Krieg im Jemen: Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 64

Yemen Press Reader 64: Hunger, Zusammenbruch der medizinischen Versorgung, Flüchtlinge - Zerstörte Wirtschaft - Söldner - Warten auf Friedensverhandlungen - Golf-Gipfel - IS und Al Kaida -

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Allgemein / General

10.12.2015 – Yemen News Today

The rich, the poor, and the mercenaries. Yemen update 10.12.15

The Yemen war so far in brief; following a power struggle between ex-President Saleh and President Hadi (both of whom had a very tenuous claim for presidency) the very unpopular Hadi, fearing loss of power in democratic elections, asked Saudi Arabia to take his side and bomb Yemen – which they willingly and enthusiastically did, from 25th March this year. They had already formed a coalition of GCC and other Arab states and had backing from UK, US, and France. The Houthi militias backed Saleh, and a mix of other militias took a stand against the Houthis; this included Islah (Muslim Brotherhood), secessionist militias (Al Hirak), Al Qaeda, Da’esh, and local militias in the southwest. The Yemen army split, most of which backed the Saleh-Houthi alliance but the Army brigades associated with Ali Muhsin backed Hadi. Al Qaeda took control of the eastern port of Mukalla and much of the large Eastern province of Hadramaut. The Houthis held the west side of Yemen without opposition, and moved into the southwest corner of Yemen where they met with local resistance, with all sides behaving in an immoral, brutal and inhumane manner in the ground war there.

A one-sided UNSC resolution in April required the Houthi-Saleh alliance to leave all parts of Yemen which they had captured and move back to their homeland in the northwest of Yemen. The UN called Hadi ‘the legitimate President’ and did not acknowledge that this was a contested issue within Yemen. The first round of the peace talks in the summer came to nothing. In July, ground troops entered Yemen, mostly from UAE, but also from Malaysia, Qatar and Bahrain and supported by a rag-bag of Yemeni militias; they drove out the Houthi-Saleh alliance. After the Houthis left, different militias struggled for control, including Al Qaeda. Da’esh remains active and has claimed suicide attacks in Aden as well as other parts of Yemen. Other foci of war were in Taiz in the southwest and on route to the capital Sanaa, central Yemen in Marib where the Yemeni oilfields are, and also the army loyal to Saleh moved across the border to the Saudi cities of Najran and Jizan which historically were part of Yemen. Most of the west side of Yemen (the Old North plus Aden and Lahj) have been bombed relentlessly by the Saudi led coalition. Some cities have been virtually erased by aerial assaults from the Saudi-led coalition (for example in the first 250 days Saada suffered 42,500 air to ground missiles), and many other cities have been seriously damaged.

It is claimed illegal weapons have been used, for example, chemical weapons, cluster bombs, and in the crater of one bomb dropped on 20th May in the capital Sanaa nuclear materials have been found in the debris. Civilian structures have been widely targeted, for example, homes, schools, hospitals, mosques, roads, bridges, petrol stations, factories, food stores, ports, airports, displaced people’s camps, markets, museums, electricity stations, water tanks. Many important historic buildings have been damaged and destroyed, such as the achingly beautiful 2,500 year Old City of Sanaa, a UNESCO world heritage site, the oldest inhabited city in the world.

Additionally, the Saudi navy commenced a blockade on Yemen in March, which had previously imported 90% of its goods, including diesel – important for electricity and to pump water, all of which is pumped from deep wells in Yemen. This blockade is assisted by US and UK navies, and enforced by the French Navy. It has led to widespread water-borne diseases and starvation, and 85% of the 26 million people living in Yemen are suffering from acute severe food insecurity. 500,000 children currently are severely malnourished. Very few hospitals are now functioning. After 5 months, the UNSC was told that Yemen already looked like Syria after 5 years – and yet the world did nothing to try to stop the war. Amnesty and HRW have claimed that war crimes are being committed and illegal weapons used, but this has not stopped the West from arming Saudi Arabia, any investigations made more difficult as Saudi Arabia was appointed to the UN Human Rights Commission in November. An attempt to get an independent enquiry into the events in Yemen by the Netherlands was blocked by Saudi Arabia and the GCC states.

To make matters worse, on October 30th East Yemen was hit with Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm Chapala; a very rare and powerful tropical cyclone which with gusts up to 250 kph became the strongest cyclone on record to hit Yemen, as well as the most powerful storm known to have existed in the Gulf of Aden. It was followed by Cyclone Megh of equal intensity a week later that particularly damaged the Yemeni Island of Soqatra, one of the top sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list because of its biodiversity with rich and distinct flora and fauna. These cyclones devastated the eastern side of Yemen, under the control of Al Qaeda but not as involved in the conflict as the rest of Yemen.

Peace talks were set for November and all sides were struggling for a better position before entering the war, with a focus on Taiz. The high casualty rate has encouraged rich nations such as Saudi and UAE to withdraw their troops, and replace them with tens of thousands of mercenaries from Africa and South America.

The talks were delayed until Tuesday 15th December. Like most Yemenis, I wait with anticipation, but realistically the outcome is likely to be both sides blaming each other for the lack of breakthrough. This week more heart-breaking pictures of starving children, news that Yemen has completely run out of insulin for their 700,000 diabetics, more pictures of homeless children sleeping on the streets and children taking lessons inside broken buildings that should be demolished rather than housing children for several hours a day.

The American security company Blackwater has been named as supplying many South American mercenaries – promised fat pay cheques and residency in UAE as a carrot. Mercenaries from UK, Australia, Mexico, France and Columbia have been killed in the Yemen mountains this week. How can we hope for peace when rich companies are making money for providing weapons and ‘security’ and poor countries are making money for providing mercenaries?

Even inside Yemen, the main source of employment now is joining a militia or an army, with ten thousand Yemenis signing up to fight for the Saudi-led coalition in a new ‘Yemen’ army. For most in the more populous north, the Houthi-Saleh alliance is fighting against foreign invaders and military occupiers and winning support. For those in the south, the Houthis are the cause of the war and all the damage, and they will not accept any peace except a military victory. As for the old South Yemen that unified with North Yemen in 1990, only independence from the North will be acceptable. Most commentators agree the biggest winner in this war is Al Qaeda, now controlling huge swathes of Yemen, and imposing a very conservative agenda on the suffering population – by Judith Brown

Commentary: Well, this article just sums things up as they are – I apologize for giving it here in full. But all this should be said again and again.

10.12.2015 – Critical Threats

2015 Yemen Crisis Situation Report: December 10

A former Guantanamo detainee resurfaced in Yemen as an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader and spokesman. AQAP’s decision to publicize the detainee’s presence in a new video was probably an attempt to capitalize on the former detainees’ high standings within the global jihadist movement and shows AQAP taking advantage of the ongoing crisis in Yemen to reconstitute its leadership and sustain its notoriety for attacking Western targets.

Southern Movement leaders are gaining power in Aden, which may undermine a long-term objective of a unitary Yemeni state. Southern militias partnered with the Saudi-led coalition to drive the al Houthi-Saleh alliance out of Aden, but they do not necessarily share the coalition’s objective to reinstate the central government under President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Hadi is attempting to build support and may be seeking to leverage the local legitimacy of southern leaders to garner support for himself. He appointed prominent southern military leaders Aydarus al Zubaidi and Shalal Ali Shaye’a as governor and police chief of Aden Hadi remains unlikely to find sustained support in the south despite these appointments because he backed former president Ali Abdullah Saleh against the southerners in the 1994 civil war. Al Zubaidi and Shaye’a are reportedly supporters of exiled Southern Movement (al Hirak) leader and former vice president of South Yemen, Ali Salem al Beidh. Al Beidh and his son met with Emirati Minister of Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash in Abu Dhabi on December 8, indicating that southern powerbrokers may be attempting to influence the diplomatic process and defend their interests in any negotiated resolution to the Yemen conflict, possibly at the expense of coalition-backed President Hadi.

UN-led peace talks will begin on December 15 in Geneva, in conjunction with a seven-day ceasefire, but the combatants’ willingness to uphold the ceasefire remains uncertain.

Neither side is likely to secure a territorial advantage before the December 15 ceasefire.

The ongoing power struggle in Yemen will continue to provide opportunities for AQAP to expand throughout the country and develop a support zone from which it can launch attacks on Western interests – by Emily Estelle

10.12.2015 – Middle East Eye

Fighting just to survive in Yemen's bitter civil war

In Taiz, neighbours and friends fight on opposing sides - but not always for reasons of religion, or politics. Sometimes it's to earn a living

The war in Yemen has turned friend against friend, often only on the promise of a few dollars a day.

