UN Security Council condemns Houthi cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia

October 21, 2021
Houthi militants fired plenty of missiles into Saudi territory, but the Kingdom's Air Defense Forces successfully intercepted most of them.
Houthi militants fired plenty of missiles into Saudi territory, but the Kingdom's Air Defense Forces successfully intercepted most of them.

NEW YORK — The UN Security Council on Wednesday censured Yemen’s Houthi militia for attacks on Saudi Arabia and urged the Iran-backed rebels and others to return to the negotiating table to try to end the country’s devastating civil war.

In a press statement, the council condemned the Houthi cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia, including drone strikes this month on King Abdullah Airport in Jazan, and the civilian international airport in Abha, both in the south of the Kingdom.

The 15-nation body also criticized the Iran-backed rebel group’s months-long offensive on Marib, an oil-rich region and the internationally recognised Yemeni government’s stronghold in the country's north.

“[The council] stressed the need for de-escalation by all, including an immediate end to the Houthi escalation in Marib,” it said.

In a press statement on Yemen, the Council expressed their unwavering support for UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg. They reiterated their expectation that the parties meet with him and with each other under UN auspices, in good faith and without preconditions.

It stressed the need for de-escalation by all, including an immediate end to the Houthi escalation in Marib.

They condemned the recruitment and use of children, and sexual violence.

The council, which includes the US, Russia, China and others, also condemned attacks on civilian and commercial ships off Yemen’s coast in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea..

The members demanded an immediate nationwide ceasefire, in accordance with resolution 2565 (2021), and called for the resolution of differences through inclusive dialogue and the rejection of violence to achieve political goals. In that regard, they recalled their welcoming of the announcement of Saudi Arabia on March 22 that was supported by the government of Yemen.

They recalled their strong commitment to the unity, sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Yemen. They expressed concern that a lack of progress in the peace process could be exploited by terrorists in Yemen. They called on all member states and other actors to comply fully with their obligations under the targeted arms embargo.

The Council members reaffirmed the need for all parties to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, including those related to humanitarian access and the protection of civilians including humanitarian and health workers and their facilities.

They condemned in the strongest terms violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, as well as human rights abuses by the Houthis. They underlined the need to ensure accountability for violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law in Yemen. They also stressed the need to avoid any actions that could cause suffering to the civilian population.

The members reiterated their commitment to a Yemeni-led, consensus-based political solution, and the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women, as well as the participation of youth, in accordance with relevant provisions of UN Security Council resolutions including 2216 (2015).

They expressed clear support for the principles of inclusivity and participation, including of women and the full breadth of political stakeholders, established by the National Dialogue Conference.

The Council expressed grave concern for the dire humanitarian situation, including prolonged starvation and the growing risk of large-scale famine, which is compounded by the dire economic situation.

It called on the government of Yemen to facilitate, regularly and without delay, the entry of fuel ships into Hudeidah port and emphasised the importance of all parties ensuring the free flow of fuel inside the country to deliver essential commodities and humanitarian aid, and underscored that fuel that arrives through Hudaydah port should not be used for personal profit or to fund escalation of the conflict.

They urged the parties to work towards the stability of Hudaydah including through cooperation with UNMHA. They called for an end to the blockade of Al-Abdiyah.

The members of the Council stressed the central role of economic collapse in driving famine risk and the need for economic reform, including improved coordination of basic financial activity within Yemen.

They 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.

They recalled the grave threat posed by the Safer oil tanker, recalled Houthi responsibility, and looked forward to welcoming cooperation of all parties involved to peacefully resolve the situation.

The Council welcomed the return of the Prime Minister to Yemen and stressed the importance of supporting the government to deliver essential services to the Yemeni people.

It expressed their strong support for the Prime Minister's drive for economic reform. They called on all actors to work constructively to implement the Riyadh Agreement fully and enable the provision of government services in order to bring stability to southern Yemen. They condemned the car-bomb attack targeting an official convoy in Aden. — SG/SPA

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