#UK seeks #Saudi cluster bomb assurances over #Yemen

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UK seeks Saudi cluster bomb assurances over Yemen


Cluster bombsImage copyrightAMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
Image captionAmnesty claims it found these UK-made cluster bombs in Yemen

The UK government has sought fresh assurances from Saudi Arabia that British-made cluster bombs have not been used in the conflict in Yemen.

Amnesty International said it had documented the use of the weapons, manufactured in the 1970s.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told MPs there was currently no evidence Saudi Arabia had used cluster bombs.
Mr Hammond said the weapons described were decades old and it was now illegal to supply such bombs under British law.
Answering an urgent question in the Commons, defence minister Philip Dunne said the UK had ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions in 2010 and no longer supplied, manufactured or supported them.
He said there had been several conflicts in that region in the past decade so it was not clear that the evidence found had come from the current fighting.
Shadow defence secretary Emily Thornberry asked whether the Saudi military had used British planes to drop cluster bombs and what was the extent of British involvement in the conflict.
Mr Dunne replied: "I can categorically reassure [you] that no British planes have been involved in this coalition effort at all, let alone in dropping cluster munitions - that is the potential allegation. There is no British involvement in the coalition in targeting or weaponising aircraft to undertake missions."

'Nasty weapon'



Amnesty has written to Prime Minister David Cameron calling for a government inquiry into the allegations.
The human rights group claimed it found a partially-exploded BL-755 cluster bomb which had apparently malfunctioned, leaving scores of unexploded bomblets strewn over a wide area near a farm in Al-khadhra village, six miles from the Saudi border.
Amnesty said the bomb was originally manufactured by Bedfordshire company Hunting Engineering Ltd in the 1970s.
Amnesty International UK arms control director Oliver Sprague said: "Cluster bombs are one of the nastiest weapons in the history of warfare, rightly banned by more than 100 countries, so it's truly shocking that a British cluster munition has been dropped on a civilian area in Yemen."

Cluster bombs explained

  • The Convention on Cluster Munitions prohibits all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of cluster bombs
  • The convention has 108 signatories and became binding international law in 2010
  • Cluster bombs pose particular risks to civilians because they release many small bomblets over a wide area
  • During attacks, they are prone to indiscriminate effects especially in populated areas
  • Unexploded bomblets can kill or maim civilians long after a conflict has ended, and are costly to locate and remove
Source: United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs

A Saudi-led coalition of Arab air forces began carrying out airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen last year.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights estimates that at least 3,200 civilians have been killed and 5,700 wounded, with 60% of the casualties caused by airstrikes, in that time.
The conflict between President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi's UN-recognised government and the rebels began in September 2014
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Her is the True about the ‪#‎SaudiArabia‬ and ‪#‎wahhabism‬ and ‪#‎ISIS‬ ‪

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Her is the True about the ‪#‎SaudiArabia‬ and ‪#‎wahhabism‬ and ‪#‎ISIS‬ 





You Can’t Understand ISIS If You Don’t Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia



The dramatic arrival of Da’ish (ISIS) on the stage of Iraq has shocked many in the West. Many have been perplexed — and horrified — by its violence and its evident magnetism for Sunni youth. But more than this, they find Saudi Arabia’s ambivalence in the face of this manifestation both troubling and inexplicable, wondering, “Don’t the Saudis understand that ISIS threatens them, too?”
It appears — even now — that Saudi Arabia’s ruling elite is divided. Some applaud that ISIS is fighting Iranian Shiite “fire” with Sunni “fire”; that a new Sunni state is taking shape at the very heart of what they regard as a historical Sunni patrimony; and they are drawn by Da’ish’s strict Salafist ideology.
Other Saudis are more fearful, and recall the history of the revolt against Abd-al Aziz by the Wahhabist Ikhwan (Disclaimer: this Ikhwan has nothing to do with the Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan — please note, all further references hereafter are to the Wahhabist Ikhwan, and not to the Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan), but which nearly imploded Wahhabism and the al-Saud in the late 1920s.
Many Saudis are deeply disturbed by the radical doctrines of Da’ish (ISIS) — and are beginning to question some aspects of Saudi Arabia’s direction and discourse.
THE SAUDI DUALITY

