Yemen vows action against biased agencies

Reporter killed by Al Houthi shell while covering battles in central province of Al Bayda

Cairo: The Yemeni government has vowed to take “deterrent” measures against international organisations having links with the Iran-allied Al Houthi militants.

The warning was issued by Yemeni Foreign Minister Khalid Al Yamani days after UN humanitarian experts accused a Saudi-led coalition fighting Al Houthis of having mounted some deadly air strikes that could mount to war crimes. The alliance has condemned the report as “inaccurate” and “biased”.

“Many documents were previously presented about this behaviour, but the UN has not lifted a finger,” Al Yamani told Saudi newspaper Asharq Al Awsat in remarks published on Thursday.

“The Yemeni government cannot continue to tolerate such uncontrolled patterns of behaviour by some corrupt elements,” he added without elaborating.

“We want the [UN] secretary-general to fine-tune the performance and ensure the organisation’s neutrality. We have repeatedly requested that UN organisations and its agencies in Yemen to come under the leadership of the special envoy.”

Al Yamani slammed the recent UN report, calling it “biased”.

“We reject this approach that favours the coup and does not endorse tools of the international law and the Security Council resolutions,” he added.

In late 2014, Al Houthis ousted the internationally recognised government and seized territory in Yemen, including the capital Sana’a. In 2015, an Arab coalition, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, intervened in Yemen against Al Houthis in response to a request from the government after the extremists advanced on the southern city of Aden, the temporary capital of the country after their takeover of Sana’a.

Al Yamani Thursday warned that portraying Yemen’s crisis as a conflict between the government and the Iran-aligned militia as parties to a conflict “will complicate” the problem there.

In recent weeks, government forces, supported by the Arab Coalition, have pursued a multi-front campaign in Yemen and advanced against Al Houthis.

In response, Al Houthis have stepped their indiscriminate violations against civilians and the media.

On Thursday, a Yemeni reporter was killed by a shell fired by the militants in the central province of Al Bayda.

Ahmad Al Hamzi, the head of the state news agency Saba, and other escorts were killed while covering fight between government forces and rebels in Al Bayda.

Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi mourned Al Hamzi in a cable of condolences to his family, Saba reported.

“Sacrifices of the country’s people will not go wasted. The state and its republican system will be restored and the Safavid [Iranian] project in Yemen will be eliminated,” Hadi was quoted as saying.

At least 30 journalists have been killed in Yemen’s conflict of nearly four years.

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