We the undersigned urge you to spare no effort to bring the warring sides in Yemen to implement an immediate ceasefire for humanitarian and political purposes.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
New York, NY 10017
Wednesday 27 May 2015
Dear Secretary General,
We wish to draw your attention to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen.
Since the statement of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen of 4 May 2015 in which he called on the Saudi-led coalition to cease its bombing of Sana’a airport so that aid could enter the country warplanes have continued to bombard towns and cities across the country.
The coalition has ignored those calls and in fact intensified its military campaign. In recent days it has declared the whole of Saada a military target forcing tens of thousands of civilians to flee the city. However many more people remain trapped, unable to escape.
This declaration amounts to collective punishment as it is disproportionate in scale and fails to distinguish between military targets and the sanctity of civilians and civilian infrastructure, which amounts to a war crime.
The statement of Johannes Van Der Klaauw referred to the impossibility of aid agencies getting emergency medical assistance and personnel into the country when the airports, the country’s main lifelines, are being bombed by coalition warplanes. This is having a critical effect on the civilian population.
As you are aware the crisis has reached dire proportions. According to the UN’s own estimates about nine million Yemenis, over a third of the population, are believed to be in dire need of humanitarian assistance, and hundreds of thousands have become internal refugees.
You will also be mindful of the fact that Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East and is overwhelmingly reliant on imports of food to sustain its population, many of whom were already well under the poverty line before the outbreak of the current armed conflict. The ongoing siege and blockade of Yemen by coalition forces has worsened the humanitarian situation. Only limited food is getting to the country by boat or air, with damaged airport runways now unable to receive large cargo planes after initial consignments of emergency aid were flown in. The shortages have caused the prices of whatever little food that is available to skyrocket out of the reach of ordinary people.
Residents and aid agencies are also reporting widespread fuel shortages aggravating the already fragile electricity network. Hospitals are running out of fuel to run their generators and water pumps that provide clean drinking water cannot be operated, leaving many civilians forced to drink dirty water and increasing the risk of illness and the spread of diseases.
We would also like to draw your attention to Saudi Arabia’s presence on the UN Human Rights Council, a position which is inconsistent with the numerous violations of human rights and international law Riyadh is committing in respect of Yemen.
Further to the statement of Johannes Van Der Klaauw of 4 May we urge you to exert pressure on all protagonists in the Yemen conflict to lay down their weapons so that supplies of much needed humanitarian aid can reach the victims. Particular emphasis needs to be placed on securing an end to the aerial bombardment so that Yemen’s airports can reopen their runways to receiving international aid.
We the undersigned urge you to spare no effort to bring the warring sides in Yemen to implement an immediate ceasefire for humanitarian and political purposes. A pause in the fighting would allow crucial supplies in and permit civilians to get out of combat zones and also serve as a foundation for the warring sides to come round the negotiating table with the aim of resolving their differences without further suffering and bloodshed.
- 5Pillars , Roshan Muhammad Salih, Editor, UK
- Ahl albeit Society, Azzam Mohamad, Scotland
- Ahlulbayt Islamic Mission, Samir al-Haidari, UK
- Alternative Information Centre, Michel Warschawski, Jerusalem
- Association for Justice, Peace and Development, Jamal Abdul Nasir, Cambodia
- Association l’Ouverture, France
- Campaign Against Criminalising Communities, Les Levidow
- Central Committee Member of Ulama Association of Malaysia, Dr Fauzi Zakaria, Malaysia
- Citizens International, S.M. Mohamed Idris, Malaysia
- CODEPINK, Medea Benjamin, USA
- Collectif francais pour la liberte des peoples, Syed Naqvi, France
- Fondation Islamique et Culturelle d’Ahl-el-Beit, Mughees Husain, Switzerland
- Free Palestine Movement, Paul Larudee, USA
- Glasgow Ahlulbayt Association, Ahmed Khweir
- India-Palestine Solidarity Forum, Feroze Mithiborwala, India
- Institute for Global Dialogues
- Institute for Islamic Civilisation, Mardani Ali Seria, Indonesia
- Institute for Peace and Modernisation, Zainal Bagir, Indonesia
- International Action Centre, Sara Flounders, USA
- International Institute for Scientific Research, Sandew Hira, The Hague, Netherlands
- International Union of Muslim Scholars, Sheikh Ahmad Awang, Malaysia
- International Committee for Aiding Yemen and Ending the War, Hassan al-Amri, Switzerland
- International Union of Unified Ummah, Salim Ghafouri, Iran
- Islamic Human Rights Commission, Massoud Shadjareh, UK
- Islamic Unity Convention, Imam Achmed Cassiam, South Africa
- Malaysian Consulative Council of Islamic Organisations, Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid, Malaysia
- Mazlumder, Ahmet Faruk Unsal, Turkey
- Mujahid, Islamic scholar, Indonesia
- Muslim Intellectual Forum, Salim Alware, India
- Muslim Students Organisation of India, Shujaat Ali Quadri, India
- Muslim Youth League and Scottish Youth Forum, Sheikh Rehan Raza al-Azhari, Scotland
- Muslimah Association of Malaysia, Datin Hajjah Aminah Zakaria, Malaysia
- Nahdatul Ulama, Zuhairi Misrawi, Indonesia
- Phule-Ambedkar Intellectual Forum, Kishor Jagtap, India
- Plataforma Gueto, Flavio Almada, Portugal
- Red-White Holy Guard, Muh Sabana
- Scotland Against Criminalising Communities, Richard Haley
- Secretariat for the Ulama Assembly of Asia, Sheikh Abdul Ghani Samsudin, Malaysia
- Secular Forum India, Dr Suresh Khairnar, India
- Shia Rights Watch, Mustafa Akhwand, USA
- Stop the War Coalition, Lindsey German, UK
- Syria Solidarity Movement, Eva Bartlett, USA
- Universal Justice Network, Mohideen Abdul Kader, Malaysia
- Universalia Legal Aid Foundation, Ahmad Taufik, Indonesia
- Voice of Palestine, Mujtahid Hashem, Indonesia
- Angelos Rallis, documentary filmmaker and photojournalist, Greece
- Houria Bouteldja, activist, France
- Ilan Pappe, academic, UK
- Imam Asi, Imam of Washington Mosque
- Professor Hamid Algar, academic, University of Berkley
- Ramon Grosfoguel, academic, University of Berkley
- Rania Madi, attorney and activist, Geneva
- Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, Nigeria