Is the UN doing enough to rein in Houthis in Yemen?

One is not being alarmist in suggesting that a more serious stance should be taken by the Security Council. What it should do is impose a time-bound order in which action be initiated.

By Mustafa Al Zarooni (The Emirati)

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Published: Wed 15 May 2019, 8:41 PM

Last updated: Wed 15 May 2019, 10:42 PM

The Yemeni situation is going through a critical period this month with the end of the second deadline for the Stockholm Agreement having passed. This will be followed by the Security Council meeting on the outstanding issues.
But that said, the Houthis are still up to their old tricks and the burning question is not just one of trust but how much to believe in their intent. One may recall that the implementation of the agreement was predicated to the withdrawal from three major ports which would then be handed over to the United Nations. The uncertainty will make the coming period one that is fraught with surprises.
One is not being alarmist in suggesting that a more serious stance should be taken by the Security Council. What it should do is impose a time-bound order in which action be initiated so that an assessment can be made of the honesty of the intent.
This relatively firmer stance has to be taken because confidence has been shaken and the voices calling for a military solution have become more vociferous as the waiting time has stretched to an exacting limit.
This long wait for calm and a political solution presented by the legitimate government and an alliance with many concessions has made everyone a little doubtful over the outcome.
On such a canvas let us look at the options left to the Council and the UN envoy.
At present, suffice it to say that we have not seen enough pressure being placed on the Houthis to honour commitment. A certain arrogance does pervade their attitude with occasional indifference to the way they fail to maintain their agreements. The big question now is whether the Council has the courage to put the armed wing of this group into the terrorist category as the United States did with the Revolutionary Guard of Iran, the senior supporter of the Houthis.
If they can do this then the dynamics change dramatically and the Houthis will realise that through the Security Council's stringent actions the world has come together as one to ensure that violence is no longer an option.
They can then start dealing with them according to the agenda approved in April 2015.
-malzarooni@khaleejtimes.com



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