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    US President Joe Biden being welcomed by Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at Alsalam Royal Palace in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on July 15, 2022.Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images U.S. President Joe Biden's administration on Friday refuted claims that a forthcoming visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Saudi Arabia signals America's waning influence in the Middle East, insisting that the U.S. is "not going anywhere." Tim Lenderking, U.S. special envoy for Yemen, said that diplomatic visits by other global powers were to be expected, but said that the U.S. had asserted its commitment to the region following a visit by Biden in July. "The major message that the president brought to the region is that the United States is not going anywhere," Lenderking told CNBC's Hadley Gamble. Reports emerged Thursday that Xi is to arrive in Saudi Arabia next week for a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — the Chinese premier's first official foreign visit since 2020 — as Beijing and Riyadh seek to consolidate ties. China's foreign ministry on Thursday neither confirmed...
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. special envoy for Yemen said Monday he plans to explore the possibility of a longer and expanded truce with the country’s warring parties in the coming weeks. Hans Grundberg said an extension could be a good step in moving toward a cease-fire in the country’s eight-year civil war. He didn’t provide details of the length or expansion he is seeking ahead of the Aug. 2 expiration of the current two-month truce extension. Grundberg told the U.N. Security Council that renewing the truce would provide time and the opportunity to start serious discussions on Yemen’s economy and security and to begin addressing priority issues such as revenues and payment of salaries. “I ask the parties to engage with me on these issues with a sense of urgency and flexibility,” he said. The cease-fire between Yemen’s internationally recognized government and Iran-backed Houthi rebels initially took effect April 2 and was extended June 2. Though each side at times accused the other of violating the truce, it was the first nationwide halt in fighting in the...
    GENEVA (AP) — At least 19 civilians, including three children, have been killed in Yemen over the past two months, despite a nationwide cease-fire, a U.N. official said Friday. The truce was the first tangible ebb in fighting in the past six years of the conflict in the Arab World’s most impoverished nation, though each side has at times accused the other of violating the cease-fire. On Thursday, Yemen’s warring parties decided to renew the truce for another two months. Liz Throssell, a spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, told reporters in Geneva on Friday that most of the deaths recorded since the truce first went into effect in early April were from land mines, “including improvised mines, and explosive remnants of war.” However, she said three of the 19 killed died from sniper fire in the Taiz and Al-Dale provinces. Two people were seriously wounded by snipers. Also, the agency documented the wounding of four civilians, one of them a girl, by a weaponized drone. All the attacks took place in areas controlled...
    PARIS (AP) — A group of NGOs filed a lawsuit on Thursday against three French arms manufacturers for what they claim was their complicity in alleged war crimes in Yemen. They accuse Dassault Aviation, Thales Group and MBDA France of selling weapons and equipment to the coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates since 2015, despite widespread evidence that civilians were deliberately targeted. The legal action came as the United Nations announced on Thursday that Yemen’s warring parties have agreed to renew a nationwide truce for another two months, offering a window of hope for peace. The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, or ECCHR, Sherpa and the local Yemeni human rights group Mwatana, supported by Amnesty International, announced the criminal complaint with the Paris Judiciary Tribunal during a news conference in the French capital. The Berlin-based ECCHR said the French companies could not plead ignorance. “Since 2015, there has been an abundance of international reports from the U.N. but also civil society documenting systematic attacks on civilians … that cannot be reasonably ignored by any...
    CAIRO (AP) — Yemen’s warring parties failed to reach agreement on Saturday to lift a blockade by Houthi rebels of the country’s third largest city, the United Nations said, after three days of talks in the Jordanian capital. The failure virtually shuts down hopes that the blockade of Taiz will be lifted as it was supposed to be as part of a U.N.-brokered two-month truce that ends June 1. Hans Grundberg, the U.N. envoy in Yemen, said a proposal had been floated for a phased reopening of roads in Taiz and elsewhere, which would help facilitate aid deliveries and the movement of suffering Yemenis. In a statement, he urged Yemen’s internationally recognized government and its Iran-backed rebels to conclude internal deliberations and deliver “positive results to the Yemeni people” in subsequent talks. The U.N. mission did not provide further details on the proposal or say when the parties would resume talks. Yemen’s conflict broke out in 2014 when the Houthis seized Sanaa, and forced the internationally recognized government into exile. A Saudi-led coalition entered the war in early 2015...
    CAIRO (AP) — Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie on Sunday visited war-wrecked Yemen to show solidarity with displaced families in hopes of mobilizing support for an incoming fundraising conference, the United Nations said. Jolie, who is special envoy for the U.N. on refugee issues, landed in the southern coastal city of Aden to meet with families and refugees there. Aden is the seat of the internationally recognized government. The U.N. refugee agency said it hopes that Jolie’s visit would draw attention to growing humanitarian needs in Yemen, the Arab World’s poorest country, ahead of the annual High Level Pledging Conference for Yemen on March 16. “As we continue to watch the horrors unfolding in Ukraine and call for an immediate end to the conflict and humanitarian access, I am here in Yemen to support people who also desperately need peace. The situation here is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world,” Jolie said in a post on her Instagram account. Yemen has been convulsed by civil war since 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi rebels took control of the...
