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U.S., Other Western Countries Should Not Be Complicit As War-Torn Yemen Faces Humanitarian Disaster, Famine

Washington Post: 8 million teeter on the brink of famine. America is complicit.
Editorial Board

“…Because 70 percent of Yemen’s food and aid shipments come though [Hodeida], the United Nations and every major humanitarian agency have warned of dire consequences [of attacks on the port city] for the 22 million Yemenis who already depend on outside assistance, including eight million on the brink of famine. … As it is, Yemen’s escape from full-blown famine during the past two years has been something of a miracle, the result of heroic efforts by aid groups that have kept trucks rumbling up the dangerous roads from Hodeida to regions where food and medicine are in desperately short supply. But humanitarian assistance has not prevented what has become the worst cholera epidemic in history, with more than one million people infected. … The Trump administration could have prevented the assault on Hodeida; instead, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo equivocated, thereby allowing it to go forward. Congress, which has long been uneasy with U.S. support for the Yemen war, must now act. All funding for U.S. support for the intervention should be halted and further arms sales put on hold until the offensive ends, humanitarian assistance flows freely, and peace talks are underway” (6/13).

New York Times: The Disaster Awaiting Yemen After Al Hudaydah Falls
Alex De Waal, executive director of the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University

“…Saudi and Emirati strategists may not be intending to starve the Yemeni people into submission. But in practice, if not motive, hunger has become a weapon in this war. On May 24, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 2417, condemning starvation of civilians as a method of warfare. The resolution didn’t name names, but its first test is Yemen. And Yemen is America’s war, too. The United States is a longstanding ally of Saudi Arabia, and it has become more so since President Trump repudiated the Iran nuclear deal. … The United States could exert real influence on the Saudi and Emirati forces. … [T]he United States — as well as other Western countries — faces a choice between being complicit in an unfolding calamity or stepping in to try to stop it. … Famine isn’t just about masses of people going hungry; famine tears societies apart. It means mass exodus caused by desperation. It means humiliation and collective trauma. … If mass starvation takes hold in Yemen, expect an even more deeply divided country. … Expect to see the ugly and perilous repercussions of this harrowing experience for years to come” (6/14).

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