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Sanaa Residents Despair at Houthi Oppression During Ramadan

Sanaa Residents Despair at Houthi Oppression During Ramadan

Saturday, 24 April, 2021 - 06:00
People gather outside a pastry shop to buy sambusa during the holy month of Ramadan in Sanaa, Yemen, April 15, 2021. (Reuters)

“Sanaa is no longer the same after the coup by the Iran-backed Houthi militias. The people have nothing to help them survive. No salary, no gas, no electricity, no water, no aid. Nothing.”

This statement, by a government employee in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, sums up the suffering of millions of people in the Houthi-held city.

“We have nothing but the Houthi looting machine,” said Abou Malek al-Saadi.

Ever since the Houthi coup, Sanaa has become an Iranian province that is solely controlled by the relatives of the militias, he added.

“The militias kill and loot with abandon and impunity,” he lamented to Asharq Al-Awsat.

Saadi recounted how he is struggling to feed his family of five during the holy fasting month of Ramadan because his salary is being withheld by the Houthis.

“We have seen nothing but hunger, poverty, deprivation, disease and sickness since the coup,” he added.

Saadi is one of 15 million Yemenis who live in Houthi-held regions. They are all suffering from tragic conditions that followed the 2014 coup after which the Houthis looted public funds, the people’s savings and state means to impose their control over their regions.

Another resident, a man in his 70s, told Asharq Al-Awsat: “The Houthis have left us with nothing to be joyful with. We have no gas, no oil derivatives, prices are high and incomes are being looted.”

Murder, theft, looting and kidnapping are rampant, while the streets and markets are crowded by beggars, who like all other Yemenis, have been plunged in poverty due to the Houthi oppression, he continued.

A Yemeni sweets vendor recalled to Asharq Al-Awsat how prior to the coup, he would often hire more employees to meet the demand of clients during Ramadan.

Now, after the coup, people can no longer afford to buy sweets, he added.

They are too concerned to make ends meet to buy basic goods and do not have the luxury to buy desserts, he said.

The latest United Nations figures state that some 80 percent of Yemenis are in need of humanitarian aid. Some 12 million are in desperate need for aid, while 16 million are suffering from hunger.

The reports predicted that the suffering will only increase in 2021 if a breakthrough in the conflict is not reached.

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