Student of the American Center for Justice (ACJ) The international community, with its countries, bodies, institutions and alliances, gave sufficient attention to the file of the siege of the city of Taiz and the humanitarian crisis in it, and made it a priority of its tasks to end the war in Yemen, given the central importance of this file in the Yemeni crisis.
In a statement, the center stated that the city of Taiz has been subjected to a suffocating siege since 2015, in light of international connivance that makes lifting this siege and alleviating the suffering of civilians in it a sub-issue that receives little attention, with promises that are soon repudiated, and no attention is paid to This file is only in some of the margins of international efforts and discussions to end the war in Yemen.
The statement added, “Although Taiz is living in the harshest conditions of war, and in which all the features of the Yemeni humanitarian crisis are embodied, and in which most human rights violations and war crimes are committed, ending this suffering has not become a priority for the international community, neither at the level of discourse, nor in terms of endeavours. To bring peace to Yemen, and attention is not paid to the violations that occur there, nor to the impact of the siege on the humanitarian situation, and every time it is mentioned as a matter of dropping duty, nothing more.
And he added, “The American Center for Justice and all local, regional and international human rights activities noted that the lifting of the siege on the city of Taiz came on the sidelines of declaring the humanitarian truce in Yemen a month ago, and although the rest of the terms and conditions of the truce are constantly being worked on, and the media deals with them daily, but the lifting of the siege on The city of Taiz is still under neglect and disregard.
The American Center for Justice said that the international community, the Arab coalition, and the Yemeni government’s handling of the humanitarian crisis in Taiz is an extreme neglect that has repercussions on the peace process in Yemen, reduces the chances of reaching a radical political solution to the crisis, and leaves the fuse of war burning, and this neglect contributes to deepening Human rights violations, leaving civilians prey to the fires of war, lawlessness, famine, disease and poverty.
He stressed that the file of the siege of Taiz and the humanitarian crisis in it should be at the top of the priorities of efforts to end the war, and the need for clarity and frankness of the positions of all concerned parties in this regard, and for these positions to be embodied by condemning the siege, pressing for its end, and dealing with this crisis seriously and with great interest as it happens With the rest of the other operations within the declared humanitarian truce, such as the opening of Sanaa airport, the unification of banking operations, and the initiation of negotiations and consultations, the siege on the city of Taiz should be lifted unconditionally.
He warned that any operation would not result in an end to the siege of Taiz and the humanitarian crisis in it; It is doomed to fail, whether in the foreseeable future, or in the longer term, as the city and governorate of Taiz are an integral part of Yemen, and the continuation of this crisis will cast a shadow over the country’s future, whatever its features.
The Houthi siege consists in preventing movement between the center of the governorate and its countryside and other governorates by closing roads and direct and secondary outlets, building barricades and barriers and digging trenches in them, and diverting their paths to long, rugged, remote and crooked roads. After long battles in 2015 and 2016, civilians from all regions are forced to turn long distances and crowded and unpaved roads to reach it.
While the journey from the city of Mocha on the western coast of the country to the city of Taiz took only 3 hours before the siege occurred; This distance is estimated at 65 kilometers; It needs more than ten hours in the best conditions due to the blockade, and instead of its previous cost, which did not exceed the equivalent of 2000 riyals; The transportation fare has become more than 13,000 riyals, subject to increase according to fuel prices and events that occur, and the same applies to transportation from the Sharaab area, which is one of the largest rural areas in Taiz Governorate.
As for the Al-Hawban area, which is the largest and most economically active suburb of the city; The movement between it and the heart of the city did not take more than a quarter of an hour, with a cost of no more than 100 riyals; However, the direct road was completely closed, and movement became required to take long, long, bumpy and crowded roads, and the cost increased more than 20000 riyals, with the accompanying movement from these and other areas to the city of Taiz of the risks and the possibility of cutting new roads, and the detention or kidnapping of travelers, or exposure Mine vehicles.
The Houthi siege on Taiz has caused the cessation of the arrival of basic and necessary materials, including water, food, medicine and medical supplies, and humanitarian aid is confiscated and denied access, and relief organizations and agencies and the provision of humanitarian aid are prevented from reaching civilians affected by the war and siege, which has led to scarcity or absence. The basic and necessary materials in the city’s markets and their high prices with the low purchasing power of the stranded citizens, most of whom lost their sources of income and jobs, and what exacerbated the matter was the crisis of oil derivatives and household gas.
According to the Taiz Human Rights Center; 3,590 civilians were killed, including 761 children, 347 women and 289 the elderly, and 13,736 others were injured, including 3,155 children, 1,180 women and 764 the elderly, during the years from 2015 to 2020, as a result of the bombing and sniping carried out by the Houthi group (Ansar Allah) during this period.
The Monitoring Coalition documented the killing and wounding of 366 children in Taiz, between the ages of one and 17 years, by Houthi snipers, during the period from March 2015 to August 2020.
Civilians are targeted by Houthi militia fire, either with artillery and missile shelling; Or by sniper fire stationed on the mountains, hills, and rooftops surrounding the city, and this targeting takes place without discrimination between children, women, the elderly, men and youth, killing thousands of civilians, and causing difficulty in the movement of civilians and their displacement from their homes until many neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city became empty, and their buildings were looted in a way Full.
Activists, workers in relief organizations and agencies, journalists and media professionals inside the city are also being targeted, either by bombing, sniping or assassinations, to prevent them from conveying the truth, revealing and documenting violations, or providing aid to civilians.
The American Center for Justice referred to the manifestations of the humanitarian crisis in Taiz, most notably the deterioration of the health system and the deterioration of medical services, which caused an increase in the suffering of patients, and their inability to obtain adequate health care, due to the lack of centers to treat patients with renal failure in the countryside of Taiz governorate; More than 200 of these patients suffer the hardship of commuting to the city for regular dialysis sessions in Taiz, and they are forced to spend large sums and go through long trips to reach the only treatment center that suffers from a shortage of therapeutic materials and devices.
Because of the lack of equipment in the dialysis center; Patients may have to delay their sessions for several days, which means more costs of accommodation in the city, and sick suffering for them, according to information available from inside Al-Thawra Hospital in Taiz; The dialysis center receives 88 cases daily, which represents a great pressure on it and prevents patients from receiving adequate care.
The center is threatened by the possibility of stopping work due to the unavailability of fuel for the center’s generators after the electricity was cut off from the city since 2015. Since last year, the World Health Organization has stopped supplying the center with fuel, and the center is still receiving philanthropic aid, which is not sufficient to operate the center with its full equipment. And its devices, as the center needs medicines, medical supplies, and permanent maintenance operations for devices and equipment, in addition to the need for expansion and increasing its ability to receive patients.
And 643 cancer patients died in Taiz during the year 2015, due to the Houthis’ closure of the Al-Amal Cancer Treatment Center, which used to receive more than 150 patients daily. The center was reopened later after the Houthis left the city; However, the center suffers from a severe shortage of medicines, especially chemical ones, due to the siege and war.
Taiz governorate is one of the Yemeni governorates with the highest number of cancer patients, and during the year 2020, the National Cancer Control Foundation recorded 868 cases, and the cancer cases registered with the Al-Amal Center for Cancer Oncology in the city of Taiz reached 9,365 cases since the center opened in 2007, and the center said that there has been an increase Unprecedented for cases of cancer recently, only last August received 100 cases for the first time recorded in one month.