The war in Yemen, now in its sixth year, has caused incredible devastation to the country and its people. The conflict between the Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, and the Yemeni government, backed by Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E., continues to escalate with no path towards peace. A blockade enforced by the Saudi-led coalition, as well as indiscriminate and unlawful airstrikes, have caused thousands of civilian deaths from famine and violence. In recent years, reduced funding for humanitarian aid programs, decreased international financial support, and natural disasters exacerbated already dire conditions. U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guiterres released a statement last month, warning, “Yemen is now in imminent danger of the worst famine the world has seen for decades. In the absence of immediate action, millions of lives may be lost.”
The United States has done little to decrease the plight of the Yemeni people; rather, U.S. decisions have aided the Saudi-led coalition in causing destruction. Despite widespread pressure on the U.S. to relieve the humanitarian crisis, the Trump administration is planning to go forward with further support for the Saudi-led coalition. The administration, on the urging of Saudi and Emerati officials, intends to designate the Houthi rebel group as a terrorist organization, as well as complete a large arms sale to the UAE. These decisions may have catastrophic implications for the Yemeni people. Designating the Houthis as a terrorist organization would essentially end all trade with Yemen, cutting people off from humanitarian aid and other basic supplies. Yemen depends on imports for 90 percent of its daily needs, and without access to these resources, the country will face the terrible famine that U.N. and other humanitarian officials have warned of for years. Additionally, supplying the UAE with advanced weaponry will certainly lead to more civilian deaths, as neither side has shown regard for humanitarian law or human rights throughout the conflict.
In 2018, the PC(USA) General Assembly affirmed that the U.S. should be supporting humanitarian efforts in Yemen, not a destructive proxy war, and recognized the U.S’ complicity in the devastation. As Isaiah 2:4 says, “God shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” Contact your members of Congress and urge them to support H.Con.Res.123 to end US military support for the Saudi-led coalition, H.J.Res.103, and S.J.Res.77, 78, 79, and 80 to disapprove the sale of advanced weapons to the U.A.E.