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UN Envoy: Yemen Moving Away from Peace

UN Envoy: Yemen Moving Away from Peace

Tuesday, 17 September, 2019 - 05:15
United Nations envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths. (Reuters)

United Nations envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths expressed on Monday grave concern over the attack on Aramco oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.

In a briefing to the UN Security Council, he warned: “At a minimum, this kind of action carries the risk of dragging Yemen into a regional conflagration.”

“Because of one thing we can be certain, and that is that this extremely serious incident makes the chances of a regional conflict that much higher and of a rapprochement that much lower. With Yemen in some way or other linked, none of that is good for Yemen,” he added.

“This is frankly terrifying and is an eventuality which runs completely counter to the many and detailed conversations I have had in recent weeks with people in the region, in Yemen and elsewhere in favor of a series of steps to be taken by the parties towards de-escalation,” continued the envoy.

“It is not entirely clear who was behind the attack,” he noted, but the fact that the Iran-backed Houthi militias claimed responsibility is “bad enough.”

“Whatever we will discover of the attack, it is a sure sign that for Yemen, the direction of travel seems to be away from the peace we all seek. Every day that war goes on, the greater the threat to regional stability. So we need to take a bold move,” stressed Griffiths.

Addressing the developments in southern Yemen and the calm that has prevailed, he remarked that Saudi Arabia has been an “indispensable mediator”.

“They frankly bring real meaning to the phrase that their success will be our success,” he told the Council.

He welcomed the presence of delegations from the legitimate government of Yemen under President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi’s leadership and the Southern Transitional Council in Jeddah.

“I know this Council joins me to wish the Saudis, their leadership and the two delegations every success in that crucial effort,” continued the envoy.

“As many have said before, the lasting and resounding message from developments in the south is a clarion call for an urgent need to end the conflict in Yemen as a whole. As President Hadi told me last month, we need to urgently make progress for the war not to expand further,” he said.

Despite this “very grim picture”, he stated that “some limited progress” had been achieved this month.

Griffiths said the legitimate government and Houthis have taken further steps towards implementing the Stockholm agreement.

On September 8 and 9, they held the sixth joint meeting of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) in the Red Sea to discuss ceasefire enhancement, disengagement from the frontlines and the implementation of plans for redeployment of forces.

“The meeting was held in a very positive and a very pragmatic atmosphere. And I am grateful to the leaderships of the parties who made this so and their representatives present on that vessel,” he added.

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