tv Inside Story 2017 Ep 319 Al Jazeera November 17, 2017 3:32am-4:01am +03
which has overwhelming support of this council and by lemonade in our ability to identify the attackers russia has undermined our ability to determine future attacks assad and isis will no longer be on notice for the use of chemical weapons by russia's actions today u.s. president donald trump is a step closer to his first major legislative victory the house of representatives has passed his flagship tax reform bill but it still needs senate approval let it be the first major overhaul the tax system in thirty years robert mugabe is resisting calls to stand out as president despite being confined to his home by the military. still the people of zimbabwe. opposition leader morgan tsvangirai joined the military as call for the president to leave office also a delegation from south africa is in the capital harare trying to reach a deal on mugabe's future and the country's future the u.n.
says at least a million children in yemen are risk of contracting to area because urgently needed vaccines are being blocked from entering the country the heads of three u.n. agencies have pleaded with the saudi led coalition to fully lift its blockade those are the headlines in his continues right here on al-jazeera after inside story keep it or. two weeks after the saudi led coalition imposed a total blockade on yemen it says it's opening access in some areas but is that enough for a country struggling with years of violence and a humanitarian crisis this is inside story.
hello and welcome to the program i'm homages yemenis have been through a lot over the past few years there's a devastating cholera outbreak there is fighting and air strikes almost every day and now a nearly two week old blockade imposed by the saudi led coalition fighting iranian backed her with the rebels it was put in place after the what these launched a missile targeting the saudi capital riyadh saudi arabia says it is reopening some of yemen's ports and airports but humanitarian aid agencies say none of their supplies are coming in they are calling for the restrictions to be completely lifted the u.n. warns yemen could suffer the worst famine in decades if aid supplies don't resume
we'll get to our guests in a moment but first this report from the taj. you can hear the wind blowing and the chirping of birds at this port and who died but what you don't hear much of is this. signs that shipments of critical supplies such as food and medicine are arriving in yemen saudi arabia sealed off all ports of entry almost two weeks ago that's right our margins are not going to. deport lost more than seventy percent of his operations poverty and starvation are now the headline of the saudi led coalition has falsely claimed they have opened the port to eat. vessels. saudi arabia says the blockade is intended to cut off smugglers arming the rebels they've given assurances that they'll allow humanitarian aid to continue to flow yemenis say it's obvious shipments aren't
arriving was five i thought of about twelve to thirteen thousand truckers and out of work we know that the closure is meant by the coalition to bring the yemeni people to their knees but the yemeni people will never knew but to go out the u.n. is calling for a lifting of the blockade and warns yemen could suffer the worst in decades that would add to already widespread suffering two and a half years of war has only exacerbated poverty in what was already the poorest country in the middle east you know on a map and they are now we are facing real exhausting life conditions none of the government authorities or relief organizations are reaching out to us diseases are spending and the children are getting sick we cannot afford to eat how can we afford to treat them or buy medicine it's a crisis aid agencies say they're desperate to address but can't natasha going to al-jazeera.
the u.n. says yemen is now in the grip of the world's worst humanitarian crisis around seventeen million people don't have enough to eat seven million of them are on the brink of famine more than two and a half years of war has forced almost three million people from their homes and a cholera outbreak has killed more than two thousand yemenis since april and at least one million children are at risk of a diptheria outbreak. let's bring in our panel in sanaa came in last monday editor in chief of the yemen post in beirut adam baron visiting fellow at the european council on foreign relations and joining us on skype from sun up russia is the director of operations for save the children in yemen welcome to you all aqim i want to start with you the last time i was in yemen which was in two thousand and twelve even aid agencies were warning about the spiking rates of child malnutrition
even then they were sounding the alarm bells now unicef is saying that there are approximately four hundred thousand children at risk of death from severe acute malnutrition can you give our viewers a snapshot of what it's like there on the ground in sanaa and the rest of yemen. in short muhammad do you a lot recognize yemen from the last time you came here that's about five years ago very tragic of the lives of millions being affected on a daily basis this was already the worst humanitarian disaster in seventy years six months ago so today i'm fairly go back to world war one and beyond that so it's unbearable when i see the families and so many people so many children so many innocent civilians dying from the basic needs of food from hunger yesterday entires to civilians died from hunger and were found dead on the streets and they were too
