RIYADH: The UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths on Thursday thanked the Arab coalition for its recent extension of the cease-fire in the country.
Speaking to the United Nations Security Council, Griffiths said negotitations betwen the Yemeni government other parties were making "significant progress," especially with the cease-fire, but that differences on both sides remain regarding the humanitarian and economic solutions.
He added that, despite the constructive efforts from both sides, the people of Yemen were "right to be frustrated about the slow pace," and said he hoped the negotiations would "soon come to a successful close.”
Griffiths also said that he was alarmed by the Southern Transitional Council's (STC) declaration in the south and the steps it had taken to make local institutions in Aden answer to them.
He called the situation in southern Yemen "very disturbing," and urged the Yemeni government and the STC to "urgently" implement the Riyadh agreement.
Yemen’s government said earlier this week that forces would confront an “armed rebellion” by southern forces, in the latest developments of a near month-long standoff between allies in the anti-Houthi alliance. On April 25, the STC declared a plan to move towards self-rule.
Griffiths highligted the positive steps made by women in Yemen.
"Yemeni women have demonstrated leadership and activism, leading cease-fire calls, calls for prisoners' release as well as assisting civilians. I reiterate my call that both parties include women in their negotiation delegations and decision-making, in line with National Dialogue outcomes," he said.
Griffiths said he was concerned about the recent death sentences passed down to journalists in Yemen, and used his address to call for the immediate release of detained journalists.
Yemen’s Prime Minister, Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed, met with the ambassadors of the five permanent members of the Security Council on Wednesday to discuss the latest security developments, and efforts to bring peace to unify efforts to confront the coronavirus pandemic.