Statement Regarding Today’s Pledging Conference for Yemen organized by Switzerland, Sweden, and the United Nations

Statement Regarding Today’s Pledging Conference for Yemen organized by Switzerland, Sweden, and the United Nations

March 01, 2021

The Embassy of the Republic of Yemen in Washington, DC expresses its sincere gratitude to its allies and other close international partners today for their generous contributions at the United Nations’ virtual high-level pledging conference on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Led by the efforts of Sweden and Switzerland, the pledging conference garnered $1.7 billion in total donations that will help alleviate the suffering of millions of innocent Yemeni men, women, and children.

However, little to none of those suffering will receive this aid if the international community does not exert maximum pressure on the Houthis to end their campaign against the Yemeni people by stealing precious resources and blocking aid delivery. As the conflict turns towards its seventh year, the Yemeni people need this aid desperately.

80 percent of the Yemeni population relies on aid assistance and protection. Each month, the UN’s humanitarian operations help provide essential relief to more than 10 million Yemenis in need. The funds pledged today by our partners will be used to support the people most in need through a variety of programs and initiatives operating around the country.

The Embassy also thanks newly appointed Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the Biden administration for further highlighting the importance of addressing and ending the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. The United States continues to be an important partner in humanitarian aid, pledging $191 million for this year, and more than $3 billion over the past five years. The United Stats’s continued contributions only further strengthens the longstanding ties between the two countries.

“Today, famine is bearing down on Yemen,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated at the conference. “The race is on, if we want to prevent hunger and starvation from taking millions of lives. It is impossible to overstate the severity of the suffering in Yemen.”

Today’s pledging conference comes at a time when the Houthis have made clear that they have no plan to help end the humanitarian crisis. Instead, they would rather continue their assault on Marib, attack innocent civilians in neighboring countries, and obstruct humanitarian aid workers and projects from fulfilling their duties. This obstruction in the aid process has caused the UN to cut back or even end relief programs. The funds raised today will help address these cutbacks as well as persistent challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the Houthis’ antagonistic behavior.

“Right now, millions of Yemenis are looking to the world for help,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Lowcock said. “The good news is the world knows exactly what is needed to prevent catastrophe: pay for the aid operation, ensure access for aid workers, support the economy, and – most of all – end the war. The only question is: what will the world choose to do?”

Therefore, member countries must recognize that humanitarian aid and programs, while helpful, mean nothing if they continue to be blocked by the Houthis from reaching the people who need it most. As Prime Minister Dr. Maeen Saeed noted at the conference, the Houthis actively threaten the lives of two million Yemenis with their terror in Marib. “Aid alone won’t end the conflict.” Secretary Blinken’s words will ring hollow if there is no active effort from member countries to pressure and stop the Houthis and their malfeasance.

Despite the Houthis’ transgressions, the legitimate internationally recognized government continues to work closely with its international partners to help innocent Yemenis in the face of these various threats. The Embassy of the Republic of Yemen will continue to work closely with its international partners to ensure that essential humanitarian aid is effectively and efficiently delivered to the people of Yemen and reaffirms its commitment to reaching a peaceful, political resolution to the conflict.

Statement on US Government Designation of Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization

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.

Embassy of the Republic of Yemen Condemns Iran-Backed Houthis for Endangering Yemenis to the Coronavirus and Urges International Pressur

Embassy of the Republic of Yemen Condemns Iran-Backed Houthis for Endangering Yemenis to the Coronavirus and Urges International Pressure

Tomorrow, Thursday, March 26, 2020, marks five years since Yemen’s legitimate government with the crucial help of the Arab Coalition acted to thwart the Iran-backed Houthis from taking over all of Yemen. It is not a day for celebration, despite the important security gains from territory retaken by the government.

The international community recognizes that peace is long overdue in Yemen. The legitimate government and its coalition members have made overtures, and we have been working closely with all United Nations Special Envoys and international partners to find some way to convince the Houthis to agree to a comprehensive cease-fire and to join in a unity government that would give all Yemenis – including the Houthis – a voice in the future of the country. Unfortunately, the actions of the Iran-backed Houthis over the past year have proven to the world that they are determined to continue and even intensify this conflict, no matter what the cost.

