In mid-February 2018, the Security Council approved the selection of a British national employee Martin Griffiths, as a special envoy to the Yemeni crisis, succeeding Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who had publicly siding with coalition.
Rather than Griffith’s appointment would be an improvement to the image of UN envoy that enshrined in Yemen’s public minds following the practices of Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, However, Griffiths went to improve his office budget, it works limited on shuttle visits between capitals, prior to his monthly briefing to the Security Council.
Although he tried to introduce himself through some activities, through which he tried to present himself with a magic wand to solve the crisis in Yemen. However, these activities were formal or sought to treat part of the results rather than looking at the roots. Even in this, he did not succeed. In the Stockholm consultations centered on Hodeida ceasefire, the prisoners’ agreement, employee salaries, and opening of Sana’a airport, then it resulted in two agreements, one for the prisoners and the other for Stockholm Agreement, and yet they have not been implemented.
From an envoy to a postman
With the changing equation on the ground, and the preponderance of Sana’a militarily, in the field and at the level of deterrence, Griffiths left his job, at least as stipulated in the literature of the United Nations, and turned to playing a role of conveying coalition’s messages to Sana’a, as High-ranking political sources confirm, that he is the voice of coalition’s policy and objectives. During the past months, Griffiths ignored the tightening siege on Yemen, while he did not miss an opportunity to talk about the need for Sanaa’s forces to stop entering Marib, or from denouncing Sanaa’s disbursement for half salary to employees, after the pro-coalition government refused to implement the revenue agreement.
Perhaps this is what prompted the delegation of Sana’a for political consultations to refuse to meet him at the beginning of this month in the Omani capital, Muscat, as the head of the delegation, Mohamed Abdel Salam, confirms that Griffiths has become part of the problem, not part of solution.
Abdel Salam says, “From his recent talk, that it becomes clear that the UN envoy has been converted from his mission and has become fully involved with the forces of aggression against Yemen, fully adopting their thesis.
Adding that UN envoy is prolonging the absurd aggressive war and covers the effects of the unjust siege, and this negative position makes him a part of the problem.”
Observers believe that Griffiths ’continuance in this approach is an expression of British policy, especially as his positions align with those of British ambassador to Yemen, while others see that this is the entire United Nations policy, which the Secretary-General had previously removed the name of coalition from ‘List of Shame’ for violations Against Children in Yemen.