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Despite Military Escalation, Increased Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen, ‘a Way Out of This War’ Still Exists, Special Envoy Tells Security Council

Houthis Still Obstructing Efforts Towards Peace, Key Representative Says, Reaffirming Country’s Commitment to Political Settlement

Following weeks of a military escalation that has stretched beyond Yemen’s borders into the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, the senior United Nations mediator, stressing that the conflict could spiral out of control, described plans for a new, multitrack framework aimed at moving the warring parties closer to a political settlement, as he briefed the Security Council today.

“It should be obvious to everyone just how high the stakes have become,” said Hans Grundberg, the United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, as he recounted weeks of spiking clashes.  Those included increased attacks by Ansar Allah — also known as the Houthis — on targets outside Yemen.  Noting that the conflict risks spiralling out of control unless serious efforts are urgently undertaken, he also cited an alarming increase in airstrikes on residential areas and civilian infrastructure in the cities of Sana’a and Hudaydah.  Further, the past month has seen severe shortages of fuel and oil derivatives, notably in areas controlled by Ansar Allah, putting unprecedented strain on the everyday lives of people. 

However, a “way out of this war” still exists, he said, outlining his work on a framework plan to move the parties towards an inclusive political settlement — while also continuing to explore options to fast-track de-escalation.  “Through this process, the warring sides’ interests can be addressed within the context of a broader Yemeni agenda along the three tracks of political, security and economic matters,” he said.  As part of those efforts, he would begin a series of structured bilateral consultations aimed at informing and refining the framework, engaging with the warring parties, political parties, representatives of civil society and Yemeni experts, among others. 

Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, echoed the Special Envoy’s concerns about the last six weeks of sharp and dangerous escalation.  More than 650 civilian casualties were reported in January, by far highest toll in at least three years.  “The war is finding people in their homes, schools, mosques, hospitals and other places where civilians should be protected,” he said, also voicing concern over the intensification of cross-border attacks. 

Meanwhile, he said, dwindling funding remains the humanitarian community’s largest obstacle in Yemen.  By the end of January, nearly two thirds of major United Nations aid programmes in the country had been scaled back or closed, and some 8 million people who began receiving limited food rations from the World Food Programme (WFP) in December are likely to stop getting food all together by March.  In addition, programmes to combat gender-based violence and promote reproductive health are on the chopping block.  Describing those cuts as unprecedented, he urged donors to give generously at the upcoming pledging event for Yemen on 16 March.  “We cannot let the aid operation in Yemen fall apart,” he stressed.

Also briefing the Council was Ferit Hoxha (Albania), who spoke in his capacity as Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2140 (2014) on Yemen sanctions.  He provided an update of the Committee’s recent activities, which included a presentation by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict and a discussion on the body’s practices and procedures.  During the period under review, the Committee designated one individual on the 2140 sanctions list, approved the designation of three individuals and concluded the process of considering a delisting request.

As Council members took the floor, many urged Yemen’s warring parties to urgently halt their fire and end all violence.  Several condemned recent attacks by Ansar Allah, or the Houthis, on civilian facilities across the region.  Some delegates went further still, describing the United Nations efforts to negotiate a peaceful settlement as insufficient and warning against the continued appeasement of the Houthis, a group that refuses to engage cooperatively with the Special Envoy and his team.

The representative of Norway voiced concern over the serious military escalation in Yemen, calling on the parties to exercise restraint and rapidly de-escalate military activities.  “A nationwide ceasefire and a turn towards political dialogue is the only path forward to bring peace and security to the people of Yemen,” she stressed, urging all parties to prioritize the needs and interests of the Yemeni people. 

The representative of the United States, denouncing attacks by Houthi militias, reiterated his delegation’s support to Saudi Arabia.  Despite the Council’s condemnation, he noted that the Houthis continue to control the compound formally used as the United States embassy.  Urging all parties to de-escalate and participate in a United Nations-led peace process, he also called on them to cooperate with the Special Envoy.

China’s representative, echoing calls for an urgent de-escalation, condemned recent attacks on civilian facilities across the region and expressed support for efforts by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to safeguard their citizens.  In that regard, he welcomed new plans outlined by the Special Envoy and called on all parties to cooperate with his office without preconditions.  “Insisting on a military option will only hurt everyone,” he stressed, while expressing support for efforts to ensure the international community can provide humanitarian support in a more consistent and predictable manner. 

