News from Nouria

Dear Members and Sponsors,

…and once again Nouria managed to celebrate Eid alAdha with the children and distribute presents.
The situation in Sana´a is pretty awful, no gasoline, electricity only sporadically and the Saudis have destroyed the water main!
All the more “our children” enjoy the unexpected presents.
Many thanks for your contributions and kindest regards
Anisa

 

Posted in Allgemein

RAMADAN FOOD DISRUPTION JUNE 6 2018

Dear Members and Sponsors,

the situation in Yemen has become so very unclear and alarming that we refrain from sending you a newsletter, but can report a very positive result of our Ramadan contribution. Thanks to a very generous donation we received from Jacqueline Flory from Munich we could transfer € 10.000.- to Nouria. Please look at the attached photos showing the food quantities purchases. The Houthis had ordered Nouria to hand over all money received for military armament … but do not know the amount involved since our remittances are nowhere registered …
And Nouria purchases at her usual wholesaler and issued stamped cards with which every mother is now fetching the respective ratio for the whole family so hat Houthi spies will find no evidence at YERO´s …

Kindest regards
Anisa

Posted in Allgemein

Interview with Barbara Wally

Interview with  Barbara Wally, published online in Blog http://www.jill-24-7.de/2018/02/22/jemen-katastrophe/

“At the time being Yemen is the worldwide worst location for a child” very recently pronounced Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF-Regional director in Yemen. The media report violence, famine, cholera, epidemics …  

Yemen is among the child-rich countries in the Word – one more explanation why children are particularly affected in a war by now continuing for almost three years, a war in no way protecting civilians, provoking quite the contrary: since the war cannot be won by militia means, the civilians are held hostages and exposed to gradually progressing genocide. In most areas the Yemeni families with their great number of children are mercilessly exposed to food shortage and lack of water, expulsion, epidemic cholera and diphtheria, no medical services, landmines and bombarding.

Fighting in the streets has recommenced recently in Aden between the militia and militant separatists. In line with the rest of the country Aden suffers galloping inflation, a collapse in the exchange rate, and price rises by up to 400% for basic food. In general, food is available in sufficient quantity but the majority of the population cannot afford it. Daily life concentrates on obtaining the bare necessities, gasoline or gas are very often not available at all, supply of water and waste disposal function sporadically, and there are hardly any paid jobs.  People live from hand to mouth. The country has been cut off from the outside world for more than two years, ports and airports have been closed. 

In how far do funds contributed to major aid organizations for intended distribution reach the population? Recently a new aid program amounting to three million dollars had been decided by the UN for Yemen. About 13 million people should eventually have been provided with food. However, information leaked out in UN circles that the Houthis had jeopardised activities of more than 30 aid organizations (i.a. also the UN) by refusing permission to enter areas rebel-held by them? 

Without sponsored money and the assistance of many international and national aid organizations hundred thousands of Yemenis would have fallen victims to hunger, thirst, illness, expulsion. In a humanitarian catastrophe of such dimension – with almost 20 million being afflicted, eight million thereof acutely – the activity of aid organizations becomes an undertaking involving billion amounts. Several thousand people are involved in the aid services rendered, including many Yemenis in situ. Numerous enterprises supply the goods paid for with the money sponsored.  At this scale the production and supply of goods has become a branch of economic activity sui generis. In addition, the logistics of transport, storage and supply to the distribution sites must be carefully considered to assure that the aid reaches people dearly in need – this also in life-threatening war situations. The aid services more often than not manage to do so professionally and in the spirit of humanitarian ethos. Unfortunately, with complex services and the material thus offered, shortcomings cannot be avoided, i.e. deliberate supply of inferior material, above all in respect of medicinal products, additional expenses because of poor storage, unjust distribution, misuse, and the fact that the artificially created economy of scarcity opened the way for black markets and war profiteers. In some cases urgently needed products such as diesel (for hospitals and in agriculture) have been available on the black market only. Some aid organizations have turned to supplying those in need with cash (also artificially decimated by the occupation forces) to enable them to buy according to their need. The financial institutions, in turn, profit from the margin between official exchange rate and black market exchange rate, participating in a profitable transaction.  

These facts defy any shading but the IGOS and NGOS perform miraculously well to mitigate the humanitarian catastrophe. Any further activities to protect the civil population over wide areas are hardly imaginable at the time being.  There are, indeed, also local, long established aid organizations, familiar with overall conditions and special needs and in a position to offer efficient help, in particular for children and women. They are confronted with the difficulty of how to be sponsored with money from abroad. If possible they often help with enough six kinds of basic food for a family for one month.In a war not to be won by military combats other strategies are being applied to exert pressure and enforce succumbing.  Poverty, hunger, vulnerability and powerlessness are used to demoralise, and even charity services have been increasingly utilised as strategic instruments.