Most recently, they have cynically blocked food aid to millions of suffering Yemenis living under Houthi oppression; and the Houthis have refused to cooperate on basic health strategies to prevent numerous communities from the threat posed by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Just this January, the Houthis launched three missiles during Maghreb prayers at a mosque in the province of Marib, killing 111 worshippers and injuring more than 100 others. It was the latest manifestation of the Houthis’ callous disregard for the sanctity of civilian life. The Houthis also have indiscriminately planted more than 1 million land mines under Yemeni soil, forcibly conscripted thousands of child soldiers and indoctrinated many more young children in schools that include a mandatory daily recital of their slogan that horribly incites anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism. The contrast between the behavior and visions of Yemen’s legitimate government and the Iran-backed Houthis has never been clearer than now.

In the current global context, while Yemen has no confirmed cases yet of Coronavirus, the legitimate government has taken steps to ensure proper testing is available and promoted awareness of the virus in its controlled areas. It has worked with the World Health Organization to secure medical equipment, including test kits, hazmat suits, masks and gloves for local medical colleges and institutions. From other partners such as Saudi Arabia, the legitimate government has secured pledges of funding, technical expertise, and additional health resources to help with our pandemic preparedness efforts.

The Houthis, meanwhile, continue to import advanced weaponry and trainers from Iran, the country with the most severe Coronavirus outbreak in our region. They continue to block aid to Yemenis in Houthi-controlled areas and refuse to provide any kind of personal protective equipment, hoarding them along with the food and water intended for vulnerable and malnourished civilians.

The international community should not be surprised, given the Houthis’ past deplorable conduct and continued egregious actions to arrest, torture and execute innocent Yemenis on false charges; the politicization of courts; and the steady theft of humanitarian assistance that has been so grievous, it has forced the United Nations to suspend food deliveries to Houthi-controlled regions for months at a time.

“The Houthis have made it clear that they do not want peace, not on any terms, and are actively pushing a strategy to relentlessly increase the misery of the Yemeni people,” said Dr. Ahmed BinMubarak, Yemen’s Ambassador to the United States.” “The Houthis continue to blatantly violate international law, with few repercussions from the international community. Given the threat to all Yemenis posed by the COVID-19, we need a united front on the Houthis so that they come to the negotiation table once and for all – and in accordance with the established Three References (i.e., Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative & Implementation Mechanism, the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference and United Nations Security Council Resolutions, especially 2216).”

Indeed, on this fifth anniversary of the international effort to stop the Houthis, Yemen’s legitimate government is yet again reaffirming its desire for a comprehensive peace that can finally end this conflict. It is prepared to dialogue with anyone and work constructively with everyone to give the Yemeni people the security, stability, and prosperity they always have deserved.

Embassy of Republic of Yemen Condemns on Houthis Abduction and Detention of Dr. Hamid Aqlan, Urges International Community & the Human Rights Organizations to Act

Embassy of Republic of Yemen Condemns Houthis Abduction and Detention of Dr. Hamid Aqlan, Urges International Community & the Human Rights Organizations to Act

January 31, 2020

The Embassy of the Republic of Yemen in Washington, D.C. unequivocally condemns the Iran-backed Houthis’ abduction of Dr. Hamid Aqlan, the president of the Sana’a-based University of Science and Technology, and his transfer to an unnamed prison without notification to his family or colleagues. His replacement by Adel Al-Mutawakkl, a known Houthi affiliate, is yet another instance in a long line of Houthi interference in Yemeni academics to promote their evil and flawed ideology.

“The Iran-backed Houthi’s abuse of the Yemeni higher education system is intended to warp the Yemeni people’s minds to be sympathetic towards terrorism,” said Ambassador of the Republic of Yemen Dr. Ahmed Awab BinMubarak. “They have consistently violated the basic human rights of the people within their territory, despite their pledge to the Stockholm Agreement.”

This is not the first time that the Houthis have interfered with the University. In 2014, the group stormed the campus, confiscated university equipment and threatened its closure. In 2018, militias arrested several professors from the University of Sanaa, holding them in similar censored prisons, and have continued to reject their pay.