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The seven-year war in Yemen has witnessed a dangerous escalation, with January’s civilian casualties the highest in at least three years and 8 million Yemenis likely to lose all humanitarian aid next month without urgent new funds, U.N. officials said Tuesday. U.N. special envoy Hans Grundberg and U.N. humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths painted a worsening picture of the already dire situation in the Arab world’s poorest nation. They said the past month brought a multiplication of combat zones and the end of January saw nearly two-thirds of major U.N. aid programs being scaled back or closed. Yemen has been convulsed by civil war since 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi rebels took control of the capital, Sanaa, and much of the country’s north, forcing the government to flee to the south, then to Saudi Arabia. A Saudi-led coalition entered the war in March 2015, backed by the U.S. and United Arab Emirates, to try restore President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to power. Grundberg warned the U.N. Security Council that recent attacks by the Houthis on the UAE...
    NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Saudi Arabia views Cyprus as a “bridge” between the Middle East and the European Union, helping the 27-nation bloc “understand what’s going on” in the region, the Saudi foreign minister said Sunday. Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, speaking after talks with his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides, said that Cyprus helps “really focus the attention” on all the opportunities and challenges in the Middle East. Cyprus has ramped up its outreach to Gulf states in recent years to act as a broker as the closest EU-member country to the region. The Saudi top diplomat said both his country and Cyprus have a “very, very strong alignment” regarding regional stability and terrorism “whether it is (Yemen’s) Houthis or others.” He said both countries agree in the primacy of international law. “If we do not all agree that international law is the primary guide of state relations, we risk the instability for all,” Al Saud said. “I think it’s important that we all stand together to defend the primacy of international law or state sovereignty, a rejection...
    Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor. House bill would ensure healthier school lunches We need to support the Healthy Future Students and Earth Pilot Act (HR 4108) that is being considered by the U.S. Congress. It will make a tremendous impact on the health of our children. It would provide a grant to eligible school districts to get the resources they need to serve more plant-based meal options. A recent analysis found that only 4% of entrees in California lunches are plant-based, and most of those were prepackaged nut butter and jelly sandwiches. There are so many newer options available now. Studies show that increasing the consumption of plant-based foods has substantial health benefits, including reducing the risk of diabetes, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, maintaining a healthy weight, and protecting against certain forms of cancer and other diseases. Those children who wish to eat plant-based meals should have that option every day. Let us support HR 4108 in every way possible. Subru Bhat Union City Surplus should be returned...
    CAIRO (AP) — Forces of Yemen’s internationally recognized government have reclaimed large swaths of territory in a southern province from Iran-backed Houthi rebels, government officials said Wednesday. The push in the southern province of Shabwa comes amid heavy airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition battling the Houthis elsewhere in Yemen, including the capital of Sanaa. The rebels have also stepped up their cross-border attacks, using ballistic missiles and explosive-laden drones to target Saudi Arabia. The Houthis recently also seized an Emirati ship in the Red Sea off the contested city of Hodeida. A Yemeni military spokesman, Mohammed al-Naqib, said the troops’ advance in Shabwa aims to cut supply lines for the Houthis who have been attacking the key city of Marib, the last government stronghold in northern Yemen, since early last year. Yemen’s civil war began in 2014 when the Houthis took Sanaa and much of the northern part of the country, forcing the government to flee to the south, then to Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-led coalition, backed at the time by the U.S., entered the war months later...
    When Joe Biden ran for the White House, he campaigned on making Saudi Arabia a “pariah” on the international stage. But a year into his presidency, Biden has stopped well short of getting tougher on Saudi Arabia—and prominent elected Democrats are following suit. At first, Biden seemed like he’d make good on his campaign rhetoric. Democrats—long opposed the Trump administration’s approach to arms deals for Saudi Arabia—controlled both chambers of Congress. And Biden had been critical of Saudi Arabia given its role in Yemen’s war and the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, which the CIA pegged to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. In February, Biden announced that the United States would be backing off the Trump administration’s approach of funding Saudi Arabia’s offensive military operations. Saudi Arabia has been launching airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen for years, ever since Houthi rebels took Yemen’s capital Sanaa in 2014, and followed up with attacks against Saudi Arabia in turn. A Saudi-led coalition tried to intervene on behalf of the internationally recognized Yemeni government, but...
