January 5-11: UN officials report on ceasefire implementation, Houthis launch drone attack on government base

Saturday, January 5

Independent journalist Baseem al-Jenani reported that four factory workers were injured in al-Hudaydah when their factory was shelled. He also described Houthi practices in Hudaydah of repressing local community organizations and NGOs and looting their assets.

Sunday, January 6

President Trump has confirmed that Jamal al-Badawi, one of the al-Qaeda operatives responsible for the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, was killed in an airstrike in Marib Governorate on January 1.

Monday, January 7

The UN Secretary General's report was released on the implementation of the Stockholm Agreements as of today. The report notes that the Houthis have delayed the opening of key roads, and mutual ceasefire violations have been reported but not verified by the UN. Meanwhile, the Houthis have also failed to issue visas and clearances for UN personnel and equipment intended for Hudaydah. Meetings continue to be held with both sides.

December 27-January 4: Houthis obstruct aid & fail to implement ceasefire terms, coalition recruits Sudanese child soldiers

12/27

An interactive feature in the New York Times illustrates the Saudi-led coalition’s efforts to destroy Yemen’s food-production infrastructure, including airstrikes on farms and fisheries.

12/28

According to an investigative report by the New York Times, Saudi Arabia has recruited thousands of child soldiers from Sudan for the war in Yemen, many of them survivors or victims of the brutal civil war in Darfur. “In interviews, five fighters who have returned from Yemen and another about to depart said that children made up at least 20 percent of their units. Two said children were more than 40 percent.” Under US law, it is illegal for the government to issue arms export licenses or provide military assistance to states that recruit child soldiers.

12/29

Houthi leadership reported that it had removed its forces from the port of al-Hudaydah and handed over control of the port to local administrators and the Coast Guard, as required by the UN-monitored Stockholm Agreements. Government officials, however, said that the Houthis had placed loyalists inside the Coast Guard and local port administration, making their claims of compliance meaningless. “It’s a stage play in which the Houthis handed over the port to their fighters after they put on coast guard uniforms,” Hudaydah’s governor told the AP.

UN officials responsible for monitoring the implementation of the ceasefire in al-Hudaydah reported that the Houthis had failed to remove their forces from the Hudaydah-San’a highway, which has been designated a “humanitarian corridor.”

December 17-21: UNSC bickers over new resolution as Stockholm agreements come into force

12/17

A UN monitoring mission will be sent to al-Hudaydah this week to oversee the fragile ceasefire that was negotiated last week.

The Office of the Special Envoy to Yemen has published the agreement reached on the release and exchange of all prisoners.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has signalled that Canada will be reconsidering its current arms export agreements with Saudi Arabia, primarily looking to terminate its planned delivery of armored vehicles to Riyadh.

To address its strategic concerns, US needs to back the peace process

In recent weeks, the introduction of legislation in both houses of Congress to invoke the War Powers Resolution, as well as the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, have drawn considerable attention to the US administration’s unwavering support for Saudi Arabia, especially in regards to its involvement in Yemen. Before it was blocked on November 14 (and again in early December), [1] H.Con.Res.138 had garnered the support of over 80 House members. [2] On the other side of the Capitol, Senate Joint Resolution 54 passed with an unprecedented 56 votes in favor of removing the US from hostilities in Yemen. [3]

The proposed legislation has helped to garner public acknowledgement in Congress and the media of how America’s actions have exacerbated Yemen’s humanitarian crisis. However, there remains strong hesitation, primarily among Republicans, to support a full withdrawal of US assistance to the Saudi-led coalition. President Trump appears to be predominantly focused on the importance of maintaining strong relations with Saudi Arabia in order to secure billions of dollars in arms sales, which Trump portrays as a crucial part of the US economy. [4] [5]

December 8-14: Houthis and government sign ceasefire, Senate passes S.J.Res.54

12/8

The latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) survey found that roughly 53% of Yemen’s population is currently experiencing food insecurity at the Phase 3 or “Crisis” level or worse. The survey groups individuals into five phases, from Phase 1, “Minimal” to Phase 5, “Catastrophe.” The percentage of people in phases 3 through 5 is roughly the same in Houthi-controlled San’a Governorate (47%) and in government-controlled Aden (46%).