In response to massive public pressure Saudi Arabia has promised sending aid to the amount of  1,5 billion US $ to Yemen but with the donation campaign not to be carried out  by professional organizations. A special “Yemen Comprehensive Humanitarian Operation initiative” has been installed, a 100% Saudi company excluding all international organizations, operating in the entire Yemeni area in 17 corridors, starting in Marib which is under Saudi surveillance, charged with  transporting aid products to the needy population. Saudi Arabia obviously intends to connect the promised aid with strategic interests in order to gain access to Houthi areas. It is also quite obvious that more money is spent on propaganda for this activity than for the very action as such.Understandably, the Houthis objected to the passage of the Saudi convoy with Saudi relief products in their areas – the past relationship had not been a confidential one at all.The ban on intervention of the international aid organizations´ contingent of relief supplies by the Houthis affetcs a precisely defined contingent of relief supplies:: “Houthis order health institutions under their control not to allow any program or move any aid by 36 INGs and local NGOs including UNICEF WFP Oxfam IOM without their approval and monitoring”.

This applies exclusively to health specific/medicinal goods and assistance. The orders communicated to Yemeni hospitals and outpatient clinics did not specify which products had to be examined but the wording implies that the supplies might contain unsuitable or noxious consignments as has happened before and in other areas (infested blood sacs, expired medicines). The Houthis might in all probability have been warned.

After Ali Abdallah Saleh´s death disaffiliations from the Houthis had been expected  but this appears not to have become true. Did Saleh´s death influence the course of war?

Certainly Yes but not as expected. A spontaneous reaction was the closing down of the Russian embassy in Sana´a, one of the very few embassies still active throughout the war. Saleh had been in contact with this embassy, incorporating Russia´s interest into his post war plans, had i.a. intended to grant Russia an outpost in AlHodeidah. Russia had been annoyed about Iran´s failure to supervise Houthi activities and avoid Saleh´s assassination.  Obviously, the Houthis and Russia do not share any points of communality.  

Another item of importance for the future of the country is the fact that Saleh`s death strongly affected the support for maintaining the unity of the Yemeni state and strengthened secessionist forces, resulting in less resistance to a fragmentation of the country.

The withdrawal of the Saleh-fraction does not appear to have substantially impressed the Houthis. Quite on the contrary they appointed representatives of their Ansar-Allah-Party to hold important positions. How did this affect the population vis-à-vis the Houthis?

Those familiar with the situation had already expected that a Potemkin village will disappear with Saleh´s death on December 4th, 2017. The military forces of the Saleh fraction had, to a large extent, already been absorbed by the new military order established and supervised by the Houthis. As far as accountable only a small share of high ranking officers disengaged themselves. The Houthis detained a few thousand Saleh supporters after his death to prevent the coup he had prepared. With the exception of a few hundred of his closest companions they are out of prison in the meantime. Saleh must have greatly overestimated his support when he performed his U-turn all of a sudden and made advances to the Saudis. Similar to the military situation Saleh´s power in his party, the General People´s Congress Moutamar, had “crumbled”. The Moutamar had, from the very beginning, not been a party in the customary sense with a party program and share of power but had been exclusively directed at the leader Saleh and aligned towards creating a pseudo democratic apparatus for organising Saleh´s  clientele. The Moutamar had split several times since the revolutionary events in the spring of 2011. The part remaining in Sana´a met after Saleh´s death to elect a new chairman, who subsequently pledged loyalty. However, other Moutamar groups also exist in Marib, Taiz, Aden and in the diaspora. The Moutamar mandates of their Superior Council and their provisional government, eliminated after Saleh´s death, were replaced without any problem by the Houthis. In matters of administration the Houthis prove much less professional than in military affairs and security. A considerable number of former Saleh official still hold positions in divers ministries.

How much influence has Hadi´s government on the political and military activities in the country still today? Have not the Saudis taken over since quite a while ago?

