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Seminar Series in Geneva Addresses Genocide in Yemen, and How To Stop It

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EIRNS — During the present UN Human Rights Council Session in Geneva, Elke Fimmen of the Schiller Institute addressed a seminar on "Human Rights in Yemen: Sanctions" on March 13th. The seminar was sponsored by the Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV) and jointly organized with INSAN for Human Rights and Peace.

The 1.5-hour seminar was chaired and moderated by Dr. Hassan Fartousi, researcher in international law at the University of Geneva. Speakers included human rights activists Mohammad Abo Taleb and Abdullah Alkebsi from INSAN, who showed the horrible effects of the illegal, Saudi coalition-imposed sanctions on the population, including the fact that it is impossible to seek medical care abroad, as the internal health system is being destroyed. Andrew Feinstein, executive director of Corruption Watch U.K., called for an end to the illegal arms supply by the U.K. (BAE, etc.) and the United States.

Elke Fimmen, who was introduced as representing the LaRouche mouvement in Germany, spoke about the genocidal and illegal sanctions, imposed on top of the original UN Resolution #2216 of 2015 for weapons embargo against a few individuals, which has been used as a pretext for a full war of aggression, and blockading airports such as Sana’a and the major ports like Houdeidah, through which food, fuel, medical and others crucial items are imported, on which Yemen is fully dependent. The guarantee of full humanitarian assistance and safety of individuals as demanded in the original UN resolution has been fully violated.

Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis have paid with their lives during the three-year war of aggression, led by Saudi-Arabia, the U.K. and U.S.A. and there will be complete catastrophe, if this is allowed to continue, as clearly stated in the January 2018 UN Humanitarian Response Plan on Yemen.

The report presents in shocking detail the deteriorating situation in all sectors, and concludes that the lack of basic goods, particular fuel by further blockade of commercial imports will result "in a crisis of dimensions that would be beyond the humanitarian community’s response capacity," if the ports cannot be opened for all imports. So, nobody can claim, he or she "didn’t know."

The sanctions, killing the Yemen population have become an integrated part of the military operations by the Saudi coalition and are used as tactic of warfare, with the use of hunger and epidemics. To deliberately destroy a people’s past, present and future, thus denying its existence in human history, fulfills the definition of genocide as the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Elke cited the November 2017 Schiller Institute Bad Soden resolution on Yemen, which had called for an immediate ceasefire, the lifting of the blockades, the return to the national reconciliation process and dialogue for a political solution (without interference by outside forces, but under the UN umbrella and with sponsorship of Russia, China and the United States as guarantors of its implementation); and most importantly, to assist Yemen in "a rapid and large scale reconstruction process focussed on infrastructure projects to regain the livelihood of the nation, and the integration of Yemen into the Belt and Road Initiative" to create a future.

The seminar was attended by around 40 participants and was transmitted live TV-stream to Yemen.

The same morning, another seminar had addressed the situation of journalists in Yemen, and reported that another effect of the blockade is that any foreign journalists, who had been invited to come to Yemen, cannot travel there and therefore report the truth of the ongoing genocide. On March 15, there will be another event on the Human Rights situation in Yemen, concluding three weeks of interventions in Geneva. A five-minute video clip of part of Fimmen’s speech is available, the other speeches held at the March 13 seminar and more material will be made available by the organizers soon.

Speech by Elke Fimmen of the Schiller Institute to Seminar on"Human Rights in Yemen: Sanctions," March 13, 2018

During the present UN Human Rights Council Session in Geneva, Elke Fimmen of the Schiller Institute addressed a seminar on "Human Rights in Yemen: Sanctions" on March 13th in Geneva. The seminar was sponsored by the Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV) and jointly organized with INSAN for Human Rights and Peace.

Geneva, March 13, 2018 — Seminar on "Human Rights in Yemen: Sanctions"

Elke Fimmen, Schiller Institute, Berlin:

Sanctions upon sanctions upon sanctions — Stop the Genocide against Yemen!

I want to thank the ODVV, Organization for Defending Victims of Violence, and INSAN for Human Rights and Peace, for organizing this important seminar to highlight the deadly sanctions against Yemen in order to stop them. My organization, The Schiller Institute raised the issue in a resolution of our Nov. 25-26, 2017 international conference in Bad Soden, Germany.

Our resolution called for "An immediate ceasefire by all parties" and "The lifting of the blockades imposed on the country, especially the port of Houdeidah and the Sanaa International Airport, allowing in immediate humanitarian aid."

The other two points in our resolution were:

3) The return to the national reconciliation process and dialogue that was underway but was interrupted by the find a political solution to the crisis in Yemen and

4) Assisting Yemen in a rapid and large-scale reconstruction process focussed on infrastructure projects to regain the livelihood of the nation, and the integration of Yemen into the Belt and Road Initiative.

Sanctions upon sanctions upon sanctions

What I want to point out here first, is that the sanctions are directed against Yemen on three increasingly devastating levels.

