Tonight at midnight a new ceasefire starts in Yemen. It was agreed on by all warring parties. This ceasefire is the fifth attempt to stop hostilities and allow humanitarian aid to reach victims of the war. Salam for Yemen (SFY) calls on all parties to respect the agreement. All previous truces to stop the fighting were breached, either by the Saudi-led coalition or Houthi rebels, sometimes only within hours of the agreement.
Yemeni citizens also fear an intensification of the fighting just before the agreed starting moment of the ceasefire, as this has been the case in the past. SFY calls on all parties to refrain from such actions.
The ceasefire was announced this weekend and is set to coincide with the week-long Geneva peace talks. The peace talks starting tomorrow, December 14th, are the second Geneva peace talks on Yemen since the outbreak of the conflict in March 2015. As opposed to the failed Geneva peace talks in June 2015, that even failed to broker a lasting ceasefire, Houthi leaders have committed to participating in the talks this time.
According to Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the aim of the peace talks is to develop a plan for the implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions, including a measure adopted in April 2015 which demanded that all parties, in particular the Houthis, immediately and unconditionally end violence and refrain from further unilateral actions that threatened the political transition based on the GCC.
It remains to be seen whether there will be a consensus around such a proposition. For SFY, in order to ease the immense suffering of the Yemeni people the priority of the peace talks should be:
Agreeing to ceasefire during the talks, which civil society, the Yemeni people, as well as, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon have called for for months, is a promising sign for the upcoming Geneva 2 talks. Yet, to be successful and to give peace a chance in Yemen, the Geneva 2 talks need to lead to an immediate end to hostilities and an end to the de-facto embargo on Yemen for life-essential goods.
SFY president Sadek Alsaar will be in Geneva during the talks to remind leaders of the priorities identified above, and to evaluate the progress of the talks.
“I can’t sleep. It’s impossible to fall asleep for fear of not waking up tomorrow. The bombings come either near midnight, right before we lay down to sleep, or very early in the morning. They wake us up with a jolt and fill us with terror.
We live in deplorable conditions; we haven’t had electricity in four months. The only water we have to drink, water that we are forced to buy from trucks, is ten times more expensive than before the war. My little girl spends hours looking for a bit of fuel so we can have just one hour of power from the generator. It is our only ‘luxury’ to have a tiny bit of electricity so we are not so cut off from the rest of the world; so we can call family and hear from friends, even if the news is bad, as it always .Nearly every family has been touched by the loss of a loved one.
Since the bombing started four months ago, kids have not been able to attend school. My son is so close to taking his final exams, but they have all been cancelled.
Where we live, we are surrounded by neighbors who have nothing left to eat. Masons, plumbers, painters, gardeners, and those who work in construction no longer have any work and therefore, no revenue. The price of food has drastically gone up, 5 or 6 times what it was before.
My youngest brother Mohamed is a truck driver. He told me that the trucks that carry water, food and fuel from Sana’a to Hodeidah are being purposefully targeted by bomb attacks. All along this same route, the chicken farms have all been destroyed. If this continues, we will all die of hunger.
Saudi planes have bombed the Technical School in our village of Manakha. In Amran, the cemetery has been destroyed and last week, in Sana’a, the oldest textile factory near Bab Al Shub was also hit by bombs. Our country is already so poor, what will be left after this war? What do the Saudis want; that our youth remain unschooled and without work and out of desperation, ready to join the ranks of Daech? (ISIS).
My other brother is 60 years old, and a diabetic. He can’t find insulin and his condition is worsening every day.
My friend Salma from Aden lost her sister because she could notget to the hospital to be treated. Her family is taking refuge in a little house in Al Mansourah to escape the fighting and the bombs. All twenty of them are now living together in a tiny space, without electricity or water and with outside temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius.
It is the same fate for all the other families around us. My son-in-law’s parents fled the fighting in Taêz, after their home was demolished. My daughter and her five children are seeking refuge with me because the area where they lived between Attan and Sana’a is being bombed daily.
Nowhere is safe. I thought only the cities were affected, but the villages are equally being targeted. My cousin has told me that in a tiny village near Khamer, houses have been hit and the families inside have all perished.
I’m terrified of dying and afraid of never again seeing my son who lives abroad. He can’t come back to Yemen because of this cruel blockade, which is also responsible for keeping medicines from entering into Yemen.
When will this all be over? Why is there such hate targeted against our people? What crime have we committed to deserve such severe punishment?
Carnage against the civilian population in Yemen In the silence of the international community
مجازر ترتكب ضد المدنيين في اليمن في ظل استمرار صمت المجتمع الدولي
Carnage contre les civils au Yémen – Dans le silence de la communauté internationale
The offensive led by Saudi Arabia in Yemen continues, the peace talks have stalled and humanitarian truce decided by the United Nations had no effect. Air, sea and land blockade prevents the supply of the country and worsens the already grave situation of civilians, first victims of this attack. Having been able to go there, Ole Solvang of Human Rights Watch tells the life of a severely affected population.
العدوان بقيادة المملكة السعودية علي اليمن مستمر، محادثات السلام متعثرة، الهدنة الإنسانية التي قررتها الأمم المتحدة لم تتم . ا والحصار البري والجوي والبحري يمنع إمدادات البلاد ويسبب في تفاقم الوضع الخطيرالمتردي للمدنيين، أول ضحايا هذا الهجوم. بعد أن تمكنت من الذهاب إلى هناك، أولى سولفانغ من هيومن رايتس ووتش تروي حياة السكان المتضررين بشكل كبير (بالغ الشدة).
L’offensive menée par l’Arabie saoudite au Yémen continue : les négociations de paix sont au point mort et la trêve humanitaire décidée par les Nations unies est restée sans effet. Le blocus aérien, naval et terrestre empêche l’approvisionnement du pays et aggrave la situation déjà extrêmement préoccupante des civils, premières victimes de cette attaque. Ayant pu se rendre sur place, Ole Solvang de l’organisation Human Rights Watch raconte le quotidien d’une population durement touchée.
OCHA Yemen’s 2015 Humanitarian Response Plan available for download here:
“The Security Council endorsed the Secretary-General’s call for “a further humanitarian pause” in order to allow assistance “to reach the Yemeni people urgently” and called upon all sides to comply with international humanitarian law.
Finally, the UN body stressed the urgent need for ongoing commercial supplies to enter the country because of its “heavy dependence” on imported food and fuel.
As a result of shortages, food prices have skyrocketed and the cost of cooking gas has risen on average 131 per cent since the start of the crisis, according to WFP data.
Yemen, the poorest country in the region, also imports almost 90 per cent of its food from abroad.”