YEMEN: What Does The Word Starvation Mean To You?

The Republic of Yemen is under siege, the people are starving to death, and they are running out of time.

By its very definition, starvation is a process. Our bodies are not like vehicles which promptly shut down when they are out of gasoline. Starvation is defined as a severe deficiency in caloric energy intake needed to maintain human life. It is the most extreme form of malnutrition. In humans, prolonged starvation can cause permanent organ damage and inevitably – death. 

What Does The Word Starvation Mean? The answer to this question lies in a series of evolved physiological and metabolic defenses that work to keep a person alive for as long as possible in the event they do not have access to food. Just because a person is starving does not mean they have become helpless. What follows is an explanation of how a person’s body fights to keep them alive and active.

When we experience prolonged low-energy intake and as long as water is available, our bodies enter into a series of metabolic modes. Basically, a person’s body is buying them some time to give them a chance to find some food. Despite the cause, starvation takes about the same course and consists of three phases. The events of the first two phases happen even during fairly short periods of dieting or fasting. The third phase happens only in prolonged starvation and will end in the person’s death.

The First Phase of Starvation:

  • During the first stage of starvation, blood glucose levels are maintained through the production of glucose from proteins, glycogen and fats.
  • At first, glycogen is broken down into glucose. Only enough glycogen; however, is stored in the person’s liver to last a few hours. After that period of time, blood glucose levels are maintained by the breakdown of fats and proteins.
  • Fats are decomposed into glycerol and fatty acids. Fatty acids can be used as a source of energy, particularly by skeletal muscle, thereby decreasing the use of glucose by tissues other than the brain.
  • Glycerol may be used to make a small amount of glucose. Some amino acids might be used directly for energy.

The Second Phase of Starvation:

  • In the second phase, which might last for several weeks, fats are the main energy source.
  • A person’s liver metabolizes fatty acids into ketone bodies that can be used as a source of energy.
  • After approximately a week without food, a person’s brain starts to use ketone bodies, as well as glucose, for sources of energy. Proteins not essential for survival are used first.

The Third Phase of Starvation:

  • The third phase of starvation starts when a person’s fat reserves are depleted and there is a switch to proteins as the major source of the person’s energy. Muscles, the largest source of protein in the body, are quickly depleted. At the end of this phase, proteins – essential for cellular functions, are broken down and cell function degenerates. Along with loss of weight, symptoms of starvation include:
    • Apathy
    • Withdrawal
    • Listlessness
    • Increased susceptibility to disease
  • Additional signs of starvation may include flaky skin, changes in hair color and massive edema in the lower limbs and abdomen, causing the person’s abdomen to seem bloated. During the process of starvation, the ability of the human body to consume volumes of food also decreases.
  • The process of starvation also results in dehydration and dehydration.

Few people die directly from starvation because they usually die of an infectious disease first.

Starvation and Death:

  • Starvation wreaks havoc on a person’s immune system, largely on account of an extreme deficiency of minerals and vitamins.
  • Some people will become weak and perish of immune-related diseases during starvation. Eventually, the person’s body will run out of options. Fats, glucose, muscle mass and tissue are finite resources that will eventually be spent and the person will die. The end-stage of starvation usually brings with it one of two different diseases – kwashiorkor and marasmus.
  • Marasmus happens due to extreme energy deficiency, often from inadequate amounts of calories and protein. The person’s body weight reaches dangerously low levels and infections are common. Kwashiorkor is a related disease that affects children who are protein-energy deficient and might result in edema and an enlarged and fatty liver, resulting in the distending of the children’s bellies, providing the illusion that children who are starving are well-fed.
  • When the person’s death finally arrives, its most immediate cause is by cardiac arrhythmia or a heart attack brought on by either extreme tissue degradation brought about by autophagy, or severe electrolyte imbalances. [01]

People can die of starvation in as little as three-weeks, or as long as seventy days.

Effects of Starvation:

Starvation affects many systems.  Most changes are completely reversible as weight is regained and these include psychological symptoms.

  1. Metabolic and endocrine effects: these are changes that are adaptive and are about trying to conserve body mass. Growth rate is slowed and puberty will be delayed. Physical activity is often initially reduced but there can be symptoms of hyperactivity in some. Cortisol and insulin secretion are both altered. Muscle starts to brake down to use as an energy source. As starvation precedes losses of electrolytes such as calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium occur. There will be marked loss of calcium from bones. Overall muscle, liver and gut all shrink very rapidly. Shrinkage in the gastrointestinal tract means feelings of fullness even after only little amounts of food are eaten. Later on kidneys and heart may also lose mass.
  2. Cardiovascular changes: with weight loss a patient can become bradycardic and arrhythmia’s are sometimes seen particularly where there is low potassium. Cardiac arrest occasionally occurs.
  3. Low Sodium, low Potassium and sometimes low levels of other elements such as calcium magnesium are sometimes seen.
  4. Skeletal changes: osteoporosis is frequently seen. Due to lack of calcium and vitamin D particularly. Low oestrogen levels also play a part. There can be growth retardation before full stature is reached. A milder form of bone thinning is osteopaenia. Fractures can occur as a result.
  5. Body temperature: cold intolerance and very low body temperature or hypothermia can occur.
  6. Haematological: anaemia can occur adding to weakness and tiredness. White cell counts are also impaired and immune deficiency states can result. Occasionally low platelet concentrations can lead to clotting problems.
  7. Dermatological: skin may become dry or discoloured. Excess hair growth on the face, arms and down the back is often seen..
  8. Renal, liver and pancreatic function: in advanced stages these three systems can all be impaired.
  9. Neuro-psychiatric: cognition is slowed, concentration is impaired and thinking becomes very restricted with states of depression and anxiety.
  10. Muscle changes: in advanced stages of starvation there can be severe muscle weakness.

Heart and Circulation:

  • With weight loss the heart rate slows below its normal rate of 60 to 70 beats per minute.  There are sometimes dangerous changes in the electrical activity of the heart as seen on a cardiogram.
  • Heart affects are more dangerous if there are also abnormalities in the body chemistry, particularly low potassium. The most serious consequence is cardiac arrest.
  • The blood pressure is low and this can be associated with fainting, especially with changes in posture.

Bones:

  • Bones become thin due to lack of nutrients particularly calcium and vitamin D.  Low oestrogen levels also play a part.
  • If starvation starts in adolescence before full stature is reached there can be growth retardation.
  • The milder form of bone thinning is called osteopaenia and the more severe state is osteoporosis. These conditions can lead to fractures after quite minor injuries.

Kidneys, Liver and Pancreas:

  • In advanced starvation there can be abnormalities in the function of all these organs.

Body Temperature:

  • Because of poor insulation when patients are underweight there is cold intolerance.
  • There is also poor circulation to the feet and hands which can cause a painful condition called Raynaud’s phenomenon.
  • Very low body temperature or hypothermia is potentially fatal.  It can cause further slowing of heart rate and abnormal contractions.

Blood Cells:

  • There can be reduced manufacture of haemoglobin, the oxygen carrying chemical in the red blood cells.  This is anaemia which causes weakness and tiredness.
  • Production of white blood cells is also impaired in anorexia nervosa and this will weaken the body’s defenses to infections.
  • The blood platelet concentrations may be low.  Platelets are important in the formation of clots and in rare cases there is the possibility of a bleeding tendency when the platelets are low.

Skin:

  • Skin may be dry or blotchy or have an unhealthy grey or yellow coloration. Sometimes, excess hair grows on the face, arms and down the back. This is a fine downy hair called lanugo.

