Sana’a: Yemen’s president has sent a letter to the UN chief criticising his envoy to Yemen over allegedly siding with the Iran-aligned Al Houthi militants.
President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s letter to Antonio Guterres was released late Thursday.
In the letter, Hadi claims that actions by UN envoy Martin Griffiths undermine chances for peace and warns the internationally-recognised government would stop dealing with Griffths.
Tensions arose between Griffiths and Hadi last week after the UN announced the long-delayed Al Houthi withdrawal from the flashpoint port city of Hodeida.
Hadi’s government accused Griffiths at the time of turning a blind eye that the rebels had allegedly only handed control of the port to “militia leaders” loyal to them.
The “redeployment of Houthis” from Hodeida was part of a UN-brokered deal.
The purported withdrawal by Yemen’s Al Houthis from three ports in the western city of Hodeida was seen by many as an attempt by the Iran-allied militants to evade their obligations under a UN-sponsored peace deal.
Earlier this month, Al Houthis said they began unilaterally withdrawing on Saturday from the ports of Hodeida, Saleef and Ras Eisa in the Red Sea city under an agreement reached in Sweden in December.
“This alleged pullout gives the false impression that there is progress in implementing the Stockholm agreement five months after it was signed,” said Adnan Mansour, a Yemeni political expert living in Cairo.
“It seems that the UN envoy for Yemen [Martin Griffiths] is eager to see any progress, even if it were untrue. But this will damage his credibility and that of the international organisation,” Mansour told Gulf News.
The UN–brokered Sweden pact was seen as the first real successful agreement between the Yemeni government backed by a Saudi-led coalition and Al Houthi extremists.
However, over the past five months, Al Houthis have blocked moves to put the deal into effect and repeatedly violated a truce in Hodeida.
“For their part, Al Houthis have been under international pressure in the last months in order to carry out their commitments under the Stockholm agreement. By claiming this one-sided withdrawal, they hope to alleviate this pressure and score a PR victory,” Mansour said.