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The new U.N. special envoy for Yemen said Friday that the Arab world’s poorest nation is “stuck in an indefinite state of war” and resuming negotiations to end the more than six-year conflict won’t be easy. Hans Grundberg, a Swedish diplomat who took up the post four days ago after serving as the European Union’s ambassador to Yemen since 2019, told the U.N. Security Council that “there are no quick wins” in Yemen’s civil war. To chart the best way forward, he said, he plans to review what has worked and what hasn’t, and “listen to as many Yemeni men and women as possible.” “The conflict parties have not discussed a comprehensive settlement since 2016,” Grundberg said. “It is therefore long overdue for the conflict parties to engage in peaceful dialogue with one another under U.N. facilitation on the terms of an overarching settlement, in good faith and without preconditions.” Yemen has been convulsed by civil war since 2014 when Iran-backed Houthi rebels took control of the capital of Sanaa and much of the...
    The Biden administration announced another $165 million in aid Monday to keep civilians fed in warring Yemen, calling the six-year conflict there stalemated as international peace efforts still struggle to gain purchase. The U.S. focus on humanitarian efforts comes after Iran-backed Houthi rebels rebuffed what were repeated appeals by the incoming Biden administration to enter peace talks. Houthi fighters have opted instead to keep pressing a siege to capture Yemen’s last government stronghold in the north, Marib, in an oil-rich province. “The Houthis are not winning in Marib,” despite the grinding siege, U.S. special envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking said in a call with reporters Monday. “And when that reality dawns on people, dawns on the Houthis, I think it will force them to realize that the continued isolation and the fact that the conflict is more of a stalemate, it will pull them back, and I hope bring them to the negotiating table,” Lenderking said. The conflict in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest nation, began with the 2014 takeover of the capital Sanaa by the Houthis, a Yemeni...
    GENEVA - The World Food Program warns Yemen's already alarming hunger crisis is worsening due to ongoing conflict and a rapidly declining economy that are sending food prices soaring.   Of Yemen's population of just over 29 million people, around 21 million need humanitarian assistance. The United Nations, which considers Yemen the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, reports 16.2 million people are extremely short of food and suffering from acute hunger.  Tobias Flaemig, the World Food Program head of Research, Assessment and Monitoring in Yemen, says people are resorting to desperate measures to survive, including cutting their food intake to just one meal a day.    "We recently visited a village where families were resorting to eating leaves to survive," he said via a video link from the capital Sanaa. "Traveling to work, to reach markets or even to seek medical care is almost impossible because the cost of fuel is too high. Hunger leaves people acutely vulnerable to the various public health risks facing the country, including COVID-19, cholera, dengue, malaria."  FILE - Children riding on...
    The U.S. imposed sanctions Thursday on "members of a smuggling network" that generate millions of dollars for the Iranian-affiliated Houthi movement in Yemen.  The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned individuals from Yemen, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Somalia and India. Also sanctioned were entities in Dubai, Istanbul and the Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital of Sanaa.  "This network generates tens of millions of dollars in revenue from the sale of commodities, like Iranian petroleum, a significant portion of which is then directed through a complex network of intermediaries and exchange houses in multiple countries to the Houthis," the Treasury Department said in a statement.  The agency also said the sanctions freeze any U.S. assets the individuals and entities hold and generally prohibit Americans from conducting business with them.    "The United States will maintain pressure on Houthis to accept a ceasefire and engage in real talks to resolve the Yemen conflict," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Twitter.  The conflict in Yemen began in 2014, when the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa and other cities in the country's north. A Saudi-led coalition...
    SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A land mine explosion near Yemen’s strategic port city of Hodeida killed three children and wounded another three and their mother, officials said Friday. According to the officials, the mine exploded on Thursday in a rural area in the Al Marawiah district, where clashes between Yemen’s Iran-backed rebels and Saudi-allied government forces recently flared up. The wounded were taken to hospital in critical condition, the officials added, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters. They blamed the rebels for the explosion. Unmarked land mines litter Yemen, a war-torn country on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula, often claiming civilian lives, especially those of children. The conflict began with the 2014 takeover of the capital of Sanaa by the rebel Houthis. A Saudi-led coalition allied with Yemen’s exiled government has been fighting the rebels since March 2015. The conflict has killed over 100,000 people and pushed the Arab world’s poorest country to the brink of famine.
    JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — A Saudi university near the country’s border with Yemen caught fire early Wednesday after the kingdom’s air defenses intercepted a barrage of ballistic missiles and bomb-laden drones. The interception scattered debris on Jizan University’s campus, which caused a fire that has been contained, the Saudi-led coalition at war in Yemen said in a statement. It said no one was killed, but there was no immediate report of injuries. The statement blamed the Iran-backed Houthi group for the attack, saying the missiles and drones specifically targeted civilian areas and had been launched from the rebels’ stronghold of Saada in Yemen. The Houthis have carried out similar attacks in the past. The six-year-long conflict in Yemen was sparked by the Houthis takeover of the capital, Sanaa, in 2014, which forced the internationally recognized government to flee the city. A Saudi-led coalition supported by the U.S. and allied with the government has been fighting the Houthis nearly ever since. The U.N. humanitarian office says the war has caused an estimated 233,000 deaths, including 131,000 from indirect causes...
