Arab coalition spokesman: Houthi militia looting worsening Yemeni crisis

A member of the Houthi militia arranges money donated by Houthi supporters on September 27, 2016. (File/AFP)
Updated 09 October 2018
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Arab coalition spokesman: Houthi militia looting worsening Yemeni crisis

  • Colonel Al-Maliki highlighted the ongoing looting by the Houthi militia as the main issue
  • He claimed it has already exceeded more than $5.2 billion

DUBAI: Colonel Turki Al-Maliki, spokesman for the Saudi-led Arab coalition, said that the Houthis were causing problems that were directly affecting the Yemeni economy, Saudi news channel Al-Ekhbariya reported on Monday.

Colonel Al-Maliki highlighted the ongoing looting by the Houthi militia as the worst these problems, which he claimed has already exceeded more than $5.2 billion. The Houthis have collected more than 800 billion Yemeni riyals worth of taxes in ports that they controlled, he added, during a press conference of the coalition forces supporting the internationally recognized government of Yemen, which was held at the Armed Forces Officers Club in Riyadh.

Al-Maliki said that the Houthi militia, backed by Iran, also stole a billion dollars from the General Organization for Insurance in Sanaa, and noted that all these hostilities by the Houthi militias were not of interest to the Yemeni people.

The Office of the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs and many governmental and non-governmental organizations have condemned the actions of the Houthi militias.

Al-Maliki also stated that Saudi Arabia’s continued efforts to support the Yemeni economy was proof of its credibility. According to Al-Maliki, the Kingdom has donated $1 billion in 2014, deposited at the Central Bank of Yemen, with another $2 billion donation made in January of 2018 aimed at supporting the Yemeni currency.

King Salman also provided $200 million to the Yemen central bank in support of its financial position.


UN hopes for meeting on Syria constitution by late December

US Deputy United Nations Ambassador Jonathan Cohen, left, address the UN Security Council after a report from UN chief mediator for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, shown center in a live video broadcast, on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018 at UN headquarters. (AP)
Updated 21 November 2018
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UN hopes for meeting on Syria constitution by late December

  • Staffan de Mistura said the UN welcomes “constructive and moderate suggestions” to change the list of the disputed 50 members

NEW YORK: The UN is still aiming to send invitations to 150 Syrians by mid-December to participate in a committee that would draft a new constitution for Syria, which is key to holding elections and ending the country’s civil war, a UN envoy said on Monday.
Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy for Syria, told the Security Council that the UN also aims to hold the committee’s first meeting before Dec. 31.
But de Mistura said the Syrian regime is objecting to 50 members of the committee representing civil society, experts, independents, tribal leaders and women that he was authorized to put together at a Russian-hosted Syrian peace conference in Sochi on Jan. 30.
Under the Sochi agreement, the committee is to comprise 150 members. There is already agreement on the 50-member delegation from the regime and the 50-member delegation from the opposition.
But de Mistura warned that if there is no agreement on the remaining members, the UN may have to conclude that it is not possible to form a “credible and inclusive” constitutional committee at this stage.
He said the UN welcomes “constructive and moderate suggestions” to change the list of the disputed 50 members. But de Mistura said they must “maintain the same spirit of credibility, balance and international legitimacy,” and he stressed that the list cannot be filled with political leaders who are already represented.
The UN envoy said that at his last briefing to the Security Council in December “it will be my duty to explain where we are on the constitutional committee, and leave a clean and clear ground to my successor regarding it.”
De Mistura was supposed to step down at the end of December but UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Monday he will be staying on “for a bit longer” to make sure there is no gap “at an extremely critical time in the Syria talks.”