Endocrine System:

  • In starvation states the ovaries and pituitary produce very low amounts of female sex hormones leading to loss of periods and infertility if not reversed. The equivalent hormone changes also occur in male patients.
  • There are also reduced levels of thyroid hormones. Blood cortisol, the stress hormone, can be high and this may contribute to thinning of the bones. [02]

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YEMEN: Interview With Founder of Mona Relief Humanitarian Aid

Mona Relief was founded by Yemeni journalist and activist, Fatik Al-Rodaini.

Question: Describe your background in Yemen. For example, do you have family there? Where are you from? What were you doing before the war began? How old are you?

Answer: I am Fatik Abdullah al-Rodaini, a Yemeni Journalist and humanitarian worker based in Yemen’s capital of Sana’a. I am a 40-year father of six kids and a husband to a great wife that helps me on all my projects. I have a whole family in Sanaa, a mother, sisters and brothers as well. I have a BA degree in mass media from the mass media faculty, Sanaa University.

I am the founder and CEO of Yemen organization for Humanitarian Relief and Development (MONA Relief). The organization was established in May 2015 as a Sanaa-based Non-governmental organization.

Before working as a humanitarian, I worked as a translator at the office of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi during 2014-2014. Prior to this job, I worked as the editor of the news website of late president Ali Abdullah Saleh at Yemen’s News Agency Saba during 2007-2012. I started to work with Saba in 1996.

Question:  How did you begin your relief efforts?

Mona Relief Delivering Lifesaving Food, clothing, blankets and medicine to villages dying under the siege of Saudi War on Yemen. (Photo: Mona Relief) alistairreignblog.com

Fatik: I started working as a humanitarian after the Saudi-led coalition launched a bombing campaign in Yemen in March 2015. I could not stay home or watching while my country was in need of all of us. When the humanitarian situation started to deteriorate because of ongoing war and blockade, I decided to do something to help affected people. My humanitarian work has been focused on saving lives of IDPs and most vulnerable people in Amanat Al-Asimah “Sanaa the capital”, Sanaa the governorate, Amran, Saada, Hodeida, Marib, Dhamar, Mahwit and Hajjah.

Question:  What do you do each day and week as part of MonaRelief? Where in Yemen do you work?

Fatik: I am the CEO of MonaRelief and have two main tasks, the office task is focused on daily and weekly communications with donors, international and local aid agencies and people that come to my office and ask for help. I also attend meetings of  the UN and international organizations to discuss the situation and coordinate activities in Yemen. Moreover, I network with local organizations and support individual aid initiatives.

Mona Relief Delivering Lifesaving Food, clothing, blankets and medicine to villages dying under the siege of Saudi War on Yemen. (Photo: Mona Relief) alistairreignblog.comThe field task: I am the leader of my field crews. I visit cities and areas to distribute and supervise the delivery of aid to the needy people. I also assess where, how, why and to whom aid must be given, besides supervising the performance of the field crews in order to guarantee everything is done in a good way.

You can find more information about our work on our website monareliefye.org; our twitter account @monarelief or @monareliefye; Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/monareliefarbaic, and Flickr http://www.flickr.com/monareliefyemen.

Question:  What is your mission with MonaRelief? What other organizations do you work with?

Fatik: My mission to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis and contribute to efforts aimed at serving my people.

Question: Is there a story from your work that stays with you? Why?

Fatik: Yes. The story of a mother and her eight blind sons and daughter who fled the unabated battles between the Saudi-backed forces and Houthi-Saleh forces in the Nihem district in the governorate of Sanaa. This mother and her blind kids fled to the capital where they had no supporter until our organization visited and started to help them. They traveled at night from a mountain to another until they arrived in the capital. The mother is the only supporter of her kids. The war was the worst nightmare to them. It destroyed their farm which they used to live on and the house they used to live in. The father is suffering from a mental illness. She is a great woman. She did not give up.

Question: How has the blockade affected your work? Are the goods that make it through actually helping people living in Yemen?

In order to educate people, schools and other facilities will have to be rebuilt. Now that Yemen is on the map, albeit for all the wrong reasons, help will be available when all the smoke is cleared. There are always temporary solutions and alternatives available, but they cannot go hand in hand with war and bad politics - in order to do that synergy is essential.

Fatik: The blockade has affected my work largely. It has been preventing my organization from receiving aid cargoes “mostly food, clothes and medicines” and financial aid sent by foreign donors. We have been unable to receive financial aid through our bank accounts because Yemen was sanctioned and money transfers into it suspended.

Question:  What do you want people outside of Yemen to know about life on the ground there? What is the international community getting wrong about Yemen?

Fatik: In a few words, foreigners need to know that Yemen is facing the world’s largest humanitarian crisis and that all basic services are on the brink of total collapse. People in Yemen are dying from hunger and disease outbreaks while people outside Yemen either do not know about us or are just watching.

Question: What can or should other countries do to help?

Fatik: Other countries must do their best to end the war here. This is the first thing every one should think about. Then other countries should mobilize efforts to contain the humanitarian catastrophe and disease outbreaks. Well, media in foreign countries should write more about Yemen professionally.

Question: You work in very difficult situations and with topics that are difficult, what keeps you motivated?

Fatik: My country and people need me. I want to keep the smile on children’s faces. I want to save lives of those who have lost their supporters and hope. I can do something for the needy people and this is what keeps me motivated.

Question: Where do you find hope? What does hope mean to you?

Fatik: I find hope in providing more support to those who need it. At the moment, hope is everything.

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Yemen: Saudi’s React To World’s Plea To End Attacks With Blatant Killing Spree

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) received 63 casualties in a hospital it supports in Hajjah, following a series of night-time airstrikes by the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition on a wedding party that took place in a remote, impoverished village in Bani Qays district in Yemen, on Sunday 22 April

The bombing was one of at least four deadly airstrikes reported in Yemen since the weekend.

On Saturday 21 April, at least 30 civilians were killed when coalition fighter jets bombed a bus carrying commuters in western Yemen, near the city of Taiz. An additional attack on Sunday night hit a house elsewhere in Hajja, killing an entire family of five, according to al-Nadhri.

On Thursday 25 April, a Saudi-led coalition airstrike killed the top civilian leader in the Houthi movement. Saleh Al-Sammad, president of the Supreme Political Council that runs Yemen’s capital of Sana’a, is also the second in command of the Houthi army. Al-Sammad is reported as the most senior official to be killed by the Western-backed alliance in the three-year-old war.

“Attacks on civilians are a serious violation of international humanitarian law. What happened in Bani Qays is appalling; among the 63 wounded our teams have treated, 13 are children.

These people arrived at the hospital in garlands traditionally worn to celebrate marriage. None were armed or arrived in military uniform,” said João Martins, MSF head of mission in Yemen.

The wounded were initially carried away from the scene by donkeys, as the only two cars in the village were damaged in the strikes. The first responders and two ambulances from the MSF-supported hospital eventually arrived in the village, but were severely delayed because the aircrafts circling overhead raised the spectre of more strikes.

I was inside the tent when I heard the airstrikes. After that I fell down and lost consciousness. When I woke up, I saw people running away from the tent. I had been inside with my brother and the groom is my friend. One of my cousins died in this attack,” said 12-year-old Kamal.

Darees, who had also attended the wedding, left 20 minutes before the attack. When he returned he was confronted with a chaotic scene and dismembered bodies on the ground, covered in blood.

Children, he said, were frantically searching for their parents.


Warning: This video shows a young boy clinging to the body of his dead father following the wedding bombing.

Some of the dead bodies were children. Children were playing outside while their parents attended the wedding inside the tent. That’s when the attack happened,” he said.

The injured had mainly lost limbs and suffered shrapnel wounds. At least three patients required amputation, including two brothers, who each lost a foot. By early morning, many residents of Hajjah had come to the hospital to donate blood. In two hours, 150 bags were collected to treat the wounded.

