Houthis disrupting Yemen political process - GulfToday

Houthis disrupting Yemen political process

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Food distribution takes place in Aden. File/ WAM

With every passing day it is increasingly clear that the Iran-backed Houthi militias are bent on scuttling the peace process in Yemen. The international community needs to address more assertively the deliberate and systematic violations of the Stockholm Agreement by the Houthis.

The UAE deserves praise for consistently sticking to its stand that Yemen needs a political solution to resolve the conflict.

In meetings with senior United Nations officials, Dr Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, has again made clear the Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen’s firm commitment to the Stockholm Agreement and to the ongoing peace efforts brokered by Martin Griffiths, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen.

There is a clear pattern to the Houthis’ strategy in dealing with the political process, as Gargash points out. Since the start of the Yemen conflict, the Houthis have time and again pledged to accept international mediation efforts and the resulting agreements, but have then failed to implement, have questioned what was agreed, and have eventually demanded new concessions.

The Houthis have breached the Stockholm Agreement and UN Security Council resolution 2451 by violating the ceasefire agreement more than 3,000 times since it was signed.

It should be noted that since 2015, the UAE has provided as much as $5.41 billion in assistance to Yemen, reaching out to some 17.2 million individuals, including 11.2 million children.

The latest UAE-Saudi Arabia $200 million pledge to help Yemenis also reflects the Arab Coalition countries’ keenness to stand by the Yemeni people in their difficult circumstances.

Unfortunately, the Houthis do not care about peace or international opinion.

Just last week, the Saudi Royal Air Defence Systems detected an unidentified object headed towards civilian targets in the Asir region. The Saudi Royal Air Defence Systems dealt with the target according to rules of engagement and destruction. Thanks to the timely interception of the Houthi drone, injuries or damages could be averted.

Earlier, the Royal Saudi Air Defence systems intercepted two drones launched by the Iranian-backed Houthi militias towards the city of Khamis Mushait in Saudi Arabia. The objects were directed at densely populated civilian areas, and were intercepted and destroyed.

While the UAE is committed to delivering aid to all parts of Yemen, Coalition aid to Houthi-controlled parts of Yemen continues to be stymied by the Houthis themselves.

It’s disgraceful that in Hodeidah, the Houthis continue to loot humanitarian aid for sale on the black market, raise funds for their war effort, threaten civilian shipping lanes in the Red Sea, and smuggle Iranian-supplied weapons into the country – including ballistic missiles and sophisticated drones.

Dr Gargash is absolutely right in calling on the UN Security Council to take firmer action to enforce international law, by disrupting the flow of Iranian arms into Yemen, and to condemn Iran’s role in fueling the conflict.

There is a need to pressure Al Houthis to comply with international humanitarian law and not disrupt humanitarian access to Yemeni civilians.

Only political solutions can ensure stability and sustainable peace. The best way forward is for the international community to maintain pressure on the Houthis and their Iranian backers so as to end their obstruction of the political process, and to hold them responsible for their flagrant violations of their international obligations.

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