ALERT – Fourth issue of Humanitarian Alternatives released to mark the sixth anniversary of the Syrian Revolution
March 2017 marks the sixth anniversary of the outbreak of the Syrian conflict. On this occasion, Humanitarian Alternatives focused most of its fourth issue on this great human and humanitarian tragedy, without forgetting to shed light on the plight of others such as the Yemenis.
Six years of conflict and counting
Six years ago, what started as a popular people’s movement in response to a political crisis degenerated into a full-scale armed conflict. According to the Humanitarian Needs Overview released in December 2016, this war has now caused the death of 470,000 people, wounded almost two million more and forced more than ten million people to leave their home. As a matter of fact, out of the 17 million Syrians last recorded in July 2014, 6.3 million are now displaced within their own country whereas 4.2 million have found refuge in neighboring countries.
Over and above these figures, the Syrian crisis is a human tragedy, which raised many legitimate concerns.
For instance, in this latest issue’s editorial, Dr. Nathalie Herlemont-Zoritchak denounces the most despicable methods used by parties to the conflict : the massive use of explosive weapons in populated areas, the use of chemical weapons, techniques of siege and revenge targeting the civilian population, unrighteous conditions imposed on the evacuation of civilians and wounded people, the voluntary starvation of inhabitants, the booby-trapping of houses, toys and even dead bodies … Practices, which question the operational implementation of international humanitarian law or the effectiveness of the UN system in resolving, or at least minimizing the most abject and inhuman effects, of the Syrian crisis.
Other articles pertaining to the Syrian crisis include a joint interview of a researcher, a humanitarian worker and a journalist from Le Monde, who report on the constraints they face working in and on Syria.
In this issue, Dr. Kamel Mohanna, founder of AMEL, a well-known association in the Middle East, also provides an analysis of the support provided by the Lebanese civil society to the millions of Syrians who have found refuge within the country whereas Stephen O’Brien, OCHA’s Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator calls for an unconditional, unimpeded and sustained access to every single vulnerable person in Syria.
Overall, the fourth issue of Humanitarian Alternatives sheds light on the Syrian war thanks to six articles, one op-ed piece and a photo-reportage. Not to forget about other ongoing crises, three other articles also deal the situation in Yemen or Colombia.
The plight of others: the cases of Yemen and Colombia
The fourth issue of Humanitarian Alternatives also includes three articles, which are not related to the Syrian crisis. Two of them pertain to the ongoing conflict in Yemen.
In one, extensive article, François Frison-Roche, a researcher within the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), goes back to the origins of the Yemeni conflict, an increasingly radical and deadly war in which the international community and the media have shown little interest. To do so, he details, among others things, the different stakeholders and their characteristics and explains how this conflict encompasses several wars between different factions: the Houthi rebels vs. the international coalition led by Saudi Arabia; the supporters of the current President, Abd Rabbuh Mansour al-Hadi, vs. the ones of the former autocrat Ali Abdallah Saleh; or the North vs. the South.
On the other hand, Lucile Grosjean, Humanitarian crisis and conflict advocacy manager at Action against Hunger – France, focused her article on the challenge of maintaining a humanitarian access in a country like Yemen. She notably explains how a humanitarian presence in the country has become increasingly complex, as none of the belligerent parties helps to make the successful delivery of aid possible and mentions the different good practices put in place by NGOs in order to deter malpractices.
Last but not least, one article is dedicated to the involvement of children in water-protection advocacy in post-conflict Colombia. Diana Volonakis and Susana Borda Carulla, the two authors, focuses on the role of children as agents of social and political change, a role they have not been in often.
To read the entirety of the fourth issue, please, click here.