Since March 2015, the U.S. has backed the brutal Saudi Arabia-United Arab Emirates intervention in Yemen, helping fuel one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises. After six years of complicity in a terrible human tragedy, the U.S. has an obligation to end support for the destabilizing and destructive military intervention and deadly blockade on Yemen, and start acting as a positive force for peace. To start, President Joe Biden should cancel $36.5 billion in pending weapons transfers to Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E., ban future weapons transfers until their human rights records improve, and provide reparations for the U.S., Saudi Arabia and U.A.E.’s destabilizing and bombing campaign.
The U.S. should push Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. to announce a cease fire, an end to the deadly air and sea blockade, and work with the United Nations to expand Yemen’s peace process to center the demands of the people most vested in sustainable peace. Moreover, the U.S., Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. should invest in humanitarian relief and peace-building, in addition to reparations for the damage they caused. Finally, the U.S. should not obstruct the U.N. from pushing for accountability and transformative justice for the ongoing abuses by all parties.
Aisha Jumaan, Mercer Island, president, Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation