Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 711 - Yemen War Mosaic 711

Yemen Press Reader 711: 25. Jan. 2021: „Kriegswirtschaft“ in Houthi-Haftanstalten – Jemen-Krieg und Raytheons Einfluss auf die US-Politik – US- Einstufung der Huthis als "Terroristen" und mehr
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Jan. 25, 2021: “War economy” in Houthi detention centers – Yemen War and Raytheon’s influence on US policy – US “terrorist” label for Houthis – and more

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

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

Klassifizierung / Classification

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

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

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

cp1b Am wichtigsten: USA stufen Huthis als Terroristen ein / Most important: US terror designation against Houthis

cp2 Allgemein / General

cp2a Allgemein: Saudische Blockade / General: Saudi blockade

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

cp4 Flüchtlinge / Refugees

cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

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

cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

cp9 USA

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

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

cp11 Deutschland / Germany

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

cp12a Katar-Krise / Qatar crisis

cp12b Sudan

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

cp13b Kulturerbe / Cultural heritage

cp13c Wirtschaft / Economy

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

cp15 Propaganda

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

cp18 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:

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

(** B P)

War economy flourishing behind the walls of Houthis detention centers

Among the group of detainees who were released by paying money to Houthi mediators or supervisors spoke with Almasdar Online, Al-Sabri was the only one who agreed to disclose his name. The others asked to remain anonymous to protect themselves and their relatives who still live in Houthi-controlled areas from retribution. Other former detainees categorically refused to tell their stories for this report, out of fear of what Houthi authorities would do if they found out.

A systematic campaign of random arrests

Houthi forces have arrested scores of civilians from security checkpoints, markets and other public spaces in various Yemeni cities for no reason. Sometimes they fabricate reasons after searching the phones and social media applications of the civilians.

Those arrested without charges are kept outside the formal justice system, in order to conceal the illegality of their detention. They are sometimes released after a few months by committees formed by the Houthi government which arrange “guarantees” through a Houthi supervisor. Before the war, such guarantees took the form of commercial or social bonds, in which a business or influential figure such as a tribal sheikh would vouch for the person who was essentially being bailed out of jail. If the person failed to comply with the conditions of the bail, such as appearing at future court dates, then the business or influential social figure would pay the penalties.

However, because many of those detained by the Houthis are kept outside of the formal justice system, there are no court proceedings to attend. The payment of Houthi supervisors for early release is akin to state-sanctioned extortion. Oftentimes, the people who reach out to the supervisors to secure the release of a relative often find themselves the target of fabricated allegations. The only way to escape these accusations is to bribe the supervisors or their brokers with more money.

When the author left the prison, Abu Majd had been detained for seven months. Prison officials informed him that he would only be released under the guarantee of a supervisor. In order to secure such a guarantee, Abu Majed would have to find a mediator to get the job done, and of course pay money.

There appears to be no constant in the Houthis’ dealings with detainees. Nor is there a specific rule that can be cited as the best way to improve the detention conditions or speed up the release of a loved one. Rather than evidence and laws, the arrests of civilians seem to be governed by the mood of the individuals carrying them out, or as a way to intimidate opponents and society in general to submit to Houthi rule.

Former detainees and those who pushed for their release are divided over how to approach the issue. Some believe that generous payments and regular follow-up on the welfare of a detainee helps secure their early release, while neglect and refusal to pay bribes reduces their chances of freedom. Others argue that payments and diligent follow-up incentivize supervisors, mediators and brokers to prolong a detainee’s detention in order to continue profiting from the extortion, while ignoring the detainee makes the Houthis feel like he is a liability and decide to release him.

Everything has a price

Hatem (pseudonym), a neighborhood official known as an Aqil in the Hasabah neighborhood of Sana'a, told Almasdar Online that Aqils have two main forms of income under Houthi rule: following up on prisoners, and collecting royalties from shops.

“Many of the civilians that are arrested are innocent of any known crime, but Houthi leaders single them out with the aim of obtaining money,” Hatem said. "The Aqils of the neighborhoods look at each case as an opportunity to profit, although there are heart-rending stories that make you want to eat dirt rather than gain a single penny from this source."

One of roles Aqils play in the extortion scheme that has emerged under Houthi rule is to collect daily sums of money from detainees’ families to secure a steady supply of qat, food, blankets, medicine and communication with the prisoner. If the detainee is a child, Aqils seek payment to arrange for his release, isolate him from adult prisoners or move him to a facility with children his own age.

Some Aqils prolong such cases in order to continue exploiting the families, Hatem said, but their earnings pale in comparison to what the supervisors make. Realizing the potential profits involved in imprisoning people, Houthi supervisors started to invent accusations, threatening families that they will transfer their loved ones to the Central Prison in Sana’a or other detention centers run by intelligence agencies, from which it is much more difficult to secure their release, Hatem said.

“We as Aqils take only the leftovers,” Hatem said. “The big guys (supervisors) have turned it into a profitable career.”

One family sold their gold jewelry to pay for the release of their detained son, Hatem said, adding that “threats to families sometimes reach outrageous levels that I am ashamed to talk about."

In another example, Hatem tells the story of a successful restaurant owner who was ordered by the district supervisor to pay large sums of money for Houthi initiatives, including the annual celebration of the prophet’s birthday, assisting the families of martyrs, or funding the battlefronts. On one occasion, the restaurateur hesitated so the supervisor placed him in prison. He was not released until he paid 5 million riyals ($10,000) as a lesson for him and others. Now he pays them for what they ask without question, Hatem said.

From ordinary citizens to neighborhood Aqil, mediators, dignitaries and senior government leaders, anyone who has influence with Houthi supervisors has a role and every service has a price in the prison economy.

Guarantees without guarantees

Just as there is no fixed or specific rule governing Houthi dealings in detention facilities, there is no way to verify the commitment of mediators, brokers or others who seek payment for the release of detainees. There are often no legal or customary documents showing the course of the case or who was involved in it. In many cases, the middlemen tell the families that they are following up when they have done nothing.

Civilians as poker chips and bargaining chips

The Houthis arrest civilians for military, political and economic gains, Abdulwahid Al-Oubali, an economics researcher, told Almasdar Online. On the battlefield, civilian detainees are used as bargaining chips for the release of captured Houthi forces. The same approach is used to gain leverage in political negotiations. Ransom demands sometimes accompany prisoner exchanges and political negotiations. For the Houthi supervisor, and the army of mediators, brokers and others who claim to have access to the supervisor, the arrest of innocent civilians is a massive source of revenue, he said.

After the arrest, the civilian is hidden from his family for a period of time. Then suddenly the brokers appear as saviors who possess the necessary connections and influence with the Houthi supervisors to secure a guarantee. Then begins the bargaining and extortion with the aim of release, in addition to demands for money to pay for food, supplies, or perhaps a visit to the detainee.

Considering that thousands of detainees are held in Houthi prisons and detention centers on a daily basis, the sums flowing to Houthi supervisors, Aqils and their networks are enormous, he said.

A thriving prisoner economy

The Houthis deny that money has been extorted from prisoners in an organized manner.

But the growing body of testimony from former prisoners, the friends and relatives who worked to secure their release, as well individuals benefiting from the scheme paints the picture of a thriving prison economy that has prospered at all levels under Houthi. Scores of individuals make their living, if not reap huge profits, on payments from the detainees or their families. Payments are demanded for an increasing number of services, including following up on a detainee’s case, bonding a detainee, bringing them food and medicine, arranging phone calls or in-person visits and limiting torture of the prisoner. In many cases, people pay Houthi supervisors so that they will not be arrested in the first place.

Khaled (pseudonym) paid 500,000 riyals to Houthi supervisors and mediators in exchange for his release on the night of his arrest. He was arrested by Houthi loyalists outside a mosque in Sana'a after objecting to what he described as militant practices taking place inside the building. He was then taken to a police station in Sana'a, from which he managed to contact relatives and others, who searched for mediators and intensified efforts for his release. They paid half a million riyals to a set of brokers who helped secure Khaled’s release the same night.

Afraid of further inquiries about him and his previous job in a government sector, Khaled left Sana'a and settled in Ma'rib, to ensure his safety. =

(** B K P)

Yemen Crisis Linked to Weapons Maker Raytheon’s Influence on US Foreign Policy

Starting under Obama and continuing under Trump, the U.S. has been heavily involved in the war on Yemen, primarily through weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners. These weapons are by and large used to intentionally target and kill Yemenis. This bloodthirsty logic has been a driving force behind the war for almost six years.

Raytheon Technologies, the second-largest arms manufacturer in the world, is one major provider of these weapons. It stands out from the rest of its competitors because of its close ties with Saudi Arabia, having been the first weapons manufacturer to build a permanent operation there in the 1960s, hiring members of the Saudi royal family as consultants, and opening a branch of the company in Riyadh in 2017. After the war began in March 2015, Raytheon’s stock price went from about $108 to more than $180 in 2019, reflecting billions of dollars in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia.

Despite the countless threads connecting Raytheon to Saudi Arabia and its financial interest in continuing the war in Yemen, the company portrays itself as a neutral force which simply carries out the foreign policy of the U.S. government and therefore is not responsible for the destruction wrought by its weapons.

By characterizing itself as an obedient, law-abiding company, Raytheon not only attempts to weasel out of its culpability, but also obfuscates the horrific tragedy playing out in Yemen and other countries where its bombs fall.

The reality is the harrowing situation in Yemen can be directly traced back to Raytheon and other weapons manufacturers’ influence on U.S. foreign policy. This is not due to a lack of government “checks and balances” or oversight; rather, it is the result of a calculated policy of the U.S. government to ensure its dominant geopolitical position in the world, which includes maximizing the profit interests of these companies at the expense of Yemeni lives.

Raytheon’s claims of neutrality fall flat when one takes a closer look at its influence on U.S. policy, including both explicit lobbying of government officials and its unified interests with members of the U.S. political elite. The revolving door between private companies and government positions has supported Raytheon’s goals — in fact, Raytheon has managed to insert itself as a permanent fixture at the highest levels of government. Obama and Trump both had former Raytheon lobbyists serve in senior roles in the Defense Department (William Lynn and Mark Esper, respectively), and Biden is continuing the tradition, choosing Gen. Lloyd Austin, who sits on the Raytheon board, for defense secretary and breezed through his confirmation hearing without issue on January 19.