And it is a desperation that has torn apart families and sparked concerns that even if the war ends, it may be years if not generations before Yemen can recover any sense of normality.

Ghalib’s father, Fahim al-Robasi, told Middle East Eye that his 28-year-old son joined the Houthi militia in September.

"I am not a Houthi supporter and our family members are not Houthis, but Ghalib joined to get money,” he said. “He told us that his work is just standing at a Houthi checkpoint in Taiz city.

"I tried to persuade my son to leave the fighting and return to his village until the end of the war, then I will open a shop for him in Taiz city, but he refused and I am still trying to get him back.”

Fahim said Ghalib was among scores of young men from their community to have joined up for money.

Meanwhile Younis’ sister, Rawan al-Robasi, said that while her 29-year-old brother had expressed his hatred of the Houthis, she did not believe that he truly understood what he was fighting for, nor who he faced across the front line.

"There are some fighters with the Houthis and others with the resistance, and all of them belong to the same village,” she said.

“Somehow they think that they will not kill each other as both of them are fighting under the pretext of fighting invaders, but I do not know which invaders they mean.”

Fadhl al-Dhobhani, a professor of sociology in Taiz University, told MEE that young men were joining the war due to the high levels of unemployment in the province. "The biggest effect of their participation will be bringing the war to their villages and there will be a real disaster," he said.

Mohammed Abdurrahman, the Imam of al-Qaresha mosque in al-Turbah, told MEE: "We started to warn the youths about the dangers of the war and tried to prevent them from joining the battle.”

He said the local community started rejecting young men who go to fight against the wishes of their families and that they are made to feel like they are doing something wrong.

Despite this, however, with the violence still raging, young men continue to flock to the fight. Abdurrahman says that very few heed warnings from their families or listen to criticism that they are only working to destabilise their country and communities further – by Nasser Al-Sakkaf

Commentary: A rather sad tale which really points to the pointlessness of this dreadful war in Yemen. Taiz is at the front line and has been subject to ferocious fighting for months. Its hard to see what they are fighting for in Taiz where many of the population have left, and much of the city is destroyed. This is a story of two friends who are fighting each other. The one fighting for the Houthis is said to be doing it because he is being paid. Not sure where the Houthis are getting their money from if this is true - last thing I heard they were bankrupt.

10.12.2015 – Wall Street Journal

Heavy Toll in Yemen Conflict Draws Scrutiny

Civilians bear brunt of damage in war between Saudi-led coalition and Houthi rebels

The Saudi-led coalition has rejected the allegations of flawed targeting. Saudi officials say the coalition uses precision weapons on targets that are “identified and scrutinized by a multinational council that meticulously vets target coordinates,” according to a statement by Saudi Arabia’s U.K. Embassy in October.

“The coalition has not intentionally bombed civilians and any accusation of such intentions is a false claim spread by those who support the rebels attempting to wreak havoc in Yemen,” it said.

Analysts and rights groups who have researched the strikes say the Saudi-led coalition appears less wary of collateral damage than a Western power like the U.S. might be. In some cases, they say, there were military objectives nearby, suggesting pilot error.

“The Saudi equipment is where it needs to be, but they have not mastered how to use it,” said Katherine Zimmerman, a research fellow at the Washington-based think tank the American Enterprise Institute.

The U.S. has been giving the coalition logistical and intelligence help through a joint planning cell established after the strikes began. It doesn’t select or sign off on targeting decisions, according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. Central Command, which coordinates military activities in the region.

“We have consistently reinforced to coalition members the imperative of target analysis and precise application of weapons in order to identify and avoid structures and areas that, if struck, could result in civilian casualties,” the spokeswoman said – by Asa Fitch and Mohammed Al-Kibsi
Kommentar: Überblicksartikel mit wenig Neuem. Die USA waschen ihre Hände in Unschuld.

9.12.2015 – Stratfor

In Yemen, Talks Begin When Fighting Stalls

A desire for negotiation usually comes to the fore as military momentum grinds to a halt. This appears to be the case in Yemen, where the only notable development in its conflict this week took place on the diplomatic front. Once again attempts are being made to bring the various belligerents to the negotiating table. Under the guidance of the United Nations, talks are set to begin Dec. 15 in Geneva. The same day, a temporary cease-fire is expected to begin in an effort to facilitate the negotiations. How effective the cease-fire will be is another matter.

The stagnation of the front lines is the main factor driving the parties to talk in the first place. The various anti-Houthi offensives, directed and supported by the Saudi-led coalition, have captured the majority of the lowland areas beyond the mountainous core of Yemen. Further military movements, such as the push toward Sanaa, will likely impose an extreme cost — in casualties and materiel — on the attackers. The coalition and its Yemeni allies have been reluctant to launch a decisive push into the mountains because of the complex and difficult terrain. The Houthis and those fighters still loyal to Yemen's former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, know that the mountains protect their defenders. And those defenders have had ample time to establish strong defensive positions overlooking the narrow mountain passes, which will have been heavily mined or rigged with improvised explosive devices.

Despite its best efforts, the coalition has been unable to make gains elsewhere in Yemen.

Kommentar: Mit Karte, die zeigt, dass der größte Teil des ehemaligen Nordjemen nach wie vor von den Huthi kontrolliert wird.

9.12.2015 – Neue Züricher Zeitung

Saudiarabiens vergeblicher Krieg in Jemen

Der Krieg der Saudi gegen die Huthi ist auf Grund gelaufen. Die Huthi schlagen zurück, und die Jihadisten breiten sich aus.

Der Krieg gegen die Huthi und Saleh ist auf Grund gelaufen. Und nicht nur das. Die Rebellen gehen zum Gegenangriff über und stossen an Jemens Nordgrenze auf saudisches Territorium vor. Fast täglich veröffentlichen die Huthi Bilder von ausgebrannten Panzerfahrzeugen der saudischen Armee, von überrannten saudischen Posten und zerstörten Befestigungen. Sie behaupten, sie hätten sechs Kriegsschiffe der Allianz mit Raketen beschädigt oder zerstört und viele Ortschaften entlang der Grenze angegriffen. Wie weit diese Berichte zutreffen, ist nicht klar, Riad selbst hat nur sporadisch Verluste an seiner Grenze mit Jemen eingeräumt.

Dafür, dass die Saudi und ihre Alliierten die Lage nicht im Griff haben, gibt es noch andere Anzeichen. Eines ist der Machtkampf zwischen Hadi und seinem Regierungschef und Vizepräsidenten Khaled Bahah, der die angeblich legitime Regierung weitgehend handlungsunfähig macht. Ein anderes ist die ungehinderte Ausbreitung von al-Kaida und dem Islamischen Staat in den von den Huthi gesäuberten Gebieten Südjemens. Die Amerikaner, die den saudischen Luftkrieg unterstützen, indem sie die Flugzeuge der Allianz in der Luft auftanken, sind darüber besorgt. Sie dürften Riad dazu drängen, einen Krieg zu beenden, der bisher nichts erreicht hat, ausser den Zugriff der Jihadisten auf Jemen zu verstärken – von Jürg Bischoff

1.7.2015 – Merip

Yemen Is Starving, and We're Partly to Blame

Saudi Arabia and its friends, including the United States, support Hadi. Yet they have no discernible plan for winning beyond reducing Yemen to rubble and besieging civilians in the hope of securing the Houthis’ surrender.

The Obama administration probably doesn’t believe the Saudis’ nonsense about the Houthis and Iran, but it’s shown no interest in stopping the war.

In fact, the United States has even announced a full suspension of aid to Yemen for a year, undercutting its occasional murmurs of humanitarian concern. By endorsing this Saudi-led shooting match, Washington may hope to calm the Saudis’ nerves about the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran, which Saudi Arabia opposes.

Is that what it’s come to, soothing a bully’s nerves just because it pumps a lot of oil?

Instead, the Obama administration should withdraw its support for the bombing, lift the blockade and broker a power-sharing agreement between Yemen’s competing factions. For the people of Yemen, it’s beyond urgent – by Chris Toensing =

Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

11.12.2015 – Oxfam

Yemen: Women are key to finding political solution at peace talks

Negotiations to end a bloody conflict in Yemen have a far better chance of long term success if women have a place at the table, says Oxfam. The current conflict has had a devastating impact on women and girls with millions hungry, out of school and lacking vital healthcare. Women are also facing a rise in sexual and domestic violence. Yet political discussions about peace and the country’s future are still largely run by men and those who have taken up arms.

