Somaliland:The Yemen crisis wears a human face and the international community must act on this reality

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9195790“The international community cannot afford to allow the Yemen crisis to continue” writes Wahome. Photo: NRC/Yemen

Appeal for international intervention

The crisis in Yemen is spiraling out of control. The on-going fighting has rendered general governance of Yemen impossible. With airports closed and ports occupied by armed forces, the supply chain into Yemen has grinded to a halt. Humanitarian agencies are struggling to have aid delivered to the affected people of Yemen. Local production is equally threatened. Most factories remain closed, and workers are afraid to venture out for work, fearing for their lives. The paradox is that the Yemen conflict is not a civil war or a revolution, as has been witnessed in other countries within the Middle East Region.

The international community cannot afford to allow the Yemen crisis to continue. The responsibility to ensure that an immediate ceasefire is secured and that warring parties are facilitated to arrive at solutions in a peaceful manner, of the Yemeni people cannot be evaded or postponed to another time.

The dynamics of the Yemen crisis touch on current efforts to realize sustainable peace, law and order at regional level. There are economic, social and political implications not only for the Middle East but equally for the Horn of Africa, which has long-term ties with Yemen. The effect on both regions will be devastating if collective action is not taken to avert further damage. Already, the Horn of Africa is dealing with large-scale crises with similar impact on the lives of the people. The crisis in South Sudan remains of epic proportions, as is the situation in Somalia. Yemenis are fleeing into any possible haven they consider safe and neighboring countries are already receiving refugees. These are fragile countries and having the Yemen crisis extended into their boundaries places a huge and demanding responsibility on those countries in terms of governance and provision of support for the refugees and returning migrants and refugees.

The Yemen crisis is not abstract. It has a face, that of suffering women, men and children, who already bear the biggest and most costly impact of the crisis. On the 8th of April, a woman gave birth while at sea, on a boat that ferried refugees to Somaliland. Human life was brought forth in the midst of crisis, in desperate conditions. The international community must be driven by such realities as it works at facilitating a solution. That the crisis has a human face should trigger the need to ensure that humanitarian access into Yemen cannot be compromised because it is a compromise on the lives of a people that are already vulnerable and with limited choices. NRC retaliates that the crisis must be mitigated now and that humanitarian aid must be facilitated to reach the Yemeni people.

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