UN Envoy Hans Grundberg (Official)

UN Envoy Warns of a Dangerous Step that Jeopardize Yemen's Truce


Mon, 11-07-2022 10:36 PM, Aden

South24 (New York)

The UN Envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg said today that the Houthis had rejected a proposal submitted by his office regarding a phased opening of roads in Yemen. He warned against questioning the benefits of the truce, describing those calls as "dangerous."

"The alternative to the truce is a return to hostilities and likely an intensified phase of conflict with all of its predictable consequences for Yemeni civilians and regional security," Grundberg said in a briefing to the UN Security Council.

Grundberg said the truce has been holding for more than three months now. This has led to a significant reduction in civilian casualties. "The number of civilian casualties reduced by two thirds compared to the three months before the truce began."

"Conflict-related civilian casualties are now mostly due to landmines and unexploded ordnance," he noted.

However, Grundberg said, "We still find ourselves immersed in the details of the truce implementation. This is important. But it has meant we have not been able to invest as much in the task of consolidating and expanding the truce in order to deliver more benefits to the population and set Yemen on the path toward a durable political settlement."

The Swedish diplomat said he would continue to explore the possibility of a longer extension and an expanded truce agreement with the parties. This would "provide time and the opportunity to start serious discussions on the economy and security tracks, to start addressing priority issues such as revenues as well as the payment of salaries, and to begin the process of moving toward a ceasefire," he added.

With the inability of the parties to the conflict in Yemen to implement the terms of the truce that will expire on August the 1st, Grundberg warned of a dangerous and worrisome step.

"In the past weeks, we have seen worrisome escalatory rhetoric by the parties questioning the benefits of the truce, a dangerous move that I ask both sides to refrain from," Grundberg said.

Open roads

The UN Envoy expressed his regret that many roads in Taiz remain closed for the seventh consecutive year.

According to Grundberg, the Houthis did not agree to an “updated proposal for a phased opening of roads” submitted by his office.

"We've seen different parties announce unilateral action to open roads. While unilateral action could be a step in the right direction, agreement from both sides is important," Grundberg said.

The STC in South had unilaterally announced the opening of two main roads linking Al-Dhalea governorate with the governorates of Sanaa and Ibb in North Yemen. The Joint Forces led by the Presidential Council member Tariq Saleh announced the opening of the Mocha-Barah road in Taiz unilaterally.

Prior that, the Houthis announced a unilateral move to open the Fifty-Sixty road in Taiz governorate.

“An agreement on road openings in Taiz and other governorates would be momentous, and its benefits would reverberate across Yemen,” Grundberg said.

In conjunction with the UN Envoy speech, the South24 correspondent reported the killing of a soldier and the injury of two others from the STC-affiliate Fourth Brigade "Southern Resistance" Forces in an attack by Houthi drones, in Al-Fakher front, northwest of Al-Dhalea.

The various parties to the conflict in Yemen are talking about thousands of violations of the truce at the local level.

Yesterday, the Houthis said that 17 people were killed and wounded by Saudi border guards in Saada borders.

Saudi Arabia has not responded to these allegations so far.

"We continue to receive reports from both sides about alleged incidents inside Yemen, including direct and indirect fire, drone attacks, reconnaissance overflights, and the establishment of new fortifications and trenches," Grundberg said.

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