Yemeni activist Atiaf Alwazir said: “Without a place at the table for women to fight for their rights, the battle for equality will fail. None of the rival groups will remember we exist or work for our interests unless we are there to push them and remind them that we are here and must be

“Sadly, what we have seen so far is that not only are women’s lives getting worse, they are being sidelined by those responsible for bringing about Yemen’s current catastrophe. Bombs and bullets don’t discriminate, so why are the current peace talks run almost entirely by men? Unless women are part of the discussion, any potential peace deal will be unsustainable, and the advances made since 2011 could be lost. The international community must show that its commitments to involve women in peace efforts are not just empty words.”

Unable to safely get food, many women are now skipping meals so their children can eat. Over 30% of displaced families in certain areas are headed by females and these women often face immense challenges seeking humanitarian assistance.

Nearly 80,00 of the 522,000 women who are currently estimated to be pregnant in Yemen are expected to face complications in delivery due to shortages in the fuel needed to reach health centres, and lack of medical supplies there. Almost 600 health facilities countrywide are no longer operating due to lack of fuel, staff and supplies, or conflict related damage.

Nearly 1.3 million young girls are out of school and 3.6 million girls need protection. In Yemen, girls are particularly at risk of early marriage and Oxfam staff in Amran and Hajja are already seeing more such cases due to the economic hardships brought on by the current war. Pre-conflict gains won on addressing early marriage in these areas are now at risk of being lost. Parents unable to meet the basic needs of their families, see early marriage as a way to alleviate the economic pressure, and secure their children’s future amid increasing insecurity and volatility.

Women that Oxfam is supporting who are among more than 2.3 million people forced to flee their homes by the conflict told us of their increased fears for their safety, restricted movements and freedoms, and increased sexual and domestic violence. Despite uneven reporting and difficulties collecting data, the UN estimates that since the escalation of the conflict in March, incidences of violence against women has increased by 70 per cent in September.

Dalya Qassem, Head of Hodeidah Girls Foundation said: "The conflict has strangled our freedom to talk and move. There are more cases of sexual and domestic violence. I dare not go out after sunset into the unlit streets.”

A growing body of research shows that women’s involvement in peace processes, transition and future governance structures is more likely to address justice, reconciliation, accountability and ownership of any deal. As Yemeni women showed in their country’s transition process women fought for equality and changes to laws that would benefit the society as a whole.

11.12.2015 – Huffington Post

War Is Destroying Yemen's Medical System When The Country Needs It Most

"Bombings are a daily reality for Yemenis, even inside hospitals."

Hospitals and health facilities have repeatedly come under fire during Yemen’s conflict, leaving the country’s medical system in tatters at a time when it’s needed the most.

The nine-month war in Yemen has left more than 5,000 people dead and some 27,500 injured. Yemen's medical system was already fragile, reliant on imported drugs and the assistance of humanitarian organizations like Doctors Without Borders. Nearly one-quarter of medical facilities have closed due to damage or shortages of supplies, fuel or staff since the conflict escalated in March.

More than 99 health facilities, including hospitals and clinics, have been damaged or destroyed in Yemen’s war, according to the World Health Organization.

"Bombings are a daily reality for Yemenis, even inside hospitals," Mego Terzian, president of Doctors Without Borders France, said after the bombing.

The group's work is especially critical, as Yemen’s health system nears complete collapse. More than 600 health facilities have shut since the conflict broke out, and more than 15 million people lack access to health services, according to WHO.

As the remaining facilities struggle to treat the war-wounded, other health crises are piling up. More than a half-million children are life-threateningly malnourished. Cancer and anti-retroviral medication is in short supply. In one hospital in the capital Sanaa, cancer patients are sleeping in the parking lot as they wait for chemotherapy, and staff have converted offices into makeshift wards.

“Health services in Yemen are at their breaking point,” WHO warned last week. “Unless the health system receives sufficient support, immediately, it could collapse completely.” – by Charlotte Alfred

11.12.2015 – Der Standard / AFP

Amnesty: Militärallianz bombardierte Schulen im Jemen

Die Menschenrechtsorganisation Amnesty International hat der von Saudi-Arabien angeführten arabischen Militärallianz vorgeworfen, Schulen im Jemen zu bombardieren und damit tausenden Kindern das Recht auf Bildung zu verwehren. In einem am Freitag veröffentlichten Bericht forderte die Organisation alle Staaten, die die Militärallianz mit Waffen versorgen auf, jegliche Waffenlieferungen zu unterbinden, "die für Verstöße gegen internationales Recht genutzt werden". 6.500 Kinder nicht mehr in der Schule Für den Bericht untersuchte Amnesty nach eigenen Angaben fünf Luftangriffe auf Schulen, die zwischen August und Oktober stattfanden. Einige Schulen seien mehr als einmal bombardiert worden, was einen gezielten Angriff nahelege. Durch die Zerstörungen könnten mehr als 6.500 Kinder nicht mehr zur Schule gehen. In keinem Fall gebe es Hinweise darauf, dass die Schulen für militärische Zwecke genutzt worden seien. = siehe auch

11.12.2015 - Amnesty International


The conflict has had a brutal impact on education in Yemen; 34% of children in the country have not gone to school since the conflict began in March 2015. As of October 2015 1.8 million children were not in school. In some cases parents and children are deterred from going to school because of fear of airstrikes, while in others, schools have been rendered unusable due to the conflict either because they have been damaged or destroyed. Amnesty International investigated five strikes that took place between August and October 2015 in Hodeidah, Hajjah, and Sana’a governorates, which appear to have directly targeted schools. These strikes killed five and injured at least 14 civilians, including four children. They have severely disrupted the education of the some 6,550 children who regularly attended the schools. and report in fill:

11.12.2015 – Amnesty International

UK must halt arms sales to Saudi as new evidence shows schools targeted in Yemen airstrikes

1,000 schools out of operation - 254 completely destroyed

Report published ahead of peace talks scheduled for next week

UK and USA should suspend all transfers of weapons which are being used to commit violations of international law

The Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces have carried out a series of air strikes targeting schools that were still in use, in violation of international humanitarian law Amnesty International said in a new briefing published today. The coalition forces are armed by states including the UK and the USA.

The briefing investigates five air strikes on schools which took place between August and October killing five civilians and injuring at least 14 people, including four children. While students were not present inside the schools during the attacks, the strikes caused serious damage. In some cases the schools were struck more than once, suggesting the strikes were deliberately targeted. Amnesty is calling for the five attacks to be independently investigated.

Yemen’s entire education system has suffered as a result of the conflict. The Sana’a based Ministry of Education shared data with Amnesty which shows that more than 1,000 schools are out of operation: 254 have been completely destroyed, 608 are partially damaged and 421 are being used as shelters. According to UNICEF at least 34% of children in Yemen have not been to school since the air strikes began in March.

Although there have been occasions where schools in Yemen have been used for military purposes by the various parties to the conflict, in all five of the cases highlighted in Amnesty’s briefing no weapon remnants, evidence of secondary explosions or any other evidence was found to indicate that the schools had been used for military purposes.

The UK, as a party to the Arms Trade Treaty and one of its key supporters, is prohibited from authorising any arms transfer if it has knowledge that the arms would be used to commit attacks against civilians or civilian objects or in other violations of international humanitarian law.

Lama Fakih, Senior Crisis Advisor at Amnesty, recently returned from Yemen, said:

“Deliberately attacking schools that are not military objectives and directly attacking civilians not participating in hostilities are war crimes.

“Regardless of the outcome of planned peace talks next week it is crucial that independent investigations into these and other unlawful strikes are undertaken and that those responsible are held to account.

“It is simply appalling that the USA and other allies of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition have continued to authorise arms transfers to members of the coalition, despite the clear evidence that they are not complying with the laws of war – international humanitarian law. All such transfers must halt immediately.”

Last month the US State Department approved an arms transfer worth US $1.29 billion to Saudi Arabia, which includes the transfer of general purpose bombs from the Mark/ MK89 series, despite the fact that Amnesty has documented their use in unlawful air strikes that have killed scores of civilians.

The UK and the USA should suspend all transfers of weapons which are being used to commit violations of international law, including war crimes, to those carrying out attacks. In particular, states supplying arms to coalition forces should suspend transfers of general purpose bombs, fighter jets, combat helicopters and their associated parts and components.

UN Security Council Resolution 2225 on children in armed conflict adopted earlier this year calls on all parties to conflict to “respect the civilian character of schools” and expresses serious concern that the military use of schools may render them legitimate targets of attack under international law endangering the safety of children. see also

10.12.2015 – International Organization for Migration

Yemen Crisis: IOM Regional Response - Situation Report, 10 December 2015

Airstrikes, shelling and armed clashes continue in the country particularly in Al Bayda, Dhamar, Ibb, Al Jawf Marib, Sana’a, Sadah, and Taizz.

