Yemen: Why the world doesn’t care

The Houties, which is a terrorist group, is a misfortune for Yemen.

Hundreds of thousands of people have died.

Thousands of women are raped

84,700 children died of hunger or disease, according to the NGO Save The Children. Not counting all those who lost their lives in fighting or bombing.

Children are forcibly recruited to fight with the Houties.

The economy is a disaster

We are witnessing an ecological catastrophe

And yet the world says nothing

International organizations are silent

Women’s organizations do not speak out about the cases of thousands of women raped in Yemen.

Of course, there are meetings about Yemen,

Meetings with experts who talk for hours, but we see nothing on the ground.

On September 29th The Human Rights Council held an interactive dialogue with the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen. It also talking about its general debate on human rights bodies and mechanisms.

On October 15th the Security Council met and the surprise is great when we read  the final communication

For Mr. Martin Griffiths “the Yemeni sky saw the plane of hope this morning”.  Indeed, the parties have begun to release prisoners, following the agreement signed on September 27 in Switzerland, as part of the largest prisoner release operation in history.   More than a thousand prisoners have been returned to their relatives, although others are still detained.

Among other good news, payments to the Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen increased its funding level from 30 to 42 percent,

The UN officials made it clear that Yemen needs a national ceasefire and a joint statement, the text of which the Special Envoy continues to negotiate with the parties. “Your support has never been more important,” the Under-Secretary-General told  to  Council members.

The Council members concluded that the solution to the Yemeni crisis can only be “political,” through dialogue among Yemenis themselves, with the support of the international community and the United Nations,

In conclusion, the United Nations are debating, explaining the problem but not moving.

They remind me of a doctor who makes the diagnosis but does not treat the patient ….

Now let’s look at what’s happening with women

Hundreds of women were abducted by rebels and held in secret prisons. While the Houthis denied these claims, six women who fled to Egypt were able to explain what they had suffered.

As we all know, many women are raped by the Houthis, but few feminist organizations talk about it.

In the United States and Europe, women have organized demonstrations following the “Me too” movement but they are not interested in demonstrating for Yemeni women. The question is why this silence.

Is the rape of a Yemeni woman less important than the rape of a European or American woman?

So why such silence?

Why this diplomatic silence?

There are several reasons for that :

The passivity of the international community

The media action is very limited

Yemen does not have as much hydrocarbons as its neighbors.

The world does not know Yemen

The passivity of the international community is explained by the multiplication of conflicts in the world, which means that Yemen is drowned in the mass, with Syria and Iraq occupying most of the media attention.

Media action is very limited for three reasons. :

1) First the conflict is too complex to cover it

2) Even if journalists want to cover it, this is almost impossible because the country is currently “closed”.

3) Foreign Governments  with the exception of the British opposition, are not mobilizing for the Yemeni population. As a result, their inaction does not allow journalists to obtain visas and cover the conflict.

Yemen doesn’t have much hydrocarbons like its neighbors.

Three elements may explain why the world doesn’t know about Yemen

1) Geographic remoteness

2) No personalities to defend the Yemeni cause.

3) The Yemeni opposition is not united.

This third element is very important. There are many Yemeni refugee associations in Europe, in the United States and  in the Gulf countries but alone one association has no influence on Governments. So, when an association x goes to a Government it will speak on behalf of its association and that’s all.

This is why Yemeni associations must gather around an umbrella association.

This umbrella association will go to the Governments but on behalf of the whole civil society. At the same time, the members of this umbrella association will start to work on the future Yemen by creating commissions and working on subjects such as education, ecology, health, justice …..

It is a long work that will require each association to work with the others but with this umbrella association, the civil society will be able to propose to the international institutions and governments a real plan for a  future free and democratic Yemen.

About the Author
Eric Gozlan is Government Counselor and co-director of the international Council for diplomacy and dialogue. He works in civic diplomacy in the Middle East and in Africa. He has received numerous awards for peace and gives numerous lectures. He served in the IDF for several years.
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