Over four years of fighting, the civil war in Yemen has resulted in what has now been deemed, “the worst humanitarian crisis in the history of the world.” With millions of families displaced by fighting, and in desperate need of necessities and protection, the war of the politician is being paid for by the lives of their citizens.
Yemen’s history as the poorest nation in the Middle East has been wrought with violence and turbulence, unraveling itself over many years, primarily being ignited by the Arab Springs in 2011.
Volatility between the government and rebel militia has culminated in the bloodshed between the two main factions: the pro-government supporters of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and the anti-government group, known as the Houthis. Now, known as the “forgotten war,” the conflict in Yemen is a fight between the Saudi Arabia-backed coalition, and the Iranian-backed Houthis, that has provoked the “worst famine seen anywhere in the world for the last 100 years,” according to the United Nations.
Moreover, as the conflict enters its fourth year, over 22 million people are left despondent with little to no access to essentials like food, water, and healthcare.
Caught in between the two warring factions, not only are the Yemeni people unable to fend for themselves, but blockades and import restrictions by the Saudi Arabian coalition have further worsened the crisis in Yemen. Unreliable points of entry, coupled with the confiscation of supplies by military forces, have inhibited the distribution of essentials to those who need them the most.
Additionally, the Human Rights Watch reports that the imposition of restrictions and, the threat of kidnapping, detention, and death of aid workers continues to take the lives of civilians. According to Aljazeera, as of March 2018, the civil war in Yemen has seen its poverty level dip below 50 percent, 8 million people on the fringe of starvation, and over one million people suspected to have contracted cholera.
As both sides continue to use the seizure of necessities as weapons of warfare, the Yemeni people are left with little to no options for survival. The need for survival and protection has paved the road for Yemen to become the breeding ground for terrorism. Research conducted by the United Nations in late 2017, has estimated over 1,000 cases of children recruited for war, 10 percent of whom were under the age of 15. Furthermore, international intervention and counterterrorism efforts have further instigated the violence, resulting in the loss of innocent lives, as nations such as the United States continue to fund and execute attacks on terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. Withal, as more children are taken out of school, the war in Yemen is not only destroying the lives of its civilians now but is ensuring the fight for the nation continues to the next generation.
The bloodshed and hostility brought about by the war in Yemen showcase that the greatest threat to humanity is humans themselves. As the country is thrust more into a state of poverty, and powerful countries choose to turn a blind eye to the destruction in Yemen (despite their physical and financial role in adding to the carnage), the world is reminded of its cruelty. Should the violence continue as it has, Yemen may no longer have Yemeni people to rule.