United States of Raytheon

In 2015, when the war in Yemen began, Obama agreed to back Saudi Arabia’s invasion of Yemen by qualifying weapons sales as “defensive support.” Obama was well aware that weapons sold to Saudi Arabia would not be used for defense but would instead be used to attack Yemen; however, he considered it a necessary evil to placate Saudi Arabia in the wake of the nuclear deal struck with Saudi Arabia’s adversary, Iran. Since then, U.S. support for the war has been indispensable to Saudi Arabia’s ability to slaughter Yemenis.

After the election of Trump, Raytheon continued to exert influence on U.S. policy. The company’s first order of business was arranging several meetings between Thomas Kennedy and Trump, including during Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia in May 2017. Soon after, Trump approved the shipment of the weapons that Obama blocked. It certainly did not hurt that Raytheon had allies already embedded throughout the Washington bureaucracy.

Raytheon (like other defense contractors) also employs other tactics to influence U.S. policy. One method included hiring former State Department officials to lobby their former colleagues in the department to approve the sales Obama had blocked. These officials are not required to register as lobbyists. In its quest to guarantee Trump’s approval of the weapons sales that Obama had halted, Raytheon also solicited support from lobbyist David J. Urban, who was in the same class at West Point with Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. They maintain strong ties and affectionately refer to themselves as the “West Point Mafia.”

Raytheon and other defense contractors also hire lobbying firms on a retainer basis to monitor legislation and step in if necessary. The two largest defense-industry lobbying firms are American Defense International (ADI) and McKeon Group.

Both companies, ADI and McKeon Group, have been integral to setting U.S. policy regarding Yemen. In November 2018, two weeks before a vote was to be held regarding the bill that would end U.S. involvement in Yemen, the McKeon Group contacted Sen. Jim Inhofe, chair of the Armed Services Committee, on behalf of Saudi Arabia. Inhofe then voted in favor of continuing U.S. support of Saudi Arabia in Yemen, and the very next day the McKeon Group donated $1,000 to the senator. Foreign Agents Registration Act records show that the company made several phone calls and sent multiple emails to a host of other members of the Senate and House regarding the bill.

These lobbying companies work tirelessly to safeguard their clients’ interests no matter who is in office. What’s more, the countless lobbyists and officers from these companies in unelected government positions give the weapons industry a direct hand in governing and creating policy. Raytheon’s claims that it does not set policy but merely complies with it is immediately discredited upon examination of this web of influence within and upon the government.

Given that arms manufacturers are intertwined with the U.S. government, we should remain skeptical of Biden’s promise to end the war in Yemen.

The U.S. government is a government of, by and for corporations. The leaders of multinational corporations move continuously from industry to government and back again. The corporatocracy is often characterized by the proverbial “revolving door,” but in some instances, there is no door — distinctions melt away, and corporations and government become one. Corporations like Raytheon do not, as they claim, follow U.S. foreign policy: they make it – by Chrisana M. Panzica

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

(A H)

One patient dies from Covid-19 in al-Dhale

(A H)

Two Covid-19 patients die in Aden, Hadramout

(B H)

IOM Yemen COVID-19 Response Update (29 November - 12 December 2020)

IOM and partners are preparing for a second wave of COVID-19 in Yemen, as winter and influenza season approach. Already, the limited testing, surveillance and reporting on the virus has meant that information on its spread since March is not fully known. Reported cases have progressively fallen since August, and for the anticipated second wave in the months to come, priorities are centred around increasing surveillance and testing, risk communication and community engagement and securing critical supplies. Of importance will be encouraging behavioral changes aimed at reducing community level transmission. The COVID-19 response, however, is challenged by access issues in some areas as well as the fuel, funding and economic downturns that Yemen is experiencing

(* B H)

Editor’s Pick: 2020’s Best Investigative Stories from the Arab World

Out of Isolation (Yemen)

Produced by ARIJ, this investigation documented 16 cases of Yemenis who allegedly bribed their way out of quarantine and isolation centers. The centers were run either by the internationally-recognized Yemeni government or the Houthis, who control the current regime in Sana’a. The patients were discharged after making arrangements with authorities working in the centers, or people connected with the staff inside these centers, without ever being tested. The action violates the country’s Public Health Act. In one of the cases, a man told reporters that he stayed no more than two days in quarantine, paying 500 Saudi riyals — about $133 — for his release.


(* B H)

Chaos, pollution and hundreds of dead people in Corona isolation centers

Abdul Rahman found the new quarry more crowded and conditions worse. There were more than 20 people sitting in one room. One bathroom used by more than 150 people, its water is transported from the open ponds surrounding the school. "They were giving us polluted water from well water showing some impurities." Abd al-Rahman remembers that dust, insects, and plastic waste were scattered on the windowsills, in the corridors and in the courtyard of the building. Most of the response team members and the health team in the quarry were mixing with the residents without masks, gloves, or the use of sterilizers. The quarantined people were mixed with new arrivals without isolation and sterilization procedures. The quarantined people are allowed to go out to the neighboring markets for three hours a day, starting from one in the afternoon, to buy food and water because they are not available inside the quarry.

Abd al-Rahman is one of 16 cases monitored by the investigator who fled or were allowed to pass, from the epidemiological isolation centers and health quarantines of the internationally recognized Yemeni government or to the Houthis (de facto authorities in Sana'a), after they paid sums of money to obtain exit permits or facilitate their exit From isolation centers or quarantines, without undergoing the checks. They left after agreeing with members of response teams or medical or military teams in isolation centers and quarantines, or through people who have relationships with workers inside these centers and quarantines, in violation of Public Health Law No. 4 of 2009, which stipulates in Article 11 of it that Those infected with epidemic diseases, providing them with the necessary health care, and subjecting the suspects to health protection. "

Yousef Al-Hadhiri, the official spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Health and Population of the Houthi Authority, admits that there have been escapes from the authority's health quarantines in Sana'a, without specifying the numbers due to the absence of statistics. Al-Hadhiri says that the security authorities caught many cases after reporting them by citizens, and quarry workers were arrested for their involvement in facilitating the smuggling process, and they were held accountable according to Public Health Law No. 4 of 2009, in which the penalty may reach five years in prison or a fine of up to three million riyals.

Dr. Ishraq Al-Sebaei, the official spokesperson for the Supreme National Emergency Committee in the recognized government, says that the committee monitored escapes from epidemiological isolation centers and quarantines, and the committee's monitoring team obliged them to quarantine them at home. She attributed the reason why these cases did not return to the isolation and quarantine centers to their bad psychological state.

Escaping cases appeared frequently, according to the monitoring of the investigator, SAM Organization for Rights and Freedoms, and the testimony of four members of the response teams, in five governorates, namely, Hadramout, through Al-Wadiah, Saada, Al-Bayda, Rayma and Al-Jawf. In addition to the monitoring of accidental flight cases in four other governorates, namely Sana'a, Taiz, Aden and Hajjah. The sums paid in fleeing operations ranged between 200 and 3,000 Saudi riyals. The reasons for escaping varied between fear of contracting Covid 19 inside the health quarantines due to the lack of precautionary measures, and the fear of some people from moving in the event of infection to epidemiological isolation centers, in addition to the lack of basic services such as food, sleeping places and toilets.

The SAM Organization for Rights and Freedoms has documented more than forty people fleeing the quarantines. The organization's president, Tawfiq Al-Hamidi, says that the war in Yemen and the "absence of the state as an institution in its role" rendered many of the announced measures to confront COVID-19 ineffective. He adds that in Rada'a - for example - there was no quarantine in the technical sense, as there was only a large courtyard in the College of Education and Administrative Sciences, accessible and easy to enter and exit. "Whoever pays a sum of money can get out. The quarries were for extortion and collecting more money than stones."

A monitor of the Sam Organization for Rights and Freedoms in the Radaa quarry, who preferred not to be named for security reasons, says that the quarry accommodated more than three thousand people, who suffered from lack of food supplies, and that the women did not find places to sleep and toilets, and that the quarry consisted of " Market "frequented by sellers constantly, adding," It is very natural to be in such circumstances, and to have the ability to escape, to escape, especially since the place was more harmful than useful. (B H)

Yemen - 2020 AWD / Cholera Response Dashboard - Weeks 1 - 52

cp1b Am wichtigsten: USA stufen Huthis als Terroristen ein / Most important: US terror designation against Houthis

Siehe / Look at cp9

(A P)

What's up?! U.S. Department of State has removed the statement of designating Ansarullah as Foreign Terrorist Organization.


My comment: This happened to all statements etc. from the Trump administration.

(** B P)

Why the US is wrong to designate the Houthis as ‘terrorists’

As damaging, but rarely noted, is the unprincipled politicisation of America’s “terrorism” designation and its selective use as a tool of warfare against political opponents. It undermines any credibility that the US might retain in a facts-based, even-handed designation of terrorist actors around the world. It also further exposes the US as a belligerent actor that has knowingly harmed the people of Yemen for the past six years.

There is no doubt that since the start of the Saudi-UAE-led war on Yemen in March 2015, all parties to the conflict – and there are now many – have carried out heinous attacks on civilians in violations of the laws of war. The facts of Ansar Allah’s abuses are well documented, including indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas, obstruction of food and medical aid, and the use of child soldiers.

Even more catastrophic, in terms of scale, severity and frequency, have been war crimes by the Saudi-Emirati-led coalition.

The US’s participation in this war – as a party to the conflict, providing intelligence, targeting support, and refuelling, in addition to billions of dollars worth of arms to Saudi Arabia and the UAE and its contribution to the needless devastation in Yemen – has faced serious domestic challenges and even worries about war crimes liability.

Frustrated by their inability to defeat Ansar Allah, despite billions spent on bombarding Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have persistently lobbied the US Department of State to designate the group as “terrorist”, in order to trigger severe sanctions on the country. Like the economic sanctions and terrorist designations applied to Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba and entities within them, the State Department’s designation of Ansar Allah has nothing to do with an impartial assessment of the facts on the ground or merits of such a policy.

Instead, it has been deployed as an economic tool of warfare against international nemeses in the hopes that they will say uncle to US demands and give up power. Every one of these targeted governments remains in power, while the sanctions against them have only harmed ordinary people who have little to no say in what their governments do or do not do.

