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A civil war will only plunge this already suffering country into depths from which it may never recover.

Street Battles in Yemen

What started months ago in Yemen as a peaceful standoff between President Saleh and protesters seeking his removal has taken a tragic turn. The standoff is now spiraling toward civil war. There are reports of street battles and lives lost in the capital city of Sanaa.

People are fleeing the city. When violence strikes, hunger and sickness are quick to follow as basic necessities inevitably become shortages.

Violence will solve nothing for Yemen. Both sides, Saleh’s forces and the opposition, have to show restraint. What is needed now more than ever in this crisis is calm and cooler heads. Only a peaceful, negotiated settlement with President Saleh leaving office is the answer.

A civil war will only plunge this already suffering country into depths from which it may never recover. A civil war would leave a legacy of death, destruction, chaos, and starvation for millions. The leaders of both sides can go this route and share that legacy — or they can choose a road to peace.

If the road to peace is chosen at this critical time, there will be guides along the way. That is where the international community will come in with a new policy toward Yemen, one more sympathetic to the people’s needs. No longer will hunger and poverty, the biggest threat facing the country, be ignored.

It is up to Yemen to first choose peace and dialogue, and that is where we stand at this moment.

Read more about hunger and malnutrition in Yemen at the Yemen Times and New York Times.

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.

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