The UAE is not running secret prisons in the south of Yemen, and the allegations of human rights’ abuses are not true. Simply put, the recent report distributed by the Associated Press is wrong. The truth has been hijacked by those intent on misinforming, misleading and maliciously denigrating the proud and distinguished record of the UAE.
The truth about Yemen is that it has been two years now since Iranian-backed Al Houthi militia deposed the legitimate and internationally recognised government, casting our Arab brothers into a state of chaos. And in that state of chaos, dangerous extremist forces have been unleashed while the deteriorating social conditions have allowed illness, malnutrition and other diseases to fester and spread.
Throughout, Al Houthi rebels have failed to join a series of negotiations with sincerity, caring only for their short-term interests in maintaining their illegal regime. And throughout, the rebels have done nothing to ease the suffering of the people of Yemen. Simply put, they are untruthful about the role played by the UAE in providing humanitarian relief to our Arab brothers.
Yes, the UAE has and continues to train an effective force on the ground to combat both Al Houthis and the extremists who have filled the vacuum created by the rebels’ seditious actions. But the UAE is not in the business of running prisons, detention centres, jails, prisons or any other form of place of incarceration. The UAE is in the business of making Yemen a better place for all, rebuilding roads and bridges, providing water and power, ensuring that schools are rebuilt, that hospitals and clinics can provide life-saving and life-enduring support and treatments, ending malnutrition, cholera or other diseases that thrive in places of conflict. That is the agenda of the UAE.
Al Houthis too have an agenda — but it is the one written in Tehran and delivered secretly to its Yemeni vassals in vessels that smuggle arms and weapons or war. And that agenda includes trying to tarnish the UAE’s reputation and international standing.
For aid groups or foreign journalists in need of a paycheque to believe these blatant lies floated by Iranian apologists is disingenuous, deceitful and disgraceful. They should look instead at the labels on the United Nations provisions in their clinics or on the sacks of rice and food, and see the UAE flag there. No, that’s a truth they choose to ignore.