Outgoing UN envoy to Yemen calls for swift action in war-torn nation

Outgoing UN envoy to Yemen calls for swift action in war-torn nation
The outgoing UN envoy to Yemen has called for swift action to the ongoing crises in Yemen, warning of the grave dangers if the situation remains the same.
2 min read
15 June, 2021
Griffiths served as the UN's envoy to Yemen for three years. [Getty Images]

UN envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths said Tuesday that Yemeni parties "have yet to overcome their differences" after years of bloodshed.

Griffiths, who served as the envoy for the Middle Eastern nation for three years, made his comments to the Security Council as he gave his last briefing before becoming UN aid chief next month.

"I hope very, very much indeed... that the efforts undertaken by the Sultanate of Oman, as well as others, but the Sultanate of Oman in particular, following my visits to Sanaa and Riyadh, will bear fruit," he said.

An Omani delegation visited Yemen's capital Sanaa last week and met with Abdulmalik Al-Houthi, leader of the Iran-backed Houthi rebel group which has been in control of Sanaa since 2014.

"Yemen needs, for its survival and the welfare of its citizens, a government that is accountable to its people and united in support of fundamental rights, and an open and prosperous economy. Every day of this war threatens this future more," Griffiths added.

While the UN is yet to appoint a successor to Griffiths, some sources have said that European Union ambassador to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, and former British diplomat and former U.N. Somalia envoy Nicholas Kay were in the lead for the job, according to Reuters.

Saudi Arabia has led a campaign against the Houthis since 2014, only years after the 2011 revolution overthrew President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The war has destroyed much of Yemen’s infrastructure, as the country suffers from one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

The Sanaa government was exiled to the southern de-facto capital, Aden, where a power-sharing government backed by the Saudi on one side and the UAE on the other has also been gripped in a power struggle.