The legacy of Jamal Khashoggi must be peace in Yemen


The tough excommunication attributed to the former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin has very often proven to be true.

After the surprise and welcome – albeit late – appeal of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for a ceasefire in Yemen, perhaps the murder of Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi admirers has created a new mantra: a death may be a spark of millions.
It is increasingly clear that the murder of Jamal Hasaggou was a terrible crime and not an unfortunate tragedy. The weak excuses by the representatives of Saudi Arabia, the changing and contradictory "lines to be taken" all speak in an old truth: the danger that corruption and absolute power completely destroy. No one seems to believe that King Salman ordered the assassination, so his son, Muhammad bin Salman, must explain his role.

The focus of the international community on this murder and its demands for accountability can not be limited to this case. Bad indignation for a lifetime should be a jingle for the same government's decisions that affect the lives of millions of people. At this point, Mr Pompeo's call for a ceasefire may be so important.

I recently visited Yemen. It is immediately clear that the worst humanitarian crisis in the world is in fact a political crisis.
Humanitarian discomfort is not a natural tragedy, but an anthropogenic disaster. After almost four years of war, which triggered the Hutus coup and thousands of air raids by the Saudi-led coalition, Yemen was on her knees.
It is estimated that 56,000 people have been killed or injured in battles and 22 million people need humanitarian aid.

The current Saudi Arab war plan is aggravating things. The bombing campaign from the air causes massacre, but can not displace the Houthi fighters dug into the local population. Nobody wins, except al-Qaida and ISIS, that gain ground where there is chaos.

Thus, Saudi Arabian allies in the war effort, headed by their closest partners, the United States and the United Kingdom, must develop their political and military power to end the current war strategy. Already, the Saudi-led coalition has stepped up its efforts for Hodeidah in the days of Pompeo's statement in an attempt to change military events on the ground.

Mr Pompeo's call for a ceasefire must be codified immediately in a new UN Security Council resolution. This would stop growing violence, allow for the flow of humanitarian aid, the vital services to be provided and the necessary political process for a lasting peace. Britain is the "pen holder" in this file at the Security Council and has no excuse for inaction.

The military support of the United Kingdom and the United States for the strategy of war should be stopped immediately in order not to remain rhetorical for this exercise. Germany has given the example by passing sales, but it does not have the same influence.

This move must be supported by other measures. All critical shipping naval ports in Yemen should be able to operate at full capacity and Sana'a airport must be open to critical humanitarian and commercial traffic. Wages must be paid urgently to the 1.2 million civil servants across the country, including doctors and nurses, to help rescue millions in need.

There must be practical measures to make peace sustainable. The treatment of injured and prisoners is obvious candidates.

There is also the toughest issue of accountability for war crimes that has been documented by the UN.

At the Senate's request, the US government is considering sanctions against those responsible for the death of Khashoggi. This is a way of pursuing justice, which must be broadened to include violations of international law in Yemen.

The US uses Saudi weakness against Khashoggi to push the war in Yemen

The pressure exerted by the Saudis and their coalition partners is not enough. Houthis and their supporters must also feel compressed to come to the table in good faith. As Germany quickly joins the United Nations Security Council, it can build on its credibility and ties.

Expert diplomat Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General, needs substantial, not only rhetorical support. There is a landing zone for peace talks, including assurances of the end of the missile strikes by Huta, backed by Iran, in Saudi Arabia. But the ongoing battles are at best delaying their substantial peace. At worst, it makes peace impossible.

The inconveniences in Yemen have been neglected for too long and have encouraged those who wish to act unpunished. The legacy of Jamal Hasagi must be accountable not only for the suffering of one, but also for millions.