Tuesday, October 16, 2018 | ePaper

Not bombing children, end war in Yemen to make peace

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THE bombing by Saudi-Emirati forces on a bus in Huthi rebel-held northern Yemen Saada province killed at least 29 school children under 15 on Thursday and 48 wounded including 30 children. The Saudi air strike killing and wounding young innocent children is a brutal tragedy facing growing global outcry as one of the biggest humanitarian catastrophe that the civilized world can't ignore any more. We want to say that such sensesless war must stop.  
Huthis in Yemen are fighting a three-year civil war in the country against the Saudi backed government now exiled in Riyadh. Since most territories are under rebels control including the capital Saana and areas around port city of Aden, the Saudi-led coalition is mainly using airpower to recover cities and defeat the rebels who are however majority of the population and holding the ground.    
Many believe the aggressive policy of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is making the region more volatile riding on easy petro-dollar and other resources. But we must say Saudi Arabia as the leader of the Muslim world should give more attention to development of the Muslim world than fighting with other Muslim countries of the region.       
The killing of children can't win a war. The UN Secretary General has rightly demanded an independent investigation into air strikes. But the question is since Saudi Arabia is a powerful actor in the region and most western countries are supporting the coalition for other reasons, how such investigation may prove useful. Who can ask the Saudi-led coalition to stop bombing innocent people?  
On August 2, the Saudi led coalition also attacked a hospital and a fish market in the strategic rebel-held port city of Hodeida that killed at least 55 civilians and wounded over 170 wounded as per ICRC report. The coalition later reportedly denied responsibility. It justified the Thursday's attack on children saying it had targeted a missile site Huthis were using to hit targets inside Saudi Arabia. In fact such attacks are almost regularly taking place in Huthi held territories mainly killing the civilians.  
Under international humanitarian law, civilians must be protected during conflict while targeting children is a big crime. But the Saudi-led coalition's action shows a desperate bid to win the war at whatever cost. The war in the impoverished country has so far left over 10,000 people dead and unleashed what the UN describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis as several million people are facing food shortage and children are dying from diseases and malnutrition.
We must say such madness can go on only for killing people without an end of the war in sight. People all over the world want to see the war to end soon.

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