Grundberg Warns of Urban Warfare in Marib


Wed, 15-12-2021 04:35 PM, Aden

New York (South24) 

At a time when the UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg warned of an urban warfare in Marib, North Yemen, the Russian representative to the Security Council warned of the failure of Mr. Hans Grundberg's efforts, and that matters had reached a point of no return.

The Special Envoy told the Security Council yesterday during his briefing that he is deeply alarmed by the ongoing military escalation and continued violence in Yemen. 

Speaking by videoconference, he said that even as the conflict parties all profess their desire for peace, their focus remains on military options.  He stressed that military options will not result in sustainable solutions. Restraint, de-escalation and dialogue are urgently needed now. 

The Special Envoy said that he remains concerned about the possibility of urban warfare in the city of Marib, which would have terrible consequences for civilians. The intensification of the fighting and shifting frontlines is endangering civilians and in many cases forcing them to flee for a second or even third time. 

He told the Council that piecemeal solutions can, at best, only provide temporary relief.  They will not produce sustainable peace.  Immediate needs and priorities must be addressed within the context of a process that gears toward a comprehensive political settlement. 

The Acting Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Ramesh Rajasingham, briefed Council members on the humanitarian situation resulting from the intensified fighting, including in Marib, Hudaydah and Taiz.  Hostilities have occurred at nearly 50 front lines just this week. 

Humanitarian aid operations are helping nearly 11 million people each month, he said, but he pointed to funding gaps that may force us to cut back on our aid efforts. 

With Yemen’s economy in free-fall, millions more people are pushed into aid dependence, he said, calling for the implementation of a United Nations-developed economic framework aimed at helping to address rampant inflation and plummeting currency values. 

The United States representative, expressing support for all discussions to help the current situation, said Iran must end its “lethal support” of the Houthis, who must, among other things, return seized property to the United States Embassy, end missile strikes against Saudi Arabia and take responsibility for the Safer tanker crisis. 

The 6 December appointment of a new governor of the country’s central bank is an encouraging sign, she said, expressing hope that it will ease humanitarian suffering and advance reforms. Turning to the Safer tanker, she emphasized that the Houthis bear responsibility for that crisis. The United States supports any discussion that can aid the situation, she added. 

The Russian Federation’s representative Dmitry Polyansk warned that stagnation in the political process appears to be reaching a point of no return.  

"The international community should recognize the reality that the parties have dug in their heels and are not ready to restart United Nations‑led negotiations. Against this backdrop, the Special Envoy’s mediation attempts will remain unsuccessful," he said . 

Moreover, the situation on the ground no longer has anything to do with the theatre of hostilities on the ground, he said, pointing out that this changed picture is not reflected by Security Council resolution 2216 (2015).  

"Therefore, there is a real need to review the basis for the political settlement in order to enable the Special Envoy to reconcile the numerous competing interests of parties to the conflict," said Polyankiy. 

Abdullah Al-Saadi (Yemen), said that the Ending of the suffering will not be possible without an immediate ceasefire and resumption of the political process in line with the Initiative of the Gulf Cooperation Council and resolution 2216 (2015), affirming to his Russian Federation colleague that the resolution remains the basis for a solution in Yemen.

Nicols Riviere (France), shared the Special Envoy’s concern over the serious escalation on the ground, stressed that violence is visible everywhere in deadly clashes, bombings and displacements.  

With the situation worsening in the south, he voiced support for the Yemeni Government and full implementation of the Riyadh Agreement.  

"Rocket fire on Marib and internally displaced persons camps is unacceptable, he emphasized, further condemning the arbitrary arrest of two United Nations staffers and demanding their immediate liberation. 

Yemen has been witnessing a bloody war for seven years, after the Houthi rebels took control of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, and the Yemeni president fled to Riyadh. Houthis control North Yemen, while the STC controls most of South Yemen.

South24 Center for News and Studies 
Photo: The Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg during the briefing to the United Nations Security Council 14 Dec, 2021 (Official) 

United NationSecurity CouncilSpecial EnvoyAdenSanaaMaribHouthiSTCSaferRussiaFranceRiyadh Agreement