Describing the recent announcement by Ansar Allah and the General People’s Congress of the creation of a new Government as “a new and unnecessary obstacle” to peace in Yemen, the United Nations envoy for the country today urged the parties “to re-think their approach and demonstrate their commitment to the peace process with concrete actions.”
In a statement issued earlier today, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, said that a proposal to form a new government in the capital, Sana’a, goes against the interests of Yemeni people, and contradicts the recent commitments provided by both sides to the UN and to the United States Secretary of State John Kerry in Muscat.
“Yemen is at a critical juncture. The actions recently taken by Ansar Allah and the General People’s Congress will only complicate the search for a peaceful solution. The parties must hold Yemen’s national interests above narrow partisan ambitions and take immediate steps to end political divisions and address the country’s security, humanitarian and economic challenges,” he said in the statement.
New political arrangements should only be based on UN sponsored negotiations and not unilateral actions by any side,” said Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed, referring to the talks he had been facilitating between the sides.
Yemen has been engulfed in violence for more than 18 months – a confrontation between the country’s Houthis (Ansar Allah) and the Government of Yemen in early 2014 led to a Houthi advance on the capital, and an ensuing conflict which has involved support from outside parties. The UN has been heavily involved in efforts to resolve the crisis.
In his statement today, Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed said: “There is still a chance to pull Yemen back from the brink. The roadmap I presented to the parties recently offers such an opportunity. I ask the representatives of Ansar Allah and the General People’s Congress to re-think their approach and demonstrate their commitment to the peace process with concrete actions.”
Moreover, it is crucial to engage constructively in the peace process in order to reach a negotiated settlement that brings about a permanent end to military hostilities and enables the resumption of a peaceful, inclusive, orderly and Yemeni-led political transition that meets the legitimate demands and aspirations of the Yemeni people.
“I urge all parties to recommit to and fully respect the terms and conditions of the Cessation of Hostilities, which will include a complete halt to ground and air military activities and allow the increased flow of humanitarian assistance, he said, calling on all sides to resume working through the De-Escalation and Coordination Committee to facilitate the strengthening of the pause in hostilities.
Finally, the envoy underscored that the conflict can only be brought to an end through civilized and negotiated political settlement. “The Yemeni people have suffered for far too long, and there is no reason to let this war continue.”