Yemeni Government discusses developments implementing Riyad agreement

July 15, 2020

An Iranian-made ballistic missile launched by the Yemeni Shiite Houthi rebels hit a residential neighborhood in the city of Marib in the east of the country yesterday. The Arab Coalition in Yemen announced. “Iranian-backed Houthi terrorist militias fired a ballistic missile on Tuesday evening 14 July 2020, from within Yemen, and landed between civilian targets in the city of Marib,” said Colonel Turki al Maliki, spokesman for the forces of the military Coalition led by Saudi Arabia.

“Houthi militias continue to violate international humanitarian law by launching ballistic missiles and falling indiscriminately on civilians, as well as in populated areas that threaten the lives of hundreds of civilians, and this represents a deliberate escalation against innocent civilians,” he explained in a note. The officer also stressed that the Coalition continues to take rigorous and dissuasive measures to neutralize and destroy these ballistic abilities and to protect civilians in Yemen and to protect regional and international security. On July 8th, the Houthi militia targeted a residential neighborhood in Marib with a ballistic missile, killing and injuring several people, including women and children.

The Yemeni Council of Ministers, led by Moeen Abdul Malik, discussed developments related to the implementation of the Riad Agreement with the Southern Transition Council, CTS, in the light of consultations promoted by Saudi Arabia.There is enthusiasm for speeding up the implementation of the corresponding measures to stop an unjustified progression of violence by the Transitional Council.

The government also said to be surprised by the latest statement issued by the CTS on regional self-government defined as an error by the executive.The Cabinet explained that despite stopping the flow of revenue to the central bank and seizing money boxes, civilian wages and civilian and military pensions were paid until the end of June 2020, stressing that the government, under the direction of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, is working hard to provide wages to the army and security forces in various military areas.

The Yemen conflict has deteriorated since 2015 despite repeated rounds of peace negotiations. The most recent round of UN-led Talks ended in August 2016 with no agreement. The conflict is in danger of escalating beyond Yemen’s borders with frequent Houthi incursions into Saudi Arabia, foreign ships being targeted by missiles from Houthi-controlled areas near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait – a major international trade route – and Saudi Arabia and Iran siding with opposite sides in the conflict. The latest 72-hour cease-fire starting 20 October was not renewed when it ended on 22 October.

The cease-fire did, however, allow humanitarian aid agencies to step in to start to provide assistance to some of the 21.2 million people across the country who are in need of humanitarian aid. UN OCHA has estimated it needs USD 1.63 billion for its Yemen humanitarian response plan, but it has only received pledges for 47 % of that amount so far. The EU has recently announced a further EUR 40 million for the fund, taking the total EU pledge to EUR 120 million. The European Parliament has called for an EU arms embargo on Saudi Arabia, which it considers as responsible for the majority of the destruction of civilian infrastructure.

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