In respect of Hadi the internal opinion and the external view, in particular in reports about Yemen, differ extremely. Hadi´s legitimacy has become more than questionable since his stepping down in 2014, and is based on the formula “of the internationally acknowledge president”. A formula of importance for Saudi Arabia, since the Saudi government justifies attacking Yemen in order to re-establish the “legitimate” president. But also the USA, GB and Russia – at least vis-à-vis the external world and on paper stick to Hadi´s presidency he is exercising from his residence in Riyadh with more or less complied with decrees, nominations and discharges. On Yemeni territory Hadi is “persona non grata”, in the Houthi-area he is considered an enemy of the state and traitor since he has invited the Saudis to bombing the country, and in the South the Emirate occupation forces refuse to give him permission to land. Hadi is, furthermore, yet another object of dissent since, while he is considered a faithful vassal of the Saudis the Emirates tried right from the beginning to damage him since his followers mainly consist of Muslim Brothers. At the moment the Emirates endeavour to topple Hadi´s current government mission in Aden with the help of the STC (Southern Political Transition Council) they created, and their militia. Hadi has never been very popular, support for him as absent president has become very poor indeed, this also since he is accused of corruption and incompetence. But the more Hadi´s influence is weakened the more the question becomes acute what will become of the trillion of soldiers of the regular army in the absence of a leader? Will they become a militia misused by local and foreign interest groups for their purposes?

Saudi-Arabia and Jordan are among the best customers of German armaments concerns. Because of the not insignificant role German weapons play in the war in Yemen the deals should be stopped.  – Is this a perception experienced three years late, or could this influence the course of the war?

The following war material of German origin delivered to the Saudi army is of importance for the civilian population: bombs of different sizes, at present produced by a Rheinmetall-subsidiary in Sardinia and delivered to Jeddah. In Saudi Arabia they are used to equip the planes releasing bombs onto Yemen. From March 2015 till the end of 2017 a total of 14.600 bombings occurred, causing horrible damage, with several thousand civilians, among them hundreds of children, falling victims. An embargo in respect of these bombs, also those from production sites outsourced abroad this humanitarian catastrophe could at least be mitigated. Furthermore, this applies to coastal petrol boats employed for blocking relief consignments in Yemeni ports. A strict delivery prohibition would be most helpful even now. Such embargos are no permanent solution, though, since Saudi Arabia is undertaking great efforts to establish an armament cluster of their own and will be self- sustaining in a foreseeable future.Most important in this situation would be a discussion to reflect the correlation between weapon supply, war events and the flow of refugees. Especially with a view to the high profits in the production of, and trade with, weapons I would plead to burden weapon exports in (potentially) war-making counties with extremely high taxes to be used – in accordance with the causative principles – for reconstruction of the country concerned on the one hand, and for the appropriate housing and support of refugees from war countries on the other.

Large areas in Yemen are (fortunately) not affected by acts of war, since the air strikes are mostly limited to Houthi areas – but how is the situation of the people in not affected areas?

Most acts of war are carried out in areas administered by the Houthis, primarily covering the northern mountains and adjoining areas, only making up for 20% of the surface of Yemen but representing 80% of the population since this is the part of the country with the most fertile and climatically pleasant zones. This explains why 80 % of the population are exposed to permanent acts of war, at the border areas and also at the coast even more than in the interior.Nevertheless, most statistics prepared by aid organizations show that also other, so-called free areas are suffering from extreme hardship, shortage of water and danger of pests. This is to be attributed also to the fact that the Saudi coalition after the breakdown of the military supremacy have started an economic war against the country, including a number of efficient strategies. One among these is an embargo on diesel which not only paralyzes energy supply for hospitals but also the water pumps which are indispensable for agriculture. Agricultural output has become less every year. Another strategy is withholding salaries of public servants including the military, and thus one third of family breadwinners, for many months. Teachers could no longer give lessons since they had to try to support their families with other jobs, schools had to be closed down. Then cash started to disappear successively and, even if goods were available in shops, they could not be paid for. Banknotes ordered and produced in Russia could not be distributed among the population since the planes had not been allowed to land by the Saudi coalition occupants for thirteen times running. Finally, the Yemeni currency was devalued at galloping speed. While shortly before the war only 215 Yemeni Ryals corresponded to one US $ now more than 400 Ryals are required. As a result of these factors and the blockades of food and medicines prices increased by up to 400%, while unemployment rose by 60%. Finally, Saudi Arabia deposited two billion $ in the national bank to stabilise the currency. Almost all Yemenis are afflicted by this development and the middle classes lapsed into poverty. On the other side war profiteers enjoy excellent business results on the black market with the constant shortage of gasoline.  

The war has been going on for more than 1000 days, with almost 16.000 air strikes. 22 million Yemenites are considered in distress, eight million are acutely in danger of starvation. Even if the war ended tomorrow the consequences of this catastrophe would be perceptible for decades. Simultaneously three million babies were born during the war so far. Is this a certificate for the enormous capacity for suffering of the Yemenites, for their ability to still believe in a better future?

