Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 702 - Yemen War Mosaic 702

Yemen Press Reader 702: 18. Dez. 2020: Schlimmste humanitäre Krisen Folgen der US-Kriege – Weltbank: Dynamische Bedarfsermittlung im Jemen – Unsere Rechte kommen zuerst, unsere Freiheit immer ..
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

... Der Jemen zerfällt. Das könnte seine Rettung sein – Schwierigkeiten der Islah-Partei – Umweltschäden durch die Ölindustrie in Hadramaut – Die VAE nutzen die humanitäre Front für ihre politische Agenda im Jemen – Die Strategie der VAE im Jemen – Afrikanische Migranten sitzen im Jemen fest und mehr

Dec. 18, 2020: Most pressing humanitarian crises are victims of US War – World Bank: Yemen Dynamic Needs Assessment – Our rights come First, our freedom comes always – Yemen is collapsing. That may be its salvation – Environmental effects of oil industry in Hadramaut – Islah Party confronting difficulties – UAE uses humanitarian front to serve its political agenda in Yemen – The UAE strategy in Yemen – African migrants stuck in Yemen – and more

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Kursiv: Siehe Teil 2 / In Italics: Look in part 2: https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/jemenkrieg-mosaik-702b-yemen-war-mosaic-702b

Klassifizierung / Classification

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

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

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

cp1b Am wichtigsten: Großer Gefangenenaustausch / Most important: Great prisoner swap

cp2 Allgemein / General

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

cp4 Flüchtlinge / Refugees

cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

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

cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

cp9 USA

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

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

cp11 Deutschland / Germany

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

cp13b Söldner / Mercenaries

cp13c Kulturerbe / Cultural heritage

cp13d Wirtschaft / Economy

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

cp15 Propaganda

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

cp18 Kampf um Hodeidah / Hodeidah battle

cp19 Sonstiges / Other

Klassifizierung / Classification

***

**

*

(Kein Stern / No star)

? = Keine Einschatzung / No rating

A = Aktuell / Current news

B = Hintergrund / Background

C = Chronik / Chronicle

D = Details

E = Wirtschaft / Economy

H = Humanitäre Fragen / Humanitarian questions

K = Krieg / War

P = Politik / Politics

pH = Pro-Houthi

pS = Pro-Saudi

T = Terrorismus / Terrorism

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

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

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

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

(* B H K P)

Im Jemenkonflikt ist kein Ende in Sicht und der Westen lässt es zu

Die derzeit größte humanitäre Katastrophe ist von Menschenhand geschaffen. Im arabischen Jemen sind momentan etwa 80 Prozent der Bevölkerung auf intensive humanitäre Hilfe von außen angewiesen. Gerade Länder wie Deutschland gehören zu den größten Gebern für Hilfsgüter im Jemen. Wirkt wie ein Beruhigen des eigenen Gewissens, wenn man bedenkt, dass eben diese westlichen Staaten den Konflikt, der seit 2015 in dem Land wütet, jahrelang angeheizt und milliardenstark davon profitiert haben. Die prekäre Lage durch die Covid-19-Pandemie und die androhende Hungerkatastrophe könnten Millionen Menschen das Leben kosten. Fast die gesamte zivile und medizinische Infrastruktur wurde zerstört. Über acht Millionen Menschen droht der Hungertod. Doch die Weltengemeinschaft sieht noch immer weg und stopft sich die Taschen mit den Trümmern voll.

Aber dann fragt man sich doch, warum Jemen? Was soll der Krieg in dem ohnehin schon ärmsten Land des nahen Ostens? Wenn man sich die geografische Lage Jemens einmal ansieht, wird einiges klar. Das Land liegt direkt an der Meerenge Bab al-Mandab. Das sogenannte Tor der Tränen ist das wichtige Nadelöhr zwischen dem Roten Meer und dem Golf von Aden. Täglich werden rund 4 Millionen Barrel Öl aus dem indischen Ozean über das rote Meer nach Europa transportiert. Wer die Meerenge kontrolliert, kontrolliert den weltweiten Handel mit dem Erdöl aus dem nahen Osten. Und da kommt Jemen ins Spiel. Eine Blockade der Meerenge bei Jemen würde drastische Folgen für die Ölpreise bedeuten. Jemen ist daher für internationale Mächte von großem Interesse. 3)

Hinzu kommt, dass seit kurzer Zeit die Gerüchte über Ölvorkommen unter jemenitischem Boden immer lauter werden.

Der Jemenkonflikt wird immer wieder auch als Stellvertreterkrieg bezeichnet. In erster Linie ist er jedoch ein Bürgerkrieg, in den internationale Kräfte eingreifen und die lokalen Gruppierungen und Parteien unterstützen.

Der Westen, vor allem die USA als wichtigster Verbündeter, positioniert sich im Jemenkrieg klar auf der Seite der saudi-arabischen Allianz. Immerhin müssen die Erdöllieferungen durch die Meerenge gesichert werden und den enormen Profit durch die Belieferung der Kriegsparteien mit Waffen wollte man sich natürlich auch nicht entgehen lassen. Auch deutsche Unternehmen wie die Airbus Defence and Space GmbH oder Rheinmetall AG gehören neben Airbus Defence and Space S.A. aus Spanien, der italienischen Tochterfirma RMW Italia sowie BAE Systems Plc. aus Großbritannien und Thales aus Frankreich zu den großen Rüstungsexporteuren von europäischen Waffensystemen. Tornados, Eurofighter und MK-80-Bomben kommen besonders häufig bei Luftangriffen auf jemenitische Zivilisten zum Einsatz.

Warum hört man dann so wenig über den Jemenkrieg in den Medien? Wo bleiben all die Berichte über die unzähligen Menschenrechtsverletzungen? Die Berichterstattung im Jemen wird stark reguliert durch die eingeschränkte Pressefreiheit im Land und die Doppelmoral der westlichen Verbündeten mit der Golfkoalition.

https://www.fluchtgrund.de/2020/12/im-jemenkonflikt-ist-kein-ende-in-sicht-und-der-westen-laesst-es-zu/

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

(** B H K P)

2021’s Most Pressing Humanitarian Crises Are All Victims of US War, Regime Change

A new report highlights 2021’s most pressing humanitarian crises and perhaps no surprise to many, victims of US wars and regime change efforts top the list

The International Rescue Committee’s (IRC) yearly report on the world’s most pressing humanitarian situations has just been published, with the three most disastrous cases — Yemen, Afghanistan, and Syria — all the product of decades of interventionist U.S. foreign policy.

For the third year in a row, Yemen has topped the IRC list, the report estimating that 80% of the country’s 29 million citizens are in need of humanitarian assistance. “The world is facing unprecedented humanitarian emergencies—as well as a political crisis of inaction by world leaders,” they warn.

The other countries on the IRC’s top ten most concerning humanitarian situations included:

  1. Yemen
  2. Afghanistan
  3. Syria
  4. The Democratic Republic of the Congo
  5. Ethiopia
  6. Burkina Faso
  7. South Sudan
  8. Nigeria
  9. Venezuela
  10. Mozambique

The common denominator

What is striking about the three most pressing cases is the role of the United States in worsening the problem. The U.S. invaded and occupied Afghanistan 19 years ago and continues to refuse to leave, flooding the country with arms and propping up its chosen political factions. Syria, meanwhile, is the site of a bitter international conflict confusingly labeled a civil war, where the great powers, including the U.S., vie for control of the Middle Eastern nation, fuelling continual violence that has led to a crisis of 5.6 million refugees and a further 6.7 million internally displaced people, according to the IRC report. While once a reasonably prosperous nation, today 90% of the population lives below the poverty line. Meanwhile, Venezuela has faced years of crippling American sanctions that one United Nations rapporteur compared to a medieval siege, estimating they had cost the lives of over 100,000 Venezuelans.

However, the obvious role that the U.S. government has played in destabilizing or destroying so many nations on the list is not remarked upon. Indeed, the words “United States” are not mentioned anywhere in the 59-page report. One potential reason could be that the IRC, headquartered in New York City, is substantially funded by the U.S. government through its Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

While the U.S. has contributed over $2.5 billion in aid to Yemen, that number pales in comparison with weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, the chief driver of the violence in the country – by Alan MacLeod

https://www.mintpressnews.com/report-2021-humanitarian-crisis-victims-us-war-regime-change/273666/

My comment: Also look at some of the other countries: In Burkino Faso and Northern Nigeria, the humanitarian situation detoriated due to operations of terrorist groups affiliated to Al Qaeda and ISIS, which foated into these countries – the reason for this is the US regime change in Libya in 2011. Thus, also look at US interventions affecting neighbouring countries.

(** B E H)

Yemen: Food supply chain - Thematic report, 16 December 2020

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Yemen’s food supply chain has continued to function through five years of conflict, in large part because food importers on all sides have adopted dynamic operational methods in a complex and politicised environment. This has come at a cost, however. Food prices doubled between 2015 and 2019, and continue to rise. The number of employed Yemenis has halved over the same period.

According to international experts, food security in Yemen continues to deteriorate and two-thirds of Yemenis are in need of food and livelihood support.2 Without sustained and informed external support, the gap between the cost of food and what Yemenis can afford will steadily grow.

This report draws on key informant interviews and a survey of 218 food actors in the south and east of Yemen to examine the following questions:

  • What are the key cost drivers of food prices?
  • How are actors along the food supply chain adapting to these pressures?
  • What can the international community do to relieve pressure on food prices?

Exchange rate instability and challenges accessing credit are the largest cost drivers of food prices (Section 2) according to Yemeni traders and experts. The increase in food prices since 2015 is primarily a result of the drop in the value of the Yemeni riyal. Yemen is uniquely reliant on imports (for 88% of its food supply), making it highly exposed to currency fluctuations. The three main sources of food import financing and currency stability – remittances, the Saudi-funded letters of credit, and foreign aid (which accounts for 20% of wheat imports according to ACAPS estimates) – are all declining. Efforts to address the rise in food prices will likely be meaningless unless a course of action is adopted that results in stabilising the riyal or supporting incomes that keep pace with inflation.

Competition to control import financing by both parties to the conflict also adds to the cost of food. Competing letters of credit systems, divergent monetary policy, and attempts to control fuel supply chains all add to the complexity of food supply chains. Higher operating costs are passed on to consumers as higher prices (Section 3).

https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-food-supply-chain-thematic-report-16-december-2020

and full document:

https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/20201216_acaps_yemen_analysis_hub_food_supply_chain.pdf

(** B E K)

World Bank: Yemen Dynamic Needs Assessment: Phase 3 - 2020 Update

To understand the effect of the evolving conflict on the Yemeni people and estimate preliminary recovery and reconstruction needs, the World Bank Group (WBG), in close cooperation with the Government of Yemen (GoY), initiated the multi-phased Yemen Dynamic Needs Assessment (DNA) in September 2015. This assessment is the third phase in the series of DNAs that the WBG has conducted since 2015. It was conducted in 2018, and updated in 2020. The key objective of the third phase of the Yemen DNA is to provide the WBG, the GoY, and the international community with an update on the impact of the crisis on the population, physical assets, infrastructure, service delivery, and institutions of the Republic of Yemen. It also provides a preliminary estimate of the need for reconstruction of physical infrastructure and restoration of service delivery that may be useful in planning recovery.

Temporal scope: Damage and needs were calculated according to a March 2015 baseline situation, compared to data and information collected as of January 2020. Sectoral scope: The assessment is conducted for the following 12 sectors: education, food security, governance, health, housing, information and communications technology (ICT), power, social protection, social resilience, solid waste management, transport, and water and sanitation (WASH). Geographic scope: The third phase of the Yemen DNA is primarily a city-level assessment for the following 16 cities: Ad-Dhale, Aden, Al Hazm, Amran, Bayhan, Dhamar, Hodeidah, Khoka, Lahj, Lodar, Ma’rib City, Mocha, Rada’a, Sa’da, Sana’a, and Taiz. Whenever sufficient and accurate information was available, the assessment was extended to cover the governorates in which the target cities are located. Certain sectors were assessed at the governorate level or at the national level.

