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Rasa News Agency - Hodeida People’s Health, Security and Safety Depend on UN Intervention
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Service : > Commentary
Time : Thursday, November 8, 2018
News ID: 441440
 
Hodeida People’s Health, Security and Safety Depend on UN Intervention
Rasa - Saudi airstrikes and warships continue to pound the Yemeni port city of Hodeida, with escalating strikes coinciding with Saudi-backed ground forces' failed offensives whose objective was advancing closer to the city.

RNA - This further limits the movement of aid into and out of the vital port, which before the Saudi offensive was the lone source of food imports for 80% of Yemen. Saudi forces control the supply lines, and promises of an aid corridor haven’t panned out so far.

 

Of course, international aid groups have been quick to react. They are now warning that thousands of civilians left in Hodeida are effectively trapped, increasing the humanitarian crisis. But this is not enough.

 

True, the United Nations has also reiterated calls for urgent peace talks to prevent the famine threatening millions of lives. The US and the UK have also called for an immediate ceasefire, while they both continue weaponizing the Saudis and refueling their warplanes, but there is no sign the Saudi offensive is slowing down.

 

The UN has even confirmed in considerable detail misdeeds by the Saudi-led coalition, but it is yet to launch any international probe or to haul the Saudis before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes. The world body has equally failed to force the United States to ban the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia under International Law and International Humanitarian Law, which is a shame.

 

Indeed, the world body has what it takes to stop this murderous campaign. Access for humanitarian aid workers to reach people in need is critical to respond to the massive humanitarian crisis in Hodeida. People need to be able to voluntarily flee the fighting to access humanitarian assistance. Because of the blockade this is yet to be the case.

 

Saudi Arabia, the United States and other parties to this dirty conflict must respect their obligations under International Humanitarian Law and those with influence over them at the UN must ensure that everything possible is done to protect civilians.

 

The UN should further stop the US from providing the Saudis with diplomatic protection at the UN for mid-air refueling, intelligence assessments and other military advice. The world body knows fully well that without Washington’s much-needed military and diplomatic assistance, the Saudi regime cannot continue its murderous charge.

 

It is no exaggeration to say that many people are dying and the country is facing famine. In truth, Yemen is dying and time is almost here. There is an increasing rate of civilian casualties. According to the UN aid agencies, the upsurge in fighting is of particular concern in Hodeida. Civilians are under fire, as Saudis carry out airstrikes and indiscriminate bombing, without taking care to spare the besieged civilian population.

 

According to Fars News Agancy, this is while any intentional, direct attack against civilians or civilian objects is considered a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law and the UN Charter. The nihilistic Saudis refuse to take any feasible precautions to avoid, or minimize the impact of violence on civilians. The UN and the International Criminal Court in The Hague will have to step in to stop the fighting and hold to account those who want to prolong this man-made crisis.

 

The evidence is pouring in and humanity is under siege. The civilians of the port city can take no more. They are suffering from unlawful airstrikes because the complicit US supports the Saudis and because American weapons are being used to murder innocent people in cold blood. This must provoke feelings of guilt at the UN. This is an international legal problem that should receive due and rapid attention from the UN and the ICC.

 

They need to take an honest look at the facts. They need to face reality as it sadly exists in Hodeida today. They must curtail the deliberate Saudi atrocities that are in blatant violation of the UN Charter and International Law. They must make clear that the lives of men, women and children in the besieged port city can no longer be disregarded. They shouldn’t walk away from their most solemn international commitments.

 

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