YEMEN – A Modern Day Concentration Camp
By Kim Sharif, Director, Human Rights for Yemen
In the early hours of March 26 2015 the children of Yemen narrate hearing the sounds of massive “fireworks”, which they attributed to some sort of national celebrations, only to discover later that this was the start of a nightmare of bombardment, starvation and immense suffering that doesn’t seem to have an end in sight. Who is doing this and why?
Saudi Arabia by its then Ambassador to Washington Aljubayri and its spokesperson General Al-Asseeri made the announcement in English and Arabic claiming that they have formed a coalition of nations including Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Sudan, Senegal, Pakistan (“the Saudico”), and attacked Yemen in order to restore the legitimate government of Yemen led by former caretaker president Abdo Rabo Mansour Hadi at his request.
It later added to its claims that their aims are to prevent Iranian expansion in the region and to enforce UNSC Resolution 2216. I shall deal with each of these claims separately under its own headings to see whether there is a grain of truth of what they have been claiming and the consequences of their actions for the people of Yemen.
To Restore Hadi to Power – the biggest lie of the century
Hadi, the former deputy to former president Ali Abdalla Saleh, was chosen as a caretaker president following the Arab Spring of 2011 in Yemen to lead the country for a period of 2 years, during which time he was to effect a general election, among other things, under the Gulf Initiative (“the GI”).
It should be noted that as a condition precedent for the validity of the GI all parties who were involved in the Arab Spring revolution had to agree to it and sign it. Ansarullah (Huthi and others), Al-Harak (Southern separatists) and others had neither agreed to it nor signed it.
The GI was made in February 2012 and expired in February 2014 without Hadi having performed any of its mandates!
We are told that the period of the application of the GI was extended by a further a year by a quango of people appointed to their positions by Mr Hadi. That extension itself had expired in February 2015. Thus, there was no legitimacy to Mr Hadi whatsoever both from the start of the GI all the way to its expiry in February 2015.
This therefore makes the attack on Yemen by the Saudico illegal and all the actions taken by them from 26th March 2015 to date amounts to Crimes against Humanity.
To Prevent Iranian Expansion in the Region – An Ugly Red Herring
The Saudico claimed later during their relentless campaign of aerial bombardment of Yemen using all manner of weapons, including cluster bombs, chemical bombs even some form of Uranium enriched bombs on Mount Attan in the capital city of San’a, that they are doing so in order to prevent Iranian expansion in the region through their proxies – the “Huthis”.
In reality, the Huthis are a small minority Zaydi Yemenis from the Northern part of Yemen – Sa’dah – bordering Southern Saudi regions, and members of the Ansarullah Party. Both US and UK officials have confirmed that they saw no evidence of Iranian involvement with the situation in Yemen.
The fact is, Mr Hadi failed to perform his mandates under the GI, the condition of the country deteriorated to an intolerable level, by September 2014 a coalition of parties including Ansarullah, the Yemen Army, the Congress Party (party of the former president Ali Abdalla Saleh), Al-Harak and most tribes and their elders rose and besieged the presidential palace in San’a demanding that Hadi carry out his mandates. Hadi escaped in women’s clothing to the Southern city of Aden where he put together a militia of fighters to support his bid to return to power. Several requests to him toto the smooth handover of power failed with his outright rejection.
Meanwhile, Ansarullah and their coalition partners, which became known as the Army and Popular Committees (“the APC”) captured the capital and many regions fell to their control without much ado. Thus a de facto government came into existence in this way, which has now formed the current government of San’a under Yemen’s constitution with a fully functioning parliament. Under UN Charter, this is the government of the sovereign state of Yemen, which must be recognised under international law.
Several fronts of armed confrontations then erupted, led by renegade generals of pro-Hadi militias in the areas of Ta’iz, Mokha, Aden, Ma’rib, Al-Jowf, Nahm. The APC later withdrew from the South. It has ever since been under occupation by UAE forces aided by terrorists and mercenaries. Many are reporting untold amount of horrors in the South, including allegations of rapes of teenagers by UAE forces. They allege that Al-Rayan Airport in the Southern Port city of Al-Mukallah is the Guatanamo Bay of Yemen where detainees are tortured to death by UAE forces.
Some parts of Ta’iz that are under the control of pro-Hadi militias have committed genocide against the tribes of Al-Rummaymah and Al-Junaid in a manner identical to Daesh practices of crucifixion and skinning people alive and mutilating their bodies. The leaders of these pro Hadi terror militias are Wahabi takfiris called Hammoud Al-Mikhlafi (currently in Turkey) and another one called Abul-Abbas.
