Peace remains elusive despite compromises by the Yemeni government and welcome support from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Oman, as well as the UN, to end years of strife in the country, President Rashad Mohammed Al-Alimi told the high-level debate at the UN General Assembly.
“We hope that the Houthi militias will recognize a singular truth: Only a State that is based on the rule of law and equal citizenship will ensure that our country is stable, safe, and respected in the region” and wider international community, he said.
“There is a sure path towards peace by rekindling the trust of the Yemeni people in international legitimacy and in their national government,” he continued. “For that, we need to support the legal government, we need to strengthen the economy so that the government can provide services so that we can put an end to the militias and build a brighter future.”
No more compromises to make
President Al-Alimi went on to commend those members of the international community that supported Yemen and its long-suffering and maintained policies of non-interference in its affairs. He was especially grateful for support that helped prevent the collapse of Yemeni state institutions and shored up the country’s resistance to the violence perpetrated at the hands of Iran-backed Houthi militias.
Yet, he said, there is “not enough time or more compromises to make to convince Houthi militias to change their positions … or their approach … which will lead the Yemeni people back to the age of ignorance and oppression and even turn the country into a hotspot for the export of terrorism.”
Any complacency from the international community or dealing with the Houthi militia as de facto authorities, will lead to the eradication of this behavior, the President of the Leadership Council continued, denouncing the Houthi’s agreement to peace deals as “delay tactics and means to acquire more resources.”
“We reaffirm the need to have the right guarantees for peace … pursuant to the Saudi initiative,” based on justice and fairness, he continued, adding that any peace agreement or trust-building measures should be targeted towards alleviating the suffering of the Yemeni people.
True humanitarian interventions
“We need to believe that superpowers should send a strong message to militias, not only in Yemen, but all over the world, that they should not overturn constitutional legitimacy so that we can end any wishes that groups could have to establish entities that compete with legitimate governments,” he said.
Welcoming the efforts of the UN to move away from relief interventions and towards sustainable development, President Al-Alimi said this transformation should also include financial pledges to the Yemeni Central Bank as a means to strengthen the national currency and ensure such funds do not fall into the hands of Houthi militias.
Presently, international interventions are being channeled through institutions that are being controlled by Houthi militia, even as those militias continue to violate the rules and regulations of the banking sector and turn it into a money laundering network, he lamented.
Such an approach means that Yemen institutions will remain weak and underfunded and will not have the resources to deal with cross border challenge and further feed the “war economy.”
“We chose to promote health and prosperity, not violence and death like the Houthi militias do … Every delay in dealing with [the situation in Yemen] will lead to further losses for the Yemini people and gains by the Houthi militias” he warned.
Full statement available in Arabic here.