"What Secretary Mattis didn't say about Yemen peace talks" - Islamic Relief USA

The following is an excerpt from an article posted in the in November 2018:   Yemen peace

Students attend a class at the teacher’s house, who turned it into a makeshift free school that hosts 700 students, in Taiz, Yemen Oct. 18, 2018.

“US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis made history Tuesday night. For the first time in the four-year history of Yemen’s civil war, a US official had set a deadline for peace negotiations.

“Thirty days from now, we want to see everybody around a peace table,” the secretary said. But the deadline could be as much distraction as diplomacy.

“I think a lot of people are looking at this call and placing it largely in the context of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and the need for the US to demonstrate that it’s applying pressure to the Saudis,” says Peter Salisbury, a senior consulting fellow at London’s Chatham House and a consultant to International Crisis Group.

After four years of civil war, much of Yemen’s infrastucture has been destroyed, its economy is in free fall, and many of its people do not have enough food to eat.

The effect can be seen in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, where fighting intensified in June this year. Forces allied with the exiled president of Yemen began to attack Houthi positions around Hodeidah in a campaign to take control of the seaport.

“Since the last five months, more than 700,000 people have evacuated from the city,” says Muhammed Zulqarnain Baloch, country director for Islamic Relief Worldwide in Yemen.

“Those who are still staying back in the town, they’re facing different challenges of safety and security. Every night there are airstrikes, heavy artillery gunfire and shelling. People are noticeably on edge, and the streets are completely empty by 7 at night. Most shops and hotels and restaurants are closed. Some markets are still functional, but the owners of those shops and markets are reluctant to restock because of the currency collapse.”

“Yemen need a ceasefire today – not tomorrow, next week or next month” – our CEO @NaserHaghamed responds to US calls for a ceasefire in 30 day. Contact +447760221890 to arrange an interview
— Islamic Relief (@IRWorldwide) October 31, 2018


Girls attend a class at their school, damaged by a recent Saudi-led air strike, in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, Yemen Oct. 24, 2017. Credit: Abduljabbar Zeyad/Reuters

Baloch says that because of uncontrolled inflation, most Yemenis can’t afford food and fuel. They turn to groups such as Islamic Relief and the World Food Program to meet basic needs.”


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