However, the representative of the United Arab Emirates emphasized that today’s briefings only confirm the continued failure of the political process under the leadership of the United Nations.  “After the United Arab Emirates’ civilian infrastructure was subjected to terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of innocent civilians, we can only ask Mr. Grundberg:  When will the appeasement of this terrorist group end?”  Reaffirming her country’s sovereign right to protect its territory and people, she called for more pressure on the Houthis in the form of additional sanctions, cutting off funding sources and imposing a maritime interdiction with enhanced enforcement.

Yemen’s representative said that while his Government continues to engage with the Special Envoy, the Houthis have refused to meet with him, obstructing efforts towards peace.  Spotlighting Iran’s interference in Yemen and across the region, he said that country has violated the Council-imposed arms embargo, hijacked a United Arab Emirates-flagged cargo ship and used ballistic missiles and drones to attack Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.  Against that backdrop, he echoed calls on the global community to impose more pressure — including sanctions — and to support Yemen through more streamlined donor funding.

Also speaking were the representatives of the United Kingdom, Mexico, Gabon, India, France, Albania, Brazil, Ghana, Kenya, Ireland and the Russian Federation.

The meeting began at 3:06 p.m. and ended at 4:50 p.m.

Briefings

HANS GRUNDBERG, United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, briefed the Council on the continued escalation of the conflict in Yemen, which included attacks by Ansar Allah — also known as the Houthis — on the United Arab Emirates in recent months.  “It should be obvious to everyone just how high the stakes have become,” he said, noting that the conflict risks spiralling out of control unless serious efforts are urgently undertaken by the Yemeni parties, the region and the international community.

In the past month, the situation was marked by a multiplication of frontlines and an appalling record number in civilian casualties, he reported.  Airstrikes by Coalition forces on a detention facility in Sadaa — which killed or injured more than 300 detainees — was among the worst civilian casualty incident in three years.  The sharp increase in airstrikes in Yemen, including on residential areas and civilian infrastructure in Sana’a and Hudaydah, is alarming.  Reminding all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law and repeating his condemnation of any indiscriminate attack against civilians and civilian infrastructure, he said the war is also being fought in the economic arena, as the sides battle over resources, trade flows and monetary policy.

“The impact of this aspect of the war continues to irrefutably hit Yemen’s population as a whole,” he continued.  The past month has seen particularly severe shortages in fuel and oil derivatives, notably in areas controlled by Ansar Allah, putting unprecedented strain on the everyday lives of people.  Four fuel ships were finally granted clearance to enter the port city of Hudaydah this month.  Reiterating his call on the parties to remove all obstacles to the import and domestic distribution of fuel and other basic commodities, he also warned of increasingly hostile media rhetoric combined with intimidation, detention and harassment of media professionals and activists, all of which contributes to a toxic environment.

A “way out of this war” still exists despite all those challenges, he emphasized, adding that he is currently developing a framework plan to move towards an inclusive political settlement, including the establishment of a multitrack process.  “Through this process, the warring sides’ interests can be addressed within the context of a broader Yemeni agenda along the three tracks of political, security and economic matters,” he said.  As part of those efforts, he will soon begin a series of structured bilateral consultations aimed at informing and refining the framework, engaging with the warring parties, political parties, representatives of civil society and Yemeni experts, among others.

In parallel, he outlined his continued efforts to explore every possibility of fast-tracking de-escalation.  In that vein, in recent meetings in Riyadh and Muscat, he urged the parties to engage in de-escalation talks and presented options for moving forward.  Welcoming Major-General Michael Beary of Ireland to his new role as Head of the United Nations Mission to support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA), he pledged to continue his multitrack efforts to reach a peaceful settlement leading to a durable end to the conflict.  “My conviction is that a structured and focused approach that does not shy away from the fundamental and complex challenges is needed,” he said.

