With many Yemenis, I am monitoring with interest the news of US President Joe Biden's upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia. Just like we monitored with interest his generous promises regarding Yemen in his election campaign, as well as all his steps since assuming the presidency, especially those steps that, directly or indirectly, affect the situation in Yemen. We pay attention to this visit in view of the contents that will be approached during it, and the effects and results that will affect the situation in Yemen.
As Yemenis, we do not concern much with the form of the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia, whether before, during or after the Biden administration. What exclusively concerns us is the impact of such relationship on the lives of Yemenis, which, over the course of eight years of its life, were devoured by the fire of American weapons and other weapons. Not only the impact of the impact of these weapons, we do concern more with the impact of the diplomatic and political cover provided by the successive US administrations to the Saudi and Emirati persecution of Yemen and its destinies, in their joint adventure with the Iran-backed Houthis and other Yemeni groups and actors.
It is important to mention here that the Biden Democratic administration bears a double responsibility, not only for the commitment to the great electoral promises he made to himself, and not only because he is now the president of the United States of America, which is an effective and influential country, but also because the war of Saudi Arabia and the UAE against Yemen began on March 26 2015 in presence of a democratic administration that secured military and political support for them, during which they committed severe atrocities.
It is important for Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the coalition to get out of the war in Yemen. However, it is important that the United States and the international community play a pivotal role to ensure that this exit in accordance with a comprehensive plan that addresses all files of the war within a framework of comprehensive settlement as a way to ensure the security and interests of Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the world, and to restore normal life for Yemenis and their democratic experience that has been undermined.
What frightens us most now, as Yemenis, is that all the efforts made under the banner of stopping the war in Yemen would lead to a catastrophic situation by perpetuating the control of armed groups over the country. That would replicate the situation in Afghanistan or Somalia, which will make these efforts just an additional service for Saudi Arabia to formally remove it from the war without imposing obligations on it with regards to the heavy files opened and aggravated by its reckless military intervention. The top of these files are the status of multiple armed groups loyal to the Saudi-UAE coalition and territories under their control; status of territories under the control of the Houthi group loyal to Iran; status of the humanitarian crisis; file of direct and indirect victims of the war; file of accountability and redress; file of reconstruction; file of establishing the institutions of state of law, citizenship and human rights.
One of the most important issues that concern us as human rights workers is what steps the US administration will take towards the issue of accountability and redress. The first of these steps is the establishment of an international and independent criminal investigation mechanism with an effective mandate to investigate human rights violations, collect and preserve evidence, and build case files for possible future prosecutions. Moreover, the warring parties in Yemen, the coalition, the Yemeni government, and the Houthis, have failed miserably to provide reparations to civilians in Yemen. Therefore, it is necessary to establish an international reparations mechanism for Yemen with international standards, and to be based on the interests of the victims, comprehensive and accessible to all civilian victims.
It is a glaring irony that we snatched an independent international mechanism represented by the establishment of the GEE by the Human Rights Council in 2017, the first years of the Trump administration. The mandate of the Group of Eminent Experts has been renewed and strengthened year by year during the entire Trump years. Then, the mandate of the GEE was terminated in the first years of the Biden administration, on October 10, 2021. And here we are in the second year of Biden's term, stuck in a maze of excuses and lack of commitment to taking a small practical step to ensure that his administration truly respects human rights.
I have had many concerns and misgivings about the Biden administration's commitment to effective policies and steps that respect human rights since day one. Since then, many opportunities have passed to demonstrate this commitment in practice, but the Biden administration has done little more than chant slogans with little work on the various files. Now the war in Ukraine has given it many excuses to evade its promises and commitments.
After I read Biden's incoherent petition published by the Washington Post, my concerns, misgivings, and questions increased about what the Biden administration would do to express its commitment to values and human rights, and about Yemen and Yemenis, and about the amount of concessions offered at the table of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the rest of the violated regimes, what these concessions are, and what are the concessions made by these regimes in the interest of people, peace and human rights.