Saudi Arabia’s internal discord and tensions over ISIS can only be understood by grasping the inherent (and persisting) duality that lies at the core of the Kingdom’s doctrinal makeup and its historical origins.
One dominant strand to the Saudi identity pertains directly to Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab (the founder of Wahhabism), and the use to which his radical, exclusionist puritanism was put by Ibn Saud. (The latter was then no more than a minor leader — amongst many — of continually sparring and raiding Bedouin tribes in the baking and desperately poor deserts of the Nejd.)
The second strand to this perplexing duality, relates precisely to King Abd-al Aziz’s subsequent shift towards statehood in the 1920s: his curbing of Ikhwani violence (in order to have diplomatic standing as a nation-state with Britain and America); his institutionalization of the original Wahhabist impulse — and the subsequent seizing of the opportunely surging petrodollar spigot in the 1970s, to channel the volatile Ikhwani current away from home towards export — by diffusing a cultural revolution, rather than violent revolution throughout the Muslim world.
But this “cultural revolution” was no docile reformism. It was a revolution based on Abd al-Wahhab’s Jacobin-like hatred for the putrescence and deviationism that he perceived all about him — hence his call to purge Islam of all its heresies and idolatries.
MUSLIM IMPOSTORS


The American author and journalist, Steven Coll, has written how this austere and censorious disciple of the 14th century scholar Ibn Taymiyyah, Abd al-Wahhab, despised “the decorous, arty, tobacco smoking, hashish imbibing, drum pounding Egyptian and Ottoman nobility who travelled across Arabia to pray at Mecca.”
In Abd al-Wahhab’s view, these were not Muslims; they were imposters masquerading as Muslims. Nor, indeed, did he find the behavior of local Bedouin Arabs much better. They aggravated Abd al-Wahhab by their honoring of saints, by their erecting of tombstones, and their “superstition” (e.g. revering graves or places that were deemed particularly imbued with the divine).
All this behavior, Abd al-Wahhab denounced as bida — forbidden by God.
Like Taymiyyah before him, Abd al-Wahhab believed that the period of the Prophet Muhammad’s stay in Medina was the ideal of Muslim society (the “best of times”), to which all Muslims should aspire to emulate (this, essentially, is Salafism).
Taymiyyah had declared war on Shi’ism, Sufism and Greek philosophy. He spoke out, too against visiting the grave of the prophet and the celebration of his birthday, declaring that all such behavior represented mere imitation of the Christian worship of Jesus as God (i.e. idolatry). Abd al-Wahhab assimilated all this earlier teaching, stating that “any doubt or hesitation” on the part of a believer in respect to his or her acknowledging this particular interpretation of Islam should“deprive a man of immunity of his property and his life.”
One of the main tenets of Abd al-Wahhab’s doctrine has become the key idea oftakfir. Under the takfiri doctrine, Abd al-Wahhab and his followers could deem fellow Muslims infidels should they engage in activities that in any way could be said to encroach on the sovereignty of the absolute Authority (that is, the King). Abd al-Wahhab denounced all Muslims who honored the dead, saints, or angels. He held that such sentiments detracted from the complete subservience one must feel towards God, and only God. Wahhabi Islam thus bans any prayer to saints and dead loved ones, pilgrimages to tombs and special mosques, religious festivals celebrating saints, the honoring of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, and even prohibits the use of gravestones when burying the dead.

“Those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated, he wrote. “

Abd al-Wahhab demanded conformity — a conformity that was to be demonstrated in physical and tangible ways. He argued that all Muslims must individually pledge their allegiance to a single Muslim leader (a Caliph, if there were one). Those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated, he wrote. The list of apostates meriting death included the Shiite, Sufis and other Muslim denominations, whom Abd al-Wahhab did not consider to be Muslim at all.


There is nothing here that separates Wahhabism from ISIS. The rift would emerge only later: from the subsequent institutionalization of Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab’s doctrine of “One Ruler, One Authority, One Mosque” — these three pillars being taken respectively to refer to the Saudi king, the absolute authority of official Wahhabism, and its control of “the word” (i.e. the mosque).