One woman arrived at the hospital in panic, searching for her son. He was attending the wedding and she doesn’t know what happened to him. Many other women and children in the village are traumatised and don’t know what happened to their loved ones,” said Sally Thomas, MSF project coordinator in Hajjah.

Warring parties to the conflict must respect the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution: it is prohibited to launch such attacks which may be expected to harm civilians. The rules of war have constantly been violated in Yemen. All warring parties must commit to protecting civilians, and all parties fueling the conflict by selling arms should uphold their responsibility to ensure that international laws established to protect civilians are respected,” Martins added. [01]

To date, the Saudi-led coalition has declined to comment on the strikes.

The footage of civilian casualties emerges following the United Nations plea to end the fighting, and the U.S. Senate grilling officials over lack of U.S. accountability for arming and refueling Saudi Coalition war planes, while the Saudis continue to blatantly disregard the rules of war, of human decency and human rights; including the Yemenis right to life, and self-governance as a sovereign nation.

The following video is first in a playlist of the most recent United Nations and U.S. Senate hearings regarding policy and humanitarian aid in the Republic of Yemen.

Apparently “The House Of Saud” prefers to act like violent and ignorant wild dogs with one primal instinct – to kill the weak and dominate the pack. 

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Complicit In War Crimes – Canada Is Failing The People of Yemen

The crisis in Yemen continues to worsen as the Saudi-led coalition forces and Houthi rebels blatantly disregard the damage being inflicted on innocent Yemeni civilians. Famine and disease have spread through the country unchecked, due in large part to a Saudi-imposed blockade on air and sea ports that has resulted in a desperate shortage of food, humanitarian aid, and medical supplies.

The United Nations has renewed demands for combatants to allow unconditional humanitarian access to all parts of the country.

Saudi-led coalition allies repeatedly have hindered the movement of aid and commercial goods to the population. Huthi/Saleh (forces in Taiz)… routinely interfere with the work of humanitarians, at times demanding the diversion of aid to themselves or denying aid workers access to populations in need. [01]

The human cost of the two-year-old conflict is horrific. At least 8,000 civilian deaths and 45,000 injuries were reported by the middle of 2017, though it is suspected that the real figures are much higher. A recent draft UN report alleges that the Saudi coalition was responsible for more than 680 child casualties in 2016.

A devastating cholera outbreak, the most recent consequence of the fighting, has thus far afflicted over 500,000 people and resulted in almost 2,000 deaths. This outbreak is being exacerbated, and potentially even strategically exploited, by the coalition forces.  Meanwhile, 17 million people are experiencing food insecurity and nearly 15 million lack access to basic healthcare services.

The innocent people of Yemen are trapped within a complex network of different national, regional and international competing vested interests, resulting in violent and deadly outcomes for which they alone suffer. Only bold leadership from the players in this conflict, both home and abroad, can (end the total ambivalence to human tragedy) – indeed it is their moral, and legal, responsibility to do so. [02]

As the situation deteriorates, an effective international response is desperately needed.

To date, there has been a widespread failure on the part of the international community to substantively address the crisis, which is unfolding in plain view and in which combatants are demonstrably violating the rules of international law. Indiscriminate air strikes, imprecise weapons used in residential areas, and the use of cluster munitions are but a few of the atrocities being perpetrated on both sides of the conflict. Significant pressure needs to be put on Saudi Arabia to de-escalate the situation and bring an end to civilian suffering.

The UN Security Council should take prompt action to rejuvenate the political track by passing a long-overdue new resolution under its mandatory Chapter VII authority demanding an immediate ceasefire, unfettered humanitarian access and a return to talks based on the existing UN road map, which requires compromises from both sides.

In such a context of lawlessness and abuse, there is an urgent need for truth, accountability and justice for victims of the conflict.

Given the apparent inadequacies of Saudi Arabia and Yemen-led investigations to date, Amnesty International believes the only way to achieve this is through the establishment of a UN-led independent international investigation to look into alleged violations by all parties. [03]

It is in this context that we must once again highlight the unconscionable decision by the Canadian government to continue moving forward with the $15 billion Saudi arms deal.

Simply put, Canada cannot export weapons to Saudi Arabia without being complicit in the gross violations of human rights being perpetrated by Saudi forces. In addition to Canada taking a more active diplomatic role in resolving the Yemen conflict, it is absolutely critical that this arms deal is cancelled and that Bill-C47 ensures an acceptably high standard for Canadian arms exports moving forward. [04]

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YEMEN: Urgent Aid Needed As Cholera Outbreak Kills Thousands

Before the Saudi-led coalition war on Yemen in March 2015, the country was already a protracted crisis characterized by widespread poverty, conflict, poor governance and weak rule of law.

Today, and after almost 27 months of the war on Yemen, the economy is near collapse, public and private services have all but disappeared, and Yemenis have lost most of their livelihoods and depleted most of their saving.

All photos in this video were taken by Mona Relief volunteers.

The war in Yemen has devastated the lives of millions of people in all different sectors and a result of the war health sector was affected badly as the other sectors in the country. According to the UN statistics regarding the health sector there is nearly half of all health facilities are non-functional – An estimated 14.8 million people lack access to basic healthcare, including 8.8 million living in severely under-served areas. Medicine and medical supplies and materials are in chronically short supply.

Not only that but also infectious diseases started appearing everywhere in the country, We have noticed lately that cholera epidemic starting spreading very fast in the country, deteriorating the lives of millions of Yemenis, who started suffering due to the lack of health services in the their country.

The war in Yemen has devastated the lives of millions of people in all different sectors and a result of the war health sector was affected badly as the other sectors in the country. According to the UN statistics regarding the health sector there is nearly half of all health facilities are non-functional - An estimated 14.8 million people lack access to basic healthcare, including 8.8 million living in severely under-served areas. Medicine and medical supplies and materials are in chronically short supply.
Click on photo to donate on Mona Relief Fundraising campaign.

Cholera outbreak for first time was confirmed in Yemen in October 2016 in the capital Sana’a but in May 2017 new cases were being diagnosed at a rate three times higher than the initial estimates.

The Cholera outbreak was spreading, with almost one person an hour dying from the water-borne infection according to World Health Organization (WHO) – and a quarter of the dead so far are children along with 5000 new diagnoses a day.

Not only that but also infectious diseases started appearing everywhere in the country, We have noticed lately that cholera epidemic starting spreading very fast in the country, deteriorating the lives of millions of Yemenis, who started suffering due to the lack of health services in the their country.

Now the number of acute watery diarrhea (AWD) suspected cholera cases has increased dramatically, and the Cholera outbreak expanded to 22  out of 23 governorates.

According to Yemen Health Ministry’s report about the cholera situation in Yemen from April 27 to July 6, 2017, the total number of suspected cholera cases is 291,554, and half of the sick are children.

According to Yemen Health Ministry’s report about the cholera situation in Yemen from April 27 to July 6, 2017, the total number of suspected cholera cases is 291,554, and half of the sick are children.

The number of deaths is 1678 that have been reported in 95.6% (22 / 23) of Yemen governorates and 86.5% (288/333) of the districts.

According to WHO the total number of confirmed cases of cholera is 391. The four most affected  governorates in Yemen are Amanat al-Asimah, Hodeidah, Hajjeh and Amran with 47.4% of reported cases.

The situation is extremely serious as the epidemic threatens almost all Yemeni people if the international community continues to ignore that Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

 You can also watch the narrated version of this of this report on Mona Relief’s YouTube Channel.

By Fatik al-Rodaini, Mona Relief founder.

