UN chief set to appoint Britain’s Martin Griffiths as Yemen envoy

Former Head of Henry Dunant Centre (HDC) Martin Griffiths talks to journalists during a press conference in Banda Aceh, 09 February 2003. (AFP)
Updated 14 February 2018
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UN chief set to appoint Britain’s Martin Griffiths as Yemen envoy

UNITED NATIONS: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres notified the Security Council on Tuesday of his intention to appoint former British diplomat Martin Griffiths as his new envoy charged with trying to broker peace in Yemen, diplomats said.
The appointment will be approved by the council on Thursday evening if none of the 15-members have raised any objections. Typically, the Secretary-General has already informally consulted with council members before sending official notification.
Griffiths, currently executive director of the European Institute of Peace, will replace Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who the United Nations said would step down after three years in the job when his current contract finishes this month.
A Saudi Arabia-led coalition intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015, backing government forces fighting Iran-allied Houthi terrorists


Israel locks down Ramallah after two soldiers shot dead

Updated 14 December 2018
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Israel locks down Ramallah after two soldiers shot dead

  • The bloodshed began when Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians
  • Hours later, a Palestinian gunman killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded a third

AMMAN: Israel was accused on Thursday of humiliating Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by placing Ramallah on virtual lockdown amid a 24-hour outbreak of violence in which five people died.

The bloodshed began when Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians suspected of earlier attacks. Salah Barghouti, 29, was accused of shooting seven Israelis on Sunday at a bus station near the Ofra settlement. Ashraf Naalwa, 23, shot two Israelis dead in the Barkan industrial zone settlement in October.

Hours later, a Palestinian gunman killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded a third when he opened fire at the Ofra bus station.

Israeli forces chased the gunman into Ramallah, where they set up road blocks, launched raids and placed the town under virtual siege. In the hunt for the gunman, a Palestinian was shot dead in Al-Bireh neighborhood of Ramallah.

Abbas Zaki, a leading Fatah official, told Arab News Palestinian frustration was being fueled by Israel. “They barged into Ramallah in violation of existing agreements and came very close to the home of President Abbas.

“What more do people need to see to let them give up on a process when Israelis are willing to humiliate in such a way the father of Palestinian peace?”

Abbas himself condemned the anti-Israeli attacks but blamed Israeli raids as a potential cause.

“The climate created by the policy of repeated intrusions into the cities, the provocations against the sovereignty of the president and the lack of a horizon for peace are what led to this unacceptable violence that we condemn and reject,” he said.