To argue against the terrorist designation of Ansar Allah purely on humanitarian grounds or for their negative impact on future peace negotiations, as some progressive groups have done, is overly narrow and avoids addressing a different but equally nefarious consequence. When the US chooses to designate as “terrorist” one side of an armed conflict, in this case, Ansar Allah, while not only ignoring but supporting the even more egregious terrorist attacks of the other, our government undermines any credibility the designation may have and diminishes its own international standing.

The Ansar Allah terrorism designation and related sanctions deserve condemnation not only because of the harm and suffering they will cause the Yemeni people, but because they manipulate and distort the original purpose and intent of such labelling. To argue only about the extent of the suffering these designations cause is a distraction that opens a tangential debate about whether or not the suffering is as bad as claimed, or who is actually to blame for the consequent suffering – the sanctions or the government.

Arguments against any terrorism designation should centre on Washington’s extensive misuse of sanctions and terrorism designations as an undeclared tool of warfare. Failure to confront the policies and laws that allow the US to sanction, starve, and harm peoples around the world – as it is doing in 39 countries around the world – leaves us endlessly arguing the particular merits of sanctions in one place, then another, then another.

President Biden has a responsibility to dramatically reform legislation that empowers one administration after another to deploy economic harm to peoples around the world. Ending America’s endless wars should mean not only withdrawing troops but also putting an end to the misuse of terrorist designations and the accompanying destructive economic sanctions – by Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW

(* B H P)

Aid agencies make unprecedented and united call for Biden administration to revoke Ansar Allah terrorist designation

Twenty-two aid organisations working in Yemen remain extremely concerned about the humanitarian consequences of the designation of Ansar Allah as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) and Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) which came into effect on 19 January. This designation comes at a time when famine is a very real threat to a country devastated by six years of conflict, and it must be revoked immediately. Any disruption to lifesaving aid operations and commercial imports of food, fuel, medicine and other essential goods will put millions of lives at risk.

The four general licences issued by the US government aim to allow the continued flow of aid to Yemen, seeking to mitigate the impacts of the designations by providing broad authorisations for humanitarian organisations, and some commercial imports. The legal implications of the designation and its impact on our work on the ground are yet to be fully clarified and understood. However, it is already clear that even with licences and exemptions in place for humanitarian work, the designation will have serious implications, causing delays and uncertainty in our ability to deliver assistance, making it even more difficult to operate in Yemen, particularly in areas controlled by the Ansar Allah de facto authorities which are home to the majority of people in need.

In addition to the lack of clarity on the humanitarian activities authorised in the licences, we have grave concerns that the licenses do not cover enough of the commercial sector. This will cause disruptions as the licences and associated guidance do not provide sufficient guarantees to international banks, shipping companies and suppliers that still face the risk of falling foul of US laws. As a result, many in the commercial sector will likely feel the risk is too high to continue working in Yemen. Yemeni import companies, which bring in 80 to 90 per cent of the country’s food, fuel and medicines, are already warning that they may have to shut down business. Crucially, this will drive up prices of food, fuel and other basic goods, bringing these essential items even further out of people’s reach in a country where 16 million people are close to starvation. Disruptions to the commercial sector, and increased prices will also affect humanitarian programmes as aid agencies are reliant on local markets to source supplies and transport goods across the country. For example, further disruptions to fuel imports will escalate a long running fuel crisis in the country and will impact the provision of clean water, public transport, agriculture, powering generators in hospitals and other services supported by the humanitarian response. Aid agencies cannot fill the gap or replace the commercial sector, even with licences or other exemptions in place: the scale is too immense.

Yemen’s economy is seeing record levels of inflation and Covid-19 has heavily impacted people’s livelihoods. This designation will likely mean that banks will stop lending money and providing financial services to Yemen as we have seen in other contexts. Yemenis working abroad who send money home to their families will struggle to do so through formal channels. Remittances are a lifeline, with up to one in ten Yemenis relying on them to meet their essential needs. They are the biggest source of foreign exchange into the country, making up to 20 per cent of the country’s GDP. Yemen’s access to foreign currency which is already limited will be further threatened, making it even more difficult to import goods and pushing inflation even higher. Humanitarian organisations are concerned the designation will make it even more difficult to access financial services, to wire money in to Yemen, to make bank transfers, pay staff salaries and to deliver cash programmes which make up a significant portion of the food security response in Yemen. Humanitarian exemptions will not be able to shield the country from another major economic shock at a time when people are struggling to make ends meet.

This is why today we make an unprecedented and united call for the Biden administration to immediately revoke the designation. This echoes the urgent calls made by UN leaders during the 14 January United Nations Security Council briefing on Yemen. Revocation is the only effective way to protect Yemeni civilians from the potentially catastrophic humanitarian impact the designation will cause.

Finally, the designation of Ansar Allah as a terrorist organisation will likely hurt UN-led efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, as Martin Griffiths warned in his Security Council briefing. By supporting the UN-led peace process – the only sustainable solution to the crisis in Yemen – the new Biden administration still has the chance to reverse the course of the designation and instead mobilise the warring parties and international community to end the conflict and suffering.

and Reuters report:

(* B H P)

Huthis auf US-Terrorliste: "Todesurteil für Hunderttausende"

Im letzten Moment setzte die Trump-Regierung die jemenitischen Huthi-Rebellen auf die Terrorliste. Hilfsorganisationen stehen nun als Kollaborateure da - sie warnen vor einer humanitären Kettenreaktion.

Solange die neue Regierung unter US-Präsident Joe Biden die Politik des Vorgängers nicht revidiert, müssen Organisationen mit rechtlichen Konsequenzen rechnen. Treffen könnte es zum Beispiel Mitarbeiter des Welternährungsprogramms WFP, die vor Ort mit den Huthis zusammenarbeiten müssen, um Hilfsgüter verteilen zu können.

Da die Huthi-Rebellen nun auf der US-Terrorliste stehen, wird die komplette Bevölkerung im Norden de facto in Sippenhaft genommen - sowohl nicht militante Anhänger der Huthis als auch sunnitische Jemeninten, also Frauen, Kinder, Alte und Kranke.

Wie sollen internationale Hilfsorganisationen dringend benötigte Medikamente und Lebensmittel in den Norden Jemens bringen, ohne mit den Huthis zu kooperieren? Die Hilfsorganisation sind zudem auf den kommerziellen Sektor angewiesen; also zum Beispiel auf Reedereien, die die Hilfsgüter in den Jemen verfrachten. Die werden sich nun genau überlegen, ob sie US-Strafen riskieren wollen.

Zahlreiche Hilfsorganisationen haben sich bereits an Biden gewandt - mit der Bitte, dass er die Trump-Entscheidung aufhebt. David Beasley, der Direktor des WFP, sagte, sie sei "ein Todesurteil für Hunderttausende, wenn nicht sogar für Millionen unschuldiger Menschen im Jemen".

Aber selbst wenn es gelänge, zum Beispiel für Mehl und Medikamente Import-Ausnahmen im Sinne von Pompeo zu machen, bleibt ein ganz gravierendes Problem: Wie sieht es mit Benzin und Diesel-Hilfslieferungen aus, die auch zu Kampfzwecken benutzt werden können?

Dass Benzin-Importe nicht auch bei den Huthis landen, lässt sich kaum verhindern. Ohne Treibstoff können aber dringend benötigte Hilfsgüter im Land nicht verteilt werden.

(A P)

January 24-25, Yemenis who are against revoking the designation of Houthis as FTO will organize a twitter storm. If interested to hear their perspective follow bashtag #HouthiTerrorismInYemen


(A P)

Tareq Saleh, Tawakkol Karman, GPC, Nasserists, Islah, Socialists, and STC. It seems that all are participating in the campaign #HouthiTerrorismInYemen

My remark: Militia leader, politicians of anti-Houthi parties / groups.

(B P)

Yemen, One of the Last Sanctions-Related Actions of the Trump Administration

Because this action was taken on the last days of Trump’s presidency, it is certainly possible for the new Biden administration to delist Ansarallah rather quickly, if it considers that “the national security of the United States warrants a revocation of the designation” as allowed under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.

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Can Biden reverse Trump era “terrorist” designation to save lives in Yemen?

It is hard to imagine that President Biden will reverse the designation of the Houthis as a “terrorist organization”. This designation was one of the last decisions taken by the Pompeo/Trump administration in their final days in office and highlighted the petulance and paucity of recent US foreign policy, especially in the Middle East.

Yemeni journalists note that the Houthis do not own a single commercial company, or own a single bank account outside of Yemen. In fact, ranking members rarely even travel beyond the country’s borders owing to the restrictions put in place by the Saudi-led coalition which controls air, sea and land access into Yemen.

The Houthis for their part called the move by Pompeo “terrorist” and declared, “we reserve the right to respond to any designation issued by the Trump administration or any administration.”

Some commercial suppliers, banks, shippers and insurers are indicating that the risks associated with working in Yemen were already too high. Now they fear being accidentally or otherwise caught up in US regulatory action.

The US State Department suggested that there would be a proposed exemption system with licences for humanitarian supplies and assistance. Licences and exemptions for humanitarian agencies cannot solve the problem since commercial suppliers and local businesses import most of the food. According to humanitarian organizations working in Yemen, those licences from the State Department are not currently available and there are no confirmed details on who qualifies and which activities are covered.

In any case, these same humanitarian agencies fear their work in north Yemen will now be criminalized

It is clear Pompeo made this decision in an attempt to make it difficult for the incoming Biden administration to reach a negotiated settlement with Tehran. Pompeo is convinced that the Houthis are directed by Iran. For Biden to reverse the designation it would be politically problematic, alienating Saudi Arabia, a key US ally in the region.

Some observers have suggested that with this designation, the US has criminalized humanitarian aid assistance. But how much wiggle room does President Biden have with revisiting the Houthis being designated a terrorist organization, and reversing it? Normally, terrorist lists are reviewed every five years. How brave will the new President be regarding the plight of millions of Yemeni civilians? It is unlikely that the designation of the Houthis as a “terrorist organization” will be on the list of executive orders “in-tray” that the President sets out to reverse in the first days of the new Administration. Instead, it might make it to the “pending” tray. Therefore, it is critical that advocacy by the UN and NGOs is intensified for humanitarian assistance to be expanded for the people of Yemen.

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U.S. State Department says working to conclude Houthi terrorist designation review

The U.S. State Department has initiated a review of the terrorist designation of Yemen’s Houthi movement and is working as fast as it can to conclude the process and make a determination, a State Department spokesperson said on Friday.

President Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State Antony Blinken said earlier this week that Washington would take a look at the designation, which U.N. officials and aid groups fear is complicating efforts to combat the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

“As noted by Secretary-Designate Blinken, the State Department has initiated a review of Ansarallah’s terrorist designations,” the spokesperson said, using another name used for the Houthis.

“We will not publicly discuss or comment on internal deliberations regarding that review; however, with the humanitarian crisis in Yemen we are working as fast as we can to conduct the review and make a determination,” the spokesperson said.

My comment: And it’s fact that Blinken tells a very twisted story here, as he just cuts of 80 % of the whole story.


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Biden admin launches review of Trump decision to designate Yemen's Houthis as foreign terrorist organization

The State Department spokesperson told CNN that they "will not publicly discuss or comment on internal deliberations regarding that review.

"However, with the humanitarian crisis in Yemen we are working as fast as we can to conduct the review and make a determination," they said.

The State Department spokesperson said that they "strongly believe that Ansarallah" -- another name for the Houthis -- "needs to change its behavior," adding that it "bears significant responsibility for the humanitarian catastrophe and insecurity in Yemen."

"At the same time, we must also ensure that we are not impeding the provision of humanitarian assistance," they said.

My comment: It’s quite odd how all US administrations claim the right to tell foreign actors (always those the US is hostile to) that they must “change behaviour”, with the US as policeman of the world – while most urgently the US itself would be required to do so.

and also


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US pursues review of Houthi designation amid regional reservations

Blinken told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, the designation “seems to achieve nothing particularly practical in advancing the efforts against the Houthis and to bring them back to the negotiating table while making it even more difficult than it already is to provide humanitarian assistance to people who desperately need it.”

Blinken, however, said the United States remained “clear-eyed about the Houthis.”

“They overthrew a government in Yemen, they engaged in a path of aggression through the country, they directed aggression toward Saudi Arabia and committed atrocities and human rights abuses,” he said. “And that is a fact.”

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Yemen, on brink of collapse, may suffer further after Trump decision on Ansar Allah

Designating the militia a "Foreign Terrorist Organization" may delay vital aid.

Added now to the protracted crisis is a new risk of rapid deterioration: One of President Donald Trump's final acts in office -- designating the Houthi militant group Ansar Allah as a "Foreign Terrorist Organization" -- may prevent aid agencies from working in much of the country, and, in the words of one U.S. senator, constitutes a "death sentence for millions."

The country is at a breaking point. In the first six months of 2021, about 16.2 million people, half the total population, are forecast to face "acute levels of food insecurity," according to the WFP, which needs at least $1.9 billion to provide a minimum level of food assistance to avert famine. The UN group is now saying conditions this year are likely to be worse than in 2018, the last time Yemen experienced famine-like conditions.

"How are they going to get food?" David Beasley, the group's executive director, asked the United Nations Security Council last week. "How are they going to get fuel? How are they going to get medicine? It is going to be a catastrophe ... we're going to have a catastrophe on our hands."

But the FTO designation now means it's illegal for individuals or groups to provide "material or resources" to Ansar Allah, meaning that without official exemptions, no outside agencies can provide aid to large swathes of the country under their rule.

Aid organizations have said that, in effect, the ruling could make their work impossible to carry out, with supply lines and access already at constant risk of constant disruption. Additionally, they said, the FTO designation won't quell terrorism.

"What's hard is that the language of the FTO legislation is not meant to apply to a quasi-governmental organization," Jon Alternam, director of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told ABC News. "So it's very sweeping about how you can't have anything to do with these kind of people. ... The Houthis control well over half the population of Yemen. This isn't like dealing with Al Qaeda."

"This isn't to say that the Houthis don't do outrageous things, this isn't to say the Houthis don't endanger civilians all the time -- they do," he said. "But how do you get to a settlement if you criminalize ordinary contact with them?"

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Why the US terrorist designation of Yemen's Houthis is a mistake

Designating the Houthis as a foreign terrorist organisation could choke humanitarian supplies to Yemen and torpedo diplomatic efforts for peace.

Despite exempting the export of agricultural commodities, medicine and medical devices, aid organisations have expressed deep concerns over the decision, fearing that the designation would almost certainly prevent the critical delivery of food and medical supplies to impoverished Yemenis facing both famine and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Are the Houthis a terrorist organisation?

Like many other decisions taken by the former Trump administration, the US blacklisting of the Houthis as a "foreign terrorist organization" is a problematic and dangerous move for a number of reasons.

First of all, it is rather doubtful whether the Houthis meet the legal definition of a terrorist group - something that six former US ambassadors to Yemen questioned in an open letter to Pompeo last month. Despite the fact that it's an old phenomenon, there is no legally binding definition of terrorism at the international level.

Giuseppe Dentice, Head of the MENA desk at the Center for International Studies (CeSI), an Italian think tank in Rome, views the Houthis as an Islamic political and armed movement. In this sense, the Houthis are a hybrid group like others across the Middle East, such as Hezbollah or Hamas.

However, Jordan Reimer, a policy analyst at the RAND Corporation, working in the Defense and Political Sciences department, explained to The New Arab that many violent and insurgent groups can technically fit the definition of a "foreign terrorist organization" as the US law is currently written. Ultimately, "the designation of a group as an FTO is a political decision by any US administration," he said, recalling the very recent designation of Cuba as a "state sponsor of terror."

But just because a group may fit the technical definition it does not mean that it is appropriate or prudent to do so.

In a similar context, Barbara Slavin, director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council, wrote that the decision is nothing but a farce and an abuse of the State Department, as "the designated entity is chosen because of their hostility to US and closeness to US adversaries, rather than of their purported 'terrorist' acts."

As for Susanne Dahlgren, a scholar at the Middle East Institute and lecturer at Finland-based Tampere University, Ansar Allah is a political party and due to its international isolation, it has been pushed more deeply to rely on Iran (and Hezbollah), its only international ally.
"By declaring a group as 'terrorist' you stop dialogue with the group, and in line with the American war on terror, the group becomes a 'legitimate' target of extra-judicial killings," she told The New Arab.
As Yemen is already suffering from the American war on terror against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State (IS), the last thing it needs is the US expanding the territory of its drone campaign and assassinations, she added.

The purpose of the terrorist designation

It seems that the designation of Ansar Allah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) was the final chapter of the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign on Iran.

But analysts greatly doubt that this move will affect Tehran's ties with the Houthis or even change the course of the war in Saudi Arabia's favour. Since Iran is already under heavy sanctions and the Houthis do not receive financial or material support from any entity other than Iran, Reimer estimates that designating the Houthis as an FTO will not actually cut off any sources of financial or military support to the Houthis.

In Reimer's view, it is likely that the designation of the Houthis as an FTO may provide an additional "talking point" for countries like Saudi Arabia to justify their military campaign in Yemen and efforts to confront Iran. However, designation will have little effect on the ground in Yemen.

However, despite some exemptions and licenses provided by the law, Reimer warns that it may have significant implications for the conflict as NGOs face the possibility of criminal prosecution or the cutting off of access to the US financial system for continuing to provide supplies to Houthi-controlled areas.

Will Joe Biden take a different approach?

As such, it is difficult to imagine a change of US strategy in the region in the short term. And should the Biden administration want to remove the Houthis from the list of FTOs, it will require a bureaucratic process that could take several months, Reimer noted.

However, it is unclear if the Biden administration will attempt to remove the Houthis from the list immediately. According to Reimer, it seems more likely that such a move may be done in conjunction with progress in the ongoing Yemen peace process or in future US-Iran negotiations. In this light, the Trump administration may have provided an additional point of leverage for the Biden administration in any negotiation in Yemen or with Iran.

Dahlgren is also not very optimistic regarding the reversal of Trump's decision, recalling that it was the Obama administration that escalated the drone campaign in Yemen and the Trump administration simply followed in its footsteps.

Finally, the decision may seriously jeopardise Washington's diplomatic credibility and its prospects to play any significant mediating role in any future negotiation talks, as every realistic scenario would have to include the Houthis as one of the negotiating parties, no matter how irritating this may be for the US and its Gulf partners.

There is also a question whether the designation may sabotage international efforts for finding a diplomatic solution for ending the war – by Stasa Salacanin

(A P)

Joe Biden is reviewing US sanctions policy. Possible changes: 1) Removal of terrorism-related sanctions against #Cuba and #Yemen's Houthi rebels 2) Review of sanctions that might impede medical/humanitarian aid to #Iran We are unlikely to see changes on #Syria or #Venezuela

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Houthi terrorist designation raises troubling questions for tech companies

By pushing them further into Iran’s hands, the designation may even incentivize the Houthis to attack the United States directly.

One underrecognized aspect of Houthi operations that this brings under scrutiny is their online presence. Ansar Allah maintains accounts on YouTube and Twitter, with 26,300 followers and 16,800 followers respectively. It also has an active group with over 22,000 participants on Telegram, an instant messaging service legally headquartered in London with servers in Dubai. The group even has its own official website. (The links are deliberately not provided here.)

According to and, their website is hosted by San Francisco-based Cloudflare. In 2017 Cloudflare made the difficult decision to terminate its contract with the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, despite its fervent belief in free speech and opposition to de-platforming websites under political pressure. Now that the U.S. has designated one of its clients, Ansar Allah, as a terrorist organization, that pressure will be not just political but legal: Providing material support or resources to a designated FTO is a crime. That scrutiny could apply to any of the aforementioned companies that allow them a platform.

That the Houthis have been able to maintain these platforms for so long, even prior to the group’s designation as a terrorist organization, is remarkable. Their flag, which in Arabic says, “death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews,” is routinely presented triumphantly without issue, whereas use of the Nazi flag in documentary or antifascist contexts frequently results in content takedowns on platforms like YouTube

If the designation is quickly rescinded, Cloudflare, YouTube, Twitter, and Telegram may get off the hook without experiencing U.S. scrutiny for platforming terrorists. But if that happens, it begs the question for these companies: How low is the bar?

My comment: One very important question remains unasked and unanswered: How it can be possible that media platforms which are used worldwide should be subject to US geopolitical interests?

(* B P)

Moral dilemma: Should Biden’s administration reverse course on Yemen?

Following the contentious designation of the Houthis as a foreign terrorist organisation, the State Department and aid organisations are confronted with challenges on how to keep the aid flowing in Yemen without fuelling the Houthi war machine.

