UN’s latest peace plan draft is turned down by Yemen

July 18, 2020

The draft proposal for a comprehensive solution to the conflict had recently been amended based on the request of the Houthis.

Two weeks after the UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths met with President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and had handed him an amended draft proposal for a comprehensive ceasefire that was to be followed by humanitarian and economic measures, the Yemeni government has rejected it.

According to a government spokesperson, the proposals sent by Griffiths on June 30 “undermines the government’s sovereignty” and “exceeds his mission as special envoy”. The draft plan was also rejected on the grounds that it was biased towards Iran-backed Houthis. Yemen’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Al-Hadrami said they would abide by the previous draft which didn’t include the recent controversial additions.

Reportedly the government believes that the plan legitimises the “coup” by the Houthis in 2014. It suggests the accepting of the current situation and recognising the Houthis as an armed group. And while the draft plan demands a nationwide truce and directs the government to pay the long-overdue salaries of public servants, the government says Houthis should share the cost since they have been collecting large sums of money from banks, seaports and telecom companies.

A government source also told Arab News that there was resentment that the UN envoy wanted to convince everyone of the irrelevancy of three references – the GCC Initiative, the National Dialogue Conference and Security Council Resolution 2216. These direct the Houthis to disarm, handover control of Sana’a and other areas under their administration and allow the return of the government in exile. The government has also demanded that the Houthis stop executing their opponents and confiscating their property, to release detainees and open Sana’a airport and Hodeida port.

This is the latest in the string of disappointments after the failed talks in Geneva, Biel and Kuwait. The bone of contention lies in the fact that the government insists the Houthis must lay down their weapons before they can discuss power-sharing while the Houthis want to finalise political arrangements before giving up control of Sana’a.

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