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Yemeni Govt Calls for Deterrence against Houthi Militarization of Red Sea

Yemeni Govt Calls for Deterrence against Houthi Militarization of Red Sea

Thursday, 6 October, 2022 - 09:45
Yemen's Information Minister Muammar al-Iryani (Asharq Al-Awsat)

The Yemeni government demanded international deterrence against the Houthi group's threats to international shipping.

In a statement carried by Saba news agency, Yemen's Minister of Information Moammar al-Eryani said that the dangerous announcement made by the Houthis that the Red Sea, Bab el-Mandab, and the Arabian Sea are a military operations zone reveals the group's reality as a terrorist militia that does not care about international laws.

Eryani considered the announcement an affirmation of the warnings issued earlier that the Iran-affiliated militias continue to control parts of the Yemeni coast and the security and safety of international navigation in the Red Sea and Bab el-Mandab.

The statement called on the international community, the UN, and the Security Council permanent members to take a clear stance against this dangerous threat and carry out their legal responsibilities in confronting the terrorist activities of the Iranian regime and its Houthi tools.

Last Sunday, the so-called "Supreme Political Council" threatened oil companies in the Arab coalition countries.

For his part, Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak affirmed Wednesday the legitimate government's keenness on renewing the nationwide truce, pointing out that it has implemented all its commitments for a comprehensive peace.

During a press conference in Rabat, bin Mubarak accused the Houthis of recanting their vow to implement the terms of the truce, including opening roads in Taiz, before refusing to extend the ceasefire again.

The Minister noted a strategic regional and global interest to end the Houthi coup, noting that the Houthi group imposed the war to implement Tehran's expansionist agenda in the region.

The Yemeni government "will not allow Iran to seize Yemen's oil resources," said the Minister.

Bin Mubarak stated that Yemeni army casualties during the truce amounted to 1,400 soldiers and civilians who fell due to Houthi violations, despite the government's keenness to maintain calm and provide opportunities for peace.

He added that Houthis plundered more than YR45 billion before the armistice and have not paid a single riyal in public employee salaries since the signing of the Stockholm Agreement.

Bin Mubarak recalled the militias' evasion of implementing the Stockholm Agreement on Hodeidah in exchange for halting military operations, recalling that they deployed naval mines in the Red Sea, a threat to maritime navigation.

On Wednesday, the Minister confirmed that his government implemented all its commitments toward the truce, and the Houthis refused to open Taiz roads.

During a telephone conversation with Russia's Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov, bin Mubarak discussed the prospects for a Yemeni settlement.

Saba news agency reported that the two officials discussed the bilateral relationship, marking the 94th anniversary of its founding next November.

Bin Mubarak reiterated the Houthis' intention to obstruct all efforts to move to the comprehensive political process per the three references, adding that the group insists on resorting to war and threatens national and regional oil companies.

He called on the Security Council to take a firm stance regarding the negative attitudes of the Houthi militia.

Bogdanov stressed Russia's support for the security and stability of Yemen and the region.

Meanwhile, international actors continue to exert efforts to extend the previous truce, despite UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg's announcement last Sunday evening that the peace ended without an agreement.

On Tuesday, Yemeni and Western diplomatic sources revealed that the UN continued to try to extend the humanitarian truce for an additional period of up to six months.

According to the sources, the UN efforts are now directed toward Iran and the Presidential Leadership Council.

The UN envoy is pressuring the Council to approve the salaries of military and security employees in the Houthi-controlled areas and disburse them within the following year.

The truce entered into force last April for two months and stipulated ending the offensive military operations inside Yemen and across its borders, opening roads in Taiz and other governorates to improve the freedom of movement of civilians, and facilitating the entry of 18 ships carrying fuel to Hodeidah.

It also required allowing flights to and from Sanaa International Airport and paying the salaries of government employees.

The government accuses the Houthi militia of renouncing its obligations.

Yemeni political activist Mohammad Abdul-Mughni believes the failure of UN efforts to extend the ceasefire and achieve peace was expected due to the Houthi intransigence.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Abdul-Mughni said the Houthi militias miscalculate their power and control, and they want to assure the international community and the Arab region that they are a force that cannot be ignored.

He believes the group determined several conditions that could increase risks and threats, cautioning that if these conditions were met, they would be one of the reasons for prolonging the war.

Surprisingly, the UN and the international community agreed to the Houthi militia's conditions to pay the salaries of state employees in their areas, as these salaries will probably be used in war efforts.

He concluded that the failure of the international community to persuade the militias would prolong the war in the areas identified by the militias for strategic gains.

Furthermore, the American Center for Justice (ACJ) regrets the international community's failure to extend the humanitarian truce in Yemen, its lax handling of the parties' terms to the conflict, and the ambiguity surrounding its discussions on the extension in the last days of the expired truce.

The Washington-based human rights organization believes the international community did not make sufficient efforts to extend the truce, nor did it disclose the details of the discussions between Grundberg and Houthi leaders n Sanaa or what obstacles and conditions complicated his mission, which did not allow an agreement to be reached.

Throughout the period of the ended truce, which was announced for humanitarian purposes and to alleviate the suffering of Yemeni civilians, the Houthi group evaded compliance with necessary conditions for the humanitarian situation.

The ACJ calls on the international community to assume its responsibilities to protect civilians from the effects of the end of the truce, the Houthi group's refusal to extend it, and what may result from such as the return of clashes, most of which occur in residential areas, or vital areas.

It also stressed the need for the international community, its bodies, and states to play a serious, effective, and resolute role in restoring the truce on the one hand and in continuing activities and efforts to end the war in Yemen in a just manner on the other hand.

It hoped this would lead to the cessation of all violations resulting from it and building a comprehensive and complete peace process.

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