Yemen’s Humanitarian Nightmare

The Real Roots of the Conflict, by Asher Orkaby, for Foreign Affairs

On February 20, 2015, as the residents of Sanaa prepared for evening prayers, Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi put on a woman’s niqab and slipped out the back door of his official residence, where a car was waiting for him. For a month, Houthi rebels, who had taken Sanaa in late 2014, had been holding him under house arrest. By the time the guards noticed that he was gone, Hadi had reached the relative safety of the southern port of Aden. A month later, as Houthi forces advanced south, he fled again, this time to Riyadh, where he called on Saudi Arabia to intervene in Yemen’s civil war.

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Yemen conflict: The view from the Saudi side

BBC article by Frank Gardner

Tall, bearded and wearing a pained expression, an elderly Saudi man called Jaber stands before the ruins of his family house in the town of Najran, just north of the border with war-torn Yemen.

The whitewashed walls of his house are pockmarked with blast marks and jagged holes gouged by flying shrapnel.

"Yesterday at 5.15 in the afternoon," he told me, "came an explosion from Yemen. My family were sitting just over there," he pointed to an abandoned mattress on the ground.

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The man who lost 27 family members in an air strike

BBC article by Sumaya Bakhsh

The war in Yemen had been going on for just two months when Abdullah al-Ibbi sat down for a late-night meal with his two wives, their children and grandchildren. It was then, in an instant, that his world shattered.

The air strike that hit Abdullah's home killed 27 members of his family. He survived, but only learnt about their deaths six weeks later when he woke up in a hospital bed.

"If I didn't fear God, I would have committed suicide at that moment," he recalls. "I would have jumped off a building... but God gave me patience."

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War pushes Yemen to partition, thwarting peace efforts

Reuters article by Noah Browning

Yemen has endured thousands of air strikes and the deaths of more than 10,000 people in a 19-month war that has also unleashed hunger on the desperately poor country - but its biggest challenge may be yet to come.

The conflict has led to Yemen's de facto partition, with rival armies and institutions in the north and south, and could mean the map of the Middle East will have to be redrawn.

A three-day truce to allow in more humanitarian aid and prepare a political settlement collapsed last week, reflecting deadlocked efforts to end the stalemated war.

But behind the combatants' disagreements over how to share power, Yemen's future as a unified state appears increasingly in doubt.

Such a possibility appeared remote when a coalition of Arab states began launching air strikes in March 2015 to restore to power President Abd Rabbu Mansour al-Hadi, driven from the capital, Sanaa, by the Iranian-allied Houthi movement in 2014.

It seems less fanciful now.

The Houthis' rise to power in the north has provoked a revival of southern separatism, a movement that sees the fracturing of state power as its moment to break away.

At the same time, the south and its major city, Aden, serve as a base for the internationally recognized government, which is trying to take back national control even as it manages an uneasy alliance with the secessionists.

Yemen was once split between a pro-Soviet state in the South and a republic buttressed by armed tribes in the North. A southern bid to secede failed in 1994 when the north restored unity by force.

Many southerners now believe their time has come after two decades of what they see as marginalization within the unified state, and the plundering of mostly southern oil reserves by corrupt northern tribal sheikhs and politicians.

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Time is running out to pay attention to the crisis in the Yemen

Article by Yemeni journalist Rafat Al-Akhali for NewStateman

The West must turn to the world's "forgotten crisis" - before it becomes too big to forget.

The horrifying images of starving children, women, and men coming out of Yemen tell a story to the world that we Yemenis have known for a while: the country is sliding into a wide-scale famine while all sides of the conflict turn a blind eye to the suffering of millions of innocent civilians.

While an alliance of the Houthi rebel movement and the ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh continues to persecute their opponents in the areas they control, and besiege and shell Taiz, the country’s third-largest city, in an effort to consolidate their control over the central part of Yemen, the Saudi-led coalition besieges most of the country and indiscriminately targets civilian areas and infrastructure. The worst single incident took place earlier this month when an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition on a funeral hall in Sana’a left an estimated 140 dead and 525 injured. With a crumbling health system unable to cope, the majority of the injured were not able to travel abroad for treatment as the Saudis have forced the closure of Sana’a airport for nearly two months.

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British Red Cross - Yemen Crisis Appeal

Yemen Crisis Appeal by the British Red Cross

The ongoing conflict in Yemen has devastated millions of people’s lives.

Right now, more than half the population don’t have enough food. Almost a quarter face starvation. Families are living with no water or electricity.

View the appeal here

Save the Children - Yemen Crisis - Donate Now

Yemen Crisis Appeal by Save the Children

This is the world's largest humanitarian crisis.

But not enough people have been talking about it.

Since March last year, brutal fighting has spread across almost all of Yemen.

A staggering 21 million people are in dire need of humanitarian aid - that's 82% of the population.

Children are going hungry and thirsty - one third of children under 5 are severely malnourished, and in many parts of the country the water supply is turned on for just one hour every day.

The healthcare system has collapsed, meaning that children and their families can't get the vital care they desperately need.

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Care International - Yemen Emergency Appeal

Care International Yemen Emergency Appeal

Over 80% of Yemen’s population are in a desperate struggle for survival and need your help right now. The conflict has devastated the lives of children and their families, with so many now on the brink of starvation. Please donate now to provide emergency food and water.

