The Guardian • Issue #2048

GLOBAL BRIEFS

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2048
Global briefs

YEMEN: Saudi and Omani delegations arrived in Yemen to negotiate a permanent ceasefire deal with Houthi officials. The visit follows the Oman-mediated consultations between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, combined with UN peace efforts. The peace process gained momentum after Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to re-establish ties in a deal brokered by China. The Houthis control north Yemen and have been fighting against the Saudi-led military alliance since 2015. The Saudi-led coalition had imposed severe restrictions on the flow of goods to Yemen. This blockade devastated the economy and led to the situation described by the UN as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Recently the Saudis have lifted an eight-year-old ban on imports headed for southern ports; it allows commercial ships to dock there. The proposed negotiations will focus on a full re-opening of Yemen’s ports and airports, payment of wages for public servants, a rebuilding process, and a political transition. If an agreement is reached, it could ultimately lead to a transitional unity government.

LEBANON: The Litany River authority condemned Israeli airstrikes on a vital irrigation system. The damaged canal carries the water of the Litany River to more than 1,200 acres of farmland. The strike hit an ancient Roman aqueduct listed as a historical monument by UNESCO. The loss of water threatens food security in a country already experiencing huge economic and social hardship. “Strikes carried out by Israeli foes are aimed at the Lebanese infrastructure. Their goal is to punish Lebanese farmers by cutting their access to water used for irrigation because the militant groups used their gardens as launch pads,” said Sami Alawiya, head of the Litany River authority.

UKRAINE: According to the Russian Defence Ministry the US has recommenced its biological laboratories program on Ukrainian territory. The primary focus of the program is on the construction of new secret facilities and the training of personnel. The program was originally referred to as “Joint Biological Research” to be renamed later as “Biological Control Research”.

GERMANY: Traditional Easter peace marches took place in over 120 cities and towns across the country. The march organisers in Berlin estimated that up to 3000 people took part. The participants carried banners with peace doves, placards, and banners reading “US and NATO get out of Ukraine,” “Diplomacy not Arms,” “Against pointless sanctions, cheap energy now”, “Tanks never bring peace.” The performance before the march included a peace song in Russian, German, and Yiddish, and speakers called for prompt peace negotiations on Ukraine. A small number of pro-Ukrainian activists made an attempt to disrupt the march, but failed.

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