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On Yemen, After Saudi Bombs Rally in Sana'a, ICP Asks of Talks

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 24 -- The UN Secretariat's bungling of Yemen mediation has become ever more clear, according to multiple sources and documents exclusively seen by Inner City Press, see below.

 On May 9, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric about Saudi-led Coalition air strikes on Amran, and if the UN would admit that the Houthis have controlled the base there since 2014. "Not for us to say, "was the answer from Dujarric, who as it happens blocks Inner City Press on Twitter just as the UN Envoy blocks journalists in Yemen. Video here. From the UN Transcript:

Inner City Press:  does the UN believe that this base was already controlled by the Houthis…  [inaudible]

Spokesman:  That’s not for us to say.

But see below.  On May 24, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq, UN transcript here:

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask, on Yemen, it's reported that the side of President [Abd Rabbuh Mansur] Hadi has told the envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, that not only [Ali Abdullah] Saleh but also Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi should be excluded from any settlement so the… I wanted to know, what is the UN's head mediator, its position, particularly on the Houthi role?  And also it's said that some of the envoys or the UN's teams in the country is supposed to be observing the ceasefire or finding their work have informed the envoy that their work has become impossible due to attacks in Marib and elsewhere.

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, first of all, regarding the situation on the ground, as the Special Envoy, Mr. Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed has made clear the cessation of hostilities has… is not fully holding, but it has largely been holding in most areas.  And we are working with the parties and with the committees that have been set up to make sure that the cessation of hostilities will continue to hold and, indeed, will be more pervasively observed even than it is right now.  Regarding negotiations, I can't give details of the negotiations as they continue.  What I can say is, regardless of what each side wants, what the Special Envoy and the UN are trying to do is find a workable plan that will bring the parties together.  We are trying to be as inclusive as possible, and as I just mentioned, he did meet over the past day with both the Government delegation and the delegation representing Ansar Allah and the General People's Congress, and he will continue with his talks with all the various participants.


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