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Yemen: The Trip To Hell On Earth – By Founder Of Mona Relief

Our humanitarian NGO Mona Relief planned a short trip to Hareeb al-Qaramish district in Marib Governorate, where 10,710 people (including 6,426 children) live. The purpose of the trip was to conduct a survey to assess what relief aid the people there would need. Located in eastern Yemen, Hareeb al-Qaramish district is 72 Kilometers from the capital Sana’a.

The situation there is horrifying beyond description. We noted on this trip that more than 200 people are in dire need of basic amenities.

Intense battles are being fought in the district itself between the two opposing sides in Yemen. Due to the conflict there, hundreds of families have been forced to flee from the luxury of their homes to caves in the countryside, to save their families from being caught under the crossfire from both the warring sides.

During our visit to the district, we met many families living in the same situation because they have no other options. They had the choice to live in the caves without any amenities or die in a crossfire of bombings and get buried in the rubble of their houses.

Abdul Qader, a father of eight children told us about his daily sufferings in the cave that he along with his family chose to move to for safety.

Ten months ago, I came to this place leaving behind my own house after it was hit by a mortar shell and half of my house was destroyed” he said. He added, “Thank God! I still alive and none of my family’s members were injured.’’

Looking for a suitable place to live in is hard especially when destiny puts your life at risk and you are left with no choices,’’ Saleh commented. He is a farmer and used to live near the al-Saleb mountain, where clashes are going on presently. He has two wives and twelve children. Now he lives with them in a cave that lack any basic amenities.

Abdul al-Qader and Saleh chose to live close by in the same area to be able to come to the aid each others families in the case of attacks by wild animals at night.Every single night since the past 10 months, I keep awake at night alert for any movement of wild animals nearby to ’’ Saleh mentioned.

Not only the wild animals, but I also have to be careful about poisonous snakes,’’ he added. “Once my little boy, Ahmed was about to be bit by a poisonous snake but thank God who saved his life and we killed the snake in time.’’

Not only is the environment cruel but also the cruelty of the human being themselves that they are treating by. Inside their caves nothing is available- neither food, nor water, nor  clothes, blankets, nothing!  But they have only have hope, the hope to return to their houses sooner or later after the war ends but when no one can predict.

During our visit, I entered the cave of Abdul Qader trying to find some food in his new house, I mean cave. But I couldn’t find any. When I asked him how do you get the food for your family, his answer shocked me.

Don’t say me how, as you see yourself. We have no food, we are just trying to stay alive by eating one meal every two days.’’ He added, “The helpful neighbours, provide us some food from time to time and we stock it up to use in the coming days.’’

Due to the ongoing war in that area, no one dares to travel to that area and hardly any of the local and international NGOs are able to reach out to people there to save them from starvation and diseases.

Hareeb al-Qaramish district in Marib Governorate.

I had seen a truck loading wheat while on the road to Hareeb al-Qaramish months ago. It was rumored to have been hit by an airstrike during its trip to the area. I didn’t believe it then but I later saw broken parts of the a truck myself. While on our way back to Sana’a, fighter jets of the Saudi-coalition hit a vehicle on the road but thank God we weren’t hit.

Upon arrival in Sana’a along with Mona Relief’s crew, I received a call from well wishers in Hareeb al-Qaramish inquiring if we are safe because they heard news that a fighter jet bombed a car en-route to Sana’a, and that they were worried that the car is ours. I reassured them that we are safe.

These are my personal experiences from my short trip with my crew at Mona Relief from Sana’a to Hareeb al-Qaramish.

Video of the interaction (in Arabic) with these two families:

This article is written by Mona Relief founder, Mr. Fatik Al-Rodaini.

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YEMEN: Genocide By Starvation – Even Russia Calls A Spade A Spade!

Spokesperson Maria Zakharova.

On the 13th of this month, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova spoke out on the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, while pointing out that Western apathy and U.S. involvement in Yemen is an hypocrisy of both their values and accusations of war crimes in Aleppo – when they are killing civilians and bombing hospitals in Northern Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

I have to agree with her. The following is her press release. 

Once again, we must return to the humanitarian situation in Yemen. The situation there has become even more catastrophic following the latest escalation in combat. These alarming conclusions have been  backed up at the briefing by United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’ Brien at the UN Security Council on March 10. He painted a shocking picture of the state of affairs, characterising Yemen as the “largest humanitarian crisis in the world.

Combat between the sides of the conflict in Yemen, with direct involvement by the Saudi-led coalition,

  • have already killed at least 7,500 people since March 2015, according to the most conservative estimates,
  • with more than 40,000 wounded.
  • Around 19 million people are in need of humanitarian aid.
  • More than 7 million people, mostly children, are malnourished.
  • Two million Yemenis have been internally displaced, 62,000 of them in just the last six weeks.
  • Many of these people are unable to find shelter and are living in the open.
  • This does not include the tens of thousands of refugees.
  • More than 48,000 people from the coastal town of Mocha have fled in just the last two months since coalition forces began their offensive.   

Coalition aircraft caused another bloody episode when, on March 10, they were reported to have bombed a market in the town of Khokha, killing dozens and wounding dozens more.

Plans to launch an offensive against Yemen’s biggest port, Hodeida, are especially worrying. Combat in this region will not only cause mass flight of the population, but will essentially cut the capital, Sana’a, off from food and humanitarian aid supply routes. There is no need to say what disastrous consequences this would have.

Airstrikes continue causing tremendous damage to Yemen’s civilian infrastructure. Schools, hospitals and transport facilities have been destroyed.  Arbitrary air blockades and obstacles to shipping make it extremely difficult to get food and fuel supplies into the country. Medicines are in acutely short supply, which means that many Yemenis are dying of what are curable diseases today. The north of the country is in a catastrophic situation, with no cash supply. Public sector workers have not been paid in more than six months.

Terrorists from ISIS and Al-Qaeda are capitalising on this chaos, bolstering their strongholds in Yemen, mostly in the south of the country, and even further complicating the humanitarian situation.

But Western media and NGOs pay little attention to this situation, and indeed pass it over in silence. The West shows no interest in it within its various international forums, in strong contrast to its hyper-active position on Syria. 

The Russian Embassy in Sana’a is making active efforts to facilitate the work of the UN humanitarian team in Yemen, headed by Jamie McGoldrick. It was with our effort that a secretariat was set up to ensure coordination between the UN personnel and the de-facto authorities in the capital, above all in the interests of ensuring the population’s unhindered access to humanitarian aid.

We call for an immediate cessation of all use of force, no matter the justifications for combat. It is our firm belief that the Yemeni conflict cannot be resolved by military means. The parties must return to the negotiating table, with the aid of UN Special Envoy Ismail Ahmed, with the aim of reaching a lasting ceasefire and finding a political solution to the conflict. [01]

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Yemen: Our Children Are Suffering Under Saudi Arabia’s Cruelty

Yemeni children are suffering.

The war destroyed anachronisms, and every corner of Yemen by ferocious and barbarity indiscriminate air strikes that has killed everything. The war has destroyed the beauty of monuments, civilizations, schools, hospitals and mosques. That wasn't enough for them, so they did an economic unjust air, land, and sea siege, and obstruction of commercial movement.

The war destroyed anachronisms, and every corner of Yemen by ferocious and barbarity indiscriminate air strikes that has killed everything.
The war has destroyed the beauty of monuments, civilizations, schools, hospitals and mosques.
That wasn’t enough for them, so they did an economic unjust air, land, and sea siege, and obstruction of commercial movement.
They prevented convoys of medical aids.
They shut down airports to prevent migrants, and travel for medical treatment.
It is a psychological war by deployment of discord between the sons of the same homeland to disrupt the national Yemeni unit.
The Saudi attack on Yemen broke the whole human and war rights – without mercy – the attack broke all boundaries of religions, humanitarian laws, and international norms.
The war destroyed, killed, displace people, created famine, and broke the people’s right to life.
With a savage, dead heart!!