Findings

Physical Damage

Sector-specific damage was worst in the housing sector, where 40 percent of units have been either partially damaged (39 percent) or completely destroyed (1 percent). The education, health, transport, and WASH sectors have also been severely affected, with overall damage ranging from 29 percent (transport) to 39 percent (health). The power sector has been somewhat less affected, with damage levels of 10 percent. The city with the highest proportion of damaged physical assets is Sa’da, with 67 percent of its facilities affected. In particular Sa’da’s housing and health sectors have been severely impacted.

Functionality of Services

Reduced functionality in many sectors reflects not just physical damage but also factors such as institutional capacity, staffing and payment of salaries, and access to electricity.2 Regarding operational status, the power sector appears to be the most seriously affected, with just 14 percent of facilities at least partially functioning despite relatively limited physical damage. More than 85 percent of power facilities are not functioning at all, largely for the lack of fuel. The city with the most seriously compromised functionality is Sa’da, where just 31 percent of assessed facilities are functioning. Sa’da is closely followed by Taiz, with a functionality rate of only 39 percent.

Damage Cost (city-level)

As of January 2020, damage in the 16 cities is estimated to total between US$6.8 (low estimate) and US$8.3 billion.3 Housing is by far the most-affected sector, with damage costs ranging between US$5.1 and US$6.2 billion, representing more than 74 percent of the total damage. Housing is followed by health (US$605–740 million) and power (US$422–516 million). Estimated damages in the WASH, transport, and education sectors are also in the hundreds of millions. Sana’a has suffered the greatest damage amongst the 16 DNA cities, with damage costs estimated at US$2.4–3.0 billion. Sana’a is followed by Taiz, with US$1.4–1.7 billion. Besides Sana’a and Taiz, Aden and Hodeidah have experienced the bulk of damage costs.

Recovery and Reconstruction

Needs Overall, the recovery and reconstruction needs assessed in this third phase of the DNA are estimated to range between US$20 and US$25 billion over five years. Depending on the sector, needs have been calculated at city, governorate or national level. Needs are detailed in in table ES.1. There are three geographical levels—city, governorate, and national for this assessment. Facility or percentage-based direct data collection was done at the city level for eight infrastructure sectors out of which transport and WASH sectors also present governorate estimates as data was available. The governorate-level estimates of these two sectors are inclusive of city estimates. Some sectors are not appropriate to estimate at the city level considering the wider connectivity across the region in nature as well as data availability. Food security thus is measured at the governorate level and social protection at the national level, accordingly.

https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-dynamic-needs-assessment-phase-3-2020-update-enar

Document in full: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Yemen-Dynamic-Needs-Assessment-Phase-3-2020-Update.pdf

(** B P)

Our Rights Come First, Our Freedom Comes Always

How the War Undermined the Margin of Rights and Freedoms in Yemen

The precarious margin of rights and freedoms praised by political pluralism after the year 90 has been completely undermined by the ongoing war in Yemen since mid-2014, in light of the domination of powers that appear multi-headed whose practices, however, are marred by a single arrogant behavior when it comes to public life and the rights and freedoms of civilians.

Day by day, civic manifestations and features disappear, which before those years were an indication that the rule of law can be achieved, to be replaced by a single color of violent expression and hate speech that uses the past as fuel to move the country backward for many years.

During the past three decades, which witnessed the unity of the country, and subsequently the promulgation of laws for parties and unions, the partisan and private newspapers were able to compete with the newspapers that were issued by the government. They were able to shed light on the negative phenomena that accompanied the performance of the ruling authorities, and created a kind of constructive opposition that it would reduce corruption and favoritism in the public apparatus. This press margin was subjected to repression and restriction campaigns in various periods of time. However, it did not reach the extent that the situation witnessed after mid-2014.

For nearly six years, after the destruction of the Yemeni State and the establishment of “de facto” states, the conflicting parties have kept newspapers, journalists and media workers subject to their hideous practices, and committed various patterns of violation against them, such as arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, torture, abusive and degrading treatment, restricting freedom of media personnel, and confiscating newspapers.

In addition to the critical conditions surrounding the journalistic work environment, the economic crisis resulting from the war contributed to the suspension of the majority of press media institutions, including those owned by the state. Nearly a thousand journalists working in government media suffer from a stifling humanitarian and living crisis that threatens their lives and that of their families, according to the International Federation of Journalists.

The 2020 Press Freedom Index, according to the annual Reporters Without Borders analysis, said that Yemen has dropped one place on the global press freedom index to be ranked 167th out of 180 countries in the analysis. The index also says that Yemen is still one of the most difficult countries for the profession of journalism and is the most dangerous to the lives of journalists.

Freedom of Movement

During the last years of the war, Yemen witnessed severe restrictions on the right of people to move and travel, whether between the Yemeni governorates or outside the borders of the country, after the parties to the conflict gave themselves the right to stop and search people at security checkpoints on the roads, and to make false accusations against them based on their areas, surnames, or destinations. They also gave themselves the right to hold people for long hours, and in other cases to take them to places of detention to be enforced disappeared there. In addition to the violations that are carried out for the purposes of extortion, illegal gain, and the imposition of illegal royalties.

In 2019 only, Mwatana documented 29 incidents of restricting freedom of movement between different Yemeni regions. The Ansar Allah group (Houthis) is responsible for 17 of those incidents; the government forces of Hadi are responsible for 8; the UAE-backed Southern Transition Councel (STC) is responsible for 3; 1 incident at least remains shared between the Houthi group and government forces.

Sana’a International Airport has been closed since August 2016, forcing travelers to travel by land for long hours to get to Aden or Seiyun airports in order for they fly to their destinations outside Yemen.

In the view of the hardship of traveling by land from Sana’a to Seiyun Airport due to the poor condition and length of the road travellers take nowadays from Sana’a to Seiyun by bus, the trip to Seiyun from Sana’a takes 24 hours, and one and a half or two days from Hodeidah (in the far west) or Saada (in the far north).

Peaceful Assembly

During the last years of the war, the forms of peaceful assembly and expression in Yemen witnessed a diminution with the propagation of violent repression and the restriction of the right of people to claim their rights, or prevent them from protesting against the deterioration of living and security situation in the areas in which they live.

In spite the parties to the conflict allow themselves to assemble and mobilize people for several flimsy reasons, they have resorted in many cases to suppress their independent right to express what they want or reject. In recent years, Mwatana has documented many incidents of suppressing peaceful assembly and demonstrations in different Yemeni governorates. Almost all parties to the conflict share this pattern of systematic abuse.

Religious Minorities

After years of persecution and stalking, the case of the Baha’i community in Yemen has witnessed remarkable progress, but it remains insufficient to preserve their right to freedom of worship and religious practice.

https://mwatana.org/en/our-rights-come-first-our-freedom-comes-always/

(** B E P)

Yemen is collapsing. That may be its salvation

So it was a surprise on a recent visit to coastal Shabwa province to find not only a white sandy beach that Instagrammers would drool over but a row of bungalows under construction to receive them.

The bungalows are part of a proposed resort named Shabwa Bride, which is under the personal supervision of the provincial governor, Mohammad Saleh Bin Adio. It’s one of many projects he points to as proof that, in the grim litany of Yemen’s disasters, Shabwa is an exception.

“We’ve tried to make of Shabwa a ray of hope

in Shabwa. Markets appear crowded, even if buyers seem few, in the oil-rich province — Yemen’s third-largest. Crews work to pave highways, and investment is trickling in. The only security forces on the streets are those loyal to the government.

“We can say it’s the first province in Yemen completely liberated of armed militias, which submits to the state and receives its directives from the president,” Bin Adio said.

Yet many credit Shabwa’s rise less to the presence of the Yemeni government than to its absence.

Without the central government vacuuming up all of Shabwa’s oil profits and tax revenues, local leaders for the first time have had both the motivation and the means to develop the province as they see fit, said Nadwa Dawsari, a Yemen conflict analyst at the Middle East Institute.

“The evolution of relatively successful governance in areas like Shabwa is not because of the vision of the central government or [President Abd Rabbu Mansour] Hadi,” Dawsari said. “It’s a byproduct of its collapse.”

Nada Barati, 16, fled here from the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, after her parents were killed in the government’s fight against Houthi rebels.

“We had to leave, and people told us to go to Shabwa,” Nada said. She moved with her brother to the provincial capital, Ataq, and was able to start a business selling baked goods for events to supplement the family’s income.

Businessmen, too, have gravitated here.

“Before, there was division, and this stopped investment. But now we have a safe environment,” said Saleh Khalifa, a 35-year-old contractor who has recently partnered with the local government on electricity and other infrastructure projects.

Shabwa’s stability has been hard-won.

Secessionists in the port city of Aden — the interim capital — seeking to include Shabwa in a prospective state launched their own assault on the province, with the UAE’s blessing, in the summer of 2019.

They advanced enough to surround Bin Adio’s house in Ataq. But by the third week, the offensive ended with the Yemeni government in control, leaving UAE forces with some bases in the province, including the Balhaf gas export terminal, the largest foreign investment on Yemeni soil. (Emirati authorities refused to allow a group of visiting journalists, including from The Times, to visit Balhaf.)

In the aftermath, Bin Adio has become a regular target of pro-Emirati media, which accuse him of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, the UAE’s bete noir, as well as allowing Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to operate freely in Shabwa. Earlier this year, he survived an assassination attempt that he also blames on the UAE.

Despite those lingering tensions, security has so far held, though some accuse of Bin Adio of using heavy-handed tactics.

“We’re facing a dictatorship from this current government,” said Ahmad Haql, a human rights advocate with the Southern Transitional Council, the separatist group backed by the Emirates.

In an interview, Haql accused local authorities of making numerous arrests of local residents, including minors, on trumped-up charges. Haql’s colleagues also allege that Bin Adio has doled out contracts to his friends and embezzled public funds.

Bin Adio insists that the accusations are baseless and that his office has worked with hundreds of contractors. “We choose the contractor who is trustworthy and qualified. And I keep track of them every week,” he said.

The governor has garnered significant local support, including from Shabwa’s often fractious tribes. In a tribal conclave held during the visiting journalists’ stay, leaders expressed approval, even happiness, with his tenure.

Baraa Shibani, a London-based Yemeni political researcher and activist, agrees that Shabwa could show the way forward for the nation as a whole.

“The country as it existed before 2015 is operationally no more. The only opportunity before Yemenis is to reformulate the country as a federal state,” Shibani said. “Shabwa is a model for what could be the solution for Yemen.”

“People say Yemen is over,” said Aziz Bahri, a 38-year-old investor in hotels and other projects. “I say Shabwa is a lost gem which will save Yemen. We’re in a situation where the problem — the collapse — can be the solution.” – by Nabih Bulos

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-12-15/yemen-collapsing-may-be-its-salvation

(** B E H P)

Yemen Environmental Bulletin: Oil Extraction Industries’ Impacts on Health, Livelihoods and the Environment in Hadramawt

Executive Summary

This policy brief on the environmental impact of the oil extraction industries in Hadramawt explores what seems to be a well-known secret among residents living near oilfield concession blocks and people from the industry: that oil exploration and production activities in the governorate may be deviating from sound environmental standards and could be posing a serious risk to the environment and public health. When it comes to environmental and health impacts, there are no definitive studies that document and analyze incidents of pollution due to error or negligence in oil exploration and production activities beyond occasional unpublished environmental impact assessments (EIAs) retained by the Ministry of Oil and Minerals or the oil companies. Combined with the lack of open government records on operations and contractual arrangements with companies and their subsidiaries, accessible oil sector information is severely limited.

