AHMED AWAD AHMED BINMUBARAK, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Yemen, said that his country has endured seven years of hardship due to a war forced upon its people by the Houthi militia. That group is supported by Iran, which remains part of the problem rather than part of the solution. Since the Houthi coup, Yemenis have experienced oppression, the suffocation of public freedoms and the torture of its citizens. Sana’a, a centre of civilization, has become a huge prison camp. He commended the efforts of the United Nations, welcomed the appointment of the Secretary-General’s new Special Envoy for Yemen and reiterated his Government’s full cooperation in efforts to achieve a fair and sustainable peace.
He went on to say that the Government made many compromises and agreed to all proposals to end the Houthi coup, including those made by the previous Special Envoy and by Saudi Arabia, which were based on a comprehensive ceasefire. However, those initiatives were met by intransigence on the part of the Houthis and their Iranian patrons. He drew attention to the scale of the humanitarian crisis; the fighting now under way in Marib city, with the Houthis attacking with indifference to civilians and displaced persons; the extrajudicial execution of nine people, including a minor, on 18 September, in a manner reminiscent of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh); and the plight of thousands of politicians, activists and journalists being held in dungeons.
More pressure must be put on the Houthis to put all the money they have pillaged, including through taxes and customs fees, into the Central Bank, he continued. The international community should direct aid money through the Central Bank, thus supporting the economy and halting the devaluation of the Yemeni currency. As well, development needs and priorities should be mainstreamed into all humanitarian activity to spur an early recovery. He expressed thanks for the 1 million vaccine doses Yemen has received so far, including through the COVAX Facility, but warned that that quantity falls well short of expectations. He also called on the international community to avert the catastrophe that might result from an oil spill from the FSO Safer, as the Houthis continue to deny a team of United Nations experts access to that oil storage tanker in the Red Sea.
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