They didn’t care about the childhood.
They didn’t care about the innocent children.
The whole world knows these crimes.
The world knows about the blood-root massacres.
Our children now are homeless – without out any hope that they used to have before.
They have no houses anymore, and look for somewhere to live in.
The children’s situation is really tragic, and breaks our hearts.
The streets are their houses now.
They try to find food – with naked bodies in this hoarfrost.
You may find them searching for firewood to get warmth, or you might see them carrying receptacles to get some water from far distances.
They live in destruction, while the other children in the world live happily !!

Curable diseases threaten their lives, especially with the inability to have treatment.
Some kids waiting in dialysis and chemical therapy queues die before the remedy.
Many kids get injured by bombs.
There are those who lost their families.
It’s hard for a little kid to live in such world without home, family or care.
You can see the calamitous in their eyes.
You find them carrying out worries by themselves.
It’s really big humanitarian calamity !!

They need psychological and incorporeal support, subvention, and health care.
It’s the whole world’s duty to face this situation in order to stop our children’s suffering.
The enemy continues the crimes – since no one opposes.
We have to deal with this wretched situation that our children live in.
We have to stop their suffering.
We all know that they are pure, white hearts  – try to reset children’s smile, and to medicate the deep hurt that still bleeds.
It’s a bad situation for innocent childhood !!

The Peace will return in my country Yemen.
We will hear, and see blissfulness in every corners of Yemen.
With victory close, with god willing, we believe on god to cease our misery, and to stop this savagery attack.
We will overcome all obstacles, because God is with us.
God will never disheartens us – for he is merciful.
YEMEN – the country of Faith AND Wisdom – will win !!

Written by a civilian living inside war-torn Sana’a, Yemen, and a volunteer at Your Ability Organization.

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KSA: Saudi “So-Called” Royals Are Still Killing Yemen’s Children

And now - a country with more than 10,000 people killed in the ensuing violence, over 10,000 more died of starvation under the blockade of humanitarian aid and supplies - the Middle East’s poorest nation, Yemen is reduced to the brink of famine.
Click photo to enlarge. (Photo Credit: Yemen Post Newspaper @yemenpostnews)

This report takes a look at how 20 months of the Saudi-led airstrikes, relentlessly bombing Yemen, has reduced a country to rubble, and forever destroyed the lives of the people who survive these deadly airstrikes on civilians.

The attacking Saudi-coalition has been fighting to restore Saudi-backed President Mansour Hadi to power since March of last year, after the Houthi gained control of their county’s capital Sana’a, and Hadi fled to Saudi Arabia, where he remains in exile.

And now – a country with more than 10,000 people killed in the ensuing violence, over 10,000 more died of starvation under the blockade of humanitarian aid and supplies –  the Middle East’s poorest nation, Yemen is reduced to the brink of famine.

Over 7.4 million children are suffering the brunt of the conflict in myriad ways; including chronic diseases. malnutrition, loss of home and parents, loss of education; then there is resulting infliction’s of trauma caused by the violence thrust upon them at such a young age; and tens of thousands more maimed and disabled for life – in a country with no means to care for them. Adding to their hardship are the groups recruiting children to fight as soldiers.

Over 7.4 million children are suffering the brunt of the conflict in myriad ways; including chronic malnutrition, loss of home and parents, loss of education; then there is resulting infliction's of trauma caused by the violence thrust upon them at such a young age; and tens of thousands more maimed and disabled for life - in a country with no means to care for them. Adding to their hardship are the groups recruiting children to fight as soldiers.
Click photo to enlarge. (Photo Credit: Yemen Post Newspaper @yemenpostnews)

Human rights groups have accused the Saudi-led coalition of indiscriminately bombing civilians and systematically committing human rights violations, which Riyadh has denied. To no avail, activists and lawmakers have urged the United States and other Western countries to stop supplying fighter jets, bombs and other weaponry to Saudi Arabia.

Last month the world temporarily expressed outrage at the Saudi's when over one hundred and forty (140) men, women and children were killed, and at least 525 others injured, some critically, and according to several reports, the death toll has risen, after their air force targeted a funeral hall in Sana'a.
Click photo to enlarge. (Photo Credit: Yemen Post Newspaper @yemenpostnews)

Last month the world temporarily expressed outrage at the Saudi’s when over one hundred and forty (140) men, women and children were killed, and at least 525 others injured, some critically, and according to several reports, the death toll has risen, after their air force targeted a funeral hall in Sana’a. Watch our report.

ITV News was at the scene and shown remnants of a bomb, which a Yemeni military official has claimed was from a US-made Mark 82.

The Yemen government claimed the Saudi-led coalition had dropped rockets on mourners who had gathered to honour the father of the government's interior minister, who died on Friday - but the coalition air command initially denied any involvement. In his report, Paul Tyson said "important tribal leaders" were reportedly among the dead and injured. Since then the Saudis have released a statement claiming it was the actions of one person - who will "fall on his sword".
Click photo to enlarge. (Photo Credit: Yemen Post Newspaper @yemenpostnews)

Senior News Editor Paul Tyson, who is also in Sana’a, said a morgue attendant told him they have “no room for bodies“, and that he saw body parts being removed from the ruins of the funeral hall.

The Yemen government claimed the Saudi-led coalition had dropped rockets on mourners who had gathered to honour the father of the government’s interior minister, who died on Friday – but the coalition air command initially denied any involvement. In his report, Paul Tyson said “important tribal leaders” were reportedly among the dead and injured.

Since then the Saudis have released a statement claiming it was the actions of one person – who will “fall on his sword“.

Human rights groups have requested an independent investigation be carried out, but the Saudi Royals have refused.

The U.S. said it will review its support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, said a U.S. National Security Council spokesperson.

US security cooperation with Saudi Arabia is not a blank check,” said NSC spokesman Ned Price in a statement. “In light of this and other recent incidents, we have initiated an immediate review of our already significantly reduced support to the Saudi-led Coalition.”

About sixty-percent (60%) of the children killed in Yemen since March 15, 2015, were the victims of airstrikes. So I ask again, how many more dead children will it take to put the Saudi Royals back on the United Nations’ Blacklist for killing children?

Back in June of this year - the same day UN Nations informed the Saudi's they had been placed on a blacklist for maiming and killing children in Yemen - ten children were killed, and 28 more children were injured in a Saudi-coalition airstrike that targeted a school.
Click photo to enlarge. (Photo Credit: Yemen Post Newspaper @yemenpostnews)

Back in June of this year – the same day UN Nations informed the Saudi’s they had been placed on a blacklist for maiming and killing children in Yemen – ten children were killed, and 28 more children were injured in a Saudi-coalition airstrike that targeted a school. 

The children were taking exams inside their classrooms in Haydan, an enclave of the city of Saada. Gruesome images of their burnt and dismembered bodies immediately emerged on social-media sites. [01]

It is yet to be seen if the U.S. will proceed with its sale of $1.5 billion more in weapons and military advisory support to Saudi Arabia.

The conflict began early last year, when President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi resigned and fled to the southern city of Aden after Houthi consolidated their hold on Sana'a. So the Saudis and their allies decided to attack Yemen and restore their choice for Yemen's president - Hadi to power.
Click photo to enlarge. (Photo Credit: Yemen Post Newspaper @yemenpostnews)

Yet, even in light of such an unthinkable act of violence toward children, when the Saudi Royals threw a temper tantrum and threatened to withdraw critical funding from UN programs – the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon released a statement saying he had remove them from the blacklist after “undue pressure.”

