Houthis accuse UN envoy of bias in Yemen conflict

The Houthis in Yemen have launched a strongly-worded attack on the UN and its special envoy to the country, Martin Griffiths. They accuse the organisation of being biased and not contributing seriously to the peace efforts.

Houthi spokesman Mohamed Abdel Salam told 26 September newspaper on Saturday that neither the UN nor the Arab coalition countries led by Saudi Arabia deal positively with any peace initiative. He added that they do not want a just peace, but just want the Houthis to surrender

“The Houthis had hoped that Griffiths would be able to present a political vision for a solution through a real and effective move to end the unjust siege on the Yemeni people,” explained Abdel Salam, “but the UN failed to pressure the coalition in order to force it to implement its obligations agreed upon in the Sweden consultations.”

The official criticised statements in which Griffiths held the Houthis responsible for delaying the payment of employees’ salaries. “This is a fabrication,” he insisted. “[The UN envoy] is negative and… is really participating in the siege of Yemen.” He pointed out that Griffiths readily condemns any military action by the Houthis, but says nothing about the killing of dozens of civilians as a result of coalition air strikes.

READ: Houthi rebels accuse UN envoy of prolonging Yemen war 

“We believe that if the envoy continues in this way,” added Abdel Salam, “then his days in office will be short. We do not exclude the possibility that he may have decided to be biased, just as the former envoys were when they tried to improve their standing with the aggressive coalition states.”

Nevertheless, said the Houthi spokesman, the UN envoy has an opportunity to redeem himself. “If he can take advantage of this and provide a real vision for the project to stop the [coalition] aggression, break the siege, introduce humanitarian aid and end this unjust siege, then this may be possible.” He stressed that the group does not ask Griffiths to “do the impossible,” but simple set out a clear position.