Houthi missiles and UN contradictions

Amal Abdulaziz Al–Hazani

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The missile which targeted Riyadh few days ago was fired by Houthis in Yemen. It was manufactured and smuggled by Iran which also ordered firing it. However there is a third party that is indirectly responsible for this crime, and it’s the UN.

The question which imposes itself during these difficult circumstances is: Was the UN, via its shaky reports, going to impose sanctions or condemn Iran for developing its missile system and supporting the Houthis’ frequent attacks on Saudi territories, including on Mecca and the capital?

The UN Security Council Resolution 2216 demands that the Houthis immediately and unconditionally “end the use of violence, withdraw their forces from all areas they have seized, including the capital Sana’a, relinquish all additional arms seized from military and security institutions, including missile systems, cease all actions that are exclusively within the authority of the legitimate Government of Yemen and refrain from any provocation or threats to neighboring States.”

Also read: Iranian opposition figure: Tehran is involved in Riyadh missile attack

The stances of this organization, which is supposed to look after the international community, are selective and moody. The UN does not have a clear position and what’s worse is that it looks like it sees the truth but desists from speaking it.

Unfortunately, the UN is insightful in countries like Syria, Iraq and Libya but blind in other countries like Yemen – or it ignores facts which it has not tried to look into or double check.

The UN’s periodic report about the humanitarian situation and the rights of children across the world resembles courts’ preliminary verdicts as the organization contradicts its own report few days later by citing what it calls “new information.”

The UN does not have a clear position and what’s worse is that it looks like it sees the truth but desists from speaking

Amal Abdulaziz Al–Hazani

Political pressure?

Is the UN trying to politically pressurize the coalition in support of legitimacy and push a political solution forward through these changeable stances? If this is the case, then let’s recall that the coalition is in support of the UN Security Council’s stance which includes a political solution in its Resolution 2216 and within the Gulf initiative.

Nothing delays implementing this solution other than the fact that Iran did not permit the Houthis to accept it. Truth be told, we feel disappointed that the UN is violating the Security Council’s decision as it recently provided aid worth $14 million to the Yemeni education ministry to help it open schools for students!

It is said that the education ministry is affiliated with the Houthis. What the UN did recognizes the Houthis’ legitimacy. Has the UN supervised the expenditure of this money? Let’s keep in mind that the UN has UNICEF reports that confirm the Houthis are recruiting children who are supposed to be in schools and they are using them to plant mines in safe areas inside Yemen and on the Saudi kingdom’s borders.

IN PICTURES: Evidence of Iranian support to Houthi militia in Yemen

The Yemeni national army forces and UNICEF have handed over dozens of these children to their parents. How can the UN ignore its own institutions’ reports and provide support to a terrorist group, which has been ordered by an international organization to give up weapons?

The Houthis fired missiles on several parts of South Saudi Arabia bordering Yemen and hit houses, schools and mosques. The Saudi government had to evacuate them as a result. The Houthis also fired missiles on Mecca so as to provoke Muslims.

The aim of targeting Mecca was to get people to say that the kingdom is incapable of protecting holy sites. The recent missile attack was aimed at residential areas near King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. Its range was 1,600 kilometers away from Yemen.

Rewarding Hezbollah

The missile which targeted Riyadh carried a message from Iran which stipulates that the Houthis in Yemen are rewarding Lebanon’s Hezbollah whom the US and its allies plan to clip its wings.

It’s an emotional reaction that followed the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. His resignation is a brave decision that predicts a confrontation which has been delayed due to the international community’s leniency and the softness of the former American administration under Barack Obama.

Saudi Arabia has made sacrifices like no other country in a state of war. It solely assumed the responsibility for providing humanitarian aid via the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center. It provided a quarter of billion dollars for this purpose and is about to pay a similar amount in the next phase. Its lands and citizens were assaulted on the southern borders.

Also read: Yemen: Iran uses Houthi militias ‘like puppets’ to destabilize region

It is strictly monitoring land, naval and air borders to prevent smuggling weapons outside Yemen. This is in addition to military operations which it carried out along with the coalition members, primarily the UAE.

During this phase, it received around 600,000 Yemenis who fled towards the kingdom and it granted them a regular residency with the right to work and study and receive medical treatment. All this is proven in reports by the UNICEF, the International Red Cross and World Health Organization.

These efforts should have been at least appreciated and recognized by the UN because they basically aim to achieve that the UN was responsible for. The UN’s major task is to also prevent the collapse of the Yemeni state after the Houthis staged a coup against the ruling legitimate regime and threatened civil peace.

If the UN wants to correct its stance, it must begin with seriously implementing the Arab draft resolution approved by the human rights council that supports the Yemeni national committee to investigate human rights violations in Yemen.

This is what it must do if it wants to maintain its international prestige. As for Riyadh, it now has the right to defend itself as required by its interests in Yemen or other countries, whether sooner or later.

This article is also available in Arabic.
Amal Abdulaziz Al–Hazani is a professor at King Saudi University and a writer for al-Sharq al-Awsat. She tweets @Alhazzani_Amal.

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