Yemeni Activists Urge Int'l Intervention to Stop Houthi Plan to Demolish 500 Buildings in Old Sanaa

A general view showing the buildings included in the UNESCO list in the Old City of Sanaa (EPA)
A general view showing the buildings included in the UNESCO list in the Old City of Sanaa (EPA)
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Yemeni Activists Urge Int'l Intervention to Stop Houthi Plan to Demolish 500 Buildings in Old Sanaa

A general view showing the buildings included in the UNESCO list in the Old City of Sanaa (EPA)
A general view showing the buildings included in the UNESCO list in the Old City of Sanaa (EPA)

Yemeni intellectuals and activists urged interventions to stop the Houthi militia's plan to demolish 500 archaeological buildings in the Old City of Sanaa, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

They warned that the planned demolition includes four crucial markets intending to establish a sectarian shrine in the city.

Yemeni intellectuals fear that the behavior of the Houthis would remove the Old City from the World Heritage List, as the militias aim to change the demographic composition of the Yemeni capital.

A statement signed by dozens of Yemeni writers, authors, and activists expressed the Houthi militia's intention to destroy several homes and markets, urging the coup authority to refrain from building the shrine, which could damage the people and the area.

They expressed their solidarity with the residents of the Old City.

Residents described the plan as a "new Houthi crime against Yemen's land, history and heritage," saying it was complementary to previous steps targeting the city and changing its demographic composition.

The group previously hiked the rent of state-owned shops and homes and confiscated other facilities claiming they were public properties.

Yemen's Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism, Moammar el-Eryani, warned that the militias have begun to draw up construction plans to remove the four ancient markets and turn them into a shrine.

Eryani pointed out that the Houthi militia previously demolished the historic al-Nahrain Mosque, one of the oldest ancient mosques in the world, and leveled it to the ground.

The minister affirmed that the Houthi militia's systematic targeting and destruction of archaeological and heritage sites fall within its plan to change Yemen's identity and cultural, civilizational, and historical heritage.

He warned that the group aims to replace the Yemeni culture with an identity imported from Iran, which violates all international laws and conventions.

Eryani urged the international community, the UN, and relevant international organizations, led by UNESCO and ALESCO, specialized studies and research centers, and all interested parties, to condemn the "heinous crime."

He called for international intervention to stop the massacre that the Houthi militia intends to commit against one of the World Heritage sites subject to international protection, as the property of all humankind and part of humanity's history and identity.



Egypt Calls on Int’l Donors to Fulfill Pledges to Support Sudan, Refugee-Hosting Countries

Egyptian Foreign Minister Badr Abdelatty meets with his Sudanese counterpart Hussein Awad in Cairo, 23 July, 2024. (Egyptian Foreign Ministry)
Egyptian Foreign Minister Badr Abdelatty meets with his Sudanese counterpart Hussein Awad in Cairo, 23 July, 2024. (Egyptian Foreign Ministry)
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Egypt Calls on Int’l Donors to Fulfill Pledges to Support Sudan, Refugee-Hosting Countries

Egyptian Foreign Minister Badr Abdelatty meets with his Sudanese counterpart Hussein Awad in Cairo, 23 July, 2024. (Egyptian Foreign Ministry)
Egyptian Foreign Minister Badr Abdelatty meets with his Sudanese counterpart Hussein Awad in Cairo, 23 July, 2024. (Egyptian Foreign Ministry)

Egypt on Tuesday called on international donors to swiftly fulfill their pledges to support Sudan, and its neighboring refugee-hosting countries after millions of Sudanese have been displaced due to the conflict between the army and the Rapid Support Forces.

“Egypt is in ongoing talks with donor countries and humanitarian organizations to urge them to share the burden with Sudan’s caretaker government and neighboring countries,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Badr Abdelatty said during a meeting with his Sudanese counterpart Hussein Awad in Cairo.

Since the conflict erupted in Sudan in mid-April 2023, some 10 million have been displaced within the country or have fled into neighboring countries, making it the largest displacement crisis globally, according to UN statistics.

Abdelatty reiterated Egypt's unwavering support for the stability and safety of Sudan and its people, stressing Cairo's commitment to helping the Sudanese people overcome political, security, and humanitarian challenges caused by the ongoing war.

Early this month, Egypt hosted the Sudanese Political and Civil Forces Conference aimed at ending the war in the country.

According to the Egyptian FM, the Conference affirmed the need to maintain state institutions, deliver aid to Sudan and its neighbors, and ensure Sudanese control over the political process.

A Foreign Ministry statement said during their meeting in Cairo on Tuesday, Abdelatty and Awad reviewed the latest progress of the ongoing Egyptian development projects in Sudan, such as the electrical interconnection project and the reconstruction and development of Wadi Halfa Port.

Abdelatty pledged Egypt's continued commitment to completing these projects, the statement noted.

He called on international donors to quickly fulfill their pledges made at the conferences in Geneva and Paris to support Sudan, its neighboring refugee-hosting countries, and the UN humanitarian response plan.

Abdelatty said Egypt is in ongoing talks with donor countries and humanitarian organizations to urge them to share the burden with Sudan’s caretaker government and neighboring countries.

Egypt has received more than half a million of Sudanese fleeing the war, in addition to more than 5 million Sudanese who already reside in Egyptian cities, according to Egyptian government estimates.

For his part, the Sudanese minister thanked Egypt for the facilities and services provided to Sudanese citizens since the crisis began, including health and educational services, according to the Egyptian statement.

He also praised Egypt’s initiatives aimed at resolving the Sudanese crisis.

Abdelatty and Awad touched on several regional issues such as the situation in the Horn of Africa, the Gaza Strip crisis, the Red Sea security, the situation in Libya, and the Sahel–Saharan region.

They also discussed the dispute caused by the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), reaffirming the unified stance of both countries on water security.