"Let nothing human be alien to me"- Terence

Friday, April 9, 2010

7th Round?

Oxfam released a report today saying that the ceasefire is offering hope in the north, but mentions the ongoing horror of landmines.   But Nasser Arrabyee tells us that efforts have been suspended due to Huthi intransigence.

Efforts of ending Al Houthi armed rebellion north of Yemen have stopped after alleged violations by the rebels including kidnapping 11 soldiers, mediators said Thursday.

"We have become convinced that the Al Houthi rebels are not serious in peace process, so we have suspended our work," said a statement by one the four committees in charge of supervising the implementation of the six conditions set by the government and accepted by the rebels to end the war in Sa'ada.

As we've talked about before, the truth here doesn't actually matter.  What matters is the willingness of the parties to believe the stories.  That is how wars start, or start again.  Needless to say, we are still in a breath-holding period.

Greg has a long post on Waq al-Waq (and just as you Wa-W junkies were getting over your DTs!).   He tells a great story about an important development: the investigation of land seizures.  This is an issue that gets to the heart of corruption in Yemen- powerful actors taking land from the poor and using it to enrich themselves.  It is a problem all over, but rings especially harsh in the South.  This is a small step, but an important one, and even an aamzing one, given the entrenched nature of the elites.  As Greg says, "just as Yemen is rightly criticized for its mistakes so too should it be praised for taking such difficult and positive steps."   Greg also briefly expands on my point that Huthi war crimes are not as important to the peace narrative as the government's, and questions how exactly they would be prosecuted. 

Finally, there is the story that has been everywhere, and which I've been slightly reluctant to touch.  I am talking, of course, about the 13-yr-old girl who died of internal bleeding following an arranged marriage. I've gotten some emails asking about this, but there isn't much to analyze.   There is no reaction other than to gnash your teeth in a sickened despair that such a thing could happen, that we live in a world where a young girl can be legally raped and die because of it.  There can be analysis- the poverty makes it impossible for parents to turn down a marriage offer, or that this is common in traditional societies.  But, in the end, none of that matters.  It may be imperialism, but that practice is a hideous dismissal of humanity.   That is all there is to say.

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