Tens of Thousands of Yemenis Hold Mass Rally against Saudi Onslaught on Yemen

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The protesters converged in the Old City of Sana’a following Friday prayers, carrying Yemeni flags and banners in condemnation of the Saudi aggression.

Participants in the demonstration, under the motto “Tough against Disbelievers”, also held up pictures of civilians injured in the deadly Saudi airstrikes, calling on the United Nations to fulfill its responsibilities and stop the Riyadh regime’s atrocious military offensive.

They also warned the Saudi leadership that the continued attacks on the people in Yemen will only strengthen the steadfastness of the nation.

Protesters also accused the United States of being complicit in the Saudi crimes against the Yemeni nation by providing the Al Saud regime with various munitions.

Saudi Arabia has been engaged in a deadly campaign against Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall the former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a close Riyadh ally.

The airstrikes have taken a heavy toll on the impoverished country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.

The United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, says the Saudi campaign has claimed the lives of 10,000 Yemenis and left 40,000 others wounded.

McGoldrick told reporters in Sana’a earlier this year that the figure was based on casualty counts given by health facilities and that the actual number might be higher.

On February 23, Yemen’s Legal Center for Rights and Development, an independent monitoring group, put the civilian death toll in the war-torn Arab country at 12,041.

The fatalities, it said, comprise 2,568 children and 1,870 women.

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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud will pay a rare visit this month to six Asian countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Japan, China, and the Maldives.

MDP members warned on Friday that the decision by President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s government to “sell” Faafu, one of the 26 atolls, to Saudi Arabia would aggravate Wahhabism in the country.

Maldives is reportedly one of the highest per capita contributors of foreign militants to the ISIS  terrorist group, which has been wreaking havoc mainly in Syria and Iraq.

Wahhabism is the radical ideology dominating Saudi Arabia, freely preached by government-backed clerics there, and inspiring terrorists worldwide. ISIS and other terror groups use the ideology to declare people of other faiths as “infidels” and then kill them.

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(Faafu Atoll. Image Credit: warrenski/ flickr)

MDP member and former foreign minister, Ahmed Naseem, said the Maldivian government had not bothered to take people’s consent.

“In the old days, selling land, which is scarce in Maldives, to foreigners would have been seen as high treason punishable by death,” he said.

The Maldivian government passed a constitutional amendment in 2015, allowing foreigners to possess lands in the country.

Meanwhile, in a report, The Times of India described Maldives’ potential sale of the atoll to Saudi Arabia as “another security challenge” to India in its neighborhood.

India has been unwilling to be seen as obtruding upon the internal affairs of Maldives. However, it may soon be required to take a position with Maldives’ presidential election likely next year, the report said.

Maldives remains the only country in India’s neighborhood that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has refrained from visiting.

It is noteworthy to mention, earlier on February Belgium voiced concerns over the spread of Saudi-backed Wahhabism throughout the country and the rest of Europe. According to a report by De Standaard, the country’s OCAM national crisis center stressed that Wahhabism is being preached in an increasing number of the country’s mosques receiving financial support from Saudi Arabia.

*(Salman Bin Abdulaziz al Saud. Credit: Tribes of the World/ flickr). 


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