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For Yemen There Is No Alternative To Peace

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In Yemen there is a massive coalition of protesters seeking the removal of longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh. On the other side are pro-government supporters of Saleh. In the capitol of Sanaa, both sides are entrenched and heavily armed.

With this standoff comes the horrifying prospect of more bloodshed, such as last week’s massacre which killed over 50 protesters.

There is intense anger. Both sides have a choice in the coming days. Protesters and the pro-Saleh forces can take actions that plunge the country into more violence–and perhaps even civil war. Or both sides can make choices toward a peaceful resolution of this crisis. They can choose what direction to steer the country and what legacy will be associated with their name: Peace or violent conflict.

President Obama says, “It is more important than ever for all sides to participate in an open and transparent process that addresses the legitimate concerns of the Yemeni people, and provides a peaceful, orderly and democratic path to a stronger and more prosperous nation.”

For Yemen, there is no real alternative to peace. This country has had enough conflict. There are still hundreds of thousands of people displaced from the war in northern Yemen between the government and rebels.

One in 3 people in Yemen suffer from hunger. Many can barely afford bread. There is a growing shortage of water. The education system is broken and there is a low literacy rate. Yemen has one of the highest infant malnutrition rates. What better indicates the state of a country than the health of its youngest? There is an Al Qaeda presence in the country. Unemployment rates are high.

People in Yemen are demanding a better life. They deserve to have it. But only peacemakers in this country can help bring it to them. These are the voices of reason that can get Yemen through this standoff and on to tackling the great challenges facing the country.

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About William Lambers

William Lambers is the author of several books including Ending World Hunger: School Lunches for Kids Around the World. This book features over 50 interviews with officials from the UN World Food Programme and other charities discussing school feeding programs that fight child hunger. He is also the author of Nuclear Weapons, The Road to Peace: From the Disarming of the Great Lakes to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Open Skies for Peace, The Spirit of the Marshall Plan: Taking Action Against World Hunger, School Lunches for Kids Around the World, The Roadmap to End Global Hunger, From War to Peace and the Battle of Britain. He is also a writer for the History News Service. His articles have been published by newspapers including the Cincinnati Enquirer, Des Moines Register, the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Buffalo News, San Diego Union Tribune, the Providence Journal, Free Lance-Star (VA), the Bakersfield Californian, the Washington Post, Miami Herald (FL), Chicago Sun-Times, the Patriot Ledger (MA), Charleston Sunday Gazette Mail (WV), the Cincinnati Post, Salt Lake Tribune (UT), North Adams Transcript (MA), Wichita Eagle (KS), Monterey Herald (CA), Athens Banner-Herald (GA) and the Duluth News Journal. His articles also appear on History News Network (HNN) and Think Africa Press. Mr. Lambers is a graduate of the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio with degrees in Liberal Arts (BA) and Organizational Leadership (MS). He is also a member of the Feeding America Blogger Council.
  • Paul

    This is a great piece Mr. Lambers. Sadly, in these circumstances a peaceful issue to this conflict seems highly unlikely. Let’s hope I’m wrong.

    Thanks again.