Houthis reject UN calls for de-escalation, truce extension

Special Houthis reject UN calls for de-escalation, truce extension
A Shiite Houthi tribesman holds his weapon during a tribal gathering in Sanaa, Yemen. (AP)
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Updated 23 November 2022

Houthis reject UN calls for de-escalation, truce extension

Houthis reject UN calls for de-escalation, truce extension
  • Houthi official slams UN envoy for urging movement to resume peace negotiations

AL-MUKALLA: Houthi leaders have rejected calls from the UN Yemen envoy and members of the UN Security Council to halt their assaults on oil installations in southern Yemen and to extend the UN-brokered ceasefire.

The Houthis have defiantly pledged to keep attacking oil installations with drones and missiles until their demands are met.

Houthi Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Al- Ezzi slammed UN Yemen Envoy Hans Grundberg on Wednesday for urging the movement to de-escalate and resume peace negotiations, alleging that the Houthi movement had also provided compromises to seek peace in Yemen.

“Sanaa demands represent the minimum rights of our people,” Al- Ezzi said on Twitter.

During his briefing to the Security Council on the situation in Yemen on Tuesday, Grundberg condemned the Houthi attacks on oil infrastructure in government-controlled provinces, warning that the attacks would lead to a resumption of fighting, undermine peace efforts to end the war, and have severe economic repercussions for the country.

“Attacks on oil infrastructure and threats to oil companies undermine the welfare of the entirety of the Yemeni people. They risk setting off a spiral of military and economic escalation, a pattern we have seen play out before over the course of Yemen’s war,” the UN envoy said.

The Houthis have once again threatened to launch more explosives-rigged drones and missiles on oil facilities and ships in government-controlled areas to pressure the Yemeni government into agreeing to their demand of sharing oil revenues and compensating public employees in districts they control.

On Tuesday, Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi, a Houthi leader, asked that the Yemeni government give all state revenues to the central bank in Sanaa and that the movement pay all government servants throughout the nation, or the Houthis will continue to target oil installations.

“Don’t be concerned! Our drones and missile will expedite salary payments,” Al-Houthi assured a crowd of supporters in Sanaa.

Local officials in the southeastern province of Hadramout said the Houthi-attacked Al-Dhabbah oil facility in the province’s Shiher will be shut down for repairs and to deploy additional air defenses.

In Aden, Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malik Saeed on Wednesday promised to stand firm in the face of Houthi pressure from drone strikes, defend Yemen’s national institutions, and continue fighting the Houthis until they are expelled from areas they control.

“We are confident in attaining victory under the direction of the Presidential Leadership Council, as well as in our military forces, security services, and the widespread national and popular resistance,” Saeed said at a Cabinet meeting.

A Yemeni official told Arab News that the government has increased security measures and air defenses at vital ports and economic facilities across the country, as well as bolstered military forces outside key cities, including the central city of Marib.

The government is pressing the international community, which looked unanimous in its condemnation of the most recent Houthi assaults, to designate the Houthis as terrorists and put restrictions on non-humanitarian supplies passing through the Houthi-controlled Hodeidah port.

“Recently, the international community’s condemnations have intensified, but condemnations alone are insufficient. Only international designation, particularly from the US, would convince the rest of the world to ban commercial imports, accomplishing the goal of strangling the militia’s financial sources,” said the official, preferring anonymity.