It is this rift — the ISIS denial of these three pillars on which the whole of Sunni authority presently rests — makes ISIS, which in all other respects conforms to Wahhabism, a deep threat to Saudi Arabia.


BRIEF HISTORY 1741- 1818


Abd al-Wahhab’s advocacy of these ultra radical views inevitably led to his expulsion from his own town — and in 1741, after some wanderings, he found refuge under the protection of Ibn Saud and his tribe. What Ibn Saud perceived in Abd al-Wahhab’s novel teaching was the means to overturn Arab tradition and convention. It was a path to seizing power.

“Their strategy — like that of ISIS today — was to bring the peoples whom they conquered into submission. They aimed to instill fear. “



Ibn Saud’s clan, seizing on Abd al-Wahhab’s doctrine, now could do what they always did, which was raiding neighboring villages and robbing them of their possessions. Only now they were doing it not within the ambit of Arab tradition, but rather under the banner of jihad. Ibn Saud and Abd al-Wahhab also reintroduced the idea of martyrdom in the name of jihad, as it granted those martyred immediate entry into paradise.


In the beginning, they conquered a few local communities and imposed their rule over them. (The conquered inhabitants were given a limited choice: conversion to Wahhabism or death.) By 1790, the Alliance controlled most of the Arabian Peninsula and repeatedly raided Medina, Syria and Iraq.


Their strategy — like that of ISIS today — was to bring the peoples whom they conquered into submission. They aimed to instill fear. In 1801, the Allies attacked the Holy City of Karbala in Iraq. They massacred thousands of Shiites, including women and children. Many Shiite shrines were destroyed, including the shrine of Imam Hussein, the murdered grandson of Prophet Muhammad.


A British official, Lieutenant Francis Warden, observing the situation at the time, wrote: “They pillaged the whole of it [Karbala], and plundered the Tomb of Hussein... slaying in the course of the day, with circumstances of peculiar cruelty, above five thousand of the inhabitants ...”


Osman Ibn Bishr Najdi, the historian of the first Saudi state, wrote that Ibn Saud committed a massacre in Karbala in 1801. He proudly documented that massacre saying, “we took Karbala and slaughtered and took its people (as slaves), then praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and we do not apologize for that and say: ‘And to the unbelievers: the same treatment.’”


In 1803, Abdul Aziz then entered the Holy City of Mecca, which surrendered under the impact of terror and panic (the same fate was to befall Medina, too). Abd al-Wahhab’s followers demolished historical monuments and all the tombs and shrines in their midst. By the end, they had destroyed centuries of Islamic architecture near the Grand Mosque.


But in November of 1803, a Shiite assassin killed King Abdul Aziz (taking revenge for the massacre at Karbala). His son, Saud bin Abd al Aziz, succeeded him and continued the conquest of Arabia. Ottoman rulers, however, could no longer just sit back and watch as their empire was devoured piece by piece. In 1812, the Ottoman army, composed of Egyptians, pushed the Alliance out from Medina, Jeddah and Mecca. In 1814, Saud bin Abd al Aziz died of fever. His unfortunate son Abdullah bin Saud, however, was taken by the Ottomans to Istanbul, where he was gruesomely executed (a visitor to Istanbul reported seeing him having been humiliated in the streets of Istanbul for three days, then hanged and beheaded, his severed head fired from a canon, and his heart cut out and impaled on his body).


In 1815, Wahhabi forces were crushed by the Egyptians (acting on the Ottoman’s behalf) in a decisive battle. In 1818, the Ottomans captured and destroyed the Wahhabi capital of Dariyah. The first Saudi state was no more. The few remaining Wahhabis withdrew into the desert to regroup, and there they remained, quiescent for most of the 19th century.


HISTORY RETURNS WITH ISIS


It is not hard to understand how the founding of the Islamic State by ISIS in contemporary Iraq might resonate amongst those who recall this history. Indeed, the ethos of 18th century Wahhabism did not just wither in Nejd, but it roared back into life when the Ottoman Empire collapsed amongst the chaos of World War I.