    After six years, billions of dollars, and more than 200,000 lives lost, a rare diplomatic breakthrough in Yemen’s war has emerged in an unlikely guise: a Saudi peace initiative. Under pressure from the United States, Riyadh is proposing a cease-fire agreement that offers concessions while failing to secure a single objective of its six-year war. Yet the agreement is not without benefit for the Saudis: a chance to repair their tattered global reputation. With diplomacy having successfully shifted one major player in the conflict, pressure is intensifying on the Shiite Houthis and other actors to close in on an elusive cease-fire, enabling relief for a country wracked by war, famine, poverty, cholera, and COVID-19. Last week’s progress is owed in part to renewed U.S. engagement led by U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking, and the yearlong intense shuttle diplomacy by United Nations envoy Martin Griffiths. Washington convinced Saudi Arabia to agree to a cease-fire arrangement – based on a framework crafted by the U.N. through months of intense diplomacy – that addresses the concerns of both the Iran-backed Houthis...
    Millions of people in conflict-hit Yemen, South Sudan and northern Nigeria are at risk of famine in the coming months or already facing it, two United Nations agencies warned Tuesday. Already some 34 million people are facing acute hunger across the globe, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food an Agriculture Organization said in a joint report. “We are seeing a catastrophe unfold before our very eyes,” WFP chief David Beasley said, calling for urgent action in Yemen, South Sudan and northern Nigeria. “Famine, driven by conflict, and fuelled by climate shocks and the COVID-19 hunger pandemic, is knocking on the door for millions of families,” said Beasley said. The report said that for Yemen, South Sudan and northern Nigeria “urgent and at-scale targeted humanitarian action is needed to prevent hunger or death”. The three areas were among 20 “hunger hotspots” identified by the UN agencies where existing acute food insecurity risks deteriorating further by July due to a range of factors, from conflict to outbreaks of locusts that destroy crops. Other hotspots are Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, the Central...
    UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations warned Tuesday that an offensive by Houthi rebels in Yemen has escalated the nearly six-year conflict in the Arab world’s poorest nation as it “speeds towards a massive famine.” U.N. special envoy Martin Griffiths and U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock painted a grim picture of the political, economic and humanitarian crisis in Yemen, which is exacerbated by a government blockade of fuel ships entering the country’s main port of Hodeida controlled by the Houthis. The intensified fighting has come amid an international and regional diplomatic push to end the conflict which began with the 2014 takeover of the capital Sanaa by the Iranian-backed Houthis. A Saudi-led coalition supported by the U.S. and allied with the government has been fighting the rebels since March 2015. U.S. President Joe Biden’s envoy to Yemen, Tim Lenderking, last week urged the Houthis to agree to a cease-fire proposal. Griffiths told the U.N. Security Council the Houthis’ weeks-long offensive on the oil-rich central province of Marib, the government’s last stronghold in Yemen’s northern half, has put an estimated one...
    More On: united nations UN team seeks evidence linking Myanmar military leaders to crimes VP gives UN talk on female empowerment despite staying silent on Cuomo scandal Security forces fire on Myanmar protests, martial law tightens military grip ‘This is hell’: UN food aid chief visits Yemen, fears famine UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations warned Tuesday that an offensive by Houthi rebels in Yemen has escalated the nearly six-year conflict in the Arab world’s poorest nation as it “speeds towards a massive famine.” U.N. special envoy Martin Griffiths and U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock painted a grim picture of the political, economic and humanitarian crisis in Yemen, which is exacerbated by a government blockade of fuel ships entering the country’s main port of Hodeida controlled by the Houthis. The intensified fighting has come amid an international and regional diplomatic push to end the conflict which began with the 2014 takeover of the capital Sanaa by the Iranian-backed Houthis. A Saudi-led coalition supported by the U.S. and allied with the government has been fighting the rebels since March 2015....
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations warned Tuesday that an offensive by Houthi rebels in Yemen has escalated the nearly six-year conflict in the Arab world’s poorest nation as it “speeds towards a massive famine.” U.N. special envoy Martin Griffiths and U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock painted a grim picture of the political, economic and humanitarian crisis in Yemen, which is exacerbated by a government blockade of fuel ships entering the country’s main port of Hodeida controlled by the Houthis. The intensified fighting has come amid an international and regional diplomatic push to end the conflict which began with the 2014 takeover of the capital Sanaa by the Iranian-backed Houthis. A Saudi-led coalition supported by the U.S. and allied with the government has been fighting the rebels since March 2015. U.S. President Joe Biden’s envoy to Yemen, Tim Lenderking, last week urged the Houthis to agree to a cease-fire proposal. Griffiths told the U.N. Security Council the Houthis’ weeks-long offensive on the oil-rich central province of Marib, the government’s last stronghold in Yemen’s northern half, has put an estimated...