One could regards this in this way and cherish hope for the future. I tend to express a rather pessimistic point of view at the time being and ask myself how the world can watch how a wonderful country with wonderful people gets intentionally destroyed and undertake nothing. Why, for example, is there no UN mission for peace? Why do the so-called friends of Yemen stoke up the conflicts from outside the country instead of attempting a mediation? 

With every further day of this war I fear the children will suffer more permanent harm resulting from malnutrition, illness and traumatisation, more every day this will affect their further lives, probably also that of their children – as we were infiltrated by the horror and the atrocities of World War Two  (I belong to the post war generation). The Yemeni children will have fewer chances than other children growing up in peace. And I fear that the people in Yemen will not be able to return to their former way of life, their hospitality, their generosity, and vitality  – after all the misery they are exposed to now.I closely follow the news every day, feel the helplessness and try to fight against it by engaging in small activities, writing about Yemen, telling others about the country and collaborating to assist the NGO YERO who is running a centre in Sana´a for helping children in need, making it possible for them to go to school and promoting them and supporting their families with small scale incomes and food donations.

 

Posted in Allgemein, Newsletter

Newsletter 24

After more than 1.000 days of war the fragmentation of Yemen is rapidly progressing. In the course of a by now three-year war the winners start manifesting themselves, no longer corresponding to the parties in power before the beginning of this war. The war losers are the Yemeni civilians, above all the children. According to UN data 22 million people have become impoverished and 8 million are on the brink of starvation.  Even if the war should be terminated in a near future the destruction caused will continue to have an effect both in the fields of reconstruction and traumatisation.

At the time being the acts of war are concentrated on air strikes of the Saudi coalition at Houthi areas, positional warfare at the borders of Houthi areas and the Red Sea, Houthi rockets attacking Saudi areas, the US drone war in the Southern provinces and alQaida attacks against the Houthis and security forces dominated by the Emirates in the South. The Emirates intensify and extend their military dominance in the South.

 

The map clearly shows that the Houthis, compared to the situation before December 4th, somewhat retreated:  on the coast of the Red Sea in the direction towards Hodeidah, in Jawf in the North, and in alBaidha, where the Eastern border is fiercely fought over between the Houthis, alQaida and Daash. After Ali Abdullah Saleh´s death is was expected that major units of the Republican guard and the central security forces break away from the Houthis and, as planned by Saleh, fall into line with Saudi forces. This has obviously not happened. Most of the units affiliated with Saleh had been integrated before and their weapons taken over.

The areas shown on the map in light blue in the South and the East map still keep being referred to as „under Hadi´s legal governance“ by Western media but Hadi´s government has no longer any substantial influence on goings-on, neither in military nor in political matters. Hadi himself can only act upon consent of the Saudis and is decidedly denounced as governor of the South by the Emirates, ever more spreading out in the South.

The North Western areas defended by the Houthis suffered 541 air strikes of the Saudi coalition in December 2017, causing the death of hundreds of civilians. The number of air raids increased by 67 % compared to November 2017.

A total of 15.760 air raids had occurred between the start of the war on    26th March 2015 and the end of 2017, hitting many more civilian than military destinations. Incidentally, more than 200 civilians were killed since the beginning of 2018.

Large areas are not affected by war operations just now since the Saudi coalition concentrate air raids on the Northern provinces occupied by the Houthis and the scenes of land warfare.  Nevertheless, supplies are totally insufficient almost everywhere. Although the Emirates boast about extensive humanitarian services and an improved infrastructure for the people in the South, most of the infrastructure offered is absolutely inadequate and the population is exposed to shortage of supplies and malnourishment. Power supply is somewhat better but gasoline is available at horrendous black market prices only, gas is scarce, the Internet more often than not disconnected and the prices for basic supplies of foodstuff have increased fourfold since the beginning of the war, while public servants have been waiting for their pay for six months. Extreme poverty makes young and grownup males in their desperation opt for military service both in the South and with the Houthis in the North (also children) where it is most likely to earn money. This economy of scarcity and shortage of food and money appears to have been brought about on purpose, since it provides a steady supply of soldiers on the one hand and enormous gains for war profiteers and on the black market by forced up prices on the other, in turn giving rise to corruption and, as a consequence, criminality. Nevertheless, security which had been strictly monitored by the Houthi-Saleh coalition, has somewhat improved in the course of the past weeks in the South too. 