The Al Saud — in this 20th century renaissance — were led by the laconic and politically astute Abd-al Aziz, who, on uniting the fractious Bedouin tribes, launched the Saudi “Ikhwan” in the spirit of Abd-al Wahhab’s and Ibn Saud’s earlier fighting proselytisers.


The Ikhwan was a reincarnation of the early, fierce, semi-independent vanguard movement of committed armed Wahhabist “moralists” who almost had succeeded in seizing Arabia by the early 1800s. In the same manner as earlier, the Ikhwan again succeeded in capturing Mecca, Medina and Jeddah between 1914 and 1926. Abd-al Aziz, however, began to feel his wider interests to be threatened by the revolutionary “Jacobinism” exhibited by the Ikhwan. The Ikhwan revolted — leading to a civil war that lasted until the 1930s, when the King had them put down: he machine-gunned them.


For this king, (Abd-al Aziz), the simple verities of previous decades were eroding. Oil was being discovered in the peninsular. Britain and America were courting Abd-al Aziz, but still were inclined to support Sharif Husain as the only legitimate ruler of Arabia. The Saudis needed to develop a more sophisticated diplomatic posture.


So Wahhabism was forcefully changed from a movement of revolutionary jihadand theological takfiri purification, to a movement of conservative social, political, theological, and religious da’wa (Islamic call) and to justifying the institution that upholds loyalty to the royal Saudi family and the King’s absolute power.


OIL WEALTH SPREAD WAHHABISM


With the advent of the oil bonanza — as the French scholar, Giles Kepel writes, Saudi goals were to “reach out and spread Wahhabism across the Muslim world ... to “Wahhabise” Islam, thereby reducing the “multitude of voices within the religion” to a “single creed” — a movement which would transcend national divisions. Billions of dollars were — and continue to be — invested in this manifestation of soft power.


It was this heady mix of billion dollar soft power projection — and the Saudi willingness to manage Sunni Islam both to further America’s interests, as it concomitantly embedded Wahhabism educationally, socially and culturally throughout the lands of Islam — that brought into being a western policy dependency on Saudi Arabia, a dependency that has endured since Abd-al Aziz’s meeting with Roosevelt on a U.S. warship (returning the president from the Yalta Conference) until today.


Westerners looked at the Kingdom and their gaze was taken by the wealth; by the apparent modernization; by the professed leadership of the Islamic world. They chose to presume that the Kingdom was bending to the imperatives of modern life — and that the management of Sunni Islam would bend the Kingdom, too, to modern life.

“On the one hand, ISIS is deeply Wahhabist. On the other hand, it is ultra radical in a different way. It could be seen essentially as a corrective movement to contemporary Wahhabism.”


But the Saudi Ikhwan approach to Islam did not die in the 1930s. It retreated, but it maintained its hold over parts of the system — hence the duality that we observe today in the Saudi attitude towards ISIS.
On the one hand, ISIS is deeply Wahhabist. On the other hand, it is ultra radical in a different way. It could be seen essentially as a corrective movement to contemporary Wahhabism.
ISIS is a “post-Medina” movement: it looks to the actions of the first two Caliphs, rather than the Prophet Muhammad himself, as a source of emulation, and it forcefully denies the Saudis’ claim of authority to rule.
As the Saudi monarchy blossomed in the oil age into an ever more inflated institution, the appeal of the Ikhwan message gained ground (despite King Faisal’s modernization campaign). The “Ikhwan approach” enjoyed — and still enjoys — the support of many prominent men and women and sheikhs. In a sense, Osama bin Laden was precisely the representative of a late flowering of this Ikhwani approach.
Today, ISIS’ undermining of the legitimacy of the King’s legitimacy is not seen to be problematic, but rather a return to the true origins of the Saudi-Wahhab project.
In the collaborative management of the region by the Saudis and the West in pursuit of the many western projects (countering socialism, Ba’athism, Nasserism, Soviet and Iranian influence), western politicians have highlighted their chosen reading of Saudi Arabia (wealth, modernization and influence), but they chose to ignore the Wahhabist impulse.
After all, the more radical Islamist movements were perceived by Western intelligence services as being more effective in toppling the USSR in Afghanistan — and in combatting out-of-favor Middle Eastern leaders and states.
Why should we be surprised then, that from Prince Bandar’s Saudi-Western mandate to manage the insurgency in Syria against President Assad should have emerged a neo-Ikhwan type of violent, fear-inducing vanguard movement: ISIS? And why should we be surprised — knowing a little about Wahhabism — that “moderate” insurgents in Syria would become rarer than a mythical unicorn? Why should we have imagined that radical Wahhabism would create moderates? Or why could we imagine that a doctrine of “One leader, One authority, One mosque: submit to it, or be killed” could ever ultimately lead to moderation or tolerance?
Or, perhaps, we never imagined.
_______________________________________________________


