Extremely concerned by intensification of military operations in Yemen: India at UNSC
India also expressed deep concern about the safety of 7 Indians on board a ship seized by the Houthis
India has said that it is extremely concerned by the continued intensification of military operations in Yemen.
Speaking at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Wednesday, India's representative also called for the immediate release of vessel and crew of ‘Rawabi’ seized off the coast of Hudayah by Houthi rebels.
Participating in a UNSC Briefing on Yemen, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations reiterated India’s call for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire across Yemen followed by a robust and inclusive political process with involvement of Yemeni women.
“We are extremely concerned by the continued intensification of military operations in Yemen. The fierce clashes in Sana’a, Ma’rib and Shabwa in the last few weeks are jeopardizing the prospects of peace,” TS Tirumurti said.
“The seizure and detention of vessel ‘Rawabi’ off the coast of Hudaydah earlier this month has further exacerbated the ongoing tensions. We express our grave concern at this act, which has the potential to deeply compromise the maritime security in the region,” Tirumurti said.
“Seven Indian nationals are among the crew members on board the ship and we are deeply concerned about their safety and well-being,” he added.
“We urge the Houthis to immediately release the crew members and the vessel. The Houthis also bear the responsibility of ensuring the safety of the crew members till their release,” the Indian Permanent Representative told the Security Council.
“I call upon all parties to the conflict to immediately cease fighting, de-escalate the situation and engage unconditionally with Special Envoy Hans Grundberg in his efforts to commence discussions towards comprehensively ending the conflict in Yemen,” India’s envoy to the UN appealed.
He stated that the conflict continues to have a devastating impact on the people of Yemen, especially on women and children, and extends well beyond the tragic loss of human life.
“It has pushed millions into poverty, led to hunger and disease, disrupted education, deprived basic health and sanitation, and led to malnutrition among Yemeni children. Given the economic decline and the COVID-19 pandemic, the dire situation has been further aggravated,” Tirumurti observed.
He said that sustained international donor assistance and concrete short and long-term economic measures, as identified in the UN’s economic framework for Yemen, are necessary to overcome the economic and humanitarian crisis in the country.
“The brief suspension of humanitarian flights into and out of Sana’a airport in December is a matter of concern. The operation of these flights is critical, not only for the movement of aid workers and the delivery of humanitarian supplies into Yemen, but also for emergency medical transfers,” the Indian Envoy to UN said.
“We call on parties to the conflict to not impose any impediments or restrictions on the movement of humanitarian aid and humanitarian personnel. We also urge them to maintain the civilian character of Sana’a airport and other critical public infrastructure in Yemen,” he noted.
“We condemn the continued cross-border attacks into Saudi Arabia targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure. All parties must uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law by ensuring that civilians and civilian infrastructure are not targeted during military operations,” Tirumurti said.
“We take note of the developments surrounding FSO SAFER, whose current condition poses a potential environmental, economic, maritime, and humanitarian threat. We hope for an early conclusion of the required agreements and arrangements,” he said.
“Let me conclude by reiterating India’s call for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire across Yemen followed by a robust and inclusive political process with involvement of Yemeni women,” the Indian Ambassador said.
“Such a process should also fully respect Yemen’s unity, sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. We believe that with effective Yemeni, regional, international and UN leadership, a lasting and inclusive political settlement in Yemen is achievable,” he said.
“We encourage the Special Envoy to continue his engagement with all Yemeni parties and his coordination with the countries in the region to reach a durable solution to conflict,” Tirumurti said.