Dubai: Reaching an immediate ceasefire in Yemen is a demand of both sides in the ongoing war in the country and can be achieved “in an hour” should the US and the UN be serious about it, said a Yemeni analyst.
However, Saleem Al Nihdi a Cairo-based academic and analyst, explained to Gulf News that intensifying calls for a ceasefire following Sunday’s raid show that the incident has been politicised “in one direction and in favour of Al Houthis”.
“As if the intention is to transfer the Yemeni issue from the Arab coalition’s hands to the hands of the superpowers and make the Yemeni case similar to the Syrian and Libyan cases,” Al Nihdi observed.
Sunday’s raid killed and injured several hundreds of Yemenis who were gathering at a funeral house in Sana’a, where they had been offering condolences to the family of the interior minister of the Al Houthi government.
Al Houthis blamed the Saudi-led Arab coalition for the strike, while the coalition denied any responsibility. The coalition said it was ready to launch a probe into the “regrettable and painful incident along with experts from the US who participated in previous investigations”, said a statement carried by the Saudi press agency.
“The coalition is also willing to provide the investigation team with any data and information related to its military operations today, at the incident’s location and the surrounding areas,” it said.
Dr Anwar Mohammad Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, commented on the accusations levelled against the Arab coalition and that it purposely targeted civilians by tweeting “we are used to the shameful political exploitation from the rebels to the tragedy of the funeral house.
“The coalition statement was clear. We will investigate the incident with the participation of American expertise.”
Washington announced that it would review its support to the Saudi-led coalition.
White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price also called on all sides to implement an “immediate” ceasefire.
UN humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, called for an immediate investigation into the funeral strike and said the international community must exert pressure to ensure civilians are protected.
“This violence against civilians in Yemen must stop immediately,” said McGoldrick.
A “horrified and extremely disturbed” UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, called for a prompt and “impartial” probe.
Al Nihdi questioned the reaction of the US and different UN organisations when people were killed by Al Houthis and the internationally-recognised Yemeni government called for a ceasefire.
Asked if the international community can stop the war in Yemen, Al Nihdi replied: “within an hour”.
— With additional input from agencies and websites.