Wahhabism, ISIS, and the Saudi Connection

By U.S. Department of State from United States - Secretary Kerry Sits With Saudi King Salman Before Bilateral Meeting in Riyadh, Public Domain, $3

_________________________________________________________________________

The Saudi Wahhabis are the real foe



http://www.politico.eu/article/the-saudi-wahhabis-are-the-real-foe-islamic-terrorists-salafi-violence/
_____________________________________________________________________

Wahhabism and ISIS: why US officials won’t discuss their links to Saudi Arabia



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SISI MUST GO , before it is too late

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SISI MUST GO 
 Before it is too late



With each planeload evacuating Russian and British tourists, Sharm el-Sheikh can feel its life blood ebbing.
Arthur, on a fixed salary of $255 ($63 more than Egypt's minimum wage) says: “I don’t know what happened on that plane. I have a feeling we are being manipulated and I prefer not to think about it. I think the West is trying to force Egypt to do the things it wants and this accident is a perfect opportunity for it to force us to, force us in a financial way.”
Ahmed, a diving instructor turned taxi driver, agrees: “They want to kill us. I don’t see any other explanation. Here, there are only Russian and English tourists left, and those are the ones who are going home.”
The Western plot to kill Sharm el-Sheikh is richly orchestrated by the linguistic creativity of the pro-government media. When a stranded British tourist harangued the British Ambassador John Casson, she was reported by pro-government Al Ahram as saying: “We want to continue our holiday and we do not want to leave now.”
What she actually said (documented in a YouTube clip)




was: “What is the problem? What is the real problem? Why are we here? ...There was a security problem this morning and you are now here to resolve it. Why are we here then, while the rest of the people have gone home?”


Foreign hands are also, apparently, at work in Alexandria. When storms and heavy rain caused widespread flooding in Egypt’s second largest city, killing 17 and injuring 28 - which happens regularly because the city’s drainage system cannot cope - the government’s response was to arrest 17 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, who are accused of blocking sewage pipes, damaging electricity transformers and rubbish containers.

There are other scapegoats for state failure. On Wednesday, the prosecution in Giza released one of Egypt’s most powerful businessmen and his son, Salah and Tawfik Diab, on $6,385 bail, after three nights in detention. Earlier, a criminal court cancelled a decision to freeze the financial assets of Diab, Mahmoud El-Gammal and 16 others. Only assets related to the New Giza housing compound project are still frozen, with Diab accused of illegally acquiring state-owned land. These are Egypt’s richest men and former backers of the coup in 2013. Diab is co-founder of Al-Masry Al-Youm, one of Egypt's largest privately-owned daily newspapers. His co-founder, Hisham Kassem, says he believes Diab's arrest may have been a result of the paper's coverage.

