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UN Envoy Meets Yemeni Leaders to Consolidate the Ceasefire

UN Envoy Meets Yemeni Leaders to Consolidate the Ceasefire

Thursday, 1 September, 2022 - 07:45
Yemeni Foreign Minister during his meeting with the UN envoy in Riyadh on Wednesday (Saba)

The UN envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, intensified his meetings with Yemeni officials as part of his efforts to consolidate the military and humanitarian ceasefire.

The Houthi militias have pushed thousands of their armed members to Hodeidah in a show of force, which could lead to new battles and threaten international navigation in the Red Sea.

The UN-backed truce was launched in April and was renewed twice until October 2.

Official Yemeni sources stated that Grundberg met in Riyadh Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, the Chairman of the Consultation and Reconciliation Commission, Muhammad al-Ghaithi, and his deputy after holding talks with Speaker Sultan al-Barakani.

The sources reported that bin Mubarak discussed with the envoy the UN truce and peace efforts in light of the recent Houthi attacks in the Ad-Dhabab area in Taiz and their continuous ceasefire violations.

Saba news agency quoted bin Mubarak as saying that Yemenis await the militias' commitment to open the main roads to Taiz. However, the Houthis challenged the international community by trying to block the main highway.

The foreign minister warned that the Houthi behavior threatens the truce and the initiatives and efforts to expand and extend it unless there are firm stances against militia actions.

He stressed that militias must implement the clause on opening roads and end all violations and war mobilization, adding that the Houthis must not exploit the government's commitment and the coalition's support.

The UN envoy condemned all acts of escalation, reiterating his keenness to address all violations through a joint mechanism that guarantees adherence to the ceasefire.

Grundberg indicated that he would continue his efforts to reach an expanded armistice and find a way forward in the peace process to serve the aspirations of Yemenis.

The UN envoy met the head of the Yemeni Consultation and Reconciliation Commission, Muhammad al-Ghaithi, and the vice-chairman, Abdul Malik al-Mikhlafi, in Riyadh.

Ghaithi stressed the need for the international community and the UN envoy to bear responsibility for confronting Houthi violations, saying the militias' recent attacks indicate their rejection of the ceasefire and disruption of peace efforts.

Earlier, the UN envoy met with Parliament Speaker Sultan al-Barakani.

Barakani stated that the Houthi militia is not interested or serious about peace given its ongoing violations of the UN-mediated truce.

He stressed that the Houthis are not a partner in making peace.

He urged the UN envoy and the international community to shoulder their responsibility to deter the militias and their main backer Iran. “The Yemeni people have paid a heavy price for the militia's aggressions as other Arab countries do with Iran," he said.

The UN envoy briefed the Speaker on the outcome of his recent meeting with all parties regarding the truce and opening of Taiz roads.

He regretted the incidents in Taiz, confirming that he exerted extensive efforts to stop the bloodshed, pointing out that his priority was preventing the fighting in Taiz, enforcing the truce, and opening roads to its people.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) observed with great concern the significant military presence in Hodeidah in recent days.

UNMHA tweeted that Hodeidah must be kept free of military manifestations, as agreed in Stockholm, urging the Houthi leadership to "respect the terms of the Hodeidah Agreement and refrain from actions that may contribute to escalation, in the interest of all Yemenis."

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