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Yemen is getting pulverised in a war between the Arab coalition lead by Saudi Arabia and Houthi militia supported by Iran, says Tawakkol Karman. Civil society has to bear the brunt. 10 million people in Yemen are displaced. The international community stands at the sidelines doing nothing. They also have not really supported the peaceful revolution since 2011. Now a disarmament of the militia would be necessary to follow up on the first steps of a political reform that started in the Arab Spring.


Tawakkol Karman, journalist and political activist. In 2011 she received the Nobel Peace Prize for her fight for democracy in the Arab Spring.

In the Arab Spring people in Yemen have fought for a new land, for democracy and equal rights, says Tawakkol Karman. But the peacful uprising was smashed violently. After the coup of ousted president Ali Saleh the country has gotten devasted by the bombardements of Saudi Arabia and the revages of the Houthi militia supported by Ali Saleh and Iran. The humanitarian situation is deterioreting and civil society suffers a lot. The conflict could only be solved by disarming the militia. Their members then should be allowed to form a party. Later through elections a parliament and government should be put in place. At the same time an assembly would form a new constitution. It is equally important to initiate an economic reform. Because peace needs development, says Karman.

The international community has failed in Yemen. They have not done enough to stop the atrocities and human rights violations. That is also true for Syria, says Karman. In the Arab Spring people took to the streets to fight for freedom, democracy and justice. But they have been left alone. To bring peace and justice to the region it is not sufficient to just stop selling arms to dictators. The tyrants brutally repressing their people should also be brought to court. They should be held accountable for their crimes.

10 million in Yemen are fleeing, among them many internally displaced people. Some could make to Djibouti, Oman or Saudi Arabia. But only a few, Karman estimates around one thousand have landed in Germany. It would be very important to provide adequate protection for Yemeni refugees. They should be respected as human beings. The persisting refugee crisis could only be stopped if the wars ended and a process of social and economic advancement started. "We need sustainable development for sustainable peace, so that we then can make our world safer", says Karman.