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Yemeni Government: Closure of UN Offices in Sana'a ‘Great Danger’

Yemeni Government: Closure of UN Offices in Sana'a ‘Great Danger’

Monday, 18 December, 2017 - 12:30
Pro-government Yemeni fighters patrol after driving Houthi rebels from the district of Bayhan in Shabwa province on December 16, 2017. AP

Yemen’s legitimate government confirmed Sunday that it will send a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick to renew the call on UN organizations to open in the temporary capital of Aden and carry out relief missions from there, especially after the UN’s decision to evacuate its staff from Sana’a.

Yemen's Minister of Local Administration and the Chairman of the Higher Committee for Relief Abdul-Raqib Saif Fath told Asharq Al-Awsat that his ministry will reiterate in the letter the call for moving UN offices to Aden to run relief convoys to the needy in all Yemeni governorates through all airports and ports of Yemen, with the commitment to meet all requirements.

He described the closure of the UN offices and the evacuation of its staff as a "great danger" that will affect the needy in Yemen, calling on the international community to force Houthi militias not to interfere in the work of humanitarian organizations.

Fath pointed out that the invitation, which the Yemeni government intends to send officially to the UN, was preceded by several calls for working alongside the legitimate government for running Yemen’s affairs from Saada to al-Mahrah.

He said that his ministry has always called on the UN to stop applying the principle of decentralization in the relief work resulting from its insistence on keeping its headquarters in Sana'a despite the security situation there.

The United Nations has been repeatedly informed of the need to find five central centers in Aden, Hadhramout, Marib, Hodeidah and Sana'a to cover all the Yemeni governorates and use all airports and ports, provide safe passage for relief convoys to all the provinces and meet the goals of relief work effectively, Fath explained.

He further noted that, during its previous calls, the legitimate government pledged its commitment to provide all requirements impartially, not to interfere in its affairs and deal with the relief process transparently.

However, the organization did not respond to these calls and continued to apply the principle of decentralization.

On the other hand, Fath said that the Houthis are carrying out violent acts in Sana'a and many other governorates regardless of the presence or absence of international organizations, indicating that these militias do not comply with humanitarian and human rights standards.

All of the attacks against women, arbitrary arrests of those who oppose them and a lot of other violent acts require a serious stance on the part of the international community and the Security Council, Fath stressed.

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