On 8 December, Yemen's government said the country's warring sides are preparing to observe a week-long truce from 15 December while UN-mediated peace talks take place in Switzerland.

IOM and UNHCR launched an inter-agency appeal for USD 94,130,731 to provide protection and assistance, in 2016, to refugees, returnees and migrants fleeing the conflict in Yemen. The appeal was launched at a donors meeting in Nairobi on 9 December. Mr. Mohamed Abdulkarim A. Assad, Chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of Yemen in Kenya, was the guest of honor at the event that brought together ambassadors, donors and representatives from various organizations.

An estimated 80% of the population is in need of protection and assistance, including 2.3 million people internally displaced. Meanwhile around 170,000 Yemenis, refugees and migrants have fled to Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and some Gulf countries.

The interagency appeal aims to give nine participating agencies and 48 partners the capacity to continue delivering food, shelter, water, sanitation, protection, emergency education and other assistance to people arriving in the Horn of Africa from Yemen. It anticipates 164,000 arrivals by December 2016. and full report:

10.12.2015 – World Food Programme

WFP Sends Convoys Into Yemen City Of Taiz To Avert Looming Humanitarian Crisis

Two convoys of assistance from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have arrived in the central Yemeni city of Taiz with badly needed food supplies for residents living in dire conditions under a virtual state of siege.

The food is enough to feed nearly 145,000 people for one month. Two convoys of 31 trucks carrying various types of food arrived on Tuesday in the city’s Salah and al-Qahira areas and a third one is currently on its way to Mudhafar district.

“We are overcoming enormous access challenges to deliver much-needed assistance into the city where the humanitarian situation has deteriorated over the past couple of months,” said WFP’s Yemen Representative and Country Director, Purnima Kashyap.

“WFP needs freedom and safety of movement inside the country to reach as many people as possible with food assistance before they fall deeper into hunger.” She added that WFP, funded entirely by voluntary contributions, urgently needed funding for its operations too.

In November, WFP delivered food assistance to 10,000 people in the city – a fraction of the total number in need. Due to intense fighting and airstrikes, access by road to Taiz has been extremely difficult. WFP trucks have been stuck at checkpoints and access generally has been very limited.

But in recent weeks, coordination between all parties on the ground has made it possible for WFP to move its humanitarian assistance into Taiz city.

“We continue to plead with all parties to the conflict to help us provide life-saving assistance in a timely manner throughout the country,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. “We seize all opportunities allowing us to deliver more assistance.”

Taiz is one of 10 governorates – out of Yemen’s 22 governorates – that are in the grip of severe food insecurity at ‘Emergency’ level – one step below famine on the five-point Integrated Food Security Phase Classification scale. At least one in five households in the area do not have enough food to lead a healthy life, have lost their livelihoods and are facing life-threatening rates of acute malnutrition.

The conflict has worsened Yemen’s already poor food security situation, adding more than 3 million people to the ranks of the hungry in less than a year. According to the UN’s 2016 Humanitarian Needs Overview, 7.6 million people in Yemen are severely food insecure – a level of need that requires urgent, external, food assistance.

WFP has overcome extreme difficulties to reach 1 million people on average every month since the conflict started. WFP has overcome extreme difficulties to reach 1 million people on average every month since the conflict started. In November, WFP delivered food to all 19 governorates that are at Crisis, and Emergency levels of hunger – reaching 1.8 million people. =

Commentary: It seems to UN are managing to get aid up into Taiz. What about taking on the Saudis and insisting you deliver aid to the rest of Yemen???

10.12.2015 – United Nations OCHA

Waiting for cancer care in a parking lot

Yemen’s health system is near collapse: people with chronic diseases have nowhere to turn.

Mohammad Atef waits impatiently, sheltering in a parking lot outside the Al-Jumhoria Hospital in Yemen’s capital city, Sana’a. He is with his wife, who has cancer, and their two children. Mohammad’s wife desperately needs chemotherapy, and her only hope is a few steps away from her in the hospital. But their tiring journey from their home in Sa’ada, 200 km away, just ended in the hospital parking lot: Al-Jumhoria has no beds available.

Yemen has experienced brutal conflict since fighting escalated in March 2015. As of 16 October, health facilities had reported 32,307 injuries and deaths — an average of 153 injuries or deaths every day. Responding to the large number of inpatient requests, Al-Jumhoria Hospital’s administration has converted offices into patient wards. But the unprecedented caseload is overwhelming.

“Despite all of our efforts to scale up the institute to its maximum capacity, there is a never-ending flow of patients reaching us from all over the country,” said Dr. Nasr Al-Qadasi, General Manager of Al-Jumhoria Hospital, the city’s second-biggest medical facility. “We are stretched to exhaustion due to the on-going crisis. Unfortunately, we have to prioritize the treatment of patients according to the critical level of their illness.”

Some families waiting for hospital beds can rent hotel rooms or houses in the capital, but Mohammad and his family have no place to stay. The sharp increase in casualties and disease outbreaks has left the hospital unable to support the treatment of chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, HIV and renal dialysis.

Lack of fuel, equipment and staff

The health circumstances faced by Mohammad’s wife are not unusual in Yemen, where over 14 million people need health-care services from an already fragile health-care system. Every day, many patients from all around Yemen seek treatment at the Al-Jumhoria Hospital. Many health facilities elsewhere are no longer functioning, as the conflict has stripped them of fuel, supplies and personnel. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 600 health facilities out of about 4,000 have stopped functioning. Al-Jumhoria Hospital has lost 40 foreign doctors since March due to insecurity.

The conflict has critically affected imports, meaning few medicines are entering the country. Yemen does not produce its own pharmaceuticals. “We cannot source medicine to treat cancer or burn wounds, including anti-retroviral medication to treat HIV/AIDS,” said Dr. Al-Qadasi.

Scarce electricity means health facilities rely on back-up generators to keep functioning, but hospitals are also short of cash. “We have been running our generators 24 hours a day since the onset of the conflict, we need much more fuel than before, yet the price of fuel has doubled compared to pre-conflict levels,” added the doctor.

Even when medical equipment is available, the hospital administration cannot mobilize the necessary technical expertise to install or maintain it. Al-Jumhoria Hospital has a scanner to determine the type and degree of cancers, but the technical expert was unable to travel to Yemen to install it. The old scanner no longer works, leaving the hospital with no diagnostic capacity.

Dialysis treatment cut back

The almost collapsed health system is leaving thousands of patients with inadequate care. Ali Ibrahim, 47, from Al-Hudaydah, suffers from renal failure and requires three dialysis sessions per week. But he has received this only once a week, as the Al-Hudaydah dialysis centre is often overcrowded. It operates on five shifts a day, has 29 dialysis machines and provides services to 250 patients per day. But this is not enough to meet demand. As the only specialized renal centre in the whole governorate, it currently receives patients from neighbouring governorates, such as Al-Mahwet and Raymah.

“Sometimes the centre stops operating due to fuel shortages, while drinking water and medical supplies are urgently needed,” said another patient, Mohammed Ahamad, while waiting for his treatment.

More support needed

International organizations are providing medicine and supplies to many hospitals, paying incentives to health workers and supporting the Ministry of Health. The Health cluster, along with its international and national partners, reached more than 6.2 million people throughout the country between March and October 2015, providing basic health care, mass casualty management, immunizations, reproductive health services, medical supplies and fuel.

“Without the support of international organizations, we would not be able to continue functioning,” said Dr. Al-Qadasi. But the health system urgently requires more support. Humanitarian partners estimate that 14.1 million people lack sufficient access to health care in Yemen, including 3 million malnourished children and pregnant or lactating women.

Südjemen / Southern Yemen

10.12.2015 – Foreign Policy

Two Bombings Target Aden

Two bombs struck the city of Aden, Yemen, on Wednesday. The firststruck an abandoned Catholic church in the Mualla district of the city and the second went off outside an office of the Yemeni Foreign Ministry in the Almansoura district. No casualties were reported in either attack and no organization has claimed responsibility. Yemen’s internationally-recognized government is currently operating from Aden while the capital and much of the country is contested by Houthi rebels – by J. Dana Stuster

UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks

10.12.2015 – Reuters

Yemen's Houthis says sent list of negotiators to U.N. for peace talks

T he leader of Yemen's Houthis said on Thursday his movement had given the United Nations the names of its delegates to U.N.-sponsored peace talks due to start in Switzerland next week.

The Iran-allied Houthis and President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's Saudi-backed government have accepted a U.N. invitation to hold the talks aimed at ending nearly nine months of fighting that has killed almost 6,000 people.

"We handed over the names of our negotiating delegation to the UN," Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said in a statement posted on the group's Facebook page.

