Even children can understand the UN’s games in Yemen

Even children can understand the UN’s games in Yemen

By Sarah Hassan

Contributing opinion writer

Houthis controlled the capital of Aljawf, Alhazm, at the beginning of March 2020. By April 8 the government forces had besieged it and were ready to take it again. The UN took urgent behind-the-scene moves and by the next morning a ceasefire burst onto the stage! The ceasefire was declared by the government forces and the Arab Coalition from one side!

Ever since, the army has - a number of times – made it to the city’s gates and stopped there. It is there now for a while and not trying to march a meter further.

For a reason many ignore: The UN is effectively wielding behind-the-scene influence to keep the city under Houthi control. Just the same as it is doing in Hodeidah. 

Whatever Houthis capture, the UN does not allow to slip out of their hand again. If the army is progressing, however, the UN comes in the way under the banner of concerns about “civilians.” It always has its effective methods of stopping it: It issues warnings and follows them with real pressures on the government and the Coalition that we see instantly effective.  

On the other hand, when Houthi bloodthirsty extremists are pushing into government-administered cities, the UN takes no action of significance to ward them off, no matter the size of civilian population at risk.

The UN’s consistent attitude in this case is silence or, rarely a call on Houthis to “stop.” An ineffectual call like some past calls and like the one issued by Griffiths yesterday.

It was followed by no concrete pressure on Houthis, and therefore the militia are still fighting to this moment and will continue to launch offensives for ever and ever.

This has been the pattern of UN intervention in Yemen for the past years, and it is widely seen as what causes the Houthis’ territorial control to grow and the government’s to shrink

When the UN plays games in Yemen, it does not even bother to make them a little too sophisticated and hard for children to discover.  


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