World War 3: Saudi power plays in Middle East could kill MILLIONS human rights groups warn

Saturday, November 25, 2017
By Paul Martin

SAUDI aggression in the Middle East has worsened a humanitarian crisis that has harmed millions of people in Yemen, human rights groups have said.

Sat, Nov 25, 2017

Saudi Arabia imposed a blockade on Yemeni ports in early November, after Houthi-Saleh rebels in the war-torn nation attempted a missile attack on Saudi capital city, Riyadh, as part of an ongoing civil war in which the Saudis have backed their enemies.

Officials in Saudi Arabia said they installed the blockade to prevent arms trafficking to the Iran-backed rebels after the attempted attack.

However, the move risked causing a “full-blown famine” which could kill millions of Yemenis, human rights groups warned.

Groups including Save The Children, Human Appeal and the International Rescue Committee warned about the impending crisis if the blockade continued in a joint statement.

While the UN Emergency Relief Fund took the almost unprecedented step of putting out an additional strongly-worded statement, stating the blockade “is hurting millions of Yemenis who require urgent humanitarian assistance to stave off starvation and disease”.

The UN’s World Food Programme reports the first planes have landed in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, after the two-week blockade was lifted on Friday.

However, humanitarian workers have been at a loss to deal with the crisis in the meantime as there was no way to bring supplies in to the embattled country.

Kristine Beckerle, a Yemen researcher at Human Rights Watch, spoke to about the crisis.

She revealed how wheat, fuel, medicine and aid workers had been blocked from entering the country.

Had the blockade continued, she said, it would estimated that up to 150,000 children would die, and cholera could return to the Middle East “with a vengeance”.

She said: “Yemen was the poorest country in the Middle East before the war.

“And as the war has continued, the humanitarian situation has got worse.

“Often, the way we talk about humanitarian crises is as though they are natural results of war and conflict, and to an extent that’s true.

“But in Yemen it isn’t just that. You don’t have nearly one million people infected with cholera just because there’s a war; you have it because of the behaviour of the parties that are fighting that war.”

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