Saudi-backed Yemen PM welcomes 'new UN Envoy to Yemen'
Yemen’s Prime Minister has welcomed the new UN Envoy for Yemen, saying that he is confident in the “road to peace” in the war-torn country.
After the current UN Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed of Mauritania said he would not continue with his role when his contract ends in February, it was rumoured that British diplomat and former aid official Martin Griffiths is set to take his place.
“We highly value Ould Cheikh and believe he did a good job in trying to achieve peace, but the Houthis stood in the way”, Prime Minister Ahmed Obaid bin Daghr said. “We believe Martin Griffiths would be successful in achieving peace in our country”.
He praised Griffiths’ expertise and experience in international diplomacy and humanitarian aid, and said he hoped the Iran-backed Houthi rebels would disarm in adherence to UN Security Council Resolution 2216.
“Peace is possible in Yemen if the international community can persuade or oblige the Houthis to implement the international resolution”, Bin Daghr urged.
The UN resolution, adopted in April 2015, demanded that all parties embattled in the war in Yemen end violence and for the Houthis to disarm and give up control of the institutions they have taken over.
The UN has not confirmed, nor denied the speculations of Griffiths being Yemen’s next UN’s Envoy.
Griffiths was a mediation adviser to Kofi Annan during his Syria mission and also served as humanitarian coordinator for the Great Lakes region in the 1990s.
In 1994, he was appointed director of UN humanitarian affairs in Geneva and later became deputy to the UN emergency relief coordinator in New York in 1998.
The United Nations has listed Yemen as the world's number one humanitarian crisis, with 60 per cent of the population - 17 million people - in need of food, seven million of whom are at risk of famine.
A severe outbreak of cholera has left 2,000 dead and one million infected, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.