The arrest of the 16 Mubarak-era businessmen was a message from the government. Wael al-Ibrashi, the pro-Sisi TV anchor in Dream TV, spelt it out. He quoted a “sovereign source” meaning a top government or security official who told him that there are suspicious actions by a number of businessmen to cause chaos and economic crisis in the country by transferring their money outside the country. They were convinced by enemy sources that there will be a major event happening in Egypt soon.
The financial markets are unimpressed by these pyrotechnics, although they agree that the state’s finances are going south. The Egyptian Pound is on its fastest decline since the reign of King Farouk. Changing the governor of the central bank, which is now trying to support the pound by getting interest rates to rise and injecting dollars into the banks, is not going to stop a further devaluation which analysts say is inevitable. Already that pound has lost 14 percent of its value in just ten months.
Mohammad Ayesh, writing in Al-Quds Al-Arabi, gives three reasons for the decline and fall of the currency: the cost of keeping the army on the streets; the collapse of tourism which accounts for up to 11 percent of GDP and generates a fifth of the country’s foreign exchange earnings; and lastly corruption. Giving money to an Egypt, where up to 40 percent of the economy is controlled by the army, is literally pouring money into a black hole. As a consequence, the foreign currency in the central bank is currently dropping by $1bn each month.
Egypt’s currency crisis must be regarded as unique in the annals of financial mismanagement. Just over two years ago, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took over, his wallet stuffed with cash: he had the backing of two of the Gulf’s richest states, the US, EU and oil and gas multinationals. By one measure alone, the leaked and authenticated tapes of conversations Sisi had with his closest advisers, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait gave Egypt $39.5bn in cash, loans and oil derivatives between July 2013, the date of the coup, and sometime between January and February of 2014. Since then, some calculate the sum is closer to $50bn. Where has all this money gone? One thing is for sure: Egypt is not going to get another Gulf handout.
Wherever you look in the chaos of Egypt today, the finger points at one man - Sisi - and at one institution - the Egyptian army. It is he and it, not “foreign hands” which are at the epicentre of the country’s instability.
Dictators can do bloodshed. Neither youth gunned down in their prime, nor the grief of their parents, make them hesitate. Comparisons between Raba’a and other massacres like Tiananmen, or Andijan mean little to them. Nor does the small library of human rights reports and witness statements which now exists to catalogue their crimes - death in detention, torture in custody, kangaroo courts, mass death sentences. All this Sisi has absorbed.
But rottweilers have to provide protection. They have to do their job. Sisi does not. He is now weaker as an absolute ruler than at any time since he took over. He faces the real and imminent prospect of losing control - over the economy, politics, and security. The state itself is failing.
Curiously that visit to London, in which he had vested so many hopes and so much effort, might yet prove to be the turning point in his presidency. And even more curiously, it was his host, David Cameron, a prime minister who has subverted a foreign policy ostensibly based on promoting democracy to a frantic search for trade and arms deals, who turned out to be his chief executioner.
Sisi spent the week saying he had Sinai and the Islamic State (IS) militant group under control.
A Russian airliner downed by a bomb placed in the luggage compartment? That was nothing more than “propaganda”. His twin aims were to position himself as the guard dog in the war against IS and to increase trade links. Both were shattered by Cameron’s decision to suspend flights to Sharm el-Sheikh, a decision followed by Dutch, German, Irish carriers and by Russia itself.  
Sisi found himself cut out of the intelligence loop he had fought so hard to be at the centre of, not only for Sinai, but Libya and Syria, too. The Americans, British and Russians were sharing intelligence with each other, not him. A visit arranged to increase British-Egyptian security co-operation, a visit designed to cement trade ties with one of Egypt’s largest foreign direct investors turned into an intelligence disaster and a wake for Egypt’s tourist industry.
Sisi is losing battles on multiple fronts. The physical one in Sinai first and foremost: the IS insurgents known as 'Wilayat Sinai' - or Sinai Province (SP) - are growing in strength. It and its predecessor conducted more than 400 attacks between 2012 and 2015, killing more than 700 military officers and soldiers, nearly twice the number of military casualties in one province of Egypt than the insurgency that took place in the whole of the country from 1992 to 1997. The SP’s most daring attack took place in July this year when it targeted 15 military and security posts and destroyed two. Over 300 men took part. They used anti-aircraft Igla missiles to force the Egyptian army’s US-supplied Apaches away. They mined their retreat. The operation lasted for 20 hours.
The insurgency in Sinai preceded the military coup. But the coup changed its character and its quality. Figures provided by the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy show that in the 23 months before June 2013, there were 78 attacks, an average of 3.4 attacks per month. In the same period after the coup, there were 1,223 attacks, or 53.2 attacks per months. That is a 1,464 percent increase.
Sisi has thrown everything at the population of North Sinai: extrajudicial killings of 1,347 people, the detention of 11,906, the deportation of 22,992, the destruction of at least 3,255 buildings. As his Israeli backers are now admitting, Sisi is making every mistake in the counter-insurgency rule book. He has indeed turned Sinai into South Sudan, which he himself warned army officers not to do when he worked for Morsi.
Even more important than the physical battle is the political one. Sisi has been as careless with his supporters as he has been with Egypt in general. Sisi has emptied the polling booths, with dramatically low turnouts for elections. The turnout for the recent parliamentary was so low  - under three percent on the first day - that the Abdullah Fathi, the head of the Egyptian Club for Judges said: "There were no wrong doings, no irregularities, no exchange shouting, and even no voters . . . " And then he laughed.
The supporters of the 3 July military coup have each been on a slow but brutal journey of discovery. They have been slow to admit it. None more so than the Soueif family.
Laila Soueif and her son the blogger and hero of the secular left, Alaa Abd El-Fattah, both encouraged the army to clear Raba’a and al-Nadha sit-ins. Laila said: “This protest in al-Nahda, in particular, must be dispersed immediately by the police. We see them every day in Giza shooting at the sky, then they hold banners saying peaceful protests, peaceful what? Every day they kill people and say they (killers) were baltagia (thugs paid by the Ministry of Interior). I didn't see any baltagia."
While Alaa said: “This is an armed protest and, for over a day now, there have been clashes.
They have fought in four residential areas. There is no political solution to this, this needs a security solution. At least contain them, my mother and I were attacked as we were walking through. I'm not saying hurt them. I'm saying contain them.”
Today Alaa is in jail, one of 41,000 political prisoners and Laila has been on hunger strike. Laila says: “Sisi is the head of the most oppressive and criminal regime Egypt has seen during my lifetime, and I am almost 60.”
She is right, belatedly. Sisi is the head of the most oppressive and criminal regime Egypt has seen in its modern history and he has to go. If he does not, Egypt is set on a path of disaster, a disaster that could end in the disintegration of the state and mass emigration to Europe. Before that happens, someone else must step in, even if, as seems increasingly likely, that someone else is another army officer.
David Hearst is editor-in-chief of Middle East Eye. He was chief foreign leader writer of The Guardian, former Associate Foreign Editor, European Editor, Moscow Bureau Chief, European Correspondent, and Ireland Correspondent. He joined The Guardian from The Scotsman, where he was education correspondent.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.
Photo: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi arrives at 10 Downing Street to meet British Prime Minister David Cameron on 5 November 2015 in London (AA)
http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/sisi-must-go-it-too-late-1711093598#.dpuf

