UN Yemen envoy submits peace plan to rivals

Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed left Sanaa after a three-day visit aimed at pushing for an end the country's 19-month conflict.

Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed left Sanaa after a three-day visit aimed at pushing for an end the country’s 19-month conflict.

The Yemeni government will not accept any peace plan that does not include disarming Houthi militias and does not adhere to the three references and UN Resolution 2216.

Abdul Malek Al-Mekhlafi, Yemeni deputy premier and foreign minister, made this clear in tweets on Tuesday.

“Any solution that does not adhere to the three references (GCC, NDC outcomes and UNSC 2216), will only legitimize the coup and won’t achieve peace,” he said.

The government “seeks peace and ending the war triggered by the putschists; achieving this requires ending the coup, handover of weapons and withdrawal. Any attempt to keep the militia and its arms anywhere won’t be accepted by our people who sacrificed thousands of martyrs for peace and freedom,” he explained.

The UN envoy for Yemen on Tuesday presented a proposal to the Houthis and their allies on advancing prospects for peace as protests marred the final day of his talks in Sanaa. Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said the rebels would give their response to the written roadmap on political and security arrangements in the coming days.

“We have not received any draft proposal or plan from the UN envoy. Our position is clear. Any political settlement must be based on the GCC initiative and the outcomes of the national dialogue and the UN relevant resolutions particularity 2016. Once we receive such plan, the government will meet and discuss it,” Yemeni government spokesperson Rajeh Badi said.

Meanwhile, the Saudi-led coalition denied on Tuesday it had imposed a “blockade” on Yemen, saying that it instead was controlling access to the country to prevent pro-Iran rebels from obtaining arms.

“No, there is no blockade,” coalition spokesman Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri told AFP. “There is control based on international law … Control is different from blockade, which means that nobody can enter or leave the country,” he said.

Echoing Al-Assiri, Badi said the coalition is acting in accordance with UN Resolution 2216. “Article 15 of the UN Resolution 2216 on Yemen authorizes the neighboring countries to inspect all ships suspected to be carrying arms to the Houthis or to Ali Abdullah Saleh forces,” Badi told Arab News over the phone.

Al-Assiri said that only “aircraft from humanitarian organizations and the UN” can land or take off from rebel-controlled capital Sanaa. “They are the only aircraft that do not undergo inspection,” he said. “We understand the difficulties facing the population in Yemen, but the situation has changed” because of the war.

Meanwhile, a Bangladeshi resident was killed, and a Pakistani resident injured in shelling from Yemeni territory in Suqam, Najran.

A spokesman for the Civil Defense in Najran, Abdulkhaleq Al-Qahtani, said Civil Defense personnel received a report on Tuesday morning about a projectile launched by the Houthis from Yemen, which fell in Suqam in Najran, killing a Bangladeshi expat and injuring another Pakistani resident. The latter was transported to hospital for urgent treatment.

On Monday night, violent confrontations took place across the Saudi-Yemeni border, lasting into the early hours of Tuesday morning. Saudi forces repelled a failed attack by the Houthis and the Republican Guard of the deposed president, resulting in the deaths of dozens. Some attackers escaped back.

In Al-Muwsam, an operation by the Border Guard and ground forces resulted in the capture of seven former Republican Guards, and the killing of dozens after a large group of Houthis and former Republic Guards were spotted trying to approach the Saudi border. The situation was immediately dealt with.

Around 400km to the southeast of the border, a Houthi group was neutralized by Saudi planes and artillery. And on the border of Najran, six Houthis were killed, while others fled.

On Monday night, Al-Twal in Najran was subjected to a number of projectiles, but no injuries occurred. The sources of these projectiles were targeted by Saudi artillery.


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