OUT OF THE SHADOWS
Recommendations to Advance Transparency in the Use of Lethal Force “We want to know why our son got killed, and we demand justice”— Yaslem Saeed bin Ishaq, father of 28-year-old Saleh Yaslem Saeed bin Ishaq, killed by a drone strike in Yemen, August, 2013 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Families around the world suffer devastating loss when their relatives are killed in U.S. drone strikes and other attacks. Their suffering is magnified and prolonged by uncertainty and injustice when the U.S. government does not officially acknowledge their loss or explain the strikes, as has frequently been the case for U.S. strikes in Pakistan,…
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Yemen at the UN - May 2017 Review
Summary: In May, a cholera epidemic swept Yemen at terrifying speed. Between the beginning and the end of the month the number of suspected cases of cholera and acute watery diarrhea (AWD) nearly tripled to 70,000, with some 600 associated deaths. At the beginning of June, UNICEF regional director Geert Cappelaere said that without significant intervention the number of cases could rise to 300,000 “within a few weeks’ time.” In Aden, political fallout and general unrest continued from President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s decision in April to remove Aydarus al-Zubaydi from his post as governor of Aden. This included mass…
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Addressing Yemen's Most Critical Challenges: Practical Short-Term Recommendations
Executive Summary: As part of the “Rethinking Yemen’s Economy” initiative, the Development Champions Forum met in Amman, Jordan, between April 29 and May 1, 2017, to discuss practical interventions necessary to address the multiple and varied economic challenges facing Yemen. These challenges were identified within three main, if overlapping, categories; the food security crisis, the problems faced by the banking industry, and the collapse of basic service delivery. In regards to the food crisis, the Development Champions’ recommendations called on the international community to move quickly in fulfilling all aid pledges. The champions also emphasized that aid should be cash-based…
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Yemen at the UN - April 2017 Review
Summary: In April, the Saudi-led military coalition’s proposed assault on the rebel-held Red Sea port of Hudaydah, and the likely humanitarian catastrophe it would precipitate, was again the focus of most international policy discussions regarding Yemen. By month’s end, however, widespread opposition to the operation within the US, at the UN, within the humanitarian community and elsewhere appeared to gain purchase with both the Saudi-led coalition and American policy makers contemplating United States military support for the action, with these latter two groups apparently re-evaluating Saudi-led coalition plans for an offensive and exploring political alternatives to the attack. On the…
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Yemen at the UN - March 2017 Review
Summary In March, the prospect of a Saudi-led military coalition offensive on the rebel-held city of Hudaydah dominated Yemen-related policy discussions at the United Nations and in the United States. Discussions among UN Security Council member states generally centered around how such an offensive would radically exacerbate Yemen’s humanitarian crisis – given that Hudaydah is the main entry point for humanitarian and commercial goods, and that the country is already facing the world’s largest food security emergency. In the US the debate centered around whether the offensive would serve American interests in countering Iranian influence in the region, and to…
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Rapid currency depreciation and the decimation of Yemeni purchasing power
By Amal Nasser and Alex J. Harper Introduction: International financial intervention is urgently needed to protect the value of the Yemen’s domestic currency. If this support is not forthcoming in the immediate near-term the Yemeni rial faces rapid depreciation; in a country that imports nearly 90 percent of its nutritional needs this depreciation would decimate the ability of most Yemenis to purchase food and other basic necessities. The two-year-old civil war and regional military intervention in Yemen has already helped create the world’s largest food security emergency, with millions of people currently facing starvation; a steep decline in remaining per…
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The Limits of US Military Power in Yemen: Why Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula continues to thrive
By Farea Al-Muslimi and Adam Baron Executive summary Similar to US counterterrorism efforts in Yemen under President Barack Obama, the newly minted White House administration of Donald Trump has shown little appetite to explore non-military policy options to supplement the use of American firepower in Yemen. Indeed, shortly after taking office President Trump authorized the escalation of drone strikes and special forces operations in Yemen. The Trump administration’s 2017 budget proposal to congress also outlines massive cuts in US diplomatic and humanitarian spending, even as the UN declared last month that Yemen faces the largest food security emergency in the…
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Yemen at the UN - February 2017 Review
Summary In February, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations stated that “Yemen is facing the largest food security emergency in the world”, and estimated that the country’s domestic reserves of wheat would be completely exhausted by the end of March 2017. The UN human rights commission raised credible reports that war crimes were committed by both the main warring sides during battles for the Red Sea port town of Mukha. These battles saw the forces backing Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi capture the town from the Houthi movement and its main ally, former President Ali Abdullah…
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