By Saqib Akbar
The world has really become a global village and how it is awakened to the horrors being faced by the Rohingya Muslims and how it has come into action is testimony to it. The United Nations has denounced the Myanmar govt for failing to stop this bloodshed. American and Britain-based bodies are vociferously calling attention to these injustices. Muslim governments across the globe are protesting. Turk delegations have reached Bangladesh to provide help to the refugees. The Pakistani government has also expressed strong objection to Myanmar. Tehran is busy awaking the conscience of world bodies to rise to the occasion and millions have hit the streets in the Iranian capital expressing their support to the persecuted Rohingyas. Indonesia and Malaysia have protested against the Myanmar government. China has also voiced concern. Muslim demonstrators have hit the streets in India too. Pope has raised his voice in protest. Social and regular media is busy highlighting the Rohingyas’ plight. Political and religious parties in Pakistan are continuously holding protests. Human rights organizations and some Noble laureates have also played their part to publicize this human tragedy.
Some describe it as a humanitarian crisis and others interpret it as the low value of Muslim blood. This all is one facet of the glamour of global village. The world media has made it (the Rohingya issue) a global issue and it deserves to be so because the Rohingya Muslims are in fact the oppressed and persecuted people. Their homes, mosques, educational institutions and all other things have been destroyed. They have been deprived of citizenship. Even the animals are not killed in such a callous way and eyes ought to not shed tears but blood on seeing this barbarity and bloodthirstiness the Rohingya Muslims are facing.
But why is it that the global village makes others see scenes and events what it wants them to see and why it highlights only those issues that it has liking for. Why this ‘global power’ did not globalize tragedies like Kashmir, Palestine, Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen and Al-Awamiyah. Why voices were not raised from every corner, focusing attention on these issues. I am not oblivious to the fact that the Rohingya Muslims are facing great suffering at the hands of brutal Burmese army and religious zealots, but I am also familiar with tragedies across the world far more severe that the Rohingyas are enduring and being also conscious that those, who have made the world look like a ‘global village’, will only allow films and dramas of their choice to be brought out and shown to the people in this village. One could judge the observance of the rule of law prevalent in this ‘global village’ by the way real as well as fake pictures and movies have been released, recklessly and hastily, by major world institutions and celebrated personalities, depicting savagery and gruesomeness being faced by the Rohingyas.
Let me present before you some facts regarding Yemen only.
Saudi Arabia, leading a coalition of nine African and Middle East countries, launched a unilateral military offensive against Yemen on 26 March 2016 on the pretext that that Yemen’s incumbent government had no legal standing. It is the first and only example yet in the world that an alliance of 9 countries started a one-sided aggression against a country without any legal backing or support from any established world forum by terming the internal change that took place in that country as ‘unconstitutional. The strange thing is that the same Saudi Arabia and its other belligerent allies provided billions of dollars to the government led by General Sisi, the man responsible for overthrowing the constitutionally elected government of Dr Mursi in Egypt. As if the government led by Mansour Hadi in Yemen remained legal even after stepping down in a formal way and the Mursi-led democratically elected Egyptian government became illegal. Nevertheless, this is not my point but my main focus is that the world never paid any attention towards the humanitarian crisis that unfolded in Yemen after the start of Saudi-led war on one of the world’s poorest countries and it seems that everyone has shrugged it off.
A globally recognized rights NGO, Legal Center for Rights and Development (LCRD), recently released figures of widespread human and material losses suffered during the Saudi Arabia-led invasion of Yemen within 800 days. A detailed breakdown of the death and destruction as shown by this Yemen-based independent monitoring group is given below:
- Children fatalities 2689
- Women fatalities 1942
- Men fatalities 7943
- Total deaths 12,574
- Number of children injured 2541
- Number of women injured 2115
- Number of men injured 16164
- Total number of those injured 20,820
746 mosques, 775 schools and educational institutions, 230 tourist facilities, 103 sports centers, 114 universities, 26 media institutes, 676 food stores, 528 food tankers, 15 airports, 14 ports, 162 grid and power stations, 368 water reservoirs, 353 communication centers, 294 health facilities, 221 poultry farms, 404,485 homes, 1633 government offices and centers, 1733 bridges and roads, 2762 vehicles, 5769 commercial establishments, 1784 agricultural farms, 552 public markets and malls, 289 factories, 318 fuel stations and 242 oil tankers.
This is an estimate of June 2, 2017. Other global organizations have also provided somewhat similar data. Over 100 days have passed since this report was revealed and God knows what more horrendous tragedies will have befallen the oppressed people of Yemen. This is the painful story of the Yemen about which the United Nations had said before the start of the ongoing Saudi-led onslaught that 60% of the population of this impoverished country is living below poverty line.
Is there anything really still left in Yemen? Are the Saudi and coalition warplanes still finding any structures in Yemen to be targeted and demolished?
One is overwhelmed by intense grief and sorrow on seeing such horrific statistics and it is completely baffling to notice that there is no movement to muster public opinion against this war and the world is doing absolutely nothing is this regard. Our human rights champions as well as religious authorities are looking on silently and doing nothing because the masters of this global village don’t want anyone to say anything about this human catastrophe. There are some resolutions and some soft words of condemnations uttered in a manner that no one pays any attention to them.