JAMAL Khashoggi’s monstrous murder has sparked a global debate about Saudi Arabia, with particular focus on how its de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, deals with dissent.
While there is not enough concrete evidence at this time to directly link the crime with the prince, there are numerous credible accounts emerging that point to the involvement of senior figures within the Saudi security establishment overseen by him.
The great and the good in many Western capitals — leaders, activists, corporate heads — have all indicated their disgust at the crime.
While Khashoggi’s brutal slaying deserves to be condemned in the strongest terms, and the perpetrators brought to justice, another appalling operation directed by the Saudi crown prince — the ruinous war in Yemen — has not elicited similar global outcry.
This is the case despite the deaths of thousands of civilians in Yemen, many of them at the hands of the Saudi-led coalition that is fighting the Iran-allied Houthis.
The coalition, armed and supported by the West, has repeatedly bombed schools, hospitals and buses full of children. Yet the sight of the tiny coffins of Yemeni children, and starving youngsters, has not drawn any major calls for accountability from the global community. This hypocrisy must end.
The Yemeni people are facing what the UN says may be the worst famine in a century, while cholera is rampant in the country.
True, no party involved in the war can be absolved of responsibility; but the Saudi coalition and its backers are mainly to blame, in particular for the bombing of civilians.
Just as the international community is demanding answers about Khashoggi’s assassination, similar questions need to be asked of Riyadh regarding the war in Yemen.
The over three-year conflict has brought nothing to Yemen apart from death and misery. It is time all belligerents were pressured to lay down arms and to come to the table to negotiate an end to this disastrous conflict, so that the Yemeni people can start rebuilding their lives.
Published in Dawn, October 29th, 2018
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