After Ali Abdullah Saleh´s death sympathy for the Houthis rapidly deteriorated.  While the Houthis had been considered national heroes despite successive bullying of the population in Sana´a and beyond because the successful rocket attacks on Saudi territory invigorated Yemeni patriotism, the past weeks had become unbearable – this also aside from intensified Saudi air raids. Saleh had been planning for quite some time to „open a new page“, i.e. to defect to the Saudis, and had prepared for this move. The Houthis had started to scent acts of treason in Saleh´s party and jailed leading members of Moutamar and suspected military officers or ousted them. They also increased the wave of arrests of critical journalists and social media activists. Sana´a has become subjected to a state of martial law with checks, police raids and abuse. The discontent of the population keeps growing and can no longer be attributed to Saleh. In terms of political development the Houthis survived the loss and/or the exit of the Saleh fraction relatively well with their Ansar-Allah-Party, replacing various ministers and other high ranking persons with their own representatives.

Saleh´s Moutamar, once holding more than 80 % parliamentary positions and appointing all ministers, in retrospect turns out to have been a paper tiger and is in a state of dissolution following the death of Saleh and his deputy Arif Azouka.

Sana´a, 04/01/2018: New establishment of Moutamar, the People´s Congress Party, after Ali Abdullah Saleh´s death, with Sadeq Amin Abu Ras as new chairman. The Party opposes the Saudi aggression, Saleh´s son Ahmed Ali Saleh is no longer represented.

Quite recently, 56 party members have decided the new establishment of the Party in Sana´a, i.e. with Houthi consent, elaborating basic rules and the composition of the Party which had been tailored to the person of the leader for 30 years. In a first statement they do not side with the Houthis but declare Saudi Arabia as enemy. Sadeq Amin Abu Ras, a former minister of agriculture, has been elected as chairman. Ahmed Ali Saleh, having applied for the position as an ally of the Saudis, was disregarded.

The Emirates have apparently realised that without his father Ahmed Ali Saleh who has been living in the Emirates since 2012 is no suitable candidate for becoming a leader in Yemen.

With the „Political Council for the Transition in the South” the Emirates had created an organisationally already well developed instrument (with provincial councillors in almost all provinces in the South and an attempted puppet government), primarily targeting at a separation from the North. However, with the Islah having been expelled and Moutamar dissolved only the Houthi structures have remained as functioning political organ.

Accordingly, both the Emirates and Saudi Arabia as occupying forces should have recognised that an end of the war at the time being would no longer offer any political structures, organisations or confidents for steering the developments in the North of Yemen. Under these circumstances the Emirates and their leader, crown prince Mohamed bin Zayed, known for hating the Muslim Brotherhood, had to leap the hurdle and contact the Islah party whose leaders live as emigrants abroad upon having been chased by the Houthis in the North and banished by the Emirates in the South. Crown prince Mohamed bin Salman und crown prince Mohamed bin Zayed, accompanied by security ministers, met with the Islah party leaders Mohammed AlYadumi and Abdulwahab AlAnsi, first in Ryadh and then again in Abu Dhabi (without MbS) to discuss a future political leadership and respective structure. Yadoumi und Ansi are leading representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Islah Party, but had to confirm  – besides other conditions- that the Muslim Brothers will have no influence in the Party.

The negotiations are still underway and allow developing hope for an end of the war operations. This outlook is supported by the arrival of the OSEGY representative Maan Shuraim in Sana´a for negotiations with the Houthis. Since the taking office of the new UN-Secretary general Guterres the attitude of the UNO in the Yemen agenda has shifted from an executive body of Saudi interests towards moving into an apolitical and, above all, humanitarian direction.

Posted in Allgemein, Newsletter

News from YERO

Dear Sponsors and Dear Members,

thanks to your contributions, upon receipt of our Christmas letter, warm blankets could be bought for all YERO children and their families as it had become all of a sudden very cold. Many thanks for your assistance and kindest regards

Anisa

Posted in Allgemein, YERO

Interview with Nouria

Please read: https://www.almadaniyamag.com/english/2017/11/12/helping-her-homeland-nouria-najis-yemeni-mission

Posted in Allgemein

Newsletter 23

Two dates are important for the most recent developments in Yemen:  the 21st September, when the third anniversary of the Houthis march-in into Sana´a was celebrated, and the days since 17th September, when the UN Plenary Meeting takes place in New York.