MARTIN GRIFFITHS, Under-Secretary-General, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said the war in Yemen — and the wider crisis it has unleashed — continues to threaten millions of lives.  Echoing the Special Envoy’s concerns about the last six weeks of sharp and dangerous escalation, he said more than 650 civilian casualties were reported in January — by far highest toll in at least three years.  “The war is finding people in their homes, schools, mosques, hospitals and other places where civilians should be protected,” he said, adding that cross-border attacks have intensified, killing, injuring and threatening civilians in the broader region.

“International humanitarian law requires all parties to respect the principles of distinction and proportionality, and to take all feasible precautions to avoid harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure,” he noted, urging the parties to uphold those obligations and calling for accountability for serious violations.  After seven years, the conflict has become a protracted crisis, and a generation of Yemeni children is growing up having known nothing but war, he pointed out.  While humanitarian partners continue to do everything possible to reduce suffering — uniting to assist more than 11 million people monthly in 2021 — working in Yemen remains much harder than it should be, he said, emphasizing that impediments to access and bureaucratic obstacles remain a major problem amid persisting security challenges.

However, funding remains by far the largest challenge for aid agencies, he continued.  The humanitarian operation — a lifeline for millions of people across Yemen — is about to start doing much less, as aid agencies quickly run out of money and are forced to slash life-saving programmes.  By the end of January, nearly two thirds of major United Nations aid programmes had already scaled back or closed all together, he said, adding that in December, the World Food Programme (WFP) reduced food rations for 8 million people.  Starting in March, those 8 million people will likely get no food at all, while many United Nations humanitarian flights in Yemen will need to be cancelled, he reported, adding that programmes to combat gender-based violence and promote reproductive health are also on the chopping block.

Describing the cuts as unprecedented in the Organization’s work in Yemen, he said that if funding gaps are not promptly addressed “it will be a death sentence for people whose coping mechanisms have been completely exhausted and who rely on assistance to survive”.  “We cannot let the aid operation in Yemen fall apart,” he stressed, welcoming plans by Sweden and Switzerland to co-host a high-level pledging event for Yemen on 16 March.  He urged donors to demonstrate their commitment by giving generously.  Calling for a more sustainable approach to humanitarian funding going forward, he said the international community must come together to address the underlying drivers of need in Yemen, especially the collapsing economy.

FERIT HOXHA (Albania), speaking in his capacity as Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2140 (2014), provided an update of activities since 19 February 2021, including the four in-person informal consultations and three virtual meetings for “informal informals”.  The Panel of Experts gave presentations, among others, on:  an interim update related to the 30 December 2020 attack on the airport in Aden; its programme of work for the renewed mandate, which had begun on 29 March; and its midterm update, containing eight recommendations, upon which the Committee acted on three.

Highlighting other informal consultations, he said members heard a presentation by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict and held a discussion related to Committee practices and procedures.  In addition, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict made a presentation in December, the first such briefing to the Committee.  In January, the Committee heard a presentation by the Panel of Experts of its final report (document S/2022/50).  Discussions on the six recommendations addressed to the Committee are ongoing and relate to the implementation of the targeted arms embargo, compliance with international humanitarian law and related issues, preservation of Yemen’s economy and increasing support for demining activities.  The remaining 13 recommendations are addressed to the Council, he said.

He said the Committee also designated, through resolution 2564 (2021), one individual on the 2140 sanctions list; approved the designation of three individuals; and concluded the process of consideration of a delisting request.  The Committee expressed support for one exemption request under paragraph 3 of resolution 2511 (2020).  It also received eight implementation reports — from Belgium, Lebanon, Mauritius, Philippines, Romania, Spain, Thailand and Ukraine — and continued to receive vessel inspection reports from the United Nations Verification and Inspection Mechanism.

Statements

BARBARA WOODWARD (United Kingdom), noting that there remains no military solution to this conflict, called upon all parties to de-escalate urgently and to engage with the new United Nations-led peace process.  Endorsing the Special Envoy’s proposals to begin wide-ranging consultations with the parties to the conflict, she encouraged all parties to engage constructively.  Keen to ensure that regional partners are part of the solution, she said the United Arab Emirates’ presence on the Council is very welcome in this regard and noted that in January the United Kingdom hosted a Quint meeting with Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United States to coordinate an approach to the conflict.  With the annual high-level pledging event set to occur in March, she encouraged existing and new donors to pledge as generously as possible.  Welcoming updates on the progress towards finding a solution to mitigating the risks posed by the Safer tanker, she said it remains an urgent environmental concern.

