The US Senate Must Hold Saudi Arabia Accountable for Yemen’s Devastating Famine

Earlier this month, humanitarian aid organization Save the Children released a report estimating that as many as 85,000 children in Yemen have starved to death since 2015. As this famine continues in the war-torn country, experts say†the coming winter could be even more devastating to the Yemeni people.

Estimates suggest that 14 million civilians are at risk of dying from starvation in the near future. But it doesnít have to be this way.

The conflict in Yemen, originally an internal civil war, has since evolved into a proxy battleground for powers in the region to flex their muscles. While much could be written on the many actors involved in the fighting in Yemen, the West — and the United States, in particular — has been playing a key role in the conflict, both directly and indirectly.

Though direct military intervention began under President Obama, his successor has taken the torch and run with it. Under Trump, drone strikes and special forces operations — one of which gained widespread attention for being an utter disaster†– have been used considerably more often.

Saudi Arabia and its coalition, however, has had perhaps the greatest interventionist role in Yemen. These efforts have been backed by the United States and other Western nations in the form of logistical and material support. As a result, the Saudi coalition has continued an aggressive campaign, which has killed and traumatized enormous numbers of civilians for years.

Not only do they carry out indiscriminate bombing missions, but the Saudi coalition has also taken major efforts to effectively blockade ports and cut off the flow of necessities, such as medical supplies and food. As a result, dozens of thousands have died from starvation and many more are malnourished.

After the apparent assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman — and the resulting international outrage — some countries have begun taking steps to cancel their arms deals with Saudi Arabia. Germany was the first to do so; since then, Finland and Denmark have followed suit. Now itís time for Saudi Arabiaís largest arms supplier, the United States, to do the same.

Fortunately, even though President Trump has demonstrated that he feels no need to punish Saudi Arabia, the Senate has taken a first step to force the United States to cease support for the Saudi coalition in Yemen. Citing the 1973 War Powers Act, this bipartisan resolution would require Congressional approval for any further participation in the conflict in Yemen. Having just passed committee in the Senate — a Senate controlled by the Republican Party, it should be noted — it will now move forward to a full vote.

Why is this so crucial? It would place Saudi Arabia in a position of having to proactively seek and participate in a humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen — precisely what must be achieved in order to avert the needless deaths of millions of innocents.

Take Action!

This resolution, if successful in a Senate floor vote, could have the potential to finally hold Saudi Arabia accountable for its human rights abuses, sending a clear message that the United States will no longer turn a blind eye.

Add your name to†this Care2 petition to urge senators to dispense with partisan politics and call for an immediate vote on the resolution! The famine in Yemen — a man-made catastrophe — can and must be fixed by people before more needless deaths occur.

Concerned about an issue? Want to raise awareness about an injustice? Join your fellow Care2 users by learning how to make your own petition and make your voice heard today!

Photo Credit: Alisdare Hickson/Flickr

39 comments

Paula A
Paula A4 days ago

Signed

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Victoria P
Victoria P29 days ago

Previously signed..thank you

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Chad A
Chad Aabout a month ago

Thank you.

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Sue L
Sue Labout a month ago

I signed the petition. Helping the Yemeni people is the right thing to do. Stop selling arms to the Saudis!!!

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Janis K
Janis Kabout a month ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Jack Y
Jack Yabout a month ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Yabout a month ago

thanks

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John J
John Jabout a month ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John Jabout a month ago

thanks for sharing

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Freya H
Freya Habout a month ago

Like the moral cowards they are, the Senate voted to block efforts at stopping arms sales to the Saudis. Our so-called representatives in Washington answer to only their corporate owners.

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