Houthis to blame for thousands missing in Yemen says rights group

15/09/19

Armed Yemeni men loyal to the Shiite Huthi movement shout slogans during a tribal gathering against al-Qaeda militants in the Bani al-Harith area, north of Sanaa, on August 17, 2014. Yemen faces multiple domestic problems, including ongoing insecurity and insurgencies posed by Shiite Houthi fighters, southern separatists and the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED HUWAIS (Photo by MOHAMMED HUWAIS / AFP)

The arrests of 3,544 people were carried out across Yemen between September, 2014 and December 2018
The disappeared include 64 children, 15 women and 72 elderly people
DUBAI: The Houthis are responsible for the disappearance of more than 3,500 people in four years, according to a report by the Yemeni Coalition for Monitoring Human Rights Violations.

The arrests of 3,544 people were carried out across Yemen between September, 2014 and December 2018, Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

Those who have disappeared include 64 children, 15 women and 72 elderly people.

Now the Arab coalition has called on the international community to pressure the Houthi militia to reveal the whereabouts of the disappeared.

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Saudi Cabinet appreciates UN condemnation of Houthi attacks

Time: September 01, 2019  

King Salman. (SPA)
  • Flood aid to Khartoum displays Saudi-Sudan friendship

RIYADH: Recent royal decrees reflect the Kingdom’s keenness to develop various sectors in line with the Vision 2030 reform plan, the Saudi Cabinet said on Tuesday at a meeting chaired by King Salman at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah. The creation of the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, and of the National Center for Artificial Intelligence, are among the most important of the decrees. The Cabinet decided to include Nabil bin Mohammed Al-Amoudi on Saudi Aramco’s board of directors.
Trade and Investment Minister Dr. Majid Al-Qassabi told the Saudi Press Agency that the Cabinet appreciates the UN Security Council’s condemnation of the repeated targeting of civilians in Saudi Arabia by Houthi militias in Yemen.
The urgent relief campaign ordered by King Salman for Sudan stems from Saudi concern for the Sudanese people, and is part of the Kingdom’s pivotal role in providing assistance to people in need wherever they are, the Cabinet said.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The creation of the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, and of the National Center for Artificial Intelligence, are among the most important of the decrees.

• The Cabinet decided to include Nabil bin Mohammed Al-Amoudi on Saudi Aramco’s board of directors.

• Saudi and Afghan governments to jointly combat drug trafficking, Cabinet told.

• Cabinet welcomes Umrah pilgrims to the Kingdom.

It added that the Saudi government provided $2 million in financial support to the Islamic Food Security Organization to contribute to the implementation of its programs, and to fulfil its commitments to member states.
The Cabinet welcomed Umrah pilgrims to the Kingdom, who are expected to number 10 million this year.
It authorized a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Saudi and Afghan governments to combat drug trafficking.
The Cabinet also authorized an MoU between the Saudi National Anti-Corruption Commission and the UN Development Program in the field of corruption prevention.

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Saudi Arabia’s Khalid bin Salman discusses Yemen with Pompeo

Time: August 29, 2019  

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Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman, left, walks with David Schenker, right, Assistant Secretary of Near Eastern Affairs, as he leaves the State Department in Washington on Wednesday. (AP)
  • Pompeo praises Saudi efforts to mediate between the Yemen government and the separatist Southern Transitional Council
  • The two men also discussed the need for stronger maritime security and Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region

WASHINGTON: Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman discussed developments in Yemen with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday.

During the meeting in Washington, Pompeo reiterated US support for a negotiated resolution between the government of Yemen and the separatist Southern Transitional Council. Forces from the two parties have been part of a coalition fighting the Iran-backed Houthi militants, who sparked the conflict in 2014. But in recent weeks the separatists have clashed with governement troops, particularly in the interim capital Aden.

Secretary Pompeo

@SecPompeo

Had a productive meeting with @kbsalsaud today to discuss , maritime security, countering the Iranian regime’s dangerous activities, and human rights. Very important for the unity, stability, and prosperity of Yemen that the Yemeni government and STC resolve their dispute.

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Pompeo thanked Prince Khalid for Saudi Arabia’s efforts to mediate the dispute. The Kingdom invited the parties involved to hold talks in Saudi Arabia and insisted on a ceasefire in Aden after sveral days of fighting earlier this month killed dozens of people.

Pompeo and Prince Khalid agreed that “dialogue represents the only way to achieve a stable, unified, and prosperous Yemen,” the State Department said.

The two men also discussed the need for stronger maritime security in order to promote freedom of navigation and Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region.

Saudi Arabia and the US have both reacted strongly to a spate of attacks on shipping in and near the Arabian Gulf that has been blamed on Iran.

The attacks came after the US ramped up its military presence in the region in response to threats from Tehran. Tensions have been high since Donald Trump withdrew the US from an international agreement designed to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

Saudi Arabia, and other Arab nations, say the deal has allowed Iran to continue developing its ballistic missiles and helped it fund an aggressive foreign policy of destabilizing the Middle East with proxy militias.