    By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations warned Tuesday that an offensive by Houthi rebels in Yemen has escalated the nearly six-year conflict in the Arab world’s poorest nation as it “speeds towards a massive famine.” U.N. special envoy Martin Griffiths and U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock painted a grim picture of the political, economic and humanitarian crisis in Yemen, which is exacerbated by a government blockade of fuel ships entering the country’s main port of Hodeida controlled by the Houthis. The intensified fighting has come amid an international and regional diplomatic push to end the conflict which began with the 2014 takeover of the capital Sanaa by the Iranian-backed Houthis. A Saudi-led coalition supported by the U.S. and allied with the government has been fighting the rebels since March 2015. U.S. President Joe Biden’s envoy to Yemen, Tim Lenderking, last week urged the Houthis to agree to a cease-fire proposal. Griffiths told the U.N. Security Council the Houthis’ weeks-long offensive on the oil-rich central province of Marib, the government’s last stronghold in Yemen’s...
    VIDEO2:3802:38Yemen conflict could worsen without U.S. support for offensive military operationsSquawk Box Asia U.S. President Joe Biden wants to end the war in Yemen, but it's not likely that the conflict can be dialed back anytime soon, according to Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president for research at the hawkish Foundation for Defense of Democracies. "In fact, if anything, I think this is likely to make the conflict grow worse," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia" on Tuesday. Biden announced last month that the U.S. will withdraw its support for the offensive against the Houthi forces in Yemen. Previous administrations under Donald Trump and Barack Obama backed the Saudi-led alliance in its intervention in the civil war in Yemen. Yemen's civil war began in 2014 when Houthi rebels took control of the capital Sanaa from the internationally recognized Yemeni government. A year later, Saudi Arabia led a coalition of Sunni Arab states in support of the Yemeni government to oust the Houthis, a militia backed by Shiite-majority Iran.We're simply going to hope that an Iran-backed militia will come to the table...
    CAIRO (AP) — The United States imposed sanctions Tuesday on two rebel leaders in Yemen, citing their alleged roles in cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia and shipping vessels in the Red Sea. The departments of State and Treasury said Houthi leaders Monsour al-Saadi and Ahmed al-Hamzi were responsible for attacks “impacting Yemeni civilians, bordering nations, and commercial vessels in international waters.” They said the Iran-backed Houthis, also known as Ansrallah, play “a significant role in the conflict in Yemen and exacerbate the dire humanitarian plight of the Yemeni people.” “The United States has made clear our commitment to promoting accountability for Ansarallah’s malign and aggressive actions, which include exacerbating conflict in Yemen, attacking our partners in the region, kidnapping and torturing civilians, preventing humanitarian aid access, repressing the Yemeni people in areas they control, and orchestrating deadly attacks beyond Yemen’s borders,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. The move came just weeks after the Biden administration removed the Houthis from a broader terrorism blacklist in a bid to ease civilian suffering in the impoverished war-torn country. However, since the reversal...
    The announcement was made at an online donor conference hosted by the United Nations, Switzerland and Sweden. The Fund to which Belgium will contribute is coordinated by OCHA, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “and is accessible to UN agencies and to international and local organizations in Yemen,” Foreign Affairs explained on Monday. According to the UN, 20.5 million people in Yemen, out of a population of nearly 29 million, are in need of humanitarian assistance. Much of the population is considered to be on the brink of famine. “Behind these huge numbers are people. We must not forget them. This crisis is rooted in political conflict, but ordinary Yemenis are paying the price,” said Minister Kitir. At the same time, the EU announced on the same day that it would allocate € 95 million in humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people.
    CAIRO (AP) — The International Committee of the Red Cross in Yemen said Friday it was “extremely concerned” by the recent escalation of violence between Iran-backed Houthi rebels and government forces in in the oil-rich Marib province. “The ICRC urges all parties to the conflict to take every possible measure to protect the civilians, their properties and all civilian essential infrastructures,” the humanitarian agency tweeted. The ICRC said it has provided medical supplies, including surgical kits, to hospitals treating the wounded, vowing to continue with the provision of medical needs. Earlier this month, Houthi rebels renewed their attacks on Marib, the last anti-Houthi stronghold in central Yemen. Advances stalled however amid stiff resistance and airstrikes from the Saudi-led coalition that opposes them. The latest bout of violence killed dozens of fighters, mostly Houthis, and sparked fears of a new humanitarian crisis. Marib province has served as a sort of haven for around 1 million Yemenis who have fled Houthi offensives since the start of the war in 2014, according to U.N. figures. The U.N. special envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths...