The conflict began early last year, when President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi resigned and fled to the southern city of Aden after Houthi consolidated their hold on Sana’a. So the Saudis and their allies decided to attack Yemen and restore their choice for Yemen’s president – Hadi to power.

The Houthis are currently fighting for the return of their former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh. The Saudi invasion of Yemen - under the pretense of restoring their government, and fighting terrorists - it is a despicable hoax, and in my opinion, the Saudi "Royals" are reprehensible beasts who have no place in decent society.
May 10, 2015: Former Yemen president Ali Abdullah Saleh addresses the nation from the ruins of his home. (Photo: The Telegraph).

The Houthis are currently fighting for the return of their former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The Saudi invasion of Yemen – under the pretense of restoring their government, and fighting terrorists – it is a despicable hoax, and in my opinion, the Saudi “Royals” are reprehensible beasts who have no place in decent society.

According to The Telegraph, “Army units still loyal to Mr Saleh have backed the Houthi offensive after Mr Saleh switched sides and turned on the internationally recognised Saudi-backed government that replaced him three years ago.” [02]

However, former president Saleh remains a powerful presence in his country, and maintains military and political muscle.

As for the Saudis, they have revealed their deep disregard for international law and human life, and their disrespect towards the United Nations, and like wolves in sheep’s clothing, they are devouring anyone in their path to satisfy their instinct to dominate.

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CDN: Now Second Largest Exporter Of Weapons Used Against Civilians

Does this look like a jeep to you?

Does this look like a jeep to you?

Even on the rugged, back roads of Canada – THAT is NOT a JEEP! Back in 2014, the Harper government shook hands on a $15-billion deal to sell, what Trudeau later referred to as “lightly armed jeeps,” to Saudi Arabia. However, Ken Epps of Project Ploughshares, an anti-war group that tracks arms sales, said the LAV weaponry shows how lethal this Canadian deal really is.

Videos, dated from 2012 and 2015, show Saudi authorities using LAVs (not Canadian-made) against Shia citizens in the “Wahhabi-State of Arabia“.

A still image from a video supplied by Saudi human-rights activists shows armoured vehicles being used against Shia Muslim dissidents. The footage casts doubt on Ottawa’s assurances that the delivery of Canadian-made LAVs would not endanger Saudi civilians. (European-Saudi Organisation for Human Rights)
A still image from a video supplied by Saudi human-rights activists shows armoured vehicles being used against Shia Muslim dissidents. The footage casts doubt on Ottawa’s assurances that the delivery of Canadian-made LAVs would not endanger Saudi civilians. (Credit: European-Saudi Organisation for Human Rights).

Such vehicles, far from simple troop carriers, are capable of major destruction, and given the ongoing deplorable human rights situation in Saudi Arabia, there is great risk that they will be used against civilians opposed to the Saudi government. This is why the new Canadian government should be reconsidering the Saudi contract,” Mr. Epps said.

During the 2015 election campaign, Mr. Trudeau played down the strategic nature of the sale, saying General Dynamics was merely exporting jeeps. Mr. Trudeau went on to characterize the sale as a private contract involving a manufacturing company – omitting Ottawa’s crucial role.

The gun subcontract is at the heart of growing controversy in Belgium, where critics are questioning the wisdom of selling weapons to Saudi Arabia – and citing the CMI-General Dynamics deal.

Many NGO groups are concerned the Saudis will use them to not only crush “dissent” at home, but use them against civilians in Yemen. In which case – would put Canada in violation of its own arms-trading rulesand in light of recent events in Yemen, possibly international law governing export of weapons to countries committing war crimes.

5.2 Billion Dollars. trudeau turns into dr evil
15 Billion Dollars…

Regardless of worldwide outrage of the reprehensible Saudi war crimes against women and children in Yemen, and innumerable human rights crimes against their own citizens – the Trudeau government has approved the export permits for the lethal vehicles anyway.

And from where I am sitting, it looks as though the Liberals had every intention of giving this Saudi weapons deal the government’s stamp of approval even before they won the election, evident by the vote MP Dion gave before he was given the job of actually signing the export papers – which he did – shortly after the Liberals moved into the Parliament building.

 Minister of Foreign Affairs - Stéphane Maurice Dion PC MP
Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs – Stéphane Maurice Dion, PC, MP.

Although the number of vehicles included is blacked-out, according to The Globe and Mail a French municipal official has said the transaction CMI, a subcontractor, is involved with concerns about 700 vehicles.

What do the Saudis get from this deal?

Canada's Upgraded Light Armoured Vehicle.
Unveiling of Canada’s Upgraded Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV).

Some information has leaked out in Belgium, where one broadcast journalist called CMI’s work for the Canadian maker of armoured vehicles the “contract of the century” for the firm, which is based in Seraing, Belgium. Local media say it would be worth €3.2-billion ($4.9-billion) and last more than 15 years.

In 2015, CMI announced it had bought a military base in northeastern France to be transformed into a campus to train the Saudis on the LAV weaponry.

The Globe and Mail report continued by saying: CMI, which manufactures turrets and cannons, announced in 2014 that it had signed a large contract with a “Canadian vehicle manufacturer” to supply two gun systems, including a medium-caliber weapon and the Cockerill CT-CV 105 HP, which it advertises as a “high-pressure gun with an advanced autoloader to deliver high lethality at very light weight,” one with the capacity to fire 105-mm shells and a heavy-armour-penetrating missile. CMI did not name the Canadian company.

In France, where CMI’s campus is located, a local municipal official said CMI is doing work for General Dynamics and its armoured vehicle contract with Saudi Arabia. In an interview, Jean-Philippe Vautrin, president of the Communauté de Communes du pays de Commercy, said CMI will start training the Saudis on the turrets and cannons in 2017, using simulators on the campus site but also a nearby artillery range.

He said the Saudis will learn how to operate the wheeled portion of the LAVs on Canadian soil. [01]

Do the Saudis have the vehicles yet?

General Dynamics is still gathering the materials needed to make the vehicles, but export permits were issued in April, 2016, for an unspecified number of them, according to a secret Global Affairs Canada memo released by the Justice Department.

What could the Saudis possibly need 700 armed tanks for?

Attacks on Saudi civilians – even reasonable doubt that the Saudis would use the LAVs for purposes not stated in their military statement, and if those other purposes include crimes against their own citizens – should have raised red flags under Canada’s weapons export rules – which forbid weapons shipments “unless it can be demonstrated there is no reasonable risk that the goods might be used against the civilian population” by the buyer.

And what about the attacks on Yemeni civilians and the use of internationally banned cluster bombs?

Saudi war crimes – go far beyond casting a serious, reasonable doubt – when reliable reports give evidence of 10,000 Yemeni civilians killed in Saudi airstrikes in just over one year, and over half the dead were children; and another 10,000 children have suffered an excruciating death by starvation, due to the Saudi military-enforced block on food, medicine and humanitarian aid, and those numbers rise exponentially every day.

SERIOUSLY?

How many DEAD CHILDREN will it take to declare Saudi Royals’ egotistical and violent bombing of Yemeni civilians exactly what it is – a GENOCIDE.

American Weapon Sales.

The U.S. is responsible for nearly 33% of worldwide exports – by far the top arms exporter on the planet – but which countries does the U.S. sell the most weapons to?

Saudi Arabia was the top recipient of American-made arms from 2011-2015, followed closely by the United Arab Emirates, according to research compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which has been analyzing international arms transfers since 1968.

arms-sales-by-country

Experts believe the Middle East will remain a top destination for weapons for some time – it currently accounts for about 40% of U.S. arms exports. The American exports include everything from small arms to fighter jet aircraft and tanks, to Patriot Missile batteries.

While most of the top importers use their own money to buy arms from the U.S., the U.S. also provides some countries with grants and loans — separate from the arms sales — to buy defense equipment from American manufacturers, as part of a program called Foreign Military Financing.

