Taiz residents celebrate Eid al-Fitr, May 2 (Abdul Nasser al-Siddiq / Anadolu Agency)
More than a month after the ceasefire in Yemen, many of the points announced in the agreement statement are still being thwarted, perhaps the most prominent of which is the operation of flights from Sanaa airport and the lifting of the siege on the city of Taiz, at one time. when the stalemate covers political movements to build the current ceasefire he described. The UN special envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, described the “precious moment”.
The ceasefire announced by the United Nations in Yemen entered into force on April 2, to be extended for two months, provided it is extended, with the approval of the Yemeni government supported by the coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the Houthis.
In addition to agreeing to halt military operations, he announced other provisions, which allow fuel ships to pass through the port of Hodeidah, in western Yemen, which is controlled by Houthis, and the operation of flights from Sanaa airport, and the opening of roads to the besieged city of Taiz, southwest of Yemen, by the Houthis.
The first flight from Sanaa was thwarted
Despite counting down to the end of the ceasefire, the first flight from Sanaa airport failed, amid mutual accusations between the Yemeni government and the Houthis for obstructing it, while discussions began on opening roads to the besieged city of Taiz, which is one of the most important provisions of the ceasefire agreement, as he speaks. Both sides report almost daily military violations on the battle fronts.
The announcement by the Riyadh-led coalition of the release of 163 Houthi prisoners and their transfer yesterday, Friday, from Saudi Arabia to Yemen, was also at the center of the debate.
The Houthi National Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs said: “All those arrested are not prisoners of war, except for five of them and four kidnapped fishermen who were abducted by the Red Sea, and the other names are not known to us.” She added, “Among those arrested are nine foreigners of African nationality with whom we have no connection.”
The coalition announced the release of 163 Houthi prisoners on Friday
On April 24, it was announced that the first commercial flight from Sanaa International Airport to the Jordanian capital, Amman, would be postponed, which would be the first in six years, based on the ceasefire agreement, which specified two commercial flights for week.
The airline said: “It did not obtain an operating permit for the first flight from Sanaa airport, despite having made all the technical preparations,” while Houthis and the Yemeni government exchanged accusations of obstruction of flights.
A spokesman for the Houthi Aviation Authority in Sanaa, Mazen Ghanem, said: “a. caused the death of a number of patients who were scheduled to travel on the first commercial flight.”
He added, in a statement broadcast by the Houthis’ Saba news agency, that “aggression coalition countries prevented Yemeni airlines from giving permission to land at Sana’a International Airport”, considering that “there is no legal justification for closing Sana’a International Airport for civilian flights. ” He called on the international community and the United Nations to take a binding decision to open the airport.
On the other hand, the Yemeni government accused Houthi of non-compliance with the legal procedures of travel and stated in a statement published by the official News Agency in Yemen (Saba): “It was agreed that the flights be carried out in accordance with official procedures, including approval of only government-issued passports Unfortunately, the Houthi militias in Sana’a closed all ticket offices and limited issuance to the Yemeni office in Sana’a, and tickets were issued to travelers holding passports issued by militias.
She added, “In the interest of the government for the security of the proceedings and for its obligations to the international community and the host countries, it requested, through the office of the UN envoy, that the Houthis adhere to what was agreed upon. “to change the list of passengers and to land passengers who do not have known passports”.
She explained, “As a result of the rejection and obstruction of the Houthi militia, the scheduled flight on April 24 was delayed until the militias returned to their commitment to what had been agreed.”
Grundberg expressed his concern about the postponement of the first commercial flight from Sanaa Airport and urged the parties to work constructively with it to find a solution that would allow flights to resume as planned.
Despite high hopes that the ceasefire would open new horizons for peace, starting with the commitment to humanitarian provisions that concern citizens and contribute to alleviating their suffering on the move, at least as a precautionary measure to exchange trust between the two sides in conflict. , it seems a long time after more than a month has passed since the ceasefire.
“Yemeni political activist Hashem Al-Abara said in an interview with Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the scheduled flight delays from Sanaa airport were due to the Houthis’ failure to share passenger names with the competent government authorities.” casts doubt on the identity of some passengers and the possibility that terrorists may be among the passengers.
He added: “This possibility forces the authority not to allow any aircraft to take off and depart for any country, brother, because no use of a flight to commit a terrorist crime or smuggling of prohibited items can damage the relations of our country. with host countries, and could negatively affect the functioning of the rest of the airports used by Yemenis to enter, exit and communicate with the world ”.
He noted that “this is a sensitive issue and the government has announced that it offers some facilities to operate Sanaa Airport for civilian flights, but is inclined not to use these flights to transport foreign terrorists to our country or in countries in the region, or to smuggle smuggling or weapons ”.
Regarding the end of the siege of Taiz and the opening of the roads, Al-Abara said: facilitate the people ”.
The siege of Taiz continues
Aside from the shaky operation of Sanaa Airport, no discussion has begun regarding the opening of roads leading to the city of Taiz, which is surrounded by Houthis, according to what a government source spoke to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed. City.
Announcing the UN ceasefire in early April, Grundberg said “roads leading to the besieged city of Taiz in the southwest of the country will be opened”, but no progress has been made so far in the city, which is one of the most populous cities.
The Houthis and government forces share control of the city, while the Houthis have imposed a suffocating siege on most and most of the city for six years, closing the main roads leading to the city and forcing the population to broken and dangerous. mountain roads.
The distance that lasted a few minutes before the siege, now needs at least four to five hours. On April 26, a government committee sought to force the Houthi group to quickly open major roads leading to the ceasefire in Taiz province, and to force the Houthis to provide the Office of the UN envoy with a map of mining. they planted, unconditionally, this came in a letter to Grundberg.
No discussion has started regarding the opening of roads leading to the city of Taiz, which is surrounded by Houthis.
The deputy head of the government committee responsible for opening the roads in Taiz, Muhammad al-Mahmudi, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed: “There are no discussions about opening the crossings in the city of Taiz and Huth. nor the names of the commission members they represent in this dossier, which means that they refuse to do so. ” “Even negotiations for the opening of roads.”
He added that “the UN envoy’s office has not moved on and has not taken any position, and he is still saying he is trying to persuade al-Houthi to name his team during this period. “This is their current effort.”
In addition to disrupting flights from Sanaa Airport and reopening Taiz roads, several ceasefire violations occurred on a number of fronts during the first month of the ceasefire.
On the other hand, Oman’s mediation resulted in the release of the crew of the Emirati ship “Rawabi”, which had been detained by the Houthis since the beginning of last January, in addition to unilateral initiatives by the Houthis and Saudi Arabia to release dozens. of prisoners.
By placing obstacles in front of humanitarian files by the two parties to the conflict in Yemen in the non-implementation of the provisions of the current ceasefire, the state of mistrust between the two parties is revealed by creating justifications and using the suffering of civilians as a tool. of pressure to achieve political gains, which may make the chances of peace and a political solution unattainable in the present time.