The statement said a draft agenda for talks had been agreed with the United Nations and called for a "serious and responsible dialogue." =

10.12.2015 – Reuters

Gulf states call for Yemen reconstruction meeting after peace deal

Gulf Arab states called on Thursday for an international reconstruction conference for Yemen after any deal to end its civil war, which has killed 6,000 people and caused widespread damage to the country's economy and infrastructure.

The call came in a statement by Gulf Cooperation Council leaders at the conclusion of a summit meeting in the Saudi capital Riyadh. It was read out by GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani.

Yemeni warring parties are due to gather in Switzerland next week for United Nations-sponsored peace talks.

"The council (GCC) members called for an international conference for Yemen reconstruction after the parties reach the aspired political solution," Zayani said in the statement broadcast on Saudi state television.

He said such a program would be done in accordance with a "practical program to rehabilitate the Yemeni economy and to ease its = see also

Kommentar: Wer hat den größten Teil der Schäden zu verantworten, und wer wird den Aufbau bezahlen?

10.12.2015 – The National UAE

GCC leaders pledge reconstruction conference for Yemen after conflict

Gulf Cooperation Council countries on Thursday called for an international conference to be held on reconstructing Yemen once “stability and security” return to the country.

The announcement was made on the final day of the GCC’s 36th summit, held in Riyadh. The six-state bloc also reiterated support for a political solution to Yemen’s conflict and said it would seek to integrate the country’s economy with those of other Gulf Arab states.

In their final statement at the end of the summit, GCC states — which include the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman — said a political resolution to the conflict should be reached in line with UN security council resolution 2216 and Yemen’s National Dialogue Initiative.

The UN resolution calls for the Houthis to withdraw from areas they occupy, while the National Dialogue is a GCC-backed road map for political reconciliation that was established after the removal of Mr Saleh following Arab Spring unrest in 2011.

The goal to integrate Yemen’s economy with those of the GCC was an indication of how the bloc sees the impoverished country as needing long-term aid and support.

But any movement to integrate Yemen’s economy is not expected to come soon.

“There is a sense of obligation and responsibility for Yemen that has been around since day one,” Mr Abdulla said.

And now that several GCC states have intervened militarily in the country, “I think that sense is now going to be twice as urgent,” he added.

“Fixing Yemen is going to be a priority from now on.”

10.12.2015 – Dubai Eye

Yemen’s Foreign Minister says ceasefire can be renewed

Yemen’s Foreign Minister says the ceasefire expected next week during the peace talks would be renewed if the Houthi rebels abide by it.

According to media sources, Abdel Malek Al Mekhlafi says the truce is for seven days and subject to automatic renewal as long as the Houthis accept it.

The break in fighting will allow aid to reach those most affected by the clashes in cities such as Taiz and Marib.

Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

10.-11.12.2015 – Katehon

Saudi strategy in Yemen suffers a complete collapse. While Saudi forces are defeated by multiple enemies, Houthi-rebels are aiming to occupy the southern provinces of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is forecasted to lose this war. The impasse of Yemeni war can be the beginning of the collapse of the kingdom. This can lead to drastic changes in the region.


10.12.2015 – The American Conservative

(relating to the following article in Foreign Policy)

Sens. Cardin and Markey deserve some credit for at least doing that much, but the fact remains that the latest arms deal will go through and the U.S. will continue to provide the weapons used to wage the war on Yemen. Increased oversight of these shipments is a start, but it is woefully inadequate. While lawmakers debate whether to rein in the Saudis, an entire country has been brought to the brink of famine with our government’s assistance.

Corker’s position is disgraceful but not unexpected. The Saudi-led intervention isn’t going to help “end the conflict” since it has been the major factor in escalating and worsening the conflict. The Saudis aren’t interested in facilitating humanitarian relief, since they and their allies are the ones preventing basic necessities from coming into Yemen with their blockade. Restoring Yemen’s government isn’t something that is going to be achieved by force, and the government’s support for the intervention has badly undermined whatever legitimacy it had in many parts of the country. Providing the Saudis with more arms isn’t going to hasten the conflict’s end, but will encourage the Saudis to press on with their campaign despite its obvious failures. In the process, the U.S. will be partly to blame for the civilian casualties that the campaign will keep causing – by Daniel Larison

10.12.2015 – Foreign Policy

Flexing New Powers, Congress to Review Arms Shipments to Saudi Arabia

Concerned about the rising death toll in Yemen, a Senate panel wants more oversight of $1.29 billion in U.S. weapons shipments to Riyadh.

For the first time, and against a rising death toll in Yemen, the U.S. Senate is using new oversight powers to track American weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, Foreign Policy has learned.

The move signals a growing unease on Capitol Hill with the Saudi-led war effort against Houthi rebels in Yemen

The oversight effort, initiated by the two senior members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, follows an intense lobbying push by U.S.-based humanitarian aid groups opposed to the pending sale of nearly $1.3 billion in bombs and other warheads to Riyadh. The State Department approved the tentative sale last month and it is expected to clear congressional hurdles this week.

The organizations leading the charge against the weapons sale include Oxfam America, Amnesty International USA, and Human Rights Watch. The groups accuse Washington of being complicit in what they call Saudi Arabia’s “indiscriminate” airstrikes in Yemen where about 2,500 civilians have died in the fighting.

The Senate panel’s new power flex will not stop the weapons shipments. But they force more oversight of arms sales even as lawmakers continue debate on whether — and how aggressively — to rein in Riyadh.

Riyadh and its Gulf allies view the Houthi insurgents as an instrument of Iran, despite the rebels’ longtime presence in Yemen.

The U.S. government’s proposed weapons deal with Saudi Arabia includes some of the most advanced precision weapons systems in the world. It includes an estimated 18,000 bombs and 1,500 other pieces of artillery, like the Joint Direct Attack Munitions, or JDAMs, which are capable of bringing down huge, fortified buildings in a single strike. These so-called “smart munitions” are equipped with GPS guidance systems, which could reduce the risk of indiscriminate attacks.

A State Department official defended the arms sales Thursday, calling it part of U.S. efforts to maintain security and diplomatic ties “that are essential to promoting peace and stability in the Gulf region.”

By ordering a stricter review of arms sales, the Senate committee hopes to gain a better sense of how effective the Saudi-led air campaign has been. So far, congressional officials have been disappointed in how little information the Obama administration has provided on Riyadh’s “burn rate” — how quickly it goes through its weapons stockpile – by John Hudson

10.12.2015 – Amnesty International

President Obama Must Cancel $1.29b Arms Deal with Saudi Arabia

Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) called today on President Obama to cancel a $1.29 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia that includes over 18,000 bombs and 1,500 warheads. "Given the evidence of how Saudi Arabia has employed such arms to date, there is overwhelming reason for concern that Saudi Arabia will use such arms to commit serious violations of international humanitarian law in Yemen," warned Michael O'Reilly, AIUSA Deputy Executive Director for Policy and Advocacy. "We urge President Obama to cancel this deal."

Thousands of civilians have died in the ongoing conflict in Yemen, in which all sides have been implicated in violations of international humanitarian law and serious violations and abuses of human rights law. Amnesty International researchers have spent weeks on the ground in Yemen since March 2015, where they found both unexploded U.S. bombs and identifiable fragments of exploded U.S. bombs among the ruins of Yemeni homes and other civilian objects. The Saudi-led coalition's pattern of air strikes and the lack of investigations to date into such incidents raise serious concerns about an apparent disregard for civilian life and for fundamental principles of international humanitarian law. Many of the Saudi-led coalition strikes investigated were unlawful.

"This arms deal violates President Obama's own policy on arms sales," said O’Reilly, citing a 2014 directive which states that arms transfers must take into account the likelihood that recipients will commit human rights abuses and violations of international law. "President Obama is poised to sell thousands of bombs and warheads to a government that unlawfully targets civilians. This deal must be stopped." and the letter in full: see also and (Human Rights Watch)

10.12.2015 – RT

"Nichts zu bedeuten" - Obamas erhielten Juwelen im Wert von 1,2 Millionen Dollar vom saudischen König

Der saudische König hat der Obama-Familie Geschenke in Höhe von 1,2 Millionen US-Dollar zukommen lassen, vor allem in Form von Juwelen für Michelle Obama und ihre Kinder. Doch auch der US-Präsident, sein Vize Joe Biden und Außenminister John Kerry sowie seine Frau, Teresa Heinz Kerry, Tochter des bekannten Ketchup-Oligarchen, gingen nicht leer aus. Und wie begründet die US-Regierung die Annahme dieser Geschenke in Millionenhöhe? "Eine Ablehnung hätte beide Seiten in Verlegenheit gebracht."

