Defense

Hundreds demand US, UK, French action to end Yemen civil war

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More than 350 international politicians, celebrities, Nobel laureates and other prominent figures signed a statement Tuesday demanding U.S., U.K. and French action to end the Yemeni civil war.

“The U.S., U.K. and France, as permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and major weapons suppliers to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, bear a special responsibility to use the full extent of their leverage to press their partners in the region to end the crisis,” read the statement, dubbed “A global call to President Trump, Prime Minister May and President Macron.”

“Instead of stoking the flames of a war that is strangling an entire population and risks destabilizing the entire region, they could be the brokers of peace,” it added.

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The statement is meant to mark 1,000 days since the Saudi Arabia-led coalition intervened in the war.

U.S. signatories include Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), former U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Stephen Seche, and actresses Alyssa Milano and Piper Perabo.

Yemen has been embroiled in civil war since early 2015, when Houthi rebels took over the capital of Sanaa and President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi fled to the southern city of Aden. Saudi Arabia, concerned about Iran’s support of the Houthis in a neighboring country, formed a coalition and intervened in support of Hadi.

The United States supports the Saudi campaign by selling them weapons, providing limited intelligence and helping with logistics such as air refueling.

As of November, 5,295 civilians have been killed and another 8,873 injured in the fighting, according to the United Nations.

The U.N. has also warned that the country is on the brink of famine and the World Health Organization has reported nearly 1 million cases of cholera and nearly 200 of diphtheria.

The situation in Yemen grew worse after Saudi Arabia last month imposed a blockade in response to the Houthis firing a missile on Riyadh, and the Houthis earlier this month killed their one-time ally of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

President Trump has called on the Saudis to lift the blockade, and the White House has urged all parties to “immediately cease hostilities.” But the conflict continues unabated.

In Tuesday’s statement, the signatories described the war as at a “tipping point.”

“To prevent further catastrophe and famine, Yemen needs an immediate ceasefire; an end to all blockages on access for food, fuel and medical supplies; and investment in a new, inclusive peace process in which women, youth and diverse civil society meaningfully participate,” they wrote.

“We call upon President Trump, Prime Minister May, and President Macron, to take urgent action at the UN Security Council to make this happen.”

Tags Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi Barbara Lee Donald Trump Houthi insurgency in Yemen Houthis Keith Ellison Pramila Jayapal Ro Khanna Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen Yemen Yemeni Civil War Yemeni Crisis

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