The designation can be amended, modified or cancelled with a signature from the incoming Secretary of State nominee, Antony Blinken, according to Dave Harden at Georgetown Strategy Group, a Washington DC-based consulting firm.

It is still not clear if aid organisations are fully safeguarded from prosecution, she added. If any activity touches the international financial banking system it will cease, Harden warned, adding that private sector traders will be unable to operate in the absence of clear language on exemptions and licenses.

Breaking the Houthi war machine is the only way to end the war in Yemen

For Abdulkader Alguneid, a Yemeni physician and activist, the move is long overdue.“Breaking the Houthis war machine is the only way to end the war in Yemen, but it’s a process,” he said from his home in Canada. He was forcibly taken from his house in Taiz in southwestern Yemen in 2015 and was held captive in a Houthi prison on the outskirts of Sana’a for 300 days.

“This move [FTO designation] will deprive Houthis from corruption, wealth and their laundering activities,” Alguneid insisted.

Colonel Abbas Dahouk, US defence attaché to Riyadh between 2014 - 2017, views the designation as pressure from the Trump administration on Iran (rather than a move to appease the Saudis). But Harden said the Saudis strongly advocated for the terrorist designation without weighing up the humanitarian and economic consequences.

Reversing the designation sends the wrong signal that the Houthis are safe to hold civilians, aid and humanitarian workers hostage, he said, adding that the local alliances the Houthis have been building will now start to reconsider and rethink their relationships with the militia.

What we need, Shiban emphasised, is an active policy to ensure the smooth flow of humanitarian supplies without enriching the Houthis in the process.

The idea that economic pressure on the Houthis will yield political change is insubstantial, Harden argues. If anything, Abbas pointed out that history has shown such sanctions have had minimal impact on comparable groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas and the Quds Force.

Gerald Feierstein, US Ambassador to Yemen under Barack Obama, said Biden’s position was driven both by the need both to address the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen and to resume engagement with Iran (thus reducing the threat of regional conflict).

If we are to predict the new US administration’s policies, we need to look at Obama’s presidency, says Abdulhakim Barbba, a Yemeni economist in D.C. “Biden's foreign policy will not differ much from Obama’s.”

“If they want to punish the Saudis, the only thing they can do is limit arms sales to the Saudis,” he added.

Dahouk said Obama did not prioritise Yemen and Yemen will continue to be seen through the Saudi-Iran prism.

Feirstein is cautiously hopeful: “We can anticipate that the new administration will reverse the Houthi designation quickly and press forward with its support of the UN-led negotiations, including pressing Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to support an end to the fighting.”

My comment: Lamenting about a “Houthi war machin” is rather odd when comparing this to the other actors in the Yemen theater: Saudis, UAE, US.

(* B P)

Why Declaring the Houthis to Be Terrorists Was a Mistake

The Biden adminstration will have to find a way to fix the mess in Yemen and provide badly-needed relief.

Washington’s new terrorism designations are intended to force the Houthis into a corner by limiting their access to financial networks. But that pressure could exacerbate the existing divides between various competing factions of the Houthi movement, rather than compel them to act together. The current Houthi leadership is divided over how to pursue political negotiations with Saudi Arabia and its allies in the internationally recognized Yemeni government, as well as whether the group should deepen its ties with Iran. Houthi leaders also do not have full control of the rank and file of the thousands of Houthi-aligned militia fighters active on the front lines. The fallout from the new U.S. sanctions will risk deepening splits among various Houthi factions, further complicating intra-Yemeni political negotiations aimed at ending the country’s six-year civil conflict.

The sanctions associated with the designations will also prevent aid from reaching the most vulnerable Yemenis, aggravating the country’s severe humanitarian crisis while further impeding an end to the conflict

The newly sworn-in administration of U.S. President Joe Biden, meanwhile, will likely be forced to prioritize dealing with the humanitarian impact of the Yemeni civil conflict faster than it might otherwise have wanted to. The Biden administration could reverse the designation(s) if it can prove to Congress that doing so is needed to achieve the U.S. government’s goals in Yemen. But even then, the designations’ initial imposition could still create a chilling effect for foreign companies, institutions and NGOs active in Yemen.

(B H P)

US designation in Yemen will hamper humanitarian efforts and push Yemen further towards total collapse and loss of lives

In a reaction to the designation of Ansar Allah (AA) in Yemen as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) by the U.S. State Department, the Danish Refugee Council’s Secretary General, Charlotte Slente, commented:

“The designation comes at a time when Yemen is going through the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, facing imminent famine, accelerating economic collapse and a global pandemic. DRC maintains its position as a neutral humanitarian partner; however we are deeply concerned that the decision will worsen an already catastrophic situation, severely hampering humanitarian efforts and pushing Yemen further towards total collapse and loss of lives.

(A P)

Film: [Sanaa gov.] Yemen FM condemns "silly" Ansarullah designation, urges Biden "stop the war", accept peace.

cp2 Allgemein / General

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Interactive Map of Yemen War

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Map Upates: Jan. 24, Jan. 21

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The West’s role in the tragedy of Yemen

The tragedy of Yemen is being silenced by almost all mainstream media in a very sophisticated and coordinated way, despite the outrageous figures and data about the daily suffering of an entire people for the last six years.

It’s worth seeing, on this occasion, the dirty games that have long been played

In those almost six years, the Saudis, with the cooperation of most of the Gulf countries (except Oman and later, due to regional rivalry, Qatar), but also American and European imperialists, destroyed almost all the country’s infrastructure in water and electricity, production units, agricultural production and education.

An entire generation of Yemeni children has suffered the traumas of war, many of them orphaned, malnourished, or displaced. The United Nations reports a death toll of 100,000 people in the ongoing war, with an additional 131,000 people dying from hunger, disease, and a lack of medical care.

More than 4 million people have been internally displaced and the worst cholera outbreak ever recorded has infected 2.26 million and cost nearly 4,000 lives. Attacks on hospitals and clinics have led to the closure of more than half of Yemen’s prewar facilities.

Yemen remains the “world’s worst humanitarian disaster”

British arms sales to Saudi Arabia increased by 11,000% in the three months following the start of the bombing in March 2015, from £9 million to £1 billion. Half of the Saudi royal air force is made up of military aircraft supplied by the UK. The Royal Saudi Air Force cannot operate without American and British support. The presence of British Special Forces in Yemen has not been officially acknowledged, but has become an open secret in defense circles.

A small example which shows that the coordinated efforts of all NATO states, including the governments of the EU, is the case also of my country Greece, which is sending, in the framework of its strategic partnership with the US, Greek-owned Patriot Missiles to Saudi Arabia.

UN role

But what of the role of the UN on this matter of Yemen? The appointment of Martin Griffiths as special envoy of the UN on Yemen some years ago shows the manner the UN is dealing with this crime committed against the people of Yemen. A British diplomat who has served in similar positions also in the imperialist wars of Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, is being asked to serve peace in Yemen! A diplomat from a country which is fueling the war machines, from which his country makes huge profits, is asked to apply international law! The additional “qualities” of this UN envoy, the fact that he has worked with several millionaire NGOs who benefit as well from the imperialist aggressions is just the other side of the same coin.

The entire region of the Middle East is the biggest “hotspot” in the world. Not by chance if we look at the rich reserves of oil and natural reserves but also the strategic location for the roads and the pipelines etc. All major forces have their involvement in the wars and interventions in one or another way.

(* B P)

Yemen’s Socialist Party and the Fragmentation of the Yemeni Left

In particular, leftist and Arab nationalist parties’ institutional structures have weakened and fractured, altering their historic place in Yemen’s public sphere. As their political clout has declined, their popular base has been left vulnerable to polarization by more effective and better organized local powers. This has meant that while leftist and Arab nationalist parties have engaged in the war – either through pushing their supporters to the frontlines, backing the internationally recognized government and state institutions, or having their local organizations succumb to the control of the de facto authorities – they have nevertheless remained weak in the political and military power balance in Yemen.

The Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP) represents a vivid example of what has become of the Yemeni left. A chain of political missteps over the years and a misguided repositioning – including its response to the war – has pushed the YSP away from its historic role as a party that sided with the working and peasant classes and put common national interest ahead of other considerations.

Founded in the late 1970s, the YSP, in its early stages, championed issues of social justice. This included the integration of marginalized communities, such as nomadic Bedouins, as well as pushing for a progressive family law that empowered women politically, economically and socially. Even after the YSP’s single-party rule in South Yemen ended in 1990 – when the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen in the south merged with the Yemen Arab Republic in the north to form the unified Republic of Yemen – the party continued to unequivocally take the side of disadvantaged classes.

Over time, however, this legacy faded as the YSP gradually abandoned its moral and ethical positioning, a process that accelerated during the pre-war transitional period and then through the YSP’s entanglement in the war. The party has ceased its endorsement of just causes that side with the common citizen’s basic needs and civil rights, and it has failed to voice a clear stance against threats that could fragment the country.

The YSP’s moral degradation becomes more pronounced when contrasted with its historic legacy and its political literature. Instead, by avoiding controversy and maintaining a low profile to avoid being the target of other political powers, the party took a passive and ambiguous stance with regard to key intellectual and social issues. Its focus appears to have been carving for itself a zone of political safety, in return for some of its leaders receiving positions in state institutions.

This political timidity has caused huge disappointment among leftists in Yemen, who were expecting their party to adopt an honorable position that radically sided with people’s daily struggles. The YSP’s remaining constituency and supporters have found themselves abandoned by their party at a fundamental level. Critically, the YSP utterly failed to shape a third option for Yemenis, to step out of the dichotomies of war and offer an alternative to the current conflict’s modalities; instead, it slipped toward representing the interests of militia groups.

The fear gripping at the leadership of the party – of losing its relevance in the South and being replaced by new formations established during the current war, such as the STC – led to YSP’s political paralysis. not only in the South but in Yemen in general. The party leadership’s fear and political timidity stems, in part, from the historic guilt of being complicit in the unequal 1990 unification deal, which led to the 1994 civil war, the South being looted by the northern regime, and decades of southern suppression by the government in Sana’a. This past trauma shaped the party’s ambiguous official stances to the events witnessed in the South during this current war, where they did not dare support secession but didn’t oppose it either.

In this regard, the party’s stance vis-a-vis the STC was ambiguous at best and eventually led many party members to defect to the secessionist group. Notably, the YSP’s support for a two-state federal system (South/North) during the National Dialogue Conference alienated the party base and middle leadership that leaned toward secession for South Yemen.

