Krieg im Jemen-Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 139

Yemen Press Reader 139: Jemen: Unbeachtete Kriegsverbrechen - Lassen die Saudis Hadi für den Frieden fallen? -Der Mann, dessen Tochter eine saudische Bombe tötete - Britischer Parlamentsbericht

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Yemen: War Crimes Not Addressed - Will the saudis drop Hadi for peace? - The man who lost his daughter to a Saudi bomb - UK: International Development Committee report - and more

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Klassifizierung / Classification

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

cp2 Allgemein / General

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche/ UN and peace talks

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

cp9 USA

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

cp11 Deutschland / Germany

cp13 Blockade

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

cp18 Sonstiges / Other

Klassifizierung / Classification




(Kein Stern / No star)

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

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

4.5.2016 – Human Rights Watch (*** B K)

Yemen: War Crimes Not Addressed

Saudi-led Coalition Continues Unlawful Airstrikes in Sanaa, Yemen between January - February 2016

Bait Baws, Sanaa, January 22, 2016

Northern Sanaa, January 25, 2016

Faj Attan, Sanaa, January 28, 2016

Bait Maiyad, Sanaa, February 9, 2016
On February 9, at about 9 p.m., an airstrike hit a home at 60 Meter Street in the Bait Maiyad neighborhood of southern Sanaa, killing a family of five, including one woman and three children. The house is a few meters from the Shaqa’iq al-No’man school, which has 300 students, and about 600 meters from the presidential palace, which coalition aircraft have targeted throughout the war. Human Rights Watch visited the site of the attack on March 27, by which point the remains of the home had been removed. The windows and some walls of the school were damaged in the airstrike, and this damage was still visible.

Mahdi Muhammad Abdullah Maiyad, 40, a neighbor, said that he was walking in the neighborhood at the time of the strike:

Suddenly I saw a flash of light to the west, and then a loud explosion followed seconds later. I thought it was coming from the presidential palace. I ran home to check on my family and just as I got there, about three minutes later, a second explosion blasted from the same spot – not the presidential palace but the home of Mounir al-Hakimi and his family.

Fursan Muhammad Hazza’a, 24, a security guard at Shaqa’iq al-No’man, was inside the school at the time of the strike on al-Hakimi’s home. He rushed outside after hearing an explosion and saw the building on fire. He heard al-Hakimi’s wife, Sua’d Ali Houjera, 35, screaming for help, as well as the cries of their sons Rami, 10, and Majd, 8. “I wanted to rush into the fire to save them, but within a few minutes an explosion broke out in the garage behind the home,” he said. The strike killed the whole family, including their daughter, Nouran, 2.

Muhammad Ali al-Dari, 18, a student at the school, was at a nearby shop at the time of the strike. “Rescuers could not collect some of the bodies buried under the rubble for a week, after the debris had been removed,” he said. He showed Human Rights Watch photos he took from inside the school the day after the attack: “The strike completely burned out some classrooms, and all the walls were scorched.” He and others from the neighborhood spent two days removing debris and broken glass from the building before students could use it again.

Two witnesses said that several minutes after the strike on the al-Hakimi home, another strike hit a small hangar a few meters away housing vehicle oils and fluids, destroying it. Al-Dari said that the hangar was not being used for any military purposes. The security guard Hazza’a did not believe there had been a second airstrike, but instead thought the fire caused by the first airstrike set flammable liquids in the hangar on fire, causing a second explosion.

Al-Lail, Sanaa, February 25, 2016

Nihm district, February 27, 2016
On February 27, between noon and 12:30 p.m., two airstrikes hit the village of Khulqa in the Nihm district, about 40 kilometers northeast of Sanaa. Fighting between pro-Houthi forces and fighters supported by the coalition and the Yemeni government in Nihm had begun early in 2016. The first strike hit the middle of a small, crowded local market, killing at least 10 civilians, including one woman and four children, and wounding at least four more. The second strike landed 150 meters away in a graveyard between five and 10 minutes later, causing no injuries.

Yahiya Ahmad Mabkhout al-Qash’a, a resident of Khulqa, told Human Rights Watch that on the morning of February 27, his relatives in Maswara village, 25 kilometers closer to the front line, left their village for Sanaa to avoid the fighting. Four of al-Qash’a’s cousins, including two women, and two of his friends got into three cars and drove to Khulqa. While they were in the village at noon, an airstrike hit the cars, killing three of al-Qash’a’s cousins, his two friends, and five other people in the marketplace, including four children. Only one of his cousins, Khamsa Muhammad Muhammad al-Barqe, 35, survived.

Rageh Mohsen al-Gradi, 46, the local sheikh, arrived at the site of the strike 30 minutes later and saw the three cars on fire, and seven or eight dead bodies on the ground. He recognized three local children killed in the strike. The strike also wounded four local residents, he said.

Gafer Muhammad Nasser al-Gradi, a Khulqa resident, said that since fighting had begun in Nihm district, the Houthis were using the main road that cuts through the village and market, connecting Sanaa, Nihm and Marib, on a daily basis. However, he was in the market that day and did not see any Houthis or Houthi vehicles on the road for at least one hour before the strikes. and see aerial views before and after: and Oslo Times on HRW:

4.5.2016 – Middle East Eye (** A P)

Are Saudis prepared to drop Hadi to make peace in Yemen?

For many, this apparent shift in Saudi policy shows the urgency of reaching a settlement on their part. However, whilst there are mounting indications Riyadh desperately wants out of this conflict, several foreign diplomats I’ve spoken to insist that the Saudis are not willing to seek an exit at any cost; many are still expecting, or hoping for, some sort of victory.

Despite that initial three-day delay in Kuwait, direct talks between the Houthis and Saudi Arabia had been under way for weeks, already a major breakthrough.

“Riyadh is where the talks are really happening,” a senior diplomat told me. What about President Hadi and his government? I asked. “At some point, they will have to accept that they have to go,” he replied. I was reminded of recent reports from Yemen suggesting many of Hadi’s ministers have been busy selling their properties and assets in the country. I wanted to tell him they had seemingly come to terms with their fate, and are merely buying time now.

But if the Houthis and the Saudis cut a deal, I asked the diplomat, what would happen to the forces on the ground fighting for Hadi, such as the militias in Taiz and Aden? “I think we have known for a while now that they aren’t under Hadi’s control, and they most certainly are not fighting for him,” he responded.

This was something I had considered, and written about, before but had always refused to believe. To hear it stated so bluntly by a senior diplomat was shocking. The notion that the dozens of armed militias currently operating across the country were under nobody’s control was too frightening to contemplate, and confirms fears that even if a peace deal is struck Yemen might not see peace for years, possibly decades to come.

Amid […] mounting international pressure, there’s been persistent talk of an imminent UN Security Council resolution on Yemen. However, the threat has proved largely empty in light of Saudi Arabia’s significant political leverage at the UN.

Earlier in March, Security Council members, led by New Zealand, began discussing elements of a resolution covering issues of access for humanitarian aid and the protection of civilians, but the resolution was “put on hold in light of political developments”. Nevertheless, the threats did prove to be an effective catalyst in forcing the Saudis and the Hadi government to the negotiation table, as well as later bilateral talks between the Houthis and the Saudis.

Nevertheless, slowly but surely, with every round of talks, a step forward is secured.

It is this third round of talks in Kuwait, however, where the heavy lifting truly begins. Both sides have agreed on a five-point plan based on UN Resolution 2216 which stipulates the following:

Withdrawal of militias and armed groups

Handover of heavy weapons

Interim security arrangements the restoration of state institutions

Resumption of inclusive political dialogue

Establishment of committee for prisoners and detainees

However, the problem isn’t these points themselves, which both delegations have already accepted, but how to implement them: whether this should be done sequentially or in parallel with the political process. How this particular impasse is resolved will probably decide who has ‘won’ or ‘lost’ in this conflict.

The Houthis are adamant that the plan should be implemented in parallel with the political process, notably the formation of a government, or state body, that is inclusive of all factions, to hand over weapons to. The Hadi government delegation, however, believe a weapons handover and withdrawal from the cities by the Houthis – to total surrender in all but name - is a crucial pre-requisite for the political process to begin. An option that the Houthis, having come this far in the conflict, are unwilling to consider.

For its part, Saudi Arabia’s recent moves, reducing their military airstrikes and cutting a deal with the Houthis to secure its borders with Yemen, has shown their good faith but has also raised questions as to whether the Saudis still share the same agenda as the Hadi government, putting the latter in a very delicate position.

Will the Saudis maintain their support for Hadi? Or are they about to cut their losses and strike a deal with the Houthis behind closed doors?

A recent change in the tone in Houthi announcements regarding Saudi Arabia already shows that a deal, whatever the details, is already in motion.

Even the United Nations has hinted at a change in position. Whereas previous statements called for a handover of weapons to the “Yemeni government,” a recent statement instead referred to the transfer of weapons to “state control”.

Put simply, this current round of talks is, as the UN envoy has repeatedly put it, “the closest Yemen has gotten to peace”, and represent possibly the last opportunity for parties to the conflict to reach a solution through diplomatic means.

Broadly speaking, there are two ways events can go from here. Either the Houthis realise that this is as good as it is going to get for them, and the Yemeni government come to terms with the fact they will never be able to return to Yemen (realistically, do they even want to?); or both sides decide to keep fighting on the ground, inflicting yet more human suffering and a total decimation of the economy. This is not alarmist hyperbole: 50 percent of the population is already nearing famine, and the consequences of further collapse are too terrifying to imagine – by Nawal Al-Maghafi

4.5.2016 – PRI (*** B K)

This man lost his daughter to a Saudi bomb. Now he’s fighting back.

On July 3, 2015, Ibrahim Abdulkareem's home was hit by a Saudi airstrike, with his family inside. “It was 1:30 in the morning,” Ibrahim writes in Arabic, “we were sleeping.”

Ibrahim, the father of two, awoke to the sound of his wife screaming. She was pinned under the rubble of their collapsed walls. His son appeared to be OK. But his young daughter was completely buried in plaster and stone. EMTs arrived and they dug her out. The girl, her brother and their mother were rushed to area hospitals.

Ibrahim’s experience is not unique — six children were injured or killed every day in the first year of Yemen's civil war, according to UNICEF.

Many Yemeni parents are quietly grieving the loss of their children. But Ibrahim has chosen to share his family’s suffering in an unabashedly public way. On Facebook.

The photo at the top of this story includes a picture of Ibrahim Abdulkareem holding his 11-month old daughter, Zainab. She is dressed in her burial shroud. The photo was taken at the hospital morgue.

With tears streaming down his face, the father held his infant daughter in his arms one last time and asked his brother to snap the picture. “My brother hesitated, saying I wasn’t in good condition,” he writes, “and that there was no need for this photo.”

It would become an iconic image.

To date, the image has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times across Arabic and Persian social media. Ibrahim posted it originally on Facebook. It is still being reposted frequently on Twitter.

“Everybody was talking about it,” says British social media activist Jamila Hanan, who watched as the post suddenly appeared in the many Yemeni Twitter feeds that she monitors. “I found it really touched men, because obviously it is a picture of a father with daughter, and he is clearly distressed.”

“The picture may haunt [anyone who sees it],” says Sanaa resident and commentator Hisham al-Omeisy."But [it] does more to us Yemenis. I get a panic attack whenever I remember Abdulkareem hugging Zainab's lifeless body, and rush to tightly hug my two boys."

Al-Omeisy, who has endured many sleepless nights comforting his own children during airstrikes, says the photo can't help but stir up emotions.

"It's the worst feeling in the world when you, as a parent, have failed to protect your own. No matter what, who, or how much you try to pin [the] blame on [others], a big part of you will always blame yourself for not having done enough.”

Hanan says the photo was unique among social posts she has viewed from the Yemen war. “You see a lot of dead children, you see mothers grieving with children,” she observes. ”But there's not very much that really touches men, and the men were just sobbing over it… because they know that [Ibrahim] is not the only one.”

Hanan encouraged Ibrahim to write down his experience and asked a Yemeni in the United States, Harvard doctoral candidate Shireen Al-Adeimi, to translate his Arabic into English. Ibrahim's statement contains graphic descriptions that some readers may find disturbing. And be aware, some of the images in this story may also be troubling.

[Follows Ibrahim’s report]

Ibrahim Abdulkareem blames the Saudi-led coalition for the destruction of his home, for the serious injuries his wife suffered and for the death of his daughter. “He wants to emphasize that his letter is a call for lawyers, politicians and human rights groups,” says translator Al-Adeimi, “with the goal of achieving justice for his family.”

“We have the right to live securely and safely, to be protected and to protect our children from murder and abuse,” Ibrahim Abdulkareem writes. “I hope my voice will reach the entire world, truthfully and clearly — Yemeni children are in need of help.”

Activist Jamila Hanan has been careful about what she reposts from the Yemeni Twitter streams she follows. “I never show pictures of dead children,” says Hanan, who has built a substantial social media following by retweeting messages and images to spotlight human rights violations from Bahrain to Myanmar to Yemen. Hanan decided, when her list of followers reached some 40,000 people worldwide, to stop showing child victims.

Hanan does maintain a separate blog, Yemen War Crimes, where she tracks civilian deaths and includes all relevant photos and videos, many of them showing images of severe injury and death. That is where she shares the photo of Zainab and her dad, along with news footage about the strike on their house, and a heartbreaking video taken at the hospital the night of the attack.

