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On Yemen, UK Supports Saudis, Blames Houthis, Cites Int'l Law As ICRC Asks In

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 4, with video -- Amid complaints by Doctors Without Borders and the International Committee of the Red Cross that they can't get medical aid into Yemen, an urgent UN Security Council meeting began on Saturday April 4 at 11 am, on proposal for "humanitarian pauses."

  UK Deputy Permanent Representative Peter Wilson on his way into the Security Council said, "we continue to support the Saudi-led action in Yemen... in response to a legitimate request.”

  Wilson said the UK regrets all casualties and is committed to international humanitarian law including access by agencies to deliver aid.

  But, Wilson said, “it is extremely important” to note “how we got to this position.” He said the Houthis took military action, took action by force instead of engage in talks and called for a return to “genuine political talks on an equal basis.”

   Despite being called "urgent," things were surprisingly low key. Speaking on the way into the Council's closed door meeting were the Permanent Representatives of Chad and Nigeria, and the Deputy Permanent Representatives of Russia and, as noted and quoted above, of the UK.

  The Saudis, it should be noted, have been air-dropping weapons and ammunition into Yemen. One might think the Security Council would want to get a briefing from the ICRC. But they were not here.

  Soon it was leaked -- presumably by a Western Permanent Three members of the Security Council -- that Russia had tabled a resolution.  This is how it works, or doesn't, at the UN Security Council.

   Beyond aid getting in, how might this impact people's desire and need to get out?

   Back on March 30  Inner City Press asked the US State Department if any steps are being taken to evacuated Yemeni Americans.

  On March 31 a State Department official provided Inner City Press on background with this answer:

"We have no current plans to evacuate private U.S. citizens from Yemen. We continue to watch the situation closely. The protection and safety of U.S. citizens overseas are among our top priorities."

  Some of those impacted, including Yemeni Americans, pointed out to Inner City Press that other countries, as simply one example Pakistan which is part of the Saudi-led coalition, have done evacuations. This has been followed by India, China and others.  But not (yet?) the US, leading to a campaign: #StuckInYemen. We'll haver more on this.


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