to honorable to beg for food so they basically died out of hunger and this is happening every day as of now until now about civil children ounce today one hundred thirty children being have died die every day in yemen if you put that over the thousand days of war and that's over one hundred thirty thousand and it's and children who have died in yemen only because of. war or hunger etc so it's tragic mohamed it's unbelievable what you see i'm surprised after living most of my life in the us to see this and see the world quiet the voice of freedom the voice of human rights and these instance of billions who are paying the price whereas the people on the side who are fighting the war in yemen are not being affected they have their own funds they control the central banks they have international funds is the people the innocent people who all vulnerable and who are paying the price sadly russia let me pick up on something hakim said he cited a report that was released i believe yesterday from save the children and i believe
the number that is cited is that at least fifty thousand more children according to save the children may be in danger of dying before the end of this year because of all the concurrent crises right now in yemen could you elaborate on that how dire is the situation on the ground in yemen right now. well i mean it's very dire like i've heard him said correctly the situation is very difficult here we are talking about over almost five hundred thousand children suffering from to for money attrition and if they do if they don't get the right treatment fifty thousand children could die by the end of two thousand and seventeen and we're expecting this number to increase even further a free don't manage to get the treatment to these children and if the current locate is not listed as to the cost of a look it's not an immediate action a state we're talking about almost of an million people are relying on purely food
assistance from the u.n. or other humanitarian organizations and if the humanitarian community is not able to bring in aid those seven million people suffer like time and we was see the largest famine and the largest disaster in the word in there in the modern human history if this is not started or thought very soon if if the conflict if the violence does not end very soon on who was the larger number of people suffering or see more of death and potentially children well starved to death and it would be very difficult to contain this crisis today we're talking about two million children they are suffering or there is an outbreak of diptheria and tomb of the internet and could die of this outbreak if not receive the right treatment unicef is unable domineered for a needle. you know and vaccine for the country and right treatment with each other
so one addition to color in addition to mom attrition now there's also a diptheria outbreak to worry about. yes exactly so that the periodic rate gave expected in every governor eight and and if it's not contain if not treated it could be even larger larger numbers and also has spread to other governor races. we're talking about i mean the collar as over nine hundred thousand people affected by the color of the over fifty percent growth children children who already have money trish and there are more vulnerable to this outbreak they could not there that week bodies they could not take the heavy antibiotic they could not take the treatment of the color out we're talking about more than sixteen million people in need for drinking water and today with a blockade over ten days now we're on able but there is no fuel in the market there
is shortage and you're even with when i do want to trucking if you want to deliver this order to these people in need we cannot do it so if this if this continues and it will become very difficult to prevent further escalation of the cholera outbreak the further spread of the cholera outbreak or or an outbreak of syria of other. diseases. and like it's not only about treatment it's not only about bringing bringing in medical supplies to treat people but we're also working on a prevention part of it and if we are unable to bring in aid workers to the country and around today this is the eleventh day of the blockade and center airport is closed to all even humanitarian workers are unable to travel in or out of the country so expertise are not able to come and supplies are not there were unable to reach the people in need were on able trait to treat children. so
we're just we're expecting the situation to to even the worst and in the coming few weeks. and. immediate action is taken is very worrying indeed adam listening to russia there do you believe that the un is doing enough to pressure saudi arabia to in this blockade could they be doing more and do you believe that this blockade constitutes a war crime i mean i'm i'm not an international lawyer so with regards to whether it's a work crime a defer to other people either way with it comes to the u.n. i think international actors it would it would seem pretty clear that you have a number of cantor national actors effectively sitting back with regards to the role of the u.n. since the collapse of the kuwait talks the entire peace process has been effectively completely moribund. that's what we're speaking of the u.n. envoy when we're speaking of for example nations like the united states you've seen a pattern where it appears the president trump has more or less outsourced the vast
majority of foreign policy in the region through the kingdom so you've seen very little even acknowledgement of what's going on in yemen you know the abandonment even of the very modest pressure that was being put on on the proponents of the saudi like coalition during the obama administration effectively dissipated the second moment mr trump took office so no i think you know in a lot of ways you're having a pattern that i've observed for her many years before this conflict even took place or that for this conflict really precipitated. you know the world is sitting by and and looking away from yemen and that may be easy to do but there comes a time i think five years ten years fifteen years down the line where people will be asking how they let this situation just just get to the way it is and i think it is quite alarming that a humanitarian disaster of this scale the effect of disintegration of a country. the collapse of government institutions that we're witnessing has just continued to take place with. maybe not silence but