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100 of ‎Saudi‬ aggression against ‪‎Yemen‬

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100 
of ‎Saudi‬ aggression against ‪‎Yemen
















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Millions of people in Yemen on the edge hunger

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Yemen facing serious food insecurity as conflict deteriorates, new UN study finds




 Six million people in Yemen are slipping towards severe hunger and now need emergency food and life-saving assistance, “a sharp increase” from the last quarter of 2014, according to a new joint study by two United Nations organizations.
“We are seeing a serious deterioration of the food security situation because of the ongoing conflict, which is also making humanitarian access difficult,” warned Salah El Hajj Hassan, Yemen Representative for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
In addition to the population facing a food security ‘emergency,’ another over 6.5 million people are classified as facing a food insecurity security ‘crisis,’ says the report, released yesterday and prepared by the FAO, in cooperation with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation in Yemen (MoPIC), on behalf of other technical partners, including a number of non-governmental organizations.
“Unless access to the affected population is guaranteed to provide humanitarian assistance, further deterioration of the situation is very likely,” added Mr. Hassan.
Ten out of Yemen’s 22 governorates are now classified as facing food insecurity at ‘emergency’ level, finds the report. Millions more are highly vulnerable and could easily fall into emergency levels unless there is a dramatic improvement in the availability and access to food at prices that most people can afford.
The intensified conflict in Yemen has created a scarcity of staple foods and other essential commodities, disrupting livelihoods, markets, agriculture and fisheries, import, export and commercial activities, among others.
That situation has resulted, the report stresses, in a serious reduction in people’s incomes, as well as difficulty in accessing basic staple foods. Although the entire country is facing the effects of the conflict, the poorest households, internally displaced, unskilled labourers, and marginalized groups, are most affected.
“Until a political solution is in place in the country, we will continue to see an increase in the number of people struggling to feed themselves and their families across Yemen,” underlined WFP Representative and Country Director Purnima Kashyap. “We appeal to all parties to ensure unrestricted access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to affected people.”
The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis used to collect these data meets international standards and underwent a rigorous real-time external quality review conducted by the global multi-partner IPC Global Support Unit (IPC GSU).
“The quality review concluded that the analyses made the best use of available evidence to infer the current situation. The findings are invaluable for response planning,” concluded Ms. IPC Global Programme Manager Cindy Holleman.

