-Amiri, 35-year-old resident of Sanaa, told AFP.

and similar

(* B K P)

All indications suggest that Saudi Arabia is going to end the war, for several reasons, perhaps the most important of which is the US’ desire to pacify burning fronts while it is busy facing the threat of the coronavirus pandemic and the approaching of the US presidential elections at the end of the year. This comes in addition to Saudi Arabia being affected by low oil prices and the war depleting its financial capabilities, as well as facing the threat of the coronavirus spread in the kingdom.

Sources have indicated there may be indirect negotiations between the two sides in Muscat with the help of international parties, despite the apparent escalation. The negotiations aim at this time to reach a ceasefire agreement that could pave the way for political negotiations.

According to official data, it is certain that the Ansar Allah Movement is not satisfied with only a ceasefire without measures to lift the siege on Yemen, given that the truce and the initiative of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths came on a humanitarian backdrop due to the coronavirus pandemic. The movement believes that facing this danger requires lifting the siege so that the Yemenis can counter this pandemic and the effects of the devastating war over the past years.

Well-informed sources confirm Saudi Arabia’s seriousness in ending the war, but Riyadh appears to be avoiding paying its costs.

(B K P)

Does Yemen Need Political Respirators

UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths is expected to brief the UN Security Council on Thursday following the Arab Coalition’s announcement of a two-week ceasefire.

Informed sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, suggest that the envoy's statement will focus on the proposal that he sent to Yemen’s warring parties based on the invitation of UN Chief Antonio Guterres.

Does Yemen need a political respirator to help with the warring parties who have yet to engage in peacemaking efforts and unite against the coronavirus?

My comment: From a Saudi news site. I quoted some reasonable sentences. Otherwise, a lot of anti-Houthi propaganda is found here.

cp2a Saudische Blockade / Saudi blockade

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US-Saudi Aggression Detains 19 Oil, Food Ships

The aggressive countries’ forces continued to detain 19 ships that are loaded with petroleum products and foodstuffs.

A source in Hodeidah port said that the tankers that the aggression forces are detaining carry more than 433 thousand tons of gasoline and diesel, and the food ships carry 30 thousand tons of wheat and 30 thousand tons of soy.

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

Siehe / Look at cp1

(B H)

Yemen: Monthly Situation Report No. 03 (March 2020)


In delicate communities, RDP takes preventive measures against the global threat of COVID-19.

Despite the huge panic of coronavirus pandemic and its grave repercussions, our health workers continue to serve those in need of medical care.

RDP-supported health facilities continuously provide nutritional supplements for the moderately acutely malnourished.

Through the Blanket Supplementary Feeding Program (BSFP), RDP’s 708 CNVs reached 47,293 children U2 and 54, 049 PLW.

During the constant conflict in Rada district, RDP supports most affected IDPs with unconditional cash transfer assistance.

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Yemen Humanitarian Update Issue 3 (March 2020)

Resources needed to sustain world’s largest aid operation in 2020

Aid organizations are finalizing the status report on the humanitarian operation in Yemen – a technical roll over from the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan. The status report, which outlines humanitarian response priorities for 2020, will highlight the financial requirements for this year. Of the UN’s 41 major humanitarian programmes, 31 will either reduce or shut during April unless funding is urgently received.

The humanitarian crisis in Yemen remains the worst in the world, driven by five years of conflict, economic collapse and the breakdown of public institutions and services.

The scale, severity and complexity of needs in Yemen are staggering. As the crisis entered its sixth year, some 24 million people, 80 per cent of the entire population, continue to require some form of assistance or protection and close to half of all families are in acute need.

Even if the war was to end now, recovery would take decades. Yemen’s economy has been badly fractured by half a decade of war. The country has lost US$90 billion in economic output, and gross domestic product has declined by 50 per cent, one of the steepest declines anywhere in the world.

Lack of resources will disrupt core, life-saving services for millions of people, including emergency food aid, treatment for malnourished children, vaccines for children and shelter for families fleeing conflict.

(* B H)

Humanitarian food assistance to be cut by 50 percent in Houthi-controlled areas in April 2020

Beginning in April, an estimated 8.5 million beneficiaries in northern Houthi-controlled areas (Figure 1), who have been receiving nearly full rations of food assistance monthly, will face a 50 percent reduction in assistance as a result of the restrictive operating environment faced by the World Food Program (WFP). This will significantly reduce access to food among already food insecure populations and increase the magnitude and severity of acute food insecurity. While Famine (IPC Phase 5) is not the most likely scenario, the risk of Famine is expected to increase due to the compounded negative effects of the partial loss of assistance, rising food prices, and a recent escalation in conflict. An outbreak of COVID-19 in Yemen would likely further increase acute food insecurity and mortality. Action to end the conflict is ultimately needed to decrease the size and scope of emergency assistance needs.

