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EU strategy needed to end Yemen conflict

press release

After several calls by Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake (D66/ALDE) the European Parliament will tomorrow call on High Representative Federica Mogherini to define an EU strategy to end the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Yemen.

Schaake: "The situation on the ground in Yemen is spiralling out of control. The United Nations have already reported that more than ten thousand have died, two million children are malnourished and three million people have become refugees. The EU has to take action to end the war and the humanitarian crisis. Especially now President Trump continues to undermine the US credibility in the region. An EU strategy is a must."

Arms embargo Saudi Arabia

The Saudi led coalition is responsible for the largest number of civilian casualties in Yemen. Schaake has repeated her call from February 2016 to put in place an arms embargo against Saudi Arabia: "The United Kingdom, France and Germany continue to supply arms to Saudi Arabia, while this country entices terrorism and flagrantly violates human rights. The consequences for Yemen are disastrous. An EU wide arms embargo has to be put in place as soon as possible."  

Mutual interests

An unambiguous strategy for Yemen is also in the EU's interest. Yemen is strategically located along a mayor shipping line in the Gulf of Aden. Schaake: "Several naval mines have already been removed from the Yemeni coast this year. Furthermore, the bombardments and drone strikes by the Saudi-led coalition are fuelling the expansion of radical movements including Al-Qaida. Meanwhile Iran's influence in the region is on the rise, by militarily and politically supporting the Houthi movement in Yemen. An EU strategy is not only necessary but also in our common interest."

Schaake furthermore calls for the appointment of an EU Special Representative, and for international cooperation in order to prosecute those who are committing war crimes. Financial support for the reconstruction of Yemen, when a peace deal is in place, can be used as leverage to get the different parties in the conflict back to the negotiating table.