Griffiths Says Yemen at Crossroads, Expresses Concern Over Attacks Against Saudi Arabia
Yemen remains at the crossroads between war and peace, UN envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths told the UN Security Council on Wednesday.
He warned that despite Houthi militias’ withdrawal from key ports, the country still faces the threat of a resumption of all-out war.
The envoy addressed the council after the Houthis pulled out of three Red Sea ports in line with a ceasefire deal reached in Stockholm in December.
“Between May 11 and 14, Houthis have undertaken an initial redeployment of forces in the ports of Hodeida, Saleef and Ras Issa, under UN monitoring.”
“My colleague, General Michael Lollesgaard and his team from the UN Mission to Support the Hodeida Agreement were there at each of the three ports to monitor and verify these redeployments.”
He stressed that the Yemeni government is determined to confirm its commitment to the redeployment in accordance with the agreement in its first stage, expressing his gratitude to President Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.
“It shows their seriousness and commitment to implement what was agreed in Stockholm. And my appreciation goes to them for being the first to redeploy their forces as originally agreed. This is most welcome,” he told the Council.
“We would like the parties to ensure that the momentum that we now begin to see is maintained by implementing subsequent steps of the mutual redeployments, verified and monitored by the parties by ensuring the support that we need in the UN to increase our role in the ports,” he said.
Griffiths warned that if these measures do not go forward, Hodeida Agreement will remain in a precarious situation as seen before.
He urged both parties to agree on an action plan for the next phase of the redeployment process, pointing to Duraihmi District in particular.
Griffiths said there are “signs of hope” but also “alarming signs in recent days” that progress can be threatened.
He pointed to an escalation of violence in Yemen’s southern Dhale province, which had been under the control of forces loyal to the internationally recognized government.
He also expressed serious concern at the news of a drone attack Tuesday on oil facilities in neighboring Saudi Arabia, saying that “we cannot ignore how these developments affect the political process”.