Monday, February 18, 2019 | ePaper

Arab leaders should emerge as negotiator to end war in Yemen

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Huthi rebels in South Yemen on Monday buried the dozens of children killed in a Saudi-led coalition air strikes on a bus on Friday. It is the latest tragedy in Yemen war. Over 40 children were killed on the occasion leaving 56 wounded. The number of casualties is bigger taken the older people to the count.

It occurred no sooner had another such air strike killed 55 civilians and wounded 170 in an attack on a hospital and fish market only few days back on August 2 in the strategic city of Hodaida. Such attacks are frequently reported making civilians victims of the war to show how innocent people are paying their lives in a senseless war.

We must say the civilized world can't sit idle while the war has already taken over 10,000 death tolls creating the worst humanitarian crisis in our time. Millions of people are dying in hunger and diseases for shortage of food and medicine and thousands of children are suffering from malnutrition to face untimely death. 

We must say the war must come to an end. Killing of children must stop; it can't win the war but create more hatred.

The Saudi-led coalition want to win the war at whatever cost to wipe out the Iran backed Shiite Huthis on its southern border. This is part of a complex proxy war that the Saudi coalition backed by other Sunni states in the region and the USA is carrying out although there is no end in sight.

We would like to say that the Arab leaders and particularly the Arab League must initiate urgent move how to find out a political solution to the conflict. They must show their worth and leadership when war can't bring any solution.

What is crucial is that the coalition is using airpower, as they have no significant hold on the ground to restore the Saudi backed Yemeni government now expelled from capital Saana and exiled in Riyadh. Huthis are vast majority and control the vast swath of the land making the war for the Saudi coalition difficult. So only a political solution can end the war and Arab leaders should not waste time.

They should set at least one example that discussion not war and destruction is useful to end such bloody war. We want Saudi southern border must be protected but killing of Huthis will not bring this protection. Saudis must look for its internal security themselves; but Saudi-Israel alliance against Iran may backfire in the Muslim world.

Huthis are controlling the strategic Baab-al-Mandeb shipping passage to the Red Sea through which big oil vassals move towards Suez Canal for European destinations. Huthis hit two such Saudi vassals in the past month to show how critical their hold in this region. They are also firing missiles to hit Saudi targets showing their capacity to run the war.

It is indeed difficult for the Saudis to tolerate but in our view is that they should accept the reality in the ground and use their petro-dollar to help develop Yemen, which is the poorest nation in the region instead of using the money to kill innocent people.

Arabs are fighting aimless wars destroying themselves. Leadership must come from within to change the policy and work for co-existence and peace.

The UN envoy in Yemen said warring parties agreed to sit in Geneva on September 6 to hold talk on how to end the war. Our point is that Shia-Sunni hatred must end and Arab nations in the region should take conciliatory moves to guide this conference to a success.

We want to see the modern minded Arab leaders should emerge as peace broker among the Muslim countries. The situation is complicated but Saudi Arabia cannot bomb and kill children. Modern war makes innocent people die and suffer most. That is why even in extreme situation we have to accept how terrible the unintended consequences are. It is always worth trying peaceful solution with collective assistance.

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