Thursday, October 17, 2019 | ePaper

OPINION

Oh My God

What the Hell Is Going On In Yemen!

  • Print
Saleem Samad :
Yemen, once proud heritage of Arab civilisation, is often portrayed as a country on the brink of catastrophe.
Yemen's war began in 2015, after Iranian-backed Houthi rebels took over much of the country's north. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - UAE are leading a coalition to fight the rebels, but UAE forces have overtaken wide swaths of territory, towns and cities in the South. The United States is backing the coalition with billions of dollars in arms, and partners with the Emiratis in anti-terrorism campaigns.
Inside Yemen's dirty war, a team of America largest news service Associated Press - AP journalists spent months investigating Yemen's civil war, uncovering corruption, torture and other abuses. The AP coverage has earned many of journalism's top honors, including the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting and the McGill and Batten medals for courage in reporting.
The United States has waged a drone war in Yemen for more than 16 years, trying to suppress dreaded al-Qaida's terror campaign there.
There is no comprehensive count of civilian deaths because of the difficulty of confirming identities and allegiances of those killed.
Nearly 10,000 civilians, mostly children and combatants have been killed in Yemen's civil war, and several thousands more may have died of starvation caused by the prolong conflict.
The Pentagon does not release its assessment of the death toll, but an independent database considered one of the most credible in tracking violence in Yemen counted 88 people - militants and non-militants - killed by drones this year.
The AP count gives a glimpse, even if incomplete; into how often civilians are mistakenly hit by drone strikes, at a time when the Trump Administration has dramatically ramped up the use of armed drones.
The drone toll goes almost unnoticed in the region's conflicts. Immensely greater destruction has been wreaked by US allies in the Saudi-led coalition's air campaign against Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels.
The Houthis - officially known as Ansar Allah (the Supporters of God) - belong to the Zaidi sect, a branch of Shia Islam, and had long been marginalized. Although the Houthis managed to bring down the government, they have so far failed to assert control over the whole country and are probably incapable of doing so.
Meanwhile on the ground the dirty war had a cost on tens of thousands of civilians who were victims of the civil war of the coalition forces campaign against the Houthi rebels who still occupy large swatch of Yemen.
Doctors estimate that 40 per cent of the children in the town suffer from malnutrition. Barefoot kids fill the center's corridors, many visibly emaciated, some with malaria or cholera.
Aid agencies warn that parts of Yemen could soon start to see widespread death from famine. More and more people are reliant on aid that is already failing to reach people.
In a remote pocket of northern Yemen, many families with starving children have nothing to eat but the leaves of a local vine, boiled into a sour, acidic green paste. International Aid Agencies have been caught off guard by the extent of the suffering there as parents and children waste away.
It is unknown how many have died, since authorities are not able to track cases. Save the Children late last year estimated that 50,000 children may have died in 2017 of extreme hunger or disease, given that up to 30 percent of children with untreated cases of severe acute malnutrition die.

(Saleem Samad, an Ashoka Fellow (USA), recipient of Hellman-Hammett Award and also Bangladesh correspondent of Paris based international media rights organization, Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Email: saleemsamad@hotmail.com)

More News For this Category

Handle juvenile crime with utmost care

POLICE were recently directed by a Supreme Court judge to set children free or grant bail in consultation with probation officers without sending them to the juvenile courts if they

Stringent measures needed to bring onion prices at tolerable level

THOUGH the prices of onion decreased slightly in the last week following adequate supply in markets, consistent open market sale (OMS) and monitoring by the government, it's again showing upward

Existential Crisis

Arifa Noor :Maulana Fazlur Rehman's Azadi march has ruffled many a feather in recent days. From the accounts of rifts within the PML-N to the PPP's confusion to predictions about

Climatic Calamities

Shishir Reza and Matiur Rahman :[This is the second part of the article]Urban area is a composite of different subsystems of physical structures and human activities all having links with

Bangladesh must raise voice to protect migrants' interests in Abu Dhabi Dialogue

THE 5th Ministerial Consultations and Senior Officials' Meeting of Abu Dhabi Dialogue on migrant workers' starts today.  The aim of the meeting is to broaden the base for common understanding

Anti-Corruption Commission must prove its success by conviction

The Anti-Corruption Commission has initiated an investigation against 43 people involved in illegal casino businesses. A senior ACC official told the reporters that they had obtained evidence against these 43

Good Student

Gazi Md. Abdur Rashid :In fact, good students use better strategies than you do for learning something. Making the techniques easier and faster to manage good students always apply different

SDG 13

Shishir Reza and Matiur Rahman :Climate Change refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. This usage differs

Teachers' dependency on guidebooks and quality education

LACK of training among the teachers of English and Mathematics in secondary schools is largely responsible for students' fondness for guidebooks and poor results in the subjects. Education Watch Report

Expand infrastructural facilities in the universities

WHEN most of the country's public universities are going through a crisis situation at that time fresh unrest that erupted among the female students of Chattogram University has drawn the