Tag Archives: yemen

23 January 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Davey on Houthi strikes: Vital Parliament has its say
  • Simon Clarke and Sunak soap opera: A fourth PM without an election would be “ludicrous”
  • Operation Onyx One Year On – 1,400 Met Officers Still Under Investigation for Sexual Abuse
  • Welsh Lib Dems urge Welsh Government to make good on promise to “prioritise care not profit”
  • Mid and West Wales MS Jane Dodds calls on Welsh Government to protect businesses from floods

Davey on Houthi strikes: Vital Parliament has its say

Responding to the latest set of strikes on the Houthi rebels, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

Liberal Democrats are concerned about the Houthis’ attacks in the Red Sea and so we support the case for limited strikes, so long as they remain limited.

However, it is absolutely vital that Parliament has an opportunity to have its say, via a debate and a vote. The Prime Minister has so far failed to grant either. It is deeply disappointing that elected representatives are being bypassed on an issue as important as military action.

Simon Clarke and Sunak soap opera: A fourth PM without an election would be “ludicrous”

Responding to Simon Clarke calling on Rishi Sunak to be replaced as Prime Minister, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper MP said:

It is utterly ludicrous that the Conservative Party is even discussing installing a fourth Prime Minister without giving voters a say.

The Conservatives are once again fighting like rats in a sack while families face soaring bills and an NHS crisis.

People are sick and tired of this never-ending Conservative Party soap opera. It’s time for Rishi Sunak to give voters the chance to put an end to this farce and call a general election.

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15 January 2024 – today’s press release

Houthi strikes: Lib Dems to table Bill giving MPs a vote over UK military action

The Liberal Democrats are set to table a Bill which will give Parliament a vote over military action. The Lib Dem legislation – dubbed the ‘War Powers Bill’ – will enshrine the right for MPs to approve military action into law.

It comes following criticism levelled at Rishi Sunak, who has failed to grant MPs a vote on the UK’s strikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

From the 2000s onwards, MPs were frequently given the opportunity to vote on military action and intervention. In emergency cases, …

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Observations of an Expat: Who are the Houthis?

Since the start of November the Houthis of Yemen have launched more than 20 attacks on shipping in the Red Sea.

Nearly 15 percent of the world’s trade passes through the Red Sea. Already 20 percent of the ships have been diverted around South Africa, adding to transport costs and inflation.  Those ship owners who continue to sail through the Red Sea are faced with rocketing insurance bills.

NATO ships have rushed to the region and the Houthis have been warned of terrible consequences if they continue their strikes.

So, who are the Houthis and why are they attacking the world’s shipping?

The answer to why is easy – Gaza. The Houthis hate Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US and they are rabid supporters of the Palestinian cause. The Houthi motto is: “God is the Greatest. Death to America. Death to Israel. A Curse Upon the Jews. Victory to Islam.”

The who is slightly more complicated. For a start they are Shia Muslims which gives them a link to Iran’s mullahs. But, just to complicate matters, they are a different Shia sect known as the Zaydis. But shades of religious difference have not prevented an alliance between the Houthis and Tehran.

Next, the Houthis make up about 40 percent of the population of Yemen. Until about 1967 they were Yemen’s ruling elite for close to a 1,000 years.

It was about 1967 that the Saudis started using their oil money to interfere in Yemeni politics. The Saudi ruling family are Sunni and they have a problem with dissatisfied Shias in their Eastern Province along the border with Yemen.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 7 Comments

Tom Arms’ World Review

The world’s television cameras have shifted to the tragedy of Ukraine. But that does not mean that the problems elsewhere have disappeared. If anything they have worsened as the money and attention has shifted to the danger of a European, East-West war. There are now 89 million displaced people in the world. The greatest number ever in history. Here’s a very brief summary of some of the worst:

Syria celebrated (if that is the correct word) the 11th anniversary of the start of its civil war this week (15 March). It has, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the dubious distinction of being the centre of the world’s largest displacement of people. The death toll is estimated at 500,000. Six million are internally displaced and five million have fled the country. The biggest number of refugees are in Turkey – 3.7 million. The UNHCR reports that it has only received seven percent of the $465 million it needs for 2022 to provide basic food and shelter. One of the hardest hit areas is Northern Syria where 1.5 million people are living in snow-covered tents spread over 1,489 separate camps. The problems are not confined to the areas where refugees have fled. In about 100 villages in the government-controlled Aleppo region the people are suffering from the absence of drinking water. Possibly the only good news in Syria is that some of Assad’s soldiers are being diverted to Ukraine to help the Russians and the Russians may be unable to provide the assistance to Assad that they have contributed to date.

