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Deputy Secretary General of YSP: ‘Peace Doesn’t Mean Impunity for War Criminals’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Yemeni former Legal Affairs Minister Mohammed al-Mekhlafi. Asharq Al-Awsat

Aden – Deputy Secretary General of the Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP) Dr. Mohammed al-Mekhlafi stressed the need to bring those who committed war crimes before the courts.

Mekhlafi noted the importance of distinguishing between criminals as individuals and the social force that led them to war.

The former Minister of Legal Affairs in the Yemeni government of national accord said that the state monopoly on arms eradicated terrorism.

He confirmed that Yemenis realized that ending the crisis in their country and achieving a successful transitional period require partnership and consensus, which was confirmed by the Gulf initiative agreement and the mechanism adopted for the transfer of power.

“Partnership and consensus here mean the partnership of political parties and their consensus in managing the transitional period until achieving the transition to a federal state and carrying out elections,” Mekhlafi explained.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Mekhlafi spoke about Yemen’s current issues, including the transitional justice, the recovery of looted funds as well as extremism and terrorism and the ambitions and capabilities of some regional parties and their efforts to spread chaos in the region.

Regarding the risks of declaring state of emergency in provinces that fall under the control of Houthi militias, Mekhlafi said that the state of emergency is usually declared by legitimate authorities, and according to the Yemeni constitution it should be announced by the President, based on emergency law and continues with the approval of the legislature.

He explained that these rules are put to maintain the constitution and the law from violations.

However, he said, declaring state of emergency by a rebelled and outlawed group proves nothing but their attempts to breach rights and freedoms.

He urged peace forces and human rights defenders all over the world to seek lifting this threat on the Yemenis and ending the coup to restore the state.

When asked about warnings that Yemen is up to suffer from the most humanitarian catastrophe in the world and mean of preventing it in light of the continuation of the war, Mekhlafi said that indicators for this catastrophe is right before everyone.

“There are three million displaced Yemenis in the country and abroad, and there are more than seven million Yemenis suffering from starvation, especially in Hodeidah, Taiz and Sana’a,” Mekhlafi said.

He added that there are around 19 million Yemeni citizens who need urgent humanitarian aid, and the main reason behind these numbers is “of course, the war.”

The former Minister said that it is not possible to end this humanitarian catastrophe in light of war, and there are extra factors that made things worse for people.

According to Mekhlafi, these extra factors include not paying the employees in the public sector their salaries, the control of humanitarian aids by Houthi militias, the siege imposed on several provinces, selling products that people use as their basic needs in black market and lack of world concern, which means weak international assistance to war victims.