Diplomacy wasted on Houthis, Yemeni leader tells UN General Assembly

Al-Alimi said the Houthis and their allies have repeatedly disregarded their treaty commitments, including the 2018 Stockholm deal and a truce reached in Sanaa two months ago. (Screenshot/UNTV)
Al-Alimi said the Houthis and their allies have repeatedly disregarded their treaty commitments, including the 2018 Stockholm deal and a truce reached in Sanaa two months ago. (Screenshot/UNTV)
Short Url
Updated 22 September 2022

Diplomacy wasted on Houthis, Yemeni leader tells UN General Assembly

Diplomacy wasted on Houthis, Yemeni leader tells UN General Assembly
  • Diplomacy with ‘terrorist militias’ undermines basis of UN: Chairman of Presidential Leadership Council
  • ‘Partners in Saudi and the UAE have helped protect our people’: Rashad Mohammed Al-Alimi

LONDON: The chairman of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council has highlighted the futility of diplomacy when dealing with the country’s Iran-backed Houthi militia.

Addressing the UN General Assembly on Thursday, Rashad Mohammed Al-Alimi said diplomacy only works with “legitimate regimes,” and persisting to use it with “terrorist militias” undermines the basis of the UN as an institution.

“For the eighth year in a row, a Yemeni leader is talking about the destruction in Yemen, is talking about the worst suffering in the world at this time,” he said.

“We are losing so many people because of this war. Each time a year passes without a robust response, the militias and terror groups attacking our republic build up, becoming more and more dangerous, and not only a regional threat but a transnational threat.

“I am here to again share this history and the hurt the people of Yemen have taken. Is there not a way to get an effective means to address this, to allow Yemenis to live a normal life?”

Al-Alimi said the Houthis and their allies have repeatedly disregarded their treaty commitments, including the 2018 Stockholm deal and a truce reached in Sanaa two months ago.

He expressed gratitude for the international community’s unified position on the situation in Yemen, and said there is “no excuse” for Houthi actions.

“This institution (the UN) requires principles of peace to be upheld, and that means we need alternative modes of challenging and deterring what is happening in Yemen,” he added.

“Partners in Saudi and the UAE have helped protect our people by hosting Yemeni refugees and supporting the technocratic government set up alongside the presidential council.”

Reemphasizing the threat to the international community posed by the Houthis, Al-Alimi pointed to the FSO Safer oil tanker off the Yemeni coast, which he said is being used to exert pressure on his government.

The Yemeni government acquired the Japanese-made vessel in the 1980s to use as an offshore storage platform for some 3 million barrels of oil.

After the Houthis took control of the country’s western Red Sea ports, including Ras Issa — just 6 km from where the Safer is moored — they also gained control of the ship itself, with reports that they had been mining the waters.

However, the since-abandoned vessel has lacked the necessary upkeep to prevent a leak that could potentially cause a spill worse than that off the south coast of the US in 2010.

While the UN has been negotiating with the Houthis for years to try to get experts on the tanker to examine it, there have been delays and claims of prevarication from the group.

Al-Alimi warned that failure to address the ship, which has been described as a “ticking time bomb,” presents a clear threat to freedom of navigation.

He added: “These militias are threatening international navigation, energy supply, and generating a situation in which you have 20 million people suffering from famine.” 


Depositors storm Lebanon banks to demand their frozen money

Depositors storm Lebanon banks to demand their frozen money
Updated 21 min 34 sec ago

Depositors storm Lebanon banks to demand their frozen money

Depositors storm Lebanon banks to demand their frozen money
  • Banks shuttered their branches last week after a spate of holdups by angry depositors

DUBAI: Several employees of Kadischa Electricity stormed the FNB Bank in Tripoli in protest against the bank’s decision to deduct three percent of the employees’ salaries and dues, Lebanese News Agency (NNA) reported.

The employees said the bank has not handed over their salaries and wants to deduct three percent of their other dues, equivalent to 500,000 Lebanese pounds.

NNA said the employees vowed they will remain inside the bank until its administration retracts its “unjust decision.”

Banks were forced to shutter their branches last week after a spate of holdups by angry depositors demanding the release of their money. Banking officials have decided to only receive customers who have prior appointments, and they may be inspected on arrival.

 

 

A video circulating on social media also showed a Lebanese depositor, Ali Al-Sahli, storming a BLC Bank branch in Chtaura demanding his $24,502 deposit.

Al-Sahli, a retiree from Lebanon’s security force, had tried to sell his kidney to secure money to pay his son’s university fees in Ukraine after he was expelled due to failure of payment, according to the Lebanese Depositors Association.

Before storming the bank, he had repeatedly demanded his deposits, but to no avail.


