UN envoy: Political dialogue only way to peace in Yemen

The UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, is concerned by the 25 April declaration by the Southern Transitional Council (STC), according to press release issued by UN Special Envoy’s office.

Responding to a declaration of self-rule by the Southern Transitional Council, the main separatist group in the south of the country, Mr Griffiths highlighted the fact that the city of Aden  and other areas, have yet to recover from recent disastrous flooding. They are also facing the rising risk of COVID-19, he said.

“The latest turn of events is disappointing, especially as the city of Aden and other areas in the south have yet to recover from flooding and are facing the risk of COVID-19,” said Mr. Griffiths.

He further called for expediting the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement, with the support of the Coalition led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In a statement, Mr. Griffiths called for greater support for a Saudi-led initiative known as the Riyadh Agreement, which seeks to deliver improved public services and security to people in the south.


“ The success of this agreement should deliver benefits to the people in the south, particularly in terms of improved public services and security,” he said.

“Now, more than ever, all political actors must cooperate in good faith, refrain from taking escalatory actions, and put the interests of Yemenis first”, stressed Mr. Griffiths. “The Riyadh Agreement provides for the participation of the STC in consultations on the final political solution to end the conflict in Yemen and serving the interests of Yemenis nation-wide,” he added.

The UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, has told Arab News that the escalation in fighting and shelling throughout Yemen has derailed his efforts for resuming talks between warring factions.

“It has pushed back our plans for the resumption of the peace process and showed us the fragility of all gains toward peace,” he said in an exclusive interview with Arab News.

“I have told the parties publicly and privately that peace will not be dictated from a position of military dominance,” he added, urging Yemenis to concentrate efforts on fighting the spread of coronavirus. “Now, even more than ever, with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) posing an existential threat to Yemen, they must urgently silence the guns and work jointly to combat the common enemy.”

In response to media questions on the subject, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, said that Mr. Guterres was concerned about the development, and urged all “relevant stakeholders” to “exercise maximum restraint and refrain from any actions that would further escalate the situation”.

“The Secretary-General calls on all to engage in an inclusive dialogue to resolve their differences”, added Mr. Dujarric, “and address the legitimate concerns of all Yemenis, including those of southern groups.”

Mr. Guterres, continued the spokesman,  calls on the parties to the conflict to implement the Riyadh Agreement, as well as concentrate efforts on countering the spread of COVID-19, and responding to the flooding that has affected tens of thousands of Yemenis.

“The Secretary-General reaffirms the need to preserve the integrity of Yemeni institutions and emphasizes that the conflict in Yemen can only be resolved through a negotiated political settlement”