The special coordinator of the international body says that the US plan to grant licenses to avoid subsequent sanctions is insufficient.
The UN urged the Trump administration on Thursday to reverse its decision to label Yemen’s Houthi rebels a terrorist group, warning of the move UN aid chief Mark Lowcok told the Security Council that the decision will push the impoverished nation into “full-scale famine in a scale we haven’t seen in almost 40 years. ”
Yemen, which has been embroiled in a civil conflict exacerbated by regional interests since 2014, imports 90% of its food through trade channels. The Houthis control trade in the areas they rule.” Trump’s last full day in office next Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the appointment is intended to hold the rebel group accountable for its terrorist acts, including cross-border attacks that threaten civilians, infrastructure, and the Marine transport.
The Houthis are the de facto authority over a wide swath of the highly impoverished and food-starved nation, and concern has grown that designating the group as a terrorist organization could hamper the distribution of much-needed aid during the worst humanitarian disaster of the world.
Aware of repeated concerns expressed by the UN and humanitarian groups, Pompeo said the United States would grant licenses to exempt “certain humanitarian activities and imports into Yemen.” “
Lowcock said the plan is insufficient to avoid the humanitarian consequences that lie ahead of the US decision.
” Aid agencies give people vouchers or cash to buy commercially imported food in the market. Aid agencies can’t – they just can’t – replace the commercial import system, “Lowcock said. “This means that commercial importers are the biggest determinant of life and death in Yemen. “
Yemen has been plagued by violence and instability since 2014 when Iranian-focused Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa. The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi Arabia-led coalition launched a devastating targeted aerial campaign to push back Territorial gains in Houthi.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the conflict claimed 233,000 lives.
AA / TechConflict.Com
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