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UNSC condemns Houthi cross-border raids against Saudi, calls for ceasefire

October 21, 2021 at 3:53 pm

Houthis check weapons on military trucks during a tribal gathering on 1 August 2019 in Sana’a, Yemen [Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images]

The UN Security Council released its latest statement on the conflict in Yemen yesterday, in which it “condemned Houthi cross-border attacks against targets in Saudi Arabia” and called for “an immediate nationwide ceasefire” in accordance with Resolution 2565 (2021) and for resolving the conflict by way of inclusive dialogue.

The press release issued by Council President Martin Kimani specifically mentioned the 8 October attack on King Abdullah Airport and drone attacks targeting Abha civilian airport. It also condemned an uptick in incidents off the Yemeni coast, including attacks on civilian and commercial ships.

The statement, which has been interpreted by some as showing bias in favour of Riyadh for not recognising the attacks as retaliatory to the Saudi-led coalition’s seven-year war against Yemen, comes as the Houthi-allied armed forces are continuing their advance to the last northern pro-government stronghold of Marib city and have claimed to have made territorial gains. Kimani said the council “stressed the need for de-escalation by all, including an immediate end to the Houthi escalation in Marib”, adding that “They condemned the recruitment and use of children, and sexual violence, in conflict.”

READ: Germany detains 2 ex-soldiers over plot to fight in Yemen

Addressing the situation in the contested southern provinces between forces loyal to the internationally recognised Yemeni government and the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC), the statement reiterated its call for the Riyadh Agreement to be fully implemented and condemned a car-bomb attack targeting the governor of Aden’s convoy, killing six. Governor Ahmed Al-Lamlas and Agriculture Minister Salem Al-Suqatri, both members of the STC survived the “terrorist assassination attempt”, reported state media last week.

The Security Council’s statement comes a day after the UN’s children agency, UNICEF claimed that the protracted war in Yemen has killed or maimed at least 10,000 children since the conflict began in 2015. Spokesperson James Elder noted “many more child deaths and injuries go unrecorded” and warned that that four out of every five minors were in need of “humanitarian assistance”.

READ: WHO: Over 20m Yemenis are at risk of malaria