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“There are shortages of food, cooking gas, fuel and drugs…The health system is collapsing. Patients with chronic diseases cannot get their drugs, bodies are on the streets, and the city is an open dump with trash covering the streets….It is extremely important to lift the blockade on food and medication and to set up unobstructed channels for air, sea and land access, to provide the population with what they need to survive.” -Hassan Boucenine, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), head of mission in Yemen, June 11, 2015 statement [1]

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 Since March 25, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab countries have been launching air assaults against targets in Yemen. The stated purpose has been to restore to power the so-called legitimate Yemeni president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. [2]

 Over the course of the last two and a half months, the infrastructure has been dealt a serious blow. Electircal grids, water supplies, sewage, food shipments and medical supplies have been affected.

 Already the poorest country in the region, Yemen is now quickly becoming a major humanitarian crisis. According to the UN, 20 million people, or 80% of the population of the country, are now in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. [3]

 According to World Health Organization Statistics, 15 million Yemenis do not have access to basic health care with 53 health facilities closed. One million are now internally displaced. Approximately 2000 have died since the commencement of the bombing. Twelve million have become food insecure. This situation has become exacerbated by a Saudi enforced blockade which denies humanitarian aid to the suffering denizens of this besieged state. [4][5]

 Now in the lead up to UN brokered peace negotiations in Geneva, thirteen international hunmanitarian organizations are calling for a permanent cease-fire, an end to the Saudi-led commercial blockade, an end to arms tranfers to those responsible for breaching international law, and an increase humanitarian and long term development funding. [6]

 Despite the lives of millions being at risk, the Yemen tragedy has gotten shockingly little attention in the mainstream press compared to those generated from natural disasters the world has witnessed in recent years. [7]

 This week’s Global Research News Hour investigates the humanitarian situation on the ground and probes some of the background to the conflict, and the geo-political and other factors leading to this carnage.

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Hisham Al-Omeisy is a Yemen information and political analyst based in Sana’a. He has through social media been relaying what he has been seeing and experiencing during the siege. He spoke to the Global Research News Hour about what he and other Yemeni citizens had been witnessing and experiencing in Yemen’s capital city over the course of the two and a half month long siege. His twitter handle is @omeisy.

Ali Saeed is the General Secretary of the Solidarity Committee for Ethiopian Political Prisoners (SOCEPP). He discusses the unique plight faced by Ethiopian and other migrants and refugees in this country, before and after the bombing.

Abayomi Azikiwe is a geo-political analyst and the Editor of Pan-African NewsWire. In the second half hour of the program, Azikiwe reviews the history of the conflict, the geo-political and regional factors propelling Saudi-Arabia and other countries into this conflict, the roles of the US, Israel and Iran, and the prospects for peace moving into the June 14 Geneva talks.

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The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca .

The  show can be heard on the Progressive Radio Network at prn.fm. Listen in every Monday at 3pm ET.

Community Radio Stations carrying the Global Research News Hour:

CFUV 101. 9 FM in Victoria. Airing Sundays from 7-8am PT.

CHLY 101.7 FM in Nanaimo, B.C – Thursdays at 1pm PT

Boston College Radio WZBC 90.3FM NEWTONS  during the Truth and Justice Radio Programming slot -Sundays at 7am ET.

Port Perry Radio in Port Perry, Ontario – Thursdays at 1pm ET

Burnaby Radio Station CJSF out of Simon Fraser University. 90.1FM to most of Greater Vancouver, from Langley to Point Grey and from the  North Shore to the US Border. It is also available on 93.9 FM cable in the communities of SFU, Burnaby, New Westminister, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey and Delta, in British Columbia Canada. – Tune in every Saturday at 6am.

 Notes:

1)http://www.msf.ca/en/article/yemen-msf-medical-teams-receive-100-injured-in-one-day-after-shelling-of-residential-areas

2) Heba Fahmy and  Peter Kovessy, (March 26, 2015); DohaNews, ‘Qatar joins Saudi-led bombing campaign of Houthi targets in Yemen‘; http://dohanews.co/qatar-joins-saudi-led-bombing-campaign-of-houthi-targets-in-yemen/

3) http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=51091#.VXzWN8VdXYh

4) ibid

5) Julian Borger (June 5, 2015), The Guardian, ‘Saudi-led naval blockade leaves 20m Yemenis facing humanitarian disaster’; http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/05/saudi-led-naval-blockade-worsens-yemen-humanitarian-disaster

6) http://www.rescue.org/press-releases/aid-agencies-permanent-yemen-ceasefire-needed-now-save-millions-24975

7) http://rabble.ca/news/2015/05/canadas-complicity-saudi-yemen-war

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SOURCES:
By Michael Welch and Abayomi Azikiwe, Global Research
http://www.globalresearch.ca/yemen-the-silent-slaughter/5455487
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