It has been 16 months since the UN-brokered truce in Yemen began. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield noted that while some relief efforts are reaching Yemenis, including the expansion of flights from Sana’a airport, “we know these measures are insufficient. And we know many Yemenis are not yet feeling that relief:”
“In fact, some Yemenis are suffering from continued – and even increased – restrictions on the flow of goods, including Houthi impediments to the sale of cooking gas, and to the movement of other goods from southern Yemen to the North. The Houthis also continue to block oil exports, further exacerbating Yemen’s humanitarian and economic crisis.
Yemenis are rightfully anxious to see progress on peace efforts, said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield:
“Progress will require the Yemeni parties to come together to negotiate complex issues, like the use of Yemen’s sovereign resources to pay public salaries. We urge the parties to cooperate with the UN Special Envoy and to meaningfully participate in future Yemeni-Yemeni talks.
The United States continues to call for the immediate and unconditional release of all of locally employed U.S. Embassy staff who have been detained in Sana’a for over 18 months. The international community is united on this issue, and the Houthis must allow these innocent Yemenis to reunite with their families.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield also called on the Houthis to immediately and unconditionally release the 13 Yemeni Baha’is held in Sana’a since last month. “We are especially concerned about Ahmad al-Malahi, who requires urgent medical treatment,” she said.
“Finally, we call on the Houthis to immediately and unconditionally release Levi Marhabi, one of the few remaining members of Yemen’s Jewish community,” declared Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield:
“All Yemenis should have the ability practice their religion without fear, and we continue to speak out against religious persecution in Yemen.”
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said UN member nations must “continue to do everything in our power to end this war and the violence that has plagued Yemen for the last eight years. And we must do this with urgency.”