Saudi Arabia under spotlight over Khashoggi, but drastic Yemen crisis ignored
Saudi Arabia under spotlight over Khashoggi,...
Following the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, the media has started to pay more attention to the Kingdom and cast a more critical eye on Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MbS). The latest developments in the Khashoggi case are the main agenda in news programs and critical commentaries are appearing in countless mainstream outlets. The story is inspiring far more outrage than the death of some 10,000 Yemenis.
The death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi must now galvanise greater scrutiny of Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen. said Yemeni Nobel laureate and human rights advocate Tawakkol Karman. “Jamal Khashoggi’s death cannot go unpunished. His blood should lead to the prosecution of the perpetrators of this crime, who are the same perpetrators of the crime against millions of people in Yemen – that is the Saudi kingdom,” “Saudi Arabia wants to destroy Yemen. They fear it will become a democracy and they are hungry for its wealth. Instead, they want to make it a failing country.” said Karman.
If war continues, famine could engulf the country in the next three months, with 12 to 13 million civilians at risk of starvation, according to Lise Grande, the agency’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen. Thousands of civilians have been caught in conflict, trapped by minefields and barrages of mortars and airstrikes. The resulting humanitarian catastrophe has seen at least 10,000 people killed and millions displaced.
The UN’s World Food Program (WFP) has called on the Saudi-led coalition - which has been bombing the country since March 2015, with arms supplied by the US and UK - to halt airstrikes on the country which ordinarily imports 90 percent of its food. Although, Trump made the position clear when he pointed out that he would not jeopardize USD 110 billion of arms sales because of the murder of a mere opposition journalist in Istanbul.
Yemen has also endured a major cholera outbreak (800,000 suspected cases) and a severe lack of medical supplies which has led to many cancer patients having to forego treatment. Over 16,000 civilians are believed to have perished since the start of the civil war. Meanwhile, the UN and rights groups have repeatedly accused the Saudi-led coalition of not sparing the lives of civilians during its aerial bombardment of Yemen.
For Crown Prince Mohammed, the war ranks as a calamitous blunder, alongside the failed embargo he led against Qatar, the kidnapping of the Lebanese prime minister and now, as mounting evidence suggests, the officially sanctioned operation that led to the death of Mr. Khashoggi in Istanbul.
But for Yemenis, this is their home. The fight for Hudaydah is shaping up to be the most destructive chapter of the war that has shattered their country. More brothers will bury brothers, it seems likely, before it is over.
Saudi Arabia’s role in the death of Khashoggi should lead to more international media attention on what is happening in Yemen. The country is a forgotten land, where there has not been enough focus on the genocide taking place. However, the same ‘state terrorism’ is behind the murder of Khashoggi and its airstrikes in Yemen.