12/9

Speaking at an event in Abu Dhabi, US Assistant Secretary of State Timothy Lenderking said that the US administration “strongly opposed” congressional and public pressure to withdraw support from the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

Senate Passes S.J.Res.54

WASHINGTON--This afternoon, 56 US senators voted in favor of Senate Joint Resolution 54, formally titled “A joint resolution to direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress.” The Yemen Peace Project--along with a broad coalition of advocacy organizations and NGOs--has been working to generate support for this measure for more than a year, and we applaud the bipartisan majority that passed the resolution for taking courageous and unprecedented action to end US support for the Saudi-led coalition’s intervention into Yemen’s civil war.

Nov. 30 - December 7: UN-sponsored talks begin in Sweden, hunger survey shows worsening conditions

11/30

The International Crisis Group published a report which called on US officials to take advantage of the leverage generated by the advancement of Senate Joint Resolution 54 to pressure the Saudi-led coalition to pause the fighting in al-Hudaydah and give peace talks a chance to succeed.

UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour concluded a visit to Yemen, demanding that “the warring parties to do “‘absolutely everything humanly possible’ to prevent renewed fighting in the port city of Al Hudaydah.”

12/2

The World Health Organization reported that the cholera outbreak in Yemen “is accelerating again with roughly 10,000 suspected cases now reported per week, double the average rate for the first eight months of 2018.”

November 16-29: NGOs demand urgent US action, Griffiths preps warring parties for talks

11/16

A recent report highlights the likelihood that an additional 5 million people in Yemen will starve if the fighting in al-Hudaydah continues and consequently drives up food prices.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly “threw a fit” over the draft UN Security Council resolution calling for a limited ceasefire and increase in humanitarian aid to Yemen when it was proposed to him by British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

11/19

World Food Programme Chief David Beasley called the Houthis the greatest impediment to delivery of aid on the ground in Yemen, due to fighters taking up fighting positions in food warehouses in al-Hudaydah.  

November 10-15: Coalition temporarily halts al-Hudaydah offensive, Congressional Republicans prevent debate on Yemen

11/10

UN Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths pushed back the timeline for peace talks in Yemen, estimating that “they will try to bring them together by the end of the year.” This setback is concurrent with the renewed offensive on al-Hudaydah by the Saudi-led coalition.

The Yemen Peace Project Condemns House Republican Leadership’s De-privileging of H.Con.Res.138

This afternoon, the House of Representatives voted 201 - 187 to pass H.R. 1142, a rule appended to H.R. 6784, the “Manage Our Wolves Act”. H.R. 1142 stripped H.Con.Res. 138, a war powers resolution to end US military support to the Saudi-led coalition’s intervention in Yemen’s civil war, of its privilege, preventing a vote on its underlying substance.

YPP's Response to Secretary Mattis’ Statement on Refueling Support to the Coalition

The Yemen Peace Project welcomes the statement by Secretary of Defense James Mattis that the United States will end in-flight refueling of Saudi planes conducting aerial missions in Yemen. The statement marks a first, though insufficient, step toward ending US complicity in the Saudi-led coalition’s numerous war crimes in Yemen.

October 31st - November 9th: Escalation of fighting despite US calls for ceasefire; Fighting in Hudaydah threatens hospitals

10/31

Defense Secretary Mattis requested that “all parties” of the conflict in Yemen “take part in UN-led peace talks within the next thirty days.” Secretary of State Pompeo also came forward, urging “the Saudi-led coalition battling the rebel Houthi movement to end its air strikes on populated areas” in exchange for an end to Houthi missile attacks on Saudi Arabia.

NGOs and legal experts call for investigation into US mercenaries' crimes in Aden

Washington — The YPP and eleven other organizations, along with seven prominent legal experts, delivered a letter to the acting US attorney general this week urging the Department of Justice to investigate the actions of American mercenaries operating in Yemen. According to an investigation published last month by BuzzFeed, American and foreign employees of a US-based military contractor planned and carried out assassinations of civilians in Aden, on behalf of the United Arab Emirates. These acts, as described by the perpetrators themselves, constitute serious crimes under US law.

The letter was also delivered to the attorneys general of the state of Delaware, where the military contractor in question is incorporated, and New Jersey, where the conspirators claim to have planned some of their attacks. Copies were sent also to the Department of Justice’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section.

We join the other signatories in demanding a full and transparent investigation, and we hope to see those responsible for these crimes prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The full text of the letter is below.