Kommentar: Darüber wurde auf Englisch schon vor längerem berichtet.


11.12.2015 – Reuters

U.N. hopeful of Yemen aid boom, helped by new shipping verification

Yemen's peace talks next week are an opportunity to bring in urgent humanitarian aid for millions of people who have been deprived of vital supplies since the war escalated nine months ago, the U.N. humanitarian chief said on Thursday.

Yemen relies on imports for almost all its food and all of its medicine, but a near-total blockade slowed shipments to a trickle for months this year, as a coalition led by Saudi Arabia inspected shipments in a bid to thwart any arms deliveries to Iranian-linked Houthi rebels.

O'Brien said there had also been a significant increase in access for humanitarian supplies arriving at Yemen's Hudaydah port, and a new U.N. verification and inspection mechanism would soon start up, allowing unfettered access for commercial ships.

Aid workers have long said only a return of commercial shipping can bring the volume of supplies needed for Yemen. Fuel has been in especially short supply, with a knock-on effect on electricity supplies, water pumping, hospitals and inflation.

O'Brien said the new system, which involves the United Nations checking any suspect cargoes, would be up and running "in days or weeks, not months".

"It is a confidence measure, in compliance with the (U.N.) resolutions, in order to enable the commercial shipping supplies to get back to volume," he said.

Flüchtlinge / Refugees

9.12.2015 – International Organization for Migration

he International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) launched an interagency appeal for USD 94,130,731 to provide protection and assistance, in 2016, to refugees, returnees and migrants fleeing the conflict in Yemen.

The appeal was launched at a donors meeting held in Nairobi today. Mr Mohamed Abdulkarim A. Assad, Chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of Yemen in Kenya, was the guest of honour at the event that brought together ambassadors, donors and representatives from various organizations.

Mr Johannes Van Der Klaauw, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, explained to the gathering the humanitarian consequences of the conflict that escalated in March 2015.

An estimated 80% of the population require protection and assistance, including 2.3 million people internally displaced. Meanwhile around 170 000 Yemenis, refugees and third country nationals have fled to Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and some Gulf countries.

“The suffering that this conflict is inflicting on people is heart-breaking. I hear first-hand accounts of it whenever I speak with women, children and elderly people who have made the perilous crossing to reach Djibouti, Ethiopia and Somalia, said UNHCR’s Regional Refugee Coordinator for the Yemen situation, Ms Claire Bourgeois. “Host communities very selflessly welcome the new arrivals, sharing their meagre resources with them.”

She commended neighbouring countries for providing asylum and assistance to the refugees, returnees and migrants, and donors for offering support, concluding, “But the bottom line is that refugees must ultimately regain their rights and lead a dignified life in asylum”.

IOM’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York, Mr Ashraf El Nour stressed the need for IOM and UNHCR to engage jointly with governments for a comprehensive response and inclusive dialogue in order to capture the migration and humanitarian dimension of the crisis. He said, “The Horn of Africa remains among the hottest spots for mixed migration, including refugees, stranded migrants and food-insecure people. Yet, for 2015 less than 50% of the response plan for new arrivals is funded. This might further fuel displacement as the conflict drags on.” With no peaceful solution in sight, and humanitarian needs overwhelming the capacities of affected nations, it is time to give a regional dimension to preparedness and contingency planning.

The interagency appeal aims to give nine participating agencies and 48 partners the capacity to continue delivering food, shelter, water, sanitation, protection, emergency education and other assistance to people arriving in the Horn of Africa from Yemen. It anticipates 164,000 arrivals by December 2016.

Söldner / Mercenaries

11.11.2015 – Instagramm

Argentinian Mercenary Killed in Southern Yemen –

The total number of foreign mercenaries killed in Yemen has skyrocketed in the last 48 hours, as another foreigner has reportedly died fighting the Yemeni Army’s Republican Guard and their popular committees (specifically, the Houthis) in southern Yemen.

According to field journalist Tony Toh, the Yemeni Army’s Republican Guard reported the death of an Argentinian mercenary that was badly wounded during a firefight against the Houthis in the Al-‘Umari Camp near the strategic city of Ta’iz.
The Argentinian mercenary was identified as Ferdinand Lamos after he was placed on a U.S. Naval vessel to be transported to the nearest hospital in order to have his wounds operated on.
Ferdinand Lamos reportedly died on the U.S. Naval vessel before he could reach a hospital; his death marks the first time that an Argentinian national has been killed fighting in the Yemeni War.
Lamos was a former member of the “Foreign Legions”, which is a military contracting company that was affiliated with the Blackwater group.
Argentina is now the 10th country to have one of its citizens killed fighting for the Saudi-led Coalition Forces in Yemen; these foreign mercenaries were all paid by the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
The list of countries:
Saudi Arabia
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom

10.12.2015 – Daily Mail

British army officer turned mercenary and an Australian among 15 killed in Yemen fighting Iranian-backed rebels

Briton Arthur Kinston and Australia Phillip Streetman are reported dead

The men were killed in heavy fighting in the southern city of Taiz

Iranian media claims the mercenaries were being paid by Saudi Arabia

The Foreign Office is trying to determine exactly what has happened

A retired British army officer and an Australian were among a group of foreign mercenaries killed by Iranian-backed rebels during heavy fighting in Yemen.

The men have been named by local media as Colonel Arthur Kingston and Australian Phillip Streetman. They are believed to have died in Taiz.

It was claimed that the two men were killed alongside six Colombian mercenaries who were being paid by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is investigating claims of a British casualty. Although there is no British Embassy in Yemen making verification incredibly difficult.


10.12.2015 – Kuwait News Agency

KUNA : Final communique of 36th GCC summit extolls victories of Yemeni legitimate army against Houthi rebels

The final communique of the 36th GCC summit which concluded here on Thursday stated that the GCC leaders have endorsed decision of the joint supreme defense council at its 14th session concerning the joint military action, topped by the ongoing steps to activate the unified military command and designated the its needed budget and human resources as well as to benefit from the retired military personnel from the GCC states.
It said the leaders also welcomed the accomplishments made so far on the establishment of the unified military command and called for speeding up the needed measures for its activation.

Commentary: Well if they told the truth - at a cost of many billions of dollars; Saudi with assistance and support from at least 23 countries has been fighting in Yemen for 9 months and hs reached a stalemate. What a stupid pointless waste of money - no-one in Yemen wanted to attack any of them before, but now Yemen is full of militias who may at some future date pose as enormous threat to them.

10.12.2015 – Gulf Magazine

Saudi Arabia works toward political solution for Syria and Yemen

Saudi king Salman said the “the coalition led by Saudi Arabia is keen to achieve security and stability in war-torn Yemen under the leadership of its legitimate government.” “We, the GCC states, support a peaceful solution to the crisis in Yemen in order to enable that country to overcome the conflict and then march toward peace and development,” said the king, and referred to a possible solution built on the foundations of the national dialogue, the Gulf initiative, and UN Security Council Resolution 2216.

9.12.2015 – AFP

Saudi king opens summit calling for Syria, Yemen solutions

Saudi King Salman called for political solutions to the wars in Syria and Yemen, while condemning "terrorism," at the opening of an annual Gulf summit in Riyadh. Kings and emirs from the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states began two days of talks in the Saudi capital.

In his opening address at Diriyah Palace, Salman said all countries have a responsibility to combat terrorism and extremism.

"Islam rejects and abhors terrorism, because it is a religion of moderation and tolerance," said the monarch whose kingdom is founded on the teachings of fundamentalist cleric Mohammed bin Abdul Wahhab.

Wahhabi thought has been accused of fuelling deadly Sunni extremism around the world, including the murderous drive of Islamic State group militants.

But Saudi Arabia itself has seen an upsurge of attacks claimed by IS over the past year, against minority Shiites and members of the security forces – by Karim Abou Merhi and Ian Timberlake see also

10.12.2015 – Dubai 92

Coalition working towards peace for Yemen

The Saudi-led Arab Coalition’s desire for security, stability and legitimacy in Yemen has been emphasised at the 36th GCC Summit.

According to national news agency WAM, Qatari Emir His Highness Sheikh Tammim bin Hamad Al Thani, Chairman of the session, said that GCC states support a peaceful solution to the conflict.

He added that by doing so Yemen can overcome the crisis and move towards reconstruction and development.

Sheikh Tammim also stressed the need to complete a joint defence system to protect the GCC nations and their peoples.

9.12.2015 – Arab News / Khaleej Times

Kingdom seeks political solution for Syria and Yemen / GCC searches for peace in Yemen

The 36th GCC summit kicked off in Riyadh on Wednesday with the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, reiterating the regional bloc's resolve to find a peaceful solution to the Yemen crisis.

