1 June 2024News

Prisoners released, UK arms sales continue

Yemen continues to be one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, on the edge of famine, with something close to a frozen war and a feeble peace process which is not getting much international support – but which has just produced a helpful prisoner release.

Britain could be ending arms sales to both Saudi Arabia and Israel for their war crimes. Those would be the most useful ways of supporting the peace process in Yemen and pressing for an end to Israel’s war in Gaza, which is…

1 April 2024News

US actions threaten peace process

The fragile peace process in Yemen, which has reduced violence in the country enormously over the last two years, is under pressure. The UN secretary-general’s special envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, told the UN security council on 14 February: ‘Rising regional tensions linked to the war in Gaza, and in particular the military escalation in the Red Sea, are slowing down the pace of the peace efforts in Yemen.’ 

The US is risking a major plank of the peace process by listing the…

1 April 2024News in Brief

On 3 April, dED_UCATION and CAAT are releasing Don’t Buy a Bomb, a 28-minute documentary following CAAT’s six-year legal battle with the UK government over the legality of arms sales to Saudi Arabia – for the Saudi war in Yemen. The film will be on YouTube:

1 February 2024News

US/UK airstrikes on Houthis could condemn Yemen to famine and endless war

The US and Britain are, at the time of writing, at war with the Ansar Allah movement that controls over two-thirds of the population of Yemen and a third of its territory. This war is not an act of ‘self-defence’, it is doomed to failure, it is wrecking the fragile and desperately-needed Yemeni peace process, and it is actually strengthening Ansar Allah, known as ‘the Houthis’ after their first leader.

British forces took part in US-led airstrikes and missile attacks on Ansar Allah on…

11 December 2023Blog

An interview carried out by CIVICUS and published on its website on 3 December 2023, with a leading Yemeni human rights campaigner, discussing the current situation in the Yemen War.

What’s the current situation in Yemen, and what are the prospects of the conflict being resolved in the near future?

First, it’s crucial to note that the conflict in Yemen goes beyond a mere civil war, as it spans three distinct dimensions: local, regional and international. It started in 2014 when the Ansar Allah (Houthi) armed group seized control of Sana’a, the capital, and escalated with the intervention of a Saudi-led coalition in 2015. The ongoing conflict has been marked by…

1 December 2023Comment

Don't let the US and Britain wreck the Yemeni-Saudi peace process

The world’s attention is fastened on Gaza at the moment. This issue of PN is almost completely taken up with Palestine.

At the same time, there is an important opportunity right now for British peace activists to help bring an end to another devastating war, and another horrifying humanitarian catastrophe.

As I write, the internationally-recognised Yemeni government has just called on the US, Britain and other Western governments to designate the Yemeni rebel movement…

1 October 2023Feature

US policy towards Saudi Arabia ensures continued bloodshed, hunger, division and destabilisation

As the effective ruler of Saudi Arabia, crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), is poised to visit London, a leading US peace activist helps us to take a look at one aspect of Saudi foreign policy. The war in Yemen is also a British responsibility, as Britain continues to supply weapons and both diplomatic and technical support to the Saudi war effort there.

There’s a refugee trail from the Sahel drought region in Africa, into war-ravaged Yemen, and up through Saudi Arabia towards…

1 August 2023News

British-backed war continues as aid programmes forced to close for lack of funding

The British-backed Saudi war in Yemen continues, with a humanitarian crisis threatening tens of millions of people with hunger and disease, and aid programmes being shut down due to underfunding by international donors. Backroom negotiations on ending the war are reported to be taking place between Saudi Arabia and Houthi rebels, with Iraq now offering to be a mediator, while the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen faces internal tensions and protests against poor living conditions. At least the…

2 April 2023News

Country experiencing fragile semi-peace as Oxfam warns of danger of economic collapse

Yemen, ‘the worst humanitarian crisis in the world’, is experiencing a fragile semi-peace, where the UN-brokered truce that officially came to an end last October has held in practice, with some big exceptions.

There are hopes of progress towards a true peace deal, especially because Saudi Arabia and Iran, which back different sides in Yemen, have agreed to resume diplomatic relations and seem to be agreeing a non-aggression pact with each other.

Another positive sign was a UN-…

1 February 2023News

British weapons, advisers and diplomatic support have contributed to hundreds of thousands of deaths

After eight years of war, the people of Yemen are enduring one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. Oxfam says that ‘24 million people – 80 percent of Yemen’s population – need emergency aid, the greatest number in any country in the world.’

A quarter of the population is malnourished.

There were some signs of hope in January; a new truce may be agreed soon between the Saudi-led coalition and their Houthi opponents.

However, according to one study, there have been…

1 December 2022News in Brief

Good news and bad news from the war in Yemen. A truce between the (British-armed) Saudi-led coalition and their Houthi opponents broke down on 2 October – but the country has not returned to full-scale war.

More aid has been able to get into Yemen – but a top UN humanitarian official said on 22 November that 17 million people in the country ‘still do not know where they will get their next meal’.

The UN did raise enough money to stabilise the FSO Safer, the…

1 December 2022News

Actions in Holyhead, Lancaster and Southampton, ahead of January High Court hearing

On 3 December, the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) organised a day of action in solidarity with the people in Yemen and against the companies fuelling the war there, in the run-up to their legal challenge to British arms sales to Saudi Arabia, due to be heard in the High Court on 31 January.

Some events took place before the official day of action. On 2 December, there was a demo outside BAE Systems in Holyhead, on Anglesey, and, in Lancaster, Demilitarise Lancaster, Solidarity…

2 August 2022Comment

Johnson was an international criminal, not just a liar, argues Milan Rai

All year, it has been infuriating to watch the debate about Boris Johnson as pressure built up against the British prime minister until he was finally forced from office on 7 July by his own party – which believed he would damage its chances of winning the next election.

Johnson was sacked by the Conservatives for his personal weaknesses, such as dishonesty and irresponsibility. This was what the media also focused on. Near the liberal extreme, the Guardian editorial on his…

1 August 2022Feature

It's time for a radical change of course, argues Kathy Kelly

US president Joe Biden’s foreign policy advisors applauded themselves for devising a ‘sensitive’ itinerary for his mid-July trip to the Middle East.

In a Washington Post op-ed before he left, Biden defended his controversial planned meeting with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman al Saud (known as ‘MBS’), saying it is meant not only to bolster US interests but also to bring peace to the region.

Biden’s trip did not include Yemen, though if this had truly been a ‘…

1 August 2022Feature

Humanitarian crisis set to worsen despite truce, as British arms sales to Saudi Arabia continue

After seven years of war which have plunged the country into the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet, Yemen has just enjoyed a four-month truce, likely to be extended for several more months. In another hopeful sign, there is a chance that Yemen’s ‘floating time bomb’, a huge, crumbling oil storage ship just off the coast (see pic), may be drained of oil soon.

However, the British state continues to arm Saudi Arabia, despite overwhelming evidence of Saudi war crimes since the…