It is time for the international community to come together and take decisive steps to stop Al Houthi terrorism Image Credit: Gulf News

The Al Houthi terrorist group continues to be a major source of instability in the region. Apart from posing as a grave danger to the neighbouring countries, the group’s actions have held the people of Yemen hostage.

Continuing its aggressive behaviour, the group has launched a series of attacks on civilian targets in Saudi Arabia, and more recently the UAE. This has led to widespread condemnation but that hasn’t deterred Al Houthis in the past.

For the region to feel more secure and for Yemen to build a stable future, more needs to be done. This was highlighted by Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN, in the Security Council this week. Referring to Al Houthis, she noted, “…. after UAE civilian infrastructure was subjected to terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of innocent civilians, we can only ask, when will the appeasement of this terrorist group end?”

It is time for the international community to come together and take decisive steps to stop Al Houthis’ aggressive behaviour. This would entail putting more pressure on the group and their supporters.

The UN must take a lead in this by accelerating sanctions on Al Houthis, cutting off their main funding sources and enforcing the targeted arms embargo imposed on Yemen by Security Council Resolution 2216. There is also an urgent need to impose maritime interdiction on Al Houthis.

As the group has effectively militarised the key port of Hodeidah, UN must take an active role in blocking Al Houthis from using it as a weapons store and launch point for attacks on countries in the region. “We reiterate that these Houthi terrorist attacks are flagrant violations of international law and have persisted despite the condemnation by the Security Council and more than 120 countries and international organisations,” Ambassador Nusseibeh pointed out in her UNSC remarks.

Even as efforts are being made to confront the Al Houthi aggression, diplomacy must not take a back seat. The UAE has time and again reiterated its support for the resumption of a political dialogue between Yemeni parties. That approach must continue.

A political solution remains the only way to end the crisis in Yemen. The importance of continuing UN and international efforts to achieve that goal cannot be emphasised enough.