RNA - The administration of Donald Trump said on Wednesday the climate was right to resume peace talks, following similar comments from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis this week.
Some might believe the US call is an encouraging step towards a political solution and an end to the suffering of the Yemeni people, but is this enough? How could we make sure this is genuine effort to end the suffering of millions of poor and incarcerated Yemenis, and not an effort to rescue the Saudis who are struggling to get out of the Yemen quagmire. The answer is obvious.
The question is what about accountability and justice for all those families that were destroyed by the indiscriminate air strikes? And what about accountability for the US-backed, Saudi-led war crimes as well as the destruction of a nation?
Lest we forget, the US and British governments have already admitted that they are training the Saudi Air Force despite global accusations and condemnations that they are carrying out atrocities in Yemen. Besides providing intelligence and targeting assistance, the United Kingdom and the United States have also sold tens of billions of dollars in arms to the country, an autocratic regime with one of the worst human rights records in the world.
Despite the accusations of war crimes, the US, the UK and several other Western governments continue to defend selling arms to Riyadh and training its pilots, insisting close ties keep the West safe.
Worse still, British and American forces are helping the Saudi Air Force in order to 'improve their targeting processes' – and, therefore, their compliance with international law. This is while the targeting courses have failed to improve the Saudis’ targeting processes, much less support International Humanitarian Law compliance.
Any doubters should go through numerous reports published by Amnesty International, UN Human Rights Council and many other international aid groups which have documented the humanitarian costs of the Saudi-led, Western-backed airstrikes. They say these targeting skills and weapons, including cluster munitions banned in most countries, have been used indiscriminately against civilian targets, including markets, weddings, hospitals, and UN schools.
According to Fars News Agency, it is indeed shameful that the US government is trying to hide the truth by calling for a ceasefire now after more than three years of failed regime change campaign. The YS is not only arming Saudi pilots, it is training them as well – at a growing humanitarian cost. The indiscriminate bombing of innocent civilians, in clear breach of International Humanitarian Law, is now well documented by human rights groups, which have urged the Western governments to end their complicity in this murderous campaign.
Tragic enough, this is yet to be the case. As is customary, the United Nations is yet to find political will to take a stand on this carnage, while the same double standard continues to be the foreign policy practice in Western capitals. This should come as no surprise. The United States and NATO are both allied to Saudi Arabia. When an “ally” commits war crimes excuses are made and lies are spread in Western media as flat-out fact, allowing governments to turn a blind eye to the tragedy that is Yemen.
The United Nations has a moral responsibility to demand Western governments to end their support of this illegal war on the poorest country in the Middle East. The UN should also seek justice for those who lost their lives and livelihoods in this unnecessary conflict. The Saudis and their partners in crime shouldn’t be allowed to escape justice.
Since March 2015, the US and NATO countries have deployed troops, assisted the Saudi coalition in identifying bomb targets and conducting intelligence. They have sent warships to enforce the illegal naval blockade that has choked off critical imports, contributing to a crisis that has left at least 12 million people in desperate need of food.
Many Western governments have been directly involved in this humanitarian catastrophe from day one, and they should all be held to account when this grisly episode is over.