August 28-September 5: Floods Increase Rate of Cholera; NGOs Urge Independent International Inquiry in Yemen


Saudi Arabia campaigned at the United Nations in an attempt to emphasize its humanitarian role in Yemen, stating that the country has donated over $8 billion to assist Yemen. Saudi Arabia is concerned about the UN child rights blacklist and a possible UN human rights inquiry into crimes in Yemen.


An op-ed in Deutsche Welle stated that Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen has accomplished little besides creating a devastating humanitarian crisis and that Saudi Arabia’s poor behavior in the war is indicative of its domestic politics and its relation to fundamentalism and terrorism.


The weekly rate of new cholera cases in Yemen has declined by a third since June; 40,000 local volunteers have started a cholera awareness campaign and have reached 80% of the Yemeni population.



Yemeni officials speculate that Houthi rebels have placed their ally former president Saleh under house arrest after reports that Saleh hadn’t left his house in a week following a period of tensions within the alliance. Reports of Saleh’s arrest have not been confirmed.


The Yemeni conflict has damaged the honey industry in Yemen; production has dropped 70% because the coalition’s blockade and increased shipping costs have prevented access to export markets.


After violence between Houthi and Saleh supporters killed 3 people, leaders of the two groups announced that they have decided to ease tensions.


Iranian president Rouhani accused Saudi Arabia of supporting terrorists and stated that such support of terrorism is a hurdle to improving Saudi-Iranian relations.



The Saudi Arabian embassy in Canada is planning a cultural festival amid a human rights investigation into the sale of armored vehicles.


Activist and commentator Hisham Al-Omeisy remains in custody in San’a. He was illegally detained by Houthi forces on August 14, and is being denied access to a lawyer or his family. Al-Omeisy provided insight into the war in Yemen through his Twitter feed, and spoke regularly with foreign journalists.


A Saudi airstrike hit a security checkpoint in San’a and killed at least 13 people, 8 of which were civilians.


Floods from heavy rains killed 15 people, caused at least 8 more to go missing, and damaged civilian infrastructure in the Ibb and Taiz governorates. The flooding hinders the delivery of humanitarian aid and could worsen the cholera crisis.



An article in the Harvard Political Review wrote that US military involvement in Yemen undermines regional peace; although the US withdrawing support for Saudi Arabia would likely end the war, the US places too much value on its alliance with Saudi Arabia to do so. Thus, the international community must focus on fostering negotiations that are sensitive to local dynamics.


Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom released a report on women’s multidimensional insecurity in Yemen and Libya; violence in Yemen has a disproportionate effect on women, especially as women are excluded for peace processes.



Hossein Askari wrote in a Huffington Post op-ed that the UK and the US are complicit in the Yemeni humanitarian crisis because of their support for the Saudi-led coalition which indiscriminately bombs Yemen. Additionally, Saudi Arabia has besieged a Shi’a village inside its own borders, and it has supported the Bahraini monarchy which has also committed human rights violations.


Bulgarian light arms exports increased 60% in 2016 from 2015 because of the increased violence in the Middle East; half of these exports were destined for Iraq and Saudi Arabia.


The founder of the Red Crescent humanitarian organization in Yemen, Abdullah Alkhamesi, died after being denied access to medical treatment for a heart condition due to the Saudi-led coalition’s blockade on Yemeni airspace.


According to data from the WHO, heavy rains and a heatwave in Yemen have increased the rate of cholera in the last 3 weeks in some provinces. In the Hudaydah province, the rate increased by 40%.



Tony Burman wrote in an op-ed in The Star arguing that Canada, by arming Saudi Arabia in their war in Yemen, is complicit in war crimes against Yemeni civilians.


US Army Staff Sergeant Emil Rivera-Lopez, previously declared missing after a US helicopter crashes off the coast of Yemen in a training exercise, was declared deceased.


An AQAP leader, Khaled Batarfi, encouraged al-Qaeda’s Indian Subcontinent branch to attack Myanmar officials following reports on the violent attacks targeting Rohingya Muslims.


A joint NGO letter signed by 62 NGOs urged the UN to create an independent international inquiry into human rights violations in Yemen. Both parties to the conflict have indiscriminately attacked civilians, restricted the distribution of humanitarian aid, and detained and harassed journalists and activists.



CBC news interviewed Wyle Baoween, a Yemeni immigrant, who explained how he views the Yemeni war as the forgotten war because few people understand the depth of the conflict there. Baoween is working towards raising awareness and funds which go towards UNICEF, UNHCR, Doctors Without Borders, and Mercy Corps.


Saudi Arabian officials have spoken of their hopes that the recent tensions within the Houthi-Saleh alliance will present the opportunity to end the war favorably for the coalition.



An op-ed in the Washington Post written by a US intelligence official stated that the international community should focus on what can be achieved: it should work towards local ceasefires, increasing the distribution of humanitarian aid, giving control of the port of al-Hudaydah and the main Yemeni airports to the UN, and decreasing the collateral civilian casualties of the counterterrorism campaign.


Former president Saleh stated in an interview on the Yemen Today TV network that there are no divisions between him and the Houthis.


David Beasley, the Executive Director of the World Food Programme, said that Saudi Arabia should fund 100% of Yemen’s humanitarian needs because of their role in furthering the conflict and exacerbating the humanitarian crisis with its blockade and airstrikes.