Saudis, Allies Stealing Food Aid in Yemen: Int’l Lawyer

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A senior Canadian international attorney deplored “the largest man-made human rights crisis” caused by the Saudi-led war on Yemen and said there is evidence that the Riyadh regime and its allies have been stealing food aid that was destined for Yemeni civilians.

Saudis, Allies Stealing Food Aid in Yemen: Int’l Lawyer

“There is evidence that the Saudis and their allies have been stealing food aid that was destined for the civilians in Yemen,” Edward Corrigan from Ontario said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency.

Edward C. Corrigan is certified as a specialist by the Law Society of Ontario, Canada in Citizenship, Immigration and Immigration and Refugee Law. He is also an analyst and commentator for a number of media outlets around the world.

The following is the full text of the interview:

Tasnim: Recently, the United Nations brokered a truce deal between the Yemeni warring sides as part of confidence-building measures at peace talks in Sweden to avert a full-scale assault on the port city of Hudaydah that is vital for urgent aid supplies for millions facing starvation. However, the Saudi-led coalition and their mercenaries have violated the ongoing ceasefire in Hudaydah many times, by attacking residential areas there. What is your opinion about the truce violations and continued crimes committed by the Saudis and their allies?

Corrigan: It is clear that Saudis and their allies are not interested in peace talks in Yemen and are only using the talks as a diversion while they are continuing their attacks on Hudaydah and other cities in Yemen, including Sana’a. The Saudis and their allies have not proven capable of defeating the Houthis and their allies in the Yemen Army. However, the Houthis have not been able to defeat the Saudis and their allies in Yemen (either). Strategically, there is a stalemate. The Houthis appear to be serious about achieving a peace agreement. There is evidence that the Saudis and their allies have been stealing food aid that was destined for the civilians in Yemen. In the meantime, the suffering of the people of Yemen drags on with no end in sight.

Tasnim: The United Nations welcomed on Sunday any redeployment of Yemen’s Houthi forces away from the port city of Hudaydah as part of the Stockholm cease-fire agreement. What is your assessment of the role of the UN and its forces in monitoring the ceasefire in Hudaydah?

Corrigan: The United Nations in my view is trying to be an honest broker. They have repeatedly called for a cease fire and for an end of the largest man-made human rights crisis in the world. The problem is that while the Houthis have withdrawn some of their forces, the Saudis have taken advantage of the situation by advancing their forces in an attempt to seize the port which is a vital lifeline to the people of Yemen. Saudis back foreign forces and mercenaries do not seem to care about the mass starvation of civilians in Yemen. 

Tasnim: What do you think about the international pressures on Saudi Arabia and their influence on the protracted war in Yemen and how do you predict the future of the conflict?

Corrigan: To date, international pressure on the Saudis has not reached the level that puts serious pressure to force the Saudis and their allies to seek a peace agreement or to end the conflict. Many European countries have stopped selling arms to the Saudis but the main arms suppliers; the United States, Great Britain, and France, have not halted their sale of arms to the Saudis and their allies. Canada which has said it would halt the sale of arms to the Saudis has not yet taken concrete action to back up its position. Canada is being pressured by American arms manufactures not to take any action against the Saudis.

The brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and the tremendous negative reaction from most of the world’s countries and human rights organizations have increased the pressure but have to date brought little results. So long as US President Donald Trump and the British and French take no action and protect the Saudis, and especially the Crown Prince, little can be done. Even Russian President Putin has said he supports the Crown Prince. It is sad to see that human rights no longer seem to matter in world politics. Only money seems to matter but this is a great mistake.

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