[Following: Some of the most troubling pictures from Yemen are of living children — in desperate circumstances.]

Grief over the broken bodies of children haunts Yemeni families after a year of war. Hanan chokes up a little when she considers the human cost of the fighting.

“It's just really absurd," she says, "and I think our governments across the world really need to reconsider what they're doing in these wars and how they can ever possibly justify dropping a bomb on a house with a whole family living there. It's just incredible that they’ve been doing this over and over." – by Stephen Snyder and Ibrahim’s report. and more (with graphic images)

4.5.2016 – House of Commons (*** A B K P)

International Development Committee: Crisis in Yemen, 4th Report of Session 2015–2016


Summary 3 1 Introduction 7 2 The humanitarian crisis 9 A forgotten crisis 9 The impact on civilians 11 A lost generation 11 A health sector crippled 12 Food and water 14 An economy in collapse 15 Challenges for the humanitarian response 16 Access 16 Security 18 3 The conflict 20 The humanitarian consequences of the conflict 20 International Humanitarian Law 21 Protection of civilians 21 The UK Government position 22 Calls for an independent investigation 24 Arms sales to Saudi Arabia 26 A paradox of arms and aid 28 The Committees on Arms Export Controls 29 4 A political solution 31 Recovery and rebuilding 31 Conclusions and recommendations 34 Annex 1: Note of meeting with Yemeni diaspora, 19 January 2016 39 Annex 2: Letter to the Secretary of State for International Development, 2 February 2016 43 Appendix 1: Letter from Tobias Ellwood MP, FCO Under-Secretary of State, 11 February 2016 47 Appendix 2: Letter from the Secretary of State for International Development, 15 February 2016 49 Appendix 3: Letter from the Foreign Secretary, 9 March 2016 50 Annex 3: Letter to the Foreign Secretary, 22 March 2016 52 Appendix 4: Letter from the Foreign Secretary, 6 April 2016 53 Formal Minutes 54 Witnesses 56 Published written evidence 57 List of Reports from the Committee during the current Parliament 58


Yemen is facing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with 82% of the population in need of assistance. We commend DFID for its humanitarian leadership to date in response to the crisis, contributing £85 million. DFID is the fourth largest donor to the humanitarian crisis with influence far beyond that. We welcome DFID’s timely and agile response to the crisis, particularly its flexibility in transferring funds from development work to emergency work, which has allowed partners on the ground to launch immediate and effective responses. DFID should also be credited for its work with other government departments to influence parties to the conflict and negotiate greater access for commercial supplies entering Yemen, and for humanitarian actors, essential to the humanitarian response. Nevertheless, the humanitarian response to the crisis has been significantly underfunded with last year’s UN Fund just 56% funded and with the UN 2016 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan recently launched requesting $1.8 billion to reach over 13 million people in need. In view of the expense and grave impact of the conflict on the civilian population in Yemen, we recommend DFID urgently consider further increasing its funding for emergency humanitarian relief in Yemen, particularly to provide food, water and medical supplies, and to support the many children suffering in this crisis. Evidence we received indicated that despite the continuing conflict there are means by which greater aid provision, if made available, can reach affected civilians, such as the large number of internally displaced people, if more aid were made available. At the same time the burden cannot fall on the UK alone. As Minister Desmond Swayne told us “it is not always a question of what more Britain can do; it is often a question of what more Britain can do to get other people to do things.”1 We therefore urge the Government to increase its efforts, using DFID’s considerable international leadership role to challenge other potential or existing donors to similarly increase their humanitarian aid contribution. We also urge it to ensure that the needs resulting from the humanitarian crisis in Yemen are more appropriately highlighted on the world stage, proportionate to the level of the crisis occurring there.

The situation in Yemen can be described as a civilian protection crisis: evidence suggests that civilians are bearing the brunt of the fighting. In particular the impact on children has been severe: the number of children not able to attend school has nearly doubled since the start of the crisis, with 47% of Yemen’s school age children currently not attending. There is a serious risk of significant long term consequences amounting to a lost generation of Yemeni children. The UK has a strong track record in supporting emergency education, for example for Syrian refugee children through the No Lost Generation Initiative. Urgent action is needed to ensure there is not a lost generation of Yemeni children.

There is also a serious risk that the destruction of the health system in Yemen will have consequences for the country far beyond the end of the conflict. Attacks on facilities and medical staff, coupled with a severe lack of medical supplies, have left the health sector in a state of collapse. At the same time, needs are increasing: 3 million people require treatment or preventative services for malnutrition, and 19.4 million people lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation. It is essential that the health sector is protected, and that programmes to maintain and deliver vital water and nutrition services are supported. DFID’s support has been crucial in addressing the crisis. Within the deteriorating humanitarian context, DFID identified food, nutrition, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) as top priority sectors and committed additional aid specifically targeting these sectors.

We heard substantial and convincing evidence that parties to the conflict have not adhered to the rules of war, which are designed to minimise harm to civilians. We heard that bombing is indiscriminate and fails to distinguish between civilians and combatants, and that there is a failure to protect civilians, humanitarian space and humanitarian access. This report addresses the impact of the role of the coalition led by Saudi Arabia because the UK has a strong diplomatic and commercial relationship with that nation. Evidence we received, however, indicates that both sides of the conflict are implicated in breaches of international humanitarian law (IHL).

The Foreign Secretary has stated that the Government has “looked at every allegation of breach of international humanitarian law, and we have found no evidence of breach of international humanitarian law”.2 In correspondence with us, the Foreign Secretary has stressed that “first and foremost” the UK Government wants the Saudis to conduct thorough and conclusive investigations into breaches of IHL. He has also said that he is “satisfied that all extant licences for the export of arms exports to Saudi Arabia are compliant with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria”.3

The evidence we have received, from humanitarian actors operating on the ground in Yemen and respected human rights organisations including UN commissioned evidence, unanimously suggested that humanitarian law is being breached, making the relief effort difficult and dangerous. In light of the very strong evidence that delivery of humanitarian relief is undermined by ongoing breaches of IHL, we recommend that an independent investigation into alleged violations of IHL by both sides of the conflict in Yemen is conducted without delay. We remain unconvinced that Saudi Arabia is best placed to conduct investigations into reports of IHL abuses by the Saudi-led Coalition. As we stated when we wrote to the Secretary of State for International Development in February 2016, it is a longstanding principle of the rule of law that inquiries should be independent of those being investigated.

We welcome the decision of the Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) to consider in detail the use of UK-manufactured arms in Yemen. As a constituent committee of CAEC, we will continue to pursue these issues and contribute to the CAEC Report accordingly. However, while respecting CAEC to come to its own conclusions in accordance with its terms of reference, in light of the strength and credibility of the evidence we have heard, we recommend that CAEC considers the case for suspending UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia until there is evidence that there is no “clear risk” that arms exported from the UK “might be used in the commission of a serious violation of IHL” in Yemen. An independent inquiry would provide credible evidence on whether UK-manufactured arms have been used in the commission of violations of IHL, and the UK Government should fully support an independent investigation without delay.

A sustainable and inclusive political solution is what is ultimately needed and DFID is right to have this strategic objective in mind. We welcome DFID’s support for the UN in facilitating peace talks and its work to protect key institutions, such as the Social Fund for Development, which will be vital for Yemen’s recovery. We are encouraged by the ceasefire which began on 10 April 2016 and urge the Government to continue to apply pressure to all parties to the conflict to hold the ceasefire so that it may become more permanent. We also welcome the peace talks held from 22 April 2016 in Kuwait and hope these will lead to an end to the year-long conflict which has devastated the lives of so many civilians in Yemen.

1 Q54

2 Conservative Middle East Council, CMEC Annual Policy Lecture 2016: The Middle East and UK Foreign Policy (February 2016), p 4

3 Appendix 3

cp2 Allgemein / General

5.5.2016 – Near Eastern Outlook (** B K P)

US-Saudi Arabia Standoff Destroys Yemen As First Stage of Blame Game

Many thing are now happening which cannot be explained by conventional wisdom and the knowledge we have from conventional sources. One is what is happening between the US and Saudi Arabia.

There is now a serious face off between these two countries, but its cause has little to do with the Kingdom’s sordid human rights record and endemic corruption, things the US is supposed to oppose. It has more to do with what is happening in the US presidential election, and the outcome may be of global importance, a real game changer.

The US election may boil down to who did what concerning 9/11.

The darkest foreign dealings of the US are outlined in the missing 28 pages of the official 9/11 report, which will undoubtedly also compromise Saudi Arabia.

It is the controversy surrounding this report which must be kept in mind when assessing the most recent events in Yemen. As previously stated, the sudden US pullout from there was not driven by military factors but the theft of documents which show the illegal transactions the US has been involved in there. These pieces of paper are so damaging that the US is getting out as fast as it can, while bombs and casualties have done nothing to persuade it to leave before.

In the light of this pullout, Saudi Arabia has moved in to bomb the Yemeni capital to smithereens. The cat is away so the mouse will play, just as the Taliban did in Afghanistan when US troops pulled out. But this bombing has nothing to do with the Yemeni conflict itself. It is all about who is going to take the fall for 9/11 – and who will go down fighting the hardest if they do.

The US has run from Yemen because the documents seized there most probably reveal that it took over the country simply to illegally sell arms to terrorists. Given their longstanding intelligence collaboration, it is inconceivable that the Saudis do not know this. It is also inconceivable that the Saudis were not involved in these operations themselves, either by shipping the weapons or paying for them, directly or indirectly.

This bombing positions Saudi Arabia as the true master of the region. It can walk (or in this case fly) in without bothering what anyone else thinks, in typical US fashion. It is also a signal that Saudi Arabia is too powerful to be brought down by what is in the 9/11 report, because it can unleash a whirlwind of its own if the US tries to blame Saudi Arabia for its contents.

This process has already begun. Details of the 9/11 report have been leaked, not to harm the US per se but to suggest that rogue elements in its government led the country astray, into the arms of a Saudi Arabia which is uniformly corrupt and criminal. That has been the level of public discourse so far, preparing the way for a cleansing operation which will protect the guiltiest Americans, only finding enough sacrificial lambs to satisfy the thirst for blood these insinuations will have created, while condemning with international sanctions every Saudi who is implicated.

Congress is now considering a bill which will suspend Sovereign Immunity for members of the Saudi royal family accused of involvement, through the Saudi state, in terrorist attacks on US soil. The Saudi government is reacting to this the same way it has in Yemen, but using different weapons: it is threatening to punitively dump $750 billion in US Treasury Bonds if this bill is passed. If you make us pay for our joint crimes, we will show you who is really boss, the Saudi rulers are saying in the best way they know how. The US knows that if it wants a fight, things will not stop there.

The Saudis have much they can remind the US of if they are attacked in order to paint them as worse than the US members of this operation. They might, for example, point out that the US ostensibly entered Yemen to back the president who controlled the oil flow which was bankrolling several operations and had formed the basis of several slush funds. They know who they dealt with; they know whose hands were in the barrel. They know who they can bring down with them if they themselves are indicted for any crime.

The only way the US political class as a whole will emerge unscathed from the 9/11 report will be to pretend that the Saudis took things much further than the poor US intended. We will hear a lot about the value of the US-Saudi strategic partnership, and the things the US was prepared to overlook to keep this going. But no matter how many US politicians are implicated, the subtext will always be that the Saudis are the inherently corrupt partner, and no country with any resources is going to accept being treated like that.

This standoff does give the US and its allies the opportunity to do the right thing and abandon the Saudi regime, as this will make any subsequent actions it takes seem like sour grapes. Westerners have an ingrained notion that everyone wants to come to the West, or be a friend of the West, because it is the best place on earth. This is the assumption behind debates about migrants, for example. From this standpoint, Saudi Arabia is likely to say or do anything simply because it has been jilted by the West.

This has not happened in the past because Saudi Arabia has led the branch of the Muslim world most ready to deal with the infidel, and the inherent incompatibility of Islamic and Western value systems has made the West scared of leaving the Muslim world to its own devices. It has to be influenced somehow, and a common interest in energy and covering each other’s crimes because of who they are has maintained that relationship so far.

But now the Saudis have told the US, by taking its own actions in Yemen and reminding it what it knows about US actions there, that if the US goes for broke to get itself off the hook so will Saudi Arabia. They have said that, unlike the US, they are not going to run away because of a piece of paper but challenge any attempt to incriminate them by it. The US knows they aren’t joking, and can cut off most of the oil tomorrow, and that is why this conflict is ramping up by the day.

Who blinks first, and how, will define what happens far beyond the Middle East. The only possible victor however may be Yemen, which will at least be left alone, having served its purpose – by Seth Ferris =

Comment: Interesting, even if I cannot follow all of the author’s conclusions.

4.5.2016 – Foreign Policy in Focus (** A K P)

One Last Chance for Peace in Yemen

Absent much stronger U.S. and European pressure on their Saudi allies, Yemen's latest ceasefire threatens to collapse — which could mean a return to massive civilian bombardments.

International Law in Tatters

The weaponry and tactics employed by the Saudis make their choice of targets all the more brutal.

A favored practice is the “double tap” tactic inspired by CIA drone attacks in Pakistan: A few minutes after a first air raid, a target is bombarded a second time in order to kill the rescue forces coming to help. On July 6 alone last year, 35 people were killed in this despicable manner in Fayoush, in the Lahj province.

