Houthis deny UN envoy access to Yemen over alleged partiality

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-06 06:08:56|Editor: yan
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SANAA, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Yemen's top Houthi rebel official said Monday that the UN Special Envoy for Yemen was not allowed to return to the country any more, accusing him of partiality, the Houthi Al Massira TV channel reported.

"UN Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is forbidden from returning to Yemen," Saleh al-Sammad, chief of Houthi supreme political council, was quoted by Al Massira TV channel as saying.

"Your envoy is not welcome any more after today, and if you choose another envoy he should respect the will of the Yemeni people," al-Sammad said.

Al-Sammad announced his decision in a formal speech during a meeting with the rebel's political elites in the Republican Palace in the capital Sanaa, which was aired live by Al Massira TV channel.

He accused Cheikh of bias in favor of "aggression coalition countries" led by Saudi Arabia, without giving further details.

Last week, the UN envoy to Yemen briefed the Security Council about his recent visit to Yemen, during which he said he was troubled with the reluctance of the key parties to embrace the concessions needed for peace.

The envoy said he made clear to the parties during his recent meetings in Yemen that they must reach a compromise on the situation in the war-torn port city of Al-Hodeidah.

He appealed to the parties to stop fighting for power and strive to build a country that respects the rights of all its citizens, a country with prosperous economy and strong institutions.

The UN envoy's recent visit to Yemen occurred on May 22, during which he met with Houthi officials to try to mediate a peaceful political settlement between Houthis and their foes.

The Yemeni war pits Iranian-allied dominant Shiite Houthi rebels, backed by forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, against the internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, which is backed by Saudi-led Arab coalition.

The capital Sanaa and most of the northern provinces have been under control of Houthi rebels since September 2014.

The war has so far killed more than 10,000 Yemenis, half of them civilians, and displaced over two million others, according to UN humanitarian agencies.