دراسة جديدة تفيد بأن ملايين الأشخاص في اليمن على حافة الجوع

أفادت دراسة جديدة صدرت اليوم عن منظمة الأغذية والزراعة بالأمم المتحدة، وبرنامج الأغذية العالمي، ووزارة التخطيط والتعاون الدولي اليمنية، نيابةً عن الشركاء الفنيين الآخرين، بأن ستة ملايين يمني على الأقل يعانون انعدام الأمن الغذائي الشديد وفي حاجة ماسة إلى المساعدات الغذائية الطارئة والمساعدات المنقذة للحياة في اليمن – وهي زيادة حادة مقارنةً بالربع الأخير من عام 2014.

ووفقاً لتحليل التصنيف المرحلي المتكامل لحالة الأمن الغذائي والاوضاع الانسانية، تم تصنيف عشرة من أصل 22 محافظة في اليمن الآن بأنها تعاني انعدام الأمن الغذائي الذي يصل إلى مستوى "الطوارئ". 

وهناك ملايين معرضون لانعدام الأمن الغذائي الشديد، ويمكن أن يصلوا بسهولة لمستوى الطوارئ ما لم يحدث تحسن كبير في توافر الغذاء وإمكانية الوصول إليه بأسعار يستطيع غالبية الناس تحملها.

وصرح صلاح الحاج حسن، ممثل منظمة الأغذية والزراعة في اليمن "نحن نشهد تدهوراً خطيراً وحاداً في وضع الأمن الغذائي بسبب الصراع المستمر، وهو ما يجعل من وصول المساعدات الإنسانية أمرا صعبا".

وقد أدى تصاعد النزاع إلى ندرة المواد الغذائية الأساسية وغيرها من السلع الأساسية، وتعطيل سبل كسب العيش، والأسواق، والزراعة، وصيد الأسماك، وأنشطة الاستيراد والتصدير والأنشطة التجارية، وغيرها. وقد أدى هذا إلى انخفاض خطير في دخل السكان فضلاً عن صعوبة الحصول على المواد الغذائية الأساسية. على الرغم من أن اليمن بأكمله يواجه الآثار المترتبة على الصراع، إلا أن الأسر الأشد فقراً، والنازحين داخلياً، والعمالة غير المدربة، هم الأكثر تضرراً.

وقال بورنيما كاشياب ممثل برنامج الأغذية العالمي والمدير القطري في اليمن، "في ظل الأوضاع الراهنة وحتى يتم التوصل إلى حل سياسي، سوف يستمر عدد الأشخاص الذين يكافحون من أجل إطعام أنفسهم وأسرهم في الازدياد، بالإضافة الى زيادة حالة تدهور الأمن الغذائي في جميع أنحاء اليمن. نحن نناشد جميع الأطراف ضمان الوصول غير المقيد للمساعدات الإنسانية للمتضررين." 

وقد جمعت عملية تحليل "التصنيف المرحلي المتكامل لحالة الأمن الغذائي والاوضاع الانسانية" المعلومات الخاصة بالأمن الغذائي المتاحة بطريقة منتظمة لوضع أفضل تقدير ممكن للوضع الراهن.



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