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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

A cry for help; Yemen’s humanitarian crisis

The author explores how Yemen, a country home to Houthi rebels, is on the verge of collapse. Given the dire state of the country, Yemen needs immediate humanitarian assistance. However, instead of providing assistance, it seems as if the regional powers are using Yemen for their own interests.

Yemen witnesses a desperate humanitarian crisis. Ranging from mass casualties caused by aerial and ground conflicts between Houthis and Saudi led coalition forces to severe food insecurity, Yemenis bear the worst possible scenery.

So far, the role of peacekeeper in bringing stability and peace remains non-existent on the practical ground. Many security and regional experts believe the war in Yemen is purely a regional battle for maintaining their hold on the country; at the same time a bunch of experts term it a conflict of faith and religion between two regional powers: Sunni dominated Saudi Arabia and Shia dominated Iran.

Read more: Yemeni journalists caught amid Saudi coalition and Houthi rebels

Yemen after the Arab Spring

Situated on an ideal geostrategic location in the southern end of the Arabia peninsula, the country continues to portray a depressing art of civil war and instability. Upon listening to the name of the country, the horrible images of malnourished stunted children and desolate towns pop up in one’s mind.

The security landscape entirely transformed right after the Arab Spring of 2011. Beginning at Tahrir square in Tunisia, Arab Spring shook the major parts of North Africa and the Middle east. Yemen, too, fell under its reverberation.

Following the riot in Tunisia, there emerged a resonating repercussion of protest in Yemen against the regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh, who remained in power from Yemeni reunification in 1990 to his resignation in 2012.

The political transition in the shape of Saleh’s resignation brought forward a deep down vacuum in the political arena of the country, which is still haunting the country economically, socially and politically.

Furthermore, Yemen fell into a deep trench of chaos and instability when Houthi rebels (formerly known as Ansar Allah) seized the capital Sana in 2014.

Following the capture of Sana, Saudi led coalition forces intervened in Yemen by establishing its capital in the country in 2015, leading a coalition of nine countries, in response to calls from the pro-Saudi president of Yemen Mansur Hadi.

Read more: How the Saudi-led coalition forces devastated Yemen? 5 years of misery

This, however, further made the tussle complicated and tough. Since the arrival of coalition forces in Yemen, the security paradigm has taken a tectonic shift.

So far, large scale conflicts between Houthis and Saudi led coalition forces have pushed forward a great disaster in the country.

The health crisis

Today, the country is passing through a desperate humanitarian crisis, which, as per the recent surveys of international bodies, is pushing forward a health emergency.

The whole health structure is in a debilitating state against prevalent diseases across the country. Cholera alone has proven to be the deadliest disease which accounted for countless deaths from 2016 to 2019.

Given a report of the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 84% of the total population needs basic humanitarian assistance.

Moreover, the same reports suggest that around 10 million are considered ‘one step away from famine.’ And, two million children are the open victims of malnourishment. With each passing day, the country is moving fast towards a catastrophic situation.

Read more: Yemen: Failed health system, civil war & the coronavirus! Which war the country should fight?

Is Yemen being misused by regional powers?

A reasonable guild of strategists believes Yemen is a flashpoint between regional powers to maintain their geostrategic interests by plotting against each other.

Similarly, Iran accuses the Saudi-led government of chaos and instability and vice versa. Given the status quo of the security landscape, one thing is obvious that the ‘war’ in Yemen is just beyond political interests.

Most notably, the military assistance to the coalition forces by Washington added fuel to the flames of security unrest in the country.

The military aid dissemination peaked during the past five years of the administration of Donald Trump. However, the newly elected administration of Joe Biden casts some optimistic hope for the dire situations in Yemen.

Read more: Biden & Yemen: Will He Do The Right Thing Even For The Wrong Reasons?

Peace and stability are the things of the bygone past for the Yemenis. For an ordinary citizen, there exists nothing but a horizon of killing, destruction and chaos all around the country.

It is time for the internal peacekeeping organizations and countries to intervene in the situation by rescuing the country out of catastrophe.

The writer is a teacher at Delta Language Centre Quetta. He is based in Mashkay, Awaran. He can be reached at nizambaloch149@gmail.com