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Peace Activists Urge End to Saudi Invasion of Yemen

1 May 2015 14:07


Female peacemakers have called on Saudi Arabia to immediately end its hostilities in Yemen, urging the international community to halt arms smuggling into the Arab nation.
Delegates from the Women’s Power to Stop War conference, held in the Hague this week, delivered 10 letters to the embassies of Britain, the US, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen, Russia, China, Germany, Egypt and France, and to representatives of the European commission in the Netherlands, outlining a number of demands.

The letter called for an immediate end to Saudi aggression and transfer of arms to Yemen. It called for safe access for humanitarian aid agencies to deliver vital goods and services, and safe passage for the thousands of people who have been displaced by the fighting.

There was also a call for international governments, and the newly appointed UN envoy to Yemen, to engage with Yemeni women and civil society activists.

The move followed an impassioned plea for action from the Yemeni activist Amal Basha during the three-day conference, which was organized to mark the 100th anniversary of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).

“We are showing solidarity. We have got together a statement to deliver to 11 countries that were party to the national dialogue in Yemen, before the whole thing got out of control,” said Sameena Nazir, the president of WILPF Pakistan and vice-president of WILPF’s executive committee.

Twenty-one women were selected to deliver letters to each of the embassies, a nod to events after the congress of women held in The Hague in 1915, which led to the creation of WILPF.

“In honor of our 100th anniversary, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom convened in The Hague to continue to discuss and debate the causes of war and how to reach peace. We heard from our sisters in Yemen and the conference has requested that the following statement be brought to your attention for urgent action,” read the letter.

“The world is failing in Yemen. The world cannot be complicit. Yemen has been betrayed by the international community. Violence and war has been unleashed and fuelled from the outside. The human cost is incalculable.”

Saudi Arabia launched its bombing campaign against Yemen on March 26 in an attempt to restore power to fugitive President Mansour Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.

Hadi stepped down in January and refused to reconsider the decision despite calls by Ansarullah revolutionaries of the Houthi movement.

Despite Riyadh’s claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi warplanes are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.

According to FNA tallies, the Monarchy’s attacks have so far claimed the lives of at least 3,068 civilians, mostly women and children.

Meanwhile, according to a report by Yemen’s Freedom House Foundation, Saudi airstrikes have killed 3,512 Yemeni people, including 492 children and 209 women, since the beginning of the aggression until April 25.

The report added that 6,189 people were injured, including 978 children and 713 women, during the same period.

About 95,000 families have been displaced due to the Saudi-led airstrikes, according to the report.

The foundation further said 4,898 residential buildings have been either destroyed or damaged and some 857 civil service and public utility facilities have been destroyed.

On April 21, after four weeks of bombings, Riyadh declared end to military operations in Yemen, but Saudi warplanes are still bombing residential areas across the war-ravaged nation one week after.

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