Ireland should be to forefront on highlighting Yemen atrocities

Letter by Shannonwatch's Edward Horgan published in today's Irish Independent and reproduced here in full.

Genocide is defined as "Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part". What is happening in Yemen at present falls within this category yet the international community is actively facilitating rather than preventing it. In the 1990s when questioned by a reporter about up to half a million children who died as a result of UN and Western imposed sanctions on Iraq, US Secretary of State Madeline Albright replied "Yes I believe it was worth it". Our Irish Government remained silent then. In 2017 a greater catastrophe is being perpetrated in Yemen actively supported by the United States and its allies. One branch of the United Nations, the UN Human Rights Committee, is condemning this situation, while the UN Security Council is the organisation that is imposing sanctions and a naval blockade that is preventing the importation of vital food supplies to Yemen, at the behest of its permanent members the US, supported by Britain and France. They do this on behalf of Saudi Arabia, which is the leading aggressor in Yemen, while selling large amounts of arms to Saudi Arabia.

Yemen is the oldest country in the Arabian Peninsula as all the others were hobbled together in 20th century by dying imperial powers, Britain and France. Now Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the world.

UN members such as Ireland are facilitating the ongoing atrocities in Yemen just by remaining silent, and additionally in Ireland's case by actively facilitating US wars of aggression through Shannon airport. Ireland suffered a similar imposed famine in the 1840s, so of all nations, we should be to the forefront in working to end this famine in Yemen that is killing tens of thousands of innocent children by deliberate starvation and diseases such as cholera spread by the bombing of water and sewerage treatment facilities and medical facilities.

Yet our Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade remains silent in the interests of Trade and jobs at Shannon.

Letter also available online at


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