UN Special Envoy to Yemen believes parties to conflict will come to agreement soon
Griffiths to Security Council: There's a window of opportunity for peace in Yemen
UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths told the UN Security Council on Thursday that there is a window of opportunity for peace in Yemen, as the country goes through some of its toughest days against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Military escalations have continued on several fronts over the past three months, and the new Coronavirus pandemic has arrived in Yemen, threatening to deepen the suffering of Yemenis," Griffiths said in his briefing to the council. "There is no better time for the parties to commit to silencing guns and ending the conflict through a peaceful political solution.”
Griffiths said he had put forward proposals to the parties (the internationally recognized government and Houthis), the first being a ceasefire across Yemen.
The second proposal focused on the most important humanitarian and economic measures, including the release of prisoners and detainees, the opening of Sana'a International Airport, the payment of salaries to government employees, the opening of main corridors and the assurance that ships carrying basic goods would dock at Hodeidah ports.
Griffiths noted that his third proposal "concerns the urgent resumption of the political process." For two weeks, Griffiths says he has engaged with both parties on the texts and details of the agreements.
Griffith told the Security Council he expected the parties to come to an agreement in the immediate future.
"It is sad that military activities continue on a number of fronts despite numerous calls by Yemenis, the international community and this Council to stop them."
"I fear that this war will continue until we reach agreement on our proposals, including a ceasef-ire across Yemen," he said.
"Marib governorate, east of Sana'a, is still the center of gravity for this war, but it is not the only theater for it, and the sooner we stop the fighting, the better," he said.
In a statement to the Houthi-run Al-Masirah news channel, the head of the Houthi national delegation dismissed Griffths’ messages as neither substanative nor helpful.
The Yemeni government said it supported the efforts of Griffiths to reach a comprehensive and sustainable solution to end the war, which recently entered its sixth year.
Editing by Ahlam Mohsen and Casey Coombs