In his inaugural address touching on a number of pressing issues, including terrorism and Syria, King Salman said the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is keen on maintaining the security and stability of Yemen and empowering its legitimacy.

He stressed the regional group's resolve to fulfil the hopes and ambitions its citizens and maintain their security.

For more than eight months, Gulf military forces have been fighting in Yemen to support President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's government alongside an array of local anti-rebel forces.

The coalition has been trying to push Iran-backed Houthi rebels and allied troops from territory they occupied in Yemen – by Mustafa Al Zarooni =

Kommentar: Der Text ist gleich, nur die Überschriften sind anders. Dass die Verlautbarungen vom Gipfel des Golfkooperationsrats wenige Tage vor dem Beginn der Friedensverhandlungen über den Jemen nur der üblichen Propaganda entsprechen, war klar. Da wird die allgemeine Sicherheit aller Golfstaaten bemüht, die Komplizenschaft der Huthis mit dem Iran, Sicherheit und Stabilität des Jemen (die beide niemand mehr gefährdet hat als eben die Golfstaaten), die „Legitimität“ im Jemen. Überschrift wie Anspruch, „GGC searches for peace in Yemen“ ist ohnehin ein Witz in sich: Die größten Brandstifter spielen hier verbal die Feuerwehr. Die Saudis haben ja im Jemen nicht erst mit dem Beginn des Luftkriegs am 26. März 2015, sondern schon seit vielen Jahrzehnten im Jemen ständig Feuer gelegt.

Wirtschaft / Economy

11.12.2015 Arabian Business

Is coffee grinding to a halt in Yemen?

Many entrepreneurs claim to have poured their blood, sweat and tears into developing their businesses but for those involved in the Yemeni coffee industry this is literally the case and many, like Alkhanshali and Nicholson, have put their lives on the line several times to help advance this ancient trade.

Although Ethiopia is renowned as the birthplace of coffee, Yemen is where the beans were first commercially traded, more specifically at the port city of Mokha, since 1450. While oil and gas account for a quarter of Yemen’s GDP, agriculture is the backbone of the economy. Coffee is produced in 17 out of the 21 Yemeni governorates, with around 600,000 people involved in growing the beans.

Mokha is located in the southern part of Yemen taken over by the Houthis during their military offensive in March 2015 and the coffee industry has been all but decimated as a result of the bloody conflict. However, even before this, statistics show that since 2007 production was almost stagnant at approximately 300,000 bags per year.

The value of the sector had also dropped from $17,584,341 in 2005 to $10,381,619 in 2012. Overall, the volume of coffee grown in Yemen before the conflict had already declined by about 50 percent from what it was during the 1950s, according to a report by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

While production has begun to restart in some areas, those in the industry are optimistic it can get back on its feet, especially after the large crowds and interest it received at the SCAA event in April - by Shane McGinley

10.12.2015 – Voice of America

Factories, Jobs Destroyed in Yemen War

n recent months, dozens of factories in Yemen's Sana'a province have halted operations after airstrikes destroyed equipment or buildings, according to former workers and managers.

More than a year of fighting between Houthi rebels and pro-government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition has crushed Yemen's economy. In Sana'a province alone, thousands of people have lost their jobs and millions of dollars in revenue is gone. Yemen's economy was weak in pre-war times, but now it is in tatters.

The situation around the Yemeni capital has grown even worse since two major factories closed.

"This hall contains hundreds of machines worth millions of dollars," said Mohammad al-Sabri, pointing to rows of unused green textile machines still covered in rubble after a bombing in July.

Al-Sabri was the information officer for the factory, which employed more than 1,300 people. But now, like everyone else, he has no job.

"The local economy has lost millions of dollars because this factory was targeted," al-Sabri said.

Growing unemployment is not only crippling the economy, but also is driving more and more people to fight, according to Ghalib al-Sewary, who managed a ceramic factory in Sana'a that was bombed in late September.

The bombing left thousands of workers suddenly unemployed, and many have been living hand to mouth since then.

"When there is no work, the people are forced to work for anyone, even if it's just for food," al-Sewary explains. "Nowadays people are waiting near the battlefronts. They want to eat and the fighters have money. Workers will now risk their lives for whoever will pay."

Even industries physically untouched by the violence are finding it harder and harder to operate, as prices soar and fuel remains scarce. Layoffs in industries across the public and private sectors are common.

"Because of the war and financial blockades against Yemen, many businesses and industries have fired everyone they could afford to lose," said Abdullah Mohammad, a former account manager. – by Heather Murdock, Almigdad Mojalli

15.11.2015 – United Nations Development Programme

Yemen conflict paralyzes economic activity, puts women businesses at risk

In partnership with SMEPS, UNDP conducted in August 2015 a rapid business assessment in six governorates to examine the impact of the crisis on business activity. The assessment was carried in Sanaa, Hajjah, Sa'ada, Taizz, Aden and Abyan Governorates, providing insights on the extent of damages and loss incurred by the private sector. The business survey will assist local authorities, the private sector and the early recovery cluster partners to provide time-critical assistance to support economic recovery and restoration of micro, small, medium and large enterprises (MSMEs).

The findings revealed that around 26% of businesses were closed since March 2015 due to the ongoing conflict in the surveyed governorates, with as much as 35% of MSMEs engaged in the services sector. Almost all businesses closed during the conflict was due to physical damage; with 77% of closed businesses suffering complete damages, 15.4% partial damages and 7.6% closing for other reasons. Estimated cost of average damage incurred per business is highest in Sa’ada at 35.5 million (YER), followed by Aden at 5 million (YER).

In a male-dominated society, women represented less than one third of the labor force before the conflict. The ongoing crisis has severely affected businesswomen as compared with their male counterparts, with almost half of women-owned enterprises closed since March.

Yemen depends on imports for nine-tenths of its food, with only 15% of the pre-crisis volume of imports is getting through due to severe import restrictions. This has largely affected business activity and flow of goods into the country, with three quarters of businesses struggling to source enough of their regular provisions and supplies. The limited geographical outreach of financial providers and an underdeveloped financial services were also identified by 73% as major constrains to financial access.

The report recommends to invest in business resilience and business continuity initiatives that support enterprises to manage risk, and helps businesses develop crisis mitigation strategies, targeting the most affected business groups namely; youth business owners, businesswomen and MSMEs.

Heuschrecken / Locusts

10.12.2015 – Al Arabiya

Locust disaster facing Yemen could heighten famine woes

Battered by a conflict that has divided the nation, Yemen is facing yet another disaster. As civilians recover from last month’s unprecedented cyclones, the United Nations is now warning of a further serious threat - a swarm of desert locusts.

Experts say Yemen is already in a state of emergency, and with the swarms approaching the nation is just one step away from widespread famine, making the country even more reliant on external help.

Reem Nada, World Food Programme (WFP) regional communications officer told Al Arabiya News in a phone interview: “10 Yemeni governorates out of the 22 are now one step away from famine. There is a five level scale and those 10 governorates are at level four, which is classified as a state of an emergency.”

“Meaning that one out of five people are severally food insecure, which means that external food assistance is required,” she added.

The locust incursion in Yemen is expected to take place during the winter season from early January to March of 2016 across the coastal areas of Al Hudaydah and the Gulf of Aden.

FAO representative in Yemen, Salah Hajj Hassan, told Al Arabiya News that hatching had already started last week in Tehama in Al Hudaydah, stating that the first hatch had been recorded and would continue to mid-January in 2016.

But he said “if there is no quick action to control the new generations of locust at winter in breeding areas, swarms may develop and move to the interior areas of Yemen where the ecological conditions are also suitable for locust breeding,” adding that they may also move to neighboring countries.

Terrorismus / Terrorism

11.12.2015 – The Economist

Unfriended: There are signs that Islamic State’s propaganda machine is losing its edge

This projection of strength and competence is effective, and not only in fanning terror. A recent report by the Soufan Group, a consultancy, estimates that the cumulative number of foreign recruits to IS has more than doubled since June 2014, to a total of 27,000-31,000. Some may have died or left the so-called caliphate, and the number of new arrivals has shrivelled as a result of tougher Turkish border controls. But the fact that they have come from at least 86 countries testifies to the continued pulling power of IS’s message.

