May 15-23: US signs arms deal with Saudi Arabia, pro-secessionist protest in Aden

Monday, May 15, 2017

PRI’s Stephen Snyder reports on Yemen’s current cholera outbreak, noting that the spread of the disease has been exacerbated by Saudi airstrikes on hospitals and blockades that block the flow of medical supplies into the country. The report also emphasizes that the disease is preventable and treatable, but that the destruction of civilian infrastructure and unpaid government salaries have made preventing and addressing outbreaks more difficult .

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Reuters reports on the continuing outbreak of cholera in Yemen, and the increasingly desperate humanitarian crisis that continues to worsen as the conflict drags on.

The Wall Street Journal discusses the challenges facing the city of al-Mukalla after AQAP’s ouster from the port city.

A piece from Just Security notes that the large number of foreigners fighting for the UAE in Yemen may prove effective in deterring war crimes. Because Yemen has not ratified the the International Criminal Court (ICC) treaty, the ICC does not have jurisdiction in the country. However, the ICC does have jurisdiction over nationals of countries such as Jordan, who is a member of the Saudi-led coalition, and Australia, of which a commander of the UAE presidential guard is a citizen.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Reuters focuses on President Trump’s upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia and the complex Yemeni conflict in which the US is becoming more and more deeply involved.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Reuters reports that the Houthis have said that they fired a missile toward Riyadh today.

Al-Jazeera reports that the WHO has called the rate of cholera’s spread in Yemen “unprecedented.” Nevio Zagaria, the WHO country representative for Yemen, said that there could be as many as 300,000 cases of cholera in the country within the next six months.

A Washington Post op-ed piece emphasizes the detrimental effects of US support for the Saudi military campaign in Yemen on Yemeni civilians, and calls for the US Congress to block the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia. The article is written by Mark Pocan, a member of Congress who is leading the effort to influence the White House on Yemen.

Middle East Eye focuses on tensions between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, noting that their alliance is threatened by the formation of the Southern Transitional Council last week. The new southern council’s members have strong relationships with the UAE and enjoy greater popular support than the Hadi government backed by Saudi Arabia.

According to the Intercept, a recent US drone strike in Yemen killed eight men who the Pentagon claimed were AQAP members, but who locals say were not currently involved with the group.

The United Nations notes that the deteriorating situation in Yemen has led many refugees from Somalia to seek to return to their home country due to safety and security concerns.

A piece from the Jamestown Foundation discusses the roles of Saudi Arabia and the UAE in Yemen; the article notes the infighting that has persisted between factions of the pro-Hadi forces and the intractability of the conflict. It also warns against the futility of attempting to end the conflict by launching an attack on the Port of Hudaydah.

Huffington Post reports that the recently announced $110 billion arms deal between the US and Saudi Arabia may violate US and international law due to Saudi disregard for civilian lives in its campaign in Yemen.  

Saturday, May 20, 2017

An article from Foreign Policy emphasizes the severe humanitarian costs of increased US involvement in the conflict in Yemen, warning the Trump administration against committing to military escalation in the country.

A Huffington Post op-ed by Senator Chris Murphy discusses the recent arms deal signed between the US and Saudi Arabia. The article denounces the arms sale as encouraging Saudi Arabia’s regular targeting of civilian and humanitarian sites in Yemen.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

According to al-Jazeera, the WHO states that 315 lives have been lost to cholera in Yemen since April 27.

Middle East Eye reports that a large protest took place today in Aden, in support of the secession of an independent South Yemen. The protests supported the pledge of the Southern Transitional Council, formed last week and headed by former Aden governor Aidaroos al-Zubaidi, to pursue independence from northern Yemen.

An article from Time focuses on the flaws of the recently signed arms deal between Saudi Arabia and the US, arguing that the deal tarnishes the reputation of the US by exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and showing disregard for the civilian casualties of Saudi attacks.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The United Nations expresses concern over discrimination against Yemenis of the Baha’i faith, particularly in San’a.

Al-Arabiya reports that President Hadi announced in a speech that he would not allow Yemen to be divided into separate states.