What is known, however, is that concession blocks are located in the plateau area, which is the watershed that feeds the populated agricultural and grazing valleys (wadis) of Hadramawt. When it rains, waste that includes large quantities of high salinity produced water and other chemicals used in oil production are washed away from oilfields and into tributary valleys, according to key informants in the oil industry, the local authority and civil society. These rainwaters replenish groundwater and feed into the main wadis of Hadramawt, risking the contamination of water resources, soil and vegetation. Air pollution through unfiltered gas flaring is also prevalent around productive oil fields.

The data also reveal that residents have been sending complaint letters to the local authority and the Ministry of Oil and Minerals expressing concern about the impact of these industries on their crops, livestock and health for the past two decades. While some of these complaints led to field visits and official inquiries, there is no indication that sufficient action was taken to prevent future incidents of pollution and mitigate the risks of oil production and exploration on the population and livelihoods. On the other hand, reports from the National Center of Public Health Laboratories and the National Oncology Center in Hadramawt point to a noticeable increase over the years in cancer cases among residents of Wadi Hadramawt, the inland area of the governorate surrounded by oil fields. While the cause of this serious health concern cannot be established without proper studies that aim to understand the underlying factors, residents and health professionals suspect it is linked to oil industry pollutants.

The oil industry makes up the main source of government revenue, and authority over the sector is extremely centralized and prone to political corruption and patronage networks. Oilfield areas are highly securitized and access to them is restricted. Some government agencies responsible for environmental inspections report that they are not granted access to the oilfields and do not duly receive copies of EIA reports from the environmental division under the Ministry of Oil and Minerals, while insiders from the oil companies report serious deviations from international environmental standards, with operations occurring under practically no government monitoring or oversight.

Based on the initial findings of the brief, a list of actionable short- to mid-term policy recommendations are presented. These include:

filling the knowledge gaps through initiating comprehensive studies on the environmental and health impacts of the oil extraction industry’s activities;

assuming a greater role by the local authority in operations conducted in the governorate, including reviewing contractual arrangements with oil companies and participating in monitoring and oversight of oil production and exploration activities;

requiring a thorough EIA enforced by the government prior to the commencement of any oil operations and requiring regular EIAs throughout oil operations;

ensuring EIAs are shared with all the relevant bodies and a mechanism to follow through with the recommendations is established in consultation with the Environment Protection Authority and the local authority;

establishing a technical office in Hadramawt responsible for conducting appropriate studies and inspection visits to the oilfields;

engaging civil society at the district and governorate levels to improve awareness within communities of residents’ rights, how oil extraction industry-related contamination can affect their health, crops and livestock, and how they can mobilize and effectively demand action from the responsible authorities; and

deploying geographic information system (GIS) technology for the environmental monitoring of oil fields — such as leaking pipes and open-air ponds holding produced water – by Yasmeen al-Eryani

https://sanaacenter.org/publications/analysis/12203

(** B P)

Islah Wary of a Hadi Reconciliation with the STC

Confidence in Hadi among his allies also appears to be wavering. In particular, the Islah party has been acting with increasing independence in the past few months to defend its interests and gains in areas where it holds sway. The looming realization of the power-sharing deal with the STC may be viewed by Islah as yet another concession by Hadi to rivals – one that could leave Islah more vulnerable and potentially cause it to strike out further on its own.

Struggle for the South

Since its formation in May 2017, with full-fledged support from the United Arab Emirates, the STC has sought to establish a unified social, political and military force with the aim of regaining independence for South Yemen.

When it came to implementing the agreement on the ground, however, progress has proven elusive. Mistrust has reigned between the two sides, with particularly vitriolic exchanges between the STC and Islah. Islah is affiliated with the Yemeni branch of the Muslim Brotherhood; the UAE, the STC’s main backer, has sought to combat the influence of the Islamist movement across the Middle East. Thus, translating the agreement into action requires effort, agility, and diplomatic strength on behalf of the government to ensure that the agreement comes into effect, with backing from regional allies and the international community.

President Hadi, however, lacks such leadership qualities.

As the Riyadh Agreement remained unimplemented throughout most of 2020, the STC has been seizing every opportunity to take advantage of Hadi’s weakness. As a result, the Yemeni government has found itself checkmated in some areas and threatened in others.

During Yemen’s most-critical times in his extended presidential term, Hadi has routinely conceded power and influence to rivals and opponents of his government. The STC appears to have bet that this trend will continue.

Anxious Allies Move to Protect Their Interests

Islah, one of the largest political parties in Yemen and currently seen by many to be Hadi’s main ally, is likely to face more risks and challenges moving forward than any of the other few allies Hadi has left. Islah is one of two main political actors that has shaped the sociopolitical landscape in Yemen for more than two decades. Its partial dependency on Saudi Arabia, and Hadi’s utter dependency on the same monarchy, brought the two sides together, especially after March 2015. The president needed Islah’s popular presence, social and political influence in different parts of Yemen

Similarly, Islah undoubtedly needed Hadi’s flag to regain strength and push back against the Houthi-Saleh military offensive, especially in its strongholds of Taiz and Marib, and to maintain and protect its economic and commercial interests.

While Islah and Hadi have had their issues, their relationship has endured, with each viewing the other as a lesser of two evils. The president substantially weakened Islah when he, intentionally and prompted by some regional powers, overlooked Houthi forces attacking and seizing Islah camps and strongholds in Amran governorate in 2014. Islah’s presence has also been used as a pretext, by the UAE and non-state actors such as the STC, to undermine the credibility of Hadi’s government.

UAE-backed forces in Yemen are attempting to make political and military gains at Islah’s expense. Politically, through the Riyadh Agreement, the STC is seeking to limit Islah’s influence and presence in a future government. On the military side, Islah’s strongholds in Taiz city and the governorate are under pressure.

Observing Hadi’s diminished legitimacy and influence, Islah seems to be preparing for a new round of potential confrontations – it has recruited hundreds of new fighters and established several new military camps in Taiz outside of Yemeni government supervision in 2020 – even as the Yemeni government negotiates with the STC and moves toward implementing the Riyadh Agreement. Perceived concessions toward Islah’s rivals may push it to act more and more as an independent, non-state actor, threatening to further divide an already fragmented Yemeni state – by Fahd Omer

https://sanaacenter.org/publications/analysis/12263

(** B P)

UAE uses humanitarian front to serve its political agenda in Yemen

An investigation has exposed Abu Dhabi for enlisting charities as a cover for intelligence activities in the war-ravaged country.

A new investigation has exposed how the United Arab Emirates (UAE) uses its humanitarian aid in Yemen to serve its political agenda in the war-torn country.

Exclusive documents and videotapes broadcasted by Al Jazeera have confirmed the UAE’s illegal involvement in Yemen, including the use of commercial aircraft for arms transfers and charities as a façade for military and intelligence operations.

Part of its Al Muhtari program, the Qatari broadcaster’s investigation claimed to have uncovered Emirati expansion on the Yemeni coast focused on Abu Dhabi-backed troops present in the coastal area.

The report touched upon the transformation of Al Mokha port – known for exporting Yemeni coffee around the world – into an alighting and loading hub for weapons, and its use as a military base.

Al Mokha port is around 40 nautical miles from the Bab al Mandeb Strait, and about 100 km from the city of Taiz.

The investigation revealed the UAE established detention facilities on Perim Island, Zuqar Island and Bab al Mandeb, mentioning that a special unit has been supervising those facilities.

In addition to the special unit, it mentions the involvment of Brigadier General Ammar Muhammad Saleh, a former deputy of the National Security Agency, and the brother of Tariq Afash, who is an army commander.

Most notable is the role of the Emirates Red Crescent, which the report highlights as being enlisted to provide cover for Abu Dhabi’s military and security operations along Yemen's west coast.

It also obtained data from a number of merchant ships that transported military cargo – a violation of international law.

These are the first such revelations that highlight the role of UAE humanitarian organisations and how they serve Emirati strategic ends in the context of their five-year-long intervention in Yemen's civil war.

In south Yemen, the Emiratis have supported separatists organised under the Southern Transitional Council (STC), which fight not only with the Yemeni government but also against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

By supporting the STC, the UAE aims to control a U-shaped area from the Red Sea to the Gulf across the Indian Ocean, seeking to secure an alternative shipping route in case Iran blocks the Gulf amid escalating tensions.

Abu Dhabi also wants to limit the reach of the Houthis, and through its paramilitary forces the UAE has been able to control strategic coastal points, which host important ports like Balhaf and Nishtun near the Red Sea in southern Yemen, while wielding considerable influence across the country’s western shores.

‘Humanitarian diplomacy’

When it comes to the war in Yemen, the UAE’s otherwise carefully cultivated reputation has taken a hit internationally, particularly after arming local militias linked to Al Qaeda and numerous human rights abuses carried out by UAE-linked associates.

The Emirates Red Crescent and other UAE charities help pivot attention away from military operations and toward humanitarian assistance and state-building. However, Emirati economic and security interests are impossible to divorce given Abu Dhabi’s influence over Yemen’s strategic maritime routes.

Earlier this year, a Yemeni minister accused the UAE of supporting rebels and abstaining from providing any financial assistance, saying that “when the UAE pays, it’s for undermining the authority of the government”.

Along with other humanitarian donor states in the Gulf, the UAE has been criticised in Western policy circles for keeping a distance from multilateral organisations and for challenging certain international humanitarian norms and practices.

Relative to GDP, the UAE became the world’s third-largest donor of humanitarian aid in 2016 and is among the world’s top five donors since 2018. Humanitarian assistance accounts for around one-fifth of the UAE’s overall foreign aid and has been institutionalised as part of the country’s foreign policy.

In fact, “humanitarian diplomacy” is listed as the first of “six main pillars” that together form the framework for the UAE’s public diplomacy.

Though conceptualised and promoted as part of the UAE’s soft power, humanitarian diplomacy and aid have been subtly embedded into the broader context of increasingly securitised Emirati foreign policy – something increasingly evident given Abu Dhabi's footprint in Yemen doesn't show signs of waning anytime soon.

https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/uae-uses-humanitarian-front-to-serve-its-political-agenda-in-yemen-42386/amp/

Film: https://twitter.com/trtworld/status/1338859357568581641

(** B P)

UAE Keeps Friends Close and Saudi Arabia Closer in Yemen

Yemenis often puzzle over the role the United Arab Emirates (UAE) plays in Yemen. Today, the main source of confusion stems from Emirati actions in the south, which raise fears among Yemeni unionists and false expectations among Yemeni secessionists that the UAE is working to redivide Yemen into two or three parts. Others speculate that the UAE’s true purpose, by repeatedly attacking the forces of the internationally recognized Yemeni government, is to keep Saudi Arabia bogged down in a perpetual Yemeni quagmire. Finally, the UAE’s mostly feigned attempts at empire-building, which have included building bases along Yemen’s Red Sea and southern coast, and on Yemeni islands including Socotra and Meiyun, give the impression that the UAE covets the country’s ports and seaways.

Many Yemeni elites view the UAE as an existential threat to the Yemeni state. They are mistaken.

Prior to 2015, the UAE showed little interest in Yemen and its territory

The UAE’s behavior in Yemen stems from a response to two perceived existential threats. The first one is the threat of political Islam, most notably the Sunni version espoused by the Muslim Brotherhoood and its Yemeni affiliate the Islah party, which is viewed as anathema to the Emirati business model of permissive capitalism. The second, and more substantive threat, is that of Saudi hegemony over the UAE.

Small Gulf states have always lived under the threat of invasion by their Big Sister (Al-Shaqeeqah al-Koubra), in various contexts referring to either Iran, Iraq or Saudi Arabia.

During the past 60 years, three models for dealing with the Big Sister threat emerged.