The State Department’s 2017 budget request includes approximately $5.7 billion for Foreign Military Financing. In the proposed budget, the top five recipients of American foreign military financing:

  • Israel:         $3.1 billion
  • Egypt:         $1.3 billion
  • Jordan:    $350 million
  • Pakistan: $265 million
  • Iraq:          $150 million

While Israel is supposed to spend this money on U.S. arms, some of that country’s most expensive purchases, like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, have yet to be delivered and are therefore not reflected in SIPRI’s statistics.

While the Middle East tops the list, funding for African armies in 2017 will more than double from last year, likely a consequence of increased terrorist activity in places like Mali, Somalia, and Nigeria.

If the federal Liberals are loathe to cancel Canada’s controversial arms deal with Saudi Arabia, it may have something do with a trend published by Jane’s Defence Weekly.

According to the magazine, Canada has become the world’s second-largest exporter of arms to the Middle East, behind the United States.

The last time Jane’s surveyed arms exports, Canada was in sixth place on Middle East exports, but the country leapfrogged Britain, France, Germany and Russia into second place, with US $2.7 billion in sales in 2015, Jane’s reports.

That comes amid a growing frenzy of military spending by Middle Eastern countries that has made the region the top arms importer and Saudi Arabia the world’s single largest buyer of foreign weapons.

The combined value of Saudi Arabia and the [United Arab Emirates’] defence imports is more than all of Western Europe’s defence imports combined.

The U.S., Canada, France and the U.K. are the main exporters of defence equipment to the Middle East and beneficiaries of this spending boom.

The global defence trade market has never seen an increase as large as the one we saw between 2014 and 2015.”
said Jane’s senior analyst, Ben Moores.

Worldwide, the defense trade reached a record high of US $65 billion in 2015, Jane’s reports. Canada remained the sixth-largest arms exporter, the same rank as in 2015 and up from 10th place in 2013 and 2014.

The global defence trade market has never seen an increase as large as the one we saw between 2014 and 2015,” Moores said.

top-defense

top-defense-2

The Jane’s report comes amid ongoing controversy about the federal Liberal government’s decision to proceed with a $15-billion defense contract with Saudi Arabia signed by the previous Conservative government in February 2014.

The $15-billion contract for a fleet of armoured vehicles is expected to create 3,000 jobs at General Dynamics Land Systems in southern Ontario. The deal will add at least $1 billion to Canada’s arms exports numbers over the next decade. [02]

Though polls show that only one-fifth of Canadians back the arms deal — and roughly half oppose it — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in April that honouring the Saudi arms deal is a matter of principle.

The principle at play here is that Canada’s word needs to mean something in the international community,” Trudeau said at the time.

I bet you are as disheartened as I am to learn that Canada has become the second largest supplier of military goods to the Middle East – mostly from the sordid $15 billion deal to supply Saudi Arabia with light armoured combat vehicles (or LAVs).

In fact, researchers at IHS Jane’s Defence told The Globe and Mail that “Canada has never ranked so highly among all arms-exporting countries.”

How did this happen?

How did Canada get mixed up in the dark underbelly of the global arms industry, sending billions of dollars’ worth of light armoured vehicles to the despots in Saudi Arabia?

Armoured vehicles, made right here in Canada and shipped under an earlier contract, were used to suppress peaceful pro-democracy protesters in neighbouring Bahrain, and now are taking part in bloody attacks in Yemen, where the Saudi-led coalition had been blacklisted by the UN for the unconscionable number of children killed by its airstrikes.

This new arms deal, to sell even more LAVs to Saudi Arabia over the next decade, contradicts everything we stand for. Our middle-power nation is known around the world for inventing peacekeeping, for banning landmines, for rejecting George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq and his Star Wars missile defence system.

These are values that you and I share, and together, we have steadfastly upheld and promoted them. That’s why I am counting on your support, once again. Like you, I am not prepared to let the arms dealers win.

It was almost a year ago that millions of Canadians voted for historic change – finally ridding Canada of Stephen Harper’s Conservative government.

The Defence Lobby – that powerful network of corporations (mostly U.S.-headquartered), politicians, academics and media pundits – all fueled by billions of dollars in military spending – has been working overtime to push the Trudeau government to make more dubious arms deals, and even to abandon their promise to kill the Harper plan to buy the obscenely overpriced and under-performing F-35 stealth fighter.

Under new transparency rules, the Liberal government released the 2014 and 2015 Reports on Canada’s Military Exports and, unbelievably, they reveal that Middle Eastern tyrants like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are not the only questionable recipients of Canadian-made weapons. In fact, Algeria, Thailand (after the military coup), Peru and Colombia are also recipients, despite their dreadful human rights records.

Canadian companies have also been accused of UN sanctions-busting, through banned weapons sales to Libya and South Sudan.

What is happening to the Canada I grew up in?

We have just come through a veritabledecade of darkness” characterized by reckless military spending, disastrous foreign wars, and Cold War sabre-rattling.

We can clearly see the terrible results. The Defence Lobby, and the arch Conservative think tanks they fund, have become so deeply entrenched in the Canadian body politic and they have such a stranglehold on government that the Liberals seem powerless (or unwilling) to escape their clutches.

The ball is in your court Prime Minister Trudeau. Are you going to turn a blind eye to Saudi’s inhumane treatment and killing of women and children, while dragging Canada into their disregard for the right to life in Yemen – a grievous crime surmounting to genocide? If Canada proceeds to arm their invasion of Yemen with sniper guns and lethal tanks, your term as Prime Minister will leave permanent blood stains on our country’s reputation as peacekeepers and defenders of mankind’s humanity.

Regimes like Saudi Arabia and Israel have swept justice under the carpet, setting a standard of “new rules” of war, and what constitutes a human rights violation, or warrants U.N. sanctions – all played out for the world to watch by way of social media and television. Perhaps that is the most disturbing injustice – every nation is watching – yet, no one is willing to take a stand, and stop the killing, and put out an international arrest warrant for the Saudi royals, and certain Israeli rulers, for their violent war crimes against children, and unimaginable cruelty against innocent civilians of all ages.

Meanwhile… Saudi royals continue to throw money, or threaten to stop throwing money at the United Nations. And Israel, well the Jews survived Nazi Germany genocide, so that immediately grants them impunity – consequently Madam Justice has been bought, blackmailed, and bullied.

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(18+) Yemen: Starvation, Disease And Death

Starvation, disease and death of loved ones are an everyday reality for the impoverished country of Yemen; due to the Saudi-led bombings, blockade on supplies and aid, and US-imposed sanctions, unilaterally has plunged an entire nation into darkness.

The blockade on food and medicine has resulted in innumerable deaths by diseases that are treatable, but are left untreated because medicine is included in that blockade, and Yemen ran out of medicine many months ago – adding to the needless suffering and deaths of both the young and old – by way of treatable diseases such as liver, heart, lung, diabetes and cancers.

Because of the bombing of hospitals, clinics and care facilities, people are dying in greatly increased numbers from lack of medical treatment; victims suffering injuries from the attacks on civilians are unable to find doctors to treat their wounds, resulting in additional loss of innocent lives that could have been saved if the Geneva Convention “rules of war” were being respected by Saudi Arabia – and most importantly enforced by the United Nations.

The destruction of essential services it is not just happening to medical buildings. The Saudi-coalition airstrike targets have included a vast majority of Yemen’s electrical stations, food distribution facilities, farms, livestock, schools and busy markets, even homes for the disabled and elderly.

The destruction of essential services it is not just happening to medical buildings. The Saudi-coalition airstrike targets have included a vast majority of Yemen's electrical stations, food distribution facilities, farms, livestock, schools and busy markets, even homes for the disabled and elderly.