A report by Human Rights Watch revealed that the Saudi air force has used U.S.-made cluster bombs on a large scale in Yemen. The group has documented their deployment on several villages, particularly in the Hajja region in the northwest of Yemen, and condemned it as a violation of international law.

Indeed, the Convention on Cluster Munitions — which was ratified by 118 states, though not by either the United States or Saudi Arabia — condemns the use of these bombs because they disintegrate in the air into hundreds of smaller bombs, which descend to the earth in a large radius. It’s impossible for anyone using the weapons to distinguish between civilians and combatants, a problem exacerbated by the leftover remains of unexploded munitions that may explode at any time if they’re stumbled upon by civilians. Human Rights Watch staff found a large number of unexploded cluster bombs in the fields of the Hajja region, which makes the continued use of farmland there an incalculable lethal risk. “We can’t work the fields anymore because of the bombs,” a Yemeni farmer lamented.

The Rome Statute includes in its definition of war crimes the launching of any attack “in the knowledge that” it will cause “injury to civilians.” Together with the cluster bomb convention, international law is quite clear on the subject: The use of cluster bombs in any situation amounts to war crimes and thus must be fiercely condemned, not only morally but also legally.

If nothing else, the Saudi bombings represent a systematic violation of the landmark UN Security Council Resolution 1674 from 2006, which unambiguously made clear once again that it is the primary duty of every party to a conflict to protect civilian life and “recalls that deliberately targeting civilians [in] armed conflict is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.”

Due to the countless crimes conducted by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein seeks to appoint a committee to investigate possible war crimes. Complicating those efforts, however, is a grim irony — and in my eyes a political scandal: Saudi Arabia, a country that abuses human rights at home and abroad like few others, has been heading an important UN Human Rights Council panel since last fall.

Western Collaborators

“Yemen is a human-made disaster,” Owen Jones writes in The Guardian, “and the fingerprints of the west are all over it.”

With a budget increase of 54 percent over the previous year, the Saudi royal family replaced India as the world’s largest arms importer in 2014 — and this past year replaced Russia as the world’s third-largest military spender, behind only the United States and China. The largest input for this spending spree is still contributed by the United States, closely followed by the three largest Western European arsenals.

France, for example, clinched a multibillion-dollar arms deal after the war in Yemen had already started — not only with Saudi Arabia, but also with the main regional coalition partner of the Saudis, Qatar. Similarly, under David Cameron’s rule, Britain has delivered arms worth more than $8 billion to the Saudis, and issued more than 100 additional export licenses in the last year. Furthermore, British military advisers are in the field in Saudi Arabia.

The German arms industry supplies the entire Arabian Peninsula with heavy military equipment. German G3 battle rifles have also been delivered on a massive scale in the fight against the Houthis directly to Yemen — a clear violation of the German constitution, yet possible with the system of granting licenses to Saudi Arabia.

In contrast, the European Parliament recently voted with an overwhelming majority for a comprehensive arms export embargo against Saudi Arabia, after a petition signed by 750,000 Europeans requested that Brussels step in. It’s now up to the high representative of the EU for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, to transform this mandate into binding legislation and to prove that the EU is able to hold its ground against the scheming of its most powerful members.

Support from Washington

Yet all this barely holds a candle to the support supplied by Washington.

A significant number of the Saudi fighter jets now terrorizing Yemen came from an arms deal that was arranged by the team of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Christmas Eve 2011, part of the largest U.S. arms deal of all time. “Not a bad Christmas present,” a U.S. official said about the $29 billion deal, in which 84 fighter jets of the Boeing Company were sold to the Saudis.

In return, the Clinton Foundation received multimillion-dollar donations from both Boeing and the royal Saudi family. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Clinton’s current electoral campaign has been supported massively by military contractors. In a globalized world, corruption and nepotism don’t seem to know any geographical or ideological boundaries.

The White House indicates that all active U.S. arms deals with the Saudis add up to a staggering $97 billion. Saudi Arabia is thus by far the largest customer for U.S. military equipment.

Just last November, the U.S. Department of Defense announced the sale of approximately 30,000 additional bombs, because the Saudi arsenal is “becoming depleted due to the high operational tempo” of their multiple so-called “counter-terrorism operations.” In the same document, the U.S. government concedes the actual purpose of the arms deal: to “safeguard the world’s largest oil reserves” and ensure the “stability of the global economy.”

An employee of the U.S. Department of Defense states the globally ostracized cluster bombs were sold to other countries only when U.S. authorities were granted an assurance they would be used exclusively against “clearly defined military targets and will not be used where civilians are known to be present.” This clause, of course, is a farce — there’s virtually no way to use the bombs on clearly defined military targets, and violations of it have no consequences. There’s been little movement in the U.S. towards a future arms embargo, or even legal action.

On the contrary, the U.S. government talks down those violations in a naïveté that verges on servility: “The U.S. doesn’t believe the Saudis are deliberately targeting civilians, but U.S. weapons are sold solely for the purpose of a nation’s self defense,” the U.S. official continued.

The United States is also actively involved in the war in its own right, sending dozens of military advisers to Saudi Arabia, providing important intelligence information, and performing aerial refueling of Saudi fighter jets. “We stand with our friends in Saudi Arabia,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry assured his audience in a speech in Riyadh in January.

The fundamental problem with the support Saudi Arabia and its allies have received from the West is that it provides the war criminals with political and, more importantly, moral legitimacy. From its inception in 2001, the so-called “war on terror” was walking on thin ice when it came to legitimacy. When now Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar — states that are among the largest financial, logistical, and ideological supporters of terrorist groups such as the Islamic State or Al-Qaeda — can evoke the term without argument, it’s become a farce once and for all.

A Last Chance at Peace

With its scorched earth tactics and deliberate targeting of Yemen’s Shiites, the House of Saud has transformed a secular political conflict over President Hadi’s rule into a religiously inflamed sectarian war. As the self-proclaimed protector of Sunnis, Saudi Arabia is dragging Yemen into its own confrontation with Iran, a Shiite power and Saudi Arabia’s chief regional rival.

With the end of the crippling international economic sanctions against Iran and its opening to the world, the Saudis fear a resurgence in the heartland of the Shiites. As in Syria, the Yemen war now serves the Saudis as another military cog in their regional power struggle with Iran, which is escalating step-by-step and country-by-country — and often being fought to the last civilian.

Recently the two warring parties agreed to a ceasefire, which started on April 10, with subsequent peace negotiations. Both parties, the Houthis as well as the Saudis, gave half-hearted commitments to stick to the truce. Similar agreements have been broken repeatedly in the past. But absent much stronger U.S. and European pressure on their Saudi allies, it’s not clear what other options remain.

“The war in Yemen must be brought to an end before it does irreparable damage to the future of Yemen and the region,” said UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ould Cheikh Ahmed. “This is really our last chance.” – by Jakob Reimann

Content under a Creative Commons Attribution licence

Comment: Also a good overview on the conflict in the first part of the article, not shown here.

4.5.2016 – Der Freitag (** B K P)

Gefangen im Verderben

Jemen: Die Feuerpause im Bürgerkrieg kann nicht mehr als ein Atemholen auf dem Weg zur inneren Befriedung sein

Der Jemen war schon vor dem Krieg das ärmste Land auf der Arabischen Halbinsel. Straßenkämpfe und Luftschläge, wie sie seit einem Jahr nicht abreißen, haben die Lebensverhältnisse der Menschen noch einmal dramatisch verschlechtert und das Land an den Rand eines endgültigen Zusammenbruchs getrieben. Die Aussichten auf dauerhaften Frieden gleichen Illusionen, die Hoffnung auf Aussöhnung zwischen den Konfliktparteien, besonders zwischen den Huthi-Rebellen und den Anhängern des gestürzten Präsidenten Rabbo Mansur Hadi, verfällt.

Nachdem ein Luftangriff auf einen Markt in Sanaa Anfang März Dutzende Menschen tötete, musste Riad seine Angriffe merklich zurückfahren. Nur unter dieser Bedingung war die Huthi-Führung bereit, über eine Feuerpause nachzudenken. Wie zu erwarten, ist die in manchen Regionen brüchig, was darauf zurückzuführen ist, dass sich andere Konfliktparteien wie der IS und die Kombattanten von Al-Qaida auf der Arabischen Halbinsel nicht an Vereinbarungen halten, die sie nicht selbst geschlossen haben

Sanaa ist gezeichnet von Armut, Angst und Arbeitslosigkeit, seit zehn Monaten gibt es kaum noch Strom. Die Preise schießen in die Höhe, erschreckend viele Kindersoldaten sind als Milizionäre unterwegs. Obwohl Teile ihrer militärischen Ausrüstung aus der Luft zerstört wurden, sind die Huthi und der mit ihnen verbündete Ex-Präsident Ali Abdullah Saleh in der Stadt fest etabliert.

Aden, die Hafenstadt im Süden, hinterlässt einen ebenso trostlosen Eindruck wie Sanaa.

„Es braucht mehr als nur das Ende des Krieges, damit die Wunden ausheilen, die dieser Konflikt geschlagen hat. Das wird wohl Generationen dauern“, ist Hisham al-Omeisy überzeugt. „Jemen ist in die Zeit vor der Revolution von 1962 zurückgeworfen. Seinerzeit kontrollierten Radikale das Land, Extremismus und Armut grassierten. Es gab keinen Staat, der auch nur elementaren Aufgaben gewachsen war.“

Die Saudis treffen alles – Hospitäler, Waisenhäuser, Schulen, Lebensmittellager“, sagt Hisham Al-Omeisy. „Es ist nur eine Frage der Zeit, bis man selbst das nächste Ziel ist. Bei einem Luftangriff bist du der Gnade oder Ungnade des Schicksals ausgeliefert wie an jedem Tag, den dieser Bürgerkrieg dauert.“

„Es wird mit großer Brutalität gekämpft”, meint Radhya al-Mutawakel, der die Menschenrechtsgruppe Mwatana in Sanaa leitet. „Das merkt man auch an den Erklärungen aus Riad, die völlig vom Geist der Rache durchdrungen sind.“

Viele Jemeniten sind der Auffassung, dass es selbst dann schwierig sein wird, ihr Land aus einem Meer der Gewalt zu retten, sollte ein dauerhafter Waffenstillstand erreicht werden. Überdies erwarten nur wenige, dass eine Mäßigung der Saudis – also ein völliger Verzicht auf Luftangriffe – zu einem belastbaren Frieden führt, solange weite Teile von Aden und Taiz durch marodierende pro-saudische Milizen gehalten werden. Al-Mutawakel meint: „Das politische System ist zusammengebrochen, seit wir in diesen Krieg hineingeraten sind. Jetzt wissen wir nicht mehr, wie man dieses Joch wieder abwirft. So bleiben wir Gefangene des Verderbens.“

Für den Augenblick versuchen die Menschen in Sanaa, mit dem zurechtzukommen, was ihnen geblieben ist.

Jedes dritte Kind unter fünf Jahren – das sind etwa 1,3 Millionen – ist unterernährt, sagt die Weltgesundheitsorganisation WHO. Die meisten kämpfen, so die Nichtregierungsorganisation Save the Children, ums Überleben. Für sie gebe es keinen Zugang zu sauberem Trinkwasser. „Für die Kinder sind der ständige Beschuss und die Zerstörung um sie herum alltäglich geworden. Wir dürfen nicht zulassen, dass es so bleibt“, sagt Edward Santiago, regionaler Direktor der NGO. „Viele jemenitische Familien, die sich nie für eine Seite entschieden, geschweige denn an Kämpfen beteiligt haben, weinen um ihre toten Kinder.“ Es gibt im ganzen Land keine Familie mehr, die niemanden verloren hat. Der Krieg trug den Tod in alle Häuser – von Kareem Shaheen

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

4.5.2016 – UN News centre (B H)

UN agencies boost partnership on visualization of food security data for Yemen

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) are boosting wider understanding of how families in conflict-torn Yemen struggle with persistent food insecurity, through a new interactive visualization of data captured by mobile technology and shared on an open source platform.

“This is an important step towards greater transparency by making crucial food security data freely available in open source. In the case of Yemen, where the humanitarian situation is rapidly deteriorating due to continued conflict it is paramount that the data we capture is available to as wide an audience as possible, to inform key decisions,” said WFP Chief Economist Arif Husain in a press release.

Collected by WFP’s mobile food security monitoring service (mVAM), the data track a household’s food consumption. The visualization shows how families are coping in the face of hunger and food shortages as the months pass.

It can be observed in the visualization that as of March 2016, about 70 per cent of families in each governorate in Yemen are borrowing food or relying on the help of friends and relatives to cope with food insecurity. This proportion is more significant in governorates affected by conflict.

WFP and OCHA plan to extend the visualization to show data from other countries.

The data are available on OCHA’s Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX), an open platform for sharing crisis data. The platform includes some 4,000 data sets from humanitarian partners, allowing a range of users – from journalists to policy makers and data scientists – to explore the data and gain insight.

“The food security data that WFP shares through HDX is critical to understanding the severity of humanitarian crises around the world,” said Sarah Telford, Head of HDX. “WFP has become a leader in humanitarian data with its innovative approaches to data collection in places like Yemen and its openness to sharing data globally.”

WFP and OCHA began collaborating last year when the HDX platform created an interactive visualization for food price data – available on WFP’s VAM Shop.

With funding from Google, WFP has also released the Application Programme Interface, which provides open access to large amounts of food security data that it collects in real-time through mobile technology.

