France in slippery slope in Yemen: Macron is mulling a minesweeping operation in Hodeidah

France in slippery slope in Yemen: Macron is mulling a minesweeping operation in Hodeidah

Boutros Hussein and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The United Nations (UN) is voicing concern about the Saudi-led alliance attack against the port city of Hodeidah (Hudaydah) in Yemen. Despite the squeaky clean image that President Emmanuel Macron of France seeks, the reality is extremely different and this notably applies to Yemen. Hence, civilian suffering caused by all armed combatants merely equates to more military arms sales by the Macron government and other nations.

These increased armed sales to nations within the Saudi-led Sunni Muslim alliance against Shia Houthi forces – and others opposed to Riyadh’s desired rubber stamp – show the real face of Macron. On the one hand, he cares about migrants flooding to Europe and rebukes Italy. Yet, on the other hand, he is helping to create a humanitarian disaster in Yemen by openly siding with the Saudi-led Sunni Muslim alliance. Therefore, with France mulling a mine sweeping operation in the port city of Hodeidah, it is abundantly clear that the involvement of France is being increased in one of the poorest nations on this earth.

France should be held accountable if this nation increases its involvement because it will be a participant in an attack that the UN is openly condemning. It matters not if the armed forces of France are not participating directly in the attack against the Shia Houthis in this strategic port. After all, the fact remains that a minesweeping operation is clearly aimed at embedding the Saudi-led alliance and Yemeni forces that are in league with major Gulf powers. Hence, if a humanitarian disaster emerges, and the Shia Houthis are forced out, then France will be part of the forward planning of the Saudi-led alliance.

Reuters reports, “France is studying the possibility of carrying out a minesweeping operation to provide access to the Yemeni port of Hodeidah once an Arab-led coalition has completed its military operations, France’s Defence Ministry said on Friday.”

Once more, major Western powers including America, France, and the United Kingdom are all siding with the Sunni Muslim lead alliance and selling vast military arms to combatants involved in the conflict in Yemen. Similarly, the same Muslim nations that lambast Israel and Myanmar, either remain quiet about the millions facing a humanitarian disaster in Yemen along with the menace of cholera – or they are directly participating in the endless bloodshed that blights this nation.

Amnesty International stipulated, “In 2015, France granted Saudi Arabia alone licenses amounting to 900 million euros for military goods delivered that same year. [. . .] At no time has the government indicated over the past two years that it had rejected, canceled or suspended any export licenses.”

Since Macron took office in France, he is intent on continuing and increasing the involvement of this nation in the crisis that blights Yemen. He said, “France’s position is clear: full support for the security of Saudi Arabia, condemnation of the ballistic activity coming from the Houthis, willingness to find a political solution to the conflict and strong humanitarian demands on civilian populations.”

Yet, these words are hollow because France is supporting the side that is systematically bombing Yemen, providing military arms, and is gathering intelligence and other areas in order to boost the Saudi-led alliance. If France partakes in minesweeping, then clearly this nation is part of the planning operation that is being used to take Hodeidah and then hold it against a possible counter-attack if Hodeidah does fall.

The BBC reports, Pro-government forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, began an assault on the Red Sea city on Wednesday… Aid agencies have said the battle threatens to cut off basic supplies to millions of people at risk of famine.”

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