Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Yemeni Government Says Int’l Reports not Impartial | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen. U.N. Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Aden, Taiz- Yemen’s Deputy Minister of Human Rights Dr. Mohamed Askar accused Houthi and Saleh militias of looting food and medical aid provided by humanitarian organizations to those in need in areas under the control of the insurgents.

The government also defended the legitimacy of its military operations carried out west of the country.

Askar told Asharq Al-Awsat that reports issued by human rights organizations from Sana’a were not impartial as many looting cases were documented, the latest of which was in al-Bayda’ when Houthis looted trucks of food aid sent from the World Food Program and drug depots belonging to a number of international organizations.

The Yemeni official said civilians living in areas controlled by Houthi militias are subjected to many human rights violations. They use civilians as human shields in conflict zones, and prevent women and children from fleeing to safer areas.

Askar explained the reasons behind the lack of impartiality in international reports by saying that Houthi militias are not allowing the organizations to deliver real information in the reports sent to their headquarters around the world and are forcing them to manipulate the facts.

On many occasions, local staff has played a negative role in many cases by issuing false reports by siding with the insurgents.

In a common matter, U.N. Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed called on Yemeni parties to stop the violence and bring peace, warning that providing food and humanitarian aid to the people was under danger in the country that is fighting insurgents since March 2015.

In a series of tweets, Ould Cheikh said that “deterioration of the humanitarian situation again underscores the need to end the violence and to achieve a sustainable cessation of hostilities and enduring solution to the Yemeni conflict through an inclusive political process.”

He called on all parties to adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law and respect the sanctity of civilian life, and he urged all parties to ensure the unhindered movement of commercial and humanitarian supplies, without which millions of Yemenis are at risk of death and famine.

In another tweet, Ould Cheikh said: “The ongoing military clashes on the Red Sea coast are aggravating an already catastrophic humanitarian situation.”

He noted that tens of thousands of civilians have been caught in the war zone without access to humanitarian aid and are unable to flee to safety.