Press release – Yemen: International response to crisis is perverse


The decision of the UN Security Council to impose an arms embargo against the Houthis and their allies in Yemen is a characteristically perverse reaction of the international body to the crisis eneveloping the country.

The Council also voted yesterday to demand the Houthis withdraw from areas they have seized, including the capital Sanaa, and resume negotiations on the democratic transition begun in 2011 when former strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced to hand over power to Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi following Yemen’s own Arab Spring uprisings.

IHRC believes the UN response is the opposite of what is actually needed from the international community. The internal governance crisis in Yemen pits the majority of its residents seeking empowerment and freedom against the conservative and neo-colonial forces represented by the Gulf monarchies and their western allies.

In punishing the Houthis and their allies the UN is actually punishing the victims in Yemen, those whose legitimate aspirations for self-determination have been suppressed by the internal allies of the neo-colonialists and more lately by the armed intervention by some countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

It speaks volumes about the UN resolution that it fails to condemn the ongoing GCC military attacks in Yemen that have resulted in making more difficult the urgent imperative of finding a peaceful political solution and inflicted suffering upon hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

The UN position is reminiscent of the situation that prevailed in Bosnia in the early 1990’s when that nascent independent state was invaded by its more powerful neighbour Serbia and the international community stood idly by as their forces ravaged the country.

IHRC is appalled that the UN resolution made no mention of the Saudi-led aggression on Yemen and failed to even mildly criticise what is by all measures an illegitimate military campaign against a sovereign nation.

IHRC chair Massoud Shadjareh said: “Instead of coming to the assistance of the Yemeni people, supporting their struggle for self-determination, and condemning external aggression the UN has given the green light to continue to bomb the Yemeni people. We call on all civil society organisations to urgently step up their efforts to highlight the situation in Yemen and mobilise their resources to help defend the rights of its suffering people.”

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IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

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