While the envoy of the united Nations Martin Griffiths arrived on Wednesday in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, in order to revive peace efforts between the warring parties, the NGO Save the Children uttered a cry of alarm. According to her, some 85.000 children would have died of hunger or disease since the outbreak of the war in march 2015.
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The conflict itself has caused the death of over 10,000 people, according to the UN. But the number of victims is much higher. Save The Children says in a statement Wednesday that they have used data from the united nations to assess the mortality rate due to severe malnutrition and disease among children under five years of age. “We are horrified by the fact that about 85.000 children are dead from hunger and illness, regrets, Tamer Kirolos, the director of Save The Children in Yemen. For every child killed by bombs and bullets, dozens are dying of hunger and we can avoid it,” according to him.
Because, in most of these 85.000 children dead, others are in fact killed in the fighting between the rebels Houthistes, supported by Iran and Hezbollah, the loyalist forces supported by saudi Arabia and the united arab Emirates. In march 2015, these two countries have launched a campaign of bombing positions Houthistes across the country, after the conquest of the capital Sana’a and major cities of Yemen. Supported militarily by the United States, Great Britain and France, the coalition saoudo-emirati has then taken the city of Aden in the south. But in three years of war, the front line has changed very little. The Houthistes resist, and fight back by firing missiles on the territory of saudi arabia.
Negotiations in Sweden
In this forgotten war, which the media have limited access due to the constraints imposed by saudi Arabia, children are also used as soldiers, particularly by the rebels Houthistes. For the past several months, the clashes, the most violent have for their theatre the city of Al-Hodeida and its port on the Red sea, through which is routed most of 70% of the humanitarian aid to a country, the poorest arab country, cut in two by the civil war. Despite the announcement of a ceasefire earlier this week, the fighting resumed Tuesday in Al-Hodeidah, where the coalition saoudo-emirati seems to want to reap territorial gains, before travelling to Sweden for peace talks, a priori, in a few weeks, under the auspices of the UN.
It is for this purpose that Martin Griffiths, the UN envoy, must have talks in Sanaa with officials Houthistes, who hold the capital. To facilitate these peace efforts, the rebels, supported by Iran, would be open to a cessation of hostilities if the coalition led by the Saudi attacks ceased.
Weakened by the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by a commando of saudi arabia consulate of Arabia in Istanbul, the crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who initiated the hostilities in 2015, seems ready to give ground in this conflict in Yemen, which is transformed into a “mini Vietnam” for his country.
For the united nations, Yemen was suffering the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet. The country is threatened by “a famine of mass”, which is likely to hit 14 million people, according to experts. After a quiet day on Tuesday, heavy fighting took place in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday in the eastern neighborhoods and south of Al-Hodeidah, according to a correspondent of the AFP and of the inhabitants.