Yemeni gov't invites UN Secretary-General to discuss Griffiths mistakes

Aden (Debriefer)
2019-06-06 | Since 4 Month

Antonio Guterres

اضغط هنا لقراءة الخبر بالعربية

The Yemeni internationally-recognized government has sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General calling Antonio Guterres to come in person or send a representative for discussing the mistakes committed by his Envoy Martin Griffiths in terms of Hodeida redeployment deal's application, a Yemeni senior official told the Emirati al-Bayan paper.

The government is expecting that to happen, he added anonymously. Therefore, "it's impossible to talk about resuming the participation of government team in the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), chaired by General Michael Lollesgaard, or to discuss preparation for any next round of talks."

Yemen has been racked by a 4-year bloody conflictbetween the internationally-recognized Yemeni government's forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, and the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who ousted the government in 2014.

The Red Sea city of Hodeida and its ports have been under Houthi control since late 2014, while Yemeni joint forces loyal to legitimate government and Arab coalition have massed at the city's fringes since last November seeking to retake the strategic port.

On 14 May, the United Nations said Houthi group had withdrawn from Hodeida, Salif and Ras Isa ports,in application of the UN-brokered Stockholm peace deal that made breakthrough in UN efforts to end warin Yemen.

The move raised wrath of the Yemeni government that dubbed Houthi withdrawal as farce.

Late last May, Yemeni President sent an official letter to Guterres talking about unprecedented, unacceptable desecrations committed by Griffiths, whom the Yemeni government accused of siding with Houthis following his latest briefing to the UNSC.

President AbdRabbu Mansour Hadi asked the UN chief for sufficient guarantees that those violations would be reviewed and not repeated, accusing the UN envoy of seeking to "provide guarantees for Houthi militias to stay in Hodeida under UN umbrella."

But the UN SG implicitly rejected Hadi request, saying his organization acts as neutral mediator and has no intention to establish international management in Hodeida.

In a letter to Hadi, Guterres added that he and his envoy Martin Griffiths "take seriously the legitimate concerns" raised by the government.

The Yemeni official said, however, his government told the UN mid-May that it would suspend participation in RCC meetings, waiting for actions taken by the UN to correct Griffiths acts.

A UN SG delegate is expected to arrive in Yemen after Eid holyday and, then, the government would decide onresuming its team's contacts with Griffiths, the official told al-Bayan.

The UN envoy had called for meeting with the government, but his request was refused, he said, with the government insisting on a clear commitment from Guterres to correct his envoy's errors and take actions on the ground in application of points agreed at joint meetings.

"What is happening now in the three ports are measures the government has nothing to do with for two reasons," he added. "First, they are in violation of the deals. Second, the government has not been a party to such measures, and has not verified their authenticity."

The government had already signed with the UN and Houthis a detailed deal on an action plan for redeploying in the ports, said the official. The deal "provides for committees be formed to verify, monitor and secure movements of UN monitors, be consisting of representatives from government, Houthis and the UN, and be tasked with ensuring the redeployment implementation according to Stockholm Agreement."

The field committees would "have the right to verify the removal and destruction of mines, and to check identities of coastguard forces that have supposedly received the three ports," he said accusing the UN team of ignoring these points and trying to legitimize unilateral steps.

The UN has so far failed to find a solution for Yemen conflict that has triggered what it calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with most of the population in need for a type of humanitarian aid and immediate protection, including 14 million people risking famine and some 1.8 million children suffering malnutrition.

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