Yet for all the group’s success at purveying and projecting terror, life on the ground within IS territory has grown dramatically darker since Paris. Although far from defeated, the group can no longer live up to its slogan “to remain and expand”. IS propaganda depicts a well-ordered caliphate where children learn proper religion, markets are full and the state hands out welfare and regulates fishing in the Tigris and Euphrates. The reality is bleaker.

more seriously for the group, it is having a harder time getting its message out, too. Aside from the restriction on personal internet use, which affects recruiting, Western governments have successfully prodded a growing number of social-media carriers to make much more serious efforts to weed out and block accounts sympathetic to IS. Twitter has shut thousands of suspect accounts in the past year; before that, there were reckoned to be over 20,000 IS Twitter accounts. YouTube is much quicker to take down ugly content than before. Telegram, an encrypted instant messaging service that had been increasingly adopted by IS as a main channel for its media output, has been blocking the group since mid-November.

10.12.2015 – The Economist

Houthis, Saudis and jihadis

The main group that now claims to hold the IS franchise in Yemen is relatively new, but it has carried out a string of suicide bombings against both the internationally recognised government and the Houthis. It has filled the vacuum left by the decline of Yemen’s longer-established Sunni terrorists, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

The most potent remaining franchise of al-Qaeda was dealt a blow by the killing of its leader, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, by an American drone in June. Yet although their commander is no more, the jihadists are far from finished. AQAP has recently seized two southern cities, including Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan governorate, only 50km north-east of Aden.

Commentary: Generally this is a good article on Yemen; however, I have to ask who on earth told the Economist that Al Qaeda in Yemen are in decline - they have never been stronger. It is true that Wuhayshi the long time leader - a former chauffeur of Bin Laden - was killed in an American drone strike, but he was quickly replaced. The more Americans kill in drone strikes, the easier it is for AQAP to recruit new members, and this war has caused so many young men to join all of the militias in Yemen, Al Qaeda, Daesh, the Houthis, Islah (Muslim Brotherhood) and many more. But I like the start of this commentary; "If ever a war caused pointless death and destruction, it is the one in Yemen."

9.12.2015 – The Long War Journal

Ex-Guantanamo detainee now an al Qaeda leader in Yemen

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a new video featuring a former Guantanamo detainee, Ibrahim Qosi, who is also known as Sheikh Khubayb al Sudani.

In July 2010, Qosi plead guilty to charges of conspiracy and material support for terrorism before a military commission. His plea was part of a deal in which he agreed to cooperate with prosecutors during his remaining time in US custody. Qosi was transferred to his home country of Sudan two years later, in July 2012.

Qosi joined AQAP in 2014 and became one of its leaders. Qosi and other AQAP commanders discussed their time waging jihad at length in the video, entitled “Guardians of Sharia.”

Islamic scholars ensure the “correctness” of the “jihadist project,” according to Qosi. And the war against America continues through “individual jihad,” which al Qaeda encourages from abroad. Here, Qosi referred to al Qaeda’s policy of encouraging attacks by individual adherents and smaller terror cells. Indeed, AQAP’s video celebrates jihadists who have acted in accordance with this call, such as the Kouachi brothers, who struck Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris earlier this year. The Kouachi brothers’ operation was sponsored by AQAP.

The al Qaeda veterans shown in the video emphasized the importance of following the advice of recognized jihadist ideologues. Although AQAP’s men do not mention the Islamic State by name, they clearly have Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s group in mind. Al Qaeda has criticized the Islamic State for failing to follow the teachings of widely respected jihadist authorities, most of whom reject the legitimacy of Baghdadi’s self-declared “caliphate.”

Qosi’s appearance marks the first time he has starred in jihadist propaganda since he left Guantanamo. His personal relationship with Osama bin Laden and time in American detention make him an especially high-profile spokesman.

A leaked Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) threat assessment and other declassified files documented Qosi’s extensive al Qaeda dossier. In the threat assessment, dated Nov. 15, 2007, US intelligence analysts described Qosi as a “high” risk to the US and its allies – by Thomas Joscelyn

Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

10.12.2015 – Middle East Eye

Pro-Hadi fighters in Yemen seize strategic Red Sea island

Greater Hanish island was "cleansed in a well-executed operation conducted by members of the Popular Resistance supported by the joint coalition forces," said a statement on the official Saudi Press Agency.

The Popular Resistance is an umbrella of Yemeni fighters who have been battling Houthi rebels and are supported by coalition troops, air and naval forces.

Greater Hanish is part of an archipelago that commands access to the Bab al-Mandab Strait between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, through which much of the world's maritime traffic passes.

It had been held by around 400 renegade troops loyal to former president Saleh, who stepped down in 2012 before allying with the Houthis, military sources said.

Saudi Arabia's official Ekhbariya television broadcast images from the island of a damaged mosque and soldiers finding arms and ammunition.

There were also images of warships and of helicopters hovering over the island.

"The operation comes simultaneously with ongoing operations by the Popular Resistance in the (northern) provinces of Hajja and Jawf to liberate them", the coalition said.

Commentary: This headline is a bit better but still not completely right - fighters are not pro-Hadi but more anti-Houthi - or on the Saudi payroll. But at least you can see who they mean unlike the pointless and senseless terms like 'loyalists' and 'popular committees' which mean nothing to most readers.

10.12.2015 –Fars News

Yemeni Forces Cutoff Loyalists' Last Supply Route in Southern Yemen

The Hadi loyalists and their allies from the Saudi-led Coalition suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Yemeni Army’s Republican Guard and their popular committees near the Yemeni city of Ta’iz on Wednesday.

According to a battlefield journalist that is embedded with the Yemeni Army’s Republican Guard, the latter and the Houthis carried out a powerful attack on the defensive positions of the Hadi loyalists at Mount Hayd Al-Baqr, resulting in the popular resistance forces taking full control of this site that overlooks the villages of Dabeen and Juraybah, which are located between Ta’iz and Al-Lahj in southern Yemen.

In addition to their success at Mount Hayd Al-Baqr, the Yemeni Army’s Republican Guard and the Houthis imposed full control over the Al-‘Arous Camp’s main entrance and the nearby village of Al-Shaqab after killing several enemy combatants from the Saudi-led Coalition forces.

As a result of their success in southern Yemen, the Yemeni Army’s Republican Guard and the Houthis have cutoff the last loyalist supply line to Ta’iz; this leaves the latter with only two choices: fight their way out or surrender to the popular resistance forces.

Commentary: From FARS Iranian news agency, who claim that the Houthi-Saleh alliance have cut off the supply line to Taiz. Of course, there are airdrops so I think this may be somewhat over-optimistic. Both sides have claimed military victories in Taiz in the run up to the so called peace talks in Geneva that start on the 15th December.

10.12.2015 – BRF Nachrichten

Jemen: Regierungstreue Truppen erobern Insel zurück

Regierungstreue Kräfte im Jemen haben mit Hilfe der von Saudi-Arabien geführten Koalition eine strategisch wichtige Insel im Roten Meer von Huthi-Rebellen zurückerobert.

Die Hanisch-Insel gehört zu einem Archipel, das mitten in einer strategisch wichtigen Meeresstraße am Eingang des Roten Meeres liegt.

10.12.2015 – Aljazeera

Coalition forces capture Yemeni islands from Houthis

The Hanish group of islands was reportedly used to store and smuggle weapons into Yemen.

Saudi-led forces battling Houthi fighters in Yemen have taken control of the Hanish Islands in the Red Sea, coalition sources say.

The group of islands was used by the Houthis to store and smuggle weapons into Yemen, the alliance and local fishermen said.

The coalition said its forces "cleansed Greater Hanish", the biggest island in the archipelago in the Red Sea's main shipping lanes, according to Saudi state television.

Fishermen told Reuters news agency by telephone that the islands had been under heavy shelling by Arab forces for weeks before they were seized.

The coalition has been trying to dislodge the Houthis and forces loyal to their ally, former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, from areas captured since last September and to restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power.

The group of islands was the subject of a territorial dispute between Yemen and Eritrea, which seized them in the 1990s, until the London-based Permanent Court of Arbitration granted Yemen sovereignty in 1998.

What makes the group of islands strategically significant is its proximity to the southern side of Bab-el-Mandeb which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. It forms a strategic link between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea via the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.

10.12.2015 – AP

Saudi State TV: Red Sea Island off Yemen Cleared of Rebels

Saudi state television is reporting that Saudi-led forces fighting in Yemen have cleared a Red Sea island of Shiite rebels.

The report Thursday said forces had seized control of Jazirat al-Hanish al-Kabir island off the coast of Yemen near the strategic Bab al-Mandab Strait that connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. The strait is a major route for oil from the Gulf and cargo between Europe and Asia.

Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 1-63: / Yemen Press reader 1-63: oder / or

Images of damaged schools / Fotos zerstörter Schulen:

Dieser Beitrag gibt die Meinung des Autors wieder, nicht notwendigerweise die der Redaktion des Freitag.
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Dietrich Klose

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

Dietrich Klose

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