On the first level there are the original sanctions imposed on Yemen according to the UN Resolution #2216. These were very limited. Only five persons were pointed out in a weapons embargo. Leaving aside the political judgement about the resolution itself, the resolution as such would not have caused the big humanitarian crisis of today.

It also did not stop the weapons used for the war. These were already there.

But the main point here is, what the resolution #2216 says in paragraph 9. It

"Reaffirms, consistent with international humanitarian law, the need for all parties to ensure the safety of civilians, including those receiving assistance, as well as the need to ensure the security of humanitarian personnel and United Nations and its associated personnel,

"and urges all parties to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance, as well as rapid, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian actors to reach people in need of humanitarian assistance, including medical assistance;"

Instead, what we see in Yemen are widespread sanctions imposed on top of the UN arms embargo. To be absolutely clear, these are illegal sanctions directed against the population and their supply of food, medicines, machines, fuel and other necessities.

While the resolution does allow for inspections and seizures of arms in ships and airplanes destined to Yemen — this is however only "if the State concerned has information that provides reasonable grounds to believe the cargo contains items the supply, sale or transfer of which is prohibited by paragraph 14 of this resolution," i.e. "of arms and related material of all types."

To underscore the case here of illegal sanctions against the population, I want to point to the increased sanctions in November last year, especially against the Red Sea port Hodeidah, blocking the fuel imports finally. The decision came as a "retaliation" for the attack with Yemeni missiles against the airport of Riyadh.

Here we see clearly that the sanctions, killing the Yemeni civilian population, are made to be an integrated part of the military operations by the Saudi Coalition. This is an especially serious war crime as this decision blocked the fuel for water pumps for 8 million of the Yemenites, who are in the middle of a cholera and diphtheria epidemic and desperately need non-contaminated water to stop it.

Also, the plan by Saudi Arabia to supply Yemen with $1.5 billion of humanitarian aid, shows the use of the hunger and epidemics as a method of the warfare. The International Rescue Committee has pointed to this "Saudi ’aid’ plan as a war tactic." They speak about "a token gesture of humanitarian aid" that "severely threatens the humanitarian access, endangering the lives of millions more civilians."

This plan is to reduce the access to Yemen, through the Hodeida port, where 70-80 percent of Yemen imports are received, and instead to move 200 million tons/month of imports from there to other ports, not controlled by the Yemeni government, like Aden, where the shipments would need to pass 70 checkpoints to reach the capital Sanaa. This would tighten the blockade, not end it, as it is necessary to immediately end the humanitarian crisis.

The so-called UN sanctions have clearly been allowed an enormous mission-creep, to become a part of the warfare by the Saudi coalition, including both the U.S. and the U.K. The military resistance by the Yemeni army against the war of aggression has blocked the advance of the Saudi ground forces and their mercenaries including Al Qaida. The relentless Saudi bombing campaign has been to no avail, as air power cannot change the situation without ground forces.

What we see is a warfare tactic to break the Yemeni resistance with the method of hunger and epidemics using the UN arms embargo in the UN Resolution #2216 as a pretext.

Jamie McGoldrick, Humanitarian Coordinator, wrote in his foreword to the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen: "There is no alternative to commercial imports and a further reduction of fuel or stocks will accelerate needs and hardships across the country resulting in a complete catastrophe."

Third level of sanctions

But there is also a third level of sanctions on top of this. That is the sanction against the future. The three year war has killed Yemenies up to hundreds of thousands, destroyed families, homes, schools, infrastructure and has thrown the national development back decades of years. On top of that, Yemen has been blocked from jumping into the future, especially through participation in the giant New Silk Road project proposed by China, to build the world out of poverty. This would have meant that Yemen already now could have been on a path out of poverty and become a part of a future advanced society.

The war is part of a series of geopolitical wars instigated by the Anglo-American masters of Saudi Arabia, wars intended not only against the nations that are attacked, but to spread terrorism, war and destabilization throughout Asia. The aim of geopolitics is to block the global potential of economic and political development of especially Russia, China and India, to preserve the global domination of a bankrupt West. Instead of choosing to respond with war and terrorism, the West could have restarted its own economies peacefully, by joining the BRICS nations in participating in the century-project of the New Silk Road. Instead of this geopolitical war, Yemen could have been a part of the future, in a world alliance building a new paradigm of relations among sovereign nation states build on the Chinese principle of "win-win."

The Schiller Institute in an earlier conference in Berlin on June 25-26, 2016, in a Resolution for Yemen made the "solemn oath to fight for the extension of the New Silk Road for the reconstruction of Yemen, so that the lives of the many men, women and children, who have been murdered, will be honored in a Renaissance of Yemen, which also will reconstruct the beautiful ancient cities and architecture. Yemen must and will become a pearl among the nations of Southwest Asia and the world very soon!"

