SNP member of the European Parliament, Alyn Smith, has highlighted the increased fears over political and security upheaval in Yemen during a debate in Strasbourg this week and called on the EU and international community to fully engage in state building in Yemen.
Yemen has recently been plunged into chaos with the resignations of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and the entire cabinet. Western states including UK, Germany, Italy and the US worried about security have shut down their embassies in the country’s capital city Sana’a; following the news rebels seized more than 30 US embassy vehicles.
During the debate Alyn said:
“We are obliged to remain engaged within this region and we’re obligated to the people of Yemen for three main reasons. Firstly, as ever, it’s worth remembering that the roots of the problems of today are rooted in the legacy of empire and in Yemen’s case, toxic legacies of the Ottoman and British Empire.
“Secondly, it’s the right thing to do. This is a humanitarian disaster and if we can assist the UN’s efforts – if we don’t, I can’t see anybody else stepping up to the plate in any serious way to state build. Thirdly, if we don’t Yemen will continue even more to become a breeding ground for radicalisation and terrorism against each other and indeed against us.
“And the fact is that despite our efforts, fairly recent efforts as the European Union, Yemen is not a functioning state and it’s the corruption and failure to provide basic services that has so disenfranchised and disengaged people of Yemen and we must continue to engage and state building – it’s not like we don’t have the expertise and resources to do that. We have put forward a number of ideas with this resolution; we must be in for the long haul. “