AL-MUKALLA: Yemen’s internationally recognized Presidential Leadership Council hailed the UN peace proposal on Sunday, as officials and observers questioned the Houthis’ resolve to establish peace in Yemen in light of their mounting Red Sea strikes.
The presidential council’s leader, Rashad Al-Alimi, said during a meeting with Egypt’s ambassador to Yemen in Riyadh that the Yemeni government was committed to positively complying with UN-brokered peace efforts that would lead to alleviating the suffering of Yemenis, primarily by paying public employees in Houthi areas. He praised Saudi Arabia’s efforts to restart the peace process in Yemen and end the war.
On Saturday, the UN Yemen envoy, Hans Grundberg, announced that warring factions in Yemen had agreed to implement a new ceasefire and also empowered him to prepare a road map for peace based on paying public salaries, opening roads — primarily in Taiz — resuming oil exports and opening Sanaa airport to more destinations, allowing more ships to dock at Hodeidah port, and laying the groundwork for an inclusive peace process.
The Houthis will increase the ceiling of their demands as soon as the roadmap’s implementation mechanism is put in place.
Najeeb Ghallab, Undersecretary at Information Ministry
The envoy’s office told Arab News on Sunday that Grundberg would use the positive statements from Yemeni parties to develop the plan promptly.
“We want to maintain momentum, and there is consensus on the need to move forward as quickly as possible,” said Mayy El-Sheikh, director of strategic communications and public information at Grundberg’s office, setting no deadline for presenting the roadmap.
Similarly, Yemeni analysts contended that the Houthis would actively oppose the peace plan and strive to derail it, citing rights groups’ accounts of the Houthis resuming sniping operations in the densely populated city of Taiz and the Houthis’ escalating drone and missile assaults on commercial and navy vessels in the Red Sea.
“The devil is also in the details. The Houthis will increase the ceiling of their demands as soon as the roadmap’s implementation mechanism is put in place,” Najeeb Ghallab, undersecretary at Yemen’s Information Ministry and a political analyst, told Arab News, noting that the most significant danger to peace efforts at the moment was the Houthis’ attempt to spark a conflict in the Red Sea by pressuring US-led marine troops to undertake retaliation attacks on Yemen.
“The Houthis’ effort to spark a conflict in the Red Sea is obvious proof that the Houthis are attempting to undermine peace,” Ghallab said.
After a three-day lull, the Houthis resumed their Red Sea strikes on Saturday, launching missiles and drones against commercial ships as well as US Navy forces.
The US Central Command, or CENTCOM, announced on Sunday that the Houthis launched two ballistic missiles into international trade lanes in the Red Sea on Saturday, as well as three drones at a US Navy ship, which were shot down.
The Houthis also launched drone attacks on two crude oil ships in the Red Sea.
The Houthis claim to be targeting Israel-linked ships or ships headed to Israel to push Israel to halt its blockade of Gaza.
The American Center for Justice and the Geneva-based SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties said on Saturday that armed Houthis were again shooting people in the besieged city of Taiz.
The two organizations said that a Houthi sniper fired at two girls who were playing near their home in Yemen’s Sabir Al-Mawadim District.
“The ongoing sniping attacks by Houthi-affiliated snipers are a grave violation of human rights that must be stopped. The culture of impunity has led to repeated violations against children,” SAM said in a statement.