The manifestation organised by the Houthis on Sabain-deployment place in Sana´a has been a conclusive proof of an evaluation completely out of touch with reality of the “International Community” in respect of the situation in Yemen. While Abdrubbah Mansur Hadi, the „internationally recognized president“, who has been a president without people and without a country for the past three years, in the UN plenary session in New York is permitted to request the expulsion of “ insurgents“ by means of military action in a statement broadcast worldwide, tens of thousands Yemenis keep demonstrating against 30 months of having been bombed by Hadi´s  protectors, and simultaneously, for unity in the de facto government, consisting of Houthis and  representatives of Moutamar.

Sana´a, 21st September, 2017: Manifestation at the 3rd Anniversary of the conquest of  Sana´a by the  Houthis

Sana´a, 21st September, 2017: Manifestation at the 3rd Anniversary of the conquest of Sana´a by the Houthis

The UN charity organizations in Geneva, but also other international NGOs call for a termination of the war, since the deprivations of the population because of poverty, isolation and epidemic plagues have exceded all bearable norms. They call for free access to all areas in Yemen, in order to

bring relief aid to people in remote villages cut off the outer world – with the exception of the bombs dropped by the Saudi coalition. Graphics of the supply situation show a paradox: The situation of the population in some areas „liberated“ by Emirate troupes in the South, in particular in Shabwah und Abyan, is worse than in densely populated, destroyed areas in the North, governed by the Houthis, but extensively covered by emergency care via the harbour of Hodeidah.

While the North is being ever more rigorously governed by the Houthis and a pragmatic share of power – in the wake of several crises between Saleh´s Moutamar and the dominant Houthis  – has become apparent, a dissolution of the leadership structures  is looming ahead in the South. Hadi is not accepted by the Emirate occupation forces and will, in all probability, fail to gain a foothold in Aden. Although Ahmed bin Daghr, Hadi´s minister president, managed to achieve an arrangement with the occupying forces and appears in public at sundry activities he does not enjoy any political influence. Whether because of incompetence or on purpose the Emirate occupation circumvent a calming down or consolidation of the present situation, they keep the population at bay by means of an economy of scarcity and a missing infrastructure, while, simultaneously, putting ever more squeeze on the supervision by armed units. AlQaida lead a two-front war against the Houthi-Saleh-troupes in the frontier areas of alBeidha und Taizz on the one hand, and against the “Anti-terror Alliance” of the Emirates and the US in Hadramaut, Aden and Abyan on the other. Depending on the prevailing situation alQaida joins forces with Hadi´s remaining troupes and/or Saudi Arabian mercenaries.

Yemenies, whether in the South or in the North, tend to regard Saudi Arabia and the supply of weapons by the US and Great Britain as the cause for their miserable situation.

Yemenies, whether in the South or in the North, tend to regard Saudi Arabia and the supply of weapons by the US and Great Britain as the cause for their miserable situation.

While the situation in the North is quite evident and the conflicts openly manifesting themselves, numerous armed and also unarmed forces act in the South, manoeuvring under cover, thereby further irritating the population and leading to locally divers constellations.

UN-Intervention, primarily representing Saudi Arabia´s interests under Ban ki-mon, is attempting a new mediation approach under Gutierres, with Kuwait playing a part. The most important signal for a new beginning is the nomination of the Palestinian Maan Shuraim as deputy of OSEGY Ismail Ould Sheikh Ahmed (whose function was extended until February 2018), declared persona nun grata by the Houthis. Shuraim will now enter into direct negotiations with the Houthis und Saleh´s Moutamar, while Sheikh Ahmed will continue to attend to the interests of Hadi and Saudi Arabia.

Posted in Newsletter

Newsletter 22

More than six years have passed since the outbreak of the revolution in Yemen, almost three years since the Houthis have been occupying Sana´a, and more than two years since the Saudi coalition has commenced destroying Yemen by continuously bombing the country, and since the “legitimate” government has abandoned the Yemeni population and has been attempting to preserve the vestige of their power out of exile.

The nationwide destruction is reflected in the daily life of the individual, the families, the tribes, jeopardizing the bases of existence, causing impoverishment and pauperisation.

In the past two and a half years the country furthermore was affected by fragmentation. Above all the areas not under the relatively tight surveillance of the Houthi-Saleh disintegrate to an ever more alarming extent, are exposed to the supervision of the Saudi occupying forces in the Southeast and the Emirates in the South or alQaida and “government loyal” military, all promoting the fragmentation.

