Even as key elements of the UN-mediated truce between the Yemen government and Iran-backed Houthis continue to hold, the United States remains deeply concerned that the Houthis have failed to set negotiations on a path to a more durable peace and have instead taken actions that undermine peace efforts and threaten to plunge Yemenis into another pointless cycle of violence and suffering.
“Recent Houthi terrorist attacks on the al-Dhaba oil terminal and the Qana seaport are unacceptable,” declared Ambassador Richard Mills, Deputy U.S. Representative to the United Nations, during a November 22 UN Security Council meeting on Yemen.
“They are an affront to the Yemeni people and the entire international community. These Houthi attacks on commercial vessels delivering essential goods are directly exacerbating the suffering of Yemen’s people and threaten to plunge the country back into conflict.”
In addition, the U.S. Navy interdicted 170 tons of lethal materials used as missile fuel components and explosives that were hidden aboard a ship bound for Yemen from Iran on November 16. The seized fuel component was enough to enable the launch of more than a dozen medium-range ballistic missiles.
“These actions will only further cripple Yemen’s economy, lead to a resurgence in civilian deaths, and worsen the humanitarian crisis,” said Ambassador Mills:
“We urge the Houthis to take another path: seize this moment and choose to end eight years of devastating war. We call on the Houthis to engage in good faith, UN-led negotiations, and return Yemen to the path of peace through a negotiated, inclusive Yemeni-led political settlement. Millions of Yemenis are calling for peace, justice, and economic stability. There is no military solution to this conflict.”
Agreement on a peace process would further set Yemen on the path to recovery and provide even greater benefits to Yemenis, such as payment of public sector salaries, road openings, more flights, and streamlined import processes.
“At this critical moment,” said U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking, “we remind the Houthis that Yemenis are calling for peace, not a return to war. . . .We urge the Houthis to instead seize this opportunity for peace, cooperate with the UN, and accept that the only path forward to ending eight years of destructive war is through a negotiated, inclusive Yemeni-led political settlement.”