Stop the sanctions and the war

Drawing the conclusion of what I said so far, and considering the stark picture and warnings presented in the recently issued 2018 Yemen UN Humanitarian Response Plan, it is absolutely clear, that this war of aggression against Yemen, is an intended genocide, which has not only resulted in destroying a peoples’ heritage of the past and its present basis of existence, but also takes the future away from an entire people, thus denying its existence in human history. This is the definition of genocide, as defined by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

The UN 2018 Plan YRHP lays out in shocking detail, what is going to happen, if the current war of aggression is not stopped. Nobody can pretend, he or she did not know about it.

In the chapter Response Strategy, the UN, which is calling for funds to help 13.1 million Yemeni people with life-saving or protection assistance, lays out the situation and the perspective:

"Planning Assumptions":

While only an end to the conflict will lead to a gradual reduction in humanitarian needs across the country, there is currently no concrete indication that this scenario will materialize in 2018. The 2018 planning scenario anticipates that conflict will continue at a similar scale to 2017 and that the deterioration of economic, security and social conditions will accelerate.

*Humanitarian needs — Significant humanitarian needs will persist in all sectors due to ongoing conflict, insecurity, economic collapse and chronic under-development. An estimated 22.2 million people will require assistance in at least one sector in 2018, including 11,3 million people who will require immediate assistance to save or sustain their lives. A considerable gap will remain between the emergency requirements identified in the YHRP and the total needs of the entire country, and an increasing number of people in moderate need will fall into acute need.

*Public institutions: Fuel-shortage due to the current closure of and restrictions on ports continue to undermine weakened public-sector institutions and further accelerate their collapse. The ability of public-sector institutions to provide, maintain or restore basic services will further decrease if not diminish, requiring humanitarian partners to continue filling critical gaps, which is beyond their capacity and remit. The health, nutrition, education, food security and agriculture and WASH sectors will be particularly affected. Malnutrition and communicable disease outbreaks are likely to increase. Maternal, new born and child mortality and morbidity will increase due to failure to access emergency health care.

*Disease outbreaks : ... Preparedness and prevention activities for cholera are required, but may not be sufficient to prevent a third wave of cholera, especially if public water and sanitation services continue to deteriorate and the price of water continues to increase. Additionally a diphtheria outbreak is rapidly spreading...

Economic outlook: Already ailing before the escalation of the conflict, the Yemeni economy has contracted sharply before the conflict erupted and Yemen will face an extraordinary fiscal challenge in 2018, including an ongoing liquidity crisis....Shortages of forex reserves and a rapidly depreciating Yemeni Rial in 2017 will continue to translate into higher prices for almost all commodities, putting them increasingly out of reach of vulnerable populations...

Imports of critical supplies: Yemen relies on imports for approximately 90% of its staple food and nearly all fuel and medical supplies. The closure of the ports in November and December 2017 underlined the vulnerability of the country to disruption of imports. The 2018 HRP is based on the assumption that commercial imports, including fuel will remain possible. From a humanitarian perspective, there is no alternative to commercial imports, and a further reduction of fuel stocks will
accelerate needs and hardships across the country resulting in a complete catastrophe. Humanitarian partners will maintain high levels of advocacy to keep critical ports open to all imports.

Should these efforts fail, the lack of basic goods, particular fuel, will result in a crisis of dimensions that would be beyond the humanitarian community’s response capacity.

So it is absolutely clear, that present plans for humanitarian assistance will not suffice to deal with this horrifying situation, not to speak about what will happen, if the Saudi plans for further blocking crucial ports were to succeed.

The sanctions and the war of aggression have to be stopped, here and now.

It is therefore of utmost urgency to immediately return to the national reconciliation process and dialogue, interrupted by the war. As we said in our Bad Soden resolution, this should be conducted under the UN umbrella, but by only Yemeni national factions, without interference of regional and global powers. Russia, China and the United States should sponsor and be guarantors of the implementation of the final outcome of this dialogue. The international community must find now a political solution to the crisis in Yemen and create a future for the people of Yemen.

[All indications of emphasis, italics {} and boldface {{}}, are the author’s.]


UN Resolution #2216:

"The $1.5 Billion Campaign To Whitewash Genocide in Yemen," by Dan Glazebrook:

Report: "Extending the New Silk Road to West Asia and Africa," by Hussein Askary and Jason Ross, Schiller Institute, 2017,

Authors Hussein Askary and Jason Ross discuss their groundbreaking report:
- message-to-the-schiller-institute-conference-from-the-yemeni-advisory-office-for-coordination-with-the-brics/

Schiller Institute president Helga Zepp-LaRouche addresses diplomat seminar in Yemen:

Helga Zepp-LaRouche on J. Corbyn’s call to stop weapons trade with Saudi Arabia, in: March 6, 2018 weekly webcast,
- the-strategic-shift-inherent-in-putins-sputnik-shock/

UN-Report 2018 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan

Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide