GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF YEMEN
Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Expatriates
January 11, 2021
Statement on US Government Designation of Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization
The Government of the Republic of Yemen takes this opportunity to comment on the latest decision by the United States Government to officially designate Ansar Allah (partisans of God), i.e., the Houthis, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). “After six years of conflict, and attempting other types of sanctions, we believe that all political and legal pressures must continue being mounted, maximized and maintained on the Houthis in order to make conditions conducive and conclusive to a peaceful solution to the conflict. The Government of Yemen welcomes this US announcement, and which is intended to engender an ultimate final resolution to this long and tragic conflict in Yemen,” states H.E. Dr. Ahmed Awad BinMubarak, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Expatriates (and former Ambassador of the Republic of Yemen to the United States of America).
Moreover, the Houthis merit an FTO designation not only for their concerted efforts in prolonging the conflict and producing the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe, but also for their actual concealed terrorist actions. The Houthis are an emerging menace to both regional allies and international security; and their presence also poses a threat to US interests and national security.
Furthermore, the Houthis have perpetrated crimes against humanity, including by terrorist activities in secret collusion and collaboration with other foreign terrorist groups who have managed to operate from Yemeni territories. Truly, and even beyond Hezbollah and IRGC, there is also a hidden nexus and network of cooperation between the Houthis and other foreign terrorist groups who have global aims and ambitions to attack the US military, American nationals and involvements in the region. Consequently, this FTO designation will alter the dynamics to make it even more untenable for the Houthis to endeavor any violent actions, just as the US military did in retaliating after Houthi missile attacks against the USS Mason in October 2016 on the Red Sea near Yemen.
Indeed, it is with Iran’s ideological, financial, military, and technical support to the Houthis that have allowed the Houthis to engage in reckless and reprehensible terrorist acts (including the December 30, 2020 attacks at Aden Airport that killed and injured many people); and in causing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world that has affected millions of innocent Yemenis, with dire health deficits and other related challenges made pervasive stemming from, among other things, the Houthis appalling misdeeds with aid delivery and relief efforts.
There are those who contend that any FTO designation on the Houthis will have “unintended consequences,” both for the peace process and humanitarian concerns. We totally understand these apprehensions as articulated by well-meaning parties, especially those involved with aid operations in Yemen. However, it is the continuous and callous interference of the Houthis that has obstructed such crucial efforts, not from any other parties to the conflict. Thus, the FTO designation should be viewed as an effective tool to stop their deplorable behavior, and whose application is not designed to negatively impact the conduct of relief and humanitarian operations. Indeed, it is intended to push the Houthis to end their machinations and compel them to genuinely pursue realizing a secure and sustainable peace. It is to extricate the country from its seemingly interminable awful situation. And it is to make the Houthis give up their illusions of entitlement or divine right to rule Yemen.
Therefore, in order to realize a decisive end to this long and tragic conflict, the Government of Yemen unwaveringly supports a FTO designation for the Houthis by the US Government as a just recourse and remedy in the interest of achieving peace through practical pressures, while it contemporaneously continues to fully back all United Nations-led efforts to reach a comprehensive peace. The Houthis must respond and reciprocate. And the Houthis must stop hampering UN-led peace efforts and to cease escalating hostilities once and for all.