Vigil in front of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia: “End the war in Yemen!”

Second anniversary of the Saudi military intervention (March 26) (Press Release)

The world does not care enough about the catastrophic situation of the civilian population in Yemen. Photo: Mercy Corps via Flickr

“End the war in Yemen – protect the civilian population!” This is the motto of an upcoming vigil (Friday, March 17, 2017) in front of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Berlin, Germany, organized by the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP). “On the occasion of the second anniversary of the Saudi military intervention in the neighboring Arab country Yemen on March 26, we would like to draw attention to the catastrophic situation of the civilian population, which the world does not seem to care enough about,” explained Dr. Kamal Sido, the STP’s Middle East consultant. “As a human rights organization that advocates for threatened ethnic and religious minorities, we would like to place special emphasis on the unbearable suffering of the minority group of the Al-Akhdam, who have been persecuted and discriminated against for ages.”

Due to the dark skin color of the Al-Akhdam, it is assumed that their ancestors came from Africa. They are fighting for their very survival, living from hand to mouth. They are trying to find shelter in makeshift shacks or in tents, which they are often forced to move somewhere else due to the ongoing air raids by the Saudi Air Force. “But even the poorest of the poor must not be forgotten or disadvantaged in comparison to other needy people when it comes to distributing aid supplies,” the STP stated. In a new 21-page memorandum, the human rights organization has compiled detail information about the situation of the forgotten minority group.

“Germany and the EU must put more pressure on the Sunni state of Saudi Arabia and demand an end to the air raids against the Huthi rebels in the neighboring country, which have now been going on for two years. At the same time, the government in Shiite-dominated Iran must stop providing military support for the rebels” demanded Sido. It is especially the Yemeni civilian population that is suffering from this proxy war. “Anyone who aims to reduce the number of refugees from the Middle East and from Yemen who try to reach Europe will have to work towards peace in the region.”

As the air war continues, Yemen is increasingly suffering from arbitrariness, lawlessness, and violence: about 21.2 million people – almost 85 percent of the population – are dependent on humanitarian aid. About 7.6 million people, including three million children and women, are malnourished, and epidemics such as cholera have already broken out. Moreover, since the beginning of the Saudi intervention in March 2015, between 4,000 and 10,000 civilians have lost their lives, and at least 10,000 were injured, among them at least 2,140 children. At least three million Yemenis are on the run. More than 2,000 schools were destroyed or severely damaged.

The vigil will be on Friday, March 17, 2017 from 11 am to 1 pm
in front of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Tiergartenstraße 33, 10785 Berlin, Germany

Header Photo: Mercy Corps via Flickr