Sana’a (GPA) – Yemen’s Supreme Political Council met with a delegation from the European Union yesterday to discuss the humanitarian crisis, siege, Saudi war crimes, and a potential peace process.
President Saleh Ali al-Sammad and Vice President Qasim Labuza met with the head of the E.U. delegation to Yemen, Antonia Calvo Puerta yesterday. Highlighting the humanitarian catastrophe and Saudi war crimes, President Sammad urged the E.U. to use its influence in the United Nations Security Council to help find a political solution to the conflict. Despite Saudi Arabia’s terrorist-like actions (which includes bombing hospitals and homes), the U.N. has continuously refused to stand up for Yemen in any way shape or form. All calls from Sana’a for help fall on deaf ears.
President Sammad described the Saudi war crimes that have taken place over the past thirty months: using internationally banned weapons and crossing every red line in the history of modern warfare. He stressed the Sana’a government’s willingness to begin a peace process.
He also pointed out his coalition’s success in fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda throughout their territory. At this point, the Army and Popular Committees have virtually eliminated ISIS and al-Qaeda from territory they control. On the other hand, these groups still pose a significant threat in most areas controlled by Saudi or U.A.E. backed forces in the south.
Vice President Labuza urged the E.U. to help find a political solution to the conflict– which must immediately start with lifting the siege. The Saudi-coalition has imposed a land, sea, and air blockade over Yemen which has triggered a cholera epidemic and famine. The Saudi-imposed government in Aden controls all imports and exports and restricts the movement of people in-and-out of Yemen.
Puerta confirmed that the E.U. agrees a peace solution in Yemen must be political and won’t be achieved through military means. She praised Ansarullah and the General People’s Congress for their willingness to engage constructively in a dialogue process.
After revolutionary forces took control of Sana’a– Yemen’s capital– in 2014, the Saudi-supported government fled to establish a new capital in Aden. Saudi Arabia’s refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Supreme Political Council in Sana’a has a direct impact on how international organizations communicate with Yemen. This also severely restricts the flow of aid into resistance-held areas– since all business is done at the Saudi’s discretion. Saudi Arabia might try to write-off “the Houthis” as a rag-tag group of rebels, but the fact is, Ansarullah and the General People’s Congress have a functioning government operating in Sana’a. So it’s both ignorant and inefficient to think that all Yemen’s global affairs should be conducted solely through Aden.
Saudi Arabia has carried out a brutal air campaign against Yemen for two and a half years. Over ten thousand people including well over 200 children have died as a result. Targets regularly include homes, markets, schools, hospitals, and factories. It’s estimated that more Yemenis have died as a result of the siege than airstrikes.
Also published on Medium.