The government of Yemen calls on the international community to exert necessary maximum pressure on the Houthi militias to stop their abduction of prominent Yemeni academics, to make their prisons, uncensored, and to release immediately all prisoners in accordance with the Stockholm Agreement and the related UN Security Council Resolutions.

Statement on the Houthi attack, which killed over 100 worshipers and injured more than 100 others in Marib, Yemen

Statement on the Houthi attack and war crime perpetrated this past Saturday, which killed over 100 worshipers and injured more than 100 others in Marib, Yemen

January 21, 2020

The Embassy of the Republic of Yemen in Washington, DC, strongly condemns the most recent Houthi war crime perpetrated this past Saturday, which killed 111 worshipers and injured more than 100 others. The Iran-backed Houthi militias launched three ballistic missiles at a mosque in Al Meil during Magreb prayers, in violation of the Geneva Convention and all international human rights law. The Houthis deliberately targeted a place of worship during prayer time to maximize fatalities in direct contravention of all international human rights law, making this atrocity a clear war crime.

Since the Houthis violently overthrew Sana’a in 2014, they have committed 738 violations against places of worship and worshipers, causing the full or partial destruction of 73 mosques. These violations include the bombing, shelling, and looting of mosques, as well as detention of imams and the conversion of mosques into military barracks.

“The Iran-backed Houthis committed an egregious war crime when they targeted worshipers during prayer time,” said Ambassador of Yemen to the US, Ahmed Awad BinMubarak. “The Geneva Convention and international human rights law forbid this inhumane kind of attack on places of worship. The United Nations and international community must condemn this barbaric attack, and take action to ensure the Houthis do not get away with such blatant disregard for human life and international law.”

The Houthis have violated international law thousands of times since they stormed the capital of Yemen in 2014. The United Nations has documented proof of Houthi recruitment of child soldiers, diversion of humanitarian aid, landmine contamination, civilian targeting and countless other violations of human rights. Yemen’s Ministry of Human Rights urges the United Nations and the UN Security Council to issue a binding resolution against the Houthi militias to cease all violations, especially those against places of worship. Further, the UN must do more to protect places of worship at risk during war.

 

Statement on the Riyadh Agreement

Statement on the Riyadh Agreement

November 5th, 2019 – WASHINGTON, DC

The Embassy of the Republic of Yemen welcomes the Riyadh Agreement as an important step to preserving the Yemeni state and restoring government institutions in the interim capital of Aden. This agreement will be conducive for a new era of stability and to foster a deeper domestic engagement for the Government of H.E. President Hadi to serve the people of Yemen and to help bring our country closer to peace. The Riyadh Agreement will act as a roadmap to finding a peaceful, political solution to the broader conflict in Yemen.

“With this agreement, all Yemenis will continue to enjoy equal rights and representation under a new Cabinet, ushering in a new phase of stability, security, and development,” said Ambassador His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Awad BinMubarak“.

The role of state authorities and institutions has been reaffirmed, all forms of discrimination have been renounced, and now we can get back to resolving the conflict that was started by the Iran-backed Houthi militias.”

The Embassy reiterates the profound appreciation of the legitimate Government of Yemen to our friend and partner, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for their indispensable efforts in brokering this agreement. Moreover, their international leadership has been crucial in confronting the malign influence of Iran and providing relief to the people of Yemen.

The Yemeni government will stand united in our efforts to end the Iranian-backed Houthi coup and bring an end to the conflict. Military forces from across the spectrum and from all groups will be incorporated together and consolidated under the exclusive command & control of the authorities of the legitimate Government of Yemen, which will save our country from those who have done so much harm to it.

All resources will now be directed into supporting the national interest and paving the way in securing a better and more prosperous future for all of Yemen.

Press Release : Houthi Missile Strike Kills 14, Wounds Dozens in Al Thabit Marketplace

July 29, 2019

Houthi Missile Strike Kills 14, Wounds Dozens in Al Thabit Marketplace

July 29, 2019 – Washington DC- The Embassy of Yemen condemns the heinous Houthi missile strikes on a civilian marketplace in Saada, which killed at least 14 civilians and injured dozens more. The Iranian-backed Houthis launched Katyusha rockets at the marketplace in the Qatabir district, deliberately targeting civilians. This is yet another example of the Houthis’ brazen disregard for Yemeni civilians and international war law.

“The Houthis have repeatedly attacked civilians as a fundamental tactic of their war on the Yemeni people,” said Dr. Ahmed Awad BinMubarak, Ambassador of Yemen to the United States. “Houthi war crimes have plagued Yemen since the Houthis began this conflict in 2014. The United Nations, the United States, and the international community must denounce this missile strike on innocent Yemeni civilians and pressure the Houthis to cease all missile strikes against civilian populations both within Yemen’s boundaries and across international borders into Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.”

The cynicism of the Houthi attack was underlined by the rebel group’s coordinated attempt to blame the attack on external forces. This information campaign by the Houthis proves that the attack was clearly premeditated, and the Houthis tried to deflect blame because they knew what they were doing was wrong.

The Iran-backed Houthi militias receive munitions, weapons, training, and financial support from their allies in Tehran. The United Nations, the US Department of State and other international organizations have documented shipments of ballistic missile components, drone material and training provided to the Houthi militias by the Iranian regime.

HOUTHIS CONDEMN 30 DETRACTORS TO DEATH: NEW EVIDENCE POINTS TO TORTURE OF DETAINEES

HOUTHIS CONDEMN 30 DETRACTORS TO DEATH

NEW EVIDENCE POINTS TO TORTURE OF DETAINEES

On July 12, the United Nations Office of the High Counselor on Human Rights demanded the Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen rescind their death sentence against 30 political prisoners, citing credible allegations of torture and ill-treatment. Several prominent world leaders and organizations have made similar requests. The Yemen Government continues to demand their immediate release.

  1. UN Human Rights Council – “Deeply Alarmed”

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights says it is “deeply alarmed” at death penalty sentences handed down to 30 men, asking the Houthi’s to dismiss the politically-motived charges. “At no point were they given a proper chance to present a defense, the arrests took place without a warrant, and they were held without being brought to court for several months or up to a year” [1]

  1. Amnesty International – “Mockery of Justice”

According to Amnesty International Middle East Director of Research Lynn Maalouf: “This trial was a mockery of justice and only confirms how the judiciary, is turning into a tool of repression. Today, thirty individuals, and all of their loved ones, are bracing for what is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, and handed down following such flagrantly unfair trials. We call on the Houthi authorities to quash these unjust convictions and brutal sentences and release the 30 men immediately.”[2]

  1. Member of Canadian Parliament – “Houthis Must Drop Charges”

Member of Canadian Parliament David Anderson tweeted on July 9: “Once again, I call on the Houthi authorities in #Yemen to immediately drop all charges against Yemeni Baha’i, Hamed bin Haydara, who is appealing his death sentence ahead of his court hearing today. #YemeniBahais” [3]

  1. Reuters – “Torture and Lack of Access to Medical Care”

Reporting from Geneva, a July 12 story in Reuters stated: “Detainees include Youssef al-Bawab, a linguistics professor and political figure who was held in detention amid allegations of torture and lack of access to legal counsel and medical care.”[4]

  1. USCIRF – “Egregious Violation of Justice”

On July 1, The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom called on the Houthis to release Hamid bin Haidaricase, whose case “is an egregious violation of justice based on the Houthis’ intolerance of religious minorities in Yemen.” [5]

[1] https://twitter.com/UNGeneva/status/1149703215388270592

[2] https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/07/yemen-huthi-run-court-sentences-30-political-opposition-figures-to-death-following-sham-trial/

[3] https://twitter.com/DavidAndersonSK/status/1148571735945633792

[4] https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-yemen-security-un/u-n-urges-yemen-houthi-court-to-review-30-death-sentences-idUKKCN1U7199

[5] https://www.uscirf.gov/news-room/press-releases-statements/uscirf-calls-houthi-court-in-yemen-overturn-death-sentence

JUNE 28, 2019

Press Release:  On the Resolutions Introduced in The House and Senate Condemning the Houthi Extremists in Yemen by Representative Will Hurd and Senator Tom Cotton.

 

The Embassy of Yemen supports the concurrent resolutions introduced in the House and Senate by Representative Will Hurd (R-TX-23) and Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) condemning the Houthi extremists in Yemen for their human rights violations, violence against Yemeni civilians and ties to Iran.

