The UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg briefed the #SecurityCouncil on the latest developments in #Yemen, including efforts towards de-escalation & his plan to make progress towards an inclusive political settlement. Full statement here: https://t.co/GlSRrzMp5y
— @OSE_Yemen (@OSE_Yemen) February 15, 2022
Worst casualties in three years
For Yemenis, the past month was marked by a multiplication of frontlines and an “appalling” record number of civilian casualties, Mr. Grundberg said. A coalition airstrike on a detention facility in Sadaa, which killed or injured more than 300 detainees, was among the worst incidents in three years.
He described the sharp increase in airstrikes, including on residential areas and civilian infrastructure in Sana’a and the crucial port city of Hudaydah, stressing that the war is also being fought in the economic arena, as the two sides and their allies battle over resources, trade flows through the Red Sea port, and monetary policy.
“The impact of this aspect of the war continues to irrefutably hit Yemen’s population as a whole”, he said. The past month has seen particularly severe shortages in fuel and oil derivatives, notably in areas controlled by Ansar Allah.
After a long delay, four fuel ships were granted clearance to enter Hudaydah this month, yet only one was for the general market – not enough to meet the needs of the population. He called again on parties to remove all obstacles.
Protect press freedom
The war is also being fought in the public domain with increasingly hostile media rhetoric combined with intimidation, detention and harassment of media professionals and activists.
He urged all sides to protect press freedom and release “immediately and unconditionally” detained journalists and political activists.
“Allowing the war to continue is a choice – and so is ending it.”
Convinced of this potential, Mr. Grundberg said he is developing a framework to advance an inclusive political settlement. Through a multi-track process, the interests of the warring sides can be addressed within the broader Yemeni agenda along political, security and economic tracks.
The Special Envoy said he will begin a series of bilateral consultations next week aimed at informing and refining the framework, engaging with warring parties, political parties, civil society representatives and Yemeni experts in the political, security and economic arenas.