The Yemeni government protested on Thursday against what it called “functions’ transgression” by officials representing the United Nations Verification and Inspection Mechanism for Yemen (UNVIM) and the director of the office of UN Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffith.
This came in a letter the Yemeni Minister of Foreign Affairs, Khaled Al-Yamani, sent to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, and published on the official Twitter account of the Ministry.
Al-Yamani said that UN officials held a meeting with the Houthi authorities in Sana’a last Saturday to “discuss the procedures for starting the UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism for Yemen (UNVIM) at Al-Hudaydah ports under the control of the Houthis.”
He added that his government rejects these “irresponsible” practices, which cannot be carried out without direct instructions of the UN Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffith, and without the understanding, coordination and approval of the Yemeni government.
Al-Yamani called Griffith to make sure that these practices never reoccur, because they transgress the powers granted to him, stressing that “the government will take all the necessary legal measures to ensure its sovereignty and independence and the implementation of constitutional duties, and will not allow any attempt to violate or restrict their rights.”
He pointed out that the establishment of the UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism came at the request of the Yemeni government in August 2015, under Security Council resolution 2216, in order to impose a ban on the arrival of weapons to the Houthis from Iran.
The Foreign Minister said that “the mandate granted to the Mechanism does not allow it to deal with the issue outside the authority of the legitimate government in Yemen or to infringe on the unity, sovereignty and independence of the Yemeni territory.”
He clarified that the role of the United Nations in Al-Hudaydah, Salif and Ras Isa ports depend on the progress made in the implementation of Al-Hudaydah Agreement and the withdrawal of the Houthis and that the Al-Hudaydah Agreement and the Stockholm Agreement as a whole failed to achieve any progress in implementation.
The UN Mechanism, based in Djibouti, began its mission in May 2016 to facilitate the unimpeded flow of goods and commercial services to Yemen, while ensuring compliance with the arms embargo pursuant to Security Council resolution 2216.
The Mechanism provides quick and neutral clearance services for shipping companies that transport commercial goods and bilateral assistance to Yemeni ports outside the authority of the Yemeni government, according to the United Nations.