In Yemen, tens of thousands of people rallied in the streets of Taiz—Yemen’s second largest city—Thursday, protesting the collapse of Yemen’s economy amid a U.S.-backed, Saudi-led bombing campaign. Three-quarters of Yemenis—some 22 million people—are dependent on international aid, with an estimated 8.4 million people on the brink of starvation. This is protester Shehab Mohamed.
Shehab Mohamed: “We are starving, and our children are dying. The cities are under siege, and there’s unemployment. We want to tell the regime and the Saudi-led coalition that when hunger is the engine for these people, discussions, negotiations and treaties collapse, and the only solution is immediately supplying a loaf of bread.”
Thursday’s protest came as the head of a team of U.N. investigators accused Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates of interfering with their investigation. Kamel Jendoubi says all sides in Yemen’s conflict have committed human rights abuses, with the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition responsible for war crimes including widespread arbitrary detention, rape, torture and the conscription of children as young as 8 years old. In August, Republican Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama blocked an amendment by Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy that would have cut off U.S. taxpayer support to the Saudi-led war in Yemen.