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Al Houthi rebel fighters ride on gun trucks during a gathering aimed at mobilising more fighters in Sanaa, Yemen. Image Credit: AP

The insidious nature of the conflict in Yemen has come even more in focus with the revelations that United Nations staff are being investigated by the agency for a litany of misdemeanours that have hampered the supply and distribution of aid. But more worryingly, the revelations also point to a very close and cosy relationship with Al Houthi terrorists.

These are indeed worrying since the UN is involved in Yemen on foot of Security Council (UNSC) resolutions calling for the legitimate government there to be returned following its overthrow by Al Houthis. Now it transpires that an element of those engaged in badly-needed humanitarian work there — work necessitated by the actions of the terrorists in preventing aid and relief reaching those in need — seem to be hand-in-glove with the terrorists.

One chapter of a UN report details how an Al Houthi leader was supplied with a UN vehicle to protect him from being a target of military action. This is an abhorrent misuse of UN logistics, undermines the impartiality of the agency, brings its reputation into disrepute, aids and abets terrorist activity and frustrates the efforts of the international coalition — of which the UAE is proud to be taking part — in fulfilling that UNSC mandate.

Past indiscretions

This is not the first time those who serve the UN have brought the aid agency into disrepute. Soldiers from African Union nations wearing the blue beret have been charged with sexual offences in exploiting the young and vulnerable, while in Haiti, UN staff has also been charged with exploiting women for sexual favours in return for preferential treatment. These allegations in Yemen are truly troubling. Those involved show scant regard for the serious nature of their work, little care for those in most need of the aid and medicines they are duty-bound to supply and undermine the very mandate of the international mission in Yemen by their servile attitude to Al Houthis.

This corruption and fraternalisation with terrorists have been long-standing, with Al Houthis seizing UN laptops and documents in a heavy-handed and blatant attempt at intimidation, to try and prevent the truth from coming to light.

Yemen’s Minister of Information Muammar Al Aryani says the UN’s investigation into the scandal proves the terrorists have breached the international organisation, showing it exposes economic and political corruption and lays bare the mismanagement of humanitarian resources there. Frankly, it’s hard to disagree with Al Aryani.