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About the Statement of the UN Special Delegate to Yemen

Zakie Othman

Southern Writer
Several points drew my attention about the statement of Martin Griffith, UN Special Delegate to Yemen, to the UN Security Council. These points are:
1. It was written in an extraordinary manner that made me believe that Mr. Griffith himself wrote it and not any of his political assistants.
2. He tried to address all internal and external parties in positive manner to win their support for the peace process
3. He clearly demonstrated all current major challenges, including ballistic missiles, air strikes and humanitarian conditions, leaving the deputy of Secretary General for humanitarian affairs to talk in detail about humanitarian conditions.
4. He politely called for opening Sanaa airport with a reference to the risks of any military action in Al-Hodeida seaport. I think these two topics came along what he called “preliminary stage for building confidence” for coordinating peace efforts. Of course, he also mentioned the issue of prisoners of war and detainees from both parties.
5. He confirmed his approach of listening to all parties and considering their confirmations positively. He mentioned Hady’s government as “the government” and used the description of “Ansar Allah Movement” without mentioning their political bureau. Therefore, he didn’t mention the remains of the conference party.
6. He asserted the unjust conditions of the south indicating that any inclusive and sustainable peace should consider the southern cause. He asserted that he didn’t visit the south but also confirmed that changes took place there that should be considered. He talked about meeting southern groups and avoided mentioning the southern transitional council so as not to raise the anger of the government. I can conclude that he already met southern groups of various weights on the ground, including members of the southern movement but loyal to Al-Houthis like Fady Ba Oum and Ali Nasser, in addition to other southern figures in Europe, Egypt, UAE and Jordan.
7. He drew general guidelines for the peace process he promised to develop during the next two months
8. He didn’t mention the three references that the government is sticking to and demanded all parties to make compromises.
9. He distinguished between between two separate stages in the peace process: ending war and building peace, as each stage has its challenges and conditions
10. He reminded all parties with positive aspects of the national dialogue and the importance of being inclusive. Although he positively mentioned Yemeni women, but he was not clear about their fair share of participation.
11. He didn’t mention the risks of economic collapse and administration of the Central Bank of Yemen.

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