Amal Hussain, a 7-year old girl, whose photograph shook the conscience of many people around the world, recently died due to starvation and severe malnourishment. Her story is the story of her country. A country which has been facing one of the largest man-made catastrophe for the last three years.
According to World Food Programme “The coalition’s bombing of civilians are potential war crimes and that its partial blockade of the country has put 12 million men, women and children at risk of starvation in what could become the worst famine in 100 years.” But unfortunately this conflict never attained the amount of media attention it should have attained, perhaps due to several geo-political, economic and realpolitik interests of various nations. In fact ironically many people are not even aware of this conflict.
The crisis started in 2015 after the ouster of former Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi by Houthi forces. On 26 March 2015, Saudi Arabia and several other countries began their military operations and air bombardment campaigns against Yemen, with intelligence and military aid in armaments by its western ally, the United States.
The reason why in recent time Yemen has gained some attention is due to the killing of a Saudi dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi embassy in Turkey. The details of his death and its reports that are emerging daily in the news are rather gruesome and horrifying.
According to United Nations there are about 2 million severely malnourished children and 400,000 of them are critically ill. If the war is not stopped then half the population of the country will be on the brink of a hunger crisis. Moreover Yemen has also recorded the worst Cholera outbreak in history which will soon reach about a million cases. This conflict moreover has already claimed about 10,000 lives. The impact of this war is shown in this report.
Moreover, the aerial bombardment has also been blamed for death of many innocent civilians. Moreover a United Nations Human Rights report blamed both sides for torture, shelling of civilians, using child soldiers and blocking humanitarian aid.
Both sides have been equally blamed for this crisis, which has pushed millions into poverty, disease, hunger, rising food prices, unemployment and utter destruction of the basic infrastructure of the country. This crisis which has displaced about 3 million Yemenis, 280,000 have sought asylum in other countries, including Djibouti and Somalia. is pushing the region deep into more chaos. Seeing how similar the situations are in Iraq, Syria, Libya. It further creates the ripe recruiting ground for fundamental forces in the region.
Seems like the West has still not learned its lessons from history. After all, West is responsible for most of the crisis in the region starting from Israel-Palestine. It has popped up dictatorships in these region when it suited its needs and replaced them when it felt like. Its constant hunger for oil revenues, gas and its powerful Military-Industrial Complex, fuels more wars and more dictatorships.
George Orwell was right when he said that “The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous.” As for example recently President Donald Trump has imposed new sets of sanctions on Iran, despite Iran following all the guidelines of the nuclear deal. U.S also withdrew from the deal unilaterally. Its European partners have continued with the deal.
Although the International Community is providing aid and relief, but unfortunately they are not reaching to the most needy ones. As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Friday that Yemen could face “the worst famine we have seen in decades” and urged the country’s warring parties to immediately halt the violence. It is necessary that better sense prevails among all the warring parties and a political solution is reached. The country’s future should be build in a way where each side can have equal share of political representation which will negate chances of conflicts in future.
UN Offices must be put to good use, and countries like India should work with like-minded countries, to reach a peaceful solution. As Gandhiji once said, “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.” So, a unified and honest attempt is needed so that human rights are protected and preserved everywhere.