Yemen: Between UN Efforts and Houthi Connex

Despite the great optimism shown by the UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths concerning a path to peace in Yemen, it still lacks its basic factors and requirements, from the viewpoint of a number of analysts and researchers in Yemeni affairs an impossible challenge. Griffiths had stated earlier, that the Yemeni parties have shown interest in humanitarian needs, indicating that there is seriousness regarding peace in the country, which has been suffering from the war since summer 2015.

UN weakness and missing roles

The first indication that there is no prospect for peace in Yemen is related to the poor performance of the UN envoy, according to political analyst Muhammad al-Hilali, who believes that despite being in his position for many years, Griffiths has not presented any actual steps for peace and ending the conflict.

Al-Hilali points out that Griffiths has not yet been able to force the Houthi militias to enter into serious negotiations with the Yemeni government. He considers that the role of the United Nations is missing in several areas, the most important of which is the humanitarian field, especially during the spread of the Corona epidemic.

It is noteworthy that the Yemeni government together with the Arab Coalition proposed a ceasefire agreement last April, to provide efforts for confronting the spread of the Coronavirus in Yemen, but it was rejected by the Houthi militia.

In the same context, Al-Hilali points out that Griffiths’ approach is based on equality between the victim and the executioner, he ignores the fact that the militias exist under external interference and a coup supported by Iran. He accuses the UN envoy of being indolent with the militias, which enabled them to proceed further with their policies.

Last year, the Yemeni government accused Griffiths of encouraging Houthi crimes and colluding with them. The Yemeni Minister of Information, Muammar Al-Eryani, indicated at the time that the performance of the UN envoy contributed to the escalation of Houthi violations in the country.

Simultaneously, the head of the Efforts Center for Political Studies in Yemen, Abd al-Sattar al-Shamiri, describes the call of the UN envoy to the Yemeni government and the Transitional Council to form a team to negotiate with the Houthis with the aim of reaching a final solution to the Yemeni crisis, as tweeting outside the pool, plowing in sea water and wasting time. He said Yemenis have become accustomed to such statements since the appointment of Griffiths to his post.

External Affiliations

The link between the militia’s decision and Iranian directives represents one of the most important challenges to achieving peace in Yemen, according to the researcher in Middle Eastern affairs, Amer Al-Dosari. “Iranian interests, whether in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, or Lebanon, are based on escalation and feeding tension, which means that it has not granted the Houthis permission to enter into serious peace negotiations, regardless of the proposed settlement,” Al-Dosari says.

The Houthi group had previously acknowledged its association with the Wilayat of Al-Faqih and loyalty to it, as the Houthi leader, Ibrahim Al-Dulaimi, appeared in a picture kissing the hand of Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Iranian Revolution during a visit by a Houthi delegation to Tehran in 2018.

Al-Dosari points out that Iran’s interest in Yemen in particular requires not reaching an agreement, especially in light of the preparations for new negotiations with the international community on the nuclear program. It seeks to put pressure on the international community by threatening international trade routes from the Gulf through the Arab sea, the Gulf of Oman and the Red Sea.

It is noteworthy that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard has threatened several times to target the global trade movement, especially oil supplies, in the event that Iran is subjected to any US military moves against its nuclear sites. Ali Shadmani, the Deputy Commander of the Khatam al-Anbiya headquarters in the Revolutionary Guard, said that Al-Houthi militia includes a million fighters who stand by Iran in terms of ideology.

In addition, the military expert, Brigadier General Thabit Hussain indicates that the Houthis reject the delinquency for peace and use every peace initiative as an opportunity to rearrange their conditions and forces and continue the war.

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