The UAE model emerged after the 1974 Saudi Arabia-Abu Dhabi Boundary Demarcation Treaty, which established borders through oil areas

The key to the security of all three states, however, still rests on security guarantees from the United States. The American military presence in the region is mainly intended to deter Iran and keep US leverage over Saudi Arabia, which currently stops both Riyadh and Tehran from violating the sovereignty of their smaller neighbors. An important component of the US-Saudi multilayered relationship and the resultant Saudi dependence is the US role in securing the free passage of Saudi oil through the Strait of Hormuz amid Iranian threats to close the vital shipping lane as part of any conflict. Riyadh has been trying to reduce this vulnerability and its current reliance on US security guarantees.

In 1994, Saudi Arabia supported southern secession with a view toward securing sovereignty over a corridor through Eastern Yemen so as to build an oil pipeline that skirts the chokehold of Hormuz strait. However, this plan was foiled primarily by the US, which had a strategic interest in maintaining leverage on the kingdom.

When the current conflict started in 2015, the UAE, with significant US support, acted decisively to exert control in southern Yemen. A main objective of both parties was to contain the threat of AQAP in the country. As for the wider war against the Houthi movement, Emirati officials openly backed the declared objectives of rolling back Iranian influence in Yemen, reinstating the internationally recognized government to Sana’a, and preserving the unity of the Yemeni state and its territorial integrity. But, should that plan to contain AQAP fail, then plan B was to ensure the restoration of a state in South Yemen and preserve its territorial integrity. In this contingency plan, the UAE and US had a shared strategic interest in denying Saudi Arabia access to the Indian Ocean via Yemen.

While the UAE has effectively implemented its strategies in Yemen, its current problems stem from the formulation of strategies, rather than the efficiency of their implementation. Faced with a choice between stability and instability, and between supporting secular socially progressive forces and supporting militant Salafis who, at best will evolve to become Islah and at worst will become AQAP, the UAE has consistently made the wrong decision.

The current UAE strategy in southern Yemen is similar to walking on quicksand. Having created a highly volatile political and military balance, it must keep watch and be prepared to intervene at a moment’s notice so as to ensure that the winds will not blow in the wrong direction. No matter how vigilant, though, the UAE is bound to fail. It takes just one misstep to drag the entire south into a morass of chaos and bloodshed.

A stable, socially progressive federal Yemen is the only real option for stability in the Arabian Peninsula. It would also represent a positive counterweight, aligning with some or all of the lesser GCC states, against the hegemony of any Big Sister – by Abdulghani Al-Iryani

https://sanaacenter.org/publications/analysis/12274

(** B H K)

For African migrants in Yemen, no way forward and no way back

‘I dreamed about making money, about having a different life.’

Nearly six years into Yemen’s war, migrants continue to arrive in the country, although numbers are significantly lower in 2020 thanks to COVID-19-related border restrictions. According to the UN’s migration agency, IOM, just over 35,000 migrants have made it to Yemen so far this year, down from 138,000 in 2019.

Most hope to continue north through Yemen, eventually crossing the border into Saudi Arabia where there has long been plentiful work for day labourers.

For many right now, though, Ataq is where the journey ends. The road north passes multiple front lines and is often closed due to clashes. This year, COVID-19 has made it even more difficult to continue onwards. Life has become a waiting game: People can’t complete their journeys, but they also can’t afford to go back home, even if they would consider it.

The route to Ataq from Ethiopia – where 85 percent of Yemen’s migrants are from (the rest are mostly Somalis) – is long, hard, and often dangerous.

Most people travel overland from Ethiopia to Bosaso, a port in northeastern Somalia. From there, they catch boats (the trips can take up to day) to Bir Ali, a village on Shabwa’s southern coast. Then it’s a two-day (non-stop) walk or – for those who can afford it – a five-hour drive, to Ataq.

All of this is usually only possible through smuggling networks, which add the risks of kidnapping and extortion to the harsh terrain and perilous sea crossings.

The other main route – crossing the Gulf of Aden from Djibouti into Yemen’s western Lahj province, then following the coast up to Saudi Arabia – has become less popular these days, says Saleh Mehdi, who works at STEPS, a local NGO that monitors migrant flows. This route requires passing through Hodeidah province, which has seen flare-ups in fighting between the Houthi rebels, who control the country’s north, and the internationally recognised government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and its allies, which run the south.

Given the added risks on the Hodeidah route, more people are now heading for Shabwa’s beaches.

Despite the humanitarian crisis gripping their country, Yemenis – long used to trade and travel through the Horn of Africa – often leave out water and snacks on popular migration routes, or stop their cars to offer people lifts and breaks from the interminable march.

On the road to Ataq, mosques open their doors to welcome weary migrants with food and water.

Inside the city, outside a neon-lit building on the main road just after dawn, The New Humanitarian finds some 50 tired and hungry Ethiopian and Somali young men gathered in one of many restaurants in the area that offer free breakfasts to migrants.

For those stuck en route, Ataq has become something of a sanctuary – even if all that consists of is sleeping on the street, and getting a hot meal in the morning and the chance of day labour. It helps that Shabwa has remained a relatively peaceful province in the midst of a chaotic war.

“Of all the towns in Yemen, Ataq is the best,” says Mohammad Amin Bayan, an Ethiopian who has been in Yemen for four years. “They feed you here for very little or for free.”

Some migrants continue to arrive in Yemen knowing the risks, but others have no idea what they will face.

“Many of these people are coming from rural areas, haven’t completed school, and have no access to smartphones and the internet,” explains Olivia Headon, IOM’s spokesperson in Sana’a. That means they may be more likely to believe the rosy picture painted by the local smugglers who approach them, promising opportunities across the water.

Several aid agencies and NGOs run awareness campaigns at Bosaso port about the risks, but by that point on the migratory route it is usually too late for people who’ve already come so far.

While COVID-19 has made it more difficult to take these risky journeys, there’s concern that the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region could see more people attempt to pass through Yemen, although it’s unlikely to happen straight away.

It’s hard to know exactly how many migrants are in Yemen as a whole, let alone in specific cities or provinces. Local charities like STEPS put the number in Shabwa at around 2,000, with around 5,000 in Aden and 4,000 in nearby Marib. IOM says there are about 14,500 migrants trapped in the country, but the real number may be much larger.

The relatively low number in Shabwa may be one reason the local population – in Shabwa as a whole, and in Ataq specifically – appears less bothered by their presence. But as Yemen’s economy continues its downward spiral complete with a massive currency crash – and as donors are less willing to fund humanitarian programmes in the country – this could change.

In spite of the kindness they say they have received in Ataq, many migrants – faced with an endless wait for the northern border to open – say they now want to go home.

Those who try to go on to Saudi Arabia risk being caught and deported by border guards. The journey also requires passing through Houthi territory, where, if caught, they could be jailed and, according to several migrants TNH spoke to, forced to pay a 1,000 Saudi riyal fine for their release.

And a fine is far from the worst-case scenario. Human Rights Watch reports that in April Houthi rebels expelled thousands of Ethiopian migrants into Saudi Arabia, where some were shot and killed by border guards, and others were held in “abusive and unsanitary” facilities.

Another possible way out is through the southern city of Aden, where IOM has been attempting to organise passages home for Ethiopian migrants – by Leila Molana-Allen (photos)

https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2020/12/17/yemen-african-migrants-people-smuggling-limbo

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

(* B H)

Audio: War and Disease: Living with Covid-19 in Syria and Yemen

n TRT World Forum 2020, the expert roundtable session ''War and Disease: Living with Covid-19 in Syria and Yemen' hosted Nasr Al-Hariri, President of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, Abdulghani Al-Iryani, Senior Researcher, Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies, Nadwa Dawsari, Non-Resident Fellow, Middle East Institute.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLgiTcbljiIRe2oJdg8gGn-pHCz7CbOiS4

(* B H P)

Yemen’s Devastating War Continues Despite an Unchecked Pandemic

The arrival of the coronavirus in war-torn Yemen in April 2020 became an opportunity for the warring parties to consolidate their positions and advance their competing military agendas on the ground, worsening an already devastating situation. As a result, most Yemenis view the pandemic as a threat that is secondary to their other preexisting challenges.

The pandemic provided a convenient pretext for some of the warring parties, such as the Iran-backed Houthis and the Emirati-backed Southern Transitional Council, to proceed with military operations. The international community, preoccupied with handling the pandemic, was in no position to respond thoughtfully to these military operations.

Over the course of the pandemic, the conflict’s various parties have behaved in one of three ways. One recurring tendency has been to conceal the number of coronavirus infections in Yemen. Setting aside the country’s lack of testing capacity given the collapse of its healthcare sector, the number of likely cases as diagnosed by symptoms has also been hidden for more political reasons. In Houthi-controlled areas, the de facto security authorities have asked all the medical teams to not share the number of affected people with journalists or to write about the country’s medical situation on social media.

One reason for such concealment is clear. The Houthis are well aware that declaring such figures publicly would increase the Yemeni people’s frustration and dissatisfaction, which would put more pressure on the Houthis during the war.

The second, related way the warring factions in Yemen have responded to the public health crisis is by falsely claiming success in dealing with the pandemic: some authorities are making dubious claims that the areas under their control are free of the virus or are bragging about the supposedly strong precautionary measures they are taking. Almost all parties have attempted to polish their images among locals and international organizations.

Yet most of the public health measures they have actually taken have been merely nominal, without effective implementation and thus failing to tangibly combat the pandemic.

Third, many combatants have instrumentalized the pandemic to open new military fronts and continue fighting.

The warring parties in Yemen have exploited anything they can, including the pandemic and other outbreaks of illnesses, to advance their own respective interests without paying any serious attention to the negative impact on people’s lives. Facing such a wide array of other challenges, most Yemenis have largely forgotten about the pandemic or have given it less attention than other pressing problems. This does not, however, mean that the number of coronavirus cases in the country is low. No one has accurate numbers, but the stories told about the daily deaths that are occurring reveal much about the disastrous consequences of the pandemic across the country. Nonetheless, the pandemic of war remains the major danger confronting Yemenis.

https://carnegieendowment.org/2020/12/17/yemen-s-devastating-war-continues-despite-unchecked-pandemic-pub-83475

(A P)

Yemen urges to provide support to members of IORA to face coronavirus

Yemen's internationally recognised government on Thursday urged to provide necessary information, technical support and vaccines to the members of the Indian Ocean Rim Association, IORA, to face the coronavirus.
The Yemeni government gives priority to the association and is participating in its meetings despite challenges caused by the conflict in the country, deputy foreign minister Awsan Al-Oud told a virtual meeting of the association.

https://debriefer.net/en/news-21878.html

(B H)

Film (in Arabic). To Everyone's Surprise, Yemen has Overcome the COVID-19 Pandemic

https://english.almasirah.net/post/16640/To-Everyone-s-Surprise%2C-Yemen-has-Overcome-the-COVID-19-Pandemic

My remark: By Houthi Al Masirah TV.

(* B H)

Film: Yemen: How Covid-19 spread in a war zone

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=512844706341463

(* B H)

Yemen: How Covid-19 spread in a war zone

It’s been nearly nine months since the first Covid-19 case was confirmed in Yemen, a country divided between the Houthi group in the north, and an internationally recognised government in the south.

In the northern capital Sanaa, the BBC found that as the virus spread, the population has been largely left in the dark, with the Houthi authorities admitting to only four cases of coronavirus.