The game of peace talks in Kuwait came to an end this month - with no peace in sight for the helpless families. The Saudi's are surely feeling even more emboldened by the UN's lack of action, and acceptance of their slaughtering thousands of Yemeni women and children, because according to witnesses, airstrikes appear to have increased in the past few days. The game of peace talks in Kuwait came to an end this month – with no peace in sight for the helpless families. The Saudi’s are surely feeling even more emboldened by the UN’s lack of action, and acceptance of their slaughtering thousands of Yemeni women and children, because according to witnesses airstrikes appear to have increased in the past few days. 

Because of the bombing of hospitals, clinics and care facilities, people are dying in greatly increased numbers from lack of medical treatment; victims suffering injuries from the attacks on civilians are unable to find doctors to treat their wounds, resulting in additional loss of innocent lives that could have been saved if the Geneva Convention "rules of war" were being respected by Saudi Arabia - and most importantly enforced by the United Nations.

Instead, the world is fed a "spin" version of the facts, under the banner of political righteousness. A humanitarian blockade is carried out under the banner of political restoration and civilians are being murdered under the banner of democracy! Dr. RS Karim.

There are a handful of humanitarian groups managing to deliver life-saving food, medicine, warm clothing, and even school supplies and gifts for children, and always a warm smile and compassionate companionship – while giving hope to parents and joy to children who are suffering in ways most of us cannot even imagine what it would be like, if we had to watch our children suffer and die in the ways of Yemeni parents.

Mona Relief was founded by Yemeni journalist and activist, Fatik Al-Rodaini, and London based humanitarian, Dr. R S Karim. The two had connected on Twitter social media last year (2015), and their mutual concern for the Yemeni people brought them together under one cause - to save Yemen lives. (Alistair Reign News Blog at www.AlistairReignBlog.com),For those who are aware of our fundraising campaign Colour of War, you will be familiar with the Mona Relief Charity’s dedicated volunteers, who are out there risking their lives to deliver life-saving aid to the Yemeni families and orphans living between a sudden death by bombing, and a slow, agonizing death by starvation.

Mona Relief was founded by Yemeni journalist and activist, Fatik Al-Rodaini. 

The following is a video showing the efforts of Mona Relief volunteers helping to deliver humanitarian aid inside Yemen.

“The world should be outraged at the atrocities carried out in Yemen in the name of democracy; the world should be outraged at the images of butchered children; the world should be outraged at the images of helpless mothers and the frail elderly; the world should be outraged at the blockade and senseless killing period!

In order to educate people, schools and other facilities will have to be rebuilt. Now that Yemen is on the map, albeit for all the wrong reasons, help will be available when all the smoke is cleared. There are always temporary solutions and alternatives available, but they cannot go hand in hand with war and bad politics - in order to do that synergy is essential. Dr. RS Karim.

Instead, the world is fed a “spin” version of the facts, under the banner of political righteousness. A humanitarian blockade is carried out under the banner of political restoration and civilians are being murdered under the banner of democracy! [01]

Always remember that people power is always greater than people in power! The past cannot be changed but the future still remains within our power to make – we can all make it count!

In order to educate people, schools and other facilities will have to be rebuilt. Now that Yemen is on the map, albeit for all the wrong reasons, help will be available when all the smoke is cleared. There are always temporary solutions and alternatives available, but they cannot go hand in hand with war and bad politics – in order to do that synergy is essential.

The power to change things is always within a person – use it!” said Riaz Karim.

I will wrap this article up with an additional video showing the works of Mona Relief  inside war-torn Yemen.

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(18+) Yemen: World Watches As UN Allows Saudi Arabia To Commit Genocide

Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheik Ahmed. UN Photo Elma Ocik
Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheik Ahmed. (Photo: Elma Ocik).

The United Nations envoy facilitating peace talks on Yemen announced that as the discussions wind down for a one-month break, the process will enter a “new phase,” during which “the focus will be on working with each side separately to crystalize precise technical details.

We depart Kuwait today but the Yemen peace talks continue. The structure and mechanism will change during the coming weeks so that we give the parties space to consult with their leaderships,” UN Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said of the talks, which have been hosted by Kuwait for the past three months, between a Yemeni Government delegation and a delegation of the General People’s Congress and Ansar Allah.

Meanwhile in Yemen

We will work with each party separately to crystalize the precise technical details. I once again repeat that a lasting solution is one which is worked upon with care, study and consideration. Every rushed solution comes truncated and incomplete,” he added.

Meanwhile in Yemen

He stressed that the solution for the economic crisis depends on the political solution: “The economic situation has seen a serious decline and the economic indicators are disconcerting if not dangerous. I am sounding a warning for those involved in the internal affairs of Yemen. The alarm is being sounded strongly for the economy and this is a direct result of the war. There will be no economic solution except through a lasting political solution,” he explained.

Meanwhile in Yemen

In his closing statement, he cited to the most significant compromises arising from the meetings of the previous weeks, touching on the following points:

  • Renewal of their commitment to the terms and conditions of the Cessation of Hostilities, and to urgently activate the mechanisms for its implementation;
  • Activation of the De-escalation and Coordination Committee in Dhahran al-Janoub and Local Security Committees in order to strengthen respect for the Cessation of Hostilities;
  • Facilitation of the adoption of urgent measures to ensure unhindered access for humanitarian aid and basic goods and to address the economic situation;
  • Facilitation of the urgent release of all political prisoners, and all individuals under house arrest or arbitrarily detained including those mentioned in UN Security Council Resolution 2216 (2015);
  • Abstention from any acts, escalation or decisions likely to undermine the prospects of finalizing these negotiations and reaching an agreement;
  • Conducting a series of consultations between the delegations and their respective leaderships in the coming phase on the ideas, which were discussed during the talks and study them in detail;
  • Continuation of consultations and resumption of direct talks within one month from the submission of this statement at a place to be agreed upon;
  • Reaffirming the continued positive spirit in engaging with any and all matters, which may facilitate reaching a complete, comprehensive and permanent solution to the conflict in Yemen; and
  • To that end, addition to the delegations, to the next round of talks, military experts in order to provide technical support and advice in their area of expertise.

Meanwhile in Yemen

“We must continue to urge the parties to initiate a series of confidence-building measures and it is their duty to continue the releases of detainees and refrain from adopting unilateral measures,”  he said.

Noting the difficult situation in the country, Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed raised the alarm regarding the faltering economy, and called on the two sides to unify their efforts to ease the increasing burden of suffering on the Yemeni people.

Meanwhile in Yemen

On Saturday fighting was reported on the Yemeni-Saudi border, where a Saudi border guard was killed by fire directed from the Yemeni side, the Saudi state news agency SPA said citing a security spokesman.

Meanwhile in Yemen

https://twitter.com/YemenPostNews/status/762343914191937536

Wrapping it up with a tidy bow, Special Envoy noted preparations for another round of direct talks at a time and place to be announced. [01]

Meanwhile in Yemen

Jamila Hanan, an advocate and hardworking activist for the Yemeni people, has a few words of wisdom for Special Envoy Ahmed.

The world must raise their voices louder to save the Yemenis – because the United Nations’ leaders are very hard of hearing, and they are also blind, and apparently have forgotten their responsibility to protect the vulnerable nations – and this is the case worldwide, not just in Yemen.

It is time for the average person to pay more attention to what the United Nations is doing, and not doing. Personally, I feel abandoned by the United Nations, by the fact that I am now living during a time in history that our UN leaders are corrupt, weak and greedy – to the extent of turning their backs on the deaths and suffering of millions of children in the small, impoverished country of Yemen – suffering and deaths that could be stopped – but instead are accepted with impunity.

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