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The Yemeni Telecommunications Sector during the War... Fragile Infrastructure and Heavy Losses


SAM Organization, in cooperation with the "Inter News" Foundation, issued a report on the reality of the Yemeni telecommunications sector infrastructure, and the destruction it suffered during the seven years of war, citing detailed numbers and statistics.

The report, titled (Yemeni Telecommunications Sector in the Shadow of War...Fragile Infrastructure and Exorbitant Losses), stated that the war that has been raging for seven years had repercussions on all levels, including the communications sector, which had the greatest share of tampering and destruction, given its paramount importance. To the warring parties, as a huge economic resource, as well as its military and intelligence importance.

The report stated that "the fate of Yemenis caught in the net of this war is that they are mere bargaining chips between the parties to the conflict, adding that the terrible facts of the war were reflected on the Internet and the communications infrastructure.

The report clarified that the telecommunications sector has become an arena for battles to extend influence and control, and has been exploited to serve military objectives, which has deprived millions of Yemenis of their rights to communicate, access and exchange information.

The report said that the conflicting parties - especially the Houthi group - took advantage of Internet services to promote their narratives, block opposition websites and impose unprecedented censorship on content published on the Internet, in a way that many citizens saw as undermining their right to freely express their opinions, as well as their right to access information and news. .

The report issued by "SAM" indicated that all parties to the conflict directly and indirectly targeted and destroyed the communications infrastructure, causing severe damage, citing statistics and figures on the destruction that affected the sector (32% of the infrastructure was directly destroyed, while 24% was destroyed). partially).

The report considered that the size of the international capacity of the Internet owned by Yemen (not exceeding 130 gigabytes) exacerbated the suffering of Internet users in the country, and made their access to the network fraught with problems, adding that communications in Yemen occupy the bottom ranks in international rankings.

The report pointed out that the warring parties targeting the infrastructure of the telecommunications sector, the sector incurred a loss estimated at 6.45 billion dollars during the seven years, until April 2022, and caused damage to 14 million users, who suffered from weak deterioration of telecommunications and Internet services.

The report concluded that targeting the telecommunications infrastructure is a crime by all standards that calls for those responsible to be held accountable and punished, and there is no justification for “turning” the telecommunications sector into a war zone and a military target for the belligerents, stressing the need to oblige the parties to the conflict not to use the “telecommunication sector” as a scene for liquidation. Political and military calculations, and it should take concrete measures that would distance the communications from its conflicts.

To download the report click here

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