Ahmad Algohbary is a freelance Yemeni journalist. Recently, he sent out a tweet about a disturbing scene he stumbled upon. And it’s something that Theresa May’s government needs to see.
I was walking in the street, I saw these 3 children looking 4 food in the garbage, their mom came 2 take them and told me "please come with your camera, &take a photo of our home" I told her why? she said "I need you to tell the world that we don't have food 2 eat.
— Ahmad Algohbary (@AhmadAlgohbary) March 13, 2018
The war in Yemen – which began in 2015 – has resulted in the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis”, according to The New York Times. The conflict has left 400,000 children malnourished. Life-threatening diseases are also rampant.
As The Canary previously reported, a Saudi-led coalition has been accused of deliberately destroying vital infrastructure in Yemen. And the UN said in December 2017 that Saudi airstrikes had killed at least 68 civilians in just one day.
Saudi Arabia has lifted its blockade preventing aid from entering Yemen. But Saudi forces are still not allowing commercial shipments of food to reach the Yemeni people. This means that millions of people are still at risk of famine.
Theresa May’s government, however, recently rolled out the red carpet for Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. And the British media displayed adverts suggesting that he was “bringing change”.
The role of Theresa May’s government
In response to Algohbary’s tweet, Quaker activist Sam Walton said:
"I need you to tell the world that we don't have food 2 eat."
— Sam Walton (@SamWalton) March 15, 2018
During Prime Minister’s Questions on 8 March, meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn asked Theresa May if she would use her meeting with the Mohammed bin Salman “to halt the arms supplies, and demand an immediate ceasefire in Yemen?”
Jeremy Corbyn: "Germany has suspended arms sales to Saudi Arabia, but British arms sales have sharply increased."
"Will The PM use her meeting today to halt the arms supplies, and demand an immediate ceasefire in yemen?"#bbcqt #pestonpic.twitter.com/29KgQ3tFRX
— 🌹#JC4PM (@Jezza4_PM) March 8, 2018
The prime minister did reportedly raise the issue of human rights abuses. But she apparently had no intention to stop arming the Saudi forces. As a result of her government’s meeting with bin Salman, the UK government sold 48 Eurofighter Typhoon jets to Saudi Arabia for £5bn.
Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) previously accused the government of making ‘secret’ arms deals with Saudi Arabia. And foreign secretary Boris Johnson supports Saudi-led military action, suggesting it is ‘self-defence’.
Theresa May might claim that she cares about Yemen’s humanitarian crisis and the children who are suffering. But her relationship with Saudi Arabia tells a different story.
– Support the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT).
– Read more articles from The Canary on Yemen.
Featured image via screengrab