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-middle-east-55281632

(A H)

New case of coronavirus reported in Hadramout

http://en.adenpress.news/news/30767

(B H)

Yemen WASH Cluster COVID-19 Bulletin, 06 December 2020

A WASH Response is a COVID Response

Scale up Community prevention; Shielding high-risk persons

Saving lives starts in communities

Urgent funds needed for emergency WASH

Continuing WASH with adapted programing in COVID-19

Support the Health strategy

https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-wash-cluster-covid-19-bulletin-06-december-2020-enar

cp2 Allgemein / General

(* A K P)

Interactive Map of Yemen War

https://yemen.liveuamap.com/

(* A K)

MILITARY SITUATION IN YEMEN ON DECEMBER 16, 2020 (MAP UPDATE)

https://southfront.org/military-situation-in-yemen-on-december-16-2020-map-update/

(A P)

30 Released Fishermen from Eritrean Prisons Arrived in Hodeidah

“Fishermen, whose detention period ranged between 2 to 6 months, were arrested from within Yemeni territorial waters,” said the head of the General Authority for Fisheries in the Red Sea Engineer Hashem Al-Danaei.

Al-Danaei pointed out that the released fishermen were provided with the needs and means of transportation to take them to their areas.

https://english.almasirah.net/post/16676/30-Released-Fishermen-from-Eritrean-Prisons-Arrived-in-Hodeidah%C2%A0

and also https://hodhodyemennews.net/2020/12/18/thirty-fishermen-arrive-back-in-yemen-after-months-of-jail-time-in-eritrea/

https://debriefer.net/en/news-21910.html

(* B H K P)

Audio and transcript: What's Happening in Yemen?

In this episode, we introduce you to the civil war in Yemen, its causes and its impacts.

Yemen, like many countries in the region, was not perfectly suited to the system of nation states that were exported from Europe. It was not an ethnically or religiously homogenous country, and it still isn’t. It is a tribal country, like the rest of the Gulf. These tribes have different religions, different histories, and different cultures. In tribal countries, the tribe comes first, and then the nation.

Saudi Arabia, like other arrogant governments with lots of weapons, thinks that the war will be over in weeks. The Houthis are, after all, an informal militia that is not properly trained or armed. Saudi Arabia were not the first government who are on paper more powerful and better armed to find that it’s not so easy to beat a group of people with a lot of guns in the mountains where they have the advantage of knowing the territory. What happened is similar to America’s Vietnam or the Soviet Union’s Afghanistan: the Houthis put up a fight, and the front lines between Houthi territory and coalition territory have been frozen for years. The current picture is complicated.

Yemen has always been poor, and life has been hard for ordinary people. But this war has been like nothing the world has seen for a long time. While the Western media rarely discusses the war, the humanitarian impact has been catastrophic.

There are multiple reasons for the famine. Both the coalition and the Houthis are to blame. Firstly, the coalition is blocking all Houthi-controlled ports, including for food and now fuel. According to them, they believe that Iran is shipping weapons to the Houthis along with food. This has led to huge food shortages in the Houthi-controlled areas. At the same time, aid to Houthi-controlled areas is often stolen by the Houthis

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/whats-happening-in-yemen/id1473833894?i=1000497222914

https://realarabic.weebly.com/podcast-transcripts/episode-20-whats-happening-in-yemen

(* B P)

Results of the UNESCO and RNW Media survey on Press Freedom in Yemen

UNESCO and RNW Media launched a survey on press freedom and the role of the Yemeni press in the peacebuilding in Yemen. This survey is the 2nd survey of a series of six to be conducted in the framework of this project to understand the needs and concerns of the Yemeni Youth and amplify their voices in the peace building process.

Conducted by the platform Manasati30, the survey targeted 1200 young Yemenis, aged between 15 and 30 years old, from the whole country.

The survey revealed that years of conflict have eroded the trust of the youth toward the local media that is even perceived as one of the amplifying force of the conflict. 72% of the respondents believe that the media has fueled or supported the conflict.

According to the survey results, journalism in Yemen is facing a double challenge. On one hand, the environment is not supportive of freedom of expression, according to 54% of the respondents, there is no space for expression of freedom of news reporting in Yemen. Safety of journalists is also highly compromised in a context of conflict and warfare, 85% of respondents agreed that threatening Yemeni journalists prevents them from reporting the truth. Promoting safety of journalists and combatting impunity is essential to build trust and ensure a transparent peace building process in Yemen

On the other hand, the lack of training is also hindering the capacity of local journalists to cover the peace building process. 82% of the respondents agreed that Yemeni journalists and media activists lack adequate training in peace journalism.

Those challenges are fueling a distrust in local media (72% of the youth interviewed do not trust local media) threatening access to information and participation of the Yemeni youth to the peace building process.

https://en.unesco.org/news/results-unesco-and-rnw-media-survey-press-freedom-yemen

Full report: https://en.unesco.org/news/results-unesco-and-rnw-media-survey-press-freedom-yemen

(* B H P)

Audio: Amplifying the Forgotten Voices of Yemeni Women

Yemen is one of the hardest places in the world to be a woman. Far too frequently, women die in bombings and disappear without a trace. It can be difficult to accurately record their experiences, due to the lack of infrastructure and security. But that doesn’t stop Wameedh Shakir. At significant risk, Wameedh researches and records women’s daily challenges and aspirations, so that the future government of a democratic Yemen – and the international community – have enough data to make informed decisions. In this conversation, she tells us how she amplifies the voices of Yemeni women, and what they are saying.

https://giwps.georgetown.edu/seekingpeace/amplifying-the-forgotten-voices-of-yemeni-women/

(* B K P)

From the frontlines in Yemen: No end in sight as Saudi general accuses Iran of increased support for rebel fighters

In Yemen, where the sound of gunfire has become part of normal life, Oliver Poole is told why there is no quick way out after five years of bloodshed

I am there on the invitation of the Saudi Arabian government to spend some days with its troops in the country.

Entering the room where the Saudi Arabian commander in Aden, Brigadier General Nayef Al-Otaibi, is sat with much of his top staff and the local governor, Ahmed Hamed Lamlas, the overall sensation is one of exhaustion. Eyes ringed with dark fatigue stare at me from above medical masks, the wearing of which even here defines these Covid times we are living through.

As so often in such places and such wars, they want to show me a PowerPoint presentation.

Here, true to form, the focus is on the development projects that are being undertaken.

there are clearly efforts being enacted by his team at least to build rather than destroy schools and provide streetlights and other amenities, whatever the reality might be of their long-term impact.

The young Saudi official giving the briefing has that fervour in his task that is again so familiar from other such presentations in similar places undertaking similar projects.

The top Saudi officer present, Brig. Gen. Al-Otaibi, is in no doubt as to why this operation had gone on so much longer than originally conceived, and why he is now commander of troops still stuck in Aden when it had been hoped they would no longer have to be here. There is one reason above all, he insists, one malignant body whose involvement he believes the media does not adequately take to task, and that inevitably is Iran.

“What we are worried about,” he goes on, “is the extent of the move by the Houthi to extend their role. Working with the government, we have captured some of the soldiers coming from Sana’a. Their objective is to target the coalition and the government agencies; to spread their guys around Aden.

“The people which we have captured here in Aden: they are supported by Iran. They have Iranian arms. This is the way of the Iranian.”

The Brigadier General’s words are not surprising as, for the Saudis, Iran’s presence looms large in this conflict.

During my time in Yemen, I am flown up to al-Ghaydah to see the revamped airport that has been built there with Saudi money, its glass walls gleaming in the sunlight, and hear how it is hoped it will help the area become a hub for tourism, which at least in the short term seems an extremely unlikely prospect.

I am driven around the safer parts of the country, and see how here some entrepreneurship is growing with some neighbourhoods a hub of building work and local construction.

In such places and on such visits, all I know that you can know for certain is what you see with your own two eyes and what it left me with is that depressing knowledge, one which I have experienced too often elsewhere, of soldiers sent to a foreign land to undertake a task that, despite all their late-nights and long hours of efforts, is escaping from them like sand slipping through their hands. Everyone, it seems, knows there is no chance they will be going home tomorrow – by Oliver Poole

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/yemen-war-saudi-iran-houthis-b1774830.html

My comment: The author should not just have parroted the Saudi propaganda narrative.

(* B H K P)

Audio: 'People Not War' - Ep 1: Amina Atiq on Yemen, Art, and the Arms Trade

https://soundcloud.com/caatuk/people-not-war-ep-1-amina-atiq-on-yemen-art-and-the-arms-trade

'People Not War' - Ep 3: Sham Murad on Neo-liberalism, Saudi, Yemen & Solidarity

https://soundcloud.com/caatuk/people-not-war-ep-3-sham-murad-on-neo-liberalism-saudi-yemen-solidarity

(B P)

Kim Sharif: UN Enabling Division In Yemen

Kim Sharif, Yemeni human rights activist, says the UN repeatedly makes statements appealing sovereignty and unity of Yemen; however, “[its] refusal to acknowledge the authority of the government of Sana’a is actually enabling a division in Yemen”.

Speaking in an interview with FNA, Kim Sharif said the UN bodies, in a sheer abuse of the Vienna Convention, recognize Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, while “Hadi’s government’s legitimacy expired in 2014 by the virtue of the Gulf Initiative.”

“The legitimate government of the whole of Yemen, according to the International Law, is the government of Sana’a, which contains all the political parties. It is not just Ansarallah Houthis as it is alleged by the Saudi-led coalition and their Western backers. The truth is the government in Sana’a contains everybody, which means it is the government of all Yemenis. Eighty percent of the population are in the northern provinces under the protection of the government of Sana’a, which euphemistically the Saudi-led coalition and its Western Backers call “Houthi Rebels”, which is not true. Otherwise, they would not have defeated the Saudi-led coalition, or sustained their fortitude during the last six years of the illegal intervention in the affairs of Yemen by Saudi Arabia and its Western backers” she said.

She added “Hadi’s government’s legitimacy expired in 2014 by the virtue of the Gulf Initiative. The US, UN and Saudi-led coalition, and all their allies and backers are lying when they say they internationally recognize the government of Hadi, as there is no such a thing under the rule of law.

http://www.ccdf-ye.org/en/2020/09/05/kim-sharif-un-enabling-division-in-yemen/

(* A P)

Tickende Zeitbombe vor dem Jemen

Ein verlassener Supertanker droht im Roten Meer vor dem Jemen auseinanderzubrechen. Eine Ölpest würde nicht nur die Küste des Landes verseuchen.

Nach und nach läuft das Wasser aus dem Roten Meer in den Maschinenraum eines mit 1,2 Millionen Barrel Rohöl (1 Barrel = 159 Liter) beladenen verlassenen Tankers namens „FSO Safer“ vor der jemenitischen Hafenstadt al-Hudaidah. Die Lecks in dem Frachter werden immer größer, die Pumpen des Schiffs funktionieren kaum noch. Mit jedem Tag steigt die Gefahr einer ökologischen sowie humanitären Katastrophe vor der Küste des Jemen.

ExpertInnen warnen nun, das Öl könne jeder Zeit ins Rote Meer auslaufen, gar das ganze Schiff explodieren lassen. „Die Huthi benutzen das Schiff als Druckmittel bei den Verhandlungen mit der legitimierten Regierung im Jemen. Sie sagten der UN eine Wartung des Tankers bereits mehrmals zu und ziehen das dann immer wieder zurück“, erklärt die jemenitische Aktivistin Hadil al-Moufarak die politische Situation rund um den Tanker.

Laut dem Greenpeace-Experten Christian Bussau droht eine ökologische Katastrophe, wenn der Tanker explodiert oder auseinanderbricht. Das Rote Meer würde großflächig verseucht. Neben der des Jemen würden auch die Küsten Saudi-Arabiens, Eritreas, Dschibutis und Somalias verpestet.

Dass „lediglich“ einige zehntausend Tonnen auslaufen, gilt jedoch als möglich – ebenfalls die gravierenden Folgen. Bereits zehntausend Tonnen würden Unmengen an Korallenriffe zerstören.