ALICIA GUADALUPE BUENROSTRO MASSIEU (Mexico), expressing deep alarm over spiralling violence, condemned Houthi attacks against Saudi Arabia and on civilians and related infrastructure in Yemen.  Attacks on essential civilian structures violate international law and the parties must exercise maximum restraint in this regard.  A national ceasefire and advances in the political process are essential, she said, also reiterating support for upholding the arms embargo.  In addition, she welcomed efforts to address the environmental threats posed by the Safer tanker.

RICHARD M. MILLS, JR. (United States), denouncing Houthi attacks, said his delegation remains committed to helping Saudi Arabia.  Despite the Council’s condemnation, Houthis continue to control the compound formally used as the United States embassy.  The Houthis must address and remedy this situation, he stated, noting that there are consequences to their actions.  Indeed, more must be done to counter their attacks.  In that regard, all parties must de-escalate the current situation and participate in a United Nations-led peace process.  A return to talks is urgently needed, he said, calling on all parties to cooperate with the Special Envoy.  A political solution is the only way out of this conflict at a time when millions of Yemeni people are going hungry, he said, also reiterating the call to address the Safer tanker threat.

ALLEGRA PAMELA R. BONGO (Gabon) said the multidimensional crisis has been compounded by the pandemic, with the implosion of the economy being among the war’s consequences.  As such, she called for a truce and for full respect for the arms embargo.  Impunity continues to ravage the country, violating humanitarian and human rights law, she said, adding that the Council must take action to address this as well as the protection of women.  The end of the conflict must be centred on inclusive dialogue.  Therefore, the international community must strengthen action towards this end.  “The people of Yemen are hoping for stability,” she emphasized, adding that she also welcomed efforts to address the threats related to the Safer tanker.

T.S. TIRUURTI (India), reiterating his country’s call for an immediate de-escalation of the conflict in Yemen followed by a nationwide ceasefire, voiced concern over the conflict’s ripple-effects on security and stability across the wider region.  Around 9 million Indians live and work in the Gulf region and two Indian nationals were killed in the attack on the United Arab Emirates on 17 January, while one was injured in the attack on Abha airport in Saudi Arabia.  “The deliberate escalation of the conflict outside of Yemen’s borders and the heightened provocative rhetoric by Ansar Allah is deplorable,” he stressed, noting that fighting has also spilled over into the maritime domain with attacks and dangerous approaches towards shipping and commercial vessels in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Oman.  In the absence of a political solution, humanitarian aid operations have been a lifeline for millions of Yemenis, he added, expressing concern that those efforts are now at risk due to severe funding shortfalls and calling for enhanced donor funding.

DAI BING (China), urging all parties in Yemen to immediately cease their fire and end all violence, condemned recent attacks on civilian facilities across the region and expressed support efforts by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to safeguard their citizens.  In that regard, he welcomed new plans outlined by the Special Envoy and called on all parties to cooperate with his office without preconditions.  “Insisting on a military option will only hurt everyone,” he stressed, requesting regional countries to play an active role in supporting a political solution.  With the crisis continuing to worsen, the international community should undertake efforts to provide humanitarian support in a more consistent and predictable manner.  Noting that the Council’s sanctions regime in Yemen as well as the mandate of the Panel of Experts are set to expire at the end of February, he expressed hope that drafts related to their renewal will focus on the situation on the ground and incorporate the views of all delegations.

SHERAZ GASRI (France), reiterating the call for a national ceasefire, voiced concerns that the current conflict is spilling well beyond Yemeni borders.  The human toll is disquieting.  Efforts must be made to guarantee humanitarian access to those in need and all bureaucratic obstacles must be lifted to do so.  France will support the upcoming pledging conference, which will allow for humanitarian needs to be met, she added.  Encouraging all parties to cooperate with the Special Envoy, she called on the Council to support his work.  Reiterating the importance of inclusive dialogue that considers women’s roles, she also welcomed the encouraging actions taken to address the Safer tanker.