35 Yemeni and International Organizations Call for an Immediate Cessation of Hostilities in Yemen

Paris, 7 November 2018 – As humanitarian, human rights and peacebuilding organizations working on Yemen, we welcome tomorrow’s unprecedented coming together of legislators from across nations and parties for the first International Parliamentary Conference for Peace in Yemen to demand their governments work together to end the crisis. With 14 million men, women and children on the brink of famine – half the country’s population – there has never been a more urgent time to act. 

October 22-30: coalition sends reinforcements to Hudaydah, Pompeo calls for ceasefire

10/22

Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany will discontinue its weapon exports to Saudi Arabia in light of the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

UNICEF warns that fighting around the key port of al-Hudaydah, in addition to Yemen’s economic crisis, continues to exacerbate the humanitarian situation, putting millions of families in a desperate situation without access to clean water, food, or sanitation.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that over 3,000 families were affected by Cyclone Luban. About 2,203 families were displaced from their homes in the districts of al-Masilah, Sayhut, Huswain, Qishn, and al-Ghaydah City in al-Mahrah.

UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths is scheduled for a visit next Sunday to Ta’iz. Also in the works are plans for UN-sponsored meetings with the Yemeni government, Houthi representatives, and other regional and international actors in Nairobi in the near future.

The Hadi government’s Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation collaborated with UN Organization for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in a workshop to address Yemen’s 2019 humanitarian response plan in Aden.

IHL & HRL Violations - August 2018

ANSAR ALLAH/HOUTHI MOVEMENT

Hudaydah Governorate

On August 14th, the Houthis kidnapped Mwatana human rights researcher Kamal Al Shawish. This violates Rule 99 of customary IHL.

Jizan, KSA

On August 8th, a Houthi missile launched into Saudi Arabia killed one and wounded eleven civilians, violating rules 3 and 6, which prohibit harming civilians.

October 13-18: 14 million people at risk of starvation; US mercenaries responsible for Aden assassinations

10/13

A coalition air raid targeted a checkpoint near Jabal Ras in Hudaydah, killing at least six people and injuring others.

10/14

Houthi militia arrested students at San’a University following the October 6th “Revolution of the Hungry” demonstration. Students had their phones confiscated and searched by militia members and a number of students were arrested.

Senator Sanders joined other senators in demanding that the US “withdraw its support from Saudi Arabia in Yemen’s civil war” in response to “allegations that the Saudi government murdered a dissident journalist.”

Yemenis Demand Accountability from Conflict Parties in "Revolution of the Hungry" Protests

On Saturday October 6, protests broke out at the University of San’a in the Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital, the University of Ibb, and the city of Ta’iz. Demonstrations by women in particular have also been reported in the city of Ibb, calling for an end to hunger. These protests, organized under the title “Revolution of the Hungry,” called attention to the deteriorating economic conditions in the country as well as the widespread suffering of Yemenis from starvation and malnutrition, and express anger at Houthi governance practices which have worsened the economic and food-security situation for civilians in areas under their control. Nearly two months before, there were reports that Yemeni activists had called for citizens to participate in a “Revolution of the Hungry” in San’a against the Houthis.

October 6-11: UN children's rights body condemns airstrikes; Congress threatens to block arms sales to KSA

10/6

Baseem al-Jenani reported that Houthi forces attempted to force residents of the al-Ja’bali neighborhood of al-Rabsah in Hudaydah to leave their homes in order to convert their houses into military barracks.

US Support for Coalition Civilian Targeting, March 2018 - Today

Since the Saudi- and UAE-led coalition began its intervention in Yemen’s civil war, the United States government has provided its indiscriminate air campaign with munitions, mid-air refueling, and still-unclear forms of targeting assistance. As civilian casualties have mounted, US officials have repeatedly claimed that US assistance is making things better, not worse.

This timeline of airstrikes, counting from March 2018 and updated periodically, throws these statements in stark relief. The timeline tracks major coalition airstrikes against civilians, alongside administration testimony to Congress and the press that the United States is making things better. Even if the coalition were marginally improving, as claimed, in the face of significant and ongoing coalition war crimes, the United States has one workable option: withdraw support to the air campaign and exercise existing military and diplomatic leverage over the coalition to arrest the worst of the violence, alleviate the humanitarian crisis, and move its support for the political solution beyond mere rhetoric.