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UAE says Khamenei meeting proves Houthis are Iran’s proxy

Time: August 15, 2019  

Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei with Mohammed Abdul-Salam of the Houthi militants in Tehran on Tuesday. (AP)
  • State TV showed Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praising the militants Tuesday, as he met a Houthi negotiator
  • ‘The Houthis are a proxy and that is the correct terminology,’ said UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash

LONDON: A meeting between a Houthi official and Iran’s Supreme Leader proves “in black and white” that the Yemeni militants are an Iranian proxy, a senior Emirati said Wednesday.

State TV showed Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praising the militants Tuesday, as he met the Houthi negotiator, Mohammed Abdul-Salam. Iran has long been accused of supporting the group, which sparked the war in 2014 when they seized the capital Sanaa.

 

د. أنور قرقاش

@AnwarGargash

Houthi relations with Iran, for long in search for proper designation, is clearer following their leadership’s meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei. Stated in black & white in their statement of fealty the Houthis are a proxy and that is the correct terminology.

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Houthi relations with Iran are “clearer following their leadership’s meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei,” the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Twitter. The relationship was “stated in black and white in their statement of fealty,” he added. “The Houthis are a proxy and that is the correct terminology.”

Iran’s support for the Houthis and supply of weapons is regarded as one of the key reasons the war in Yemen has lasted so long. An Arab coalition, which includes Saudi Arabia, is supporting troops loyal to the internationally recognized government against the Houthis.

The meeting in Tehran is the first time Khamenei has held talks with a senior Houthi representative, Reuters reported.

“I declare my support for the resistance of Yemen’s believing men and women … Yemen’s people… will establish a strong government,” Khamenei said.

Yemen’s government and the Arab coalition accuse the Houthis of collapsing previous UN-sponsored talks to find a political settlement to the conflict.

Saudi Arabia and its allies say Iran’s support of proxy militias in the region, including Hezbollah in Lebanon and groups in Iraq, is the main cause of instability in the region.

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Saudi project clears 1,000 Houthi mines in a single week

Time: August 14, 2019  

The vast number of mines continues to pose a threat to Yemeni civilians. (SPA)
  • Expert teams have cleared more than 80,000 mines since the project began in July 2018

RIYADH: Saudi-led mine clearance teams have de-activated nearly 1,000 Houthi explosive devices in Yemen in a single week.

MASAM, the Saudi project for landmine clearance, disabled 15 anti-personnel mines, 458 anti-vehicle mines, two explosive devices and 490 unexploded bombs — a total of 965 devices — during the second week of August.

Expert teams have cleared more than 80,000 mines since the project began in July 2018.

However, Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen are thought to have planted more than a million mines in the past three years. The Houthis are also developing anti-vehicle mines and converting them into anti-personnel devices.

“The vast number of land mines continues to pose a threat to the lives of Yemeni people,” a MASAMspokesman said. “The Houthi militias lay internationally banned devices randomly near residential areas, on roads and farmland in liberated regions, threatening civilians who are outside the battlefield.”

In July, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) extended the contract for the MASAM initiative for a further year, with an investment of $31 million to ensure that Saudi and international experts can continue to clear mines, especially in the governorates of Marib, Aden, Sanaa and Taiz.

The initiative is aimed at delivering security for the Yemeni people, and is one of several launched by the Kingdom.

KSRelief chief Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah said the Kingdom had conducted more than 1,000 humanitarian aid programs worth $3.5 billion in 44 countries since 2014.

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Saudi Arabia’s aid agency distributes Eid gifts in Yemen

Time: August 14, 2019

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A kid with Eid gift distributed by KSRelief (supplied)
  • KSRelief also launched its Eid Kiswa project in the Tuban and Al-Houta districts of Lahij and to mark the festive occasion

RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) distributed the Eid Kiswa (gifts) among children in Yemen as part of its Your Happiness is Our Happiness program in the war-torn country.
“KSRelief has distributed toys, clothing and other items to children in the Al-Ghaydah and Huswain districts of Al-Mahrah governorate,” said the KSRelief media center.
The center said the gifts were distributed to 200 families, including 600 orphans and internally displaced people (IDPs) in Al-Mahrah.
As part of the project, KSRelief also distributed toys, clothing and other gift items to children in the Al-Hazam district in Al-Jawf governorate, to IDPs from Hodeidah and Raymah, and to children at a center for special needs in Al-Jawf.
KSRelief also launched its Eid Kiswa project in the Tuban and Al-Houta districts of Lahij and to mark the festive occasion. Gifts were handed out to children in 303 families, including 319 orphans, children with special needs and IDPs.
The center also implemented its project to distribute gifts, toys, clothing and others in the Hadibu district of Socotra Island. The gifts were distributed among 80 families and included 210 orphans, IDPs and others in need.