FERIT HOXHA (Albania) pointed out women and children continue to bear the brunt of the conflict.  Children are being recruited by armed groups, and every two hours, a Yemeni woman dies in childbirth due to a lack of services.  The parties must be reminded of their obligations to respect international and human rights laws, she said, also voicing concern about ongoing drone attacks.  Echoing concerns about the lack of a political process, she commended the Special Envoy for his ongoing efforts, adding that women must be involved in all activities at all levels.  A nationwide ceasefire must be the priority now, she said, also highlighting such issues needing attention, including the Safer tanker.

RONALDO COSTA FILHO (Brazil) condemned the recent horrific violence in Yemen, with more than 600 civilian deaths and injuries in January, the highest monthly record of such casualties in over three years.  Spotlighting repeated attacks against civilian infrastructure, such as hospitals, schools and telecommunications equipment, as well as drone and missile strikes by the Houthis against the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in January and February, he stressed that attacks on civilians are unacceptable and must be met with unequivocal condemnation.  Similarly, he noted in seven years of war, more than 10,000 Yemeni children have lost their lives or been maimed in conflict, and tens of thousands more have died from the secondary effects of the war.  While they are not alone in committing grave violations, Houthi leaders have systematically indoctrinated and recruited children, with reports that thousands have died on the battlefield including during the ongoing offensive against Marib.  He further expressed concern over the obstruction of humanitarian access in Houthi-controlled areas, which has vast repercussions for children who require emergency aid.

TRINE SKARBOEVIK HEIMERBACK (Norway) expressed concern over the serious military escalation by all parties to the conflict, noting that January saw a record-shattering number of civilian causalities.  Condemning the increasing number of cross-border attacks in the region, including those against the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, he called upon all parties to exercise restraint and rapidly de-escalate military activities.  There are no military solutions to the conflict, he said, emphasizing that this was not a rhetorical statement, but a lesson learned from experiences in conflict-affected settings around the world.  “A nationwide ceasefire and a turn towards political dialogue is the only path forward to bring peace and security to the people of Yemen”, he said, calling upon all parties to prioritize the needs and interests of the Yemeni people.  The importance of life-saving humanitarian efforts remains crucial, he added, expressing concern regarding the harmful coping mechanisms to which families and communities must resort amid steep increases in the prices of basic goods, including cooking gas.

CAROLYN ABENA ANIMA OPPONG-NTIRI (Ghana) echoed expressions of concern over the deteriorating security situation which has engulfed the Marib and Shabwah governorates in armed conflict and continues to have a negative impact on the economic and humanitarian situations.  Condemning the attack on the Saada detention centre which killed at least 60 people, as well as the killing of children in Hudaydah, she said all parties must prioritize the protection of civilian and civilian infrastructure and adhere to the principles of proportionality, distinction and precaution, in accordance with international law.  She urged party leaders to set aside their differences, commit to an immediate nationwide ceasefire and engage in a political process towards a lasting resolution of the conflict.  She also called for the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in all aspects of the political negotiations.

JAYNE JEPKORIR TOROITICH (Kenya) said the launch of attacks targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates violates the basic principle of international humanitarian law, calling on the Council to adopt relevant measures to holding all those responsible accountable.  Stressing that there can be no military solution to the crisis, she reminded all Yemeni stakeholders to reconsider their hardline positions and make necessary compromises to break the existing stalemate.  Expressing support for the Special Envoy’s efforts towards a political framework, she emphasized that the only sustainable solution must be a Yemeni-led and Yemeni-owned inclusive peace process.  As the situation continues to deteriorate, she called on all stakeholders, international donors and friends of Yemen to contribute to the 2022 humanitarian response plan during the upcoming pledging conference in March.  She further cited the looming threat to millions of people posed by the Safer vessel, urging all parties and Governments in the region and elsewhere to redouble efforts to avoid an environmental disaster.

GERALDINE BYRNE NASON (Ireland) said that the people of Yemen continue to pay a dreadful price as warring parties wreak havoc and destruction on their country.  She expressed her deep concern at coalition airstrikes across the country in recent weeks, including those in Saada that stuck a migrant detention centre, resulting in the worst civilian casualty incident in Yemen in three years.  Cross-border attacks claimed by the Houthis on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are totally unacceptable.  She called for an immediate de-escalation in violence and for all parties to engage with the Special Envoy towards an inclusive politically negotiated solution.  The current escalation seriously undermines peace efforts and worsens an already dire humanitarian situation.  More than two thirds of the population are now in need of urgent humanitarian assistance following seven years of war and economic collapse.  She welcomed recent progress made on the Safer oil tanker.  The United Nations-coordinated proposal to shift the oil onboard the vessel to another ship represents a potential first step towards mitigating the grave environmental and humanitarian threat posed by the vessel.

