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USA's human rights track record under watch

USA’s human rights track record under watch
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USA’s human rights track record under watch

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The United States President Joe Biden has announced plans to end US support for Saudi Arabia’s “offensive operations” in war-torn Yemen, including ceasing relevant arms sales to the government in Riyadh

The United States President Joe Biden has announced plans to end US support for Saudi Arabia's "offensive operations" in war-torn Yemen, including ceasing relevant arms sales to the government in Riyadh. "This war has to end. And to underscore our commitment, we're ending all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arm sales," the US president said in a speech at the State Department. But, the US cannot ignore the attacks on Saudi Arabia which faces missile attacks, UAV (drone) strikes and other threats from Iranian-supplied forces in multiple countries.

The US will continue to support and help Saudi Arabia defend its sovereignty and its territorial integrity and its people. So, will the US be seeking a diplomatic solution to the long feud? America has been silent on the logistics part here. It has not given away any details regarding support to Saudi Arabian forces in Yemen henceforth. The United States provides spare parts, munitions, technical assistance, all kinds of things to the Saudi military, which enable its offensive operations.

So if the Saudis continued to use the Royal Saudi Air Force to bomb targets in Yemen, presumably, under this doctrine, that aid and assistance should halt. Stopping aid to Saudi led coalition is easier said than done. The US has to go through a process to determine the right and wrong moves of Saudi now onwards. All this will be only one part of bringing peace to the strife torn Yemen. The country is going through the worst humanitarian crisis.

Yemenis will continue to face a risk to their life and suffer as long as Riyadh's blockade continues. The conflict in Yemen has become a conflict of Saudi Arabia and Iran. The last minute decision of the previous Trump Administration which led to the present crisis in Yemen has been much criticised by the UN and others. Yemen is the world's biggest humanitarian crisis, with 80 per cent of its people in need. Last month the United Nations' aid chief warned the new sanctions would push Yemen into a famine on a scale not seen for nearly 40 years.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blacklisted the Houthis on Jan. 19, one day before Biden took office. The Trump administration exempted aid groups, the United Nations, the Red Cross and the export of agricultural commodities, medicine and medical devices from its designation. But UN officials and relief groups called for the designation to be revoked. The mistakes that the US does are phenomenal. The country which talks about human rights and values and democratic principles and lectures the world on the same keeps flouting the very same everywhere. It was Obama who stepped up the crisis in Yemen.

In 2015, the Barack Obama administration was mostly silent as Riyadh aggressively opposed a Dutch-led push for a human rights inquiry in Yemen. The US also did not step up when Riyadh reportedly threatened to pull UN funding if the organisation did not remove it from a list of violators of children's rights for its actions in Yemen in 2016. Despite the best efforts of the US now, nothing would become normal in Yemen.

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