Together with dozens of partner organizations, DAWN sent an open letter to Congress urging support for the bipartisan Yemen War Powers Resolution (H. Con. Res. 123), which would end all U.S participation in the brutal Saudi-led war on Yemen.
December 3, 2020
Dear Members of Congress,
We, the undersigned groups, urge you to support H.Con.Res.123, the bipartisan Yemen War Powers Resolution introduced by Representatives DeFazio, Biggs, Dingell, and Castro (and with original cosponsors Rooney, Gaetz, Khanna, and Pocan) to end unauthorized U.S. military participation in the Saudi- and Emirati-led war on Yemen. The resolution rejects the Trump Administration’s latest escalations of the crisis and will send the strongest possible signal to the warring parties that Congress will move swiftly and decisively to bring this conflict to a close.
This resolution comes as Yemen is fast approaching what may be its darkest chapter, as members of the Saudi-led coalition have slashed their aid funding to Yemen while maintaining the blockade of Yemen’s ports. Last week, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres issued an urgent warning that Yemen is now “in imminent danger of the worst famine the world has seen for decades. In the absence of immediate action, millions of lives may be lost.” He further urged that the world avoid “taking any action that could make the already dire situation even worse.”
Guterres’ plea was widely considered to refer to the Trump Administration’s plans — announced this month — to designate the Houthis a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) before the end of his term. The designation is yet another giveaway by the Administration to the Saudis, who have long sought the designation to strengthen their leverage in potential negotiations. Labeling the Houthis a FTO threatens to put the United States on a perpetual war footing in Yemen, empowers Saudi Arabia to continue its disastrous aerial bombings, and endangers humanitarian aid delivery to the 80% of Yemenis who live in Houthi-governed territory. The designation will make providing aid a criminal offense and further complicate peace talks with the Houthis that are necessary to end the war and humanitarian crisis.
Furthermore, the Trump Administration is simultaneously attempting to intensify the horrific conflict in Yemen through green-lighting a transfer of $23 billion in weapons to the United Arab Emirates — including precision guided munitions and drones, which have been used against Yemeni civilians — a move that signals approval for the UAE’s deadly actions against civilians in this war.
As Trump continues to hurt the prospects of peace in Yemen during his last months as President, Congress must enact the bipartisan Yemen War Powers Resolution, H.Con.Res.123. Passage of this bill will direct the President to immediately terminate unconstitutional military support for the war. By enacting this resolution, Congress will reject the Trump White House’s latest escalations, reaffirm for Saudi Arabia and the international community that it is committed to urgently ending U.S. participation in the war, and set the stage for partnership with the incoming Administration to advance peace and humanitarian relief for the people of Yemen.
We thank you for your leadership in working to end U.S. involvement in the Saudi and Emirati-led war in Yemen and ask that you cosponsor and vote in favor of this urgent Yemen War Powers Resolution.
American Friends Service Committee
Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain
Center for International Policy
Center on Conscience & War
Charity & Security Network
DAWN (Democracy for the Arab World Now)
Defending Rights & Dissent
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Franciscan Action Network
Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ Institute for Policy Studies, New Internationalism Project
Justice Is Global
National Council of Churches
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
Pax Christi USA
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Progressive Peace Coalition
Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society
United for Peace and Justice
Veterans For Peace
World Beyond War
Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation
Yemeni Alliance Committee
Brooklyn For Peace
Chicago Area Peace Action Interfaith Peace Network of WNY Massachusetts Peace Action Oakhurst Baptist Church
Peace Action New York State Peace Action of Wisconsin Veterans For Peace/Chapter 102 WNY Peace Center
Photo caption: Yemeni Red Crescent workers carry a victim on a stretcher amid the rubble of a destroyed funeral hall building following reported airstrikes by Saudi-led coalition air-planes on the capital Sanaa on October 8, 2016. Rebels in control of Yemen’s capital accused the Saudi-led coalition fighting them of killing or wounding dozens of people in air strikes on Sanaa. The insurgent-controlled news site sabanews.net said that coalition planes hit a building in the capital where people had gathered to mourn the death of an official, resulting in “dozens of dead or wounded”. / AFP / MOHAMMED HUWAIS (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP via Getty Images)