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OXFAM appeal - Crisis in Yemen

OXFAM appeal for Crisis in Yemen

GIVE NOW. SAVE LIVES.

Deadly clashes and air strikes have killed and injured thousands of people. Millions more have been forced to leave their homes and are struggling to find food and water. Oxfam is there.

You can help.

View appeal here

Unicef: Donate and help protect children in Yemen

Yemen Crisis appeal by UNICEF

View UNICEF appeal here

Millions starving in ‘forgotten war’ as Saudi bombs tear Yemen apart

Article by Bel Trew for The Times

Millions of people in Yemen are starving, including children who will be crippled for life, the UN has warned as new photographs from areas worst hit by the war show teenagers dying of hunger.

Yemen now has one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said yesterday. More than 14 million people are going hungry, half of them starving. At least ten of the country’s 21 governorates are close to a famine.

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New initiative proposed by UN envoy to resolve Yemen crisis

Article for AhramOnline by Ahmed Eleiba

An initiative for a Yemeni political settlement has been presented to the Houthi faction and ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh loyalists, a source close to Saleh told Ahram Online.
The written initiative was presented to the two allied factions by UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who visited the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Monday, according to the source.

“The UN envoy left before receiving a final reply in hopes that he will be back in a few weeks to prepare a fresh round of talks for a settlement if an initial approval is given,” the source said.

The new initiative includes six main points, the first of which is for Yemeni President Abd Rabu Mansour Hady to be recognised as a transitional president with limited authority, and the appointment of a vice president agreed upon by all involved factions and who is to be based in the capital Sanaa, currently under Houthi control.

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Boris Johnson and John Kerry call for ceasefire in Yemen – video

Video by theguardian

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Funeral bombing - video of aftermath

Mobile phone video shows shock and grief in aftermath of Saudi air strike on Yemeni funeral on 8 October 2016

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Yemen: The 'forgotten war' cloaked in the shadow of Syria

By Hakim Almasmari and Angela Dewan, for CNN

Sanaa (CNN)Dozens of schools and hospitals have been bombed. Foreign powers have carried out deadly airstrikes. Political chaos has created a vacuum for militant groups like ISIS to flourish and sieges have cut off rebel-held areas from desperately needed aid.

You might think this is a picture of war-torn Syria, but it is in fact Yemen, where a bloody civil war has created what the UN calls a "humanitarian catastrophe."

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(includes video)

A Roar at a Funeral, and Yemen’s War Is Altered

By SHUAIB ALMOSAWA and BEN HUBBARD for The New York Times

SANA, Yemen — Large speakers played verses from the Quran as hundreds of mourners filed through the fanciest reception hall in Sana, the capital, to pay their respects to a prominent family after the death of its patriarch.

Then there was a roar, the hall shook, and the guests were knocked to the floor and enveloped in fire and smoke. Some rushed for the exits as parts of the ceiling collapsed, trapping others under the rubble.

“We did not think they would attack a funeral,” said Abdulla al-Shamy, 27, a clothing salesman who was in the hall at the time. “We did not think they would be so vile.”

The attack on Saturday, which Yemeni officials and witnesses said was a series of airstrikes by the military coalition led by Saudi Arabia, killed more than 100 people and unleashed political forces that could drastically change the course of Yemen’s war.

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Airstrikes on Yemen funeral kill at least 140 people, UN official says

Article for theguardian by Nadia Khomani

Houthi rebels say Saudi-led coalition to blame for attack on ceremony that left at least another 525 wounded

More than 140 people were killed and more than 525 wounded when airstrikes hit a funeral ceremony in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, a senior UN official has said, as Houthi rebels blamed the attack on the Saudi-led coalition.

The dead and wounded include senior military and security officials from the ranks of the Shia Houthi rebels fighting the internationally recognised government of president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi as well as their allies, loyalists of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

In the aftermath of the strike on Saturday, hundreds of body parts were found strewn in and outside the hall. Rescuers collected them in sacks. “The place has been turned into a lake of blood,” said one rescuer, Murad Tawfiq.

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Video of Saudi airstrike on Yemen funeral hall

Video of Saudi airstrike on Yemen funeral hall wake. 1st airstrike followed by 2nd strike to hit rescuers.

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Airstrike kills more than 100, injures hundreds at Yemen funeral

Washington Post article by Ali Al-Mujahed and Sudarsan Raghavan

SANAA, Yemen — An airstrike by a U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition killed more than 100 people and injured hundreds more at a funeral Saturday, according to Health Ministry officials and medical groups. With the death toll expected to rise, it was one of the deadliest single assaults in the 20-month-old civil conflict that has fractured the Middle East’s poorest country.

Witnesses said at least three airstrikes hit the Grand Hall, one of the biggest arenas in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, as mourners gathered inside to attend a funeral for the father of a top rebel Houthi official. In attendance were senior political and military officials aligned with the Houthis and hundreds of civilians, according to witnesses.

As explosions rocked the hall at around 3:30 p.m., chaos ensued as people tried to rush toward the exits. Many jumped through a large opening in a wall that had crumbled, said Mohammed Ahmed al-Sunaidar, an Interior Ministry employee. He was just arriving at the hall and ran inside to help survivors.

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US security cooperation with Saudi Arabia is not a blank check