What Yemen unifies at the time being is the cholera

Despite the unfortunate political situation  a number of phenomena apply to and cover the entire area of the “old“ Yemen such as – however cynical this may sound – the cholera epidemic, having spread over all provinces except Soqotra und Hadramaut, the largest province in size but scarcely populated  and hardly affected. Most afflicted are the provinces of Amran in the North, where 20,5 % of the population have succumbed to the illness, and alDhale in the South (20,1%). A very high rate of casualties is also reported from al Mahwit in the northern mountains (19,6%). As at 7th July altogether 297.438 cases of cholera were registered for the period 27th April to 7th July 2017 with 1.706 fatalities. The epidemic is soaring rapidly, at a much higher speed than originally assumed. In Sana´a (city) 12,3% percent have fallen ill, in Aden (province) 9,4%.

This implies that the services of the international aid organizations and the local patient care function everywhere well or equally unsatisfactorily. Cholera is comparatively easily manageable with simple means such as hygienic, clean water, salt and sugar, but even all of this, especially clean water, is rare in most areas.

Water for free is mostly only available at mosque wells and children are engaged to queue, fill water into the canisters and carry them home.

Cholera is life threatening above all for old and weak people, for ill persons and small children who quickly dehydrate. Children are especially affected by the development of the war. Hundreds of children were killed or injured by bombs and drones, ever more starve to death, die because of pandemic diseases such as cholera.  More malformed children are born and maternal mortality is increasing too. Only the soonest possible end of the war and the reconstruction of the sanitary and medical infrastructure could remedy this situation.

What divides Yemen is politics and occupation

The nationwide similar sanitary distress is juxtaposed by diverging developments on the political sector. With more time passing the North is consolidating into an autonomous unity with a transitory government in Sana´a, and a network of makeshift social institutions and infrastructure. Despite the sporadic bombing, a poor economy and considerable poverty, this creates the impression for the citizens of living in an orderly state system, the more so since terrorist acts have become rare.

Entirely different is the situation in the South where the Saleh regime for many years has been most brutally avoiding the creation of political groups, primarily those with a tendency towards secession and independence.  Haraka had successively become established in 2007, subsequently organising the revolution in Aden. Following the resistance to the Houthi-invasion in the spring of 2015, the Muqawama local resistance movements have been joining, with only a fraction of them radical secessionists. However, the Southern groups had been split up into almost 70 entities, consisting of citizens´ initiatives and associations but also militias. Political groups forming in the South to an ever increasing extent have become a pawn in the hands of Hadi endeavouring, while in Riyadh, to retain some of his power with the aid of the Muslim Brothers, and of the Emirates desirous to aline the South in meeting their own targets. In this context it is understandable that Hadi dismissed the governors of Hadramaut, Schabwah and Soqotra, because they are in leading positions involved in the “Political Transition Council of the South”, striving towards independence of South Yemen.  Hadi is mainly backed by the Islah party and the Muslim Brothers, afraid of the devastating influence the Emirates might exert.

For the first time responsible politicians have refused to comply with an order. The three governors have since been under house arrest in Jeddah. Aidrus Zubeidi, the very popular resistance fighter from alDhale, and previously also dismissed governor of Aden, has taken the lead of the “Political Transition Council of the South”. A major demonstration took place in Aden-Mualla on 7th July, celebrating the anniversary of the suppression of the civil war, in which the South wanted to leave the association with the North in 1994. Aidrus Zubeidi, cart horse of the Emirates for the secession of the South, in his address adopted yet another political target of the Emirates: banning the Muslim Brothers and the Islah party from the South. This evokes major problems for Hadi and also Saudi Arabia, in particular in the topical situation with Qatar, since numerous influential Yemeni Muslim Brothers, residing in Riyadh as esteemed promoters of Hadi and as agents of the Saudis, try to manipulate the developments in Yemen in line with their interests. The counter demonstration staged by Hadi and the Muslim Brothers in Aden at the same time as alZubeidi addressed his audience, met with pitifully few followers, demonstrating once again that Hadi has become nothing more than a paper tiger in Yemen.

Aden-Mualla, 7th July, 2017. Manifestation at the anniversary of the 1994 lost secession war with an address delivered by Aidrus alZubeidi for the Political Transition Council of the South.

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Eid alFitre

Dear Members and Sponsors,

Thanks to your donations Nouria managed once more to distribute food to all YERO children and their families for Eid al Fitre and to provide the children with new clothes and school utensils. May their happy eyes bring joy to all of you!

Kindest regards
Anisa

Posted in Allgemein

Newsletter 21

The developments over the past weeks have been characterized by political fragmentation and growing isolationism and a shift in alliances. The war has entered into a simmering status quo with selective battles at the borders of the Houthi areas, while the situation around Hodaydah remains in suspense. Saudi Arabia, as Mohamed bin Salman, the deputy crown prince disclosed in a recent interview, is not in a hurry and plays for time. While no longer dispensing the horrendous cost involved in an air war, harbours and airports remain blocked with a view to systematically starving out the approx. 17 million inhabitants in the Houthi areas.