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. special envoy for Yemen said Thursday the latest offensive by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in the oil-rich central province of Marib threatens peace prospects, but he called the new U.S. administration’s backing for international efforts to end the six-year war a new opportunity to reopen negotiations. Martin Griffiths told the U.N. Security Council that he sees “common ground for agreement” between the Houthis and the internationally recognized government to end the conflict. “But there is nothing anybody can do to force the warring parties to peace, unless they choose to put down the guns and talk to each other,” he said. Griffiths was unusually grim on Thursday. “I want to emphasize what is at stake,” he said. “The military situation in the country is extremely tense” — more so than at any time during his three years as Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ special representative to Yemen. “Over the past month, the conflict in Yemen has taken a sharp escalatory turn” with the Houthis’ ongoing offensive in Marib, which is held by the internationally recognized government...
    By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States announced Friday it is revoking the designation of Yemen’s Houthi rebels as a terrorist group effective Feb. 16, a reversal by the Biden administration welcomed by the United Nations and humanitarian groups who feared former president Donald Trump's actions would impede aid deliveries to the conflict-torn country facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called President Joe Biden’s decision to rescind the designation “a recognition of the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen.” He said the new U.S. administration listened to warnings from the United Nations, humanitarian groups, bipartisan members of Congress and others “that the designations could have a devastating impact on Yemenis’ access to basic commodities like food and fuel.” Yemen imports 90% of its food, nearly all purchased through commercial channels, and U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock warned last month that U.S. designation of the Houthis already had companies pulling back from dealing with the Yemenis and would likely lead to “a large-scale famine on a scale that we have...
    By Michelle Nichols NEW YORK (Reuters) - United Nations Yemen mediator Martin Griffiths and Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed on Monday how to make progress toward a nationwide ceasefire and reviving the political process in Yemen, a U.N. spokesman said. A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015, backing government forces fighting the Iran-aligned Houthis. The more than six-year long conflict is widely seen as a proxy conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran. It is Griffiths first visit to Iran since becoming the U.N. envoy three years ago. Zarif and Griffiths "exchanged views on Yemen and how to make progress towards a resumption of the political process", U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. "Mr Zarif and Mr Griffiths further discussed the urgent need to make progress towards a nationwide ceasefire, the opening of Sanaa airport and the easing of restrictions on Hodeidah ports." He added that Griffiths welcomed Iran's expression of support for the U.N. efforts to end the conflict in Yemen. While Griffiths office said the visit to Iran had been planned for some time, it comes...
    The United States is calling on Yemen’s Houthi rebels to avoid any new military offensives inside Yemen, and to halt attacks affecting civilian areas in Saudi Arabia.  In a statement late Sunday, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States is “deeply troubled by continued Houthi attacks.”  “We urge the Houthis to refrain from destabilizing actions and demonstrate their commitment to constructively engage in UN Special Envoy Griffiths’ efforts to achieve peace,” Price said.  “The time is now to find an end to this conflict.”  U.N. envoy Martin Griffiths began two days of talks in Iran Sunday as he pushes for a negotiated political settlement to the conflict in Yemen, which began in late 2014 with the Houthis seizing the country’s capital.  Saudi Arabia launched a military campaign in defense of Yemen’s internationally recognized government in early 2015. Martin Griffiths, United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, Feb. 7, 2021.The U.S. call for the Houthis to cease attacks comes days after the Biden administration ordered an end to U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition, which has come under criticism from rights groups for airstrikes that have struck...
    AMMAN - U.S. President Joe Biden says Yemen's civil war must end and pledges to stop U.S. support for Saudi-led offensive operations in the conflict while maintaining support for Saudi Arabia. Analysts examining the six-year-old war in the Arab world's poorest nation — now in the grips of the world's worst humanitarian crisis — welcome the decision, but some say details need to be worked out. FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2021, file photo, President Joe Biden speaks about foreign policy, at the State Department in Washington.Nabeel Khoury, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, says ending the war in Yemen will achieve key initial goals of the Biden Administration: "restoring the United States' leadership role in international affairs and reducing tensions in the Gulf. In addition, it would be in the best national security interests of the U.S." Saudi Arabia and its Arab coalition partners found themselves mired in conflict in Yemen after launching a war against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in 2015, in part to contain Iran's growing influence...
    Some 150 Houthi rebels and pro-government soldiers have been killed in a week of fighting south of the strategic city of Hodeidah in Yemen, according to an . report from military and medical sources on Monday. The conflict between the Iranian-backed Houthis and the Saudi-backed government since 2014 has plunged this poor country on the Arabian Peninsula into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis according to the UN. According to a pro-government military source, the fighting was provoked by attacks by the rebels, who hold the port city of Hodeida (southwest) and seek to extend their control further south where loyalist forces are positioned. The clashes are the most violent since the entry into force of a UN-brokered truce in December 2018, residents reported, indicating that they had not given rise to a rebel advance. “The death toll of both parties has reached around 150 dead and 260 wounded in one week,” an official from forces loyal to the government told .. This assessment was confirmed on the rebel side by one of the local insurgent leaders. The fighting, which...