“For years, the Houthis and their Iranian backers have violated international human rights law and committed war crimes with the goal of spreading their violent, hateful, anti-Semitic ideology,” said Dr. Ahmed Awad BinMubarak, Ambassador of Yemen to the United States. “We welcome these congressional resolutions, which recognize Houthis as an international threat and the bad actors that they truly are. In order to reach a peaceful, political solution in Yemen, the United States must remain fully engaged in Yemen, and apply maximum diplomatic, political and economic pressure on the Houthis to bring them to the negotiating table. We urge all members of Congress to pass these resolutions and to support the government of Yemen as it seeks to restore peace and stability to the country.”

The Houthis have committed thousands of atrocities since they began the conflict in 2014. They have littered the country with more than a million landmines that have maimed and murdered innocent men, women and children. They have recruited thousands of children into their military ranks through coercion and bribery, tearing families apart and deeply harming an entire generation of youth. They have diverted critical humanitarian aid and food supplies from the mouths and homes of the needy, exploiting aid supplies on such an extreme scale that the World Food Programme has suspended aid in many Houthi-controlled areas.

Further, Iran has played a major and nefarious role in this conflict by illegally providing weapons, munitions, military training, drone technology and ballistic missile capabilities to the Houthi militias. Recently, Iran has escalated its aggressive posturing in the region by attacking foreign oil tankers and even US drones. In light of these grave threats and affronts to stability and peace in the region, we urge the US Congress to pass these resolutions and condemn Iran for its malign activity in Yemen and the broader Gulf region. We cannot allow the Iranian regime to continue down the warpath it currently treads, or to use Yemen as a platform and the Houthis as a proxy for its violent revolution.

FACTSHEET: Houthi’s Steal Aid from Starving Yemeni Children

WHY IS AID NOT REACHING THE PEOPLE IN YEMEN WHO NEED IT MOST?

 

Recent reports show that the Iran-backed Houthis are blocking aid and deepening the humanitarian crisis. As Dave Harden stated in testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on February 6, “The Houthis could end the humanitarian crisis tomorrow. They are the only actor that actually has that capability.”

 

  1. Houthi’s Steal Food Aid to Buy Political Support

According to an undercover investigation by CNN, humanitarian aid is “being diverted to fighting units or sold on the open market, but most was being used to buy political support for the Houthi cause.”[1]  U.S. diplomats recognize the problem: “At this point, only the Houthis are blocking access,” said acting US ambassador Jonathan Cohen to the U.N.in April. “And they alone will be to blame if the food spoils.”

 

  1. N. May Be Forced to Stop Aid Due To Houthi Acts  

The U.N. World Food Program released a statement on May 20 that it “reluctantly reached the conclusion that unless progress is made on previous agreements, we will have to implement a phased suspension of aid.”[2] “This conduct amounts to the stealing of food from the mouths of hungry people,” WFP executive director David Beasley said. “At a time when children are dying in Yemen because they haven’t enough food to eat, that is an outrage.”

 

  1. Houthi’s Attacked Grain Silos That Feed 3.7 Million

On May 9, Houthi soldiers attacked grain silos outside of the Port of Hodeida, which the United Nations says are critical to feeding millions of Yemeni civilians.[3] The silos contain over 50,000 tons of grain enough to feed 3.7 million people for a month. The attack came shortly after U.N. workers were allowed to access the silos for the first time in months, in a deliberate attempt to hinder humanitarian efforts.

 

  1. Houthi’s Failure to Turn Over Port of Hodeida

As recently as May 15, the Houthi’s resumed fighting in Yemen’s port city of Hodeida, breaching the existing cease-fire.[4] This escalation violates the terms of the Stockholm Agreement, signed last December, and effectively halts their promised withdrawal and transfer of port control to the U.N. As the main port of entry, Hodeida is the lifeline for millions of Yemenis threatened by starvation.

[1] CNN Exposes Systematic Abuse of Aid in Yemen, May 20, 2019

[2] U.N. WFP Official Statement, May 20, 2019

[3] Press Release, Embassy of the Republic of Yemen, May 13, 2019

[4] New York Times, May 15, 2019