The humanitarian situation:

End of April a donor conference had been arranged by UNOCHA and the governments of Sweden and Switzerland in Geneva. Although the result fell short of the 2.1 billion USD calculated, various donor countries contributed as much as 1.2 billion.

19 million Yemenis of the total population of 26 million need humanitarian aid and protection. UNOCHA and several international aid organizations keep warning that in the absence of concrete aid famine will strike the majority of the population, above all children representing 40 % and in danger of suffering severe development disorders because of malnutrition. UN-Secretary General Guterres voiced in drastic terms that every 10 minutes a Yemeni child under the age of five dies of hunger and that the famine in Yemen is the most severe supply catastrophe worldwide.  Quite striking is the fact that Saudi Arabia agreed to give 150 million USD. The cost for the air war against Yemen so far amounted to approx. 200 million USD daily.

Hadramaut´s solo action

On April 26th, Mukalla celebrated the “one-year liberation of Mukalla from  alQaida” (a typical Yemeni charade since a Qaida left peacefully upon agreement on April 26th the year before) and a conference was arranged in this context under the title “Jumaa Hadramaut” (Joint Hadramaut). At this conference a Hadramy code of honour was concluded and a declaration of 40 punctuations for the preparation of an autonomously administered   Hadramaut proclaimed.

A group under the leadership of Ahmed ben Brik, the governor of Hadramaut intend to urge president Hadi to agree to negotiations with the Houthi and achieve an end of the war and a return to normalisation. Should this not meet with success the group will proclaim an autonomous political area Hadramaut under the leadership of Ahmed Ben Brik and assume control over the militia, the infrastructure, the economy and the administration. Hadi has so far not reacted. The proponents are, according to their respective declaration, not opposed to the occupying states Saudi Arabia and the Emirates and invite Mahra und Schabwa to participate.

Trouble spot Aden

Simultaneously with the events in Hadramaut the situation in Aden escalated. President Hadi all of a sudden dismissed Aidrus Zubeidi, the governor of Aden and several ministers by decree, among them Hani ben Brik, the state minister (not related to Ahmed ben Brik). He accused the latter of prosecutable actions and instigated investigations on the part of the prosecution. Both Zubeidi and ben Brik are popular heroes of the resistance against the Houthis, enjoying respect and admiration. Aidrus Zubeidi´s dismissal was followed by a “Declaration of Aden”, in which he suggested a similar line of actions as postulated by the Hadramis for  Hadramaut. Zubeidis´ und ben Briks´ sacking led to massive protest actions of the population, with the Emirates fuelling the animosity against Hadi and stimulating the secession adherents. Hadi blamed the Emirates to show off as occupants and to sabotage the unity of Yemen. Emirati newspapers severely critisize Hadi, challenging his legitimacy. This brought about a pro-Hadi and a pro-Zubeidi demonstration,  where the Emirates tried to support the pro-Zubeidi demonstration in their media and their infrastructure. However, only very few participated in the demonstrations, with those for Zubeidi having to be transported in cart loads from alDhale. The Adani obviously do not allow themselves to be misused for such power demonstrations.

The new situation also leads to a shift in the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the Emirates. Saudi Arabia is given a stronger negotiating position. Both occupants appear to aim at a session/segmentation of Yemen.

A further comment was received by the Islah-Party, known to be under extreme pressure in the present constellation. In their declaration Islah support Hadi – their only mentor -, the unity of Yemen and Hadi´s decision to nominate Abdelaziz alMuflehi as new Governor of Aden.  In the night after the publication of the declaration the headquarters of the Islah party in Aden were torched.

The new governor arrived in Aden on May 6th, welcomed by representatives of Hadi´s government. AlMuflehi is a politician and a business man, coming – as Zubeidi – from the secessionist province of alDhale. He had studied in Egypt and had been engaged in business for a long time in Saudi Arabia before joining Hadi´s set of advisers. At his arrival in Aden he declared he does not intend to engage in politics but would endeavour to improve the living conditions of the Adani.

Aden airport, 6.6.2017, arrival of the new governor Abdelaziz alMuflehi (mid front, back of his head)

Mukalla, 26.4. 2016, Festival to celebrate the liberation from alQaida a year ago. In the middle in a beige suit Governor Ahmed ben Brik, strongman of “Jumaa Hadramaut” (Joint Hadramaut)

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