#SOS_YemenGenocide: Tragic photos of war-torn country shared online
As Yemen continues to be ravaged by war, its people on the verge of mass starvation, social media users are urging the world to take notice and help the Yemenis in their silent plight.
The conflict escalated in March 2015 when a Saudi-led coalition began conducting airstrikes with the assistance of the US and UK on behalf of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who had fled following an uprising of Houthi rebels.
The operation has devastated the country and its people. In August 2016, the UN estimated that more than 10,000 people had died.
Yemen is on the brink of famine as the coalition’s blockade has cut off supplies and led to food prices skyrocketing. Yemen usually imports 90 percent of its food.
According to UNICEF, a child dies in Yemen every 10 minutes. The UN reports more than 2.2 million children are malnourished, with close to half a million suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition, a 200 percent increase on 2014 levels.
Yemenis have seen the effects of airstrikes on hospitals and health clinics, leaving many suffering from preventable illnesses.
Children have been prevented from attending school, with UNICEF reporting at least 350,000 have had access to education blocked.
The powerful images shared across social media convey the horrifying reality for the people of Yemen, forcing the world to see the devastation and suffering caused by an onslaught of bombings.
Amidst the disturbing tweets are calls for the US and UK to take responsibility for their role in the conflict.
Yemen is proving beyond any doubt the hypocrisy of the west. They remain in support of Saudi despite continual WarCrimes#SOS_YemenGenocide— Celestine (@CelestineBee) January 2, 2017
Saudi Arabia and its coalition of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan have been accused of war crimes in Yemen, and social media activists are calling on politicians such as UK Prime Minister Theresa May, the US Secretary of State John Kerry and the UN to put an end to the attacks.
The UK and the US have come under fire from human rights organizations for their role in the conflict. The US approved $20 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia in 2015 alone, while the UK has provided training and $4.1 billion in arms during the first year of the conflict.
In January 2015, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told journalists in London, “We have British officials and American officials and officials from other countries in our command and control center. They know what the target list is and they have a sense of what it is that we are doing and what we are not doing.”