Noch hält Bussau allerdings eine andere Möglichkeit am wahrscheinlichsten: „Dass durch kleinere Lecks geringe Mengen Öl austreten.

https://taz.de/Supertanker-havariert/!5739383/

und auch https://www.bild.de/news/ausland/news-ausland/tanker-rotes-meer-74470926.bild.html

https://www.gmx.net/magazine/wissen/natur-umwelt/rotes-meer-moegliche-oelpest-bedroht-oekosysteme-menschen-35358978

(* A P)

Decaying Yemen tanker risks Red Sea oil spill worse than Exxon Valdez

The oil spill would directly affect the coral reefs of the northern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, one of the last reef ecosystems to survive and thrive to this day.

An international team of researchers from Israel, Germany, Switzerland and the US has joined the UN’s warning of a man-made natural disaster – four times worse than the Exxon Valdez oil spill near Alaska – that awaits the Red Sea if immediate action is not taken to secure a decaying tanker stranded off the coast of Yemen.

The team published a policy brief on Tuesday, detailing the “immense devastation” anticipated for the Red Sea, its coral reefs and the surrounding populations of 12 neighboring countries, including Israel, if the advanced stages of decay facing the Safer tanker are not addressed immediately by the international community.

The oil spill, estimated to be a total of one million barrels, would directly affect the coral reefs of the northern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, one of the last reef ecosystems to survive and thrive to this day. Reef systems are used as essential nurseries for many species of fish that feed more than a billion people a year.

“Coral reefs line almost all 4,000 kilometers of the Red Sea’s coastlines and also surround multiple islands within it, so that oil spills in any part of the sea threaten these valuable ecosystems,” said Prof. Maoz Fine from Bar-Ilan University’s Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences and the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Science, who co-authored the brief. “Action must be taken now. The window of opportunity to save a unique marine ecosystem is quickly closing.”

The Safer, built in 1974, is moored off the Ras Issa oil terminal, 60 km. north of Yemen’s Port of Hodeidah. The area is held by Houthi rebels, but the high seas are controlled by a Saudi-led coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 against the movement and has prevented it from selling oil.

The tanker has been sitting stranded in the port since then, where it has plunged into its current state of decay that threatens a massive oil spill in the Red Sea. Sides involved in resolving the conflict surrounding the ship’s stagnant state had been warned years in advance that a disaster of this magnitude was on the horizon, but to no avail.

UN and Houthi officials say water has entered the Safer’s engine room at least twice since 2015. The latest leak in May was plugged by Safer Corp. divers and Houthi naval units.

“Immediate international intervention is needed to prevent an imminent humanitarian and ecological disaster,” said co-author Dr. Karine Kleinhaus from Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. “Emergency action must be taken by the UN and its International Maritime Organization to remove the oil, despite political tensions in the region.”

https://www.jpost.com/health-science/decaying-yemen-tanker-risks-red-sea-oil-spill-worse-than-exxon-valdez-652160

and also https://www.timesofisrael.com/as-tanker-decays-off-yemen-experts-warn-oil-spill-will-ravage-red-sea/

and

(* B P)

Scientists warn of likely massive oil spill endangering the Red Sea, region's health

A paper to be published in Frontiers in Marine Science on December 15 is calling for action to remove the oil from a decaying and inactive tanker in the Red Sea that holds approximately one million barrels of oill.

Called the Safer, the tanker is a floating storage and offloading unit (FSO) abandoned for years, and with access controlled by Yemen's Houthis. The paper, titled "A Closing Window of Opportunity to Save a Unique Marine Ecosystem," comes shortly after The New York Times reported on November 24 that the Houthis will grant permission to a United Nations (UN) team to board the Safer to inspect and repair the vessel in the near future.

"The time is now to prevent a potential devastation to the region's waters and the livelihoods and health of millions of people living in half a dozen countries along the Red Sea's coast," says Dr. Kleinhaus. "If a spill from the Safer is allowed to occur, the oil would spread via ocean currents to devastate a global ocean resource, as the coral reefs of the northern Red Sea and Gulf of Aqaba are projected to be among the last reef ecosystems in the world to survive the coming decades."

She explained that the reason the coral reefs of the northern Red Sea are unique is because they survive in much warmer waters than today's ocean temperatures, which are becoming too high for most coral to tolerate (over half of the Great Barrier Reef has degraded due to marine heat waves caused by climate change). Additionally, the fish living on the reefs off Yemen in the southern Red Sea are a major resource of food for the populations of the region, and the entire sea and its coral reefs are a highly biodiverse and rich ecosystem.

https://phys.org/news/2020-12-scientists-massive-oil-endangering-red.html

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

Siehe / Look at cp1

(* B H)

New US$303.9 Million Grants for Yemen Will Support Education, Access to Jobs, and Livelihoods Affected by COVID-19

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved US$303.9 million in grants for Yemen to help increase access to basic services and economic opportunities for populations affected by ongoing conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grants, from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, will support two projects – one focused on emergency social protection and COVID-19 response; the other focused on education and learning. Together, the projects will provide critical support to a population that has suffered from years of conflict and food insecurity even before the pandemic struck the country earlier this year.

The IDA grants will fund two projects that will provide crucial support for the Yemeni people suffering from violent conflict—now in its sixth year—that has brought the economy to a near collapse. It is also aligned with the World Bank Group strategy for fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV), which focuses on remaining engaged in active conflict situations to support the most vulnerable communities and key institutions.

Emergency Social Protection Enhancement and COVID-19 Response Project

More than half a decade of conflict has eroded Yemen’s economic, social, and institutional fabric.

The ongoing conflict has made Yemen one of the poorest and most food-insecure countries in the world. Per UN estimates, an estimated two-thirds of Yemenis (more than 20 million people) are food insecure, 10 million are at risk of famine, and 2 million children require treatment for acute malnutrition. The COVID-19 pandemic has strained an already stretched healthcare system, where only 50 percent of health facilities are functioning, and those that are lack basic equipment and supplies.

Yemen Restoring Education and Learning Project

Even before COVID-19, protecting and building human capital was immensely challenging in Yemen. At least 2 million children are out of school, 4.7 million children need assistance to continue their education, and half a million children have been left out of schooling entirely due to the conflict. Additionally, a third of all education facilities have been damaged or destroyed, two-thirds of all districts across the country are in pre-famine conditions, and one-third face multiple acute vulnerabilities.

Working with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme, and Save the Children, the project will finance a package of evidence-based interventions delivered to 1000 schools in target districts. The proposed interventions, which will be implemented over three academic years, will support teacher payments and teacher training; school feeding; school infrastructure improvements, including WASH facilities; the distribution of learning materials and school supplies; and national capacity building. The project will periodically track progress in the acquisition of foundational skills among students, a key building block for future learning and skill development.

https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2020/12/17/new-us3039-million-grants-for-yemen-will-support-education-access-to-jobs-and-livelihoods-affected-by-covid-19

(A H P)

Qatar Fund for Development cooperates with United Nations Population Fund to enhance health services in Yemen

https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/qatar-fund-development-cooperates-united-nations-population-fund-enhance-health

(* B H)

Daily life in Yemen’s most violent hotspots

Families in two of Yemen’s most violence-stricken areas explain what it is like for children to grow up amid the sound of gunfire.

Taha Shamal, 27, fled his home in October this year. With no other options, he had to cobble together a tent from plastic sheeting to shelter his heavily pregnant wife and three children.

“I wasn’t worried about myself,” he explains. “I was worried about my family and children. The shelling and bombings terrified them. You could hear the bullets and mortars from our room, so the children couldn’t sleep.”

Taha’s village was once small and peaceful. But as the war progressed, people started to flee. Surely the battles would pass them by, Taha reasoned. He had never left his home before and had no idea where to go.

Then: “A mortar fell close to us in the village. A mother and her daughter were killed. The bullets and mortars were around us all the time.”

So, he gathered some clothes and a small water container, and fled with his family.

It was, Taha says, “the saddest and most difficult moment in my life”.

Hodeidah governorate, where Taha is from, remains the most dangerous place in Yemen to be a civilian. Despite a ceasefire signed two years ago, and international laws protecting civilians in times of war, an average of at least one person a day is maimed or killed by armed conflict there.

Most of the violence is happening in villages like Taha’s, among rural farmers and fishing communities, who have already suffered years of hunger, malnutrition and fear.

At first, after fleeing, Taha’s family slept on the street. Then they found Al-Gasha camp. “I collected wood and plastic sheets,” Taha recalls. As soon as he had built the four walls, he moved his family in, even before they had enough to make a roof.

Taha’s family sometimes have no food or water and have to ask neighbours for help. They have no savings, and no chance of work. The tent they have made is too flimsy to protect them from the wind and rain. And Taha’s wife is about to give birth to a new baby.

“She is in the ninth month and I don’t have anything, and don’t know anyone here,” Taha told us. “I don’t even have money to pay for the bus to the hospital.”

But Taha’s main concern is that they are away from the violence – for now.

“There are no bombings, no mortars, no missiles, and my family is safe,” Taha says. “This is the most important thing: that I can live here safely. My children can sleep peacefully and can go out to play with no terror.”

https://www.nrc.no/perspectives/2020/daily-life-on-the-frontlines-in-yemen/

(* B H)

Film: Yemen: Humanitarian efforts on brink of collapse

Aid agencies warn of a race against time to save Yemen as its humanitarian crisis is expected to worsen in the coming year. As well as enduring war and famine, Yemen also has some of the world’s highest mortality rates from COVID-19.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jasLGmBqIM

(* B H)

IRC-Watchlist 2021: Warnung vor den zehn größten Krisen weltweit

Aufgrund der dreifachen Bedrohung durch gewaltsame Konflikte, den Klimawandel und die Folgen der COVID-19-Pandemie rechnet die Hilfsorganisation IRC im kommenden Jahr mit beispiellosen humanitären Notsituationen

Jemen ist zum dritten Mal in Folge das Land mit dem höchsten Risiko einer humanitären Katastrophe, gefolgt von Afghanistan, Syrien, der Demokratischen Republik Kongo und Äthiopien

In vier Ländern in den Top Ten der Watchlist - Jemen, Burkina Faso, Nigeria und Südsudan – droht eine Hungersnot

In allen 20 Watchlist-Ländern lebt nur 10% der Weltbevölkerung, aber 85% der Menschen in humanitärer Not

https://www.presseportal.de/pm/131544/4792217

(* B H)

ECHO Factsheet - Yemen (Last updated 07/12/2020)

Conflict across Yemen continues to endanger civilians, trigger displacement and damage infrastructures such as hospitals and schools. Imports of food, fuel and medicines are restricted, leading to shortages and high prices. Humanitarian aid continues to face serious impediments.

Famine-like conditions have returned to the country for the first time in 2 years, mostly in areas with conflict, displacement and limited humanitarian access (Al Jawf, Hajjah and Amran). Acute malnutrition rates among children under 5 are the highest ever recorded, with more than half a million cases in southern districts.

The public health system has struggled to cope with outbreaks such as coronavirus and one of the worst cholera epidemics in recent history. Work of humanitarian organisations is extremely difficult as they regularly suffer violent incidents and face many impediments to reach those in need.

Since the beginning of the conflict in 2015, the European Union has allocated €896 million to respond to the crisis in Yemen, including €553 million in humanitarian aid and €318 million in development assistance.

The EU’s vital support includes food assistance, healthcare, and education as well as water, shelter, and improved hygiene services to conflict-affected areas and displaced populations.

https://ec.europa.eu/echo/where/middle-east/yemen_en

My comment: Stop fueleing the war by arming Saudis and UAE.

(B H)

Yemen Women Protection Sub Cluster Services, November 2020

https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-women-protection-sub-cluster-services-november-2020

(B H)

Yemen | Food Insecurity and Internal Displacement, Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) – DG ECHO Daily Map | 16/12/2020

https://reliefweb.int/map/yemen/yemen-food-insecurity-and-internal-displacement-emergency-response-coordination-centre

(* B H)

Crisis in Yemen: Unrelenting conflict and risk of famine

Here are five reasons the International Rescue Committee’s Emergency Watchlist ranks Yemen as the country most at risk of humanitarian catastrophe in 2021.