3.5.2016 – International Medical Corps (B H)

Yemen External Situation Report #34 - May 3, 2016

More than one year has passed since Saudi-led coalition forces began airstrikes in Yemen, escalating the country’s ongoing civil conflict to a new level. The airstrikes, along with bombings, ground fighting, and other violence have left much of the country’s cities and infrastructure damaged or destroyed. More than 6,400 people—including at least 3,200 civilians—have been killed since March 2015, and at least 30,000 people have been injured, according to data reported by health facilities; actual casualty figures are likely much higher. The conflict has taken a significant toll on civilians in Yemen, as parties on all sides have failed to adequately protect them. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that children constitute one-third of all civilian conflict-related deaths in Yemen since March 2015.

Renewed efforts to resolve the Yemen conflict through UN-sponsored talks began on April 21 in Kuwait, after some initial delays. The talks were preceded by the establishment of a temporary ceasefire that went into effect on April 10, and remains in effect despite frequent violations. Humanitarian organizations on the ground are monitoring security developments in order to maximize access to hard-to-reach communities. If the ceasefire holds and ground conditions improve, International Medical Corps’ team in Yemen will make use of the pause in conflict to reach health facilities and people in need who have less access to health care and other services. During the temporary ceasefire in December and in full:

31.5.2012 – The Salfordian (* B H)

Film: Yemen Food Crisis: 300,000 Kids Are Starving

Hundreds of thousands of children are facing life-threatening levels of starvation in Yemen as a food crisis grips the nation.
People fleeing fighting in the North and South of this troubled country live in squalid camps with almost no chance of returning home and finding anything left.
They are caught in a cycle of poverty and insecurity that is threatening to engulf the displaced people of the poorest country on the Arabian peninsular.
More shocking is that their numbers are utterly dwarfed by those facing starvation that have not left their homes and have not been forced into camps.
Yemen has a catastrophic food crisis. Nearly half the population, 10 million people, does not have enough to eat. While 300,000 children are facing life threatening levels of malnutrition.
The United Nations says Yemen is already in the throes of a disaster.
"The levels are truly terrible. Whatever we do thousands upon thousands of children will die this year from malnutrition," Unicef's man in Yemen, Geert Cappelaere, said.
me areas child malnutrition is at 30%, to put it in context, an emergency is 15%. It is double that already."
In the capital Sana'a the only specialist-feeding unit in the country is overwhelmed with children needing help.
Doctors showed us some of the most severely malnourished. They looked like tiny babies but are actually toddlers who are so lacking in fat and muscle they look more like premature newborns.
The problem is that just a fraction of those needing help will ever make it to the care of this hospital. Across the country thousands are dying because there is no one there to help them.
Parents mob Dr Ahmed Shamsan, who is in charge of the centre, as he walks through the wards of children who have a variety of different illnesses but all with an underlying single common factor - malnutrition.
"This is a terrible crisis and there is little we can do. There is ignorance which means that malnourished children are not brought to us until they have another illness and then it is often too late," he said.
The Arab Spring and its ensuing political crisis, wars in the north and south of the country and an internationally led war against al Qaeda, also in the south, has guaranteed terrible insecurity levels across Yemen.
Add to the mix a high birthrate, poor water supplies and a doubling of food costs in a single year and you have a perfect storm of crisis.
The displaced people are the lowest in the pecking order, when it comes to help.

Comment: War and blockade have heavily worsened an already existing crisis.

Look also here:

29.1.2008 – IRIN (B H)

Yemen's Al Mehwar slum

Thousands of people are living in desperate conditions in Yemen with poor access to food and water. This video looks at the struggles faced by the Zaid family in Al-Mehwar area. It's one of the biggest slums in the capital, Sanaa, and home to 4,000 people.

cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks

5.5.2016 – AFP (A K P)

Yemen govt urges UN action over rebel fire on besieged third city

The head of the Yemeni government delegation at troubled peace talks in Kuwait demanded action from UN mediators on Thursday over rebel shelling of besieged third city Taez.

Foreign Minister Abdulmalek al-Mikhlafi said the rebel artillery fire was in contravention of undertakings they had given when face-to-face negotiations resumed on Wednesday following a three-day walkout by his team.

Mikhlafi said his negotiators had submitted proposals to UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed for implementing an April 11 ceasefire in Taez, where loyalist troops have been under rebel siege for months, trapping tens of thousands of civilians.

"We received a racist response," the minister said on Twitter, demanding action from the UN envoy.

He accused the rebels and their allies in renegade army units still loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh of "attacks on civilians in Taez".

The city lies on one of the fault lines of the conflict that has raged since March last year between the rebels and the government and its allies in a Saudi-led military coalition.

It was part of north Yemen before the unification of the country in 1990 but, unlike the capital and the northern mountains where the Huthi Shiite rebels have their main support base, it is overwhelmingly Sunni.

5.5.2016 – 21. Century Wire (* A K)

Yemen: US Mission Creep Escalates as 100 US Rangers Land in Lahj

UN in Lock-Step with US Neocolonialism

Until now the UN has been supporting the Saudi coalition war of aggression against the Yemeni people by adopting and enforcing UN Resolution 2216 that is an embargo on five named individuals but has been exploited by the Saudi coalition to impose a crippling land, sea and air blockade on 27 million Yemenis with devastating results.

The illegitimacy of this resolution that is based entirely upon the disputed legitimacy of President Hadi is discussed in the article mentioned above.

Suddenly on the 3rd of May, one day before the increased numbers of US Rangers arrived in Lahj, the UN announced the implementation of a UN mechanism to facilitate the “unimpeded flow of commercial goods and services to Yemen”

“Mr. Ban notes that UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism (UNVIM) based in Djibouti should provide fast and impartial clearance services for shipping companies transporting commercial imports and bilateral assistance to Yemeni ports outside of the authority of the Yemeni Government, Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said.”

So while the Ansarullah alliance have been resisting Saudi aggression and making military advances across the southern border with Saudi Arabia, the UN has been complicit in the genocidal starvation of the Yemeni people as collective punishment for Yemen’s daring to object to the Saudi coalition hegemony.

Now, the tide has turned, and obligingly the UN has re-opened the channels of supply to ensure the US allied troops dont starve, having intentionally starved the people of Yemen prior to the arrival of the US troops. The weakening of the prey before the vulture descends.

Peace talks had reached an impasse because Saudi Arabia has created a spurious pretext to hold Ansarullah responsible for violating the ceasefire by taking an area of Yemen that was actually already in Houthi control. The area between Sanaa and Sadaa had been a “protected zone” for the Saudi coalition where they had allowed the build up of AQAP forces with little interference, effectively attempting to blockade the route between the capital Sanaa and the northern Ansaruallh stronghold.

The real violation of the ceasefire comes from the Saudi coalition that has continued its bombing campaign unimpeded by the UN, US, NATO or even the western media. – by Vanessa Beeley

4.5.2016 – Human Rights Watch (* A P)

Yemen: War Crimes Not Addressed

Justice Efforts Crucial to Peace Talks

Participants to the Yemen peace talks should support international investigations, transitional justice, and victim compensation as key elements of any agreement. The United Nations-backed talks began in Kuwait on April 21, 2016.

The armed conflict in Yemen has been characterized by numerous violations of the laws of war by all sides, which have not been investigated nor have resulted in any redress for victims of unlawful attacks.

“It’s crucial for the Yemen peace talks to address past atrocities as well as future political arrangements,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director. “A mechanism should be put in place to investigate abuses, prosecute those responsible, and assist the victims.”

Human Rights Watch is unaware of any investigations by Saudi Arabia or other members of the coalition into allegedly unlawful attacks or abuses, or of any compensation for victims. In their public statements, none of the participants in the talks has indicated a need to include accountability or redress in the peace process.

Any peace agreement should include a mechanism that would allow an independent international investigation into abuses by all sides since the beginning of military operations in the country in late 2014, and provide a path toward prosecuting those responsible. In addition, governments are obligated to provide appropriate compensation to victims of violations of the laws of war.

5.2016 – Le Courrier du Magreb etc. (B K P)

YEMEN – Prospects of war and peace

Obviously, the American and Saudi policies do not seem to be identical about Yemen.

While the US promotes a settlement that maintains a considerable portion of their influence and participation in power, Saudi Arabia appears to be more determined to gain greater victory and reduce the Houthis influence and force it into the lowest level. Though the recent weeks have seen significant developments in the Houthis’ relation with Saudi Arabia there is no real indication that Saudi Arabia’s policy has already changed. Saudi Arabia received a Houthi delegation several weeks ago. Besides the stated truce there is also talk of demining the landmines along all borders and of prisoner swaps between the two sides.

Though these significant developments can’t be underestimated, they do not indicate that Saudi Arabia has abandoned its main strategy, which is intended to weaken the Houthis and cut down their influence, even to break their bones, as the Saudis basically describe the Houthis as a tool in the hands of Iran; and it doesnot seem that Saudi Arabia may accept a permanent menace in its soft flank.

Hence, even though Saudi Arabia seems to succumb to the American pressures and move toward truce and political solution, the Saudi leadership preserves its own other options, particularity the military one. In this context the appointment of General Ali Mohssen Al-Ahmer in the position of the second man in the state can be understood. The General with his wide relations among the military institution, besides his great influence within the tribal milieu, particularly in the northern region, appears to be assigned to dismantle the Houthi-Saleh allies in the tribal areas around Sana’a. By doing so, he will help preparing Sana’a for a political settlement in favour of the Saudis’ allies or for the military option which is still the most expected of all, regardless of the talks and negotiations.

Recently, the security situation and living conditions have seen relatively improved in the areas under the control of Hadi’s troops. The war on the terrorist groups has also been intensified in the southern governorates. This has positive impact in favour of Hadi’s team in the negotiations.

Meanwhile, the popular resistance forces have not yet been capable of forming a structure and political leadership -for this reason they are absent in the negotiations and appearas fully associated to Hadi’s government and its options, although most of the popular resistance factions have their own different choices; they even have certain concerns about the agreements being at their expense.

In spite of all what has been said about the truce and settlement, the conditions for a genuine and sustainable settlement are still missing, particularly regarding the exclusion of Ali Saleh and his group, which is the stronger party in the Houthi-Saleh alliance – by Salwa Dammaj, Assistant Professor (Department od Political Science - Sanaa University) - Country Director of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies (AIYS)

Comment: The author does not estimate ex vice president Bahah, not taking into account that he would have been a much better choice than Hadi for getting a peace agreement.

4.5.2016 – ntv (A K P)

Nach Aussetzung der Verhandlungen: Vertreter führen Friedensgespräche für Jemen fort

Die Konfliktparteien im jemenitischen Bürgerkrieg haben die in Kuwait unter UN-Initiative geführten Friedensverhandlungen wieder aufgenommen. "Die gemeinsame Sitzung der Friedensgespräche hat begonnen und die vereinbarte Agenda wird befolgt", teilte der UN-Vermittler für den Jemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, auf Twitter mit. Am Sonntag hatte die Regierung des Jemen ihre Beteiligung an den Verhandlungen ausgesetzt.

Als Grund nannte Außenminister Abdel Malak al-Mekhlafi die Einnahme eines wichtigen Militärstützpunktes nördlich der Hauptstadt Sanaa durch die Huthi-Rebellen. Seit mehr als drei Wochen gilt in dem Bürgerkriegsland eine Waffenruhe. Beide Seiten werfen sich jedoch gegenseitig vor, diese mehrmals gebrochen zu haben. Die Friedensgespräche hatten nach einer Verzögerung vor knapp zwei Wochen begonnen.

4.5.2016 – Middle East Eye (* A K P)

Yemen foes to resume face-to-face peace talks

The UN has stressed the need for a comprehensive ceasefire monitoring system as fragile Yemen peace talks resume in Kuwait

Yemen's warring parties are to resume face-to-face peace talks on Wednesday after a three-day break triggered by a walkout by the government delegation, the United Nations said.

"Participants will meet... on Wednesday in a plenary session to follow up with the agreed agenda," UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said.

It will be only the second day of face-to-face talks.

The UN envoy said the two sides agreed that a monitoring committee supervising an 11 April ceasefire will launch a fact-finding mission into the rebels' takeover of the al-Amaliqa base in Amran province, one of their strongholds.

The committee will submit a report within 72 hours with practical recommendations that all sides pledge to carry out, Ould Cheikh Ahmed said.

Foreign Minister Abdulmalek al-Mikhlafi, who heads the government delegation, has demanded a rebel pullout.

The United Nations stressed the need to strengthen ceasefire monitoring committees on the ground, particularly in and around battleground third city Taiz, where loyalist troops have been under siege for months, trapping tens of thousands of civilians.

4.5.2016 – Reuters (A K P)

U.N.-backed peace talks to end Yemen's civil war resumed on Wednesday after they were suspended by the Yemeni government for three days in protest at a Houthi assault on a military base near the capital Sanaa.

U.N. special envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed tweeted a picture of delegates representing the main warring sides sitting around a U-shaped table and said talks on Wednesday would focus on cementing the shakey ceasefire.

3.5.2016 – Atlantic Council (** A K P)

Finding a New Approach to Yemen’s Peace Talks

Several factors may have brought the warring parties to the negotiation table for the third time since the conflict began in September 2014. There has been little to no progress on the battlefield.

The political will and commitment of parties represented in Kuwait is, however, questionable.

