NEW YORK/LONDON: The UN Security Council on Wednesday condemned Houthi cross-border attacks against targets in Saudi Arabia, including recent assaults against King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and Abha International civilian airports, car-bomb attacks targeting a Yemeni official convoy, and attacks on civilian and commercial ships in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea.
Council members also condemned sexual violence and the recruitment and use of children in the conflict. They called for an end to the Houthi escalation in Marib, and an “immediate nationwide ceasefire” in line with Security Council resolution 2565.
Expressing their support for Hans Grundberg, the UN’s special envoy for Yemen, council members reiterated their call for “the resolution of differences through inclusive dialogue and the rejection of violence to achieve political goals.”
They called on all parties to work on the full implementation of the Riyadh Agreement and to facilitate government services to help stabilize the south, and highlighted the peace deal proposed by Saudi Arabia in March, in which the Kingdom pledged to lift its air and sea blockade if the Houthi rebels agreed to a ceasefire.
Reiterating its strong commitment to the “unity, sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Yemen,” the council warned that a stalled peace process could be exploited by terrorists.
They also condemned human rights violations and abuses in the country and stressed the importance of ensuring those responsible are held to account.
Welcoming the recent return of Yemen’s Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malik Saeed to Aden, the council expressed support for his “drive for economic reforms” amid “the dire humanitarian situation, prolonged starvation and the growing risk of famine.”
Economic collapse is playing a key role in worsening these crises, they said, stressing the “need for economic reform, including improved coordination of basic financial activity within Yemen.”
Council members also expressed “deep concern for the collapse in the riyal-dollar exchange rate in southern Yemen and urged the government of Yemen and Yemen’s partners to consider all possible measures to strengthen the economy, including further foreign exchange injections into the central bank.”
The Security Council also condemned the Houthis’ attempts to target Abha International Airport in Saudi Arabia using explosive-laden drones.
Member countries also implicitly warned the Houthi militia against using Hodeidah port for military purposes, and renewed its warning of the risk posed by the lack of maintenance of a floating oil tanker moored in the Red Sea. They reminded the Houthis of their responsibility for the Safer tanker.
The Security Council stressed its full commitment to the unity, sovereignty and independence of Yemen, and emphasized the need to respect the arms embargo on Yemen.
It also expressed its support for the return of the Yemeni government to the interim capital, Aden, while also condemning an assassination attempt on the governor of Aden and the Yemeni minister of agriculture on Oct. 10.
Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the UN Abdallah Al-Mouallimi welcomed the Security Council statement and said it constitutes a strong condemnation of the Houthi militia, Al Arabiya reported.
He also welcomed the statement on Abha airport and said he hoped that the UN envoy to Yemen has benefited from the council’s statement.