Interviews

Thu - 07 May 2020 - 08:46 PM ،،،

OSESGY


 In an interview with Al Araby TV, the UN Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths, said the recent announcement of self-administration by the Southern Transitional Council (STC) is an important reminder of the importance of the Riyadh agreement.

"I am pleased they [STC] went on May 1 to stress how committed they are to the Riyadh agreement which is... the basis on which the future of the south will be moderated. It is the United Nations position that the Riyadh agreement needs to be implemented with all speed."

Mr Griffiths further discussed the underlying frustrations in the South and said the resumption of the political process must include the STC and other southern voices.

"We have to remember that Yemen is currently facing a wide variety of tragic scourges. We have the war. We have damage to service delivery in the south and in the north. We have the virus. And of course we have these terrible floods where were particularly severe in Aden. All of these is an extraordinary perfect storm to the people of Yemen who suffered already from a conflict which has disrupted their lives and threatened their future,” Mr. Griffiths said, “My point about the STC is that they need to be part of the process of arriving at a political solution, as do, by the way the other voices in the south and elsewhere in Yemen.”

Mr. Griffiths also provided an update about his mediation efforts between the government of Yemen an Ansar Allah to reach an agreement about a nationwide ceasefire, key humanitarian and economic measures to alleviate suffering and help Yemen respond to the COVID-19 crisis, and a commitment for the urgent resumption of the peace process.

“We are making very good progress but we are not there yet,” Mr. Griffiths said, “And I’m frustrated that we are not. It is frankly up to the parties to realize that it is their responsibility to their citizens to grab this chance, this rare chance, when there is diplomatic consensus in favor of a ceasefire and when there are popular voices clearly saying to their leaders: let’s do this now.”

The UN Special Envoy recognized that many regional and international stakeholders continue to have an interest in Yemen’s stability.

“We insist, as part of the United Nations mandate, that the people of Yemen will be the ones who ultimately decide their future. It is not regional interest which will decide the future of Yemen. The reason is not because it is simply right; but because it won’t work. There will be no peace in Yemen if the people of Yemen don’t drive it or lead it. Really, what we are trying to do with the ceasefire and the resumption of the peace process is very simply. We are trying to find an end to the shooting war to allow the people of Yemen their chance, not ours, and not from the region, to build peace. And building peace is much more difficult than ending war. It is about a return to the freedoms of expression, of movement, of accountable government that the people of Yemen had in such strength before this war started five years ago.”