Both sides represented in Kuwait continue to adopt hardline positions. The Houthi/Saleh delegation wants to start a political track by forming a coalition government and address disputed political issues on the constitution and state structure, before addressing security issues. While they demand a complete halt of air strikes, they continue their ground offensive in several areas in the country, including their latest assault on the military base north of Sanaa. The Hadi government delegation, which views Houthis and Saleh’s forces as outlawed militia, continues to insist on the implementation of UNSC decision 2216, starting with the militias’ withdrawal from cities, and the handover of heavy arms to the state—the state being represented by the internationally recognized government based in Riyadh.

Many key actors have been left out of each set of negotiations, and out of the UN-backed peace process in general. The talks have involved only a small subset of the critical stakeholders, without taking into account Yemen’s complex local dynamics. Even if the talks were to succeed, any deal reached would not likely hold on the ground due to the exclusion of other local actors.
Local forces fighting the Houthis/Saleh alliance in areas like Taiz, Mareb, Albaidha, and the South are often mistakenly labeled in the media as pro-Hadi forces. Yet many of these groups are fighting for local causes and because of local grievances including historic marginalization and unfair distribution of resources. The current delegates to the peace talks, Hadi’s government included, represent the traditional elite that systematically and with impunity hijacked the state and marginalized the rest of the country for the past several decades. It includes representatives from the Saleh’s party and Hadi’s government, both of which have a strong track record in corruption. While Houthis might not be part of the traditional elite, they have come to be perceived as such—especially in the South and other areas where there is active resistance against them such as Mareb, Taiz and Albaidha—because of their alliance with Saleh, the fact that they come from the traditionally dominant North, and their attempted expansion by force across the country.

As preparations were underway for the talks, tens of thousands of Southerners descended on Aden, the city they’ve come to call the capital of an independent “South Arabia,” to demand self-determination and the right to secede.

The Kuwait talks are already stumbling because of the divergent agendas and interests of those around the table. If the regional and international community rushes to support a settlement that reflects the interests only of those present, the talks will likely result in the past mistakes of the transitional process.

The UN and the international community can continue to put pressure on the warring parties in Kuwait to establish a ceasefire and an initial agreement on a solution, but it is also critical to acknowledge the limitations of the talks in their current state – by Nawda Al-Dawsari

Comment: Both sides seem to breach the ceasefire on the ground, not only the Houthi / Saleh side as stated here. It seems strange to label the Houthi position as “hardline” because of they would address political issues before security issues. What, in this state of the peace talks, would be the main “security issue?” A 100 % ceasefire and a 100 % stop of Saudi air strikes. What “security issues” the author is thinking of? Disarming one side as requested by the Hadi government will not bring any more security, quite on the contrary. The main issue to achieve any success would be to guarantee that the negotiations will be led on equal terms for both sides.

2.5.2016 – Inner City News (* A K P)

On Yemen, UN "Understands" Hadi Hyping Houthi Takeover of Base Took in 2014
The UN Secretariat's bungling of Yemen mediation has become ever more clear, according to multiple sources and documents exclusively seen by Inner City Press, see below.

Now the UN envoy - a car dealer through Dubai, Inner City Press has learned - and a slew of media have cooperated to present as reasonable the Saudi propped up Hadi government claiming the Houthis have “taken over” a base in Amran they have controlled since 2014.

This way the failure of the Kuwait talks can be blamed on the Houthis and not Hadi, and Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.

On May 2, Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephan Dujarric said "Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the Special Envoy for Yemen, issued a statement in which he said that he understood the reasons that led the Government of Yemen to suspend its participation in the plenary sessions of the Yemeni Peace Talks."

Inner City Press asked Dujarric UN transcript here:

Inner City Press: One is you said that the envoy on Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, understood the reasons for the breakdown of the talks, and it seems to be the alleged takeover of a base in Amran by the Houthis. And many people who know it say the Houthis controlled that base since September 2014 and so they view it as a pretext. I'm wondering are you… can you say a little bit more about why the envoy says that he understands why one side walked away from the table and if the UN understands this base in Amran was not controlled by the Houthis since 2014?
Spokesman Dujarric: I have nothing more to add than what I have said on Yemen.

On April 27, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric about complaints to his envoy about violations of the cessation of hostilities by Saudi Arabia, and if a "plenary" had been canceled. Video here, UN transcript here. by Matthew Russell Lee

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

5.5.2016 – Al Araby (A P)

Saudi man imprisoned for helping start political party

A man has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for helping set up a political party in Saudi Arabia, which has no elected parliament, and where parties and public dissent are strictly banned.
Local media reported on Tuesday that a court handed down the sentence to the Saudi national, who was not named, for his role in establishing the Umma Islamic Party, which in 2011 had called for an end to absolute monarchy in the country.
The unnamed man was convicted of a long list of charges including, "tearing apart the unity of the nation, inciting protests, seeking help from foreign bodies, illegal fundraising, infringing on the legitimacy of the state, slander, and defending prisoners with views against the law."
The defendant was also found guilty of designing a website for the party and communicating with TV stations.

The judge, however, slashed his sentence by two years because of his poor health and because he had "shown remorse".
The Umma Islamic Party was formed by a group of Islamists and intellectuals in February 2011 in the wake of the Arab Spring to call for reform and political representation in the country.

5.5.2016 – Living in Yemen on the Edge (A T)

‪#‎Saudi troops engaged in fierce gunfight with suspected ‪#‎ISmilitants in ‪#‎Mecca region. More soon:

2.5.2016 – CNN (* A E P)

Oil fallout: Laid off Saudi workers torch buses

13.4.2016 – Muslimpress (* B P)

Formation of joint militia between Saudi Arabia and Israel in Red sea

Based on secret documents leaked by a senior military official linked to left-wing liberal party “Meretz”, in 2014 a memorandum of understanding is concluded on joint military cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia in the Red Sea.

This agreement is concluded to Saudi Arabia and Israel management on Bab el-Mandeb Strait, the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal and the Red Sea littoral countries as well.

Published information from this source mention in duty of a host by Israel of a number of officers Arabia to participate in military training courses in the base of polonium of Port of Haifa in 2015.

And this attempt has taken on Israel-Saudi Arabia cooperation to support regional security and stability and combating terrorist groups in the Red Sea.

The source informs also the formation of a joint operation staff by Israel and Saudi Arabia in Tiran Island.
Also behalf of Israel, Colonel “David Salami”, and behalf of the Saudi Arabia, Major-general “Ahmed bin Saleh Al-Zahrani ” were selected as the joint commander of the Navy.

At the end, the source is published the list of a number of senior officers participating in the specialized courses:
Command School and specialized courses: number (nine) officers and (1) graduate.

29.1.2015 – Time (B K)

Meet Saudi Arabia’s Special Security Forces

In March 2013, photographer Lynsey Addario, along with TIME‘s Africa Bureau Chief Aryn Baker, gained access to Saudi Arabia’s highly secure and secretive Special Security Forces’ training grounds. They witnessed how the elite soldiers’ intense exercise regimen has prepared them to face all forms of terrorism or threats in the Kingdom. Following the death of King Abdullah, Interior Minister Muhammad bin Nayef, who leads his country’s counterterrorism program and oversees these forces, wasnamed Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. He is now second-in-line to the throne – by Aryn Baker

23.3.2013 – Time (B)

Rich Nation, Poor People: Saudi Arabia by Lynsey Addario

An estimated 20 percent of the population, if not more, lives in crippling poverty

Beggars panhandle in the shadows of Riyadh’s luxury shopping malls, and just a few kilometers away families struggle to get by in the capital’s southern slums. While the government has finally acknowledged that poverty is a problem in the kingdom, the world of the Saudi poor is largely hidden from sight.

cp9 USA

5.5.2016 – 21. Century Wire (* A K)

Yemen: US Mission Creep Escalates as 100 US Rangers Land in Lahj

Reports have come in this morning from Al Masirah TV, of a US troop build up in southern Yemen. One hundred US Rangers have landed in Lahj close to the ISIS and AQAP controlled port of Aden. This arrival was followed by the arrival of four US planes carrying military equipment and supplies.

The US mission creep began last week when a reported 8 or 10 US Rangers combined with UAE forces to ostensibly drive AQAP out of the Al Mukalla areas of southern Yemen. The western media failed to report on this intervention as it was happening. Finally on the 24th April, the New York Times published an account.

From reports on the ground and from reading this NYT report we can conclude that, despite claims of US involvement being to combat the AQAP threat in the region, in reality the militants offered little or no resistance and simply “handed over” the Al Mukalla base to the UAE and US forces.

One comment in the NYT article gives us a very familiar insight into the potential symbiotic partnership between the Saudi Coalition, the US and their potential proxies already on the ground in Yemen.

“But in the end, hardly a shot was fired. By nightfall, the Qaeda militants had withdrawn from Al Mukalla in an apparently tactical retreat, residents said.

The militants had faced little resistance. During the war between the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels, a Saudi Arabia-led military coalition supporting the government with airstrikes rarely, if ever, attacked Al Qaeda.”

Are we seeing the all too familiar and lawless interventionism from the US to support its genocidal Saudi coalition allies and more importantly its geopolitical interests in the region. They have illegally entered a sovereign nation without a UN Mandate, and in alliance with an illegitimate government and a President who had resigned his position twice prior to fleeing to Riyadh to demand that Saudi Arabia re-instate him by force – by Vanessa Beeley and see also

11.1988 – Middle East Revue (* C)

Saudi Arabia and the Reagan Doctrine

President Reagan came to office with a bold commitment to roll back Soviet gains in the Third World without risking the trauma or cost of another Vietnam-style intervention. The “Reagan Doctrine,” as his policy came to be known, ironically took its cue from Soviet support in the 1970s for leftist insurgencies in Africa and Central America. But the beneficiaries of the Reagan Doctrine were anti-communist resistance and counterrevolutionary insurgencies in Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia and Nicaragua.

Outside of the Afghanistan effort, however, the policy has never enjoyed broad, bipartisan support. Financing, arming, training and directing such movements has consistently strained the resources of the CIA and the lobbying abilities of the administration. As a result, the White House put a premium on finding foreign allies on whom it could offload some of the responsibility for these operations. Aside from sharing the burden, such an arrangement would help the administration cloak its role from both a meddling Congress and a divided American public.

Those allies, in turn, sought not only to advance their own anti-communist agenda, but also to bolster their influence in Washington by doing its bidding in the Third World. Thus Argentina’s military junta organized and trained the fledgling Nicaraguan Contra movement until the Falklands War; South Africa has been the main backer of UNITA in opposition to the Marxist-oriented MPLA in Angola; and Pakistan has served as the major conduit of foreign supplies to the Afghan rebels.

In the Middle East, two regional adversaries also diverted resources to help Washington with the expectation of winning return favors. Thanks to its technical and military expertise and experience in covert operations, Israel has proven a particularly active agent of US policy in Central America, Africa and the Middle East, most notoriously in support of the Contras and the arms-for-hostage deals with Iran. [1]

Saudi Arabia, for its part, has also made a major commitment to covert support of Reagan administration foreign policy objectives. One goal clearly was to neutralize or at least limit the power of the Israel lobby in the United States. It opened up its bank accounts to Washington, sending petrodollars to the Third World to stoke the fires of anti-communist rebellion – by Jonathan Marshall

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

Siehe cp 1 Am wichtigsten / See cp1 Most important

5.5.2016 – The Guardian (** A P)

Who’s making sure the Saudi bombs keep falling on Yemen? The Tories

Human rights groups want to block arms sales to Saudi Arabia – yet Conservative politicians have voted to let the killing continue

now have a real insight into the moral character of the Conservative government. Three thousand unaccompanied child refugees sawBritain’s door slammed in their face, before the resulting outcry forced a partial climbdown. Disabled people have had vital support taken away from them in George Osborne’s budget. But something even worse is happening, and it is barely being discussed: the UK’s complicity in an indiscriminate, Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen that has killed and maimed thousands of innocent people.

Conservative members of the parliamentary select committee on international development blocked a call for the suspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia. They cast this shameful vote after hearing overwhelming evidence from the world’s leading human rights groups and aid agencies that a Saudi-led coalition is systematically bombing civilian targets in Yemen, exacerbating a humanitarian disaster comparable in scale to that in Syria.

The arms that Tory committee members seem to think should continue to be provided include the 500lb Paveway IV bomb, manufactured by Raytheon in the UK, whose production lines were diverted to the replenishment of Saudi stockslast July, in full knowledge of Saudi atrocities.

The moral case for not arming the Saudi air force while it is committing mass murder hardly needs to be elaborated upon. But there is a legal case to answer as well. The law forbids arms sales where there is a “clear risk” that they “might” be used in serious violations of international humanitarian law. The committee’s report says that the “powerful evidence” it has heard “suggests that there is more than a clear risk of IHL [international humanitarian law] violations by the Saudi-led coalition”. Given the Saudis’ extensive use of British planes, missiles and bombs, it would seem to be a miracle if British arms had not been used in any of the scores of documented violations. Yet Tory committee members, with one honourable exception, voted down specific text calling for a suspension in the supply of those arms, instead calling for the parliamentary committees on arms export controls to consider the case for a suspension, and for a separate, independent inquiry into Saudi conduct.

It is impossible to see why the international development committee would need more inquiries and committee deliberations before making the clear and urgent statement it should have made this week on UK arms sales. Or why those Yemenis who have survived the war so far should have to wait even longer for the British government to stop pouring fuel on the flames.