Since 2015, WFP has provided humanitarian food assistance to an increasing number of beneficiaries, reaching nearly 13 million people per month as of late 2019. Most humanitarian assistance in Yemen is provided in the form of monthly in-kind food or commodity vouchers equivalent to approximately 80 percent of total energy needs. Throughout 2019, however, WFP and other humanitarian actors have reported increasing operational constraints in northern Houthi-controlled areas.

Cuts to humanitarian food assistance will significantly reduce access to food for households across much of northern Yemen. Reduced assistance levels are expected to increase beneficiaries’ market dependence, though most will be unable to further expand income-earning opportunities to compensate for the loss of food assistance.

In many Houthi-controlled areas, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) outcomes already exist at the governorate-level. Following distribution cuts, this classification [Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse] will expand to an increasing number of households, though a deterioration in area-level outcomes is not expected in the next 1-3 months. Beneficiaries who face assistance cuts are likely to engage in consumption-smoothing strategies; however, because the amount distributed will not be sufficient to cover needs for two months, many households will experience increasing consumption gaps and/or engage in more severe coping during the time leading up to the next distribution. As these more severe consumption gaps will be experienced intermittently, excess mortality indicative of area-level Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes is unlikely to be observed in the near term.

Given population size and current levels of assistance provision, governorates with the highest number of people who will experience reduced food access include Hajjah, Sa’dah, Ibb, and Sana’a City, and concern remains high for Hajjah and Sa’dah where area-level Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes already exist

Throughout Yemen – an environment in which protracted conflict has severely disrupted livelihoods, reduced income-earning opportunities, and significantly increased prices of food and non-food commodities – millions of people face difficulty meeting their basic food and non-food needs, even in the presence of large-scale humanitarian food assistance.

(* B H)

Aid groups in Yemen push for USAID to pause its program suspension

Two weeks after the US Agency for International Development (USAID) suspended aid programs in northern Yemen, humanitarian groups are renewing their call for it to reconsider its decision. Since the US decision, there is now a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the country.

Yemen Relief & Reconstruction Foundation, Yemeni Alliance Committee, Norwegian Refugee Council and Oxfam are collectively urging USAID to pause its aid suspension to ensure Yemen has all possible resources to prevent and respond to COVID-19. Without urgent and sweeping action, the aid groups warn that COVID-19 could quickly spread and overwhelm Yemen’s fragile health system.

“The spread of coronavirus just as aid to parts of the country is reduced could be catastrophic for millions of people already living on the brink,” says Oxfam’s Country Director Muhsin Siddiquey. “Over 17 million people have no access to clean water. For millions of Yemenis who are living in crowded camps and shelters, social distancing and frequent handwashing are extremely difficult.”

“These USAID cuts are being felt acutely already," said Aisha Jumaan, the president of Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation. “Just this week, the UN ended its support powering Al-Thora Hospital in Hudaydah, which provides services to over 600,000 people. Cutting energy for a key hospital as temperatures and risk of COVID-19 rise is a true recipe for disaster. We must see full support for medical facilities, as well as full access and free flow of humanitarian and other commercial goods into Yemen to prevent a true humanitarian catastrophe.”

“This aid suspension means crucial time lost in terms of providing life-saving health care, hygiene and other aid that are at the core of the global COVID-19 response,” says Oxfam America’s Humanitarian Policy Lead Scott Paul. “As we’ve seen around the globe, early and aggressive action is the only approach to prevent COVID-19’s worst effects, and yet USAID has decided to stop some of the core programs in Yemen that can save lives. Right now, more than ever, every day and every dollar counts.”

(B H P)

Sudan: Yemeni Students Left in Limbo

Yemeni students in Sudan staged a sit-in on Tuesday demanding their due schooling payments.

The students demanded the payment of the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first and second quarters of 2020 as well as finding a solution for them, given the fact that they can’t return to Yemen amid coronavirus crisis.

(B H)

UNICEF: In Yemen 50 000 cases of thalassemia are on record

Globally, over 50,000 people are born each year with a severe form of blood disorder, thalassemia, an estimated 80% of these cases occur in developing countries. In Yemen 700 new cases of thalassemia are diagnosed yearly, and 50 000 cases are on record so far according to association of thalassemia, the UNICEF said in its report on Wednesday.
In a country ravaged by war, the optimum treatment of thalassemia is rare but a much-needed miracle.

and also

(B H)

Efforts fostering of environmental sanitation contribute to improving the health status

Open sewage problem is one of the biggest problems that Yemeni families suffer from and are affected by throughout the country, especially in rural areas.