At the head of the renegade generals is Ali Mohsin Al-Ahmer. This general belongs to the Party of Islah (the Muslim Brotherhood of Yemen) and he was in charge of recruitment of mujahideens during the Afghan-Soviet war in the. He is also behind Aqap in Yemen, and thus Daesh. In fact, there is ample evidence to show that the Saudico fighters are fighting alongside these terror outfits. What connects the two is ideology, the Wahabi takfiri ideology, and, of course, petrodollars.
The Islah Party’s spiritual leader is Sheikh Abdelhameed Zandani. Zandani was on the most wanted list for terror offences by the US authorities and is currently hosted in Riyadh. Hadi is their political leader and general Al-Ahmer their military wing leader. The “nobel” peace winner Tawakul Karman is one of their pet soldiers – she was one of the agitators of the Arab Spring in 2011. Hammoud Al-Mikhlafi and Abul-Abbas are their followers.
The Saudico also engaged the services of the notorious Blackwater Co and Dyne Corporation, bringing with them mercenaries from other nationalities such as Colombia, Mexico, Australia, even UK and Israeli nationals. Not a single Iranian national was ever found to have a hand in the war against Yemen. However, plenty others including terror outfits have been found to fight alongside the Saudico.
Enforcing Resolution 2216 – Laws Can Never Have Retrospective Effect
That is if we can call the Resolution “law”. Firstly, it is a measure involving a war – it therefore requires unanimous decision by the SC. Russia had abstained in the vote for this Resolution and under UN Charter it makes it void. Secondly, it was passed some th April 2015 – it cannot retrospectively legitimise an act of war against a sovereign state.after the start of the bombardment of Yemen – 15
Those who actually voted for it complained bitterly that it was rushed irregularly and forced upon them to vote for it, with a great deal of secrecy and lack of proper debate on the matter. Thirdly, the Security Council is not a lawmaker itself, it is subject to the laws of the UN. Fourthly, no instrument of the UN can ever be used to commit War Crimes, Genocide and Crimes against Humanity. Therefore, it is a total fallacy to rely on this instrument at any time by the Saudico.
The Result – Modern Day Concentration Camp known as Yemen
According to Unicef a child under the age of 5 dies every 10 minutes in Yemen due to malnutrition, this equates to approximately 60,000 deaths of children in Yemen due the actions of the Saudico as they enforce a strict blockade against the country preventing the entry of vital food and medicine into the country through the only functioning Port of Huddaidah.
The Saudico has admitted nearly a month ago they had carried out up to 90,000 airstrikes on Yemen during the last two years! This admission should have made the international community aghast and demand immediate cessation of hostilities against Yemen, particularly in light of the fact that the country is facing famine. According to UN reports up to 7 million people in Yemen are food insecure, not having a meal a day!
The situation was made worse when the Central Bank of Yemen was moved from San’a to Aden and up to 4 trillion notes printed in Russia was handed to Hadi’s team.
General Asseeri has admitted in an interview for the BBC that they are taking these measures in order to prevent “Huthis” gaining power in the country. In other words, the starvation of the people of Yemen and killing them with all manner of weapons is being done with the sole intention of killing them if the people of Yemen refuse to obey the Saudis and insist on supporting Ansarullah – which they do, as millions of people flock to the capital city of San’a to show support to the current government of San’a.
Majority of those airstrikes were carried out against civilian targets, the country’s entire infrastructure has been destroyed. Nothing has been left unhit: Schools, Universities, Hospitals, Homes, Sports facilities, Food Stores, Farms, Factories, Heritage Sites, Mosques, Airports, Sea Ports and much more. Figures show that up 15,000 civilians have killed and over 50,000 injured. These figures don’t include the children who die as a result of malnutrition. Thus, it is right to say that Yemen is a modern day concentration camp and a killing field for the Saudico.
Any strike on a civilian target, even if we later discover that the target was used for military purposes, amounts to a War Crime under the Geneva Conventions. Thousands of War Crimes have been committed against the Yemen by the Saudico, the UN can’t even commission an independent investigation into the matter but, much to our horror, rewards the Saudis by giving it a place at the UN Human Rights Council and Women’s Rights committee!
While the killing continues, the international community is stricken with a shameful silence and inaction. Furthermore, they continue to insist on forcing all to accept Hadi’s quango in Riyadh as the legitimate government when they know these, who have become known as the government of “Facebook” due to their lack of popular support in North and South Yemen, have nil legitimacy and are fighting alongside terror outfits. All Yemen Embassies, which are the property of the state of Yemen, are under de facto illegal occupation by the Qataris as the latter pay the salaries of staff and support the Islah Party. All staff are Brotherhood followers. Qatar is the biggest supporter of the Brotherhood internationally.