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More disaster ahead in Yemen

An Evil Man Dies — a War Goes On

December 6, 2017
Plain English Version

Ali Abdullah Saleh on the left next to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. At the 2010 summit in Sirte, Libya  Credit Khaled Desouki/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Ali Abdullah Saleh was the ruthless ruler of Yemen for thirty-three years. His leadership was corrupt and brutal. He made millions of dollars for himself and his family. He was a strongman like Saddam Hussein and Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

In the last years, Yemen became a base for the terrorist group Al Queda. Mr. Saleh used their presence to get aid from America and support from other countries.

In the Arab spring, there were protests against Mr. Saleh. He used violence against protesters. But he promised to step down. He changed his mind. There was an attempt to kill him. He did give up being president three years ago. But he did not give up trying to keep power.

A Houthi Shiite militia began attacking the capital of Yemen in 2014. Iran backed the Shiites. Mr. Saleh allied himself with the Houthis.   The government of Yemen sided with Saudi Arabia.

Last week, Mr. Saleh changed his mind about the Houthis. He called on Yemenis to “defend the nation” against the Houthis. His enemies killed Saleh last Monday.

The civil war shows no sign of ending. Air assaults by U.S. backed Saudi forces are destroying the country.

Yemen today is war-torn and desperate. There is starvation everywhere. Cholera is an epidemic. Diphtheria is returning. The Yemen people are the most ravaged on the planet.

The Saudi-led coalition began a blockade of Yemen sea, air and land ports in November. They later loosened the blockade.  Until this weekend the blockade sealed Houthi-held ports. The Saudi coalition has been fighting the rebel groups since 2015.

Some Yemen cities had no supplies of fuel for pumping in fresh water and processing sewage. The Red Cross said the blockade was putting 2.5 million people at risk of waterborne disease.

Yemen faces looming famine. It faces rampant disease. It faces deadly air strikes.

This is the daily reality for the residents of Yemen. They are suffering. It is a staggering humanitarian crisis driven by a fierce civil war.

United Nations experts have warned about the actions carried out by the warring parties.They are the Saudi-led coalition and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.They could amount to crimes against humanity. People are dying in the worst disaster on the planet. World leaders do not know what will happen next.

Source: The New York Times December 4, 2017







Source: The New York Times December 4, 2017

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