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Houthis embroiled in aid agency corruption scandal

Time: August 06, 2019  

A confidential report by a UN panel of experts on Yemen said Houthi authorities constantly pressure aid agencies. (File/AFP)
  • A probe by UN agency, UNICEF, focuses on a staffer who allowed a Houthi militia leader to travel in agency vehicles
  • A report by a UN panel of experts on Yemen said Houthi authorities constantly pressure and intimidating aid agencies

An Associated Press investigation has found that more than a dozen United Nations aid workers deployed to deal with the humanitarian crisis caused by five years of conflict in Yemen are being accused of graft to enrich themselves from an international outpouring of donated food, medicine, fuel and money.

A probe by UN agency, UNICEF, focuses on a staffer who allowed a Houthi militia leader to travel in agency vehicles, shielding him from potential airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition. The individuals who spoke to the AP about the investigations did so on condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals.

According to three people with knowledge of the probe, internal auditors at UNICEF are investigating Khurram Javed, a Pakistani national suspected of letting a senior Houthi official use an agency vehicle.

That effectively gave the Houthi official protection from airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis, since UNICEF clears its vehicles’ movements with the coalition to ensure their safety.

Javed was well known for his close ties to Houthi security agencies; he boasted that he used his connection to prevent UNICEF auditors from entering the country, a former co-worker and an aid official said. The Houthi militias even put up a large billboard of him on a Sanaa street, thanking him for his services.

Javed could not be reached for comment. UNICEF officials confirmed that as part of an ongoing probe, an investigative team had traveled to Yemen to look into the allegations. They said Javed has been transferred to another office but did not disclose the location.

A confidential report by a UN panel of experts on Yemen, obtained by the AP, said Houthi authorities constantly pressure aid agencies, forcing them to hire loyalists, intimidating them with threats to revoke visas and aiming to control their movements and project implementation.
An official said the UN’s inability or unwillingness to address the alleged corruption in its aid programs harms the agency’s efforts to help Yemenis affected by the war.

“This is scandalous to any agency and ruins the impartiality of UN,” the aid official said.

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Arab coalition accuses Houthis of massacre in northern Yemen

Time: July 30, 2019  

Spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said the Houthis shelled the market because the local people were loyal to the coalition. (File/AFP)
  • Spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said the Houthis shelled the market because the local people were loyal to the coalition

JEDDAH: The Arab coalition on Monday accused the Houthi militia of committing a massacre in northern Yemen.

Earlier reports said 13 people were killed in an attack on a market Al-Thabit Al-Shaabi district in Saada province.

Coalition forces were working with tribal leaders in the region  to transfer those injured by the Houthi shelling to Jazan in Saudi Arabia, spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said.

He said the area was targeted because the tribe their supported the Arab coalition, which is fighting alongside forces loyal to the internationally recognized government.

Al-Maliki accused the Houthis of committing atrocities and then blaming coalition forces.

The war in Yemen was triggered when the Houthis seized control of the capital Sanaa in 2014 and forced the government to flee. The coalition, which includes Saudi Arabia, intervened in 2015 to help restore the government.

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Houthis kidnap five women in Al-Bayda

Time: July 29, 2019  

Yemeni Soldiers loyal to the Shiite Huthi rebels line-up during a graduation ceremony for a new batch of cadets in the northwestern city of Saada on
  • Eyewitnesses said the women were kidnapped at a checkpoint in the town of Rada’a after they were forcibly removed from trucks transporting passengers from Sana’a
  • The Arab Coalition targeted Houthi positions in the districts of Qataba and Zubayrat

DUBAI: Houthi militants kidnapped five women in the central province of Al-Bayda, Saudi state-news agency SPA reported on Monday.

Eyewitnesses said the women were kidnapped at a checkpoint in the town of Rada’a after they were forcibly removed from trucks transporting passengers from Sana’a.

Meanwhile, the Yemeni army has taken control of areas in Dali after clashes with the Iranian-backed Houthi militia, according to the Yemeni national military website “September Net”.

The Arab Coalition targeted Houthi positions in the districts of Qataba and Zubayrat, killing and wounding some members of the miltia, destroying vehicles, and a 23 caliber weapon.

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King Salman to host 2,000 family members of Yemeni army ‘martyrs’ during Hajj

27/07/19

King Salman will host 2,000 family members of Yemeni army and Popular Resistance soldiers who died fighting to restore the legitimate government in Yemen during this year’s Hajj. (SPA)

The 2,000 pilgrims will perform the pilgrimage as part of the ‘Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah’ which is overseen by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance
Earlier, King Salman issued a directive for 200 family members of the victims of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand to also be hosted during Hajj
RIYADH: King Salman will host 2,000 family members of Yemeni army and Popular Resistance soldiers who died fighting to restore the legitimate government in Yemen during this year’s Hajj.
The 2,000 pilgrims will perform the pilgrimage as part of the ‘Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah’ which is overseen by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance.
Islamic Affairs Minister Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh said that the family members of those who died while participating in the “Determination Storm and Restoring of Hope” operations as part of the Arab coalition supporting the legitimate government in Yemen would be hosted in a mark of appreciation of the sacrifices made by the personnel to restore unity and safety in the country.
Earlier, King Salman issued a directive for 200 family members of the victims of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand to also be hosted during Hajj.

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