New UN envoy: Yemen stuck in “indefinite state of war”
Posted on Friday September 10, 2021 | 13:22
Updated 4 hours, 56 minutes ago
UNITED NATIONS (PA) – The new UN special envoy for Yemen said on Friday that the poorest nation in the Arab world is “stuck in an indefinite state of war” and that the resumption of negotiations to end more six-year conflict will not be easy.
Hans Grundberg, a Swedish diplomat who took office four days ago after serving as European Union ambassador to Yemen since 2019, told the UN Security Council that “there is no rapid victory ”in the civil war in Yemen.
To chart the best way forward, he said, he plans to look at what has worked and what has not worked, and “to listen to as many Yemeni men and women as possible.”
“The parties to the conflict have not discussed a comprehensive settlement since 2016,” said Grundberg. “It is therefore high time that the parties to the conflict engage in a peaceful dialogue under the facilitation of the United Nations on the terms of a comprehensive settlement, in good faith and without preconditions.
Yemen has been in the throes of civil war since 2014, when Iranian-backed Houthi rebels seized control of the capital Sana’a and much of the north of the country, forcing President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s government to flee south, then to Saudi Arabia. Arabia.
A Saudi-led coalition went to war in March 2015, backed by the United States, in an attempt to bring Hadi back to power, and gave support to his government backed by the international community. Despite a relentless air campaign and fighting on the ground, the war has largely deteriorated to a stalemate and created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The United States has since suspended its direct involvement in the conflict.
Grundberg said the UN’s approach to ending the conflict must include “meaningful participation of women”.
He said his first consultations with Yemenis and key regional and international parties “are starting soon.”
The Security Council welcomed Grundberg’s appointment and said in a brief statement that it expects the parties to meet with him “and with each other within the framework of the UN.” auspices, in good faith and without preconditions.
Examining the complex situation in Yemen, Grundberg said that since the start of 2020, the focus has been on the Houthi offensive in the government-owned town of Marib, which has claimed the lives of thousands of young people. and left thousands of displaced civilians living in constant fear of violence and having to relocate again. In the key port city of Hodeidah, there has been “a noticeable drop in ceasefire violations”, but hostilities in the southern districts “are of particular concern,” he said.
In southern Yemen, Grundberg said, there have been regular outbreaks of violence and basic services and the economy has deteriorated. He stressed that grievances and demands from the South must “play a role” in determining the way forward.
Ghada Eltahir Mudawi, deputy director of the UN humanitarian office, told the council that “the threat of famine is not over in Yemen”, but there has been an increase in donor funding in recent months, UN receiving more than $ 1.9 billion. – 50% of its total needs.
As a result, she said, the UN has stepped up assistance, reaching 12.8 million people in June – 3.3 million more than in May – and famine has been averted in the first eight. months of the year.
Mudawi said a high-level side event on Yemen will take place on September 22 at the annual gathering of world leaders of the United Nations General Assembly, co-hosted by the European Union, Sweden and Switzerland.
Entesar Al-Qadhi, executive director of the Marib Girls Foundation for Development, said three of the 200 families who fled their homes in the besieged city this week to escape an attack were relatives.
Beyond the missile threat, she told the council that conditions in the IDP camps are “catastrophic”, saying “people are battered by winds, floods and desert heat without sufficient shelter” and do not have sufficient support and services. .
She urged the Security Council to pass a resolution demanding an end to the Houthi attacks on Marib, saying this should pave the way for a Yemen-wide ceasefire. She also called on council members to support an inclusive peace process “and to ensure the full, equal and meaningful participation of diverse women, youth and civil society” at all stages.