UN condemns Houthi escalation in Yemen
The recent Houthi escalation of the crisis in Yemen، including an attack on top government officials in Taiz، was severely denounced by the UN Security Council on Tuesday. The militia supported by Iran was encouraged by the members to stop the provocations and "prioritise the Yemeni people."
On March 25، an explosives-packed Houthi drone struck a convoy carrying military commanders، including Defense Minister Mohsen Al-Daeri، leaving one government soldier dead and two others injured in the besieged city of Taiz.
Last month، the Houthis conducted a series of assaults against government forces in the area of Hareb، south of Marib province، where they occupied a few villages، causing property damage and the eviction of inhabitants. Many soldiers were either killed or hurt in other events.
In a joint statement، members of the Security Council condemned the attacks and once again encouraged all those involved in the war to step up their efforts to resolve the conflict through peaceful means، and to protect civilians in line with the requirements of international humanitarian law.
They expressed “strong support” for efforts to reach a comprehensive ceasefire agreement، and “inclusive Yemeni-Yemeni political talks” under the auspices of the UN special envoy for Yemen and based on Security Council resolutions.
Members of the council also welcomed the recent accord reached in Geneva after 10 days of talks، in which the government and the Houthis agreed to swap 887 prisoners in exchange for their release. Both parties agreed to visit each other's prisons، provide delegations complete access to all prisoners while they were there، and to get together again in May to talk about additional prisoner swaps.
The Security Council called for more "confidence-building measures to strive towards a political settlement and، eventually، alleviating the suffering of Yemenis" and stated that it looks forward to the accord being implemented during the fasting month of Ramadan.
Members also reiterated their support for UN’s ongoing efforts to prevent a catastrophic spillage from the derelict Safer oil tanker and called on all donors، including those in the private sector and international community، to provide the remaining $34 million needed to undertake the emergency salvage operation.
In early March، the UN announced it had purchased a ship capable of holding more than a million barrels of oil that will be removed from the Safer. The storage vessel has been moored in the Red Sea off the Yemeni coast with little or no maintenance since the conflict in the country began more than eight years ago، and fears have been growing for some time that it might begin to leak or break up، causing a massive environmental damage.
The Security Council once again highlighted the importance of “timely implementation of the project in order to prevent an economic، environmental and humanitarian disaster in the Red Sea and beyond.”