Bushra al-Maqtary is a recognized yemeni journalist and author.

Save Yemen’s people

2017-01-10 | Bushra Al Maqtary padlock


”The outside world, which has long forgotten the war in Yemen, now has it on its conscience. Take moral and humanitarian responsibility for this ongoing tragedy!”, pleads author and activist Bushra al-Maqtari in a poignant column about the causes and consequences of this war.

Yemenis are killed every day in an absurd and immoral war that could destroy all life, transforming Yemenis into targets for death. At ground level they are attacked by forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Houthi militia, and from the sky by their enemies, the alliance led by the Saudis.

The war has killed tens of thousands of people and injured many more. Two million people have fled areas affected by the clashes, to refugee camps in other parts of the country. The war brings Yemenis to a situation unprecedented since the birth of their civilization. There is no security, no freedom – whether in the private or public sphere – illegal arrests take place. There is almost no food, and that which can be found is expensive and rationed. Public services – health care, education, electricity and water – have disappeared. Yemenis are left to themselves and have only primitive means such as braziers and oil lamps to try to maintain a semblance of normal daily life.

The war has spread to many areas, and it has been going on for a long time. The victims either die as a direct result of the fighting, or from the famine ravaging several cities in Yemen. Wages in the private and public sectors have not been paid for four months, people have run out of money to buy food, and no public assistance is provided. In addition, cholera and dengue have struck thousands of people due to lack of drugs and the authorities are not able to fight against these epidemics.

This war did not suddenly fall from the sky, it was not provoked by unknown forces that we can neither see nor condemn. Rather, it is a direct consequence of the decision of the national actors to go to war, with the support of their allies in the region. The Houthi militia and Saleh forces bear the main responsibility for igniting the spark of war and triggering a civil war.

The current president Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi and his government, as well as Saudi Arabia and the war coalition bear the responsibility for the continuation of the war. Despite the failure of the warring parties to win a military victory or reach a political solution, they all seem ready to fight until the last drop of Yemeni blood.

The belligerents do not care about the increase in violence, or the fact that 20 million people live in inhuman conditions. They benefit from the war economy and from the social and political structure of the war, consequently, they will fight to the death. In addition to killing Yemenis, Houthi militias and Saleh forces have continued to impoverish society, they have stolen money and resources from the government and the central bank, without taking into account the victims of the war and the poor people who continue to fuel the war statistics.

The government of President Hadi and the coalition led by Saudi Arabia are not any better. They do nothing to reduce the suffering of the Yemenis, except for when they see an opportunity to integrate them into their war machine. Therefore the Yemenis today do not trust the intentions of any of the parties or any of their regional allies for the country.

Yemenis know that the conflicting parties have no interest in ending the war, the suffering of the people is not of any importance to them. All the Yemenis have left is the unlikely hope that the consciousness of the outside world will awaken, that the world will intervene to put an end to the madness to which the belligerents expose us. Nobody wants to stop this war more than the Yemenis affected by the prolongation of the fighting, so that they can finally close this infernal chapter of their lives.

The outside world, which has long forgotten the war in Yemen, now has it on its conscience. Take a moral and humanitarian responsibility for this ongoing tragedy! Take a stand for Yemenis, their welfare and not for the requirements of the belligerents and their allies in the region.

Attention from the outside world is the last hope for Yemen before it transforms into nothing more than a neglected grave. I have lived and continue to live here throughout this war and all its painful events like the millions of Yemenis forced to do so without having any responsibility for what is currently taking place.

They and I hope that this infernal killing machine will stop now. Not only does it kill our loved ones, but it is also killing our humanity. And the possibility of living a dignified life.

Translated by Jenny Bright/Tlaxcala


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