A prominent Indian expert on international affairs on Thursday said that Yemen conflict was a domestic issue, but was escalated by Saudi Arabia, its allies and the US.
In an exclusive interview with IRNA, Prof. Bansidhar Pradhan, former Chairperson of Centre for West Asian Studies (CWAS) at School of International Studies (SIS) in Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi said, “Yemen, which is facing serious humanitarian crisis right now, at the first step requires a sustainable cease-fire and a cessation of air strikes which have caused damage to the infrastructure of the country and had also killed civilians.
After that point, the fate of the country should be left to people to decide for themselves about the type of government they required”.
Criticizing the intervention by the external forces, Pradhan was of the view that Saudi Arabia, which is a monarch country, was afraid of creating the democratic system in Yemen which could be a threat to the foundations to its monarchy, and that led to its intervention.
“Mindless airstrikes will never resolve the situation, and will only escalate further and engulf the whole area. Saudi government is not ready for a political solution. They want to finish Houthis and then want a political solution. I believe without the expulsion of the external powers, there cannot be some sort of political settlement to get out of this crisis. It should be resolved through political negotiations by the people of that country,” stressed the Indian expert.
To a question on Iran’s being accused of arming the Houthis, Prof. Pradhan categorically rejected the accusation. He said that though Iran is blamed due to regional dynamics, but it is always insisting for negotiations.
The Indian scholar, while slamming the international human rights watchdogs, said that it is very unfortunate that humanitarian crisis is continuing in Yemen without world attention. The UN and other major powers are not paying attention.
“According to a UNICEF report, approximately 370,000 children are on the verge of starvation. At least the UN should not turn a blind eye to this grave situation”, emphasized Prof. Pradhan.
The domestic conflict in Yemen began in 2015. At first it was between two factions claiming to constitute the Yemeni government, along with their supporters and allies. But, the Saudi-led intervention escalated the conflict and at present the country is facing a severe humanitarian crisis.
The Saudi intervention, which has included widespread bombing of civilian areas, has been sharply condemned by the international community. But, Saudi Arabia and its allies have not been forced to stop the mindless airstrikes on civilians.
According to the UN, from the beginning till March 2017 16,200 people have been killed in Yeman, including 10,000 civilians. Although the figure could be much more than that.
As per media reports, millions of Yemenis have been deprived of water, food and electricity as a result of the conflict.