Yemen tops the International Rescue Committee's annual Emergency Watchlist for the third year in a row: a consequence of over five years of war and severe underfunding that has pushed the country to new lows in 2020. Here's what you need to know about what is still the world’s largest humanitarian emergency.

“Yemen faces a triple threat from conflict, hunger and a collapsing international response," says Abeer Fowzi, the IRC's deputy nutrition coordinator. "At the end of 2020, malnutrition for children under 5 was the highest ever recorded, yet, in the face of an unprecedented threat, the world has turned its back on Yemen."

"Never before have Yemenis faced so little support from the international community—or so many simultaneous challenges,” says Fowzi. Here are five reasons Yemen is the country most at risk of humanitarian catastrophe in 2021, for the third year in a row

Yemen’s ever-deepening economic crisis and fuel shortages mean that the Marib oil fields may be a particular focus for conflict in 2021. At least 90,000 people have been displaced in Marib during 2020 and these numbers will rise if fighting spreads to more densely populated areas.

The war has destroyed many Yemenis’ livelihoods, leaving over 80% of the population reliant on humanitarian assistance. The rial, the currency of Yemen, has lost 25% of its value in 2020 alone while rising fuel prices and shortages drive up the cost of food and hinder aid. With the COVID-19 pandemic further restricting people's ability to earn a living, the World Food Program has warned that many Yemenis could be on the brink of famine in 2021. Nearly 17,000 people are already facing famine-like conditions and this could increase to up to 47,000 by June.

Women and girls are likely to be disproportionately affected, given Yemen scores worst in the world for women’s wellbeing. One million pregnant women are malnourished, and 120,000 women and girls are at risk of violence.

The Yemen conflict’s wider impacts are even more deadly and have long-term implications for the country’s recovery. The majority of deaths in the conflict are due to indirect impacts of conflict, particularly reduced access health services, food and infrastructure, according to research by the United Nations Development Program.

Slow approval processes for lifesaving aid programs, and other bureaucratic measures imposed by all parties to the conflict, threaten the humanitarian response. In addition, humanitarian funding has dropped significantly in 2020, forcing 31 out of 41 major United Nations programs to scale back or close down entirely, and the World Food Program to halve food rations for 8.5 million people. As a result, 3 million fewer Yemenis were receiving aid each month by late 2020 compared to the response at the beginning of the year. The IRC and other responders are profoundly concerned about whether there will be enough money to pay for critical humanitarian programs in 2021.

https://www.rescue.org/article/crisis-yemen-unrelenting-conflict-and-risk-famine

(B H)

Cancer fact sheet – Yemen

https://gco.iarc.fr/today/data/factsheets/populations/887-yemen-fact-sheets.pdf

(* B H)

Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis Continues To Deteriorate

Yemen is facing the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. In fact, the war-torn country has been undergoing this crisis since 2014. The United Nations’ agencies claim that more than 80 percent of the population require some form of assistance. Also, 20 million Yemeni civilians are facing food insecurity and 14 million require urgent humanitarian intervention. The situation is predicted to deteriorate even further next year (2021).

The WFP, UNICEF, and FAO warned in a statement last week that the number of Yemenis currently suffering famine-like conditions could triple from 16,500 to 47,000 between January and June 2021. The lack of UN funding has certainly exacerbated the situation. Last month, UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock told the UN Security Council that the $3.4m UN humanitarian appeal for 2020 for Yemen had received only $1.5 billion.

Yemen’s dire social and economic conditions are the cause of a complicated political conflict.

These regional actors’ intervention in the conflict is catastrophic. They are prolonging the conflict and increasing the likelihood of casualties. Additionally, they are impeding the aid workers’ efforts and abilities to reach vulnerable communities. For instance, the Saudi-led Coalition has stopped critical goods from entering Houthi-controlled seaports, according to the 2019 HRW report. As a result, Yemeni civilians in those areas are struggling to gain access to food.

Thus, Yemen’s near future is not looking promising. Regional actors continue to neglect the welfare and safety of Yemeni civilians. As long as their financial support is directed towards military operations, the situation in Yemen will continue to deteriorate. If Saudi Arabia, The UAE, and Iran are serious about resolving this crisis, it is crucial that they direct their efforts towards humanitarian aid.

https://theowp.org/yemens-humanitarian-crisis-continues-to-deteriorate/

(* B H)

Hunger, polluted water threaten millions in Yemen

According to the United Nations, Yemen is facing the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet, with more than 2 million children suffering from severe malnutrition and over 20 million at the brink of famine.

The over six-year war has destroyed the country's infrastructure and shattered its health and economic systems.

Doctor Mohammad Saad at the district's health center said that Hadeel is one of hundreds of malnourished children in these areas.

"We are facing a major problem which is the lack of malnutrition medications amid the increasing numbers of malnutrition cases among children and pregnant women," Saad told Xinhua.

"Many malnutrition cases have been worsening by drinking dirty well water that leads to diarrhea and vomiting," he said, noting that "most families lack food and clean water due to the ongoing war."

Tarik Heba, head of the government-run health office in the besieged district, warns of increasing cases of malnutrition and diseases among children due to polluted well water in the northern border districts of Haradh and Hayran.

"There are increasing numbers of malnutrition cases and diseases among children in the liberated areas in the northern part of Hajjah province due to the lack of clean drinking water and spreading of polluted well water," he told Xinhua.

"There are more than 3,000 children suffering from severe malnutrition in these districts and the number is more likely to be increased due to the lack of medications and clean water," Heba added.

Elsewhere in the neighboring district of Abs, which is under Houthi rebel control, there are hundreds of children who are sick, according to the local health authorities.

Xinhua visited three homes there and found one-year-old Hashim Etain, two-year-old Abid Masawi and two-year-old Jana Yehya suffering from acute malnutrition and stomach bloating pains caused by polluted well water.

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-12/15/c_139591634.htm

(* B H)

Yemen most at risk of humanitarian catastrophe in 2021: IRC

In a list of countries where crises are set to worsen, aid agency ranks Yemen first for the third year running.

Yemen is the country most at risk of a humanitarian catastrophe in 2021, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has warned, marking the third year running the war-ravaged nation has earned the grim recognition.

Continued conflict, widespread hunger and a collapsing international aid response threaten to dramatically worsen the current crisis in Yemen next year, the IRC said on Wednesday.

Tamuna Sabadze, the aid agency’s director for Yemen, said support was critical, now more “than ever”.

In an interview with Al Jazeera from the capital, Sanaa, she called for “more commitment than we see today” from internal, regional and global actors to end the conflict.

“Without this, things will not change in Yemen; the ordinary civilians of Yemen will really have no future and no hope.

“Twenty-four million people are in need of some kind of humanitarian aid – be it food, protection, health services, or education.

“The majority of the country really needs the UN and humanitarian funding in order to meet their basic day-to-day needs.”

The IRC’s watchlist for 2021, ranked from one to 10, comprised: Yemen; Afghanistan; Syria; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Ethiopia; Burkina Faso; South Sudan; Nigeria; Venezuela and Mozambique.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/16/irc-warns-yemen-at-risk-of-massive-deterioration-in-2021

(B H)

WFP: Yemen Monthly Overview November 2020

https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-monthly-overview-november-2020

(* B H)

Five things to know about the hunger crisis

Hunger disproportionately affects children

Conflict and hunger go hand-in-hand

The problem is about more than a lack of food

The COVID-19 pandemic is only making things worse

A solution is possible

https://www.medair.org/stories/five-things-to-know-about-the-hunger-crisis/

(* B H)

Humanitarian Action for Children 2021 - Yemen

Yemen remains the worst humanitarian crisis globally. Protracted armed conflict, widespread economic collapse and a breakdown in national systems and services has left 80 per cent of the total population, including 12.4 million children, in need of humanitarian assistance.

UNICEF’s humanitarian strategy has a dual focus on direct life-saving assistance and system strengthening, in line with efforts to strengthen the linkages between humanitarian action and development programming. The COVID-19 response involves protecting children and their families from exposure to the virus, minimizing mortality and supporting the continuity of essential services.

Amidst an already constrained funding landscape, UNICEF requires US$576.9 million to respond to the humanitarian situation in Yemen in 2021. Over 70 per cent of funding requirements are for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health and nutrition.

The war's impact on children has been staggering. More than 325,000 children under 5 years are suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM),and more than 20.5 million people urgently need WASH services.Nutrition needs are continuing to rise in the south, and lack of funding for WASH is undermining the WASH response. These conditions are heightening the risk of cholera, malnutrition and other WASH-related diseases, including COVID-19. In the first six months of 2020, nearly 110,000 suspected cases of acute watery diarrhoea/cholera and 27 associated deaths were recorded.Immunization coverage has stagnated at the national level, with 37 per cent of children under 1 year missing routine vaccinations.As a result, the country is seeing regular outbreaks of measles, diphtheria and other preventable diseases. In 2020, Yemen confirmed 16 cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus.

https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/humanitarian-action-children-2021-yemen

(* B H)

Qatrah Team - The 2020 Visualize 2030

The Yemen water crisis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6ExM9qDmt4

(B H)

UN health supplies arrive in Sana'a

Two cargo planes belong to United Nations organizations arrived on Monday at Sana'a International Airport carrying more than 105 tons of health supplies.

https://www.saba.ye/en/news3120233.htm

cp4 Flüchtlinge / Refugees

Siehe / Look at cp1

(* B H)

Film: Yemen: Families displaced by conflict take refuge in mountain caves near Taiz

Families displaced by the long-running conflict in Yemen have taken refuge in mountain caves near the southern Yemeni city of Taiz, as seen on Thursday. Adults with young children can be seen cooking and tending to livestock in their cave home, around 60 km (37 miles) south of the city. Faisal Saeed and his family are among reportedly around 300 families who are living in the caves in the al-Rajaiya district. "We do not have a residence or anything. We had to hold a wedding here on the mountain. As you see our situation and our conditions are difficult, we need help, for example, housing, food, and blankets. We are in a dangerous situation inside this cave," explained Saeed. "We fled from Haddran under Mount Han. We do not have a salary to obtain a livelihood and we do not have anything so that we can bring the rest of our people from far away areas," stressed another cave dweller, Yaqout Abdullah, who added that access to transportation and water was poor.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMX52arPChk

(B H)

Yemen: UNHCR Operational Update, 18 December 2020

Close to 8,000 displaced families received core relief items and shelter support during the reporting period. Some 10,000 displaced Yemenis, including men, women and children, received psychosocial support, legal counselling, and other protection services. Children and survivors of genderbased violence also received specialised assistance.
On 15 December, UNHCR started a new round of cash distribution. UNHCR aims to assist close to 42,400 displaced families by the end of the year with cash to pay for rent, food, doctor visits and medicine. In the north, families also received a cash transfer to help them buy warm clothes, purchase small heaters or equip their shelters ahead of the winter.

https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-unhcr-operational-update-18-december-2020

(B H)

Yemen: Eligibility Verification Survey for Rental Subsidy Extension 2020-2021

UNHCR Yemen first introduced the Rental Subsidy (RS) support, as part of its growing Cash-Based Intervention (CBI) program, to respond to the growing number of displaced families who were forced to flee their homes and communities in search of a securer location. So often, a securer location meant having to pay rent. Considering that many of these families had previously owned their homes, this new monthly obligation of having to pay rent triggered further financial stress—not to mention, competed with food expenses.
During assessments, families who are verified living in rental situations, struggling to keep up, even facing the threat of eviction, are prioritized to receive the RS cash-assistance. The amount, in consultation with the Shelter Cluster, was calculated to cover the average cost of rent over six months. The support is divided into two disbursements and is distributed by one of UNHCR’s financial service providers (FSPs) across 19 governates, North and South.
In the first half of 2020, UNHCR provided approximately 25,000 IDP families with 6-month RS support. Following this period, UNHCR, aiming to extend its coverage an additional six months, launched a remote-verification survey in order to determine how many of these families, of the 25,000, were still in rental arrangements and were having trouble paying rent.

https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-eligibility-verification-survey-rental-subsidy-extension-2020-2021

(* B H)

Health Funding Shortages in Yemen Put Thousands of Migrants’ Lives at Risk

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is increasingly concerned about the serious impact that funding shortages could have on the ability of migrants to survive the looming famine and the ongoing pandemic.

