On September 19, a group of Yemeni human rights activists and journalists met with Mr. Kamel Jendoubi, the head of the prominent experts tasked with investigating human rights violations in Yemen. The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 39th session of the UN human rights council in Geneva, and it aimed to discuss the council’s August report, which stirred wide controversy due to some mistakes in it and due to its ignoring of many of the violations which the Houthis are committing in Yemen.
I was one of the participants in this special meeting, which Jendoubi began with presenting the methodology adopted in preparing the report and the difficulties that the team confronted while visiting some areas that witnessed violations, as well as the obstacles which prevented the team from reaching other areas. The most significant thing that Jendoubi told us that day was that due to security threats, his team was prevented from reaching the Taiz governorate and other areas where the Houthis committed violations.
Such organizations clearly support the Houthis. Yemenis on social media networks and in their gatherings wonder why does this always repeat as every time the Yemeni national army gets close to liberating any governorate, international organizations rush from day one to issue statements warning of the dangerous humanitarian situationHamdan Alaly
During the peak of the conversation, my friend Mansour al-Shadadi – a human rights activist from Marib – asked Jendoubi: “Why didn’t you visit Marib governorate to look into the crimes which the Houthis are committing there? It’s a secure city and the Houthis had bombarded it with missiles.” Jendoubi replied saying his team was prevented from entering it due to the security situation there.
I told him that the American envoy and other ambassadors and journalists from European countries continuously visit it, and it’s safe. Jendoubi interrupted me saying: “This is the envoy of America, a superpower,” to which I replied: “And you represent the UN!” The conversation ended with him saying: “The UN’s safety and security team is the one that prevented (our) team from reaching these governorates for security reasons and (we) cannot violate this.” Hence the UN report lacked the most important, brutal and dark side of the Houthis’ violations.
On the same day, I met with Yemen's Deputy Human Rights Minister Nabil Abdul Hafiz and condemned the government’s lack of action – represented in its human rights and interior ministries – to secure the team’s visit to Taiz and Marib to look into the violations which the Houthis are committing there. Abdul Hafiz confirmed to me that the ministry repeatedly asked the team, both in written and oral requests, to go to Taiz and Marib and guaranteed it full protection but these demands were rejected. This is also what Yemen’s Minister of Human Rights Mohammed Askar confirmed to me later.
OPINION: How Houthi criminal violations are ‘covered up’ in Yemen
I recalled these details while reading news that a high-level delegation from international organizations, including UN organizations, risked itself to enter Hodeidah last Tuesday as armed confrontations were ongoing in different areas in and around the city.
A delegation headed by Executive Director of the World Food Program David Beasley (who runs operations in more than 90 countries), UN Humanitarian Coordinator Lise Grande and others risked their lives and entered Hodeidah as they heard the gunfire, explosions and the roar of guns and fighter jets! The aim was to suspend the operations to liberate Hodeidah and save the Houthi armed militias, which the UN views in its decisions as rebellious.
Before this huge contradiction, what can we the Yemenis understand? Such organizations clearly support the Houthis. Yemenis on social media networks and in their gatherings wonder why does this always repeat as every time the Yemeni national army gets close to liberating any governorate, international organizations rush from day one to issue statements warning of the dangerous humanitarian situation for the purpose of halting the liberation of these governorates?! These organizations keep silent when the Houthi militias commit violations against civilians.
It’s worth remembering that these international organizations kept silent when the heavily armed Houthis marched towards Sanaa and the rest of the governorates and they were even silent when the Houthis besieged Taiz and did not allow bringing in water, food and medicine resulting in the death of premature infants in hospitals because they lacked life-saving oxygen!
Everyone still remembers what happened on January 22, 2016 when the United Nations Department of Safety and Security risked the lives of seven of the UN organizations’ chiefs, including the former humanitarian coordinator, to enter Taiz and issue a shameful statement announcing there was no humanitarian siege on the city. After three and a half years, none of these organizations can today issue a statement or a report acknowledging there is a humanitarian siege on Taiz.
ALSO READ: When Israel kills Palestinians with impunity, why a ‘death penalty’ law?
The same applies to non-UN organizations. What makes a British “charity” organization that practices political activities and carries out funded and supported media campaigns in Europe and the US demand changing or amending UN Security Council Resolution 2216 which obligates the Houthis to hand over their weapons towards guaranteeing restoring the state and ending the war?
There is a huge amount of suspicious activities and shameful violations which some international organizations operating in Yemen are committing; hence confirming the political involvement and the scandalous exploitation of the humanitarian situation to obstruct any military efforts that seek to restore the state and liberate Yemen from the violence of the descent that claims that God granted it the right to enslave and control the Yemeni people.
The Yemenis now know your conspiracies and your harmonious efforts along with the orientations of some states that are keen on keeping the armed Houthi militia in the Arabian Peninsula to be a dagger in the Arabs’ waist… but this will be in vain!
This article is also available in Arabic.
Hamdan Alaly is a Yemeni writer and journalist.