    CAIRO (AP) — A leading aid organization on Monday warned that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s move to designate Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels as a “foreign terrorist organization” would deal another “devastating blow” to the impoverished and war-torn nation. The Norwegian Refugee Council, one of the main humanitarian agencies active in Yemen, said the designation and Pompeo’s planned sanctions on the Houthis “will hamstring the ability of aid agencies to respond” to the humanitarian needs of millions of Yemenis. “Yemen’s faltering economy will be dealt a further devastating blow,” said Mohamed Abdi, the group’s director for Yemen. “Getting food and medicine into Yemen — a country 80% dependent on imports — will become even more difficult.” Relief organizations have long warned that sanctions could prove catastrophic for efforts to help starving Yemeni civilians caught in the conflict between the Houthis and the Yemeni government, backed by a Saudi-led coalition which has been waging war against the rebels. “The United States recognizes concerns that these designations will have an impact on the humanitarian situation in Yemen,” Pompeo said in his...
    CAIRO (AP) — A leading aid organization on Monday warned that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s move to designate Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels as a “foreign terrorist organization” would deal another “devastating blow” to the impoverished and war-torn nation. The Norwegian Refugee Council, one of the main humanitarian agencies active in Yemen, said the designation and Pompeo’s planned sanctions on the Houthis “will hamstring the ability of aid agencies to respond” to the humanitarian needs of millions of Yemenis. “Yemen’s faltering economy will be dealt a further devastating blow,” said Mohamed Abdi, the group’s director for Yemen. “Getting food and medicine into Yemen — a country 80% dependent on imports — will become even more difficult.” Relief organizations have long warned that sanctions could prove catastrophic for efforts to help starving Yemeni civilians caught in the conflict between the Houthis and the Yemeni government, backed by a Saudi-led coalition which has been waging war against the rebels. “The United States recognizes concerns that these designations will have an impact on the humanitarian situation in Yemen,” Pompeo said...
    The new 24-member government took office in Yemen on December 26. They were inaugurated by President Abdul Rabu Mansour Qadi. The executive branch included both Gaddy supporters and separatists from the Southern Interim Council. The ceremony took place at Qadi’s residence in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. “You come from different camps and geographical areas, but let your main concern be the country and its citizens,” the Yemeni president said. Also read: Arab Spring: 10 years after the wave of revolutions in the Middle East Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. The new government took office just months after the power-sharing deal in Yemen for campaigning in Riyadh. The agreement aims to provide equal representation for citizens of the southern and northern regions of Yemen. The conflict in Yemen has been ongoing since late 2014, after Iranian-backed Houthi rebels seized the Yemeni capital, Sanaa. Also read: The number of displaced people worldwide has reached nearly 80 million – UN The Saudi-led coalition was formed in 2015 to overthrow the government...
    SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A 25-year-old woman was beaten to death in front of her two children by Houthi rebels in Yemen’s Ibb province, a family member said Friday. Houthi militia members raided the house of Ahlam al-Ashary late Thursday looking for her husband, the family member said. When they did not find him they kicked al-Ashary and beat her with sticks and the backs of their pistols until she died, said the relative, who refused to be named for fear of reprisals. The militants were searching for al-Ashary’s husband for his alleged ties to rival forces loyal to the U.N.-recognized government, the relative said. The attack took place in a rural area in Houthi-controlled Ibb province, where most inhabitants have resisted Houthi rule. Photos of al-Ashari’s children hugging her coffin have circulated on social media outlets and anti-Houthi Yemeni news websites. The Associated Press reached out to four Houthi officials but all declined to comment. The conflict in Yemen erupted in 2014 when Iran-backed Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, overran the country’s northern parts and...
    GENEVA (Reuters) - Yemen's warring parties started on Friday a new meeting on a United Nations-backed prisoner exchange deal, which U.N. Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths said he hoped would result in the swift release of detainees. "The Yemen Prisoners & Detainees Committee meeting started today," Griffiths said on Twitter. "I am grateful to Switzerland for hosting it, to the International Committee of the Red Cross for co-chairing." "My message to the parties is conclude discussions, release detainees swiftly, bring relief to thousands of Yemeni families,” he added. The meeting is the fourth held by Yemen's Houthi movement and the Saudi-backed government who had agreed to release conflict-related prisoners and detainees at talks held late in 2018 in Stockholm. Yemen has been mired in conflict since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in March 2015 to restore the Yemeni government ousted from power in the capital Sanaa by Houthi forces in late 2014. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; writing by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Tomasz Janowski) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.
    By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. humanitarian chief warned Tuesday that “the specter of famine” has returned to conflict-torn Yemen and for the first time singled out Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait for giving nothing to this year’s $3.4 billion appeal. Mark Lowcock told the U.N. Security Council that famine in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, was averted two years ago because donors swiftly met 90% of the U.N.’s funding requirements, enabling humanitarian agencies to increase monthly aid from 8 million to 12 million people and save “millions of lives.” Today, he said, the U.N. appeal has received only 30%, about $1 billion, leaving 9 million Yemenis to cope with deepening cuts to aid programs including food, water and health care. Lowcock said Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait “who have a particular responsibility, which they have discharged in recent years, have so far given nothing to this year’s U.N. plan.” Alluding to financial pledges that have not been turned into actual contributions, he said, “it is particularly reprehensible to...