Wald Rabi’ and As Sawma’ah districts have suffered for a long time from the effects of insecure and non-covered sewage and defections at the open areas that lead to facilitate the diseases spreading among the rural community.

The notable uncovered sewage among the streets and residential neighborhoods, creating a fertile environment for vectors and pathogens, especially, mosquitoes and flies, which leads to diseases outbreaks and health status deterioration of families, especially, increase severe acute malnutrition (SAM) among children under 5 years, and the spread of acute diarrhea and cholera.

Funded by YHF, NFDHR has conducted WASH Interventions for SAM HHs & those at risk of famine in As-Sawma'ah & Wald Rabi' Districts in Al-Bayda Governorate. To participate in securing a healthy environment, NFDHR has constructed/rehabilitated 458 HHs level latrines, and conduct 107 waste dislodging at the targeted districts (photos)

(B H)

Yemen Emergency Dashboard, March 2020

(* B H P)

Yemeni groups and INGOs renew call for pause in USAID suspension to fight Covid-19 in Yemen

Over two weeks since USAID suspended aid in northern Yemen, aid groups are renewing their call for the major donor to reconsider its decision, especially in light of the now confirmed threat of Covid-19 in the country.

Yemen Relief & Reconstruction Foundation, Yemeni Alliance Committee, the Norwegian Refugee Council and Oxfam are collectively urging USAID to pause its aid suspension to ensure Yemen has all possible resources to prevent and respond to Covid-19. Without urgent and sweeping action, the aid groups warn that Covid-19 could quickly spread and overwhelm Yemen’s fragile health system.

“The Covid-19 virus knows no borders. As we have seen elsewhere, without urgent action it will spread rapidly and devastate Yemen,” said Norwegian Refugee Council’s Yemen Country Director Mohammed Abdi. “In these extraordinary times, we are calling on the US government to stand in solidarity with Yemenis. Now is not the time to cut funding. Covid-19 is hitting a country with few defences and a population already weakened by hunger and other diseases. Without support, millions of displaced and conflict-affected Yemenis who rely on aid as their lifeline and who remain at high risk will be left to their fate. At this critical time, we also need the Yemeni authorities to provide safe and unimpeded access throughout the country so that we can provide life-saving aid, and scale up activities to combat the spread of the virus and protect the most vulnerable.”

Oxfam America’s Humanitarian Policy Lead, Scott Paul added: “This aid suspension means crucial time lost in terms of providing life-saving health care, hygiene and other aid that are at the core of the global Covid-19 response. As we’ve seen around the globe, early and aggressive action is the only approach to prevent Covid-19’s worst effects, and yet USAID has decided to stop some of the core programmes in Yemen that can save lives. Right now, more than ever, every day and every dollar counts.”

cp4 Flüchtlinge / Refugees

Siehe / Look at cp1

(* B H)

Uprooted by conflict, now threatened by coronavirus

As Yemen confirms its first case of coronavirus, it’s clear the impacts of COVID-19 will hit highly vulnerable internally displaced people (IDPs) hardest. In this blog, experts from IDMC explore how the outbreak will affect people uprooted by conflict in four fragile countries in the Middle East region.


IDP’s ability to access basic services and humanitarian assistance was limited across all four countries even before the outbreak of COVID-19.


With these four countries already weakened by years of active conflict and displacement, IDPs face critical needs that may make them more vulnerable to the pandemic. Access to water, sanitation and healthcare were the top priority needs for IDPs in the region prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

IDPs are also in urgent need of appropriate housing, which can make them more susceptible to the COVID-19 threat.



(* B H)

East and Horn of Africa (EHoA) and Yemen: Regional Impact of COVID-19 on IDPs and Migrants (April 2020)

The current outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has restricted global mobility, whilst heightening the risk to vulnerable populations. As cities and countries continue to impose lockdowns, IOM is observing significant returns of people, including internal and crossborder migrants, moving away from urban areas towards provincial areas or home countries. This may have the unintended effect of driving transmission in areas with less capacity to provide testing, isolation and treatment. The unprecedented scope and severity of the mobility restrictions applied by governments and regions since the COVID-19 pandemic, have had a complex and multifaceted impact on the global mobility context.

IOM has led the development of a methodology for points of entry data collection which feeds into the IOM portal on mobility restrictions.

(* B H)

Yemen: UNHCR Operational Update, 16 April 2020

As the rainy season begins in the south of Yemen, UNHCR assisted a total of 1,800 IDP families affected by floods in Aden and Lahj governorates with emergency shelter kits, mattresses, kitchen sets and solar lamps.

