Houthis Committed to UN Peace Plan

Houthis Committed to UN Peace PlanHouthis Committed to UN Peace Plan

Yemen’s Houthis have confirmed in writing to the UN secretary-general their commitment to UN resolutions aimed at ending the country’s conflict.

Houthi representatives pledge to adhere to a seven-point peace plan brokered by the UN during talks in Muscat, Oman. The letter follows a verbal commitment to the resolutions issued last month, BBC reported.

The UN estimates nearly 4,900 people, including 2,355 civilians, have been killed in the conflict in Yemen.

Addressed to Ban Ki-moon, the letter commits to the seven Muscat principles, which include a ceasefire, the removal of armed militias from the cities and the return of the government to the capital, Sana’a.

Yemen’s fugitive president Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi has insisted Houthi fighters pull back from territory seized over the past year before an agreement can be reached.

In the letter, the Houthi representatives, known officially as Ansarallah, call the peace plan an “important and fundamental ... step towards the resumption of the political process”.

“We, from our side along with other parties, commit to these seven points as one unified bundle,” it says, adding: “We welcome the UN call for all sides to return to the table of dialogue.”

  Ex-President Accepts Terms

The party of Yemen’s former president, a main player in the messy, months-old civil war, said in an emailed statement that it accepts a peace plan brokered by the United Nations in talks in Oman.

The General People’s Congress is the party of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, to whom many of the army units fighting alongside the northern Houthi forces against forces backed by Persian Gulf states remain loyal.

“An official source at the General People’s Congress reiterated the party’s fast position on ending hostilities and raising the blockade and on a peaceful solution to Yemen’s crisis,” the party said in the statement.

Hadi, who is supported by a Saudi-led military coalition and allied to local militias, has ruled out an agreement until the Houthis and Saleh’s forces implement a UN resolution.

However, he has also said his government would join the UN-sponsored talks if the Houthis publicly accepted the resolution.

  War Crimes

Amnesty International has accused the Arab coalition fighting in Yemen of carrying out unlawful airstrikes, some of which amount to war crimes.

The UK-based rights group on Wednesday called for the suspension of transfers of certain arms to members of the coalition, which launched an air campaign against Houthi fighters in March.

Amnesty said in a report that it had examined 13 deadly airstrikes by the coalition, assembled by Saudi Arabia, that had killed about 100 civilians, including 59 children.

“This report uncovers yet more evidence of unlawful airstrikes carried out by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, some of which amount to war crimes. It demonstrates in harrowing detail how crucial it is to stop arms being used to commit serious violations of this kind,” said Amnesty’s Donatella Rovera, who headed the group’s fact-finding mission to Yemen.

“The USA and other states exporting weapons to any of the parties to the Yemen conflict have a responsibility to ensure that the arms transfers they authorize are not facilitating serious violations of international humanitarian law.”

Amnesty said its researchers had found remnants of two types of internationally banned cluster bombs as it investigated attacks on Saada, a Houthi stronghold in northeastern Yemen.

Another rights watchdog, Human Rights Watch, in August accused Saudi forces of using cluster bombs in Yemen.