Trump’s Jerusalem decision could help militants — UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan (L), Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and UAE's deputy commander-in-chief of the armed forces attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 24, 2016. (REUTERS)
Updated 10 December 2017

Trump’s Jerusalem decision could help militants — UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed

DUBAI: US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital could provide a lifeline to militants after the setbacks they suffered this year, the de facto leader of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has warned.
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahayan also said that the UAE hopes that Washington would reconsider its decision.
Trump’s announcement has sparked widespread opposition across the Middle East, with many warning it could affect Washington’s role as a Middle East peace broker.
“The US move could throw a lifebuoy to terrorist and armed groups, which have begun to lose ground in the region,” said Sheikh Mohammed, speaking to a delegation from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
The comments were carried in a report on state news agency WAM published late on Saturday.
Iraq on Saturday declared final victory over Daesh after Iraqi forces drove its last remnants from the country, while the group is on the back foot in neighboring Syria, where an offensive backed by Russia has driven the group out of most of its strongholds.
Palestinians want Arab East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, to be the capital of a state they hope would be emerge from peace talks with Israel. Israel has annexed East Jerusalem in a move not recognized internationally and regards the area as part of its capital.
Sheikh Mohammed said Trump’s unilateral decision violates UN resolutions, and urged Washington to “reconsider its move and work basically in an effective and neutral manner to draft true principles for peace that serve all and realize development and stability in the region,” according to WAM.
Turning to Yemen, Sheikh Mohammed said the Saudi-led Arab coalition, which includes the UAE, remained committed to a political solution to end the war that began in 2015 when the Iran-aligned Houthis advanced on the southern port city of Aden forcing President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee into exile.
But he said that any solution “will also not be at the expense of enabling a military militia that operates outside the state authority and posing a direct threat to the security and stability of the sisterly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the region at large.”


Locust invasion in Yemen stokes food insecurity fears

A Yemeni tries to catch locusts on the rooftop of his house as they swarm several parts of the country bringing in devastations and destruction of major seasonal crops. (AFP)
Updated 13 July 2020

Locust invasion in Yemen stokes food insecurity fears

  • Billions of locusts invaded farms, cities and villages, devouring seasonal crops

AL-MUKALLA: Locust swarms have swept over farms in central, southern and eastern parts of Yemen, ravaging crops and stoking fears of food insecurity.

Residents and farmers in the provinces of Marib, Hadramout, Mahra and Abyan said that billions of locusts had invaded farms, cities and villages, devouring important seasonal crops such as dates and causing heavy losses.
“This is like a storm that razes anything it encounters,” Hussein Ben Al-Sheikh Abu Baker, an agricultural official from Hadramout’s Sah district, told Arab News on Sunday.
Images and videos posted on social media showed layers of creeping locusts laying waste to lemon farms in Marb, dates and alfalfa farms in Hadramout and flying swarms plunging cities into darkness. “The locusts have eaten all kinds of green trees, including the sesban tree. The losses are huge,” Abu Baker added.
Heavy rains and flash floods have hit several Yemeni provinces over the last couple of months, creating fruitful conditions for locusts to reproduce. Farmers complained that locusts had wiped out entire seasonal crops that are grown after rains.
Abu Baker said that he visited several affected farms in Hadramout, where farmers told him that if the government would not compensate them for the damage that it should at least get ready for a second potential locust wave that might occur in 10 days.
“The current swarms laid eggs that are expected to hatch in 10 days. We are bracing for the second wave of the locusts.”  
Last year, the UN said that the war in Yemen had disrupted vital monitoring and control efforts and several waves of locusts to hit neighboring countries had originated from Yemen.

This is like a storm that razes anything it encounters.

Hussein Ben Al-Sheikh Abu Baker, a Yemeni agricultural official

Yemeni government officials, responsible for battling the spread of locusts, have complained that fighting and a lack of funding have obstructed vital operations for combating the insects.
Ashor Al-Zubairi, the director of the Locust Control Unit at the Ministry of Agriculture in Hadramout’s Seiyun city, said that the ministry was carrying out a combat operation funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization in Hadramout and Mahra, but complained that the operation might fall short of its target due to a lack of funding and equipment.
“The spraying campaign will end in a week which is not enough to cover the entire plagued areas,” Al-Zubairi told Arab News. “We suggested increasing the number of spraying equipment or extending the campaign.”
He said that a large number of villagers had lost their source of income after the locusts ate crops and sheep food, predicting that the outbreak would likely last for at least two weeks if urgent control operations were not intensified and fighting continued. “Combating teams could not cross into some areas in Marib due to fighting.”
The widespread locust invasion comes as the World Food Programme (WFP) on July 10 sent an appeal for urgent funds for its programs in Yemen, warning that people would face starvation otherwise.
“There are 10 million people who are facing (an) acute food shortage, and we are ringing the alarm bell for these people, because their situation is deteriorating because of escalation and because of the lockdowns, the constraints and the social-economic impact of the coronavirus,” WFP spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs told reporters in Geneva.