(* B P)

The Sana’a Center in 2021: Reclaiming Yemen’s Future

Creating change through independent research and providing a platform for Yemeni voices has been at the heart of our work and growth both as an organization and as individuals over the past decade. This year, our team reached close to 100 full-time staff, running 15 programs across Yemen and the world. We have passed the stage where numbers define us, but we always remember our strength is in our diverse and dedicated team.

By shaping the narrative on Yemen, we are reclaiming Yemen’s stories from warlords, militias, corrupt regimes, and foreign powers. Our commitment to locally produced knowledge also challenges discriminatory international frameworks and unequal power relations. If the past decade taught us that our daring and unconventional approach was the right path, the last year convinced us of our model even more. Our dependence on local leadership and ownership proved sustainable during a pandemic that paralyzed global mobility and crippled the world economy; we produced 83 publications in 2020, an increase of 39% from our 50 publications in 2019.

Our Yemen Exchange program, an intensive course on Yemen, moved online; this enabled us to bring speakers who could not have attended a physical course, and to expand to 150 participants — more than all the previous five Exchanges combined.

Similarly, we transformed the Yemen Media Breakfast into a virtual Yemen Media Call, allowing hundreds of journalists from around the world to join instead of limited numbers in Beirut.

We also launched new programs and publication series during the past year. Our newest program, Humanitarian Aid and its Macro- and Microeconomic Effects, will explore the efficiency of the humanitarian response in Yemen.

Meanwhile, through mentorship and training programs, we are equipping Yemeni youth with the most important skill — the ability to ask critical questions — and are trying to help fill the vacuum left by the destruction of social science colleges in Yemen. Our Yemen Peace Forum initiative to empower Yemen’s next generation of researchers continues to grow. In addition, under the leadership of Dr. Sarah Phillips and our research department, we have developed a fellowship for Yemeni researchers and writers.

Via the Sanaa Center Geneva, we are planning to expand these mentorship efforts to other countries in the region in the coming years.

The last 10 years sometimes felt like 10 lifetimes; when we look in the mirror, those of us who rose up in 2011 see our hair greyer and we are reminded that even as we’ve built and grown, the old comrades who began this journey with us are fewer – some have been killed, some co-opted and others silenced by fear.

At the Sana’a Center, the credit for our achievements and strategic patience goes to our team across Yemen and the world. Only they and God know what it really takes to not just keep operating, but to grow and expand our work and imagination. Our field researchers wake up some days not sure whether they will go home or to prison or to the cemetery; the risks they take and their commitment to independent research in one of the world’s bloodiest regions is both inspiring and admirable. Our international staff and experts truly take the back seat and believe in the local ownership and leadership of narratives. Our partners and donors quickly adapted to our model and unconventional formulas of thinking and working. We are grateful for that. Thanks also must go to our board for their advice and mentorship throughout the years.

Finally, thank you to our readership, always. We look forward to a productive 2021.

(* B E P)

The World Must Not Forget Yemen

Investing in Yemen is a commitment not only to ending the most devastating humanitarian crisis of our time, but also to the future stability of the Middle East.

The economic effects of war combined with a strong dependency on imports have forced the country to be highly reliant on international humanitarian aid. This has proved to be a challenge in 2020.

Until the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels reach peace, Yemen will continue to rely on external actors to prevent further loss of life. Donor countries should continue their financial commitments in order for immediate humanitarian aid to be delivered.

Immigration restrictions provide yet another obstacle. Remittances from abroad play a considerable role in the country’s economy. As the rial continues to weaken, foreign currency sent by Yemenis abroad is essential for basic necessities.

Full economic recovery is not possible until the violence stops. However, foreign exchange injections are critical to stabilizing the rial in the meantime. If Yemen can increase its foreign exchange reserves, inflation will decrease, making basic goods and services affordable. In the long term, Yemen, like many war-torn countries, will need more than humanitarian aid to achieve stability. Funding should be used toward rebuilding hospitals; nearly one in five districts currently lack doctors. Rebuilding the broken education system is also a critical infrastructure project. Almost 2 million children are out of school, and three-quarters of public-school teachers across 11 governorates have gone without pay for two years.

A vital step to economic stability is a stable central bank.

While millions of Yemenis anxiously await a resolution to the conflict, now in its seventh year, donor countries must do their part to mitigate the humanitarian catastrophe.

(* B P)

Film: The Yemen Conflict & Oman’s Role in Mediation | Gulf Studies Webinar Series 2020

In this context, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (ORSAM) will be hosting webinar series about the Gulf region’s politics, economy, culture and society. The program will be for eight weeks, and will be taught by Dr. Hani Albasoos, professor of political science in Sultan Qaboos University Oman. The ORSAM Center kindly invites you to apply to the Gulf Webinar Series. Dr. Hani Albasoos, professor of political science in Sultan Qaboos University, Oman (Week 6 & 7))

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Film: Worth all the reshares of the world

Beautiful, poetic, heartbreaking, hopeful, surving, always warming everyday #Yemen, from 2016 to 2017.

This video was shot by Yemeni film makers from different parts of the country. They came together to film the struggle of Yemeni people, but they also paid a tribute to one of the most beautiful countries in the world and to one of the gentlest people. Still.

Special thanks to Sarha Collective (check their page)

Art Can, Series

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Film: EXCLUSIVE: Yemen's Houthi-backed FM issues strong warning to Biden

As Joe Biden takes over from Trump, many are demanding he reverses a controversial terrorism designation of Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah Movement and ends US support for Saudi-led war. I secured an urgent exclusive talk with the Ansarullah-backed FM Hisham Sharaf Abdullah to get his reaction to the move and his message to new president Biden.


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Houthis warn of deepening humanitarian crisis in Yemen amid continued war, blockade

Foreign Minister in the Houthi government Hisham Sharaf on Saturday said the continued war and blockade have exacerbated the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

The statement was made at a meeting with the WFP Country Director, Laurent Bukera.

The meeting dealt with the WFP's activities in the country in 2021.

There is an increase in the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance, including IDPs, which requires more support, he said.

and also

(* B K P)

Angehöriger klagt an: Gerechtigkeit für zivile Drohnen-Opfer? Die Chance war da - Deutschland hat sie vertan

Raketen − mithilfe einer US-Militärbasis auf deutschem Boden ferngesteuert − haben meine Verwandten im Jemen getötet. Wer trägt die Verantwortung? Weder deutsche noch US-amerikanische Gerichte sind bereit, diese Frage zu klären.

Ein Angehöriger erhebt in diesem Beitrag schwere Vorwürfe - auch an die Adresse Deutschlands.

Dieser Artikel liegt erstmals in deutscher Sprache vor – zuerst veröffentlicht hatte ihn am 8. Dezember das Magazin Foreign Policy.

Acht Jahre ist es her, dass mein Schwager und mein Neffe von einer durch eine US-Drohne abgefeuerte Hellfire-Rakete in Stücke gesprengt wurden. Und noch immer kämpfe ich gegen eine Mauer des Schweigens an.

Als mir ein deutsches Gericht im letzten Jahr Recht gab, schien es, als könnte in Zukunft endlich eine gewisse Rechenschaftspflicht für das US-Drohnenprogramm gelten. Doch am 25. November entschied das Bundesverwaltungsgericht, dass Deutschland zu nicht mehr verpflichtet sei, als die US-Regierung auf diplomatischem Wege zu rechtmäßigem Handel aufzufordern − und das, obwohl ein anderes Gericht zuvor festgestellt hatte, dass die Ramstein Air Base im Südwesten Deutschlands eine „zentrale Rolle” bei den Drohnenangriffen im Jemen gespielt habe, die „regelmäßig zu zivilen Opfern führen”.

Es lässt sich kaum in Worte fassen, wie ich mich fühlte, als mein Anwalt mir die Nachricht überbrachte. Ich bin Rückschläge gewohnt, aber diese Niederlage traf mich besonders hart. Ich frage mich, ob wohl jemals jemand für das Leid, das die Drohnenangriffe der USA im Jemen anrichten, zur Verantwortung gezogen wird.

Ich habe vor dem Oberverwaltungsgericht in Münster geklagt und im März 2019 eine kleine Genugtuung erfahren, als das Gericht befand, dass das US-Drohnenprogramm im Jemen rechtswidrig sei. Das Gericht führte weiter aus, dass Deutschland für Angriffe wie den auf meine Verwandten mitverantwortlich sei: Ohne den Stützpunkt in Ramstein könnten die Drohnen die Einsätze nämlich nicht fliegen. Die Militärbasis spielt deshalb eine so entscheidende Rolle, weil sie das Bindeglied in der Kommunikation zwischen den Piloten in den USA und den Drohnen ist, die in Ländern wie dem Jemen eingesetzt werden.

Kaum zu glauben: Dies war das erste Mal, dass ein Gericht der westlichen Welt bereit war, in dieser Frage Stellung zu beziehen.

Das deutsche Urteil im März 2019 bedeutete zudem, dass zum ersten Mal einem internationalen Partner der USA vor Gericht eine potenzielle Mitschuld an deren weltweitem Tötungsprogramm gegeben wurde.

Ich habe bei meiner langen Suche nach Gerechtigkeit viel über bewaffnete Drohnen gelernt und weiß inzwischen, dass der Angriff die Merkmale eines sogenannten „Signature Strike” aufwies. Der Drohnenpilot weiß in diesem Fall nicht, wen er zu töten versucht. Er weiß nur, dass die Zielperson ein „verdächtiges” Verhaltensmuster zeigt. Ein Muster, das aus Metadaten generiert wird. Die Grundlage sind häufig Mobilfunkdaten. Wie es ein Drohnenpilot formulierte: „Wir machen Jagd auf ... Telefone und hoffen einfach, dass die Rakete am Ende den Richtigen trifft.”

Die Monitoring-Gruppe Airwars veröffentlichte im Oktober neue Erkenntnisse. Es zeigt sich, dass in der Amtszeit von Trump bei US-Drohnenangriffen im Jemen mindestens 86 Zivilisten, darunter 28 Kinder, getötet wurden. Dass überhaupt Angriffe stattfinden, wird von US-Seite inzwischen nicht mehr zugegeben

Kurz nach meiner Reise nach Washington wurde ich im Jemen ins National Security Bureau zitiert, dem lokalen Partner der CIA in meinem Heimatland. Ein Mitarbeiter reichte mir eine blaue Plastiktüte mit 100.000 US-Dollar in fortlaufend nummerierten 100-Dollar-Scheinen. Ich wollte wissen, woher das Geld stammte und wofür es bestimmt war. Die Antwort war ein Schulterzucken.

