Yemen Crisis: Russia rejects condemning Houthi militias

Yemen Crisis: Russia rejects condemning Houthi militias
Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin

Iran-backed Houthi militias insist on rejecting a peace deal proposed by U.N. Special Envoy to Yemen, as Russia refused to publish a U.N. statement condemning them.

Yemeni sources close to the matter said that the international community has notified the Houthi delegation that political negotiations will not go forward if both parties fail to sign and implement the conditions of the new roadmap.

News agencies reported that Ould Cheikh Ahmed has informed the United Nations Security Council during a closed session on Wednesday that Houthi militias have refused to sign the latest peace deal.

Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the U.N. Abdullah Al-Muallimi said that Russia has hampered the issuance of a press release that expresses international concern over Houthis’ announcement to forge a formal alliance with the country’s ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh and set up a political council to rule the country. The press release described Houthis’ step as jeopardizing peace efforts.

The U.N. special envoy asked the Security Council to issue a statement stressing the importance of Yemen’s peace negotiations held in Kuwait and describing Houthis’ political council an “unconstructive step that does not serve peace in Yemen.”

Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin objected to the announcement of the Security Council’s statement, as it did not include a reference to the “national unity government” that Houthi militias were calling for.

Ould Cheikh Ahmed had described Houthis’ announcement to form a political council as a unilateral measure that violates Yemen’s Constitution and the relevant international resolutions.

Yemen has been wracked by chaos since late 2014, when the Houthis and their allies overran Sanaa and other parts of the country, forcing President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and his Saudi-backed government to temporarily flee to Riyadh. Saudi soldiers

The Saudi-led coalition began a military campaign against Iran-backed Houthi militias in March 2015. It sides with the President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, while the Houthis are aligned with ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was ousted after Yemen revolution in 2012.