Yemen’s internationally recognized President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who fled the country in 2015, has accused United Nations special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, of siding with the Houthis. In a letter addressed to UN chief Antonio Guterres, Hadi said, “I can no longer tolerate the violations committed by the special envoy, which threaten prospects for a solution,” Hadi warned his government may halt all dealings with the envoy. Hadi also accused Griffiths of “rebels as a de-facto government and as an equal to the legitimate and elected government”
Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, said in a letter responding to Hadi, “I would like to assure you that every effort will be made to maintain the impartial stance that is expected of the United Nations.”
Earlier this month the Houtis began withdrawing from the ports of Saleef, Ras Isa and Hodeidah, handing them over to UN supervised local forces, honoring an agreement made with the Saudi-backed internationally recognized government back in December. Hadi accused the UN of, “providing the Houthi militia with guarantees to stay in Hodeida and its ports under the umbrella of the UN.” The accusation being, that the UN supervised forces are Houthis in different uniforms.
It is hard to take Hadi’s accusations seriously, since the negotiations held in 2018 that resulted in the agreed withdrawal of Hodeidah, were delayed because the UN did not want to meet any of the Houthi’s conditions for the peace talks. The Houthis wanted their injured fighters to be taken to Oman for treatment, repatriation of their fighters who had been treated in Oman and a guarantee that the Houthi delegation would be allowed to return to Sana’a after the talks. Hard for an exiled President, who has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2015 to argue against these guaranteed protections.
Since Hadi has been living in Saudi Arabia, the Saudis have carried out over 19,000 airstrikes on the country. The latest on Friday, struck a gas station in the Taiz Province, killing at least eight civilians. Hadi’s desire for peace seems more like a desperate attempt to stay in power, no matter what the cost to his people.
Dave DeCamp is a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn NY, focusing on US Foreign policy and wars. He is on Twitter at @decampdave.