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. humanitarian chief warned Tuesday that “the specter of famine” has returned to conflict-torn Yemen and for the first time singled out Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait for giving nothing to this year’s $3.4 billion appeal. Mark Lowcock told the U.N. Security Council that famine in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, was averted two years ago because donors swiftly met 90% of the U.N.’s funding requirements, enabling humanitarian agencies to increase monthly aid from 8 million to 12 million people and save “millions of lives.” Today, he said, the U.N. appeal has received only 30%, about $1 billion, leaving 9 million Yemenis to cope with deepening cuts to aid programs including food, water and health care. Lowcock said Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait “who have a particular responsibility, which they have discharged in recent years, have so far given nothing to this year’s U.N. plan.” Alluding to financial pledges that have not been turned into actual contributions, he said, “it is particularly reprehensible to promise money, which gives people hope...
    JAMEY KEATEN, Associated Press GENEVA (AP) — U.N.-backed experts have found evidence that rebels in Yemen recruited nearly three dozen teenage girls — some said to be survivors of sexual violence — as spies, medics, guards and members of an all-female force, according to a report released Wednesday. The findings came in the third and latest report by the “group of eminent experts” commissioned by the Human Rights Council to investigate alleged rights violations by all sides in the war since September 2014. The devastating conflict in the Arab world’s poorest country has spawned what the United Nations calls the world’s greatest humanitarian crisis. “The parties to the conflict continue to show no regard for international law or the lives, dignity, and rights of the people of Yemen, while third states have helped perpetuate the conflict by continuing to supply the parties with weapons,” said the report. The report, based on more than 400 accounts and focusing mainly on a period from July 2019 to June this year, highlighted how a generation of Yemen’s children have been “immeasurably damaged through...
    GENEVA (AP) — U.N.-backed experts have found evidence that rebels in Yemen recruited nearly three dozen teenage girls — some said to be survivors of sexual violence — as spies, medics, guards and members of an all-female force, according to a report released Wednesday. The findings came in the third and latest report by the “group of eminent experts” commissioned by the Human Rights Council to investigate alleged rights violations by all sides in the war since September 2014. The devastating conflict in the Arab world’s poorest country has spawned what the United Nations calls the world’s greatest humanitarian crisis. “The parties to the conflict continue to show no regard for international law or the lives, dignity, and rights of the people of Yemen, while third states have helped perpetuate the conflict by continuing to supply the parties with weapons,” said the report. The report, based on more than 400 accounts and focusing mainly on a period from July 2019 to June this year, highlighted how a generation of Yemen’s children have been “immeasurably damaged through child recruitment, abuse, and...
    DUBAI (Reuters) - The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iranian-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen on Thursday said it shot down an explosive-laden drone heading towards the kingdom, a statement published by Saudi state news agency SPA said. There was no immediate comment on the incident in Houthi media. The drone had been launched from Hodeidah governorate on Yemen's Red Sea coast, the coalition said. It did not say where the drone was intercepted. Cross-border attacks by Houthi forces have escalated since late May when a truce prompted by the coronavirus pandemic expired. In late June, missiles reached the Saudi capital Riyadh. The coalition has retaliated with air strikes. Houthi-run Al Masirah TV reported a coalition air strike on Thursday morning on the Saada area which borders Saudi Arabia. The conflict has killed more than 100,000 people since the Saudi-led alliance intervened in Yemen in March 2015 shortly after the Houthis ousted the Saudi-backed government from power in the capital Sanaa. The conflict is largely seen regionally as a proxy war between Saudi and Iran. The Houthis say they are fighting a...
    By Lisa Barrington DUBAI (Reuters) - A U.N. grain store that symbolised aid agencies' struggle to navigate the front lines of Yemen's war has finally been emptied and distributed to a starving population almost two years after fighting cut access, the U.N. food agency said on Monday. The Red Sea Mills, a milling facility rented by the World Food Programme (WFP) as part of an aid operation feeding 13 million people a month, had become a focal point of a frozen conflict in the strategic port of Hodeidah. Located in a complicated web of frontlines between forces loyal to Yemen's internationally recognised government and those of the Iran-aligned Houthi group, the grain store became inaccessible in September 2018 and suffered shelling damage. Enough to feed nearly four million people, the grain risked rotting in the humid climate. It took a year of negotiations and risky cross-frontline operations to regain access and resume milling and distribution in September last year. Aid agencies have repeatedly complained that the combatants in the five-year-old conflict across Yemen have restricted access to needy populations and...
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