Arab Press

بالشعب و للشعب
Monday, Aug 15, 2022

Yemen government slams new ‘one-sided’ UN proposal on Taiz

Yemen government slams new ‘one-sided’ UN proposal on Taiz

Hans Grundberg, the UN special envoy for Yemen, has presented a new proposal on opening roads in the besieged city of Taiz in an attempt to break the deadlock after the Iran-backed Houthis rejected his first proposal, the Yemeni government said.
The Yemeni government said it was not consulted beforehand on the proposal, which it considers “biased” toward the Houthis.

In his first proposal, Grundberg suggested opening a main road and several small secondary roads leading into and out of Taiz in a bid to end the impasse during discussions between the Yemeni government and the Houthis in the Jordanian capital of Amman.

The Yemeni government agreed to the proposal while the Houthis rejected it and insisted on opening old, unpaved and narrow roads.

Abdul Kareem Shaiban, head of the government’s delegation at the talks in Amman, said the envoy’s new proposal has taken into consideration Houthi demands by suggesting opening only small roads that do not alleviate the suffering of tens of thousands of people who live under the Houthi siege.

“He should have sat with us before announcing the proposal that has removed the demand for opening the main road known as Softeel, which connects Taiz with Aden and Sanaa,” he told Arab News by telephone. “We are back where we started.”

Shaiban said the Yemeni government delegation was not invited to Amman to discuss the new proposal, slamming the UN envoy for abandoning his first proposal and approving the Houthi demands.

Responding to the government’s criticism, the office of the UN Yemen envoy told Arab News that Grundberg has intensely engaged with both parties to push for the full implementation of the truce’s elements, including opening roads in Taiz, stating that new proposals or ideas on related issues are discussed with both sides.

“Draft proposals and options to open roads in Taiz and other governorates have been presented and discussed with both parties. The UN underlines the need to demonstrate the political will to reach an agreement soonest to make tangible progress,” the office said.

Under the UN-brokered deal that came into effect on April 2, the Yemeni government allowed the resumption of commercial flights from the Houthi-held airport in Sanaa, facilitated the arrival of fuel ships to the Hodeidah seaport, stopped hostilities on all fronts and allowed travelers with Houthi-issued passports to fly on Yemenia Airways.

While the Houthis have stopped fighting, mainly their deadly offensive on the central city of Marib, they have refused to lift their siege on Taiz, a key element of the truce.

In a letter sent to the UN Yemen envoy on Tuesday, Shaiban suggested opening five roads that link the city with other provinces, including two roads that were included in the envoy’s first proposal.

“We assure that these roads are safe, achieve the humanitarian aspect and are convenient to the people,” he said.

The UN Yemen envoy said that military delegates from the Yemeni government and the Houthis that met in Amman this week pledged again to respect the truce by stopping hostilities and military activities during Eid celebrations. Both sides also agreed to jointly work on upholding the truce, building trust and easing the suffering of the people in Yemen.

“The parties agreed to continue discussions focused on preventing or reducing as much as possible movements of military personnel and equipment and means of exercising effective operational control to ensure that all forces understand and comply with their responsibilities in the truce,” Grundberg said in a statement.

Related Articles

Arab Press