In fact, what the Tory committee members have done complements the government’s strategy of political and diplomatic stalling. After months of disingenuous denials that any evidence of Saudi atrocities existed, ministers then offered a barely substantiated dismissal of the evidence gathered by the UN, Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, instead telling us to wait with bated breath for the results of an investigation conducted by none other than the Saudis themselves – by David Wearing

5.5.2016 – International Business Times (** A P)

BAE defends trade deals with Saudi Arabia, says 'weapons encourage peace'

BAE Systems has defended its deals with Saudi Arabia who is currently at war with Yemen. At the company's annual general meeting held on 4 May, Sir Roger Carr, chief executive at the British defence company was questioned by activists regarding providing weapons to a country like Saudi Arabia which is often accused of violating human rights.

Peace activists attended the meeting and asked the moral justification behind supplying weapons to the Arab kingdom, to which Carr said that BAE's weaponswere sold to "encourage peace". He added that the justification was "in our belief that what we are doing is in the interests of peace for the world, rather than simply as aggressors. We maintain peace by having the ability to make war and that has stood the test of time".

"We are not here to judge the way that other governments work, we are here to do a job under the rules and regulations we are given", he said in response to one of the questions put forth by the activists. The chief executive explained that Saudi Arabia was an appropriate customer for BAE's weapons and services, considering it were an ally to Britain, according to the Guardian – by Khedar Grandhi

Continue reading:

Comment: Please read in full. Regarding crazyness, hyprocrisy and Orwellianism, this statement hardly could be topped.

4.5.2016 – The Guardian (** A K P)

UK's claims over Saudi bombing in Yemen 'deeply disappointing', say MPs

The British government’s claim that Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign in Yemenhas not breached international humanitarian law is “deeply disappointing” and contributes to an “anything goes” attitude from the opposing sides in the conflict, the international development select committee has said.

The finding comes as a rebuke to the foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, who made the assessment despite a UN-sponsored report and many charities presenting evidence to the contrary. The Conservative-dominated committee said the Saudi inquiry into the Yemen campaign, supported by the Foreign Office, was inadequate and called for an independent inquiry.

“It is deeply disappointing that the UK government does not accept that breaches of international humanitarian law have taken place in Yemen,” the committee said in a report. “The failure to hold parties to the conflict to account for their actions appears to have contributed to an ‘anything goes’ attitude by both sides to this conflict.”

The MPs’ report, published on Wednesday, found that “there was clear evidence [that] international humanitarian law is being breached, making the relief effort difficult and dangerous. Schools, health and vital water and nutrition supplies are at risk, while the civilian population bears the brunt of the fighting. Yemen faces one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with 82% of the population in need of assistance”.

But in a sign of the sensitivity of UK-Saudi relations, Conservative MPs on the committee blocked a call for Britain’s highly profitable arms sales to Saudi Arabia to be suspended pending clear evidence that the air campaign in Yemen was targeting civilians. The six Conservatives on the 11-member committee voted for UK weapons sales to be referred to a separate committee specialising in arms exports.

In correspondence with the committee, Hammond set out a series of reasons why the government believes that there is no case for revoking licences issued to arms exporters.

He said the Saudi-led coalition was not targeting civilians; Saudi Arabia’s processes and procedures were in place to ensure respect for the principles of international humanitarian law; and the kingdom was investigating incidents of concern, including those involving civilian casualties.

“Saudi Arabia has throughout engaged in constructive dialogue with the UK about both its processes and incidents of concern,” Hammond told the committee. “Saudi Arabia has been and remains genuinely committed to [international humanitarian law] compliance”.

David Mepham, the UK director of Human Rights Watch, said in response that multiple attacks on markets, hospitals, schools and private homes had been documented in violation of the laws of war.

A Saudi internal inquiry into the Yemen campaign, set up in January in response to international criticism, has not yet published any findings. The Foreign Office minister, Tobias Ellwood, said last week that he had contacted the Saudi ambassador to the UK to complain that the inquiry was taking an excessively long time.

The MPs’ report said it remained “unconvinced that Saudi Arabia is best placed to conduct investigations into reports of [international humanitarian law] abuses by the Saudi-led coalition. It is a longstanding principle of the rule of law that inquiries should be independent of those being investigated”.

In separate evidence last week, the minister for defence procurement, Philip Dunne, revealed for the first time that British officials stationed in Riyadh had access to reports compiled by the Saudi air force into its air raids. He said the UK government advises the Saudi air force on general air campaign tactics, but not individual targets – by Patrick Wintour

4.5.2016 – Sputnik News (* A K P)

Yemen Crisis: UK 'Burying Its Head in the Sand' Over Saudi Arms Sales

UK government ministers need to stop "burying their heads in the sand" over the impacts of Britain's continued sale of arms to Saudi Arabia, campaigners have told Sputnik, following criticism from MPs that such actions are undermining attempts to address Yemen's humanitarian crisis.

Fresh criticism has been leveled at the UK's government's decision to continue selling arms to Riyadh, following the release of a British lawmakers' report calling for an "immediate and independent" investigation into alleged breaches of international law associated with the Saudi-led conflict in Yemen.

4.5.2016 – Reuters (* A K P)

UK arms sales to Saudi threaten its Yemen aid efforts - lawmakers
Britain's efforts to tackle Yemen's massive humanitarian crisis risk being seriously undermined by its multi-billion dollar arms sales to neighbouring Saudi Arabia, a group of UK lawmakers said on Wednesday.

They urged Britain to consider suspending weapons exports to Saudi Arabia, which has been accused by rights groups and aid agencies of repeatedly bombing civilian targets in Yemen.

Britain also should back calls for an urgent independent investigation into alleged violations of humanitarian law by both sides in the conflict, the International Development Committee said in a report.

"The growing evidence of indiscriminate bombing by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen ... raises serious questions over the government's continued licensing of arms transfers to Saudi Arabia," the committee said.

Aid agencies told the inquiry there was a "paradox at the heart of the UK government's approach to Yemen".

Britain, one of the biggest donors to Yemen, has earmarked £85 million in humanitarian aid for this year and is providing medical supplies, water, food and emergency shelters.

"The government should listen to the many concerns being expressed ... that the humanitarian crisis that (it) is working to address in Yemen may be being exacerbated by a flow of British arms into Saudi Arabia," committee chairman Stephen Twigg said.

Julien Harneis, head of UNICEF in Yemen, told the committee's inquiry that the way the bombing was being conducted was "almost guaranteed to lead to civilian deaths".

The Saudi government has launched an internal inquiry into the alleged violations.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told the committee that Saudi Arabia should be allowed to complete its inquiry before any independent investigation is considered.

He added that there was no reason to stop arms exports but that the situation was being kept under review.

One health expert said there were fears that polio, which was eradicated in Yemen a decade ago, could reappear because of a lack of vaccine – by Emma Batha =

Comment: The Saudis did not launch an inquiry – they told they would launch. Fairy tales like everything an investigation on one’s own war crimes would contain. And Hammond definitely does not WANT any independent investigation when telling he wants to wait for a Saudi investigation and then would rely on it. Yes, he clearly says he does not want to stop arms exports – that is the reason for all of it.

4.5.2016 – Huffington Post (* A P)

Britain Has Been Instrumental in the Yemen Humanitarian Effort - But Questions Must Be Asked of Arms Transfers to Saudi Arabia

Today the International Development Committee released our report on the Crisis in Yemen, our fourth report of the Parliament. Yemen faces a massive humanitarian crisis, with over 80% of the population in need of assistance.

DFID has been instrumental in supporting and facilitating the humanitarian relief effort.

We received evidence from humanitarian organisations which suggests strongly that humanitarian law has been breached. This undermines the relief effort. In light of the compelling evidence, we recommend that an independent international inquiry into alleged violations of IHL by both sides of the conflict in Yemen should be set up without delay.

The evidence we have received raises questions over the Government's continued licensing of arms transfers to Saudi Arabia. Based on the strength and credibility of the evidence we have heard, we welcome the Committee on Arms Export Controls inquiry into the use of UK manufactured arms in Yemen and hope it will consider the case for suspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia until there is evidence that there is no 'clear risk' that arms exported from the UK "might be used in the commission of a serious violation of IHL" in Yemen – by Stephen Twigg, MP

4.5.2016 – UNICEF (A P)

Unicef UK response to the IDC report, 'Crisis in Yemen'

Unicef UK Executive Director, David Bull said:

“Unicef UK welcomes the report ‘Crisis in Yemen’, published today by the International Development Committee. The report highlights the devastating impact that the conflict continues to have on the lives of children in Yemen.
“The violence in Yemen has not only shattered the lives of millions of children, but today’s report also highlights the alarming long-term consequences the conflict could have on a generation of Yemini children; 47% are currently unable to go to school because of the conflict.

“The destruction of the health service has also left millions of children and their families without adequate nutrition, drinking water or sanitation and poses serious risks to the country’s future beyond the end of the conflict. UNICEF estimates that nearly 10,000 children under 5 years may have died in the past year from preventable diseases.

“The report highlights that this is yet another conflict where children are being let down under international humanitarian law; their schools and hospitals are attacked, and the number of grave violations against children is rising

“The UK Government has a critical role to play in ensuring that the children of Yemen can look forward to a future with hope rather than despair. We urge the Government to heed the report’s recommendations and use their influence to reduce the suffering of millions of children in country. We must not let the children of Yemen become a lost generation.”

4.5.2016 – Parliament (* A P)

Humanitarian breaches in Yemen need independent investigation

International Development Committee report finds strong evidence that delivery of aid relief is still undermined by on-going breaches of international humanitarian law.

Through correspondence with the Foreign Secretary (published as an appendix to the report), the Committee understands that theGovernment wants Saudi Arabia, "first and foremost" to conduct thorough and conclusive investigations into breaches of international humanitarian law (IHL).

However, evidence to the Committee's inquiry strongly suggests that IHL is being breached, making the relief effort difficult and dangerous. Schools, health and vital water and nutrition supplies are at risk while the civilian population bears the brunt of the fighting. Yemen faces one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with 82% of the population in need of assistance.

Stephen Twigg MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

"In light of the reports of violations of IHL by the Saudi-Arabia-led Coalition, the Committee welcomes the current inquiry by the Committees on Arms Exports Controls (CAEC) to consider the use of UK-manufactured arms in Yemen.

The IDC recommends that CAEC considers the case for suspending UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia until there is evidence that no 'clear risk' that arms exported from the UK might be used in the commission of a serious violation of IHL in the country.

Meanwhile the Yemeni population is really suffering. The Committee commends DFID for acting swiftly and efficiently to reach people in dire need and contributing £85 million so far.

However, the UK Government should look at the evidence presented in our report and consider carefully the paradox at play here.

Finally, Ministers must continue to apply pressure on all parties to the conflict to agree to the next round of peace talks and ensure they are inclusive and represent the needs of the Yemeni population."

4.5.2016 – The Telegraph (* A P)

MPs attack Saudi Arabia and British government over Yemen war

Backbench MPs have called for an independent international inquiry into breaches of humanitarian law committed by all sides in the war in Yemen, in a snub to the government and Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.

The cross-party international development committee contradicted Mr Hammond, who has rejected criticism of the record of Saudi Arabia, a close British ally and major arms purchaser, in the war.

Mr Hammond wrote to the committee that there was "no clear risk" that Saudi Arabia might use weapons bought from Britain to commit serious violations of international humanitarian law.

He said the Saudi coalition was not targeting civilians, and was itself "investigating incidents of concern, including those involving civilian casualties".

However, the committee's report, released on Wednesday, said it chose to differ and that additionally relief work was being affected.

"The evidence we have received, from humanitarian actors operating on the ground in Yemen and respected human rights organisations including UN commissioned evidence, unanimously suggested that humanitarian law (IHL) is being breached," it concluded.

"We recommend that an independent investigation into alleged violations of IHL by both sides of the conflict in Yemen is conducted without delay. We remain unconvinced that Saudi Arabia is best placed to conduct investigations into reports of IHL abuses by the Saudi-led Coalition.

The report was welcomed by Human Rights Watch, whose British head, David Melpham, was particularly critical of Mr Hammond's letter – by Richard Spencer

4.5.2016 – The Independent (* A P)

Yemen civil war: MPs demand inquiry into suspected breaches of international humanitarian law by both sides

The International Development Committee (IDC) said that an on-going unilateral investigation into air strikes alleged to have targeted civilians, led by Saudi Arabia itself, was contrary to a “longstanding principle of the rule of law” that the party being investigated should not do the investigating.

However, the UK government, which is one of Saudi Arabia’s main arms suppliers, repeated its backing for the Saudi-led investigation.

“In light of the very strong evidence that delivery of humanitarian relief is undermined by ongoing breaches of IHL, we recommend that an independent investigation into alleged violations of IHL by both sides of the conflict in Yemen is conducted without delay,” their report said. “We remain unconvinced that Saudi Arabia is best placed to conduct investigations into reports of IHL abuses by the Saudi-led Coalition. As we stated when we wrote to the Secretary of State for International Development in February 2016, it is a longstanding principle of the rule of law that inquiries should be independent of those being investigated.”

