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Yemeni Human Rights Minister: Disputes between Houthis, Saleh | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A woman loyal to the Houthi movement hold an RPG weapon as she takes part in a parade to show support for the movement in Sanaa, Yemen September 6, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Cairo- Yemeni Human Rights Minister Izzedine al-Asbahi revealed that there are disputes between Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the Houthis. Asbahi accused Houthis of confusing the Arab and world community when the Yemeni Houthi delegation visited Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Asharq Al-Awsat asked Asbahi on his attitude towards what has been leaked concerning a potential coalition between the Yemeni Houthis and the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Iraq.

“If this step is the result of the Houthis visit to Iraq then this is a proof that coalitions are based on sectarian cooperation which is driving the region into a sectarian war. Iran tried during the past years to rage a sectarian war but I think the Yemeni case is different because the environment drops the mask Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi has been putting since a year and a half”, answered Asbahi.

“Given your position as a minister for human rights, how do you view the U.N. accusations of murdering children?” asked Asharq Al-Awsat.

The minister replied, Reports are received from non-governmental organizations and the U.N.

From our part, Yemen submitted pieces of evidence that reveal the truth and deny false given provided by the other party. Several organizations were victims of Houthis’ and Saleh’s deceit, where the non-governmental organizations depend on local sources and have their own private agendas. It is no secret that these organizations lack objectivity and professionalism or they are even working for Saleh and Houthis own good.

The newspaper asked about the main topics that will be presented by Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi during his participation in the U.N. General Assembly meetings.

“The Yemeni file will impose itself as well as two other major international events in September: General Assembly meetings in New York and U.N. Human Rights Council session in Geneva. The first event is entrusted with political operations and peace talks in Yemen while the second event will witness the issuance of a report on 29 September on human rights condition in Yemen” answered Asbahi.

“What is the latest statistics on crimes conducted by Houthis and Saleh against Yemeni people?” asked Asharq Al-Awsat.

“The U.N. numbers say around 10, 000 murders but I think that they are higher than this. In Taiz, up to 1, 300 were killed and 16, 000 were wounded during the past six months. One third of the Houthis militias are under the age of 16. Up to 3, 000 are kidnapped. Major crimes committed by the Houthis are crimes against cities, education, health, water and electricity facilities in addition to putting hand on resources and funds”, answered the minister.

Asharq Al-Awsat asked, “Is there any political solution looming in the horizon? How do you view the efforts of U.N. special envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh?”

Minister replied that the Yemeni condition is getting more complicated and Ould Cheikh role was restricted to finding ideas to represent the first step towards reaching a political solution. I think that negotiating in the quest of a political solution is the idol way and the war was imposed on the Yemeni people by Saleh and Houthi.

“Do you think Saleh and Houthis are receiving weapons more than the Yemeni Army and is that why the war has not stopped yet?” asked Asharq Al-Awsat.

“This is not the reason; the reason is that they are determined to not let go of the weapon and this is dangerous”, answered the human rights minister.

When Asbahi was asked how the Yemeni crisis could be solved in the short-term, his answer was the following, “There are two levels for the crisis to be solved: regional international and internal. On the internal level, no solution can be reached unless variation in the Yemeni scene is respected and accepted. Blood was shed in all cities and any neglect to Yemeni people rights will make the war a permanent one”.

“What do you have to say about the U.N. rejection to denounce Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi and Saleh practices?” questioned the newspaper.

Human Rights Minister replied, “We don’t need any additional resolutions. We only request implementation of former resolutions that enlist them as wanted for international justice.