Since the beginning of June, Al Houthi rebels have attended talks on the future make-up of the government of Yemen and to try and restore normalcy after they illegally usurped the legitimate government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi some 20 months ago. That action, and their illegal seizure of power necessitated the United Nations Security Council to give its backing to an international coalition led by Saudi Arabia — and the UAE government and Armed Forces are proud to have played their part — to restore the legitimate government.
A sustained military campaign led to the Iranian-backed rebels and other forces also loyal to the former Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, agreeing to a ceasefire after the international coalition inflicted heavy defeats and regained ground lost to these illegal elements.
Since the end of hostilities, however, Al Houthis and units remaining loyal to Saleh have refused to relinquish their heavy weaponry and to agree to peace terms that would provide a stable and secure government for the betterment of all Yemenis. The refusal to hand over heavy weaponry such as artillery pieces, self-propelled guns, tanks and personnel carriers cannot be taken lightly. What civilian authority in its right mind could govern effectively and without fear of intimidation or violence if subversive groups within its area of governance continued to possess such weapons of warfare and violence?
During more than two months of peace talks, Al Houthis have failed to negotiate in good faith, and seemed both unable and unwilling to fully enter into talks without first consulting their political masters and suppliers of armaments — in Tehran. And while they sat at the negotiating table, they were also working in cohorts with the forces still loyal to Saleh, a leader who had to seek sanctuary outside Yemen’s borders. Now, these elements have simply walked away from UN-brokered talks and set about setting up a national council in Yemen to supposedly try and govern from Sana’a.
Let’s be clear: The decision to walk away and establish such a governing council is a slap in the face for the entire UN Security Council, its resolutions and the forces that acted to restore legitimacy and the proper rule of law. This national council does not have the legitimacy it claims, is made up of elements that are criminals, and it acts not in the interests of the Yemeni people.
Only the UN-backed elements can restore peace and provide the stability and security necessary to rebuild Yemen.