News You Really Need To See: “Dearth of Fuel Slows Anger-Filled Yemen Nearly to a Halt”

“Dearth of Fuel Slows Anger-Filled Yemen Nearly to a Halt” The Washington Post, April 19, 2015, p.A10 “Intense fighting, involving Shiite rebels and a Saudi-led military force, is starving Yemen of gasoline, leaving residents unable to drive to supermarkets or shuttle wounded people to hospitals.  Citizens also are increasingly unable to flee bombing raids that have killed scores of civilians.  Ships carrying oil and other products have been unable to reach Yemeni ports, which have been blockaded by the Saudi-led coalition, according to local officials, aid organizations and the United Nations. … Exacerbating the problem, Yemen’s own oil infrastructure has been damaged by fighting and the airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition that began more than three weeks ago.  Roads and bridges have been damaged. Truckers are reluctant to transport goods — from gasoline to food — because of the rising price of fuel and the risk of attacks while en route.  The shortages are intensifying a humanitarian crisis in an Arabian Peninsula country that already was struggling with grinding poverty before a conflict between the government and the rebels, known as Houthis, exploded into war. … This impoverished country has been a relatively small oil and gas exporter by Mideast standards, and that production has declined in recent years. Yemen increasingly has become dependent on imported gasoline and diesel, importing about 300,000 tons of the fuels every month. … According to U.N. estimates, some 120,000 people have been displaced by the fighting.  But an increasing number of Yemenis who would like to leave their homes lack the gasoline to drive away, effectively trapping them, said Ariane Rummery, a spokeswoman for UNHCR, which is the world body’s refugee agency.” Quickie analysis:  Is the world literally trying to send Yemen back to the Stone Age?

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