July 23 - July 31: UN Blames Saudi Arabia for March Attack on Refugees


Balkan Insight reports that Saudi Arabia continues to be the top destination for Montenegrin sales of ex-Yugoslav arms, despite an investigation by a prosecutor of organized crime into the end-use of the weapons.

A UN delegation, with representatives from the World Food Programme, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization, visited Aden and San’a. The delegation met with Prime Minister bin Dagher about international aid.

The Executive Director of Human Rights Watch stated that Saudi Arabia promotes terrorism “that is killing people in Yemen” while blaming Qatar for financing terrorist groups.

The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross stated that one person in every 45 in Yemen is likely to contract cholera before the end of the year. This disease is preventable and highly treatable, so this an entirely human-made disaster.

In a meeting with the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Prime Minister of Yemen, bin Dagher, said that he is willing to exchange prisoners with the Houthis through the UN.


According to Reuters, the Yemeni cholera epidemic is slowing after infecting 400,000 people. This could be due to the World Health Organization’s establishment of rehydration points, which catch infected patients early and thus slow the rate of death. Although the epidemic peaked about three weeks ago, it could still reach 600,000 people by the end of 2017.

An article in The Nation criticized the lack of international attention towards the bombing campaign by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen that has led to a humanitarian catastrophe. Despite the extent of its horrors, the US has displayed little interest in the conflict and the current administration even wants to cut humanitarian aid funding.

This year, Norway has doubled its humanitarian aid donations to Yemen, which reach agencies such as the Red Cross or the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, and has just increased its donations by $1.6 million.

The Carnegie Middle East Center wrote that Saudi Arabia’s aggressive foreign policy is destabilizing the region. For example, its role in the conflict in Yemen has created a humanitarian disaster and chaos, allowing al-Qaeda to strengthen. Much of the new Saudi approach to foreign policy can be attributed to Mohammed bin Salman, the new crown prince.


The Republican Party has lately taken initiative in blocking US participation in the conflict in Yemen. A Republican Congressman sponsored one of the NDAA amendments blocking participation; it prohibited US military action in Yemen that wasn’t authorized under the AUMF. Republican leadership also played a role in allowing these amendments through committee.

The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, urged Western and regional powers to use their influence to end the conflict in Yemen that has devastated the country and facilitated the spread of cholera.

The UN has blamed the Saudi coalition for an attack in March on a Somali refugee boat off the coast of Yemen, killing 42 and injuring another 34 of the 140 aboard. Saudi Arabia carried out the attack with a machine gun or minigun attached to an armed utility helicopter. The report also pointed at the UAE, who knew the boat was civilian, for not providing any assistance after the attack and for not cooperating with the Panel’s report.

The UN announced that 80% of children in Yemen require immediate humanitarian assistance.

According to a World Food Programme newsletter, the World Food Programme is one of the agencies leading the response to Yemen’s humanitarian crisis, providing food, curative and preventative nutrition, and distributing a type of ready-to-use food in cholera treatment centers.


AP reports that while different warring factions in Yemen pledged to the UN to ease obstructions to aid to civilians, the UN failed to get assurances on a key demand: that governments pay teachers and healthcare workers who haven’t received their pay in months.

According to US defense officials, the Houthis launched a missile into Saudi Arabia from territory near Sa’da that reached hundreds of miles into Saudi territory, the furthest the Houthis have reached thus far.

The Saudi-led coalition blocked four oil tankers from accessing a Yemeni port, a move which could exacerbate the cholera epidemic. The ships were carrying 71,000 metric tons of fuel - over 10% of the monthly fuel needs of Yemen.

Peter Maurer described in an interview with NPR what life under siege in Ta’iz is like: infrastructure is destroyed and only around half of the health facilities are operational. Maurer also said that foreign powers selling weapons to Saudi Arabia must examine this policy more closely.

Yemen’s lack of sanitation is exacerbating the cholera outbreak. Water is contaminated by filth and trash, making it harder to contain the disease. Without fuel, sanitation pumps are unable to work, and clean water is difficult to find.

The commander of the UAE forces in Yemen said that Yemeni President Hadi poorly manages the country and is an obstacle to the UAE’s mission.


The conflict has completely crippled Yemen’s energy sector. Production of oil has decreased dramatically and one of the main natural gas fields has completely stopped production. Damaging investment even further, an oil pipeline in southern Yemen was attacked.

After reports that Saudi Arabia used Canadian-made military equipment against militants inside the country, Canada announced that it would investigate its weapons sales to Saudi Arabia to determine whether they had been used to violate human rights, which would constitute a violation of the arms agreement.

Saudi Arabia shot down a Houthi-launched missile outside of Mecca.


Houthi forces used an explosive-laden boat to attack a pier near the Mocha port, targeting a military ship belonging to the UAE that was arriving from the Assab port. There were no casualties or serious damage.

Yemeni officials claimed that government forces took control over a military base near the West Coast that had been held by the Houthis for about 2 years, Khalid Ibn al-Walid, with dozens of casualties on both sides. Later that day, officials stated that 13 Houthi fighters were killed in a clash with government forces at a military site in the south of Ta’iz.


While there are many natural and manmade disasters world-wide, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen tops the charts as the worst in the world according to aid agencies: 20.7 million people, 10.3 of which are children, are in need of assistance.


A report by Foundation for the Defense of Democracies found that the al-Qaeda branch in Yemen, who has exploited the chaos of the conflict, has sufficient funds to carry out another terrorist attack. It recommended that major economies prohibit paying ransoms, pressure coalition countries to supervise charities and other organizations in the region, and that President Hadi end his “alliance of convenience” with al-Qaeda.

A Yemeni minister stated that the government is unwilling to allow the Houthis to keep the port of al-Hudaydah. The government has accepted the UN Envoy to Yemen’s plan to give the port to a neutral 3rd-party, but the Houthis rejected the plan, although they are willing to discuss it if assured that salaries will be paid and flights from San’a resumed.