a great degree of international quiet i mean adam having lived and worked in yemen for as long as you did are you at all shocked by how bad things have gotten i mean it's remarkably alarming although i mean there are areas obviously it's much worse in certain areas than in others i was just in central yemen last week which is you know one of the most stable areas of the country but it's notable that even in matlab you know an area that's under the internationally recognized government control that's largely returned to a sense of normal that's even an economic hub you still can't walk you know drive you know a few minutes without noting you know the effects of the war you still have an area where there are hundreds of thousands if not more of i.d.p.'s an area where poverty is still is still quite significant so i think really you're looking at a situation in yemen right now where it's it's truly shocking i think in a lot of ways the country has been set back they have
a decade if not more when it comes to development when it comes to. you know poverty indications things like that and this isn't something that's just going to stop when the war ends it's even look at this on a micro level when you're dealing with a malnourished child you're talking stunted growth you're talking. you know issues with regards to mental capacity on these are things that are going to affect yemen because it's happening on such a large scale. not just for years but rather generations to come. all right let's take a closer look at the political situation in yemen now as we mentioned earlier the who with these who have taken control of large parts of the country including the capital sanaa are backed by iran they were supported by yemen's former president ali abdullah saleh but there are reports of a rift now the saudi led coalition which launched an aerial and ground campaign two years ago is supporting president will months old had the but there seems to be a shift in the coalition's aims with reports that president had the who is
currently based in the riyadh is being restricted from visiting his country and leaked e-mails appear to show saudi arabia's intention to pull out of yemen while its partner the u.a.e. has become more involved but no side appears any closer to a military victory ok now hakim i want to ask you with the current rift between the her with these and former president saddam and with the reported divisions within the saudi led coalition how much more difficult does it now become to try and forge any kind of political solution going forward. the rift. is known and especially since there were these have very low experience in politics compared to the g.p.c. the ex presidents party who have been in rule for over thirty years so. the experience party is trying to make it to open more doors of political talks while the who these are insisting on keeping political side talks aside while giving the bigger focus to the military. activities and actions around the country now the
problem is that this first within. if fact the alliance but does not affect the political peace talks as of now the blame is on the un over the last ten months alone very little activity very little movement by the un by this envoy in moving this political wheel forward it's been a complete stalemate and i'm surprised. it's reached the situation where the un is basically not being involved anymore after the last peace talks were last december and till now really has the envoy visited yemen u.n. officials have come to yemen but the problem is as what my colleague russia mentioned earlier that's an odd airport has been closed for around eleven days that's a different case it's been closed eleven days for and for u.n. of flights but if you look at it no commercial flight has entered son over four hundred fifty days so that's
a complete blockade no commercial flights over fifteen thousand civilians who were treated who wanted to get treatment abroad for medical reasons have died because they could not travel so the blockade is even beyond or before this eleven twelve days period and it's ongoing the problem is that u.n. and international committee is only pushing for you and aid to enter the country rather than. ending this long fifteen months siege on yemen that has killed so many innocent civilians who are trying to get treatment or who just want to get help or oh. even allow money to come from abroad due to the banking system is the big problem having issues so that there is political tension and that's one of the reasons why president hadi has not been allowed to go back to aided because of a tension with the u.a.e. forces but again these tensions that are happening between both a lot is because there has been no u.n. activities if the u.n. gets involved more in the peace talks you would see this this friction or this and
channel divisions. elise decrease to a very large extent russia i was particularly affected several years ago on a reporting trip into yemen i was speaking to a doctor and she told me that she was ashamed by the fact that she believed that her patients so many of them weren't surviving whereas if they were in another country with these very easily treatable maladies or diseases that they could be treated and that that was something she thought was only going to get worse what more can the international community do to help the situation in yemen or are they doing enough well i mean i think humanitarian i can only say that the international community may need to to find a solution to this conflict we need to find an end to this conflict it must be. there must be a way to end it peacefully the only way to to to elevate the suffering where many treating the symptoms of this conflict now we're trying to determine whether we're
treating people we're trying to bring in truly but this is not enough. commercial where we also advocate i mean it's not exactly true and i came mention about it that we're only talking about the last eleven days ok and then to get to up and so on i put for you but we also have been advocating to reopen all ports in yemen commercial posted for commercial flights to resume again to allow civilians to if they need to leave the country for treatment or when any other. this is their right to move freely and this is something i've been advocating for and since the blockade started eleven days ago we also have been advocating to reopen one eight accord as well not all need to let in humanitarian cargo but also to let and commercial cargo commercial vessels to be allowed to to dock and to offload their cargo today we're talking about twenty nine vessels that weren't there weren't
