In March, the conflict in Yemen entered its fourth harrowing year. As part of UNA-UK's Yemen Can’t Wait campaign we’ve been pushing for the UK to support a UN-led peace process. With the help of our supporters and partner organisations, we continue to urge the UK Government to act.
UNA-UK is appalled by the assault on Hodeidah and has joined 11 major NGOs in writing to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to urge him to press the UAE and Saudi Arabia to ensure that the lifeline port of Hodeidah in Yemen is protected. We’re calling on Boris Johnson to send a clear public statement that the UK cannot continue to support any party that attacks the port of Hodeidah and that all parties must be held accountable for any violations against civilians.
Our work on Yemen
We remained concerned that the world's worst humanitarian crisis continues to unfold in Yemen, but also want to recognise some excellent local advocacy work on the situation - the UK is an influential actor in this conflict and sustained pressure in the UK is a key component which can increase the chances of a peace process being successful. Over 30 MPs have been urged to take action by UNA-UK supporters in constituencies from Anglesey to Romsey and Southampton North. Supporters have been urging MPs to tell the UK Government to prioritise peace in Yemen, both through international efforts and by using its close relationship with Saudi Arabia - the country leading the principal military intervention in Yemen.
Three members from Putney traveled as a group to ask their MP to support the campaign, while others have written letters calling upon their MP to raise their concerns as oral and written questions in parliament. We’ve already received a number of positive responses from MPs.
Many more supporters have flocked to social media, calling for the UK ambassador to the UN and the Minister of State for the Middle East to take urgent action on Yemen. Students from local UNA groups have been adding extra pressure on Twitter by recording videos on why they want to see the UK halt its arms sales to Saudi Arabia and call for Security Council action for peace. Take a look at their videos on UNA-UK’s Twitter.
As part of the campaign we wrote to the UK ambassador to the UN and the Minister of State for the Middle East, Alistair Burt MP. We recently received Alistair Burt's response which can be found here. We welcome Alistair Burt’s reply but are concerned that the UK’s approach to wait and see if the UN’s Special Envoy Martin Griffiths makes progress while encouraging all parties to "engage seriously" with the UN's peace proposals, does not recognise the urgency of the situation.
Photo: The city of Sa'ada in the Sa'ada Governorate has been heavily hit by airstrikes in the first four months of the escalation of conflict in Yemen. Credit: OCHA / Philippe Kropf