Es war fast schon ein Eingeständnis der Vereinigten Staaten − das einzige −, dass sie Salem und Waleed getötet hatten: eine anonyme Zahlung, ohne zu ihrer Verantwortung zu stehen. Nach Rücksprache mit meinen Verwandten nahmen wir das Geld an. Ohne die zwei Ernährer, die uns in der Mitte ihres Lebens genommen wurden, hat es die Familie schwer, über die Runden zu kommen. Aber wenn es als Schweigegeld gedacht war − das hat nicht funktioniert. Wenn überhaupt, dann hat mich die Erkenntnis, welch geringen Wert die US-Regierung dem Leben eines Jemeniten beimisst, noch entschlossener gemacht.

Original version in English:

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Saudi Arabia, US have 'common' interests in Yemen, foreign minister says

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Bin Abdullah divulged on Thursday that the kingdom and Washington have "common interests" in Yemen, news agencies reported.

The foreign minister made his remarks in an interview with Saudi TV Al-Arabiya, stating that the new US administration of President Joe Biden would realise that: "Our goals are common with regards to the situation in Yemen."

and also

My comment: I do not have any doubts. But these interests will not be the interests of the Yemenis.

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Audio: The War in Yemen

Today on the show, we discuss the history of the war in Yemen, the role of the United States in the crisis, and what should be done under a Biden presidency with Middle East expert Charles Schmitz and activist Kathy Kelly.

Charles Schmitz is a professor of geography at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland and an affiliate of the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC.

Kathy Kelly is a peace activist, pacifist, and author. She co-founded Voices in the Wilderness and is a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

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Houthis say 80 Yemeni fishermen arrived after Eritrean custody

Eighty Yemeni fishermen have arrived in the western governorate of Hodeida, the Houthi group said Thursday, after four days of detention by Eritrean authorities.
Having arrested from the Red Sea, "37 fishers arrived in Salif district and 43 others in Kibrit island," said head of the Houthi general authority for fisheries, noting that the men were transported on fishing boats.
"Eritrean authorities detained the 80 fishermen last Sunday and looted 4 of their 5 boats while fishing in Yemeni territorial waters," Hashim al-Danie'i added in remarks carried by Sana'a-based Saba.
"The fishers were taken to an Emirati boat in Harmal island to be questioned," he said, accusing the Eritrean authorities and Saudi-led coalition of "piracy and offenses against fishers in Yemeni coasts.
The Houthi official called on international organizations to "put an end to arbitrary practices against Yemeni fishers and preventing them from their livings."

and also

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Foreign Correspondent: Battle Lines Drawn on Ending Yemen War

The opposition to foreign domination was once led by Marxists and is now led by political Islamists. The Houthis, whose formal name is Ansar Allah (Supporters of God), are a political Islamic party drawing support from Shia Muslims in northern Yemen. It formed in the 1990s and had periodic military clashes with pro-U.S. dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh.

While the Houthis are not Iran-controlled terrorists, neither are they Boy Scouts. The Houthis have killed civilians as part of military campaigns but aren’t terrorists like Al Qaeda. “They have a nationalistic agenda; they are an organization for Yemen,” Lambert says. Al Qaeda has “a global agenda. It started in Iraq, expanded in Syria, and tries to conquer territories in Africa.”

Lambert compares the Houthis to Hezbollah in Lebanon, which is both part of the government and an armed militia. Like Hezbollah, the Houthis have negotiated with the ruling regime. Al Qaeda would never negotiate to form a coalition government. “Their global agenda is to take over,” Lambert says.

The Trump Administration ramped up pressure on the Houthis as part of the maximum pressure campaign against Iran. Iran does provide political support to the Houthis. The Pentagon claims Iran also provides weapons.

Lawrence Korb, former assistant Secretary of Defense, says Iran does not control the Houthi movement. Iran certainly gives it political and financial support, Korb tells me. But, for example, “Iran did not start the uprising” that resulted in the Houthis controlling half of Yemen.

Yemen is yet another forever war that ultimately benefits purported enemies more than helping the people of the United States. “The war on terror has completely failed over the past twenty years,” Lambert says.

The cumulative impact of wars in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan represent “probably the greatest strategic defeat of the United States since the Vietnam War,” according to Lambert.

But there is a narrow road to peace. If the United States resumes participation in the nuclear deal with Iran, it could also open the door for peace talks in Yemen. Washington would have to apply strong pressure on Saudi Arabia. Tehran could then pressure the Houthis to start negotiations. = = =

cp2a Saudische Blockade / Saudi blockade

(A K P)

Continued Detention of Oil Tankers Threatens Humanitarian Catastrophe

The Executive Director of the Petroleum Company, Eng. Ammar Al-Adrai, warned, Thursday, of a humanitarian catastrophe as the aggression forces continue to detain oil tankers at sea.

and also

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

(B H)

Success Story: "Sana"... A Candle of Hope that Never Extinguishes

In the worst-affected areas of Al Hudaydah Gov, such as Alluhyah and Al Qanawis Districts, only one in three students can continue their education and less than a quarter of all teach- ers are present in schools.

"I am pleased that I got school kits, simultaneously, I am very excited that I will study in a new class instead of a hut," Sana says.

Sana Ahmed, a nine-year-old girl, is one of the students who continue their education; yet, she is suffering from the blazing sun since she is studying in an open hut.

Sana was determined to fulfill her dream, which is having access to education that meets her aspirations and grows with her day after day. She preferred to strive hard and study under the hot sun without giving up or retreat- ing despite all the circumstances that stood a stumbling block in her path.

“I feel sorry when I see the little students, studying in the schoolyard in some huts, it hurts me a lot,” Ibrahim Maqrni expresses, the Director of Al Wifaq School. He also added saying, “I could not be happier when I heard that an organization will come to our district in order to build class- rooms.”

(B H)

Film: Have you imagined a world where your fundamental rights are completely taken away? In #Yemen, we live this reality everyday #EducationDay #NotATarget #AccountabilityNow

(B H K)

Film: A heartbreaking story of a young child who fell victim to a landmine laid by #Houthis

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Despite the Security Risks, RDP Reached Thousands of Affected Population Through Community Health Outreach

Having been surrounded by protracted armed conflicts and not being able to reach the supported health facilities due to serious security risks is by far the most excruciating tragedy that humanity ever experienced.

Since the war started, Marib has become one of the most densely populated governorates in Yemen which has hosted hundreds of internally displaced persons due to the intensification of deadly fighting in neighboring governorates. In the beginning of 2020, a large number of conflict-related displacement has caused a huge humanitarian gap and lack of basic needs, mostly health care for community civilians in Rahbah and Al Abdiyah districts of Marib governorate. What made the situation even worse was the fact that both mentioned districts have been plunged into horrific armed clashes which triggered near-famine conditions and a severe shortage of medical care.

In fact, lack of humanitarian interventions in Rahbah and Al Abdiyah districts has made the community residents struggle to obtain the very basic needs, and thus RDP responded to the community urgent needs through the implementation of the emergency minimum service package (MSP) project, funded by Yemen Humanitarian Fund (YHF), occurring in Al Abdiyah and Rahbah districts of Marbi governorate. This project has strengthened the access and availability of essen-tial health care services by supporting six health facilities in both districts to reduce the spread of epidemics and infectious diseases in the community.

However, road difficulties and security risks were two major factors in preventing hundreds of displaced families from reaching the supported health facilities. Therefore, RDP has launched dozens of community health outreach for those living in the second and third catchment areas to ensure the accessibility of medical care and health promotion.

(* B H)

Yemen: Humanitarian Access Snapshot (November - December 2020)

Humanitarian partners reported 624 access incidents in November and December across 76 districts in 17 governorates in Yemen. This is a slight decrease on the number of incidents in October and November, when 759 incidents were reported. The decrease is largely a result of an increase in the number of NGO sub-agreements approved by the authorities, – mainly the sub-agreements that have been outstanding the longest – and a reduction in humanitarian operations during the end-of-year holiday.

Restrictions on the movement of humanitarian organizations, personnel and goods within and into Yemen continued to be the most widely reported constraint for the humanitarian operation, with 439 incidents reported. In northern governorates, partners reported ad hoc and arbitrary requirements for national female staff members to travel with a mahram (a male family member), particularly in Al Hudaydah, Hajjah and Sa’ada governorates. As a result, humanitarian missions were detained at checkpoints, female staff members were harassed and intimidated, and the distribution of life-saving aid was suspended and delayed. In southern governorates, there were continued reports of personnel and cargo movements being blocked, including incidents where staff were detained and arbitrary requests for payments, on key access routes in Aden, Taizz and Abyan governorates.

Another major constraint was continued interference in the implementation of humanitarian activities by the Yemeni authorities. Over 172 incidents were reported, most of which related to long-standing challenges around delays and denials of NGO project sub-agreements (SAs) and associated attempts to arbitrarily interfere in project design. Notably, in Al Hudaydah Governorate, partners reported arbitrary demands by the local authorities for protected or sensitive information, ad hoc activity permits and changes to project design, which led to temporary suspensions of aid and service deliveries.

By the end of December, 78 NGO projects were reported to remain unimplemented, in part or in full, due to pending sub-agreements approvals. The pending projects targeted up to 4.7 million people in need and had a cumulative budget of US$167 million. During the reporting period, 44 SAs were reported to be approved, including 11 by the Government of Yemen and 33 by Ansar Allah.

(B H)

Yemen WASH Cluster COVID-19 Bulletin, 09 January 2021

WASH is a key preventative measure in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and is one of the principal public health recommendations.
The severity of the current response to COVID-19 poses grave detrimental impacts on WASH service provision and sustainability if not adequately mitigated. Equitable access to WASH commodities and services must be protected and extended for all, without any form of discrimination by nationality, income or ethnicity.

