Hidden in the depth of the Saudi led alliance is a story untold which involves thousands of cry’s, screams and pleading. Where every day there are ongoing human rights violations and babies as young as few months are found underground covered in black soot, blood and dust. The war between the Houthi rebels and the Yemen government has been on for 3 years with prolonged drones strikes, airstrikes, and suicide bombings. One remains baffled on whether it is really a war between two groups for power or something more deceptive. Trapped in the middle are civilians and this war has led to more than 15,000 of them being killed. The crisis is deepening day by day and around 22.2 million Yemenis today rely on humanitarian assistance.
The wars 2014 beginning which can be traced to the assassination of the founder of the Houthi movement is between the Houthi rebels and the forces loyal to the president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. The government sought help from the Saudi led military which caused the war to intensify. According to the United Nations, the Yemen crisis could worsen in 2019 unless a peace deal is agreed between the parties involved.
It is importance to recognise the role of Iran and Saudi as these are countries that are at the centre of disputes on each and every war in the Arab state. Iran’s role in backing Syrian president Bashar Al Assad is key to understanding what is going on in Yemen. Both Syria and Iran are known as strategic partners. The story however is different in Yemen because the question remains on whether Iran is actually backing the Houthi rebels as the Gulf Arab States claim.
Could there be more to it than one’s eyes can see? Is Yemen a victim and only being crushed because of the bad blood between bitter rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran? If this is true then neither countries value human life. Where should the innocent civilians go? They are being crushed between the conflict. The Saudi air coalitions have led to the destruction of thousands of houses that have been turned into rubble and beneath this rubble, corpses are recovered.
According to a source, the Saudi-led coalition is recruiting young Sudanese child soldiers as young as 14 years old so they can serve on the frontlines. Hiring American soldiers is not cheap and therefore Saudi is taking advantage of these young mercenaries whose uncertain future in Sudan leads them to be involved. According to Save the Children, since the hostilities started, up to 85,000 may have died and disease is widespread.
There is also a third group which is equally responsible for the deaths of these innocent civilians. This is those that send arms and provide key intelligence to the Saudi led coalition. These countries still continue to sell weapons to the coalition. This group was equally involved in the destruction of Raqqa and Aleppo in Syria, and now the same is being repeated as they stand by fuelling the war and watching silently as Yemen is being destroyed.
The Saudi Arabia led coalition use lethal explosions which are banned under international law. These explosives which are known to be manufactured in the USA, UK, and Brazil cause horrific injuries. All the attacks which are banned during a conflict are openly being used by Saudi-Arabia and these are crushing and causing a grave catastrophic impact on the lives of Yemenis.
How long before all groups involved realise that it is enough, even the earth seems exhausted as a country where greenery once existed is now home to famine. The picture of Alan Kurdi shook nations but now in Yemen every day; there are hundreds of children and babies being taken out of rubble. The difference is that Alan Kurdi was escaping conflict but these children do not even get a chance to understand what’s happening to them. There are extreme cases of malnutrition that the bones of babies can be seen protruding. These babies silently look around wondering at the realm which was meant to be a safe sanctuary for them.
Featured image | A destroyed reservoir in Yemen | Julien Harneis | flickr
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Best of Africa.
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