The genocide of Yemen:First bombs, now hunger, thirst and cholera
by Pierre Balanian

The coalition led by Riyadh blocks the arrival of fuel needed to run the wells. Over a million people without water in Taiz, Saada, Hodeida, Sana'a and Al Bayda. According to UNICEF, 1.7 million children suffer from acute malnutrition”; 150,000 children are likely to die in the coming weeks. The silence and neglect of the international community. The threat of hitting crude-cargo ships. Yesterday, Saudi Arabia allowed the reopening of Sana'a airport and Hudayda port, but only for humanitarian aid. An insufficient measure.

Sanaa (AsiaNews) – Arabia Felix, the cradle of Arabia, is slowly dying every day under an indiscriminate rain of Saudi air raids and fire and a total blockade of all airport, naval and land routes. The coalition led by Riyadh has blocked the arrival of fuel needed to run water wells. The International Red Cross has appealed: In cities like Taiz, Saada and Hodeida, a million people have no clean water supply and there is no drinking water in Sana'a and Al Bayda. The United Nations continues to define what is happening in Yemen as the "greatest humanitarian crisis in the world". But Yemen, especially the Yemeni civilians and the weaker ones - women, children, the elderly and the sick - remain isolated from the rest of the world, ignored, abandoned.

Nothing is allowed to enter the country apart from hunger, death, destruction, and now thirst. What is happening here is no longer a war, nor an invasion by Saudi Arabia or the Arab Emirates, nor an Islamic-confessional war as the pro-Saudi press believes. What is happening here is manifesting itself as the extermination of an entire people. Allies of the authors of this genocide are the widespread epidemics that break out in the wake of  war, such as cholera whose spread is "the worst of modern times" and threatens over one million people. But according to Alexander Faite, head of the Red Cross delegation in the battered country, in addition to hunger and cholera, the greatest threat comes from world indifference, the silence that in these volatile or ill-fated cases becomes complicity.

Although only trickling through,  due to significant media absence, the catastrophic news is beginning to horrify even US public opinion where yesterday the famous analyst Roy Paul of the Institute for Peace and Prosperity wrote: "We are told that US foreign policy should reflect American values. So how can Washington support Saudi Arabia - a tyrannical state with one of the worst records in the field of human rights violations in the world - in committing that which, beyond any measure, constitutes a genocide against the people of Yemen ? ".

Paul added criticism of the US involvement by saying that "we are fighting alongside al-Qaeda" against the Houthi in Yemen. This was confirmed by news circulated yesterday that Daesh militants who fled Syria and Iraq are fighting against the Houthi in Yemen.

The amount of human rights violations registered in Yemen by NGOs is hallucinating. According to SAM, the Geneva-based Rights and Freedoms Organization, "716 cases of human rights violations against civilians were recorded last month alone."

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and their allies began a war against Yemen in March 2015, when the rich Saudi neighbor invaded the country to expel Houthi rebels and impose the government of President Abou Rabbu Mansour Hadi with force.

The coalition created by Saudi Arabia - it also includes many non-Arab mercenaries, many of whom from South Africa - receive weapons and logistical support from the United States, and it closed the airport of Sana'a capital in August 2016, in full breach of Michigan agreements and the laws regulating civil aviation, isolating the country.

Earlier this month and following the arrival of a Yemeni ballistic missile in Riyadh, the "coalition" decided to impose a total land and sea blockade, using the shortage of medicines and medical equipment (especially for dialysis), fuel (with the arrival of the cold), food and water as a weapon of war. Since then, the United Nations has launched  an alarm: if the embargo against Yemen is not lifted, the world will witness one of the worst disasters ever known for decades. Saudi Arabia continues to justify its action with the arrival of a missile in Riyadh - in the face of thousands of missiles, raids and bombs launched daily by Saudi forces – and continues to ignore the UN request. Instead of opening the airport last week, it bombarded the control tower at Sana'a Airport, destroying all air navigation equipment.

The statistics regarding children are terrible. According to Unicef, "1.7 million children in Yemen today suffer from acute malnutrition"; 150,000 children are likely to die in the next few weeks; schools are closed and education has stopped in almost all Yemeni provinces; hundreds of schools are destroyed. According to UN data, there were 38 attacks by Saudi Arabia against schools and hospitals, and the war has caused more than 10,000 deaths so far, more than 50% of the victims are women and children; 48 thousand are seriously injured.

Again according to the UN, 20.7 million Yemenites need essential humanitarian aid "to avoid one of the worst man-made disasters". At least 3.3 million are internally displaced persons, whose survival depends on international aid, after the destruction of their homes and their internment in refugee camps.

Arab poetess Annaya Jaber, referring to "the world's mutiny in the face of the Yemeni tragedy" says the cause of this silence is that "the poor do not deserve to raise their voice", so as not to disturb the rich countries of the region.

The last Yemeni defense weapon is the threat of hitting the vital nerve of the rich countries - unless the block is lifted "we will not hesitate- they said - to bomb the crude-cargo ships passing through the Persian Gulf." This threat had a certain effect: yesterday evening, Saudi Arabia, surrendering to pressures, finally authorized “the opening of Hudayda port and Sanaa airport, but only for international humanitarian aid" and not for civilian flights. Khaled Al Shayef, director of Sanaa Airport reported that opening the airport only for humanitarian aid and not "for transporting seriously ill and injured people who need care abroad" is almost useless and "inadequate".