Key Messages:

  • 58% of houses don’t have access to a safe water source
  • Only 45% households report having soap
  • WASH is integral to a Public Health Response
  • Saving lives starts in communities: High-risk persons must be prioritized
  • Humanitarian WASH Response is only 36% funded


(B H)

Yemen WASH Cluster - Humanitarian Dashboard

(* B H)

UNFPA Yemen Response: Mental Health and Psychosocial Support - Quarterly update: October – December 2020

COVID-19 Amplifies Vulnerabilities of Yemenis

COVID-19 is seen to continue amplifying underlying vulnerabilities in Yemen. Though the extent of COVID-19 in Yemen remains unknown, research has highlighted the potential socio-economic impact of the virus, which has added to the country’s existing challenges of conflict, economic collapse, hunger, disease, and displacement.

The humanitarian situation in Yemen continues to deteriorate and fighting continues to evolve in growing number of frontlines across the country. An estimated 24.1 million people out of the 29 million population of Yemen require some form of assistance. Among them 19.7 million person require some sort of health assistance, including mental health and psychosocial support.

In Yemen, an estimated one in five people suffer from mental health disorders, according to a 2017 study conducted by the Family Counselling and Development Foundation.

In order to improve mental health and psychosocial well-being of the most vulnerable persons and reduce the ways in which they experience pain, distress or hardship, UNFPA supports a network of local organizations that operates at all levels of the IASC Intervention Pyramid for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies.

In the last quarter of 2020, such services remained active and accessible, while compliant with COVID-19 global prevention guidelines and best practices.

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The inspirational Yemeni child bride who escaped and is now fighting to save other girls' lives

Nada al-Ahdal was forced to marry by her family at 11 years old but bravely stood up for her rights and escaped

But refusing to obey, Nada stood up for her rights and refused to marry before she ran away from home.

Now 18 and living in the North East she said: "I was a child, I was like any child, my dream was to complete my education to become a doctor or teacher.

"My aunt was forced to marry a man double her age and they didn’t allow me to play or talk to her because she was a married woman.

"I was scared to be a victim like her and my aunt."

Nada fled to the home of an uncle who supported girls’ education and rights, but he wasn’t home.

So, scared and alone she published a video of her experience and pleaded for him to save her.

To Nada's surprise, her video went viral and her voice was heard by millions across the world.

Soon she came to realise that child marriage was not just a family problem but that it was, in fact, a global issue.

After her uncle saw the video, an agreement was made when her father signed a document not to marry Nada off before the age of 19.

Comment: The article does not bring historical background or one information on why child marriages continue to happen and are on the rise in #Yemen.

(* B H)


WFP delivers ONE FOOD BASKET EVERY 3 MONTHS to #Yemen-i people in need.

Yemenis receive the equivalent of of 25 US cents per day in aid.

How are they supposed to survive?

(* B H)

Yemen Education Crisis: 2020 Secondary Data Review (SDR) Report

The presence of two educational systems in Yemen with different administrations – North and South –pose a challenge to mount a harmonized country-wide response, while project implementation is a major issue with delays of up to 130 days common from signature to project to start date, particularly in the North. Alongside these, prior to the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the central education issues in the Yemen crisis were:

Widespread school closures owing to damage caused by the conflict, occupation by IDPs or armed elements, and insecurity around them. By early 2019, 43% of school-aged children across did not attend school.

Multiple protection concerns include insecurity on the way to and from schools which are open, documented attacks on schools (in most governorates, 50% of schools are physically affected by the conflict), mines/UXOs and the consequent MHPSS effects of all these, causing families to keep their children at home.

Rates of child disabilities (as high as 10%)2 has meant children are not sufficiently included in educational interventions across the country. A 2019 Study carried out in Abyan and Zinjibar found upwards of 33% of IDP children has a mental or physical disability.

With low attendance pre-COVID, rates of child labour were high among of boys, including its worst forms of labour including forced or compulsory recruitment in armed groups and girls at risk of early marriage as a means of survival.

Public schools across Yemen almost universally lack poor infrastructure particularly adequate WASH facilities - 37% of schools in Aden for example were assessed to not have adequate WASH facilities (for instance 311 out of the 333 districts in Yemen reported cholera cases at the beginning of 2019 alone).
When they are present, they are insufficient to the large school populations and do not account for girls’ WASH needs adequately.

School materials are often inadequate at each stage of the learning process and are supplemented by families via personal means in an economy which has been badly affected by the conflict.

Public school underfunding has meant that teachers often experience massive delays in salary payment - a considerable disincentive for them to regularly teach at the schools which do function and often spurs them to seek out alternative livelihoods or supplement their income in other ways.

School feeding programmes (consistently reported as a ‘must have’ for children’s attendance) as present in only 35% of schools in Yemen, also forcing individual schools and/or or families to raise the funds independently.

(B H)

Education Need Assessment Report of Al Moneerah District – Hudiada Governorate, August 2020

One of the most negative consequences of the current crisis in Yemen is the deterioration of social services, infrastructure, public health, sanitation, food security and livelihoods.

As far as education system is concerned, schools and other education facilities have been badly affected, some of the schools have become out of services, denying teachers’ salaries pushed them to drop out their posts and search other opportunities. In addition to that schools’ furniture, equipment and teaching aid have been lost, which all made the education system with bad quality particularly female education.

In Al-Mouneerah district- Hodiedah governorate, such negative consequences of the current situation affected badly the whole infrastructure, social services and livelihoods of most vulnerable social groups which have led to drop the quality of life, endanger of most fragile social groups especially children. These negative factors emerged because of the crises were formed as the driving forces pushing majority of people to become displaced.

The education system in Al-Muneerah district- Hodeida governorate was badly affected as well which need to be assessed as the first step toward effective and sustainable improvements.

(B H)

Educational Needs Assessment Report - Provision of Education Emergency Services to Affected Schools of Bayt Alfaqih District - Hodiedah Governorate, September - October 2020

Al-Hodeidah Governorate is one of the most hard-hit areas by the crisis of war in Yemen. All life sectors and infrastructure in all its districts have severely affected. One of those pivot sectors is education which represents one of the most challenging problems today in Yemen generally and in Hodiedah on particular.

The western coast of Yemen remains one of the highest displacement rates at present, as military escalation on the West Coast has forced hundreds of people to flee to nearby areas of districts around the western coast far from the conflict.

Ongoing war situation and armed conflicts, along with cultural beliefs, and increasing poverty levels have combined to reduce children’s attainment of education in Yemen. For those that do attend school, they do so in schools with too few resources and insufficient space

(A H P)

USAID: Yemen - Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #1, Fiscal Year (FY) 2021

Yemen ‑ USG Response to the Complex Emergency (Last Updated 01/22/21)

(B H)

Film: In the absence of government equipment, civilians take over with their bare hands Uncle Mohammed…a story of nobility and generosity

(* B H)

UN: 43% of Yemen families reduce daily meals due to economic volatility

43 per cent of Yemeni families have been forced to reduce the number of their daily meals due to the country's economic fluctuations, the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme (WFP) in Yemen announced yesterday.

"Economic volatility & conflict means that many in Yemen regularly reduce the frequency or size of their meals or parents eat less so they can feed their children," the WFP posted on Twitter.

Experts have said in recent months that Yemeni citizens' purchasing power had declined due to a collapse of the national currency

(* B H)

UNFPA Response in Yemen: Monthly Situation Report #12 December 2020

Yemen continues to be the world’s worst humanitarian crisis with over 24 million people – 80 per cent of the population – in need of some form of humanitarian assistance or protection. In 2020, the situation, which is primarily driven by conflict and an economic blockade, was exacerbated by COVID-19, heavy rains and flooding, escalating hostilities and currency collapse.

An alarming increase in levels of food insecurity and acute malnutrition was forecasted by the year end. An Integrated Food Security Classification assessment showed that 13.5 million people are already at risk of starvation and facing acute food insecurity, and this could rise to at least 16 million – over half the population – by June 2021. As caregivers in families women are disproportionately impacted by food insecurity, particularly pregnant women. An estimated 1.2 million pregnant and lactating women are found to be acutely malnourished in Yemen.

In parallel, funding for the aid operation plummeted in 2020.

(B H)

Protection Cluster: Yemen Response and Gap Analysis - Activities of Protection Cluster Including Child Protection, Women Protection, and Mine Action Areas of Responsibility (AoR) (As of December 2020)

cp4 Flüchtlinge / Refugees

(* B H)

IOM Yemen - Marib Response (12 December 2020 - 15 January 2021)

Fighting continues to drive displacement, destroy infrastructure and worsen the overall humanitarian situation for hundreds of thousands of people in Marib. Humanitarian and public resources are severely stretched, especially in Marib city where 70 per cent of IDPs have fled to. These challenges along with humanitarian access issues in Al Jawf and parts of Marib, are indications of the dire situation. IOM and partners sustained humanitarian operations throughout 2020 while scaling up contingency efforts to prepare for any additional waves of displacement. However, greater partner presence and rapid response efforts are a priority in the immediate term, along with an urgent de-escalation of hostilities to protect civilians.

Increased fighting or shifts in frontlines will to lead to another wave of displacement, with more people predicted to flee into Marib city and surrounding areas. Already, IOM estimates that 105,966 people have been displaced by the conflict since January 2020, and partners estimate that significant changes to frontlines could displace an additional 385,000 people, who will likely move further into eastern Marib, Hadramaut and Shabwah. While people flee conflict-affected areas, at least 5,000 migrants are estimated to be stranded in Marib city – many of whom are unable to access basic services and are increasingly exposed to protection risks.

(B H)

Yemen: UNHCR Operational Update, 21 January 2021

During the last week, UNHCR community-based protection networks (CBPN) provided assistance to more than 1,250 internally displaced Yemenis in Dhamar, Al-Bayda, and Al-Jawf governorates, including psychosocial support and identification and referral of individuals in need of specialized protection services. UNHCR further conducted protection assessments and awarenessraising sessions on different topics such as legal counselling, prevention of COVID19, and gender-based violence, among others, reaching over 3,000 individuals.

With the support of UNHCR, as part of camp maintenance activities, partner YARD provided educational tents equipped with chairs and blackboards to provide a safe and suitable learning environment for more than 600 displaced Yemeni children and members of the host community.

Fortsetzung / Sequel: cp5 – cp19

Vorige / Previous:

Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 1-710 / Yemen War Mosaic 1-710: oder / or

Der saudische Luftkrieg im Bild / Saudi aerial war images:

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

Liste aller Luftangriffe / and list of all air raids:

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

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

06:55 25.01.2021
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
Dietrich Klose