Iran launches test ‘tug’ into suborbital space

Iran launches test ‘tug’ into suborbital space
Updated 04 October 2022

Iran launches test ‘tug’ into suborbital space

Iran launches test ‘tug’ into suborbital space
  • Saman test spacecraft was built by the country’s Space Research Center
  • Iran has long pursued a space program saying it is aimed at peaceful purposes

TEHRAN, Iran: Iranian state media said Tuesday the government has launched a space tug capable of shifting satellites between orbits.
State TV said the Saman test spacecraft was built by the country’s Space Research Center and launched Monday by the Defense Ministry.
Hassan Salarieh, chief of the Islamic Republic’s space agency, told state TV that officials “hope to use and test the main tug in near future.” Iran unveiled the craft in 2017. A space tug can transfer a satellite from one orbit to another.
Iran has long pursued a space program saying it is aimed at peaceful purposes. The country has both a civilian and a military space program, which the US fears could be used to advance its ballistic missile program.
In June Tehran had launched a solid-fuel rocket into space and in August a Russian rocket successfully launched an Iranian Khayyam satellite into orbit. It’s named after Omar Khayyam, a Persian scientist who lived in the 11th and 12th centuries.
However, Iran has seen a series of mishaps and failed satellite launches over recent years
Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard in April 2020 revealed its own secret space program by successfully launching a satellite into orbit. The Guard operates its own military infrastructure parallel to Iran’s regular armed forces.


Yemen seeks to implement developmental projects in Taiz

Yemen seeks to implement developmental projects in Taiz
Updated 04 October 2022

Yemen seeks to implement developmental projects in Taiz

Yemen seeks to implement developmental projects in Taiz
  • Work plans and challenges were reviewed ahead of finalizing projects under the Saudi Program for Yemen’s Development and Reconstruction

ADEN: Yemeni officials reviewed plans with charity organizations to implement developmental projects in Taiz as part of ongoing reconstruction efforts in the province.

On Monday, Taiz Governor Nabil Shamsan discussed work plans and challenges ahead of finalizing projects under the Saudi Program for Yemen’s Development and Reconstruction.
Yemen is working closely with Saudi Arabia to establish a college of medicine in Taiz University, construct a center to treat cancer and rehabilitate a road linking Taiz with Makha.
Shamsan said these sustainable projects aim to serve the people of Taiz, which remains under Houthi siege, and mitigate the effects that the war has left on vulnerable communities.
Meanwhile, Major General Abdul Karim Al-Sabri, the Undersecretary of Taiz Governorate for Defense and Security Affairs, discussed de-mining efforts with the HALO Trust, a Scottish charity organization specialized in clearing mines in war zones.
He vowed collaboration with the organization in surveying targeted areas, detecting the type of mines implanted and raising awareness among citizens on dealing with mines that might be encountered.
He said local authorities would facilitate the work with the organization to de-mine high-priority targeted areas and save lives.


Iran arrests prominent rights activists

Iran arrests prominent rights activists
Updated 39 min 19 sec ago

Iran arrests prominent rights activists

Iran arrests prominent rights activists
  • Iranian government has been referring to the protests as ‘riots’ and ‘sedition’ to suppress them

DUBAI: Iran’s crackdown against prominent individuals linked to ongoing protests in the country continues with the arrest of prominent human rights activists in Tehran.

Bahareh Hedayat, a university student, was detained early on October 3, Radio Farda reported, as the unrest hit a crescendo in Tehran and has hit far-flung provinces in open demonstration of grievances against rigid social restrictions, political repression and a failing economy.

Hedayat is a former political prisoner who has been arrested and imprisoned several times, the report noted, quoting the BBC.

Hossein Masumi, another political activist, was arrested on October 2 with his whereabouts unknown according to his family.

Meanwhile, a group of Iranian school girls were seen in viral footage expelling an education ministry official from their school premises, according to Iran International.

The London-based TV station shared the video saying the footage was taken at a school in Gohardasht of Karaj, west of Tehran. 

The protest actions, spurred by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while under detention by Iran’s morality police for alleged violations of the Islamic dress code, are on their third week despite government efforts to quell them.

The Iranian government has been referring to the protests as ‘riots’ and ‘sedition’ to suppress them, and being used as basis for the detention of key personalities.

 


UNRWA director visits Jenin refugee camp days after Israeli assault

UNRWA director visits Jenin refugee camp days after Israeli assault
Updated 04 October 2022

UNRWA director visits Jenin refugee camp days after Israeli assault

UNRWA director visits Jenin refugee camp days after Israeli assault
  • Adam Bouloukos said: ‘I witnessed the extent of the damage caused by the recent Israeli military operation. I saw fear and concern in school children’s eyes’
  • He added that the current level of violence in the camp, and across the West Bank, is at the highest level the agency has seen in years

JERUSALEM: Adam Bouloukos, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East’s director in the West Bank, has visited Jenin refugee camp, the Palestine News and Info Agency reported on Monday.

His visit came just days after a large-scale Israeli military assault on the camp last Wednesday that left four people dead and 44 injured.

During his visit to the camp, Bouloukos was shown an UNRWA clinic that was hit by bullets during the attack, which took place while patients and medical staff were inside. It provides healthcare services to about 35,000 people. He also visited a UNRWA school, where he met students and teachers.

“I witnessed the extent of the damage caused by the recent Israeli military operation,” Bouloukos said. “I saw fear and concern in schoolchildren’s eyes.

“The level of violence in Jenin camp, and across the West Bank, is the highest we have seen in years. Many Palestinians, including refugees, were killed or injured. Violence only brings loss of life, grief for families and instability.

“All parties to the conflict should protect civilians, including Palestine refugees. UN staff and facilities and civilian infrastructure must be kept out of harm’s way. I specifically call on the Israeli security forces to limit the use of excessive force and spare the loss of civilian life in Jenin and across the West Bank.”