IOM's health programme in Yemen is underfunded by USD 30 million and, with such severe financial constraints, the Organization has been forced to refocus its programming and reduce assistance in certain locations. This reduction will be particularly hard felt in cities like Aden and Marib, which host thousands of migrants in dire need of support.

Access to healthcare for migrants across the country is exceptionally limited, often with migrants only able to access support through humanitarian aid provided by agencies such as IOM. In Marib, 84 per cent of migrants currently do not have any access to health care.

“Funding shortages have affected IOM assistance to both migrants and displaced people. Migrants are one of the most vulnerable groups in Yemen, but we are one of the few organizations supporting them,” said Christa Rottensteiner, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Yemen.

“The limited support for migrants is extremely worrying. For some, the impact of the gaps in the response could be deadly.”

These difficulties that migrants face in accessing health care are contextualized in a country where only 50 per cent of health facilities are fully functional and migrants are not entitled to free public health care.

In addition to health care, migrants are in dire need of food, shelter and water. In Marib, 60 per cent of migrants do not have access to food. The situation has deteriorated so much that migrants are putting their lives back into the hands of smugglers who have abused, tortured and exploited them for support to get home to the Horn of Africa, including to Ethiopia and Somalia.

Over 5,600 migrants have travelled by sea from Yemen to Djibouti since May, in a desperate attempt to get home. Some have tragically drowned on their journeys.

https://www.iom.int/news/health-funding-shortages-yemen-put-thousands-migrants-lives-risk

cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

(A K P)

Two child officers fighting in Houthi ranks get killed in Marib

Two children holding military titles in the Shia extremist militia of Houthis have been killed in the fighting against government forces in Marib, Yemeni media platforms reported.

“Captain” Al-Ameer Ali al-Hakem and First Lieutenant Asef Saeed Al-Shihari were killed in the recent confrontations in Marib,” reported Anbaa Aden news website. The story did not include the ages of the young militants but the pictures indicate they are young teenagers.

The sources said the families were lured by the military titles given to their children to get them into the warfronts. Yemeni NGOs and observers say the Houthi militia throughout its history is an army of radicalized children.

https://www.alsahwa-yemen.net/en/p-43902

and

(B K P)

The recruitment of children by the Houthi militia is a war crime punishable by international and humanitarian law. Victims of child recruitment, November 128 (list)

https://twitter.com/abduhothifi/status/1339704506603454466

and

(B K P)

Photo: 6 years since i have taken this picture of Houthi child soldier in Amran. Hours after i posted it on FB, Houthis stormed our home in Raidah looking for me, but i wz outside & they hold my uncle 4 a month until i deleted the pic. Haven't bn able to return home since then.

https://twitter.com/Alsakaniali/status/1339810069903511553

(A P)

President Al-Mashat Holds UN Responsible for US-Saudi Imposed Blockade on Yemen

https://english.almasirah.net/post/16656/President-Al-Mashat-Holds-UN-Responsible-for-US-Saudi-Imposed-Blockade-on-Yemen

(A P)

Yemen: Houthis take over Tawakkol Karman's home in Sanaa

Yemeni Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tawakkol Karman said on Tuesday that Houthi fighters raided her home and office in Sanaa and took control of them after stealing furniture, the Shebab news website reported.

Taking to Facebook, Karman said: "Days ago, the Houthis took over my home and office located in Al-Ziraa neighbourhood in the capital Sanaa. They stole the furniture and are still staying at my home."

She added: "This is the nature of the militias and thief gangs and pirates. Nothing strange."

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201217-yemen-houthis-take-over-tawakkol-karmans-home-in-sanaa/

(A P)

Continuation of US-led siege on Yemen, a war crime: Envoy

Iran's Ambassador to Yemen Hassan Irlou said on Wednesday that continuation of the siege against the Yemeni people by the US-led aggressors is a war crime.

https://en.irna.ir/news/84151228/Continuation-of-US-led-siege-on-Yemen-a-war-crime-Envoy

and also https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/13990927000204/Envy-Underlines-US-Prsecin-fr-Cnined-Siege-n-Yemen

(A P)

Houthis create panel to suppress nationalistic trends in graduation ceremonies

The Houthi militia have created a panel to supervise graduation ceremonies in Yemen's biggest University of Sana'a to suppress the nationalistic trends of graduation ceremonies.

https://www.alsahwa-yemen.net/en/p-43875

(A P)

Did anyone dancing in the mosques before the Houthis, or is this a heresy that no one of the worlds has ever done before?

https://twitter.com/Ndawsari/status/1339294007420219398

referring to film https://twitter.com/maldhabyani/status/1339228150249779202

(B P)

Report: Daesh, Yemen's Houthis top list of detainees of journalists

Yemen Houthis have topped the list of groups who kidnap journalists and use them as bargaining chips, coming only second to Daesh, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in a new report.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201216-report-daesh-yemens-houthis-top-list-of-detainees-of-journalists/

(A P)

This heartbroken mom calling all the international community to stand with here and release her only son (18 years old) who was arrested by the Iran backed Houthis for more than Year and half without knowing any news about him

https://twitter.com/hussamA123/status/1338819784813711362

referring to film https://twitter.com/EshraqAlmaqtari/status/1338814877691998208

(A P)

Iran ready to share technical-engineering experiences with Yemen

The Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Yemen, on Monday, met with, Yemen’s Deputy Minister of Public Works and Roads, to explain Iran's experiences in reconstruction, road construction, bridge construction, and housing.

https://iranpress.com/content/31155

(A P)

Mohammed al-Houthi comments on Jeddah attack

“We may consider protecting Saudi ports, if asked to do so, especially when the US and UK apparently fail,” said Al-Houthi in a tweet .

https://hodhodyemennews.net/2020/12/15/mohammed-al-houthi-comments-on-jeddah-attack/

(A P)

House of Representatives Condemns Morocco's Normalization with Zionist Enemy

https://english.almasirah.net/post/16613/House-of-Representatives-Condemns-Morocco-s-Normalization-with-Zionist-Enemy

(A P)

Abdulsalam: UN Complicit in US-Saudi Aggression on Yemen

In a tweet on Tuesday, Abdulsalam said the “UN is complicit in the crime of blockade on Yemen.” He described the closure of Sanaa Airport and Hodeidah Port as crimes, blasting the UN for not bearing its responsibility in preventing such crime.

https://english.almasirah.net/post/16624/Abdulsalam-UN-Complicit-in-US-Saudi-Aggression-on-Yemen

and also https://hodhodyemennews.net/2020/12/15/mohammed-abdulsalam-un-failure-to-stop-siege-of-yemen-makes-it-an-accomplice/

(A P)

Yemeni Minister of Defence speaks on the accomplishments of Yemeni forces in 2020

https://hodhodyemennews.net/2020/12/15/yemeni-minister-of-defence-speaks-on-the-accomplishments-of-yemeni-forces-in-2020/

(A P)

Foreign Minister: Security Council Used only for the Security of Saudi Arabia, UAE

Foreign Minister, Hisham Sharaf Abdullah, was surprised by the contents of the press release issued by the UN Security Council last Sunday. He stressed that the Security Council is for the whole world, not for Saudi Arabia and the UAE. According to the Yemeni News Agency (Saba), Minister Sharaf confirmed that the Security Council statements continue to ignore the suffering and grievances of the Yemeni people. There was no mention of the US-Saudi aggression, the siege imposed on the country. The closure of Sana'a International Airport and the targeting of the Yemeni economy and services are also ignored.

https://english.almasirah.net/post/16629/Foreign-Minister-Security-Council-Used-only-for-the-Security-of-Saudi-Arabia%2C-UAE

(A P)

Houthi foreign ministry attacks US over sanctions on Iranian envoy to Sanaa

The Houthi foreign ministry on Tuesday attacked the United States of America and its ambassador to Yemen Christopher Henzel over sanctions on Iran's ambassador to the Houthi-controlled Sanaa, Hassan Irloo.
We condemn the US policies and stances that are full of hatred and hostility towards all free and independent regimes and nations, including the sanctions on the ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Yemen, it said in a statement carried by the Sanaa-based Saba news agency.

https://debriefer.net/en/news-21837.html

and also https://hodhodyemennews.net/2020/12/15/yemeni-foreign-ministry-condemns-us-imperialism-in-the-region/

https://english.almasirah.net/post/16628/Foreign-Ministry-The-American-Ambassador%2C-a-Representative-of-Hateful-and-Rejected-US-Administration

and

(A P)

Yemen condemns US sanction against Iranian diplomat

https://www.saba.ye/en/news3120114.htm

(A K P)

Thirty soldiers defect from Saudi ranks and rejoin Yemeni forces

The National Center for Receiving Returnees on Tuesday has received 30 military personnel who defected from the Saudi-led coalition and returned to Sana’a, including high-ranking commanders.

Among the returnees received today are the commander of the 5th Battalion in the so-called 3rd Brigade Border Guard, Lieutenant Colonel Nasr Mohammed al-Areqi, as well as the battalion’s staff officers and the battalion’s operations commander.

https://hodhodyemennews.net/2020/12/15/thirty-soldiers-defect-from-saudi-ranks-and-rejoin-yemeni-forces/

(* B P)

Twelve Years of Shifting Sands: Conflict Mediation with Yemen's Houthis, 2004-2016

This article analyses the interplay between conflict and mediation by using the empirical example of Yemen’s Ḥūthī conflict. By reviewing the period from 2004 to 2016, it traces how and why local and national, later regional and international mediation initiatives failed to contain the Ḥūthī crisis.

As the Ḥūthī crisis is still expanding, the paper does not aim at keeping pace with a rapidly unfolding situation. It rather aims at enhancing the reader’s historical perspective on attempts at mediation and conflict resolution which have taken place between spring 2004 and summer 2016 in Yemen’s north. By contextualising the major local, domestic, regional, and international mediation initiatives which accompanied the Ḥūthī conflict since its inception, it looks for the reasons for the current regrettable, but hopefully not irreversible, failure of Yemen’s respected tradition in conflict mediation – by Marieke Brandt

https://www.academia.edu/28717775/Twelve_Years_of_Shifting_Sands_Conflict_Mediation_with_Yemens_Houthis_2004_2016_2018_

Fortsetzung / Sequel: cp6 – cp19

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/jemenkrieg-mosaik-702b-yemen-war-mosaic-702b

Vorige / Previous:

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/jemenkrieg-mosaik-701-yemen-war-mosaic-701

Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 1-701 / Yemen War Mosaic 1-701:

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

Der saudische Luftkrieg im Bild / Saudi aerial war images:

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

http://poorworld.net/YemenWar.htm

http://yemenwarcrimes.blogspot.de/

http://www.yemenwar.info/

Liste aller Luftangriffe / and list of all air raids:

http://yemendataproject.org/data/

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

https://yemen.bellingcat.com/

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

https://yemeniarchive.org/en

15:30 18.12.2020
Dieser Beitrag gibt die Meinung des Autors wieder, nicht notwendigerweise die der Redaktion des Freitag.
Geschrieben von

Dietrich Klose

Vielfältig interessiert am aktuellen Geschehen, zur Zeit besonders: Ukraine, Russland, Jemen, Rolle der USA, Neoliberalismus, Ausbeutung der 3. Welt
Schreiber 0 Leser 22
Dietrich Klose

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