Yemeni, UN Officials Review ‘Militia Crimes since the Coup’


Amman – Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdul Malik al-Mekhlafi met on Tuesday with the representative of the UN Higher Commissioner for Human Rights, Alobaid Ahmed Alobaid, to discuss the situation in the country, in particular “crimes and violations perpetrated by militias since the coup.”

Yemen’s official news agency reported that Mekhlafi met with Alobaid in the Jordanian capital, where talks touched on “the massive violations committed by the militias against human rights in Yemen.”

This included acts of murder, abduction, forced disappearances, violation of freedom of opinion and expression, house bombings, recruitment of children and use of schools and hospitals for military purposes.

The Yemeni foreign minister underlined efforts exerted by the National Committee to investigate allegations of human rights violations in Yemen and document crimes and violations in a “professional, impartial and objective manner”.

He also stressed the importance of maintaining cooperation with the High Commissioner for Human Rights to enhance the Committee’s role and help it fulfill its tasks in accordance with international standards, resolutions and recommendations of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Mekhlafi urged the UN representative to visit the Yemeni governorates in order to understand the situation on the ground, especially in Taiz, which has been under a blockade for nearly three years and has been suffering from “arbitrary bombardment of residential areas, daily killings of civilians and the looting of humanitarian and relief assistance.”

He noted that the deteriorating situation in the country has led to the spread of diseases and epidemics and a severe shortage of medicine, food and medical services.

For his part, Alobaid stressed the UN Commission’s intention to cooperate with the Committee and adopt activities to improve its work.

He revealed that the Commission was planning to visit the temporary capital of Aden soon to discuss the annual report on human rights in Yemen, which is published by the Committee. He also expressed thanks to the Yemeni government, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for its cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner in Yemen and for facilitating its tasks.

Yemeni Foreign Minister: We Have Documents on Iran’s Crimes

Jeddah- Yemen is in possession of documents that reveal the crimes committed by Iran, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdul Malik al-Mekhlafi has said.

The minister pointed out that the Yemeni government intends to arrange a meeting with US officials in Riyadh, on the sidelines of the Arab-Islamic-US Summit to discuss the Yemeni file.

Mekhlafi ensured, during a phone call with Asharq Al-Awsat, that Yemen will be a focal point in the summit through the participation of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in the meeting with US President Donald Trump, based on the invitation of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

The Yemeni minister considered this summit a significant opportunity for Yemen to tackle Arab topics, adding that the Arab Coalition led by Saudi Arabia and supporting legitimacy, has a message to deliver regarding the Iranian intervention in Yemen.

The meddling – via Iran’s support to Houthis and Saleh militias – has sparked the war in Yemen, he said. It also led to the country’s involvement in a long-lasting destructive war, not to mention that part of Yemen was transformed by Iran to a base to target Saudi Arabia.

Mekhlafi continued that the government will assign a high-ranking delegation to visit the US and meet with a number of officials, especially that there is a great US understanding of what is happening in Yemen with the presence of the new administration.

On proof of Tehran’s involvement in Yemen, he said that the Yemeni government has several documents and pieces of evidence on the crimes committed by Iran.

The minister added that Yemen will present them to the international community.

Commenting on his meeting with UN special envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Mekhlafi affirmed that the government did not object to anything and demanded that the envoy provide guarantees on behalf of the other party that is hindering the peace process.

Al-Mekhlafi Calls on Ban Ki-moon to Put Pressure on the Houthis and Saleh

The Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister Abdul-Malik Al-Mekhlafi who is also the Foreign Minister requested the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon to intervene and exercise his influence to implement a peace plan put forward by UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh to end the violence and the Yemeni “crisis caused by the coup that was carried out by the Houthis and the former president Saleh”.

In a letter that he sent to Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday, Al-Mekhlafi said “We hope that this good opportunity for peace will not be wasted… The Yemeni people are looking forward to the great role that you will play by exercising your influence to implement the peace plan put forward by the special envoy, in order to build a better future for the Yemeni people after more than a year and a half of unjust war.” He continued by saying that the Yemeni people look forward to this intervention after having witnessed the looting of state resources and the spread of chaos and destruction by the rebels and the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

In the letter that Asharq Al-Awsat obtained a copy of, Al-Mekhlafi stressed that the option to pursue peace and undergo negotiations is an irreversible one, and stressed that his government is fully committed to the path of peace.

Al-Mekhlafi said that the legitimate government has made every effort to ensure the success of the UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh’s mission which started in Geneva and has passed through Biel and even Kuwait where talks lasted 90 days.

Yemeni Government: Our Confidence in Ould Cheikh Has Been Shaken

Jeddah-Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Abdul Malik al-Mekhlafi, who is also heading the government delegation at the peace talks in Kuwait, said that the meeting between Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud and Yemeni President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi witnessed the discussion of several topics, including the safety of Yemeni territories and the return of legitimacy.

Al-Mekhlafi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Decisive Storm was launched for the sake of Yemen and the Arab and Islamic World, denying any intention to back off until legitimacy is achieved in Yemen.

The Yemeni FM added that the Arab coalition in Yemen will prove its strength in the coming period and will disperse all illusions about the coalition’s disunion.

Al-Mekhlafi was asked about the expected meeting with U.N. Special Envoy Ismail Ould Sheikh Ahmed. He said: “The U.N. Special Envoy betrayed the Yemeni government’s trust when he submitted the roadmap project without discussing it with the government delegation.”

The Yemeni FM continued: “The peace talks launched in Kuwait were based on specific references and any commitment or roadmap should abide by these three references as well, including the implementation of resolution 2216, the withdrawal from cities and handing over weapons. These are essential for any political process.”

Al-Mekhlafi revealed that Ould Sheikh will meet the Yemeni President and government members following Eid al-Fitr holiday, and all topics related to the roadmap will be tackled.