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Full Closure Of Yemen’s Ports Could Worsen Humanitarian Situation In Country, Contribute To Famine, Cholera Spread

Washington Post: The Saudi power struggle hits the Arab world’s poorest country
“Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s apparent consolidation of power risks exacerbating an already catastrophic humanitarian crisis in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been fighting a rebel group with ties to Iran for more than two years. On Sunday, shortly after carrying out a purge of royal cousins and other high-ranking officials, an emboldened crown prince announced that the coalition would forcibly close all of Yemen’s ground, air, and sea ports. The move came after the Houthi militia fired a ballistic missile at the Saudi capital, Riyadh. The Saudi-led coalition had already restricted access to Yemen’s ports, but a full closure has long been feared as a potential trigger for widespread starvation. A Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015 after the Houthis took control of the capital city of Sanaa. Since then, the coalition has destroyed much of Yemen’s economy and infrastructure. … Around 7 million Yemenis are now on the brink of famine, according to aid agencies, and 10 million more do not know where they will get their next meal. Cholera is spreading uncontrollably, with more than 800,000 cases reported and fears that the number will cross a million by year’s end…” (Bearak, 11/6).

U.N. News Centre: Parties to ‘brutal conflict’ in Yemen must respect international humanitarian law — U.N. official
“Expressing horror at continued violence perpetrated by all parties to the conflict in Yemen, the top United Nations humanitarian official in the country has called on the conflicting sides to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law. … The conflict in the country, now into its third year, has killed thousands and driven millions from their homes. Hostilities have also left over 17 million Yemenis food insecure, over a third of the country’s district in severe danger of famine, destroyed infrastructure, and resulted in the breakdown of public services, especially water and sanitation systems. Lack of water and sanitation systems has also resulted in a devastating cholera outbreak, which has already killed more than 2,100 individuals and continues to infect thousands each week…” (11/6).

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