The civil war in Yemen has received relatively little world and media attention over the past three years. However, the war and power struggle between different sectarian groups has pushed the country into biggest humanitarian crisis in the world today. Saudi Arabia and Iran, which are directly involved in the conflict, are committing worst crimes by supporting militarily the warring groups. There is no denying the fact that Iran has an ambitious plan of expanding its influence in Arab world by helping install the governments of its choice. Iran has done it in Syria earlier where it supported the brute and inhuman regime of Alwi tyrant Bashar al Assad at the expense of around 5 lakh innocent Muslims. Iraq has already turned into its colony. Iran is also reportedly involved in fomenting trouble in Bahreen as well.
By supporting and installing a government of its choice in Yemen, Iran is about to knock the door of Saudi Arabia. Yemen is not just facing the brunt of war within but also the external bomb-drops from Saudi Arabian Air force. Saudi Arabia has also enforced economic blockade of Yemen which has reached to crisis proportions. As senior UN relief officials noted recently, millions of Yemenis may be at risk of starvation and disease. In fact, the Yemen imbroglio has been described as the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world today.
Latest reports say that 50,000 children were at the verge of death due to starvation resulted by Saudi blockade. Pregnant women and young children are particularly at risk as the country’s health infrastructure has all but collapsed since the Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen’s civil war in March 2015. The UN says 7 million people are already on the brink of famine; if the blockade is not lifted the number could go up to over 10 million.
Skeletal children are being kept (marginally) alive in especially designated ‘feeding centres’ and families have to choose which of their many starving children to take to the centre. And a cholera epidemic is sweeping through the land while the blockade keeps medicines and supplies from reaching the sick and vulnerable.
Yemen was considered as the poorest Arab country before the war. It was surviving on external economic aid mainly by Saudi Arabia. But the Iran-backed Houthi rebellion and Saudi ASrab’s retaliation have battered whatever little the country had. The recent missile attack by Houthi rebels on Saudi capital Riyad has led to strengthening of Saudi blocked on shipments of outside aid. The latest reports warn, the cholera epidemic in the country, which had begun to recede, may re-emerge due to the collapsed sewerage system and rampant unsanitary conditions. Nobody can deny Saudi’s right to defend itself but punishing hapless and innocent people is no solution. It would not be wrong to say that the Yemeni war has turned into a stalemate, and the longer it grinds on, the worse the conditions for Yemen’s people will get.
It is a well-known fact that the Yemen imbroglio is a foreign-made. It is, in fact, Iran that instigated and supported (militarily and materially) to Houthi Shias rise against the country’s established government. Saudi Arabia completed the catastrophe by deciding to stop Iranian march. It is in the interests of humanity in general and people of Yemen in general to stop the hostilities in the country. Both Saudi Arab and Iran should immediately withdraw from supporting rival forces, instead work as peace brokers. Considering the expansionist ambitions of Iran and Saudi Arabia, it would appear a distant dream at this point of time but both the countries can agree on ceasefire to allow humanitarian relief to reach to the starving people. United Nations should take a lead in this matter and prevail upon warring groups to cease fire, at least, temporarily to address the human crisis in the country.