LANA ZAKI NUSSEIBEH (United Arab Emirates) said today’s briefings confirm the continued failure of the political process under the leadership of the United Nations to deal realistically and firmly with the intransigent position of the Houthi militias and their dangerous escalation.  “After the United Arab Emirates’ civilian infrastructure was subjected to terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of innocent civilians, we can only ask Mr. Grundberg:  When will the appeasement of this terrorist group end?”  Reaffirming her country’s sovereign right to take all measures needed to protect the security and stability of its territory as well as the safety of its citizens and residents, in accordance with its obligations under international law, she said stopping the Houthis’ aggressive behaviour requires the international community to take serious, decisive and tangible steps which keep in mind the nature of the Houthis extremist ideology and their true intentions.

She went on to stress that, as a priority, the international community should place significant pressure on the Houthis and their supporters to stop their violations and attempts to impose control over the Yemeni territory by force.  Such pressure begins with imposing further sanctions; cutting off the Houthis’ funding sources and enforcing the targeted arms embargo imposed on Yemen in resolution 2216 (2015); and imposing a maritime interdiction with enhanced enforcement.  Condemning the Houthis’ continued militarization of the Hudaydah port, she urged the global community to designate the Houthis as a terrorist group.  While the United Arab Emirates supports the resumption of political negotiations between the Yemeni parties, the Houthis have demonstrated they will not commit to an agreement without clear international pressure.  “It is time for the Security Council to stop the Houthi militia’s senseless and callous actions so that Yemen can recover and build a stable and secure future,” she said.

DMITRY A. POLYANSKIY (Russian Federation), Council president for February, spoke in his national capacity, expressing serious concerns about targeted attacks on civilians and attempts to shift the conflict into neighbouring States.  The fresh escalation of violence presents a threat to regional security, he said, urging all parties to respect international humanitarian law.  The Russian Federation will continue to actively urge the parties to adopt an approach of compromise, he added.  Recognizing the United Nations and the Special Envoy’s central role in the process, he expressed support for efforts to draft a road map for a settlement based on the principles of including the voices of all Yemeni stakeholders.  Against the backdrop of the current impasse of the political process, he voiced concern about the humanitarian situation and called on all parties to provide unimpeded access for aid deliveries.  Recalling the Russian concept of collective security, he said such an approach would address concerns throughout the Persian Gulf region.

ABDULLAH ALI FADHEL AL-SAADI (Yemen) said Iranian-supported Houthi militias continue to choose war over peace, undermining the country and region, persisting in aggression against the Yemeni people and making the road ahead more costly in economic, political and human terms.  “Peace is the result of strong will, not wishful thinking,” he emphasized, noting the Yemeni Government supports all efforts for sustainable peace, including the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and the National Dialogue Conference, as well as resolution 2216 (2215), which is the main basis for the United Nations-led peace process.  The Government has engaged with the Special Envoy, but the Houthis, obstructing efforts towards a political settlement, have refused to meet with him in Sana’a. 

The militias would not have rejected peace without Iranian interference in Yemen and the region, he continued.  Instead, that country violated the Council-imposed arms embargo, hijacked a United Arab Emirates-flagged cargo ship and used ballistic missiles and drones on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.  Calling on the international community to place more pressure and sanctions on these groups to deter terrorism and stem its financing, he pointed to indiscriminate attacks on residential areas in Marib, including launching three missiles today, and using humanitarian assistance to blackmail civilians. 

With the Government remaining committed to alleviating the suffering of its people, he called for greater international community support, including streaming donor funds through the National Bank of Yemen, an urgent issue that cannot wait until the war is over.  He also stressed that millions of children in Houthi-controlled areas are being recruited and brainwashed, with disastrous effects on the future of region.  Warning the Council about Houthi blackmail over the Safer tanker, he called for decisive pressure to avoid a possible disaster.

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