Yemen is facing one of the biggest humanitarian crises in history and the international community made a mistake by giving a freehand to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, stated Tawakkol Karman, renowned Yemeni human rights activist and the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Speaking at the Distinguished Lecture event organised by Brookings Doha Centre on Tuesday, she said the international community has by now awakened to the reality.
“With the US giving a call for ceasefire, the war, in all likelihood, is going to come to an end soon. However, the major challenge will be rebuilding the country. As described by the UN, it is the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II. The entire country is on the brink of famine with almost more than half the population seriously affected,” she said.
The event was moderated by Folly Bah Thibault, principal presenter at Al Jazeera English. With the focus on “From War to Famine: How to end Yemen’s Violent Conflict?” Karman said that the humanitarian crisis is the biggest problem that the nation will be facing for some time to come.
“Even if the war ends, the humanitarian crisis is the biggest issue. People especially children are suffering from malnutrition. The health and educational facilities are severely affected by the war that has been going on for the last four years. People are struggling in the absence of many of the basic needs and amenities,” said Karman.
She blamed Saudi Arabia and the UAE for the agony inflicted on the people of Yemen. “The UAE and Saudi Arabia played an undermining role in Yemen’s transition phase that followed after the non-violent struggle in 2011. Ultimately Saudi Arabia wanted to control every part of Yemen leading to severe problems in the country. If Saudi Arabia and the UAE had not interfered, we could have had national reconciliation leading to a stable government,” maintained the activist.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner also strongly condemned the killing of the journalist, Jamal Khashoggi terming it a brutal act.
“The murder of Khashoggi is the murder of every journalist in the world. What happened to Khashoggi sends a dangerous message. It is a crime against humanity,” added Karman.
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