In a letter to the committee, Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, said he was not opposed to an independent investigation but that “first and foremost” the Government wanted to see Riyadh investigate the claims against it.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson said it was the norm for combatants to investigate claims of IHL breaches made against them, citing the US investigation into the attack on an MSF medical facility in Afghanistan last year – by Charlie Cooper and also by The National Scot:

Comment: The British government claims that Saudi-Arabia itself should “investigate the claims against it” – what is rather ridiculous in itself, not only in the case of Saudi Arabia, but in all cases of investigating crimes, whether of state actors or individuals. And just the example given by the the Foreign office spokesperson – the US investigation into the attack on an MSF medical facility in Afghanistan last year – is a very good example for how worthless and 100 % partisan are investigations of one’s own crimes.

3.5.2016 – Middle East Eye (* A P)

Saudi complying with human rights law in Yemen: UK Foreign Secretary

There is 'no clear risk' that Saudi is using UK arms to commit rights violations, Philip Hammond tells MP in letter

The British Foreign Secretary has said that Saudi Arabia is complying with international human rights laws in Yemen, a claim that one human rights advocate called "extraordinary".

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond comments came in a 5 April letter sent to MP Stephen Twigg, head of a cross-party committee that has called on the UK government to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia, citing "overwhelming" evidence that the Saudi-coalition has violated international law.
In February, the Commons international development committee said that the flow of arms to Saudi Arabia had soared since the start of the Yemen conflict, with close to £3bn of export licences granted in the last six months, a figure that dwarfs the previous year's total.

The committee is scheduled to release a report on Wednesday based on its months-long inquiry into Yemen. The report will come a week after UK ministers said they were urging Saudi Arabia to speed up its own inquiry into its intervention in Yemen which Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood reportedly said had been "frustratingly slow".

But in Hammond's comments to Twigg in the letter that was recently posted on the committee's website, the foreign secretary said that there was "no clear risk" that Saudi might be using UK arms to commit serious human rights violations.

He also said that the Saudi-led coalition is not targetting civilians and that Saudi Arabia is investigating "incidents of concern" and "remains genuinely committed" to complying with international humanitarian law.

David Mepham, UK director of Human Rights Watch, said that while the British government has "long been in denial" about Saudi military operations in Yemen, Hammond's comments were "extraordinary".

"[Hammond] asserts that the Saudi-led coalition has not targeted civilians in Yemen, although Human Rights Watch and others have documented multiple attacks on markets, hospitals, schools and private homes in violation of the laws of war," said Mepham.

Mepham also said that Hammond's claims that Saudi Arabia has put procedures in place to ensure adherence to the laws of war and investigate incidents of concern is misleading.

"The reality is one of ongoing, large-scale violations by the Saudis in Yemen that have continued for over a year, and a refusal by the Saudis either to acknowledge these violations or properly investigate them," he said.

And the letter quoted, here excerpt:

6.4.2016 – Philipp Hammond (A P)

As you point out in your letter, Saudi Arabia has announced the result of the investigation in the airstrike on an MSF hospital. The MOD has monitored and analysed the additional International Humanitarian Law (IHL) allegations highlighted in your letter. In carrying out its analysis, the MOD has access to a wide range of information to which the UN and the NGOs mentioned in your letter do not have access, including: Saudi-led Coalition operational reporting data; imagery; and other reports and assessments, including UK Defence Intelligence reports and some battle damage assessments.

When considering arms export licences there are a number of issues to be considered, pursuant to the Consolidated Criteria. Our analysis in relation to air weapons and equipment that may be used by the Saudis in Yemen has focused in particular on Criterion 2(c), for which the relevant question to ask is whether there is a clear risk that the items to be licensed might be used in the commission of a serious violation of IHL. This is done on a case by case basis with reference to expert advice from both the FCO and MOD including: a considered analysis by MOD of all incidents of alleged IHL violations by the Coalition in Yemen that come to its attention; an understanding and knowledge of Saudi Arabian military processes and procedures; and ongoing engagement with Saudi Arabia, including post-incident dialogue with respect to investigations.

The Government has concluded that the mandatory refusal threshold in criterion 2(c) has not been met. There is no clear risk that Saudi Arabia might use the UK export to commit serious violations of IHL. In particular: (1) the Saudi-led Coalition are not targeting civilians; (2) Saudi Arabian processes and procedures have been put in place to ensure respect for the principles of IHL; (3) Saudi Arabia is investigating incidents of concern, including those involving civilian casualties; (4) Saudi Arabia has throughout engaged in constructive dialogue with the UK about both its processes and incidents of concern; (5) Saudi Arabia has been and remains genuinely committed to IHL compliance.

Comment: Obviously British arms are used in this war. A great part of the Saudi fighting jets are BAE Eurofighter Typhoons. The sales of British bombs to Saudi Arabia has increased for 10.000 % since the beginning of the war. The Saudis will not have bought the jets to let them stand and grow old on an air field. They have not bought the bombs to staple them like gold coins. As Hammond just is interested in keeping up these arms sales he must look away from reality. The only way this is still possible is playing the role of an idiot. That is what Hammond does.

4.5.2016 – RT (A P)

‘Yemen war crimes’: BAE evicts anti-Saudi protesters from shareholder AGM

BAE Systems evicted two shareholders from its AGM on Wednesday when they protested the firm’s sale of arms to Saudi Arabia, which they claim were used to commit war crimes against innocent Yemeni civilians.

The shareholders-come-activists who are affiliated with Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) staged the intervention after the arms giant’s chairman Roger Carr took the stage.

Just five minutes into his address, the pair stealthily walked to the front of the room carrying placards denouncing BAE’s complicity in Saudi Arabia’s brutal military campaign against Yemen.

The posters, which were visible for all present to see, bore the caption: “900 children killed in Yemen. Stop arming Saudi Arabia!” see also film

27.4.2016 – Politico (* A P)

This January, a UN expert panel accused Saudi Arabia of "widespread and systematic" attacks on civilian targets. Its 51 page report "documented 119 sorties relating to violations of international humanitarian law" and reported starvation being used as a war tactic.

One place where these concerns have fallen on deaf ears is in Whitehall, where the government bears a greater responsibility for the unfolding crisis than most. Right from day one the UK has supported the Saudi intervention. Foreign secretary Philip Hammond made his position crystal clear. After the first night of bombing he assured his Saudi allies that the UK government would support them "in every practical way short of engaging in combat". Government minister have provided political legitimacy for the strikes, while UK made fighter jets have flown overhead and British bombs have been dropped from the skies.

UK arms export rules are clear that licences for military equipment should not be granted if there is a "clear risk" that they "might" be used in violation of international humanitarian law. But that hasn’t altered a thing. The political will hasn’t been there. Since the bombing began, the UK has licensed almost £3 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia. These arms sales been complemented by a steady stream of diplomatic visits and photo opportunities.

Unfortunately this political intimacy is nothing new. Successive governments have worked and colluded with the Saudi dictatorship. The depths and extent of that shameful relationship has been revealed in a new report, A Shameful Relationship: UK Complicity in Saudi State Violence by David Wearing, a researcher at the School of Oriental & African Studies. As Wearing makes clear, the issue is not party political, or unique to this particular government. It is long term, institutional and unbending.

Regardless of the atrocities Saudi Arabia has committed, governments of all political colours and stripes have consistently and uncritically supported the regime. The political outcomes of this toxic relationship and the influence it buys are extremely clear. We see it every time that government ministers sign military agreements and lobby for arms sales, and every time they turn their back on those living under Saudi oppression.

Over recent months, the parliamentary consensus has began to shift – by Andrew Smith, spokesperson for Campaign Against Arms Trade =

cp11 Deutschland / Germany

4.5.2016 – RT (A P)

"Besuch unter Freunden" - Kanzlerin Merkel lädt saudischen Kronprinz zum Staatsbesuch ein

Der Kronprinz von Saudi-Arabien, Muhammed bin Naif, der in Personalunion sowohl den Posten des stellvertretenden Premiers als auch des Innenministers der Golfmonarchie bekleidet, hat eine offizielle Einladung nach Deutschland von Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel erhalten. Bei dem Besuch wollen die „befreundeten Staaten“ Möglichkeiten zur Stärkung der bilateralen Beziehungen diskutieren.

Das Einladungsschreiben wurde vom deutschen Botschafter zu Saudi-Arabien, Boris Ruge, an den Kronprinzen übergeben. Beide Offizielle trafen sich dazu eigens im Innenministerium in Riad.

Bereits während des Treffens begannen beide Seiten eine Reihe von „Fragen des gemeinsamen Interesses“ zu besprechen, heißt es laut eines Berichts des Nachrichtenportals „Al Sharq Al Awsat“.

Kommentar: Wie sagt der Bayer: Dös hätt‘s fei ned ‘braucht.

3.5.2016 – Deutschlandfunk (** B P)

Journalismus hat nicht mehr die Aufklärungsautorität wie vor 20 Jahren
Vertrauen in die Medien auf der einen Seite, Zweifel an der Unabhängigkeit auf der anderen: Für Journalistikprofessor Michael Haller sind diese Ergebnisse einer Studie Ausdruck von Ratlosigkeit vieler Menschen. Dafür gebe es verschiedene Ursachen, sagte er im Deutschlandfunk. (…)
Deutschlandfunk: „Woher kommt denn dieses Unbehagen?“
Haller: (…) „Da spielt schon mal eine große Rolle, dass im Verlauf der letzten, sagen wir mal, 10, 15, 20 Jahre die großen, die meinungsstarken und auch meinungsprägenden Medien, also die sogenannten Leitmedien, gerade was die Außenpolitik betrifft, Europa, Westen gegenüber Russland und so weiter, eine sehr große Übereinstimmung zeigen mit der politischen Linie der bundesdeutschen Regierung. Da ist eine erhebliche Nähe. Man kann sagen, die politischen Eliten und die Eliten in der Wirtschaft und im Journalismus, die verstehen sich gut, verstehen sich gut auch im Sinne von, wir sind grosso modo einer Meinung. Ob man jetzt die Frage des Engagements Deutschlands in Afghanistan nimmt, ob die in den letzten Jahren viel diskutierte Ukraine- und demgegenüber Russland-Politik meint, das Griechenland-Bashing, viele solcher Dinge, die geben den Leuten das Gefühl, da ist eigentlich keine kritische Kontrolle und vor allen Dingen auch das, was viele Menschen bewegt, die zu solchen Vorgängen und solchen politischen Entscheidungen auch andere Auffassungen haben. Die finden sie dann in den großen meinungsführenden Medien nicht mehr.“

3.5.2016 – Deutschlandradio Kultur (* B P)

Lauter politisch korrekte Volkspädagogen

Nach Ansicht des Medienwissenschaftlers Norbert Bolz von der TU Berlin sind für das mangelnde Vertrauen vieler Bürger in die Medien die Journalisten verantwortlich. Gerade in den öffentlich-rechtlichen Medien verstünden sich Journalisten als Volkspädagogen, die die Menschen auf den richtigen Weg führen wollten: Dies sei gerade in der Flüchtlingsberichterstattung deutlich geworden, betonte der Berliner Medienwissenschaftler. „Insofern kann ich dieses Misstrauen dieses großen Teils der Bevölkerung ganz gut verstehen.“ (…)
Bolz: „Aber ich glaube, dieses Moment, dass viele Journalisten – gerade übrigens im öffentlich-rechtlichen Bereich – sich auch nicht nur als Journalisten, sondern als Volkspädagogen verstehen und glauben, man müsste auch tatsächlich gewisse Informationen dem Volk vorenthalten, weil es noch nicht reif genug ist, damit umzugehen, das sind Tendenzen, die doch sehr, sehr stark sich in der letzten Zeit entwickelt haben. Und da müssten die Journalisten vielleicht tatsächlich ein bisschen umdenken, sich zurückbesinnen auf ihren eigentlichen Auftrag, nämlich schlicht Information zu vermitteln.“ (…)

cp13 Blockade

3.5.2016 – Fatik Al-Rodaini (A H)

A ship carrying 87 tonnes of life-saving medicines and medical supplies has arrived in Al Hudaydah port, #Yemen

3.5.2016 – Reuters (A H K)

United Nations to start inspecting commercial shipments to Yemen

The United Nations will start inspecting shipments to rebel-held ports in Yemen in a bid to boost commercial imports and enforce an arms embargo, the world body said on Tuesday, some eight months after announcing it would establish such a procedure.

Yemen relies almost solely on imports, but a 14-month long conflict between Houthi rebels and a Saudi Arabian-led coalition has slowed to a trickle commercial shipments to the impoverished country where 80 percent of people need humanitarian aid.

The United Nations announced in September it would set up a verification and inspection mechanism. Then in October U.N. aid chief Stephen O'Brien said the United Nations was still trying to raise some $8 million to fund the Djibouti-based operation.

It began operations on Monday, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that the European Union, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Britain and the United States had provided financing.

"It should provide fast and impartial clearance services for shipping companies transporting commercial imports and bilateral assistance to Yemeni ports outside of the authority of the Government of Yemen," Dujarric said.

The United Nations will ensure commercial shipments to rebel-held ports are not carrying weapons in violation of a U.N. arms embargo. The light U.N. regime will replace inspections by the Saudi-led coalition, which slowed commercial shipments – by Michelle Nichols

Comment by Judith Brown: Is this good news??? The UN didn't do a very good job of clearing items headed for Iraq at the time of their embargo. And Yemen needs imports urgently - people especially children are dying.

