Houthis continue to play with fire - GulfToday

Houthis continue to play with fire


The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

The designation of the Iran-backed Houthi militia as a terrorist group by the Arab Parliament is an appropriate step and the United Nations should certainly not hesitate to take similar action.

The endless atrocities and crimes against the Yemeni people being committed by the Houthi militias make them deserve the tag.

The Houthis should be forced to face justice for their recent terrorist attacks on Saudi civilian facilities, commercial vessels in the territorial waters of UAE and in the Gulf of Oman.

The repeated targeting of populated areas and civilian facilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by the Houthis is a war crime and threatens directly the safety of civilians.

Several inhuman acts by the Houthi militias have left the Yemeni people in huge distress. Humanitarian aid packages are not reaching the Yemeni people because the Houthi militias are looting them.

Just on Monday, the Head of the UN Food Agency accused the Houthi rebels of diverting food from the war-torn country’s hungriest people and threatened to suspend food aid unless they immediately implemented registration and monitoring agreements.

David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme, WFP, told the UN Security Council that the agency in late 2018 uncovered serious evidence that food was being diverted and going to the wrong people in the capital of Sanaa and other Houthi-controlled areas.

In his own words: “Today, I’m sad to say, the World Food Programme is being prevented from feeding the hungriest people in Yemen. Food assistance provided by the United Nations is being diverted in areas controlled by Ansar Allah at the expense of children, women and men.”

The WFP has insisted on and the Houthis finally agreed to registration and biometric identification of beneficiaries and monitoring in December and January, but the agency has faced roadblocks ever since in implementing the agreements.

On the ground, the valiant and sincere efforts of the member countries of the Arab Coalition, led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to support Yemen have won the hearts of the Yemeni people.

The UAE leadership has launched continuous efforts and response campaigns to ease the suffering of Yemeni people across various developmental, relief, and humanitarian fields.

Last May, the United Arab Emirates through its humanitarian arm — the Emirates Red Crescent, ERC — distributed more than 7,000 food baskets which benefited 49,000 Yemenis, in addition to an emergency response campaign that included providing shelter support including tents and water tanks, along with a shipment of medicines and health supplies.

The UAE recently provided laboratory equipment to the National Centre of Public Health Laboratories of the Yemeni Ministry of Health to confront the dengue epidemic in Aden, Yemen.

Since 2016, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has fulfilled the wishes of around 434 Yemeni children suffering from serious diseases, who are patients of the Friendship Hospital in Yemen, supported by the ERC.

The UAE has also borne the costs of conducting more than 600 major and minor surgeries at the Al Mawasit Rural Hospital during the months of March, April and May.

Dr Anwar Bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, well highlighted the situation by tweeting recently: “The split nature of the Houthi militias is evident; playing a local role when negotiating a political process in Yemen & puppets & proxies when targeting Saudi civilians. A position complicating the Yemen crisis & impeding the march to peace.”

The international community needs to act swiftly and unitedly in sending a strong message to the Houthi militias against their repeated provocations. It should play its role in restoring legitimacy in Yemen and take all the necessary steps to deal with terrorist acts by the Houthi militias that destabilise the region.

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