UNHCR finalised the list of 2,500 IDP families in the south (Aden, Hadramaut, Lahj, Al Maharah, Shabwah, Al Dhale’e, Abyan and Taizz), who will receive multipurpose cash assistance.

UNHCR’s response for IDPs in Marib governorate is ongoing. Out of the 8,750 IDP households identified by IOM in Marib (as of 8 April), UNHCR partners assessed 7,754 displaced IDP and host families. Most of the displaced families were female-headed households, many without identification documents to prove their identity, and bearing the responsibility of caring for family members living with disabilities and chronic illnesses. UNHCR distributed basic household items

Despite movement restrictions both in the north and south relating to COVID-19 prevention, household assessments and counselling activities in the community centres are ongoing, albeit at a slower pace.

On 11 April, UNHCR started a one-time cash distribution to 11,207 refugee and asylum-seeking families in the south of Yemen (Aden, Hadramaut, Lahj, Al Mahara, Shabwah, Al Dhale’e, Abyan and Taizz), who recently lost their livelihoods as a result of COVID-19 prevention measures.

Due to COVID-19 precautionary measures, all refugee status determination and resettlement interviews have been suspended until further notice

(* B H)

Yemen: UNHCR Operational Update, 9 April 2020

On 5 April, UNHCR began its second cash distribution in the north of Yemen (including Sana’a, Dhamar, Amran, parts of Hudaydah, Ibb, and Hajjah), targeting some 22,500 IDP and impoverished host community families. A larger number of beneficiaries were identified to provide additional resources to help those most vulnerable purchase hygiene items and bolster their resources in the event their livelihoods are compromised due to COVID-19. Extra precautionary measures were implemented during distributions, including deploying crowd control personnel, increasing the number of tellers at the banks and spacing-out cash collection notifications to beneficiaries. UNHCR has nearly doubled the number of payment points, and incorporated hand-washing stations at larger branches.

The Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster, led by UNHCR, continues to identify most-at-risk IDP sites for COVID-19 through mapping of both the profiles of IDPs and their access to services. T

On 30 March, UNHCR and partner NMO began basic household item distributions to a total of 2,000 IDP households in Al-Khawkhah district, in Hudaydah governorate.

The five health clinics supported by UNHCR for asylum-seekers, refugees and disadvantaged host community members remain fully operational.

Refugees and asylum-seekers country-wide who have lost their sources of income due to COVID-19 prevention measures are increasingly approaching UNHCR for support. In the north, UNHCR is providing cash to some 5,200 refugee families, selected through a broadened vulnerability criterion.

(* A H)

Marib floods play havoc with displacement camps

The Wednesday’s floods in Marib killed one person, injured nearly 100 people and damaged displacement camps, a report by the government said.

The Executive Unit for the Management of Internally Displaced People Camps in Marib which prepared the report said that three children were killed, five people among them children were reported missing and 99 persons were injured as a result of the floods that hit Marib on Wednesday.

The floods damaged 17 displacement camps that shelter over 10,786 households, according to the report.

It said that the floods swept away foods, tents, non-food items, water tanks and sanitation systems of the camps.

My remark: Also look at cp18.


(* A H)

Displaced siblings killed in floods missing two more family members

The torrential rains and floods that killed three young siblings earlier this week may have claimed two more members of the same family, local authorities in Marib governorate told Almasdar Online. The three children were reported dead Tuesday after being swept away by flooding in the Al-Suwayda camp for internally displaced persons (IDP). Their mother and a fourth sibling were reported missing along with three others, according to local authorities.


(* A H)

Three young IDP siblings die in Marib floods

Flooding on Tuesday left three young internally displaced persons (IDP) siblings dead in Al-Suwayda camp in Marib governorate. Six other IDPs are still missing.

The children lived in the Al-Suwayda camp. The floods caused extensive damage to Al-Sawayda and Mile camps, which both house thousands of IDPs in Marib. Local aid groups issued a humanitarian appeal to international humanitarian organizations for urgent help.


(* A H)

Displaced family of four dies in Marib floods

Flooding on Tuesday left a family of four internally displaced persons (IDP) dead in Al-Suwayda camp in Marib governorate. Six other IDPs are still missing.


(A H)

#Marib Gov. Sultan Al-Arada authorized the flood-affected IDPs to be housed in hotels at the expense of the local authorities until their tents and camps are rebuilt (photos)

Fortsetzung / Sequel: cp5 – cp18

Vorige / Previous:

Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 1-642 / Yemen War Mosaic 1-642: oder / or

Der saudische Luftkrieg im Bild / Saudi aerial war images:

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

Liste aller Luftangriffe / and list of all air raids:

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

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

11:03 18.04.2020
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
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Dietrich Klose