Genocide Drowned out by Media Silence: The Yemen War Six Years Later

“Life has become very difficult. We spend all our time looking for basic life necessities. We spend hours searching for either oil, electricity, solar energy, gas, any way to provide for our basic necessities, a life that is difficult in Sana’a, in rural areas it is even more difficult. All of these shortages are caused by the blockade.”

– Ahmed Jahaf, Yemeni artist [1]

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The country of Yemen, once renowned for its architectural gems and theatre shaping the minds and memory of its population, is now scraping itself out from under the wreckage of homes, schools, mosques and hospitals downed by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes.[2]

The battle for control of Yemen has persisted for more than six years. According to December 2020 statistics from the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

“The war had already caused an estimated 233,000 deaths, including 131,000 from indirect causes such as lack of food, health services and infrastructure”[3]

According to UNICEF, 80 per cent of the population are in need of humanitarian assistance. That includes 12 million children. [4]

According to  the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Acute Malnutrition report:

“Nearly 2.3 million children under the age of five in Yemen are projected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021, four United Nations agencies warned today. Of these, 400,000 are expected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition and could die if they do not receive urgent treatment.”[5]

This colossal catastrophe, the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, nevertheless has not generated much in the way of mainstream media concern. More than that, the U.S., UK, Canada are willingly complicit in the carnage![6]

Some moves have been made in recent days by the newly sworn in U.S. President Joe Biden promising to end arms sales to the Saudi Arabia assault on Yemen, freezing arms sales to Saudi Arabia and backing off of designating the rebel group in Yemen, the targets of Saudi wrath, as terrorists. But will this do anything to meaningfully end the conflict or the widespread suffering resulting from blocks to commercial trade which predominantly brings in assistance to the starving region? Can moves by ordinary people throughout the world resolve the turmoil in time to avoid a worsening horror? These are questions the Global Research News Hour hopes will be addressed in this special hour. [7][8][9]

Coming in our first half hour we are joined by the antiwar and social justice activist Azza Robji. She breaks down the extent of the crisis, the role of aggressor states, including Canada, and outlines the various ways people can come together to alter the course of the dangerous powers we live in.

In our second half hour we are joined by two journalists, Steven Sahiounie based in Latakia, Syria, and Yousra Abdulmalik based in Sana’a in Yemen to outline details about the current approach by Biden, the UN’s involvement, and efforts by the Western countries to make a real difference for the people of Yemen.

Azza Robji was born in Ariana, Tunisia. She is an executive member of Vancouver’s anti-war coalition Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO). She authored the 2019 book U.S. and Saudi War on the People of Yemen.

Steven Sahiounie is an award-winning journalist. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Abdulmalik Yousra is a Yemeni journalist based in the capital Sana’a. Her articles appear on major Yemeni news outlets.

(Global Research News Hour Episode 312)

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The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM out of the University of Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca .

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CJMP 90.1 FM, Powell River Community Radio, airs the Global Research News Hour every Saturday at 8am. 

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Notes:

  1. Robji, Azza (2019), p.161 ‘U.S. and Saudi War on the People of Yemen’, Battle of Ideas Press
  2. Robji, azza op cit. pg 49, 50
  3. https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/12/1078972#:~:text=UN%20Podcasts-,UN%20humanitarian%20office%20puts%20Yemen%20war%20dead,%2C%20mostly%20from%20’indirect%20causes’&text=Millions%20of%20children%20across%20Yemen,the%20country%20(file%20photo).
  4. https://www.unicefusa.org/mission/emergencies/child-refugees/crisis-in-yemen#:~:text=In%20Yemen%2C%20a%20child%20dies%20every%2010%20minutes%20from%20preventable%20causes&text=Eighty%20percent%20of%20the%20population,Cholera%20is%20endemic.
  5. https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/acute-malnutrition-threatens-half-children-under-five-yemen-2021-un
  6. Rabji, Azza op cit. Pg 58-60,
  7. Borger, Julian and Wintour, Patrick (Feb 4, 2021), ‘Biden announces end to US support for Saudi-led offensive in Yemen’, The Guardian; https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/04/us-end-support-saudi-led-operations-yemen-humanitarian-crisis
  8. https://www.state.gov/revocation-of-the-terrorist-designations-of-ansarallah/
  9.  , Daphne and, Michelle (Jan 19, 2021), ‘U.S. exempts U.N., aid groups from effort to cut off Yemen’s Houthis’, Reuters; https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-usa-idUSKBN29O1X4


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