The Ethiopian war between the government of Abiy Ahmed and the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front continues to rage out of the spotlight. So far it is estimated that there are 1.7 million internally displaced people and 500,000 in refugee camps in Sudan. The war has also spread to the Amhar region as the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front attempted to march through that territory to attack Addis Ababa.  Because of a blockade by federal forces no food or medical aid has been delivered to Tigray Province since mid-December. Three-quarters of Tigray’s health facilities have been destroyed. Forget about covid jabs. Both sides are reported to be guilty of rape and murder and have been burning crops, slaughtering livestock and destroying grain stocks. The result is famine. The director-general of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (himself an Ethiopian) has described the situation as “catastrophic.”

The BBC World Affairs Editor John Simpson has described the aftermath of the war in Afghanistan as the “destruction of a nation.” Before the Taliban victory 80 percent of the Afghanistan’s budget was derived from foreign aid – mainly from the US. But a humiliated and angry Washington has frozen $10 billion of Afghanistan’s foreign reserves, $7 billion of which is directly held in the Federal Reserve Bank. There is talk of half of it being released for humanitarian relief with the rest going to the victims of the 9/11 attack. The Afghan people certainly need the relief. Roughly 85 percent of a population of 38.4 million are facing starvation. Unemployment is up. Food Prices are up. The Afghan currency is plummeting. Because they are malnourished, there is a measles epidemic among the children. Covid is rampant. The UN has asked for $4.4 billion for basic foodstuffs. By the beginning of March $1.4 billion has been raised.

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The Party of Human Rights

Much has been made of the repurposing of the Liberal Democrats in the aftermath of December’s General Election.  Enter the Orange Bookers, the social liberals and the FBPE Europhiles all of whom are beginning to set out the course they feel the party should embark on as it looks to the future.

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How much should the Lib Dems focus on UK foreign policy?

I once used the phrase ‘No-one is going to vote Lib Dem because of our policy on Azimstana’. The point is an obvious one; surveys show us that the average British voter is more concerned about domestic issues such as health, education, welfare, employment, immigration and crime. Understandably so.

However, there are three very good reasons why, notwithstanding, we need to invest time in foreign policy, international relations and the global economy.

First, UK foreign policy does from time to time come to the fore in the mind of the voting public and we have to be on top of the issues, …

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Yemen – obstacles and pathways to peace

Liberal International British Group, amongst other things, organise discussion events on international issues. On 19 March, they’ll be discussing the situation in Yemen.

The war in Yemen started in 2015, in the Middle East’s poorest country. Since then there have been more than ten thousand fatalities. As of now, there have been more than one million cases of cholera and more than two and a half thousands related deaths. The already-weakened economy has all but collapsed and the UN reports than two million children are suffering from acute malnutrition, with thousands reportedly dying of starvation.

It has variously been described as:

  • a civil

Posted in Europe / International | 3 Comments

YEMEN: Boris bleats, Libdems lead

Headline news last week was Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s speech in Rome where he criticised Saudi Arabia for ‘puppeteering and playing proxy wars’, by implication against Iran, and promoting sectarian extremism for political ends across the Middle East. He was immediately slapped down by PM May, who had seemingly instructed him to get even closer to the Saudis for trade purposes in the wake of Brexit.

Emphasising he had the war in Yemen in mind, as well as Syria, Boris then made a further speech in Bahrain on 10th December about the Saudi bombing of civilians in Yemen, and criticising his own government … which allegedly has special forces in Yemen assisting the Saudis, has trainers in Riyadh, and is a major weapons supplier to the Saudi regime.

Boris was expressing widely held views about the Saudis’ war in Yemen … and about their role in creating Islamic State.

A few days earlier in Warsaw, Poland, the Lib Dem delegation was busy in the annual Congress of ALDE. ALDE is the pan-European party of liberals and democrats with seven parties in government currently across the EU. On the agenda in Warsaw was a motion from the UK Lib Dem delegation, on Yemen, which was passed with an overwhelming majority and greeted with loud applause.

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LibLink | Nick Clegg: Celebrate Pride but don’t forget the countries that discriminate against LGBT people

lds_prideNick Clegg has an article over at PinkNews.co.uk, in which he highlights how the forthcoming same-sex marriage legislation means this weekend’s Pride in London celebrations will be a “landmark” event. However, he contrasts the strides of progress made here with continuing repression against LGBT people around the world. Here’s an excerpt:

Civil partnerships were a huge stride forward, but only the right to marry – if you choose – is real equality. This isn’t just a ‘gay issue’. It’s about the kind of society we want to be.

This year we are flying

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