allowed they weren't given clearance and they were asked to leave that in a. person who had it of course and they're carrying over almost half a million metric tons of fuel of food and this is not just humanitarian supplies and supplies it's for the support the market they should. make the market basically able to to to to to to respond to these needs of people and also to make sure it's you know if they're not make is there to to allow us to do our work as well. so i mean again i say as i started going saying the international community needs to sit and find a solution to it to end this planet and it's complex and it's not enough where we're calling even funding is not enough for yemen we're talking about the yemenis want not his own need to respond to the increasing humanitarian needs is really just they believe now remember it's almost only thirty percent funded so
there is the there are so many efforts so far but they're not enough there is a need for more efforts to bring in a solution to this conflict in yemen and adam you've written in the past that you know while the u.s. and saudi arabia remain in terrible part of trying to forge a solution in yemen and other regional actors as well that also there has to be a plan that involves local actors even on the tribal level can you walk me through what exactly that means and at this stage with things being as bad as they are now it is not something that could even be possible. well you know i'd frame it in practical terms at this point the central government in yemen has effectively collapsed and i'd even go as far to say dissipating in many parts of the country this means that in many areas whether you're looking at the self whether you're looking at the problems of massive. even certain areas under the control of the who is in sala i looking at a situation where really lower level you don't more locally focus actors are on the
ground so what this means is when you're putting them in together when you're putting them back again you're going to have to incorporate the opinions of you know the tribesmen the tribal force in yemen that are effectively the main force on the ground you're going to have to incorporate the voices of people in the eastern provinces of how. you're going to have to do so in the south with the session yesterday even greater way you're going to have to do so in ties i mean a lot of ways you know the fact that excuse me yemen has always been ruled primarily out of sa has been something that's really caused a lot of the friction a lot of the conflict that we've seen over the past decade in our so i think the key thing moving forward is really one acknowledging the dramatic shifts that have taken place on the ground with regards to how yemen is governed and to creating a more decentralized equitable framework. and a new social contract for the country. i came out i'm saying there is essentially no functioning government in yemen now because of that the economy there is
a sensually a war economy our government workers being paid all our people receiving their salaries if not how much worse does it make the crisis it's unbelievable mohamed. as adam mentioned earlier it's and he the war will not end the crisis right now each province or region is acting as if it's an independent country ignoring the other parts of the of the country that are suffering right now as of now those who are under who they controlled areas they have not received salaries for over twelve months so imagine life with no food no money even if you had food in the country that people cannot buy the food that you have so much people who are now volunteering to help the poor so much international efforts that are happening about there are also limited but it's unbearable to see families who are have no salaries no food who are living this crisis every day and not to forget their bombardment that they have to undergo on a daily basis for the last in
a thousand days so it's very tragic and it's not only yes both sides are ignoring the people the who these and the alliance are ignoring the rights of the people saudi led or supporting government are also ignoring the rights of the people because they are the people are there they control have also not received salaries for months and months and months so the governments both sides are not doing enough for the people they're not working for the people and that's why the the focus for the yemeni people is looking for the international community to help because they have been degraded by its own rulers whoever they are whether they're supported by saudi or the alliance so it's tragic i remember the many times you were in yemen over the last couple of years back to two zero nine and after that we visit it's of a hospital for a couple of hours if you visit. today you will not believe what you see when you see children dying right in front of you. when you visit for one hour or two hours
you will see at least two children die if one of your eyes that was not the case before them there was hunger malnutrition today the case where they cannot even suffer from malnutrition the more it's the phase of dying from hunger now it's a very complicated situation that seems to only be growing more complicated we're going to have to leave it there thank you to all our guests and must many adam baron and the russian who has and thank you too for watching you can see the program again any time by visiting our website al-jazeera dot com and for further discussion go to our facebook page that's facebook dot com forward slash a.j. inside story you can also join the conversation on twitter our handle is at a.j. inside story from join in the whole team here by for now.
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