UN envoy to Yemen: military escalation facilitate the expansion of terrorism

The United Nations envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, told the Security Council on wednesday that the military escalation in Yemen will provide opportunities for the spread of terrorist groups, as Al Qaida and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) continue to wreak havoc in many parts of Yemen, reported The UN News Center.

“The absence of the state in many parts of Yemen, in addition to the chaos created by war, will continue to facilitate the expansion of the terrorist groups which represents a real threat to the region,” Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed told the Council.

“Extensive military confrontations,” he continued, “have been ongoing in recent weeks in Sana’a, Taiz, Al Jawf, Shabwa and Mareb governorates and along the border between Yemen and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” and “have involved the use of artillery, airstrikes and ballistic missiles and have resulted in tens of casualties, extensive destruction and renewal displacement.”

During the briefing, the Special Envoy also highlighted numerous violations of international humanitarian and human rights law that he said have accompanied the fighting. Some of these incidents – such as an attack on a rural hospital in Hajjah – have been strongly condemned by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

Yemen has been engulfed in violence for several years now – a confrontation between the country’s Houthis (Ansar Allah) and the Government of Yemen in early 2014 led to a Houthi advance on the capital in 2014, and an ensuing conflict which has involved support from outside parties. The United Nations has been heavily involved in efforts to resolve the crisis, and repeatedly said that there is no military solution to the Yemeni crises and has called for a return to peaceful negotiations.

In reference to these talks, Mr. Cheikh Ahmed said the recent departure from Kuwait without an agreement had betrayed the expectations of millions of Yemenis who had hoped that the talks would bring an end to the conflict and open the way for Yemen’s return to a peaceful and orderly transition.