EDITORIAL: Justice for Yemen should not turn in a game of politicking

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SHAFAQNA – I have seen a great deal of messages on social media which have argued war crimes to justify a genocide … those people feel somewhat entitled to sell the blood of the innocent to score a few political points and rationalise treason.

I am referring here to Taiz and the siege this one city has found itself under for several months. I am perfectly aware of the suffering of civilians and I doubt that anyone will disagree with me when I say that any loss of innocent life is a tragedy in itself. I repeat ANY LOSS OF LIFE is a tragedy that I am not prepared to trivialised, regardless and no matter what.

Now …. War has come to Yemen. Yemen did not ask or called for any military confrontation with Saudi Arabia but war came nonetheless.

No one forced former President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi to run away from Yemen and call upon Riyadh to wage a vengeful war of political vindication, and yet he did.

Millions have suffered under the fire lit up by al-Saud and yet you blame those who have pledged to defend your borders and your freedom.

While you deny not the foreign invaders, those very powers which have demanded for Yemen to be annihilated so that Wahhabism could have its fill of blood, you deny those which offer you political self-determination.

I ask you this: beyond sectarianism, tribalism, regionalism and infantile political bigotry can you not see that imperial powers are playing you against your own people? Would you not rather stand with your kin against a foreign invaders and be free to argue later on about legitimacy?

What legitimacy do you hope to gain by forfeiting your sovereign rights and your civil liberties?

Would Taiz be better off in the hands of al-Qaeda and Daesh?

Nobody will deny that abuses were committed and are most likely being committed, but remember whose actions led to such catastrophe. Remember whose voice clamoured for war against your sons and daughters. Yemen was once a united land …. Now it stands in tatters for many of you bought into Riyadh narrative of exclusion and self-conceited righteousness.

Do not argue the blood of your nation to call for the death of your own kin.

Do not compare a genocide to war crimes for they are not comparable.

One evil cannot erase another.

Yemen deserves better than your petty disputes over righteousness. Yemen demands that you forge a workable peace, if not for you, for your children.

Are you arguing today that Taiz blood is worth more than that of Sa’ada?

Whose side are you really on when you demand the destruction of the Houthis and former President Saleh? Whose agenda are you serving? Whose hatred are you screaming?


Are you telling me that Yemen deserves not to be defended? Are you telling me that Yemen means so little to you that you cannot see beyond your own prejudices and understand that your land is the subject of a violent colonial takeover?

Can you not see that you no longer own your arguments for peace since you are calling not for justice but revenge.

War crimes should be accounted for and answered to.

ALL war crimes should be accounted for and answered to in a court of law … not in social media, and certainly not by those who demand more blood to assuage their anger.

Why don’t you do your country a favour and stand on the side of Yemen?

WAR is the evil you should denounce, not your own people!

By Catherine Shakdam – Director of Programs for the Shafaqna Institute of Middle Eastern Studies

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