3.5.2016 – UN News Centre (A H K)

Ban welcomes launch of UN inspection to facilitate flow of commercial goods to Yemen

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed yesterday’s official launch of the operations of a UN inspection mechanism to facilitate the unimpeded flow of commercial goods and services to Yemen, while ensuring compliance with the arms embargo created by the Security Council, his spokesman said today.

Mr. Ban notes that UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism (UNVIM) based in Djibouti should provide fast and impartial clearance services for shipping companies transporting commercial imports and bilateral assistance to Yemeni ports outside of the authority of the Yemeni Government, Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said.

According to the Spokesperson, the Secretary-General further notes that the launch of UNVIM is part of broader efforts to bring relief to suffering Yemeni civilians, which he hopes will culminate in a negotiated political settlement between the Yemeni parties through UN-mediated talks under way in Kuwait.

Comment: If you really want to stop this war you must block all weapon imports to the Arab peninsula. Where does the greatest part of weapons go to? To the Houthis?

Comment by Afrah Ateiq: Lets see...bearing in mind the arms "embargo" was only ever against 5 named individuals and has been used to collectively punish 27 million Yemenis. The UN has been complicit in one year of Yemeni suffering, I dont consider them absolved of that guilt if they now make a belated effort to alleviate suffering they helped to create.

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

5.5.2016 – My Inform (A T)


Al-Qaeda in Yemen threatened Wednesday to target the homes of officers and soldiers who took part in a government offensive that drove militants out of key areas. Government troops backed by air and ground support from a Saudi-led coalition launched last month a widespread operation against jihadists in south and southeastern Yemen. "We warn all military leaders and soldiers who participated in the campaign that their houses are now legitimate targets for us," said an online statement issued by the Abyan province branch of Ansar al-Sharia, another name used by Al-Qaeda in Yemen."We advise their wives and children to leave their houses because they (the houses) will be our next target," the statement said. Al-Qaeda fighters remain in Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Abyan province, after government forces advanced towards the city in late April. Residents took to the streets demanding the extremists leave to spare the city any fighting.

5.5.2016 – 21. Century Wire (* A K)

Yemen: US Mission Creep Escalates as 100 US Rangers Land in Lahj

AQAP has been fighting alongside illegitimate President Mansour Hadi loyalists in many regions.

“A coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia is fighting alongside al-Qaeda militants against Houthi rebels in Yemen, according to a report. A BBC documentary crew has filmed jihadists and pro-government militiamen fighting rebels near the southern city of Taiz, supported by UAE soldiers.” ~IBT

During the 31st session of the UNHRC [Human Rights Commission], Mohammed Al Wazir, a Yemeni-US lawyer and founder of Arabian Rights Watch Association stated that:

“Before the war, Alqaida was pushed back to a small desert city port called Mukalla. Since the war began, Alqaeda has benefited from weapons and food drops and even air cover allowing it to spread back to Aden, Lahj and Taiz”

CBS news is even more blatant:

“Coalition armoured vehicles and the army entered Mukalla and al Qaeda fighters are departing,” one unnamed witness told Reuters.

They said the forces loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi are receiving air support from the Saudi-led and U.S.-backed coalition, which until now has mainly targeted Shiite Houthi rebels. The aircraft struck targets in Mukalla, an al Qaeda stronghold and the capital of Hadramawt province, they said.

We must also bear in mind that the AQAP militants had focused on control of the strategic southern coastal regions of Yemen, extending their stronghold along the 1000 mile Yemeni coastline pivotal to the Saudi and US oil projects in the region.

“It is no accident that AQAP [Al Qaeda Arab Peninsula] and ISIS have seized swathes of land in the southern province of Hadramaut and the port of Aden. They seem to share the exact same strategic agenda as Saudi Arabia and its GCC allies in Yemen, so they appear to be acting as Saudi proxy forces. – by Vanessa Beeley

4.5.2016 – AFP (* A T)

Relief in Yemen's Mukalla after year of Qaeda rule

Ten days after Gulf-backed forces drove Al-Qaeda out of the Yemeni port city of Mukalla, the signs of their harsh year-long rule are still everywhere for relieved residents to see.

"We lived in terror," said Mujahid al-Qaiqi, a resident of the central neighbourhood of Dis.

The 22-year-old said he had fears of either being detained by Al-Qaeda or forced to join its ranks.

AQAP established a religious police force tasked with enforcing strict Islamic rules.

The jihadists forced women to cover themselves from head to toe and banned mixing between sexes in public.

They also banned all music, a harsh move in a city with a reputation for its traditional music.

"They even banned songs and dances at weddings," said resident Alawia Sakkaf.

Al-Qaeda angered the people of Mukalla by destroying ancient tombs and mausoleums, claiming they were forms of idolatry banned in Islam.

Violators were hunted down and their punishments were often meted out in public.

On January 4, the militants stoned to death a woman accused of adultery – by Fawaz al-Haidari

4.5.2016 – Reuters (B T)

CMF: Al Qaeda in Yemen Poses Risks to Shipping

Captain William Nault, Chief of Staff with the multi-national Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), told Reuters ‎the gains by government forces were "heartening" and a "setback" for AQAP, but added the group still had capabilities due to the ongoing civil war.

‎"AQAP has taken advantage of that chaos and moved into the void. In doing so they have gotten stronger‎," said Nault of CMF, whose mission includes counter-piracy and counter-terrorism in the region.

The group still controls the Arabian Sea towns of Zinjibar and Shaqra, about 400 km (250 miles) southwest of Mukalla.

That coastal area is close to the Bab al-Mandab gateway though which nearly four million barrels of oil are shipped daily to Europe, the United States and Asia.

Nault said ‎AQAP had a "stated capability and intent to conduct a maritime terrorist attack", which was something "we look at very hard"‎.

"I would assess that as getting worse over the last year instead of better," he said on a visit to London.

"That threat would be against a soft target meaning an industry ship passing or going in and out of ... the Red Sea towards the eastern end of Yemen."

Nault said there was also the possibility of piracy re-emerging around Yemen, which may involve militants. "That is my concern - will we see a resurgence of piracy-like activity ... it might be something else in that area around Yemen." – by Jonathan Saul

3.5.2016 – Washington Post (** B T)

How can al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula be defeated?

This “liberation” of Mukalla from al-Qaeda rule raises awkward questions. First, how was AQAP able to facilitate a graceful exit, such that it can regroup and bide its time to return? Second, and more fundamentally, how has AQAP continued to spread its influence despite its undoubted losses sustained during years of drone strikes? The answer lies in examining and understanding AQAP’s evolving “Robin Hood” tactics.

In the West, counterterrorism is framed in terms of security: how to combat (read “kill”) militant jihadist fighters. But the real problem is not so much the jihadists, ready and even eager to die for their cause. It is AQAP’s notable ability to create safe havens in which extremism can flourish by establishing relationships among populations that rarely share their vision but nevertheless tolerate them. These populations abide AQAP because the terror group helps to support those communities.

Given the importance of charitable work in Islam and the failure of several Middle Eastern dictatorships to provide broad welfare benefits, it is not surprising to see organizations fill this need in the name of Islam.

While little quantitative evidence exists to measure the popular effects of such social programs, in Yemen at least, the evolving tactics of AQAP itself suggests that such programs do succeed in building tolerance for extremist groups, if not outright support.

Although AQAP still carried out periodic Sharia punishments, such as execution for adultery or sorcery and amputation for theft, its primary emphasis had shifted onto local power-sharing models accompanied by an energetic program of community development. To help fund this, it robbed the rich in the name of the poor. Three months ago, AQAP wrote to oil and telecoms companies in Mukalla, demanding large payments “in order to meet the needs of the people.”

To develop its positive image, AQAP articulated a community oriented hearts and minds campaign on the front page of a new jihadist newspaper, al-Masra, launched in January.

Breaking the long-term cycle of terrorism requires a full-spectrum approach that empowers and includes local communities. Many Western-funded development projects in Yemen have tended to work using a top-down approach, within the frameworks of a rampantly corrupt kleptocracy, thereby perpetuating it and discrediting Westerners in the process. As a result, whole communities have been marginalized, missing out on not just development but also aspirations to justice and meritocracy. However grim its vision, al-Qaeda has understood this. It learns and adapts. Expelling AQAP from vulnerable communities requires a deeper understanding of its strategy and perhaps some learning and adapting, too – by Elisabeth Kendall

Comment by Nasser Arrabyee: Yemen Qaeda/ISIS Would never ever be defeated As long as US backs Saudi Wahabi regime The mind,heart&sword of ISIS

Comment: Obviously there are no solutions. Article is making the mistake of asking why has AQAP continued to expand ´notwithstanding the massive drone campaign´. Since when drones have ever proved to be effective when they target civilians? Article does not take into account the geography of the country and who is behind Al Qaeda.

Comment: Well, the article is quite critical to drone campaigns.

3.5.2016 – Radio Vatikan (A T)

Jemen: Von Pater Tom fehlt jegliche Spur

Auch nach zwei Monaten fehlt vom entführten indischen Salesianerpater Tom Uzhunnalil jegliche Spur. Er war nach dem terroristischen Anschlag auf ein kirchliches Pflegeheim in Aden, bei dem vier Missionarinnen der Nächstenliebe und zwölf weitere Menschen ums Leben kamen, entführt worden. Der indische Salesianerpater lebte zum Zeitpunkt des Attentats in der Einrichtung.

„Die letzten hoffnungsvollen Nachrichten habe ich vor rund zehn Tagen auf indirekte Weise erhalten“, so der Apostolische Vikar für das Südliche Arabien, Bischof Paul Hinder OFM Cap, gegenüber dem Nachrichtendienst Fides. „Es wurde mir gesagt, das Pater Tom lebt und seine Freilassung schon bald von Statten gehen könnte Doch seither ist nichts passiert. Wir geben die Hoffnung nicht auf und beten weiter für ihn.“

An den Verhandlungen um die Freilassung sind lokale Sicherheitsdienste beteiligt, die mit der gebotenen Diskretion handeln.

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

Siehe cp 1 Am wichtigsten / See cp1 Most important

4.5.2016 – Fatik Al-Rodaini (A K PH)

Minutes ago, Saudi warplanes soaring over Amran and Marib provinces

4.5.2016 – Fatik Al-Rodaini (A K PH)

Im hearing the sounds of Saudi jets continue soaring in the sky of Sanaa. May God help us to move out of this bad situation

4.5.2016 – Fatik Al-Rodaini (A K PH)

In this moment, Saudi airstrikes flying now over the sky of the capital Sanaa. Nothing changes despite #Yemen 's talks being held in Kuwait.

4.5.2016 – Hisham Al-Omeisy (A K PH)

LOL. Best explanation for the fighter jets and drones in Sana'a sky now.


4.5.2016 – Ahmad Ali (A K)

jets r supervising the ceasefire over the capital city Sanaa

5.2016 – Legal Center for Rights and Development (A K PH)

Saudische Luftschläge Tag für Tag / Saudi air raids day by day

3. May:

3.5.2016 – Hisham Al-Omeisy (A K PH)

Tonight's fighter jets making weird hurricane like sound. Dropping bomb not scary enough? Meh, upside, can't hear buzz of drones now.

3.5.2016 – Yemen Post (A K)

Saudi WARPLANES flying very low in skies of #Yemen capital after midnight waking up 100,000s of children in fear.

3.5.2016 – Fatik Al-Rodaini (A K PH)

Intense KSA jets soaring now over the sky of the capital Sanaa, I can hear the sounds of Saudi warplanes loudly here.

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

4.5.2016 – Hussain Bukhaiti (A K PH)

37 #Saudi #UAE backed forces killed&14 #Houthi #Yemen-i army in last few days in Nehim east #Sanaa #KSA jets just conducted 3strike on Nehim

3.5.2016 – Saba News (A K PH)

Aggression’s hirelings continue to breach ceasefire in Mareb

The Saudi aggression’s mercenaries continued, for the 23rd day in a row, to breach the ceasefire in Mareb province, a security official said Tuesday.
The security official told Saba that the mercenaries’ artillery continued to bomb citizens’ houses in Serwah district, leaving large damage in the houses.
He pointed out that the army and popular committees foiled an attempt by the aggression mercenaries to infiltrate toward the army sites in al-Ashqari area in Serwah.
The mercenaries targeted the army and popular committees’ locations in Hailan mountain and al-Mashjah area with mortar shells, the official said.
He added that the aggression’s warplanes kept flying at a low level in the sky of Serwah district, opening the sound barrier.
At the western parts of the province, the aggression hirelings attacked with Katyusha missiles the sites of the army and popular committees in al-Harim mountain and al-Mabda’a and al-Madarej areas in Nehm, while the hostile war jets were flying.

Comment: “Aggression’s hirelings” = Saudi / UAE mercenaries.

3.5.2016 – Yemen Post (A K)

#Yemen BLEEDING: 64 killed in 2 days of clashes between Houthis & Saudi allied fighters, UN peace talks in jeopardy.

3.5.2016 – Hussam Almolaiki (A K)

Very very very huge explosion in #Taiz now and the shelling is continue , Fear and bombs say to Taiz children " Good Night " !

cp18 Sonstiges / Other

5.5.2016 – Earthquake Report (A)

Moderate earthquake - Sayhut, Yemen on May 5, 2016

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 5.3

Local Time (conversion only below land) : Unknown

GMT/UTC Time : 2016-05-05 07:01:48

Depth (Hypocenter) : 10 km

Vorige / Previous:

Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 1-136: / Yemen Press Reader 1-136: oder / or

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

Dietrich Klose

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

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