Yemeni port at risk

News in Brief by PN staff

The ‘vast majority’ of the civilians who’ve been killed and injured in the Yemen war since March 2015, ‘were as a result of airstrikes carried out by the Saudi-led coalition’, according to Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesperson for the UN high commissioner for human rights, speaking in Geneva on 11 May. That’s 10,185 Saudi-caused casualties out of 16,432.

Since the Saudi war on Yemen began, Britain has licensed £4.6bn worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, according to the Campaign Against Arms Trade. British forces have also given targeting training to Saudi pilots and artillery operators.

One big reason Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis is the Saudi-led naval blockade of Yemen’s main port, Hodeidah, the entry point for almost all the humanitarian aid, and most of the commercial goods, that Yemen receives.

As PN went to press, Saudi-led forces were advancing on Hodeidah by land. The UN and aid agencies warned last year that an assault on the port city could be ‘catastrophic’. Saudi strategy may be to disrupt supply lines coming out of the city, rather than directly attacking it.

Over eight million Yemenis are at risk of famine. Over 17 million need emergency food assistance. Hodeidah receives 70 percent of all food eaten in Yemen. By slowing the entry of food and aid, the Saudi blockade contributes to near-famine conditions.

The British government has never condemned the Saudi blockade or the civilian death toll from Saudi airstrikes.

Topics: Yemen